Tuesday 30 June 2015

Vive L'Empereur: Cavalry (2): Carabiniers, Grenadiers à Cheval, and Mamelukes

After varnishing and basing the French Cuirassier figures in my collection of Del Prado pre-painted 25/28mm-scale Napoleonic figures, I began work on the second batch of French Cavalry.

These included Carabiniers, Grenadiers à Cheval, and Mamelukes. (Before anyone points out that the Mamelukes were not at Waterloo, I know. The figures were bought on eBay – along with the Grenadiers à Cheval – and were part of the range of pre-painted 25/28mm-scale Napoleonic figure that Del Prado sold for the Battle of Austerlitz. They were just too unusual and pretty NOT to buy!)

There are four bases of Carabiniers, two bases of Grenadiers à Cheval, and two bases of Mamelukes, each base having two figures.

Monday 29 June 2015

The New Waterloo Dispatch

It would appear that the 'New Waterloo Dispatch' is probably one of the least well-publicized events staged to mark the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo, and I suspect that I was not almost ignoring it completely. For those of you who also 'missed' it, here is some background information about the Dispatch.

The 'New Waterloo Dispatch' was an event organised and paid for by Waterloo 200, the National Army Museum, Culture 24, and the Heritage Lottery Fund to celebrate the bicentenary of the arrival of the original dispatch sent by Wellington to London after the Battle of Waterloo. Two re-enactors – dressed as Major Percy and Commander James White RN, who accompanied the original dispatch – travelled from Waterloo to London (and several other sites along the way) in a replica horse-drawn post chaise. They took with them a copy of the 'New Waterloo Dispatch' ...

... and replicas of the two captured Imperial Eagles and Standards taken at Waterloo. The re-enactors then took part in ceremonies at the selected locations during which senior public figures and dignitaries were presented with the 'New Waterloo Dispatch'.

The Dispatch's itinerary was as follows:
  • Thursday, 18th June: Belgium: During the evening a formal ceremony was organized by the Belgian Government at the Wellington Museum, Waterloo, where the Duke of Wellington wrote his original dispatch. This marked the beginning of the Dispatch's journey to the UK.
  • Friday, 19th June: Belgium: During the morning the 'New Waterloo Dispatch' was presented to the Mayor of the City of Brussels and other dignitaries. This took place at Royal Army Museum, Brussels. This ceremony was also attended by descendants of those who took part in the battle. During the afternoon the post chaise carried the Dispatch to the Governor’s Residence, Bruges, where it was presented to the Governor. The post chaise then took the Dispatch to Ostend, where it was greeted by the Sea Cadet TS Royalist. Later that evening the Dispatch was taken aboard HMS Northumberland, which conveyed it overnight to Broadstairs, Kent. The Royalist and Northumberland were accompanied across the Channel by boats of the East India Club Yacht Squadron.
  • Saturday, 20th June: Kent: During the morning a cutter from TS Royalist disembarked the Dispatch, the Eagles and Standards, and 'Major Henry Percy' and 'Commander James White RN' on the beach at Broadstairs. The 'New Waterloo Dispatch' was then presented to the Mayor of Broadstairs, after which the post chaise took the Dispatch to Canterbury, Kent, where it was presented to the Lord Lieutenant for Kent. This was followed by a special Waterloo Service at Canterbury Cathedral, after which the post chaise, the Dispatch, and 'Major Henry Percy' and 'Commander James White RN' left for London.
  • Sunday, 21st June: London: At 10.00am the post chaise departed from the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, after the Dispatch had been presented to the Mayor of the Borough of Royal Greenwich. The post chaise then travelled through South London, and crossed the River Thames at Tower Bridge. The Dispatch was then presented to the Governor of the Tower of London, after which is was escorted by members of the Honourable Artillery Company Light Cavalry to Guildhall Yard, where the 'New Waterloo Dispatch' was presented to The Lord Mayor of London. During the afternoon the post chaise re-crossed the River Thames at Waterloo Bridge, and then back again across the river at Westminster Bridge. On reaching Whitehall and Horse Guards it was joined by a mounted escort of the Household Cavalry and a number of historic coaches. The convoy then proceeded up The Mall and Constitution Hill until it reached Hyde Park Corner, where the Dispatch was presented to members of the Wellesley family. It then resumed its journey via Park Lane and Grosvenor Square, where the 'New Waterloo Dispatch' was presented to the Lord Mayor of Westminster and The Duke of Westminster. From there it went down Regent Street to Waterloo Place, where it was presented to the Mayoralty of London and a number of foreign Ambassadors. The convoy then travelled to St James's Square, where the replica Eagles and Standards were laid at the feet of Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, on the steps of the East India Club. (The Club occupies the building where to original Waterloo Dispatch was presented to the Prince Regent.) The post chaise then joined the Waterloo Parade from Horse Guards Parade down The Mall. This parade included four European visiting bands (the Dutch Army Band, the Zurich Police Band, the Finnish Navy Band, and the French Artillery Band), several British military bands, and two hundred school children.
  • Saturday 27th June: Kent: During the day the post chaise, the Dispatch, and 'Major Henry Percy' and 'Commander James White RN' visited Faversham, Sittingbourne, and Rochester, where the 'New Waterloo Dispatch' was presented to local dignitaries.
  • Sunday 28th June: Kent: The post chaise, the Dispatch, and 'Major Henry Percy' and 'Commander James White RN' completed their epic journey when they presented the 'New Waterloo Dispatch' to The Lord Boyce, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, at Walmer Castle.

