A new old book for my collection

Today I finally got my hands on my own copy of “Sea Battle Games” by P. Dunn, published by MAP in 1970, reprinted 1974.

This means that I can throw away the 88 photocopied sheets from a library copy that I have had for the last 15-20 years as a substitute.  (Yes, I know it was not legal, but in those days it was very difficult to hunt down an out of print book.)

Amazingly the price I paid for a copy in good condition with a protective plastic cover over the dust cover was only four times the cover price 45 years ago!  Even with postage added I paid only about 7 times the original price, which in my opinion is not bad.

When it was published the book cost about 3.5% of my net monthly salary.  Today, even with postage added, it cost only about .075% of my net monthly pension.

I have always had a whim to play Chapter 9: “The Hypothetical World War Game”.  Sadly I already have too many gaming projects to start this at present, but it might be tied in with my plan to refight on the wargame table the whole of World War Two, which started five years ago and has so far reached 4th September 1939!!!

Anyway, this evening I will commence reading the book.

Life and wargaming – an update

In addition to making a little progress on the longest running wargame move I have ever experienced – the Battle for Brighton currently set up in my cold, damp shed – I Brighton 18 0815 front lineshave had a few wargaming and other diversions.

The builders have finished restoring our house. Their company has closed the case. A pity nobody has thought to inform the scaffolding company that their decoration to our property is no longer required.
Just a bit more arguing with the insurer’s agents about replacing the gravel removed from the side of the house and maybe we can bring the caravan home.

gravel

The new man-cave…shed

is going to have a new roof, yes – already! Half of the second botched covering over the first leaky roofing blew away in the recent storms. I have hired a professional company (who re-roofed both my lost sheds) to torch on a decent roof. I do have electricity, and therefore heating, installed. When the wargame is finished I can continue with putting up shelving.

My hospital check-up revealed that my cancer was further advanced than the doctors or surgeons had expected. They believe they removed it all, but further tests towards the end of February should confirm or deny the fact. It is some relief, but still a nagging doubt.  Things in the underpant department are no longer as they used to be.

(No photo here. I think it may be inappropriate!).

So, back to the wargaming.
Projects that have emerged from my in-tray recently and been progressed:

1. Preparation of 3mm scale counter-mounted replacement gaming tokens for “Memoir 44” games, in particular Arras 1940. A lot of the infantry are on back order from Magister Militum, but most of the artillery and tank units are based, and some are painted. I have designed the bases to be used with “Memoir 44” and “Panzer Leader” rules on the same boards. I also have 3mm scenic models to be used with 3D terrain for World War II

new units

2. The naval Battle of Sevastopol, 1902. Part of my “Diplomacy plus” solo campaign and covered in this post.

3. Basing and painting my 2mm horse-and-musket cavalry units in preparation for the next campaign battle in 1702. Each unit needs three sets of bases: Deployed, March column and Routing. Each cavalry base is around 50 “figures”. Eventually this will represent a troop, but for the next game will be 1/3 of a regiment (maybe a squadron?).

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4. Painting my bargain basement 20mm plastic 30 Years War figures in preparation to introduce the younger chaps in my English Civil War Society cavalry unit to the joys of playing with soldiers. I am developing a game on a squared card table that I call “Battle Chess”. It will be a bit like a table-top version of a re-enactment battle, but with dice, and the casualties will not be recycled! Rules to follow after play-testing. (No photo yet)

5. Preparing the 3mm models for the first engagement in my Operation Market Garden campaign. Gough’s jeeps against a similar number of obsolete armoured cars. The scenario calls for only 3 models on each side, but I have 15 of each – should I shrink the ground scale and quintuple the chaos? – answers on a postcard please (or reply to this post).

To be fair, most of the recent progress has been painting the black bits on all the models in preparation. By using the “next paint pot in the queue” method I don’t get so bored, even if every painting project takes an age to complete.

 

 

 

Wargamers Notebook Issue 5

Happy new year all,

Today I received my pdf copy of Wargamers Notebook.
In this issue I particularly liked:
1. Stokes’ piece on basing. I game mostly in 6mm, 3mm and 2mm. All my 6mm figures are gradually being rebased to 2cmx2cm on plastic bases from Renedra or 1mm MDF with slightly rounded corners.
I also have MDF sabot bases from Warbases for 3×2 bases with two 6mm dice holes for use with some rule sets.

In 3mm (WW2) I have two basing systems. The first is “realistic” 20mmx15mm with one vehicle or 2-5 figures per base, paint ed with “Basetex”. The second is for board game play (using Memoir 44) boards and tiles, where a model is fixed to a translucent 19mmx19mm plastic tile with the relevant statistics added on label tape.

