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Thursday, 23 January 2020

Nugget 323

I shall be collecting the latest issue of THE NUGGET from the printer later today, and I hope to post it out to members of Wargame Developments at some point tomorrow. As a result, it should be with them by early next week.


I have already uploaded the PDF version of this issue to the Wargame Developments website, and it can be opened using the password that was sent out to all members when they re-subscribed.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this is the fifth issue of THE NUGGET to be published for the 2019-2020 subscription year. If you have not yet re-subscribed, a reminder was sent to you some time ago. If you wish to re-subscribe using the PayPal option on the relevant page of the website, you can use the existing buttons as the subscription cost has not changed.

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

'Looks bad in the newspapers and upsets civilians at their breakfast.'

The Battle of Isandlwana and the subsequent fighting at Rorke's Drift took place 141 years ago today ... and if time permits, I hope to watch ZULU later today.

Although not the most accurate of war films (the list of 'errors' is well-known!), it does have some great lines of dialogue which regular watchers of ZULU (such as myself) tend to quote whenever a suitable situation arises.

Lieutenant Chard: The army doesn’t like more than one disaster in a day.
Lieutenant Bromhead: Looks bad in the newspapers and upsets civilians at their breakfast.

Colour Sergeant Bourne: A prayer's as good as bayonet on a day like this.
Reverend Otto Witt: Have you prayed?
Colour Sergeant Bourne: There'll be a time for it, sir.
Reverend Otto Witt: What will you say?
Colour Sergeant Bourne: Pick it up. Bit of the Psalms, I suppose. My father was a lay preacher. A great one for the Psalms, he was. There was one that might have been written for a soldier.
Reverend Otto Witt: Say it, man. Lift your voice to God.
Colour Sergeant Bourne: Now, sir?
Reverend Otto Witt: Yes. Let them hear your voice.
Colour Sergeant Bourne: They know my voice.
Reverend Otto Witt: Let them hear it now in praise of the Lord. Call upon him. Call upon him, man, for your salvation.
Colour Sergeant Bourne: As far as I can remember, sir, it goes something like this. "He maketh wars to cease in all the world; he breaketh the bow and snappeth the spear in sunder." D'you know it, sir?
Reverend Otto Witt: "I shall be exalted among the heathen; I shall be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us."
Colour Sergeant Bourne: That's it, sir. Nobody told you to stop working.

Colour Sergeant Bourne: The sentries report Zulus to the southwest. Thousands of them.

Private Cole: Why us? Why does it have to be us?
Colour Sergeant Bourne: Because we’re here lad. Nobody else. Just us.

Colour Sergeant Bourne: I will be exalted among the heathen; I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of Hosts is with us.
Corporal William Allen: I hope so. As I live and die, I hope so.

Commissary James Dalton: Careful! Pot that chap somebody! Good fellow, good fellow!

Colour Sergeant Bourne: It’s a miracle..
Lieutenant Chard: If it’s a miracle Colour Sergeant, it’s a short chamber Boxer Henry, point four five calibre miracle.
Colour Sergeant Bourne: And a bayonet sir, with some guts behind.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Some artillery for my French Napoleonic army

I have renovated the remaining Del Prado French artillery pieces in my collection.


When added to the three guns I had already renovated, I now have twenty-two artillery pieces to allocate to my Napoleonic French army.

As was the case with the British artillery I recently renovated, I certainly have more than enough guns to equip my French Napoleonic field army. The surplus guns will be used to equip French reserve and fortress batteries as well as the armies of any French allies (or former allies) that need artillery.

Monday, 20 January 2020

I've finished my latest book ... I hope!

I began work on researching and writing the centenary history of the Hertfordshire Masters' Lodge No.4090 over two years ago, and yesterday I reached the stage where I think that I have finally finished it!

The draft text was written quite some time ago, and it has already been proof read twice, once by my wife and once by a fellow Freemason. Any errors that were spotted during this process were corrected, and additional information that became available was added.

A fortnight ago I submitted what I thought was the final draft to the Provincial Archivist for him to go through with a fine-toothed comb, and on Friday he returned the manuscript with quite a few corrections that need to be addressed as well as several suggested improvements.

