The Portable Naval Wargame

As promised I have managed to reformat both my original MEMOIR OF BATTLE AT SEA (MOBAS) rules and the 1860 to 1870 variant of the rules so that they have a commong format with my existing PORTABLE WARGAME rules. I have also renamed the rules, and they are now called:

  • The PORTABLE NAVAL WARGAME: 1860 to 1870 rules.

Both are available for download from THE PORTABLE WARGAME WEBSITE (click here for the PORTABLE NAVAL WARGAME: PRE-DREADNOUGHT rules and here for the PORTABLE NAVAL WARGAME: 1860 to 1870 rules) and from Google Documents (click here and here respectively).

The Turret Ram Huascar

Portable Wargame news

Whilst I have been away on my latest cruise, the PORTABLE WARGAME has continued to go from strength to strength.

Steven Page (who writes the blog ‘Adventures in Portable Wargaming‘) has been using a slightly tweaked version of the ‘Modern’ rules to refight several actions in North Africa, including:

At the same time Kaptain Kobold has not only produced a specific American Civil War version of the ’19th Century’ rules entitled MIGHTY MEAN-FOWT FIGHTS but has also used these rules to fight several battles including:

David Crook (of ‘A Wargaming Odyssey‘ fame) has also been busy and refought The Charge of the Australian Light Horse at Beersheba, October 1917 as well as an after D-Day action in Northern France that he has entitled Breaking the Panzers, France 1944.

So what have I been doing whilst all this ‘action’ was taking place? The answer is simple; no wargaming BUT I have ‘converted’ my version of my existing MEMOIR OF BATTLE AT SEA rules that cover the late nineteenth century into a similar format to that used in the PORTABLE WARGAME and renamed them the PORTABLE NAVAL WARGAME rules.

With a bit of luck I should be able to make these ‘new’ rules available online later today.

He has done it again! Now there is an electronic version of Memoir of Battle at Sea!

Peter Maller has done it again! Inspired by my MEMOIR OF BATTLE AT SEA (MOBAS) rules and the work done by Steve Page on his Old Admirals blog, Peter has produced an electronic version of MEMOIR OF BATTLE AT SEA (MOBAS) that uses a hexed grid.

He has even made it possible for players to identify individual ships by name …

… and to add their details to them.

A fuller explanation of how the game works can be found on his Three by Two Tactics blog and the game itself can be access via his Portable Wargame: Electronic Version website.

Well done and thank you Peter! You have helped make the PORTABLE WARGAME and MEMOIR OF BATTLE AT SEA truly accessible to all.

Really Useful Boxes

Over the past year or so I have been acquiring quite a number of storage boxes from the massive range manufactured by REALLY USEFUL BOXES. My particular favourite is the 4 litre-sized box, mainly because it will take A4-sized paper and card but also because two fifteen-compartment Hobby Trays will fit into it.

Each compartment in the Hobby Tray has enough space to accommodate at least one BATTLE CRY, MEMOIR ’44, MEMOIR OF BATTLE, or MEMOIR OF MODERN BATTLE unit of 15mm or 20mm-scale infantry figures, and it is my plan to reorganise my collection so that I can get an ‘army’ into one or two 4 litre-sized boxes.

This is not as daft as it may sound. I understand that Stuart Asquith has been doing something along these lines for quite a few years … and as I get older I feel the need to consolidate rather than expand my wargames collection, and this is one way in which I can do that.

Small Battleships

A big thanks goes to Jim Duncan, who very kindly sent me some small metal battleships so that I can use David Crook’s version of MEMOIR OF BATTLE AT SEA (MOBAS) on my Heroscape™ water-tile terrain.

This means that I can now have a portable version of the game that I can take with me when I go away on holiday or when I am visiting another wargamer. All I have to do now is paint the ships … and I would hope to be able to do that in the very near future.

Going off at a tangent

How often have I been happily working on a wargames project when suddenly I go off at a tangent?

The answer is very simple. Too many times … and last night was one of them!

There I was, building the hull for my latest model ship, when the idea sprang into my head that I could build model ships that I could use to fight naval battles using David Crook’s version of MEMOIR OF BATTLE AT SEA (MOBAS) and that would look ‘right’ alongside my 15mm-scale* wargames figures. This thought then seemed to preoccupy me for the rest of the evening … and part of the night … until, in that stage just before one drifts off into sleep, I realised what I wanted the models to look like … the battleship playing-piece from MONOPOLY!

