Ship models in the Monaco Naval Museum: Aircraft and Helicopter Carriers

The museum’s collection of aircraft and helicopter carriers includes the following:

Aircraft Carrier HMS Illustrious (Britain, 1940)

HMS Illustrious was the first of the Illustrious-class armoured aircraft carriers built for the Royal Navy. She was designed in the late 1930s and was first commissioned in 1940. After working up she joined the Mediterranean Fleet, and her aircraft were involved in the attack on the Italian naval base in Taranto. This resulted in one enemy battleship being sunk and two other being and seriously damaged. Two months later she was attacked by aircraft from the German Kliegerkorps X. She was badly damaged, and had she not been armoured it is very likely she would have been sunk.

After being repaired in North America, she was sent to the Indian Ocean, where she supported the Allied landings on Madagascar. She then returned home, and after a lengthy refit she joined the Home Fleet. She then transferred to the Mediterranean, where she supported the Salerno landings. In mid-1943 Illustrious again went east, and remained part of the Eastern Fleet until she was transferred to the newly-formed British Pacific Fleet. After taking part in the early stages of the Battle of Okinawa she returned to the UK to have a number of serious mechanical defect remedied.

Illustrious was in dock when the war ended, and it was decided that she would become the Home Fleet’s trials and training aircraft carrier. As a result she took part in the deck-landing trials of most of the post-war British naval aircraft designed and manufactured the early 1950s. She was finally paid off in 1955, and sold for scrapping the year afterwards.

Escort Carrier USS Bouge (CVE-9) (United States of America, 1942)

The USS Bogue was the lead ship of one of the first classes of escort carriers built in the United States for service with the US Navy and (under lend-lease) the Royal Navy. The design of the hull of the Bogue-class escort carriers were based on the Maritime Commission’s Type C3 cargo ship hull, and it was originally planned that after the war they would be converted into cargo ships. Some were so converted, but ten were retained by the US Navy (including Bouge) and were used during the mid 1950s they were re-designated as helicopter escort carriers (CVHE).

During World War II USS Bouge sank eleven German and two Japanese submarines. This made her the most successful anti-submarine escort carrier of the war.

Aircraft Carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) (United States of America, 1972)

USS Nimitz (CVN-68) is the lead ship of her class of ten nuclear-powered aircraft carriers that are currently in service with the US Navy. She was laid down on 22nd June 1968, launched on 13th May 1972, and commissioned on 3rd May 1975. She is expected to remain in service until 2025.

Amphibious Assault Ship USS Nassau (LHA-4) United States of America, 1978)

USS Nassau was the fourth of the Tarawa-class of amphibious assault ships (LHA) to enter service with the US Navy. She was aid down on 13th August 1973, launched on 21st January 1978, and commissioned on 28th July 1979. She was capable of carrying a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) of 1900 US Marines and their equipment. Her air wing (6 × AV-8B Harrier VSTOL attack planes, 4 × AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters, 12 × CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters, 9 × CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters, and 4 × UH-1N Huey helicopters) was tasked to support any landings undertaken by the MEU.

USS Nassau was decommissioned on 31st March 2011, and now forms part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) National Defense Reserve Fleet.

Helicopter Cruiser/Training Ship Jeanne D’Arc (R97) (France, 1964)

Jeanne d’Arc was originally named La Résolue, as her 1930s-built predecessor was still in service when she was first commissioned. She was subsequently renamed Jeanne d’Arc in 1964. She had two main roles; in peacetime she was a training ship, but in wartime she was expected to be a fully-operational helicopter cruiser.

The ship was retired on 7th June 2010 and decommissioned on 1st September 2010. She was sold for scrapping in 2014.

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Ship models in the Monaco Naval Museum: Liners and Research Ships

The museum’s collection of model liners and research ships includes the following:

Liner RMS Titanic (Britain, 1912)

Probably the most famous liner ever launched, she sank after hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic during her maiden voyage.

Liner SS France (France, 1962)

She was sold in 1979 to Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and renamed SS Norway. She was sold for scrapping in 2006, and was finally demolished in 2008.