Loath though I am to admit it*, the corrections were (with one exception) things that needed to be changed, and the suggestions were all very valid and helpful. I therefore spent yesterday going through the manuscript almost word by word ... and by the afternoon I had made the necessary changes. I will now submit it for final approval, and I hope that I will get the whole project signed off well before the end of the month ... and then I can turn my attention to one or two other writing projects that I have been planning to do for some time.

* I'm not sure if all writers are quite as possessive of their work as I am, or as resentful of any criticism that is made of it, but over the years, one thing that I have learnt is that I am not infallible, and that constructive criticism is an essential part of getting something right. Once the corrections had been made and suggestions acted upon, the text was a lot, lot better. It was more succinct, easier to read, and overall it was a much sharper document. I am proud of the end result ... and extremely grateful to everyone whose input has made it so.

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Nugget 323

The editor of THE NUGGET sent me the latest issue last night, and I plan to take it to the printer on a Monday or Tuesday. As a result, it should be ready for me to collect by the end of the week to post out to members.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this is the fifth issue of THE NUGGET to be published for the 2019-2020 subscription year. If you have not yet re-subscribed, a reminder was sent to you some time ago. If you wish to re-subscribe using the PayPal option on the relevant page of the website, you can use the existing buttons as the subscription cost has not changed.

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Some artillery for my British Napoleonic army

I have renovated the remaining Del Prado British artillery pieces in my collection.


When added to the three guns I had already renovated, I now have twelve artillery pieces to allocate to my Napoleonic British army.

I certainly have more than enough guns to equip my British Napoleonic field army, and the surplus will be used to equip British reserve and fortress batteries, as well as those armies (such as the Hanoverian Army) that are allied with the British and which need artillery.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Some artillery for my Prussian Napoleonic army

The first batch of renovated artillery pieces I have completed will be allocated to my Prussian Napoleonic army.


I have repainted them so that the gun carriages are Cerulean Blue, which is the closest colour I could find to the colours featured in the reference pictures that I had.

These guns will replace the existing mixture of Del Prado British and French artillery pieces in my Napoleonic Prussian army, which will now be allocated to other formations within my collection.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

It’s Getting a Bit Chile ... is now available in PDF format

I understand the IT’S GETTING A BIT CHILE is now available in PDF format from Wargame Vault.

The cost is $19.95 for a watermarked copy, which makes it comparable in price to the printed edition. This also means that Australian and New Zealand wargamers, who cannot buy the printed edition from Amazon, can now buy a copy of the rules.

Monday, 13 January 2020

J M Thornton's illustrated books about warships

Almost five years ago I wrote a blog entry entitled INSPIRING ILLUSTRATIONS in which I mentioned several books, including the following:
  • WARSHIPS 1986-1970 (published in 1973 by David & Charles Limited [ISBN 0 7153 5998 3])

  • MEN-OF-WAR 1770-1970 (published in 1978 by Argus Books Ltd. [ISBN 0 85242 610 0])


A few days ago, J M Thornton's daughter contacted me via a comment on this particular blog entry. It appears that her father died in 2012, but that she still has copies of his books available for sale for $20.00 (Canadian) plus postage.

As I remember that several people were interested in these books, I thought that I would pass on her kind offer. If any of my regular blog readers is interested in buying a copy of either or both these books, please could they contact her directly via email.

Sunday, 12 January 2020

My latest book sales figures

This month, for the first time, I was able to differentiate between eBook sales for devices like Kindle and those that were just in PDF format. The results look like this:


The effort involved to make books available in PDF format seems to have paid off, and I shall definitely choose to do this in future, especially for the larger format books that do not easily convert to eBook format.

It is interesting to note how some books sell well in paperback format (for example, HEXBLITZ and WHEN EMPIRES CLASH!), whilst others (e.g. THE PORTABLE WARGAME) have sold well in eBook format. It is also interesting to compare the sales of the two larger, US Letter-size books (A WINTER-ISH WAR and TROUBLE IN ZUBIA) across the three formats in which they are available, especially as I am thinking of publishing my next wargame book in this larger size because it will enable me to present my rules in a somewhat less cramped way.