Saturday, 3 June 2023

Nugget 354

Yet again our printer – Macaulay Scott Printing Company of Welling, Kent – has done an excellent job of printing, collating, folding, and stapling the latest issue of THE NUGGET, and as a result I was able to collect it from them yesterday. I hope to be able to post it out to members by Monday. In the meantime, members can read this issue online.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this is the ninth and last issue of THE NUGGET to be published for the 2022-2023 subscription year. If you have not yet re-subscribed, a reminder was sent to you some time ago. If you wish to re-subscribe, please follow the instructions on the relevant page of the website.

Thursday, 1 June 2023

My Eastern Front/Great Patriotic War collection: The current state of play

Before adding more renovated, varnished, and rebased figures and vehicles to my Eastern Front/Great Patriotic War collection, I decide to survey what I had already got ... and this is what I currently have organised in formations:


  • 1st Panzer Division
    • 4th Divisional HQ
    • 1st Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion
    • 1st Panzer Regiment
    • 2nd Panzer Regiment
    • 10th Infantry (Motorised) Regiment
    • 4th Field Artillery (Self-propelled) Regiment
    • 1st Panzerjager Battalion
  • 2nd Panzer Division
    • 5th Divisional HQ
    • 2nd Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion
    • 3rd Panzer Regiment
    • 4th Panzer Regiment
    • 11th Infantry (Motorised) Regiment
    • 5th Field Artillery (Self-propelled) Regiment
    • 2nd Panzerjager Battalion
  • 1st Infantry Division
    • 1st Divisional HQ
    • 1st Infantry Regiment
    • 2nd Infantry Regiment
    • 3rd Infantry Regiment
    • 1st Field Artillery Regiment
    • 1st Anti-tank Artillery Battalion
  • 2nd Infantry Division
    • 2nd Divisional HQ
    • 4th Infantry Regiment
    • 5th Infantry Regiment
    • 6th Infantry Regiment
    • 2nd Field Artillery Regiment
    • 2nd Anti-tank Artillery Battalion
  • 3rd Infantry Division
    • 3rd Divisional HQ
    • 7th Infantry Regiment
    • 8th Infantry Regiment
    • 9th Infantry Regiment
    • 3rd Field Artillery Regiment
    • 3rd Anti-tank Artillery Battalion
  • 1st Luftwaffe Field Division
    • 1st Divisional HQ (L)
    • 1st Reconnaissance Battalion (L)
    • 1st Jager Regiment (L)
    • 2nd Jager Regiment (L)
    • 1st Artillery Regiment (L)
    • 1st Anti-tank Artillery Battalion (L)


  • 1st Hungarian Infantry Division
    • 1st Hungarian Divisional HQ
    • 1st Hungarian Infantry Regiment
    • 2nd Hungarian nfantry Regiment
    • 3rd Hungarian Infantry Regiment
    • 1st Hungarian Field Artillery Regiment
    • 1st Hungarian Anti-tank Artillery Battalion


  • 1st Rifle Division
    • 1st Reconnaissance Battalion
    • 1st Rifle Regiment
    • 2nd Rifle Regiment
    • 3rd Rifle Regiment
    • 1st Field Artillery Regiment
    • 1st Anti-tank Artillery Battalion
  • 2nd Rifle Division
    • 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion
    • 4th Rifle Regiment
    • 5th Rifle Regiment
    • 6th Rifle Regiment
    • 2nd Field Artillery Regiment
    • 2nd Anti-tank Artillery Battalion
  • 3rd Rifle Division
    • 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion
    • 7th Rifle Regiment
    • 8th Rifle Regiment
    • 9th Rifle Regiment
    • 3rd Field Artillery Regiment
    • 3rd Anti-tank Artillery Battalion
  • 4th Rifle Division
    • 4th Reconnaissance Battalion
    • 12th Rifle Regiment
    • 13th Rifle Regiment
    • 14th Rifle Regiment
    • 4th Field Artillery Regiment
    • 4th Anti-tank Artillery Battalion
  • 5th Rifle Division
    • 5th Reconnaissance Battalion
    • 15th Rifle Regiment
    • 16th Rifle Regiment
    • 17th Rifle Regiment
    • 5th Field Artillery Regiment
    • 5th Anti-tank Artillery Battalion
  • 6th Militia Rifle Division
    • 1st Militia Reconnaissance Battalion
    • 1st Militia Rifle Regiment
    • 2nd Militia Rifle Regiment
    • 3rd Militia Rifle Regiment
  • 1st Tank Corps
    • 1st Armoured Car Battalion
    • 1st Tank Brigade
    • 2nd Tank Brigade
    • 3rd Tank Brigade
    • 10th Motor Rifle Regiment
  • 2nd Tank Corps
    • 2nd Armoured Car Battalion
    • 4th Tank (Light) Brigade
    • 5th Tank Brigade
    • 6th Tank Brigade
    • 11th Motor Rifle Regiment