Research Ship RV Calypso (USA, 1941/France, 1950)

Originally built as the BYMS (British Yard Minesweeper) HMS J-826 in Seattle, Washington, USA. In 1949, after the end of the Second World War, she was sold, and for four months she operated as a ferry between two of the Maltese islands. She was then re-sold to a (then) unknown buyer, who leased her to the underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau. He had the ship modified and rebuilt into an expedition vessel that could support diving, underwater film-making, and oceanographic research.


Ship models in the Monaco Naval Museum: Sailing Ships and Early Steamships

The museum’s collection of model sailing ships and early steamships includes the following:

Turtle Ship (also known as Geobukseon) (Korea, 1415)

The Geobukseon was a type of large armoured warship that was used by the Royal Korean Navy from the early 15th century up until the 19th century. Its main purpose was to defend Korea from invading Japanese ships.

Galley

Galleon (Spain, 1545)

Galleons were a large, multi-decked sailing ships that were primarily used by European states during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.

Galleon San’yago (or Santiago) (Spain, 1588)

This is possibly a model of either the Santiago el Mayor (24 guns) or the San Felipe y Santiago (24 guns), both of which took part in the Spanish Armada

Galleon Vasa (Sweden. 1628)

Vasa is a Swedish warship built between 1626 and 1628. She sank during her maiden voyage on 10th August 1628. The largely intact remains of the ship were salvaged in 1961, and after prolonged conservation she is currently on display in the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden.

Frigate Olifant (Russia, 1704)

The Olifant had a short life, being launched in 1704 and broken up in 1712.

Galley Reale de France (France, 1694)

She was designed by Jean-Baptiste Chabert, and became the flagship of the French galley fleet during the reign of Louis XIV. She was decommissioned in 1720.

East Indiaman Boullongne (France, 1758)

Frigate USS Constitution (United States of America, 1797)

USS Constitution was one of six original frigates constructed as a result of the Naval Act of 1794. She and her sisters were designed by Joshua Humphreys and she was built in Edmund Hartt’s shipyard in Boston, Massachusetts. She remained in service until she was decommissioned on 14th June 1855 at Portsmouth Navy Yard. USS Constitution was then converted to serve as a training ship, and remained in that role until 1871. She was subsequently overhauled so that she could participate in the centennial celebrations of the United States of America, but after sailing to France and back in 1878 she reverted to being a training ship.

In 1881 she was moved to the Portsmouth Navy Yard, where she was used as a receiving ship until 1897, at which point she was moved yet again, this time to Boston. After being used as a barracks she was partially restored and in 1907 she became a museum. She was renamed USS Old Constitution so that her original name could be used for one of the new Lexington-class battle cruisers. When this new ship was not built, Old Constitution reverted to her original name.

Since then she has been restored several times, and between 1931 and 1934 she visited ninety port cities along the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts before returning to Boston. She has been restored and reconstructed several times since then, and today she is a visitor attraction that is used to promote a greater understanding of the United States Navy’s role in war and peace. USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world.

Sloop Mirny (Russia, 1818)

Whilst building Mirny was originally named Ladoga, but when it was decided that she should be used as an expedition ship, her incomplete hull was remodelled and she was renamed.

Mirny took part in the First Russian Antarctic Expedition in 1819—1821, during which the Vostok and the Mirny circumnavigated the globe, visited and twice circumnavigated Antarctica, and discovered a number of islands and archipelagos in the Southern Ocean and the Pacific.

Steam Frigate Svietlana (Russia, 1858)

Svietlana was built in Bordeaux, France. She served in the Mediterranean Sea during 1859–1860 and then in the Northern Pacific from 1860 until 1862. She visited Brazil in 1867–1868 and the USA and Japan in 1871–1873. She returned to the Mediterranean Sea from 1875 to 1877 before becoming a training ship in 1878. She was decommissioned and scrapped in 1892.

