Friday, 20 January 2012

A visitor, some gifts, and two wargames!

Tim Gow (a long-time wargaming friend, fellow blogger, fellow member of Wargame Developments, and the co-organiser of the annual Conference of Wargamers [COW]) was in London yesterday and was able to visit my wife and I last night. During the day he had met up with David Crook (another long-time wargaming friend, blogger, and a recently joined member of Wargame Developments) who had given Tim some bits and pieces for me which, when added to the stuff Tim had brought me as well, meant that my numerous wargame collections (especially my 54mm FUNNY LITTLE WARS and Colonial collections) have had some interesting additions and enhancements!

Before dinner Tim and I were able to play-test the latest published versions of MEMOIR OF BATTLE (MOB) and MEMOIR OF MODERN BATTLE (MOMBAT). These play-tests were extemporised with what I had available to hand:
  • The hexed board from my original copy of BATTLE CRY! was used as the playing surface for both play-tests.
  • The figures were from my 15mm Colonial (for the MOB play-test) and Inter-war collections (for the MOMBAT play-test).
  • The dice were from my copies of BATTLE CRY! (for the MOB play-test) and MEMOIR '44. (for the MOMBAT play-test)
  • The 15mm model tanks (for the MOMBAT play-test) were from my small collection of Hasbro's AXIS & ALLIES MINIATURES .
  • The fortifications and barbed wire (for the MOMBAT play-test) were from my copy of MEMOIR '44.
In both play-tests Tim defended and I attacked. For the MEMOIR OF BATTLE play-test I commanded a force of Arab infantry and artillery (six Units of Infantry armed with single-shot rifles and two Artillery Units armed with smooth-bore field guns) and Tim commanded a British force that had four Infantry Units armed with magazine rifles, a Machine Gun Unit, and an Artillery Unit armed with a rifled field gun. Needless-to-say firepower prevailed over numbers, and my force was shot to pieces before it could get close enough to overwhelm the British troops.

In the second MEMOIR OF MODERN BATTLE play-test Tim's troops consisted of four Infantry Units, a Machine Gun Unit, a Field Gun Unit, and a Tank Unit. I commanded a larger force that comprised eight Infantry Units, two Machine Gun Units, a Field Gun Unit, and a Tank Unit. Tim had placed all his Infantry and Machine Gun units behind fieldworks, and this more than compensated for his lack of numbers. That said, even though he lost his Tank and Artillery Units, he still managed to win convincingly as it proved impossible for me to inflict serious casualties on his dug-in troops.

These play-tests were very helpful as they proved that someone who had never used the rules before could pick up their essentials in a matter of minutes. Tim has had quite a lot of experience using Richard Borg's COMMANDS & COLORS rules, but although they have a similar combat system to MEMOIR OF BATTLE and MEMOIR OF MODERN BATTLE, the turn sequence is very different. This was the only thing that Tim seemed to get hung up about at first, but he soon realised that having a separate Artillery Combat phase before both sides moved and/or fired non-artillery weapons forced players to use artillery correctly.

I think that Tim had an enjoyable evening. I certainly did; he has a very dry sense of humour as well as being a very willing and thoughtful wargame opponent, and I am looking forward to the next time that he is able to pay my wife and I a visit.


  1. I'm good naturedly envious! From the various blogs, sounds like a good day all around.


  2. Hi Bob,

    It does seem unusual at first sight to have the artillery fire at the start of the turn but you soon get into the groove and it actually feels like artillery needs to be used with some prior thought rather than reacting all the time.

    It sounds like both the games went well and think about what you have achieved - two, admittedly small games but two nevertheless in an evening.

    If that is not a ringing endorsement of the system then I don't know what is!

    What next for MOB and MOMBAT I wonder?

    All the best and glad to be of service re the 'bits' (a FLW armoured train would be a thing of beauty!),


    PS Lunch was also very thought provoking!

  3. Ross Mac,

    Now that you and Tim Gow have Skype I ought to do the same so that we can chat online ... and possibly even fight a wargame together!

    All the best,


  4. David Crook,

    The separate Artillery Fire Phase does take some getting used to ... but once you have seen it in operation, it makes perfect sense.

    Both games were short but very sweet ... and have convinced me that the basic system has lots of potential.

    The artillery and mortar are likely to end up as the armament of an armoured train and/or a gunboat.

    All the best (and thanks again for all the bits and pieces),