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Friday, 20 May 2022

Back to the Belle Époque

Back in the early 1990s I painted a number of 15mm Pathan figures manufactured by Irregular Miniatures, I have used them on and off since then, and I have decided that I am going to renovate, varnish, and rebase them so that I can add them to my Belle Époque imagi-nations collection.

The working name for the imagi-nation whose army these figures will become is Khyberistan. The army will be made up of several tribal infantry regiments supported by two tribal artillery regiments. Each tribe has a different coloured turban (red, white, and cream) and each infantry and artillery regiment will have its own supply column.

Kyhberistan will be a mountainous country and will be ruled by an Emir who is based in its capital, Kalabar. (For those of you who haven’t realised yet, I am drawing heavily on CARRY ON UP THE KHYBER for my inspiration1)

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Two more books are now available in PDF format

I have added another two books in PDF format to the list that are currently available from Wargames Vault. They are:

A Winter-ish War

Trouble in Zubia

This pretty well concludes the process of migrating PDF editions of my wargame books over to Wargames Vault. I may add HEXBLITZ and LA ULTIMA CRUZADA at some point in the future, but I am unsure when that might be.

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Three more book PDFs are now available

I have continued to add further titles to the list of book PDFs that are available to buy from Wargames Vault.

The books are:

The Portable Napoleonic Wargame

The Portable Colonial Wargame

The Madasahatta Campaign

The PDFs are US Letter size rather than A5 size, and as it previous books, the text and illustrations have been adjusted to to make the best of the increased page size. In the case of The Madasahatta Campaign, recently drawn coloured versions of the campaign maps have also been added to the text.

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Nugget 344

I collected the latest issue of THE NUGGET yesterday, and I will post it out to members tomorrow morning. In the meantime, members can read this issue online.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this is the eighth issue of THE NUGGET to be published for the 2021-2022 subscription year. If you have not yet re-subscribed, a reminder was sent to you some time ago. If you wish to re-subscribe using the PayPal option on the relevant page of the website, you can use the existing buttons as the subscription cost has not changed.

Saturday, 14 May 2022

More book PDFs are now available

Yesterday I managed to add three more titles to the list of book PDFs that are available to buy from Wargames Vault.

The books are:

The Portable Wargame

Developing the Portable Wargame

Gridded Naval Wargames

The PDFs are US Letter size rather than A5 size, and the text and illustrations have been adjusted to to make the best of the increased page size.

Friday, 13 May 2022

Testing time

I spent a large chunk of yesterday at University Hospital Lewisham having a bone scan. Sue came with me to keep me company … and to drive me home afterwards if I felt unwell afterwards. My appointment was for 9.30am, and thanks to the heavy traffic on the South Circular Road, it took us over an hour to drive the four miles from home to the hospital. Luckily, we had left enough time to allow for holdups, and I was in the Nuclear Medicine Department just before 9.30am.

I was intravenously injected with a small quantity of radioactive material … and then told to come back at midday for my scan. This was to allow time for the blood to circulate the radioactive material around my body, particularly my skeleton.

As Sue and I had not eaten breakfast before leaving home, we made our way to the hospital’s coffee shop, where we each had a bacon roll and a café latte. This took until just after 10.00am, and as the weather was quite pleasant, Sue and I went out of the hospital’s rear entrance, which led us into Ladywell Fields. This is a large open space that is bordered on one side by the main line railway from London to Hayes, Kent, and on the other by the River Ravensbourne. Besides areas of grass where people can walk their dogs and children can play ball games, there are a number of tennis courts, a children’s playground, an athletics track, and a small cafe.

Sue and I wandered around the park until 11.30am, at which point we returned to the hospital’s main entrance. As we still had about twenty minutes until I was due to have my scan, we went across the road to have a look at the local war memorial.

Next to the main memorial was a smaller memorial to those local men who won the Victoria Cross, and each of them was further commemorated by an individual paving slab.