Steam Frigate HMS Warrior (Britain, 1861)

HMS Warrior and her sister ship, HMS Black Prince, were the world’s first ocean-going iron armoured ships. HMS Warrior was completed in October 1861 and re-armed between 1864 and 1867. In 1881 she became a training ship on the Clyde, and 1884 she was re-rated as an reserve armoured cruiser. She remained in reserve until 1902, when she became a torpedo depot ship in Portsmouth. In 1904 she was re-named Vernon III, but reverted to her original name in 1923. She was hulked six years later, and re-named C77 in 1945. She was restored in 1979 and is now preserved at Portsmouth, Hampshire.

Barque Belem (France, 1898)

Built in Nantes, France, Belem was originally a cargo ship. She was used to transport sugar from the West Indies as well as cocoa, and coffee from Brazil and French Guiana to Nantes, France. In 1914 to she was bought by the Duke of Westminster, who had converted her into luxurious pleasure yacht with auxiliary diesel engines.

She was sold again in 1922 to Sir Arthur Ernest Guinness, who renamed her the Fantôme II. After Sir Arthur died in 1949 she passed through the hands of several owners. (1951: New owner Vittorio Cini renamed her the Giorgio Cini in memory of his dead son; 1972: The Italian Carabinieri attempted to restore her to the original barque rig but this proved too expensive.)

She reverted to her original name Belem in 1979 and was converted into a sail training ship in Nantes, which remains her home port.)


I have been to … The Naval Museum, Monaco

During our cruise last April, Sue and I spent a day in Monaco. During our time there we visited the principality’s Naval Museum (Musée Naval), which is located in the Fontveille district.

The entrance is ‘guarded’ by an Italian human torpedo.

This was called Maiale (or ‘Pig’) by the Italians, and it was used to great effect by the famous Italian Navy’s Special Forces Unit, the Decima MAS.

The museum is quite small, but it is packed with models of all sorts of ships, …

… a Venetian gondola, and numerous model aircraft.

Due to the sheer number of items that are on display in the museum, I have decided to write a number of themed blog entries about its contents, and these will appear over the next few days.


Nugget 291

I am going to collect the latest edition of THE NUGGET (N291) from the printer this morning and I hope to post it out to members of Wargame Developments by tomorrow at the latest.

I hope to upload the PDF versions of THE NUGGET and THE NUGGET COLOUR SUPPLEMENT to the Wargame Developments website later today, and when I have they will be available for members of Wargame Developments to read online or to download and print.

In addition I will have uploaded Ian Russell Lowell’s presentation entitled TRUMP IT! so that members can download and read it.

This relates to the session that Ian ran at COW2015 (last year’s Conference of Wargamers) and is well worth reading.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this is the ninth and last issue of THE NUGGET to be published for the 2015-2016 subscription year.

Renewal reminders will be sent out to existing hard-copy subscribers with this issue. It will be sent to members who have not yet re-subscribed. E-members will be sent a renewal reminder after the forthcoming annual Conference of Wargamers (COW2016) has taken place.


‘Oh we sail the ocean blue …’ : Simple pre-dreadnought naval wargame rules play-tests

I have finally managed to stage a few play-tests of the pre-dreadnought naval wargame rules I intend to use at this year’s Conference of Wargamers (COW2016). Each play-test took the form of a simple scenario that pitched different numbers and types of ships against each other.


Scenario 1: Protect the convoy
In this scenario a single protected cruiser is attacking a small convoy that is being escorted by a pair of destroyers. The cruiser’s task is to destroy as many of the merchant ships as it can; the destroyers’ task is to protect the convoy and – if possible – drive off the attacking cruiser.

Turn 1
The cruiser came into sight of the convoy and the destroyers moved forward to engage the cruiser whilst the convoy turned away.

The cruiser fired at the nearest destroyer, and hit it, causing it to lose 2 flotation points.

Turn 2
The cruiser managed to evade the destroyers, …

… and opened fire on the nearest merchant ship … which it missed! It also engaged the other destroyer with its secondary armament, hitting it once and causing it 1 flotation point of damage.