My 2mm models (17th-19th century) are mounted on 6cm wide 1mm MDF bases with depths appropriate to the formation. I reproduce each unit in line, march column and routing. Infantry also have a square formation of about 2cm square.
Eventually I want my 2mm formations to be represented on a 1:1 figure:man ratio. At present I use about 1:3 or 1:9 according to the size of the battle.

2. Allan’s piece on configurable ships. I will probably never need the information, but what a clever idea!

3. John’s Statistical analysis. I write most of my own solo rule systems, and this is the sort of thing that needs to be understood.

I found Rhys’s article a little too profound and I will probably come back to it when I have more time, but it did remind me of an old quote from the distant past relating to the relationship between re-enactment and wargames: “Dressing up in armour and carrying a sixteen foot stick will not give you the experience of being a 17th century pikeman. But it will give you a better idea than NOT dressing up in armour and carrying a sixteen foot stick.”

I enjoyed Will’s battle report, even if the photo’s did show armour apparently advancing in the style of C18th cavalry; “knee to knee”.

Greg’s piece on Winter basing was also a good read, but maybe a bit too much detail for the smaller scales I usually model.

Great stuff guys. Keep it up. I may get to send you an article one day!

For more information about Wargamers Notebook contact wargamersnotebook@gmail.com  Greg Horne and Stokes Schwartz

A bit of catching up

It’s nearly three weeks since the keyhole robotic surgery to remove my cancerous prostate.  I am recovering well, but still have dressings over about half of the seven wounds because they coincide with my trousers waistband and tend to iritate.  I am still mildly incontinent.  I need to wear pads to catch the inadvertant leakages.

On the wargaming front I am managing about 30 minutes per day on the long-running Battle of Brighton 1940 in the shed before the cold drives me back indoors.  Indoors we have painters and decorators all over the house refurbishing after the July fire, and I am confined with the dog to the living room.

So I am spending my time catching up on several long-outstanding wargame campaign projects that have fallen by the wayside.

I have bought and painted five 1902 pre-dreadnoughts for my “Diplomacy Plus” campaign that is currently awaiting a Russo-Turkish naval battle off Sevastopol in September 1902.  The ships are replacement game tokens for “Axis and Allies 1914”.  I also drafted the battle rules, based on “Axis and Allies naval” concepts.  This is the first naval engagement of the campaign.

Strange that in real life the blue on the bases is very similar to the blue of the cloth.  Bases are 40mm x 60mm.

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Today I have been sorting and basing some old 2mm figures for the next battle in my  early 1700 campaign.  France is attacking England in the Palatinate (sounds painful!).  Again, draft rules are prepared and await testing in this battle.  Most of the previous battles have been fought in 6mm.

Eventually I want my 2mm armies to be on a 1:1 figure:man ratio, but for the time being I am using approximately 1:3.  The photo’ shows a 1:1 squadron of heavy cavalry in line, in column and in rout.  All awaiting (re)painting.

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Continue reading A bit of catching up

New Rail track in 6mm

A thank you to Leven Miniatures for producing for me – and no doubt for you too – some new 6mm railway track.
I was struggling with creating curved railways – specifically twin-track – for my Hexxon II tiles and asked Mick if he could design a double track curved railway, compatible with his (and other) 6mm railway systems.
I have received these samples. Four pieces designed specifically to fit 10cm hexagons, and useful for any double track railway.
Well done Mick. I will be placing an order as soon as they are on the http://www.levenminiatures.co.uk/ website.

Summer 1902: Venice

The French occupy Venice. The Italians would like it back. The Army of Tuscany is sent north to attack.

Setting the battlefield
The wargame battlefield is selected in the following way. A map is chosen at random from my collection of Ordnance Survey maps of Britain. The Venice area being generally flat, the maps were limited to the area of East Anglia (“Very flat, Norfolk” – Noel Coward). The selected map is Landranger 144: Thetford and Diss. The map covers an area of 40 x 40 kilometres (about 25 x 25 miles) at a scale of 1:50,000 and is marked in 1Km squares (1Km = approximately 1100 yards)

The Italians are attacking from the south. The French choose from the map a single grid row east-west to establish their defence. Row 80 is selected because the Little Ouse and Waveny rivers run along this row and the neighbouring rows. This will give the best opportunity for a defensive position.

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The attacking Italians now select a north-south row for their attack, intersecting row 80. They choose row 04, because there is a north-south road at here and at the point of intersection (square 0480) the river will be behind them, depriving the French of the defensive advantage.
Finally the French roll a die marked 0,0,1,1,1,2 to see if they are able to move the defence up to 2 Km forwards of backwards, and they roll a 0.

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Now the features of the map are copied to a battlefield map. Roads, streams, contours, woods and copses and buildings are transcribed, and because I will be using hexagon based terrain the features are adjusted to conform to the grid.
And so the battlefield around the Fattoria del Noce (Walnut Tree Farm) is prepared.

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In this view the slopes are not very clear. Also a few trees have been added for variety.