Battle of Britain game


This is a Kickstarter project that I have backed, and which seems to be going from strength to strength.

The Battle of Britain

I am not a great backer of Kickstarter stuff, but this one, from the Plastic Soldier Company ,who brought us the Great War boardgame, looks like a good one.

I am hoping, when I get the game, to introduce it to the Swindon Irregulars, with whom I play most weeks.



A Voyage around my Father. Part 7

As an aside from discovering my father’s service on Vancouver Island, I took the opportunity to visit Fort Rodd.  This fort was constructed in the late 19th century, but is unlike the contemporary forts that I have visited in the UK.

Whereas on the southern coast of England the forts were constructed from a fairly standard pattern and the chalk hills were cut to accomodate the forts, in this case the fort was adapted to accomodate the granite landscape.

I hired an audio guide for my tour of the fort which was most useful – even if the “character” voices were at times unbelievable.  The fort was upgraded at various time from around 1890 to 1950, with various percieved enemies: USA, Russia, Japan, USSR…

Ironically, considering the initial purpose of the fort, when approaching the forward defences my mobile phone automatically swithed to a foreign (USA) network.

A selection of photographs is attached below:

Fort Rodd 060Fort Rodd 059Fort Rodd 058Fort Rodd 057Fort Rodd 056Fort Rodd 053Fort Rodd 052Fort Rodd 051Fort Rodd 050Fort Rodd 46Fort Rodd 45Fort Rodd 44Fort Rodd 43Fort Rodd 42Fort Rodd 41Fort Rodd 40Fort Rodd 39Fort Rodd 38Fort Rodd 36Fort Rodd 37Fort Rodd 35Fort Rodd 32Fort Rodd 34Fort Rodd 31Fort Rodd 30Fort Rodd 29Fort Rodd 28Fort Rodd 27Fort Rodd 26Fort Rodd 25Fort Rodd 24Fort Rodd 23Fort Rodd 21Fort Rodd 22Fort Rodd 20Fort Rodd 19Fort Rodd 18Fort Rodd 17Fort Rodd 16Fort Rodd 15Fort Rodd 14Fort Rodd 13Fort Rodd 12Fort Rodd 11Fort Rodd 10Fort Rodd 09Fort Rodd 07Fort Rodd 06Fort Rodd 05Fort Rodd 04Fort Rodd 03Fort Rodd 02Fort Rodd 01

While visiting this site I picked up some beach souvenirs to match the shells, pebbles and detritus found on our last major transaltantic holiday to Floriida  I thought a selection of Atlantic beach and Pacific beach collections would make a nice reciprocal set. On returning to the hotel I found that by pure accident the most recent souvenirs could be arranged thus:


Battle Chess rules updated.

Following the battle reported recently I revised the rules for infantry shooting.  The latest version is here:

Battle Chess 1800

The changes are to reduce the range of infantry fire and to clarify skirmisher fire.

I have always thought that infantry should not have a range of two squares compared to the artillery range of four or five, but I needed to differentiate between firing and close combat.  So the latest version limits the range to one square directly ahead but differentiates between standing firing and charging to contact.  Effectively a column attack may be up to twice as effective as a line or column firing, but must take defensive fire first.

Skirmishers are not allowed to charge to contact but when moving to contact they fire in the same way as standing fire.  Their fire is as effective on morale as that of a close order unit of three times their own strength, but no enemy bases are removed as casualties from their fire.

A Voyage Round my Father – Part 6

After a quick visit to talk to the British Columbia Aviation Museum staff (see the previous post) I set off to search for the location of this photograph of three RAF types waiting for a lift back to base. (My dad is the middle of the three.

John Dean Park

I thought I had found it, but nowadays the road junction and its signage are far less impressive.

Dean Park 01

Saanitch and Dean Park

I continued up the road towards the park, and arriving at the car park spotted someone erecting a signpost.  “Aha,” I thought, “he might be able to cast some light on the picture.”  As it happens, he was not only a local park volunteer, but has written a history of the park and the area and confirmed that I had found the correct location.  I gave him all my spare copy photo’s from Dad’s album.  He was very interested in my pilgrimage and he advised me of a short walk that I could take if I had half an hour to spare.

Walking through this ancient forest land was almost like wandering into a location for “Jurassic Park”.  I have walked through ancient woodland in England, but it is totally different to this area.  Some pictures below:

John Dean Park 01


On my return to the car park, the park volunteer introduced me to a passer-by, who turned out to be an ex-pat “Geordie”, whose father-in-law served at RAF Patricia Bay at the same time as my dad.  He told me that he had a copy of the squadron photograph at home, so we drove the short distance to his house and took a look at it.  We were unable to identify either of our relatives – every man being dressed near identically does not help – but it was another unexpected bonus to my trip.

But can anyone explain this?

John Dean Park 13

Why would First Nation Cultural Activities involve the use of chainsaws?  I take part in historic cultural activities, but very few involve chainsaws, even for the evening cultural campsite conviviality.

Next post – a visit to Fort Rodd.

A Blast from the Past

One of my roles in re-enactment is that of a pensioner of les Invalides at the time of Napoleon I.  It is a totally inaccurate representation as I still own two arms and two legs, and thus would be disqualified!

In that role I like to demonstrate, and to encourage visitors to play, a small game whereby I relive my past glories and try to rectify the errors of the past. This game has evolved over the years and is now played in a form akin to chess, on a card table ruled into 144 squares.  I can set up a fictitious battle or a stylised representation of any of the battles of “my youth”.

Today I played a solo game of an actual battle – or as near as I could represent it.  The original battle was fought between less than 700 troops, so it could be represented on my table almost on a 1 figure:1 soldier basis.

Here is the latest version of the rules, updated after this battle ton reduce infantry firing range.  The latest version restricts infantry shooting to one square range, but differentiates between moving to attack or shooting without moving.  Unlike many wargames, shooting without moving is less effective than when moving.  This is because the first reperesents trading volleys while the second represents a column attack.Battle Chess 1800

And here is the report of the skirmish at Rumégies in May 1792, played to the above rules. Rumegies 17920519

An interesting exercise, taking a couple of hours from start to finish including the reporting and photography, all done on an i-Pad in my ManCave.