Both destroyers fired their torpedoes at the cruiser. The torpedoes from the destroyer immediately behind the cruiser missed, but the other destroyer’s torpedoes hit home and inflicted the loss of 2 flotation points of damage on the cruiser.

Turn 3
The cruiser continued to pursue the convoy, and the destroyers attempted to distract it from doing so.

The cruiser fired at and hit the destroyer that was abeam of it with its secondary armament and caused it to lose a further 2 flotation points. At the same time the cruiser fired at one of the merchant ship with its main armament, and hit it.

Turn 4
The destroyers’ tactics seemed to be working, and one of them managed to interpose itself between the cruiser and the convoy.

In the ensuing exchange of gunfire the destroyers failed to hit the cruiser, but the cruiser hit and sank the destroyer that was immediately astern of the convoy.

Turn 5
It now appeared that the cruiser had the convoy at its mercy, …

… and very soon it had hit – and sank – one of the merchant ships.

Turn 6
As the cruiser manoeuvred into a position what it could sink the convoy one by one, the remaining destroyer rushed in …

… and in the exchange of gunfire it was sunk … but not before inflicting sufficient damage on the cruiser to force her to turn away and to leave the convoy to escape.

This was a sharp little action, and proved that destroyers can pose a potent threat to large ships if they are properly handled.


Scenario 2: Hunting a raider
An armoured cruiser has evaded the blockade and has been attacking merchant shipping. Two protect cruisers have tracked her down, and have to sink her or damage her so that she has to surrender or return to port.

Turn 1
The two protected cruisers initially approached in line ahead formation, but on seeing their enemy, they split away from each other in order to force the armoured cruiser to split its fire between two targets.

In fact the armoured cruiser was able to engage one of the protected cruisers at extreme range, but without hitting its target.

Turn 2
With both forces approaching each other at maximum speed, it was not long before all the ships were involved in an artillery engagement.

Whilst the two protected cruisers were unable to do much damage to their armoured opponent (it suffered the loss of 1 flotation point) …

… the latter’s heavy main armament was able to inflict considerable damage on one of the two protected cruisers. (It lost 4 flotation points to one of the enemy ship’s salvos!)

Turn 3
When the damaged protected cruiser moved out of gun range, the armoured cruiser now concentrated its fire on the other protected cruiser …

… and inflicted a similar level of damage (the loss of 4 flotation points) as it had to its other opponent. In return the protected cruiser was able to inflict only minor damage (the loss of 1 flotation point) on the armoured cruiser.

Turn 4
The ships now began to circle each other …

… firing as best they could but inflicting little damage on each other in the process. (The armoured cruiser was hit by a single shell and lost 1 flotation point.)

Turn 5
The armoured cruiser was able to turn inside the turning circle of the nearest protected cruiser, …

… and whilst its main armament engaged the other protected cruiser (with no effect), it was able to fire its bow torpedo tube at the nearest protected cruiser, with quite deadly effect. (The torpedoes caused the loss of 3 flotation points, thus forcing the protect cruiser to withdraw from the battle as best it could.) That protected cruiser’s gun proved to be poorly aimed, and it was unable to inflict any damage of the armoured cruiser.

Turn 6
The armoured cruiser fell upon its damaged enemy and at point-blank range opened fire with all its main and secondary guns.

The result was a foregone conclusion … the protected cruiser was sunk … but not before it had fired its own guns and its port side torpedo tube, all of which caused extensive damage to the armoured cruiser! (The armoured cruiser lost a total of 4 more flotation points, which meant that it was now forced to withdraw from the battle.)

Turn 7
Both cruisers now circled each other warily …

… and the armoured cruiser inflict further damage on the protected cruiser. (It lost 1 more flotation point.)

Turn 8
The protected cruiser now tried to move outside of the range of armoured cruiser’s main armament …

… but it suffered further damage. (It lost yet another flotation point.)

Turn 9
Now that the protected cruiser had moved out of range, the armoured cruiser began to make its way back to its home port. The damage it had suffered would keep it in dockyard hands for some time to come.