We had hoped to see the 'New Waterloo Dispatch' whilst it was in Greenwich, but by the time we discovered what time it was leaving, we had missed it. We had already intended to visit Walmer Castle of Sunday, and we were very pleased when we discovered that the Dispatch was going to present there on Sunday afternoon.

The post chaise, the Dispatch, and 'Major Henry Percy' and 'Commander James White RN' arrived outside the entrance of Walmer Castle at 3.00pm ...

... and 'Major Henry Percy' and 'Commander James White RN' climbed out.

They then presented the Dispatch to The Lord Boyce, after which they carried the Eagles and Standards into the Castle.

The post chaise then left ...

... and the horses could finally look forward to a bit of a rest! (The horses were a pair of Gelderlanders, and they had shared the work of the previous week with another pair of horses.)

Sunday 28 June 2015

Some great days out

Sue and I have spent today on the coast of Kent visiting Walmer Castle and Deal Castle.

Both castles are managed by English Heritage, and over this weekend Walmer Castle was the venue for a number of special Regency events. These included a display by the 44th (East Essex) Regiment of Foot re-enactment group and a visit from the coach and messengers carrying the bicentenary Waterloo Dispatch. I hope to write a number of blog entries about what we saw during today's visits.

Sue and I have also visited Igtham Mote, Kent, and St Georges's Chapel (the former Woowich Garrison Church) recently, and I also intend to write blog entries about them as well ... so watch this space!

Saturday 27 June 2015

I have been to ... Armed Forces Day, Woolwich

This morning Sue and I paid a visit to the 'Armed Forces Day' that was held at Woolwich Barracks. (Technically it was the 'Great Get Together and Armed Forces Day' ... but that sounds far too long a title for an event!)

The event was held on the playing fields that are to the south of the main barrack block in Woolwich. Sue and I parked in the car park off Ha Ha Road*, and entered the site via the southern entrance.

We walked anti-clockwise around the site, and were very impressed by the wide variety of stands and organisations that were represented. My particular attention was drawn to the vehicle and military displays, some of which are featured below.

The A.J.S & Matchless Owners Club
Matchless motorcycles were manufactured in Plumstead, London, between 1899 and 1966, and in 1938 Matchless and A.J.S. became part of Associated Motorcycles (AMC). It was therefore very appropriate that this club had staged both a static and an arena display at this event.

The Royal Anglian Regiment
Although currently stationed in Bulford, Wiltshire, the 1st Battalion of The Royal Anglian Regiment (The Vikings), mounted a static display at the event. This battalion recruits from Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, and Cambridgeshire, and is currently a Light Role Infantry Battalion.

I managed to have quite a chat with a member of the unit about his recent tour of duty in Afghanistan, and it was interesting to hear that the good old M2 Browning 0.5-inch calibre Heavy Machine Gun (known in the British Army as the L1A1) is still performing sterling duty despite its age.

The Royal Horse Artillery
We missed the arena display by the RHA that took place during the early afternoon, but they did mount a small but very informative static display as well. This included a full-sized model horse used to demonstrate the harness and saddlery used by the RHA and one of the unit's 13-pounder Field Guns.

Other displays
Amongst the other things that were on display were a Pinzgauer 716M truck, ...

... a Ferret Scout Car, ...

... and the Greenwich Concert Band. (The latter included several middle-aged men who I taught many years ago when they were pupils at Woolwich Polytechnic Boys School!)

