Monday, 3 January 2011

The New Year tidy up

Today is the last day of my Christmas holiday, and I decided that before I go back to work tomorrow, I should try to do some more tidying up in my wargames room (‘toy room’!). I managed to do more than I did two days ago … which is not saying much … and several large plastic sacks of rubbish (mainly paper and unwanted cardboard boxes) have made their way to the waste recycling bin.

During the tidying up process I found my old, damaged wooden chess/backgammon board. It used to be kept on a table in our conservatory, but the action of the Sun weakened the glue in its joints, and one day – when one of our cats was chasing the other – the board got knocked onto the floor and the edge of one side of the board to come adrift. As a result, my wife gave it to me to ‘fix’, but with the proviso that it was not returned to the conservatory when it was. It has sat – under a pile of other stuff – in my wargames room ever since.

Gluing the broken parts back together took almost no time at all, and as I was admiring the results of my ‘expert’ skills, I remembered that Richard Brooks had used a similar board to design SOLFERINO IN THIRTY MINUTES. It then struck me that the board – which forms the lid of the box in which the chess and backgammon pieces are stored when not in use – could form the basis of a small, portable wargame. The box the board ‘sits’ on is lined with brown, soft material, and is deep enough for storing 15mm-scale or smaller wargames figures as well as any necessary dice, dice shakers, and other games impedimenta that might be required. As to rules and figures … well Joseph Morschauser’s ‘Frontier’ rules are a good starting point and I have a set of suitably-based 15mm Colonial figures that I used for the SAVE GORDON! game that I made many years ago.

I decided to see what the whole thing would look like if I put these various elements together ... and here it is:

Whilst it might not be the best solution to the problem of creating a small, portable wargame, it has made use of bits and pieces that I already had and that were otherwise not being used. It also has the big advantage of not requiring a lot of setting up to play, which in my current circumstances is a big plus.

All I have to do now, is try it out ...

8 comments:

  1. Hi Bob,

    Great idea and I have a similar set sitting in the loft which has been unused for years - methinks perhaps a new lease of life is called for.

    Certainly a cheap option and mention of the Solferino game had me reaching for the copy of the rules you kindly sent me - purely for casual browsing with no thought of a associated project of course....;-)

    All the best and be careful what you throw out!

    DC

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  2. And it is recycling! Bob, we're saving the planet.
    Tim

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  3. David Crook,

    I must admit that I would never have thought of it under other, more normal, circumstances.

    'Solferino in Thirty Minutes' would certainly be a good place to start with a set of workable rules as well; I used Morschauser's 'Frontier' rules mainly because I had the Colonial figures to give it a try.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  4. Tim Gow,

    It makes me feel good all over to know that I have done my bit!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. It certainly looks well and should be portable. I've found this is as major concern as it allows me to play games in the pub.

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  6. Conrad Kinch,

    The only problem with portability is making sure that it is not turned on its side when it is being moved. Until I add some means of 'fixing' the figures in place during transportation stage (possibly the use of magnetic sheet, as the figures are fixed to steel washers), there is a danger of the figures getting damaged.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. Is January universal "wives of wargamers" tidy-up/clear-up/clear-out/why-do-you-have-so-many-books/noboy-else's-husband-has-room-of-their-own/where-is-the-baby-going-to-sleep/I'm-throwing-this-out month?

    But she did buy me an Airfix Saturn V for Xmas

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  8. Geordie an Exiled FoG,

    It is certainly listed as such in my Filoxfax diary for 2011 ... along with 'I need a new dress for Burn's Night/St. George's Day Dinner' weeks and 'The guttering needs clearing out' fortnight.

    All the best,

    Bob

    An Airfix Saturn V rocket eh? I never owned that particular model but saw one made up once. It was BIG!!!!

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