The two protected cruisers had achieved their mission … but at a considerable cost!


Scenario 3: Jeune École
A blockading battleship is moving along the enemy coast. A small flotilla of destroyers is sent to intercept it and – if possible – damage or sink it.

Turn 1
The battleship came in sight of a flotilla of enemy destroyers that were in line abreast. Considering such craft as to be mere ‘mosquitoes’ that can be easily swept aside, the battleship’s captain did not change course … and neither did the destroyers!

Whilst the battleship remained on its existing course, the destroyers split into two separate groups.

Turn 2
Whilst one group of the destroyers attempted to approach the battleship from the stern, the other pair approached her from ahead and sailed down either side of her.

The battleship’s response was devastating. Her port secondary armament engaged the enemy destroyer on her port side and inflicted the loss of 4 flotation points.

On her starboard side, the main armament and starboard secondary armament fired at the other destroyer, and also caused her to lose 4 flotation points.

In reply the two destroyers fired back with their puny guns … and the battleship lost 3 flotation points!

Before they sank, the destroyers both fired a torpedo at the battleship. One cause the battleship to lose a further 3 flotation points and the other caused her to lose 1 flotation point.

Turn 3
The remaining destroyers now moved in to mount their attacks on the damaged battleship

The battleship fired her rear turret at the closer of the two destroyers … and missed!

The destroyers then both fired a torpedo at the battleship, and the battleship lost a further 4 flotation points!

Turn 4
By this stage the battleship was badly damaged and needed to break away, but the superior speed of the destroyers allowed them to manoeuvre into a position to mount a further torpedo attack.

Although she was damaged, the battleship was still able to fight, and her guns made short work of the closest destroyer (it suffered the loss of 4 flotation points) and damaged the other, which lost 1 flotation point.

The destroyers were still able to fire their remaining torpedoes, and these slammed into the battleship with devastating effect.

The remaining destroyer stood by to receive any survivors from her sunken sister ships and the battleship. Once they were picked up, she then made her way back to base to make the world aware that the theories of the Jeune École appeared to be valid, and that from now on no unescorted battleship was safe from small, fast, torpedo-armed destroyers that were working as a team.


Note about Scenario 3:
The Jeune École (Literally ‘Young School’) was a strategic naval concept developed during the 19th century and adopted for a time by the French Navy. It advocated the use of small, powerfully equipped vessels (e.g. torpedo boats) to combat a blockading enemy battle fleet along with the use of fast cruisers to attack and sink enemy merchant ships.


Scenario 4: Line of Battle
Two enemy battle squadrons are sailing towards each other. They each comprise two battleships and an armoured cruiser, and the armoured cruisers are leading their respective battle lines.

Turn 1
Initially both sides continued to sail towards each other.

Turn 2
Once the leading ships of the opposing battle line got within range of each other, one began to turn to starboard to cross the enemy line’s ‘T’.

The two leading ships (the armoured cruisers) then fired at each other, and both inflicted some damage on its opponent.

Turn 3
In order to prevent their ‘T’ being crossed, the other battle line also began to turn, but in their case it was to port. Seeing this manoeuvre, the other side’s armoured cruiser also turned to port, again in the hope of crossing the enemy ‘T’. Unfortunately, in doing so it began to move ahead of its slower compatriots.

The armoured cruisers fired at each other, and yet again inflicted damage on each other.

One of the battleships was also able to join in the exchange of gunfire, and promptly hit the enemy’s armoured cruiser.

Turn 4
The two opposing armoured cruisers now turned so that they were sailing on parallel courses. In their wake the battleships began to manoeuvre to follow suit.

The armoured cruisers let rip at each other with their main armaments, …

… their secondary armaments, …

… and then their beam torpedo tubes. Both ships were by now extensively damaged, and it one case  (the armoured cruiser on the left) this caused her to sink almost at once.

Whilst this deadly engagement was under way, the battleships began firing at each other. One side was able to concentrate its fire on the other side’s leading battleship, and heavy damage was inflicted on it. This was not, however, a one-sided exchange, and the the leading battleship on the other side was also badly damaged.

