Tuesday 14 June 2011

Nugget 130 ... A particularly good issue

In preparation for yesterday's blog entry, I read through NUGGET No.130 ... and realised that it contained an article that had important ramifications for my subsequent wargame designs. The article was written by Ian Drury and was a report about a session he had run at the previous COW (Conference of Wargamers). The report – which was entitled 'Return to New Stanhall' – described his game about an opposed landing in the South Pacific during the Second World War, and included a complete set of rules.

During the following year I developed Ian's rules into a set of Colonial wargames rules called SCWaRes (Simple Colonial Wargames Rules) that used a gridded playing surface. I demonstrated SCWaRes at a subsequent COW, and I began to be convinced that this was they way forward for my future wargame designs.

A photograph of my very first play-test of the rules that eventually became SCWaRes.

A photograph of one of the battles fought as part of the Mirkat Campaign. The rules used were the final version of SCWaRes.

Over the next few years I continued to develop my ideas, influenced by Ian Drury and Richard Brook's RED SQUARES rules (e.g. REDCOATS AND DERVISHES) and by Mike & Joyce Smith's TABLE TOP BATTLES: TABLE TOP WARGAMING WITH MINIATURES. The end result of this process was WHEN EMPIRES CLASH!

The next major 'leap forward' was my re-discovery of Joseph Morschauser's book, HOW TO PLAY WAR GAMES IN MINIATURE. The illustrations of Morschauser's battles fought on a gridded battlefield spurred me on to research further into his wargame designs ... and these researches were incorporated into John Curry's re-print of Morschauser's book and subsequently to my latest opus THE PORTABLE WARGAME rules.

And to think that all this began thirteen years ago!


  1. Rome wasn't built in a day, Robert, and neither are rule sets.

    -- Jeff

  2. Hi Bob,

    I think that this only serves to reinforce the pedigree of the Portable Wargame concept - it is not something that has been casually thrown together but is the logical evolution of many years of thought and labour.

    This is for me what is so exciting about the whole idea - the culmination of all these individual threads into the version we see now and to have seen and experienced via your blog the gestation of the current set.

    With Tabletop Games and Morschauser, luminaries of both the WD and the wargames world in general; coupled with your own extensive knowledge and experience it is little wonder that the resultant set of rules are quite frankly, a superb piece of work.

    I am looking forward to many hours of use from these rules - and the 'modern' set when you have cracked them!

    All the best,


  3. Bluebear Jeff,

    Absolutely right!

    It was just a surprise to realise how long the process had been.

    All the best,


  4. David Crook,

    You have hit the nail well and truly on the head.

    The rules are by no means perfect ... but they are simple and work, and those are the most important considerations.

    I also hope to enjoy using them for many more hours of wargaming ... and for once I feel that I actually have a set of rules that I find satisfy my requirements for the foreseeable future.

    All the best,



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