They are all currently configured to be used with the modern version (i.e. the World War II version) of the PORTABLE WARGAME rules as published in DEVELOPING THE PORTABLE WARGAME, but in the light of recent development they may be reorganised somewhat.

Wednesday, 31 May 2023

A change of project can keep you fresh

For sometime I’ve been working on and off on my Belle Époque project, but since work on the Second PW Compendium is almost over, I feel the need to have a change of project to keep my wargaming interest fresh.

Back during the COVID pandemic lockdown I did a lot of work on my Eastern Front/Great Patriotic War project, and I’ve decided to return to it for a time.

Some of the German vehicles that I renovated, varnished, and rebased during the COVID pandemic.
Some more of the German vehicles that I renovated, varnished, and rebased during the COVID pandemic.

I might even manage to fight a few battles with the figures I’ve already renovated, varnished, and rebased as well as add some more of the collection ... so watch this space for developments!

Tuesday, 30 May 2023

Nugget 354

Over the Bank Holiday weekend, the editor of THE NUGGET sent me the latest issue of the journal and I sent it to the printer yesterday. I hope that it will be ready to be posted out to members by Friday so that they will be able to read it after next weekend.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this is the ninth and last issue of THE NUGGET to be published for the 2022-2023 subscription year. If you have not yet re-subscribed, a reminder was sent to you some time ago. If you wish to re-subscribe, please follow the instructions on the relevant page of the website.

Monday, 29 May 2023

Warship 2023

An Amazon delivery driver brought me this year's issue of WARSHIP on Thursday, and over the weekend I spent several very enjoyable hours reading it.

I have been buying this publication since 1977, when it started life as a quarterly softback magazine. It became a hardback annual in 1989, and the original softback issues were then re-bound and sold in hardback format, with four quartlerly issues in each volume. They form the backbone of my naval history and warship design collection and currently occupy well over a metre of my bookshelves.

This issue was edited by John Jordan, and contains the following article:

  • Editorial
  • A series of unfortunate events: The loss of HMS Audacious by John Roberts
  • Clemenceau and Foch: France's first modern aircraft carriers by Jean Moulin and John Jordan
  • The Italian Connection: Ansaldo's UP.41 design by Stephen McLaughlin
  • Takasago, Kasagi and Chitose: The IJN's first 8in-gun protected cruisers by Kathrin Milanovich
  • The Italian Navy and the battleship in the 1930s: Theory and practice by Michele Cosentino
  • Postwar electronic warfare system in the Royal Navy by Peter Marland
  • The German Flak Ships Part 1: The German and ex-Norwegian hulls by Aidan Dodson and Dirk Nottelmann
  • The strange fate of General Alekseev's guns by Sergei Vinogradov
  • The Battleship Massena by Philippe Caresse
  • The development of the Yokosuka Navy Yard by Hans Lengerer
  • Preparing for the next Pacific War: The US Navy and distributed naval operations by Conrad Waters
  • Warship Notes
    • 'Hidden in plain sight': The proposed conversion of the two-deck HMS Duncan to a breastwork monitor on the lines of HMS Devastation by Ian Sturton
    • Patterns of political nomenclature in the Russian and Soviet Navies by Kenneth Fraser
    • HMS Pioneer, 1945 by Kenneth Fraser
    • 'Zombies' in warship history: The first in a new series that looks at some of the 'zombie facts' that continue to stalk histories of the world's warships by Aidan Dodson
  • A's and A's
  • Reviews
  • Warship Gallery
    • The Imperial German Navy 1890 – 1918 by Dirk Nottelmann

There is a lot of interesting stuff in this year's annual but one particular article stands out as being of more interest to me than the others ... The German Flak Ships Part 1: The German and ex-Norwegian hulls. I have written several blog posts about this topic as well as mentioning them in a guest blog post on THE DAWLISH CHRONICLES website.