Turn 5
As the badly damaged armoured cruiser began to turn away to seek safety, the two groups of battleships sailed on parallel courses.

Unfortunately one battleship was masked by its sister ship, and as a result it was not able to join in what turned out to be a very one-sided exchange of gunfire. The damage inflicted on its sister ship was so severe that it turned over and sank.

Turn 6
The remaining battleship now began to turn away, not wishing to continue to fight in such an apparently one-sided battle.

As it did so the pair of battleships engaged her and inflicted considerable damage on her … but in a magnificent piece of shooting her rear turret hit the leading enemy battleship with several shells … and the enemy ship exploded and sank!

Both sides now withdrew to lick their wounds and to repair the damage their ships had received.


Comments:
These four play-tests have been extremely helpful and I need to take some time to think about the changes that need to be made in the light of the results. I hope to do that over the next few days.

Conference of Wargamers 2016: Sessions

As the next annual Conference of Wargamers (COW2016) draws nearer, the list of sessions is finally coming together.

As of today, the following sessions should be taking place:

HOLY RELICS! (Sue Laflin (with Wargame Developments Display Team North))
The Plenary Game
Based on the idea that the Anglo-Saxon and medieval religious centres competed for income from pilgrims and collected relics to increase their popularity. Of course, all of our relics will be completely genuine….

CURSUS HONORUM II (Wargame Developments Display Team North)
A slimmed-down version of the original game of careers in the Roman Republic. Wargame Developments Display Team North’s participation game for shows in the 2016 season.

DE VALERA’S WAR (John Bassett)
A matrix game on Irish neutrality in WW2, featuring Abwehr agents, intransigent Orangemen, bombers, gunmen, and quiet Americans.

FLUECHTLINGE (John Bassett)
A workshop looking at how to game what is probably the worst refugee crisis in history: the expulsion of fourteen million Germans from eastern Europe in 1945. Participants should note that this may be a black session.

FUTURE UK ARMY CONCEPT (John Curry)
A simple military training game to practise future force development, in particular the reduction in manpower in infantry companies: 3 platoons to 2 per company. Using large homemade counters and 1/300 stylized terrain it will emphasize the importance of ammunition conservation, concentration of fire, coordination of all arms, covered approaches and suppression. Games are played against active opponents who are doing their best to win.

AIRFIX BATTLES (Alan Paull)
An introduction to Modiphius Entertainment’s Airfix Battles Introductory Set, and/or the Collector’s Edition (WW2 land combat). An opportunity to use those old Airfix figures and models that you have tucked away at the bottom of a cupboard of miscellaneous stuff you collected when you were young and naïve! A chance to play (and to talk about ‘hollywood wargame’ design too). [This ‘should’ be using the released game itself, subject to the vagaries of publishing, plus any expansion materials to hand.]

MISSION COMMAND – SOMEWHERE IN NORMANDY, SUMMER 1944 (Alan Paull)
Mission Command is a set of World War Two wargaming rules for use with miniatures. It’s an umpired game, and prior knowledge of the mechanics is not required. This session will be an attempt at an interesting and stimulating miniatures game for one team versus an umpired enemy, with associated discussion about simulating tactical/operational engagements in WW2, focused on Normandy on and after D-Day. It will use Mission Command (the alpha or beta?) version of SSG Wargames’ draft WW2 miniatures rules) and some toy soldiers.

IT’S GETTING A BIT CHILE…. (Graham Evans)
Between 1879 and 1884 Chile, Peru, and Bolivia fought a brutal and bloody war on both sea and land ostensibly over guano mining rights. The outcome shaped the power structure of modern South America and still has ramifications today. From the maritime warmth of the coastal areas, to the harsh, dry Atacama desert and the brutal altitude of the Altiplano they armies fought each other anywhere they could, showing no mercy on either side. Fought with (mostly) modern weapons comparable with their European contemporaries, using a variety of tactics from the Napoleonic to the most up to date.