Visiting this event was a great way to spend a Saturday morning, and if another is staged next year, we hope to go again.

* Ha Ha Road is so called because it has a ha-ha (i.e. a ditch – with a wall on its inner side below ground level – that forms a boundary to a park or garden without interrupting the view) running along one side of it.

Friday 26 June 2015

COW2015 Programme

The printed programme for the thirty-fifth Conference of Wargamers was posted out to attendees earlier today, and should be with them early next week.

There is one item on the Wargame Developments Annual General meeting Agenda which is worth members of Wargame Developments giving some prior thought to. A proposal has been made by Martin Goddard that in future the matters covered by the AGM be dealt with by email as this would enable the time currently set aside for the AGM to be used for further sessions.

If you are a member of Wargame Developments and have something to say in response to this proposal, please don't comment on this blog entry; bring your comments to the AGM ... and if you are not able to attend the AGM, send them in an email to either myself or Tim Gow.

Thursday 25 June 2015

Fifth anniversary of Paddy Griffith's death

Today is the fifth anniversary of the death of Paddy Griffith.

Paddy Griffith was the ‘father’ of Wargame Developments, and in just over two weeks time we will be holding the 35th COW (Conference of Wargamers) at Knuston Hall, Northamptonshire. COW came about as a direct result of Paddy organising the NEW DIRECTIONS IN WAR GAMING conference that took place at Moor Park College from 23rd to 25th May, 1980. At the end of that conference those present decided to set up an organisation that would 'spread the philosophy of realistic wargaming through the hobby ("better realism and better game structures") and ... put like-minded 'realistic' wargamers in touch with each other, so that they can more easily exchange ideas and rules. ... We will hold a conference similar to Moor Park, every year.'

At the time quite a few people within the wargaming fraternity expected that Wargame Developments would last a few years before it fell apart or ceased to exist. The view was also expressed that the idea of having an annual Conference of Wargamers would never take off. They were wrong ... and Wargame Developments and COW seem to be going from strength to strength.

Thank you Paddy, because without you it would never have happened!

Wednesday 24 June 2015

Vive L'Empereur: Cavalry (1): Cuirassiers

After varnishing and basing the French Artillery figures in my collection of Del Prado pre-painted 25/28mm-scale Napoleonic figures, I began work on the French Cavalry.

The most numerous mounted figures in my collection are Cuirassiers, and so I started with them.

There are six bases of Cuirassiers, each base having two figures.

Tuesday 23 June 2015


With COW2015 (Wargame Developments's thirty-fifth Conference of Wargamers) taking place in a little over two weeks time, the session timetable has been written and the printed programme is with the printer.

It looks like being a crowded conference. We have plenty of sessions and more attendees than we have had for some years. With luck the weather will be good and – thanks to the fact that the British F1 Grand Prix at Silverstone is taking place on the previous weekend – there should be no major traffic problems for attendees to have to deal with.

The Conference Timetable

The Conference Sessions

WD Display Team North

Ensure Britain's survival by keeping its vital sea lanes open in a short participation game for up to six players about something which is long winded and where not much happens on most sorties …

WD Display Team (North)’s game for the 2015 season is sponsored by Tumbling Dice who kindly provided the 1:600 scale aircraft.

Tim Gow et al

An outdoor toy soldier game – much developed since COW2014. Featuring toys in 54mm and at least two other scales, matchstick firing cannon and daft hats.

John Bassett

A crisis management game set in Singapore and looking at a forgotten episode of Imperial history. Will you end up enjoying gin slings with the Governor's daughter or be remembered with scorn and contempt across the East?

Bob Cordery

Professor Phil Sabin’s ‘Campaign in Two Hours’ kriegsspiel of the opening moves of the 1914 campaign on the Western Front has been played at Windsor Castle and King’s College, London. Now you will have the opportunity to try out this deceptively simple-looking wargame. The session will take 1.5 to 2 hours, and will need three teams: An Allied Team of two/three players, a German Team of two/three players, and an Umpire Team of three (two liaison Umpires and the Master Map Umpire).

John Curry

A frank 1 hour lecture on one of the most important wargamers of his generation.

Colin Maby

A card driven game set in probation era America which sees the players each taking the role of an up an coming gangster who’s aim is to end up having more money than anyone else, which also usually means controlling most of the crime in the notional city. Along the way this is likely to lead to brushes with other gangs and the law and possibly some difficult choices of who they annoy. The game uses areas with representative buildings for different parts of the city and 28mm miniatures to represent characters but is not a traditional skirmish game.

