Monday, 26 May 2014

The Sun Never Sets: 20th Anniversary Edition

Whilst having a sort out in our home office, I found my copy of THE SUN NEVER SETS: 20TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION in a file box. (I have been looking for this – off and on – for some time, and had come to the conclusion that I had lost it. It is nice to know that I hadn’t.)


This campaign system was devised by Dave Waxtel and originally appeared in the January/February 1982 edition (Vol.III #4) of the late lamented wargames magazine, THE COURIER. (I understand that Dick Bryant – the editor and publisher of THE COURIER – is one of my regular blog readers, and in my opinion his magazine was one of the best ever published. It and MWAN were the only two US wargames magazines that I ever took out a subscription for.) In 1999 Dave Waxtel passed the rights to Larry Brom (of THE SWORD AND THE FLAME fame) and he asked Chris Ferree and Patrick R Wilson to update and re-publish the rules which – after many trials and tribulations – they did in 2002. I bought my copy at that point, and was determined to use it as the basis of my own colonial campaign.

To date I am still waiting to do so … but finding my copy of the rules again has rekindled my interest.

Thumbing through my copy of the rules I was very taken by the Initial Deployment Table. The British and Imperial forces are distributed thus:
  • UK:
    • London: 3 Guard Infantry units, 2 Guard Cavalry units, 1 Regular Lancer unit
    • Portsmouth: 1 Naval Brigade
  • Mediterranean:
    • Gibraltar: 1 Large Gunboat
  • China and the Straits Settlement:
    • Hong Kong: 1 Regular Infantry unit, 1 Large Gunboat
    • Shanghai: 2 Small Gunboats
    • Singapore: 1 Large Gunboat
  • South Africa:
    • Cape Town (Cape Colony): 1 Regular Infantry unit, 1 Regular Cavalry unit, 1 Large Gunboat
    • Port Elizabeth (Cape Colony): 1 Regular Infantry unit, 1 Colonial Cavalry unit
    • Durban (Natal): 2 Native Infantry units, 1 Colonial Cavalry unit
  • Burma:
    • Rangoon: 1 Regular Infantry unit, 1 Small Gunboat
  • India:
    • Delhi: 1 Regular Infantry unit, 1 Indian Lancer unit
    • Calcutta: 1 Regular Infantry unit, 1 Indian Infantry unit
    • Bombay: 1 Regular Infantry unit
    • Karachi: 1 Indian Infantry unit
  • India's North West Frontier:
    • Peshawar: 1 Regular Cavalry unit, 1 Highland Infantry unit, 1 Indian Infantry unit, 1 Ghurka Infantry unit
    • Lahore: 1 Indian Lancer unit
    • Kelat: 1 Indian Infantry unit
  • India's North East Frontier:
    • Kathmandu: 1 Indian Infantry unit
    • Chittagong: 1 Indian Infantry unit, 1 Indian Cavalry unit
    • Lucknow: 1 Regular Infantry unit, 1 Indian Infantry unit
This gives a total of:
  • 23 Infantry units:
    • Guard Infantry units: 3
    • Regular Infantry units: 9 (1 of which are Highlanders)
    • Indian Infantry units: 8 (1 of which are Ghurkas)
    • Native Infantry units: 2
    • Naval Brigade: 1
  • 8 Cavalry units:
    • Guard Cavalry units: 2
    • Regular Cavalry units: 3 (1 of which are Lancers)
    • Indian Cavalry units: 3 (2 of which are Lancers)
    • Colonial Cavalry units: 2
  • 6 Gunboats:
    • Large Gunboats: 3
    • Small Gunboats: 3
It would not be too difficult for me to put together these forces if I used one of my sets of colonial wargame rules.