My family used to own a very old MONOPOLY set, and it had a small metal battleship as one of the playing-pieces. As I child I wondered whether, if one were rich enough, one could buy enough MONOPOLY sets to field a small fleet of ships to fight battles with. (Ah! The innocence of youth!) This morning I trawled through the Internet and found a picture of one of those old battleship playing-pieces … and it is exactly the sort of design I am looking to recreate.

It is not a perfect scale model of a battleship. It is a cartoon … but it has the ‘look’ I want to achieve. The problem is that I am a good way through making a model ship to illustrate a ‘How to …’ blog entry … so what should I do?

Again, the answer is simple. Do both … and that is what I am going to try to do over the next couple of days … real life permitting!

* I know that there is not such ‘scale’ as 15mm. It refers to the notional height of the figure, but it is my ‘shorthand’ for that scale of wargames figure (1:100th-scale), and it is an expression that most wargamers understand even if it is not correct.

Another progress report

I have been quite busy again today working on my next ‘How to …’ blog entry. This one explains how I build the larger model ships that I use with my figure games.

The process of making the models, taking photographs, and describing what I have done at each stage of the construction of the model takes a lot longer than I expected. I had hoped to have finished it today, but it looks more than likely that it will take until tomorrow or possibly even Wednesday.

In the meantime I have been working on one or two ideas for model ships that might work with both 15mm figures and David Crook’s version of MEMOIR OF BATTLE AT SEA (MOBAS). I think that it is not an insuperable problem, but that it might require a bit of ingenuity on my part.

A revised MOBAS icon … already!

In the light of Peter Douglas’s comment to my very recent blog entry, I realised that by adding a fourth funnel to the Combat Dice icon I had designed for the Torpedo Boat/Destroyer, it was much easier to tell each type of ship apart!

Here is the new icon …

Dice symbols for Memoir of Battle at Sea (MOBAS)

Having just completed new versions of MEMOIR OF MODERN BATTLE (MOMBAT) and MEMOIR OF BATTLE (MOB) it seemed logical – in the light of developmental work that David Crook is undertaking on the naval ‘sibling’ of these wargames rules – to think about revising my MEMOIR OF BATTLE AT SEA (MOMBAS) wargames rules.

As these rules will also use Combat Dice, I needed to design some icons for the dice faces.

The Battleship, (to indicate a ‘hit’ on that type of ship) …

… the Cruiser, (to indicate a ‘hit’ on that type of ship) …

… the Torpedo Boat/Destroyer, (to indicate a ‘hit’ on that type of ship) …

… the Explosion (for ‘hits’ on any type of ship), …

… and the Shell Splash (to indicate a ‘miss’).

I hope to continue work on these rules over the next few days, but having designed these icons I feel that I am already well on the way with this project.

Time for reflection … and consolidation

I have had plenty of time to think recently (there is not a lot to do when you are sitting in various hospital waiting areas waiting to take someone to the next medical test they have to undergo), and the events of the past week have made me realise that nothing lasts forever, and that I need to be a bit less like a butterfly – flitting from one thing to another – and a bit more like a worker bee, which gets things done.

I have therefore come up with a list of priorities that I will try to stick to over the next few years. They are (in no particular order):

  • To develop my MEMOIR OF BATTLE and MEMOIR OF BATTLE AT SEA wargames rules so that they cover the late nineteenth and early twentieth century (i.e. 1850 to 1950) … and to build up several armies (and navies) that I can use with them.
  • To put together a 54mm army (or armies) to use with H G Wells’ LITTLE WARS and The Reverend Paul Wright’s FUNNY LITTLE WARS wargames rules.

  • To take part in as many wargames as I can each year, with a target of playing an minimum of wargame per month.
  • To complete the work necessary to set up a series of wargames campaigns that will involve Maldacia and Laurania (and possibly other small nations as well).

It will take time to achieve all of these objectives – and some of them may never, ever be achieved in full – but at least I will get some satisfaction from the fact that I have striven to achieve them.