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Sunday, 25 October 2020

The Maritime Museum in Barcelona

I actually meant to write this blog post after I returned from our last cruise in February(!). For some reason, I never finished it ... and a couple of days ago I found the draft in a file, along with a selection of photographs that I was going to use. Rather than let it languish on my computer's hard drive, I decided to complete it


Models and paintings of warships

The museum's collection includes a large painting of the Spanish fleet during a royal review.

It was painted at a time when the major fleets of the world were introducing steam-powered ironclads into service, and several of them can be seen in the following details from the painting.

Amongst the model warships on display there were an 80-gun warship (probably the guide model for the Havana-built San Carlos, San Luis, and San Fernando), ...

... a 1930s C-class submersible, ...

...the 1930s British-designed, heavy cruiser Canarias, ...

... and the American-designed Knox-class frigate Cataluna.


Models of merchant ships

The museum also has a large number of models of merchant ships, many of which were operated by Spanish companies. The models include the City of Paris, ...

... the Cairo (later known as Royal Edward), ...

... the Reina Victoria Eugenia, ...

... the Ciudad de Sevilla, ...

... the Romeu, ...

... the Michelangelo, ...

... Villa de Madrid, ...

... and the Infanta Isabel de Borbon.

Thursday, 22 October 2020

My next short-term goals

Having managed to achieve the first short-term goals that I set myself, I’ve decided to set myself another couple, and these are:

  • Organise some more of the figures and equipment in my Eastern Front/Great Patriotic War collection into ‘formations in boxes’
  • Complete the text of THE PORTABLE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY WARGAME book

I haven’t set a timescale to achieve these aims, but I’d like to see if I can achieve them in about three weeks.

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Other people's Portable Wargame battle reports

Yesterday I suddenly realised that I have not done a regular review of the PORTABLE WARGAME battle reports that people have been featuring on their blogs and on the PORTABLE WARGAME Facebook page ... so here is a taste of what people have been doing!

Andrew Smith has been fighting both Colonial ...

... and eighteen century battles ...

... using some very effective and innovative 2.5D buildings.

Martin Smith has been using the rules to fight American Civil War battles ...

... and Gary Sheffield has been play-testing his Medieval version of the rules.

In Australia, Alan Saunders has been fighting battles with his Seven Years War armies (which he created using figures that were originally playing pieces from RISK).

Cody N T Adams used playing pieces from the AXIS & ALLIES board game to form German and Russian World War Two armies ...

... and he has fought several battles (including Stalingrad) using his figures.

Last, but by no means least, Archduke Piccolo has been using the rules to fight an ongoing campaign based on the Balkan Wars.


Please note that the photographs featured above are © Andrew Smith, Martin Smith, Gary Sheffield, Alan Saunders, Cody N T Adams, and Archduke Piccolo.

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

My latest book sales figures

I managed to download the latest sales figures from Lulu.com, and they show that my wargame books continue to sell reasonably well.

The last time I looked at the sales figures, they were:

The latest sales figures look like this:

My sales have now broken the 7,000 barrier, and look well on their way to achieving 7,500 by the end of 2020.

My only slight disappointment is the fact that THE PORTABLE COLONIAL WARGAME has not sold as well as I had hoped, especially as the simple campaign system and terrain generator seem to have 'hit the spot' with a lot of wargamers who have used them.

These figures have encouraged me to resume work on the next book in the PORTABLE WARGAME series, and it will be featuring on my next short-term set of aims.

Monday, 19 October 2020

Making the new Madasahatta map even more user-friendly!

Having completed the new, colour version of the Madasahatta map, I decided that I could make it more user-friendly by splitting it into with sections.

Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8

I hope that fans of Madasahatta (and potential users!) will find these map section useful.

I should be somewhere in the English Channel ...

... but the cruise Sue and I were supposed to have started yesterday was cancelled just days after we had paid for it. (We are still waiting for a refund, but that is a different story.)

P&O's MV Arcadia.

The cruise aboard the MV Arcadia was going to the Eastern Mediterranean, and should have visited:

  • Malaga, Spain (Thursday 22nd September)
  • Messina, Sicily, Italy (Sunday 25th September)
  • Rhodes, Greece (Tuesday 27th September)
  • Heraklion, Crete, Greece (Wednesday 28th September)
  • Athens, Greece (Thursday 29th September)
  • Gythion (the port for Sparta), Greece (Friday 30th September)
  • Gibraltar (Tuesday 3rd October)

There were four destinations on this list that we had not visited before, and we are very disappointed that we have been able to go on this cruise, especially as this was the fifth cruise that has been cancelled since the beginning of the pandemic.

We have some cruises booked for 2021 ... but whether or not they will take place is down to how soon the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic begin to diminish.

Sunday, 18 October 2020

The new Madasahatta Map ... is finished!

Yesterday I found the time to finish the new, colour version of the Madasahatta map, and have added a key as well as the place names.

The original map looked like this ...

... and the finished map looks like this:

I am very pleased with the way it has turned out, and I think that if he was still alive, Eric Knowles would have enjoyed seeing it.


This was the third of my short-term goals that I have achieved, and I now intend to set myself a few more.

Saturday, 17 October 2020

Frank Chadwick's 'bathtub' warships

I would really love some more information about Frank Chadwick's 'bathtub' warships, but all I can find is the section in BARBAROSSA 25 that deals with naval forces. It states the following:

'Both sides have limited naval capacity during the time represented by Barbarossa/25. The Soviets have destroyers and torpedo boats, while the Germans have an inherent naval transport lift capability. The following rules detail the abilities and limitations of the naval forces.

Soviet Naval Forces

The Soviets have four destroyers, as well as five torpedo boats. The characteristics of the Soviet destroyers (DD) and the Soviet torpedo boats (TB) are noted in the table which is located in the next column.

Armament is the vessel's main weapon and may be used for shore bombardment. In both cases it is equivalent to a single gun stand (battery). The destroyers are armed with 122mm guns, not howitzers. The AA armament can be used to attack any plane which is attacking the ship or attacking any other target in a port which the ship is in. Flotation is the number of hits the vessel can take before sinking. Lift is the number of personnel stands the vessel can transport. (in this case, the size of the stand being transported is irrelevant.)

Items other than personnel stands may be transported at the following rates:'

One is left with the impression that Frank Chadwick's 'bathtub' warships were probably quite basic to look at, and that the destroyers were probably two-thirds to a half the size of the destroyers.