The potential enemy forces are distributed thus:
  • China:
    • Peking: 12 Regular Infantry units, 2 Heavy Cavalry units, 2 Light Cavalry units
    • We-Hai-Wei: 2 Regular Infantry units, 1 Field Artillery unit, 1 Coastal defence Artillery unit, 1 Garrison unit, 1 Large Gunboat, 1 Small Gunboat
    • Taku: 2 Regular Infantry units, 1 Field Artillery unit, 1 Coastal defence Artillery unit, 1 Garrison unit, 1 Large Gunboat, 1 Small Gunboat
    • Kwang-Chow: 1 Regular Infantry unit, 1 Field Artillery unit, 1 Coastal Defence Artillery unit, 1 Garrison unit
    • Amoy: 1 Regular Infantry unit, 1 Field Artillery unit, 1 Coastal Defence Artillery unit, 1 Garrison unit
  • Zulus:
    • Ulundi: 12 Regular Infantry units
  • Afghanistan:
    • Kabul: 1 Regular Infantry unit, 1 Regular Cavalry unit, 1 Medium Artillery unit
    • Kandahar: 1 Regular Infantry unit
  • Egypt and the Sudan:
    • Alexandria: 2 Regular Infantry units, 1 Regular Cavalry unit, 1 Coastal Defence Artillery unit, 1 Large Gunboat
    • Port Said: 2 Regular Infantry units, 1 Regular Cavalry unit, 1 Coastal Defence Artillery unit
    • Cairo: 3 Regular Infantry units, 2 Regular Cavalry units, 1 Small Gunboat
    • Khartoum: 1 Regular Sudanese Infantry unit, 1 Irregular Infantry unit, 1 Irregular Cavalry unit
It would be slightly more difficult for me to put together these forces very quickly … but not impossible.

Food for thought on a wet and unpleasant day.

12 comments:

  1. I quite like the notion of a list of all forces globally - makes it all somehow seem more 'do-able'. Especially since I imagine that you would only need a fraction of the whole to put on the table at any one time.

    Craig

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  2. CWT (Craig),

    You have picked on exactly why I am thinking about using this - or something very like it - for a wide-spread colonial wargame campaign. Trying to cope with several crises at different locations should make the campaign all the more interesting.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  3. The Courier was one of my favorite wargame magazines, too. I still have my old copies of a good few issues. And still some fodder for gaming and good ideas and fun articles about campaigns and such.

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  4. Fitz-Badger,

    I have quite a few COURIER articles in my clippings files ... and they are still as good now as they were when they were first published.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. Wow! Thanks for all the kind words about The Courier! I miss it as well - but am too old to revive it, though often think I should. TNNS was my favorite campaign system (except for all the players trying terrible British accents when they played the part of parliment!). We used The Sword and The Flame for the tactical battles and had some very memorable ones. One, The Durban Turkey Shoot, wa as a result of the British attacking the Boors from offshore in Durban, SA. TSATF requires that one pause a turn when debarking boats before one can deploy, fire, etc. Thus the Boor longer ranged weapons had a "Turkey Shoot"! I don't beleive that I, as British, got off one shot. Dick

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  6. Such a pleasant way of spending a cold wet and windy day, contemplating the martial possibilities of one's collection.
    Of course, there is the potential for colonial rivals such as France, Germany, Russia, Spain and the US of A...

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  7. Dick Bryant,

    I suspect that I am not alone in wishing that THE COURIER was still around ... but we still have you, and that is just as good!

    I love to read or hear other people's campaign memories, and that one sounds like a good 'un!

    As to Americans doing dodgy 'British' accents ... well if Dick Van Dyke is an example of what it must have sounded like, you have my sympathy. (I am a Londoner and a Cockney ... and I don't sound anything like that. Johnny Depp is one of the few Americans who seem to be able to get it right.) Unfortunately the majority of Brits aren't much better when it comes to doing American accents ... so I think that we should avoid trying to sound like each other.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  8. Archduke Piccolo,

    Judging by the weather, I will be doing some more thinking today!

    I would like to be able to include countries other than just the British Empire within my campaign, and I think that it might be possible without the need for a huge amount of work.

    Something for me to think about.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. I've thought a bit about the design of campaign systems (for example here and it seems to me that the scenario generator for this would be a larger-scale game in which power A splits its resources between provoking rebellions in the colonies of powers B, C and D and defending against revolts in its own colonies.

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  10. Bob
    The "accents" got worse as the night wore on and the level of booze in the bottles went down!
    Another game happend in China.A relief column was supposed to rescue a surrounded British force . The Chinese were able to put so many people into the field that the surrounded unit had to breakout to releive their erstwhile releivers. It was called the battle of "Too Much Chink" with apologies to my Chinese friends - one of whom was running the Chinese.
    Dick Bryant

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  11. Rogerbw,

    Thanks for the link. I need to read through what you have written a couple more times to fully understand how your system will work, but at first glance it seems to a simple and effective method by which scenarios can be generated.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  12. Dick Bryant,

    I must admit that the fact that the accents got worse as the amount of booze consumed Increased is not a great surprise to me.

    The story of the relief force needing to be rescued by those they were trying to relieve sounds like the sort of battle that I would have enjoyed taking part in.

    All the best,

    Bob

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