I was back at the Nuclear Medicine Department by midday, and my scan took just under an hour. I then went out to the car park, where I had arranged to meet Sue. She had used the time I had been having my scan to have a walk around the local area, and after searching the graveyard of the nearby Church of St Mary the Virgin, she had discovered a short row of local shops. Amongst them was a proper bakery, and rather than go straight home, Sue suggested that we might go there to buy something for lunch. We did ... and each of us bought one of their home-made Cornish Pasties as well as a cake, which we took home to eat.

I expect to hear the results of my scan in about a week’s time. In the meantime, I am still undergoing hormone treatment that is supposed to stop the cancer growing any further.

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Nugget 344

The editor of THE NUGGET sent me the latest issue last weekend, and I have sent it to the printer today. If they manage to print it as quickly as they usually do, it should be ready for collection by the end of this week, and I will then be able to post it out to members by the beginning of next week.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this is the eighth issue of THE NUGGET to be published for the 2021-2022 subscription year. If you have not yet re-subscribed, a reminder was sent to you some time ago. If you wish to re-subscribe using the PayPal option on the relevant page of the website, you can use the existing buttons as the subscription cost has not changed.

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

A short progress report

I have been working on converting the remaining PORTABLE WARGAME books into PDF format. I have changed the page size from A5 to US Letter size as this can be printed in A4 size as well, thus meeting the requirements of players across the world.

Doing this has given me the opportunity to make a few changes. These include increasing the size of some of the illustrations and correcting some of the grammatical errors and typos that I missed when the books were first published.

Sunday, 8 May 2022

I am currently working on converting more books into PDF format

Although both Sue and I seem to have come down with colds, we have been keeping ourselves busy. She has been sorting out her collection of dolls houses, and I have been working on converting more of my books into PDF format.

I am taking the opportunity to correct some of the more obvious mistakes as I go through the conversion process, and I am changing the size of the books so that they are going to be US Letter size rather than A5 size. This will make them easier to print out as there will be few pages and they can be printed out in A4 size without any difficulty ... or so I am informed!

I will make an announcement on my blog when the books are available in PDF format ... which I hope will be by the end of the week at the latest!

Friday, 6 May 2022

A game of vignettes? Using the Fast Play 3 x 3 Portable Wargame to fight larger battles

Some years ago, the late George Jeffries experimented with a system that he termed the Variable Length Bound. This is defined in the current edition of the Wargame Developments Handbook as follows:

Variable Length Bound

The technique to adjusting the time interval of a game to critical events e.g. If it is obvious that no contact will be made for a period of 12 hours, when the time in the game will be moved on by 12 hours and the tactical situation reassessed there, rather than repeat a standard 1 hour game turn 12 times in a row. A difficult concept to grasp and adopt, because it implies ignoring those units out of contact and moving the elements of a force direct to their critical events, despite the fact that some of these events occur at different times. Best used with a "standard" time slice, but with ways of incorporating multiple slices in a single turn.

Looking at this anew, it struck me that what he was trying to do was to fight wargames where there was an emphasis on the important or crucial events of a battle rather making players recreate its entirety ... including all the boring bits where very little happened!

It further struck me that the Fast Play 3 x 3 Portable Wargame (FP3x3PW) provided a potential way of doing the same thing, with each crucial event being fought out as a vignette within the battle using FP3x3PW.

I looked around for an example of how I could do this and decided upon the Battle of Waterloo. It splits nicely into the following vignettes:

  • The attack on Hougoumont
  • The Grand Battery opens fire
  • The first French infantry attack (including the attack on La Haie Sainte)
  • The charge of the British heavy cavalry
  • The French cavalry attack
  • The second French infantry attack (including the capture of La Haie Sainte)
  • The Prussian attack at Placenoit
  • The assault by the French Imperial Guard

Each of the above could quite easily be fought as separate FP3x3PW battles, thus giving players the ability to refight Waterloo without having to invest a lot of space, time, and money to do so.

I am sure that other battles (e.g. Gettysburg) could be refought in a similar fashion, and this is an idea that I might well look at in great depth over the coming months. It might even make for an interesting chapter in a SECOND PORTABLE WARGAME COMPENDIUM!