This is a book that I know that I will return to many, many times in the future for both information and inspiration.

WARSHIP 2023 was edited by John Jordan and published in 2023 by Osprey Publishing (ISBN 978 1 4728 5713 2).

Sunday, 28 May 2023

The Second Portable Wargame Compendium ... has been published!

I approved the latest Compendium for publication on Saturday, and it became 'live' on Amazon later on the same day!

It should now be available from Amazon in hardback, softback, and Kindle editions and on sale from Wargames Vault in PDF format.

Saturday, 27 May 2023

Viana do Castelo-class patrol vessels

Whilst on my recent cruise, I saw one of the Portuguese Navy's Viana do Castelo-class patrol vessels at fairly close range. It was the Sines (P362), the third ship of a projected ten-ship class that will be built for the Portuguese Navy over the next ten years.

The ships characteristics are:

  • Displacement: 1,850 tons
  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 83.10m (272ft 8in)
    • Beam: 12.95m (42ft 6in)
    • Draught 3.82m (12ft 6in)
  • Propulsion: 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines (3,900 kW (5,200 hp) each), 2 electric engines (200 kW (270 hp) each)
  • Speed: 21 knots
  • Boats: 2 x Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs)
  • Complement: 35 (with accommodation for 32 more)
  • Sensors and processing systems: Leonardo Medusa MK4/B electro-optical fire control system; Electro-optical SAGEM / VIGY, 2x KH Manta2000 navigation radar; iXblue Quadrans inertial navigation system; Furuno Electric's FAR-3230 F-band; FAR-3220 I-band navigation radars
  • Armament:  1 × 30mm Oto Melara Marlin gun; 2 × 12.7mm M2 Browning machine guns; 2 x 7.92mm MG 3 machine guns
  • Aviation facilities: Flight deck capable of handling a medium-sized helicopter (e.g. Super Lynx Mk.95)
  • Optional equipment: 3 x water cannons; anti-pollution systems

The first ship in the class was originally fitted with a Bofors 40mm L/60 gun whilst the Portuguese was awaiting delivery of the 30mm Oto Melara Marlin guns it had ordered.

There are currently four ships of this class in service (Viana do Castelo (P360), Figueira da Foz (P361), Sines (P362), and Setúbal (P363)), with another two (Funchal (P364) and Aveiro (P365)) to be laid down in the near future.

Friday, 26 May 2023

The Second Portable Wargame Compendium ... is almost ready!

The final draft of the Compendium has been proofread, the text has been uploaded to KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), and the cover has been designed ...

... and now all I am waiting for is the final printed proof copy to be delivered. Once that happens, I hope to be able to publish the Compendium within a matter of days.

The contents of the Compendium include:

  • Some generic Portable Skirmish Wargame rules
  • Fast Play 3 x 3 Portable English Civil War Wargame Siege Rules
  • Fighting a campaign using simple campaign rules and Fast Play 3 x 3 Portable Napoleonic Wargame rules
  • Fast Play 3 x 3 Napoleonic Portable Wargame Rules
    • Simple campaign rules
    • Campaign map
    • The story of the campaign
  • A divisional army list generator for the Napoleonic period
  • Some Variations on the Portable Napoleonic Wargame: Brigade Rules
  • “Generals commanding armies have something else to do than to shoot at one another.”
  • An easy operational campaign game for Portable Wargames
    • An example of play
  • The Portable American Civil Wargame
    • Introduction
    • The Rules
  • The Big Push: A variant of the Fast Play 3 x 3 Portable Wargame rules for the trench battles of the Western Front
  • Rules and Army Lists for Portable Wargames in the Hyborian Age
    • Introduction
    • Specific rules
    • Army lists for the Hyborian Age
  • Turn sequence activation ideas using UNO cards
    • The army commander version
    • The unit version
    • A short note about UNO
  • 3D Printing simple Portable Wargame armies and terrain: One modeller's approach
  • 3D Printing simple Portable Wargame armies and terrain: Another modeller's approach
  • Taking a bit of a Risk: Using the figures from the boardgame Risk to create armies for the Portable Wargame
  • Making your own square terrain tiles
  • Appendix 1: General’s Daily Activity Chart
  • Appendix 2: Arthur Harman’s Generalship Game Maps
  • Other books in the Portable Wargame series

The Second Compendium has 132 pages compared to the 108 pages in the First Compendium. The softback will cost £20.00, an increase of £5.00 from the price of the First Compendium, to take into account the increased number of pages as well as the increased cost of printing.

