Sunday, 7 November 2010

Retail therapy can be good for you ...

This morning my wife and I paid a visit to the Retail Outlet Centre at Chatham Maritime. It is located just across the road from the Maritime Museum in Chatham – which is always worth a visit – but today the time available was too short and I just could not fit in a visit to the Museum.

I had to content myself with a trudge around the shops in the Centre – something that I do not always enjoy – and this included a visit to the small department store that forms part of the shopping ‘experience’. The store has quite a good craft section, and I began with a look round there, but there was nothing of particular interest to me so I moved on to the toy’s section. This was gearing up for Christmas – already – and a selection of boxed games was on display.

Amongst the various games I happened to come across a copy of Hasbro’s BATTLESHIP EXPRESS for £3.99. Reading the packaging, I realised that although the game was not particularly of interest to me, the components were.

The game comes in a round box, which both serves as a store for the components and as somewhere to roll the dice … and it was the dice that were of particular interest to me. They turned out to be very similar to the dice that come with BATTLE CRY. Both sets of dice have stickers on each face … and I realised that the ones that came with BATTLESHIP EXPRESS could easily be modified by unpeeling the existing stickers and replacing them with some home-made ones. I would then have additional dice that I can use with BATTLE CRY and MEMOIR OF BATTLE.

So in the end I came away thinking that retail therapy had done me some good today ...


  1. Blank dice with stickers can easily be obtained. No need to buy a game and peel them off.

    I have bought blank dice and use clear labels for the inkjet to print out the designs.

  2. Dale,

    I must admit that I could not find a supplier of the size of blank dice that I wanted here in the UK.

    The cost of ordering blank dice from the US is greater than the cost of buying the game in the UK ... and I have, in fact, found an even cheaper supply of the game than the shop I visited yesterday.

    I will continue to hunt for a UK supplier of the dice you gave me a 'heads up' about ... but I don't hold out much hope of finding one.

    All the best,


  3. Hi Bob
    great to be reading this again. I'm intrigued by your naval wargame "memoir" with blue hexes - apologies if I have missed this - but where did you obtain the blue hexes from? In 1971 as a 14 year old wargame fan of Mr Featherstone I recall drawing hexes onto the back of wallpaper to create a game! Happy days - the obvious movement benefits are clear - any other reasons you clearly approve of hexes as a grid?

  4. Ken Hanning,

    I use two different sizes of blue hex. The small ones (which are about 4cm across) are from the Heroscape game (made by Hasbro), and the larger ones (which are 10cm across) are made by Hexon II (made by Kallistra).

    Over the past few years I have moved over to using grids (either squares or hexes) for most of my wargames because they are easier and faster to use than the alternative – no measuring is necessary and it reduces the number of arguments about whether or not a unit is in range.

    Grids also seem make it easier to design wargames that utilise simple mechanisms that most players can pick up in a couple of moves.

    Keep reading the blog,

    All the best,