A most obscure war … except for a couple of really good wargaming based sources and a really neat range of 15mm figures from Outpost. For this year we’ll go with a table top 15mm late 19th century wargame that is under development to educate and excite COW-goers, under the gaze of European military observers. So, put on your sandals, wrap yourself in your poncho and put some coca leaves in your cheek, it’s nasty up there.

A FISTFUL OF HERRING (Tim Gow)
Being a gentlemanly method of resolving conflict on the high seas. Conceived during the Great Herring War of 1909 (reduced from 2016), this session will feature 1/1200 toy ships and matchstick firing cannon. It’s as if Fred T Jane bumped into H G Wells in the pub.

1866 AND ALL THAT: THE BATTLE OF LISSA (Ian Drury)
2016 is the 150th anniversary of Lissa (20th July 1866), the only major fleet action of the ironclad era, and the most over-analysed hour of fighting between Trafalgar and Jutland. The Italian fleet has all the advantages: bigger ships with far better guns, and more of them, and includes the Affandatore ram ship with two unfeasibly huge Armstrong rifled muzzle-loaders. What can possibly go wrong? A game for 4-8 players keen to shout ‘ramming speed’ (in German).

CURSUS HONORUM III – THE CARD GAME (John Armatys)
Another game of political advancement in the Roman Republic – based on Rummy, it has had a few test games with three players but needs some serious testing, preferably with different numbers of players.

THE LAND THAT DECENCY FORGOT (Russell King)
Up to five expert support service information technology giants bid for and execute contracts for cyber-security from amongst the world’s most massive, successful and sought-after companies, across a wide-range of activity from banking, pharmaceuticals, and entertainment to construction. In the dark hours of the morning, when not working with their clients, and under the influence of performance-enhancing drugs, their employees are also engaged in activity disrupting the very corporate sector they slavishly serve, striving to achieve social justice and modify the behaviour of these increasingly self-serving corporate nightmares.

ISLAMIC TERRORIST BINGO (Russell King)
Eyes down! Get a line for a big surprise!

THE GREAT CROSSING (Jim Wallman)
A short, slightly dark, game about an international response to migration across a small sea.

WARGAME 2020 (Jim Wallman)
A tactical wargame based on some recent professional work I’ve been doing. The game is about battlegroup and brigade operations in the near future based around the projected capabilities of professional armies in the 2020-2025 period. This is map based and a pretty simple and accessible system that wargamers should be able to pick up in a few minutes. The game is designed to draw out insights and discussion about force mixes and the application of capabilities in a variety of settings.

GANGSTERS – RETURN TO THE SOUTHSIDE (Colin Maby)
Developed since last year, a card driven game for four players whose object is to end the game with the most money by the control of crime and the running of illegal operations (and of course to prevent the other players from doing the same).

QADESH – THE BATTLE AFRESH (Ian Russell Lowell)
An illustrated talk on the 1274BC battle.

THE DEVIL TO PLAY (Ian Russell Lowell)
The Reformation: Rebellion and Reaction. Further thoughts on the German Peasants’ Revolt, 1524-1526. A talk with gaming.

UNREDEEMED NEPTUNES (David Bradbury)
English and Flemish Pirates off the Barbary Coast in the Jacobean Age. There will be no references to rum, but sodomy and the lash might be touched upon in passing, possibly with some Shakespeare quotations thrown in for good measure.

SUITCASE SAGGER (Tim Gow et al)
Back in the good old days of the Cold War, an elite team trains with the very latest in anti-tank technology. This session may involve laying on grass. And possibly getting up again.

A lawn game from the team that brought you PVO Strany and Spock’s Shameful Secret. So you’ve been warned.

PICKETT’S CHARGE (Wayne Thomas et al)
Up to seven players are needed to replay the famous action using 10mm figures and the new ‘Hail of Lead’ rules.

FAIL NOT TOMORROW – THE BATTLE OF NIBLEY GREEN, 1470 (Mike Elliott)
A game based on the last battle fought between ‘private’ armies in England.