Thursday, 25 May 2023

I have been to … The Point, Greenwich

All around London there are little-known gems that only a few people visit … and The Point in Greenwich is one of them.

Yesterday, Sue and I were visiting the Cat Protection shop at Blackheath Standard to drop off some clothes that we were donating to the charity, and off the cuff we decided to visit The Point. We drove across Blackheath towards Deptford and then turned right down Hyde Vale towards Greenwich. Almost immediately we turned left along West Grove, and as we descended the hill towards the River Thames, we found somewhere to park along the eastern side of The Point.

A short walk uphill took us to the entrance to The Point …

… which is a small, grassed area that is surrounded on three sides by trees.

This is a quiet haven in what is otherwise a very busy part of London … and has one of the most magnificent views across London!

The London Eye can be clearly seen on the horizon on the left of this photograph. Somewhat less clear is the Wembley Arch, which on the horizon to the right of this photograph.
Going from left to right are the BT Tower, the Shard, and the dome of St Paul's Cathedral.
Canary Wharf ... in all its glory!

At one side of the viewing platform is a memorial to Flight Lieutenant Richard Carew Reynell, who was killed on 7th September 1940 during the first major German bombing raid on central London.

Now we have found this little oasis of quiet solitude, Sue and I will no doubt revisit The Point again at some point.

Flight Lieutenant Richard Carew Reynell was born in Reynella South Australia on 12th April 1912. His father was Lieutenant Colonel Carew Reynell, a prominent winemaker, who died leading the 9th Light Horse Regiment at Gallipoli in 1915.

Reynell was educated at St Peter's College, Adelaide, and then studied Agriculture at Balliol College, Oxford from 1929 to 1931. On graduating he did not return to Australia to join the family business. Instead, he joined the RAF after serving with the Oxford University Air Squadron.

After becoming a pilot he joined 43 Squadron at Tangmere and later Duxford (where he flew the Hawker Fury) before becoming an instructor with No.8 Flying Training School based at Montrose, Scotland. He then took a job with Hawker Aircraft as a test pilot, and in married Enid Marjorie Watts-Allan on 24th September 1938.

He rejoined the RAF on the outbreak of war, but remained with Hawkers until 26th August 1940 when he rejoined 43 Squadron to assess the Hawker Hurricane's performance in combat. During this time he had one confirmed 'kill' (a Bf109 on 2nd September) and several 'possibles'.

He was recalled to Hawkers on 7th September 1940 but chose to complete that day's combat missions as a replacement for another pilot who had been killed. 7th September was the first day of the Luftwaffe's large-scale daylight bombing raids on London, and Reynell was one of twelve pilots from 43 Squadron who engaged over one hundred enemy aircraft over London. His aircraft (V7527) was hit by fire from a Bf109 over Blackheath and broke apart in midair. Unfortunately Reynell's parachute did not open, and he landed near The Point. He survived bailing out, but his injuries were so serious that he died soon afterwards.

He was buried in Brookwood Cemetery but does not have a Commonwealth War Graves headstone as his family wanted to provide their own.

Wednesday, 24 May 2023

Souvenirs from my recent cruise

Over recent years I’ve not bought many souvenirs back from the cruises I’ve been on, but this time I did.

In Lisbon I bought a 3D greetings card kit, ...

... which contains a number of 2D representations of major buildings in the city, including:

  • The Carmo Ruins and The Santa Justa elevator
  • The Castle of Sao Jorge
  • The Belem Tower and The Monument to the Discoveries
  • The Lisbon Cathedral
  • The Rua Augusta Arch and The Commercial Square (AKA Black Horse Square)
  • The National Pantheon

These could easily be used to make 2D buildings for wargames.

In Óbidos I bought a small model of the town's fortress.

In Normandy I bought a flag of the Norman region.

Not a big haul of souvenirs, but an interesting one.