Saturday, 25 June 2011

It once was lost ... but now is found ...

Sorting through the cupboard where I store all the Wargame Developments and Conference of Wargamers stuff, I came across a thin plastic file box that I thought that I had lost. It contained my copy of THE SUN NEVER SETS, a Colonial campaign system devised by Dave Waxtel and Barry Gray and later expanded by Patrick R Wilson.


I bought my copy from 'The Way It Was' (the company run by Larry Brom's daughter, Lori, and which now sells its wargames rules through its 'Sergeants 3' website) back in 2002. I read it with great interest, stored for later reference ... and then 'lost' it when everything was rearranged after my wife and I had a loft conversion/extension built on our house.

The cover describes THE SUN NEVER SETS as 'being in the main a practical campaign system for the Colonial wars of the British Empire, 1860-1885' ... and it is.

My copy contains:
  • A 78-page, spiral bound set of campaign rules and notes
  • A chart that outlines the distances by sea in days from various ports to other ports, on the back of which is a breakdown of the Sequence of Play
  • A master sheet for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to record the Empire's monthly financial accounts/A month-by-month record of the Prime Minister's political level record
  • The Imperial General Staff's monthly war diary/Parliamentary Secretary's record of votes in Parliament
  • A set of 40 political event cards
  • A set of unit and other counters for use with the campaign maps
  • A campaign map of India
  • A campaign map of the sea routes from Great Britain to Africa, Indian, China, and Australia (and all points in between)
  • A campaign map of Burma and India's North East frontier
  • A campaign map of Egypt, the Sudan, and Abyssinia
  • A campaign map of the North Island of New Zealand
  • A campaign map of South Africa
  • A campaign map of China
  • A campaign map of Ashantiland
  • A campaign map of Borneo
All the maps are printed in colour, as are the political event cards.

One day – when I have enough potential players – I might like to run a campaign using THE SUN NEVER SETS; in the meantime, I am going to make sure that it does not get 'lost' again!

12 comments:

  1. This sounds intriguing. Is there any chance of a short review to describe how it works?

    Regards

    John

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  2. Dibs on a seat at that hypothetical future campaign game table.

    I remember seeing this when it was freely available on the web, before it was professionally published. It looked quite comprehensive, although a little more work than I like my campaign frameworks to be these days.

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  3. Got a copy of them myself , I'm a great fan of all things TSATF

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  4. The maps alone make it look worth the joy at finding it! If you ever need an online NPC in the campaign, do let me know...

    Isn't treasure a joy to find?

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  5. At least you will have the correct accents in parliment. One of my pet peeves playing the original of TSNS was several of we American players trying to do all the parlimentary discussion and manuver with terrible British accents!
    I first published the rules in The Courier back in the 80's. They generated some great battles like the Durban turkey Shoot (British unloading from small boats at the mercy of longer ranged Boer rifles- never caused a casualty) and the battle of Too Much Chink (where the besiged garrison had to come out to rescue the relief column and the britihs ended up outnumbered by the Chinese by 5-6:1)
    Dick Bryant

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  6. JWH,

    The concept is quite interesting. Players have two roles; they are members of the British Establishment (Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Member of Parliament, Army Commander etc.) AND a foreign potentate. Players cannot command troops in the same area in which they are a potentate. There are Parliamentary debates, votes on policy and finance for foreign expeditions etc. I have yet to use the rules ... but I have heard good things from people who have.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. Dr Vesuvius,

    If I ever manage to set up and run a campaign using the rules, I will let you know.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  8. Mosstrooper,

    I also have a copy of TSATF (in fact, I have three editions!) and several of the variants. I enjoyed using them, and I like Larry Brom's design philosophy.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. Adelaide Gamer,

    The maps have lots of potential ... and have given me ideas about how to develop my own campaign maps for my planned 'retirement' project.

    If I ever get around to running a campaign using these rules, I will let you know!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  10. Maximus Gluteus (Dick),

    I can imagine how bad some of the accents might have been ... I have seen (and heard) Dick Van Dyke's 'cockney' accent in Mary Poppins!

    I would love to know more about the campaign that was fought using the original rules; the battles sound very interesting (although I suspect the name of the battle featuring the Chinese might not be PC enough for the modern world!).

    All the best,

    Bob

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  11. very few wargames are PC!!!!
    The original rules were slightly less complex than the present ones. Though the concept is unchanged. You can play with any set of Colonial rules- we played The Sword and the Flame. Most of the battle details are lost in the dim recesses of time - i remember the two I mentioned the most; perhaps because I was the defeated party! The campaign is great fun if you have enough players and enough interest on everyone's part.

    Dick Bryant

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  12. Maximus Gluteus (Dick),

    I must admit, I have yet to find a wargame that is PC!

    I suppose that one of the big advantages of modern technology is that we can record things like campaigns for posterity. I hope so, as I suspect that at some time in my dotage I will be reading and re-reading the battle reports of games I played years before.

    All the best,

    Bob

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