A TERRIBLE BEAUTY (Mike Elliott)
A game/discussion on the Easter Rising, Dublin 1916, to mark the centenary of this historic event in Irish history.

A DARK NIGHT IN WHITECHAPEL (Mike Elliott)
September 1888. A dark night in Whitechapel. An ADG based on (you guessed it!) the arch-criminal who was never caught …

THE HEART OF DARKNESS – GAMING TERRORISM (John Curry)
For several months I have been working with some organisations on developing new gaming models around the dark subject of terrorism. Playing a red team has been used in serious games for many years, but the difference is these new games are designed to be run from perspective of the terrorists. The aim of the research is to explore the value of such games in developing a deeper understanding of these complex issues. The session will consist of a short 20 minute introduction, then I will give people the chance to try one of the game prototypes. Wargame Developments is the only group with some track record in gaming this area and so feedback will actively be encouraged.

MEN AGAINST FUSSING (Jim Roche)
A reworking of Paddy Griffith’s ‘Men Against Fire’ game in the light of Leo Murray’s ‘Brains and Bullets’. With toy soldiers and the risk of being hit on the back-of-the-head with a rolled-up copy of the Daily Telegraph.

OFF TO DUBLIN IN THE GREEN (Jim Roche)
A singalong based on the events of 1916, from Gallipoli and Kut-al-Amara to the Somme and the Easter Rising; plus the Battle of Jutland and the Sopwith Camel, with a nod towards Verdun and Winston Churchill’s command of a battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers. If you want the old battalion, We know where they are…

SANDHURST KRIEGSSPIEL (Tom Mouat)
This is a wargame used at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as part of junior officer training. So simple I could teach someone how to run the game in 30 minutes – so no experience a positive advantage. There will be two scenarios – a Platoon Attack and a Counter-IED patrol (scenario created by Capt Ed Farren).

TWINKLE, TWINKLE, LITTLE ASTEROID … (Tom Mouat)
This is a ‘Footfall-type game with completely revised rules and mechanisms, this time set in the Far Future (and looking a lot like the classic game ‘Traveller’). The crew are adventurers in the Laver Asteroid Belt, looking for Pirates and Salvage! The rules are simple enough for anyone, so no experience necessary.

PEQUENA ESPERANZA (Tom Mouat)
This is a game used by the Defence Academy for language training. It is a simple Matrix Game set in the jungles of South America and featuring the Army, The Police, the Village Elder, and the notorious Drug Baron! And probably a couple of other people!

OH WE SAIL THE OCEAN BLUE … (Bob Cordery)
A (hopefully) fun/not too serious session of late ironclad/pre-dreadnought naval battles using home-made toy-style model ships, Hexon II hexed terrain, and simple rules based on the ‘Portable Naval Wargame’ and ‘Memoir of Battle at Sea’ rules. So if you fancy yourself to be a reincarnated Jackie Fisher or Charlie Beresford – or even a Percy Scott – then come along and try your hand.

GO TELL THE SPARTANS (John Bassett)
A presentation and discussion on winning and losing the narrative in contemporary conflict.


This is the usual mixture of serious and not so serious games covering a wide range of topics … although there do seem to be more naval wargames and contemporary wargames this year than in recent years.

This is the 37th year that Conference of Wargamers has taken place, and the 36th year that we have staged it at Knuston Hall, Northamptonshire. Not a bad record by any means!


Notes:
Like all organisations, Wargame Developments has its own jargon. For example, there are a couple of sessions where the term ‘black’ or ‘dark’ are mentioned, and at least one is described as an ADG.

The former deal with topics or subjects which look at the nastier aspects of warfare, and are not recommended for people who might get easily upset by the discussion or by participating in such sessions.

ADGs are After Dinner Wargames, and are usually scheduled to take place after dinner on the Friday or Saturday nights of the Conference. They tend to be more fun, frivolous, and entertainments, although they can also be quite thought-provoking as well.

For a full list of the jargon used by members of Wargame Developments, read the group’s handbook. It can be found on the Wargame Development website.