Ian Drury

A map-based multi-player strategic game of the 1777 campaign in North America, arguably the last chance the British had to regain control of the American colonies. Roles include louche aristocrat Lord Howe, ‘Gentleman Johnny’ Burgoyne, the notorious Benedict Arnold and, of course, George Washington.

John Curry

A game based on a large map and giant counters. The system is the type of game that some countries might play to explore a hypothetical Russia threat to some Eastern European Country. Feedback will be actively sought on the game model.

John Armatys and Martin Rapier

A derivative of a WW2 naval derivative (found on the AWM Yahoo Group) of Neil Thomas’s One Hour Wargame. A simple and fun game for up to four players with dramatically scaled down fleets…

Jim Roche

The now traditional Saturday night singalong session!

Jim Roche

To mark the continuing anniversary of the Great War, may I introduce Trench Poker, an unoriginal game based on the colour plates from old Osprey books. "I have a full house of three German officers and a pair of Highland pipers...I think he's bluffing; a Straight Flush of five different French ranks indeed!"
For up to four players at five minutes per hand (coins only for bets)

Tom Mouat

The date is 1947 – Jean Batten, famous female aviator and holder of the record for the London to Auckland solo flight is trying to beat her own record. She has, however, gone missing in a storm over the Pacific! Her wealthy fiancée is desperate to find her! This is a single-session role playing game with up to 8 players using modified “Footfall” rules featuring a Consolidated PBY Catalina, a rich heir, his bodyguard, a society photographer, the aviator’s closest friends and a rather dodgy Flying Company…

Tom Mouat

Welcome to the city of Kazhdyy Gorod in early July 2015, with a population of about 250,000, in the former Soviet Republic of Belaria. In Kazhdyy Gorod there are protests in the street in some of the poorer parts of the city and journalists have been giving them much publicity. The Mayor has been debating whether to get the Police to crack down hard to prevent things getting out of control and the Militia Commander has been quietly reviewing security at the base in the light of rumours that there are armed rebel troops in the forest to the East of town… This is a Matrix Game for up to 6 players representing the key players in this troubled city…

Tom Mouat

The Imperial Japanese forces have invaded Malaya! They have advanced relentlessly driving all before them until this moment where they are facing stiff British resistance at the Slim River. You are part of the Japanese attacking force consisting of about 17 Type 97 medium tanks and 3 Type 95 Ha-Go Light Tanks, under the command of Major Toyosaku Shimada preparing for a daring assault down a single road! Banzai! This game actually features toy soldiers and the longest terrain map in the history of wargaming. Roles for up to 10 players.

Ian Lowell

A workshop session on using unusual playing cards for wargaming. Following some of thoughts on the German Peasants’ War 1524—26 sessions at COW 2014. An introduction to the earliest packs of cards and gaming with them, especially the following:
Karnöffel, The Visconti-Sforza Tarot and the Mantegna ‘Tarot’.

Ian Lowell

A talk on the latest research into Late Bronze Age warfare, especially focusing on chariots. Followed by a chance to experiment with and try out the latest Rein-Bow Warrior rules.

Phil Steele

A delayed 800th anniversary wargame . Historical introduction plus toy soldier wargame in 15mm using adapted Basic Impetus. A decisive battle on the Magna Carta timeline ...

Phil Steele

Simple wargame using the 1:1200 Airfix models and the combat/damage system from last year's 'pop-up' game.

Phil Steele

The decisive battle of the Arab Conquests ... Historical introduction plus a toy soldier wargame using classic 30mm flats and state of the art DBA V3. A Society of Ancients 50th anniversary wargame.

Mike Elliott

Naval wargames have always annoyed me. Detailed rules for ship to ship actions but far too complex for actual fleet actions. In the 210th anniversary year, I present a wargame of the Battle of Trafalgar, with EVERY ship individually represented and ruthlessly simple rules to (hopefully!) allow play to a conclusion in about 90 mins to 2 hours.

Mike Elliott

A lecture and discussion about cyber warfare and how we might simulate it in the context of a wargame.

Mike Elliott

A Dinner Table Game.
It is 15th June 1815. Time travelling military(?) figures from all periods of history arrive for the Duchess of Richmond's Ball on the eve of Waterloo ... Inevitably, with time travel being what it is they arrive late ...
An across-the-dinner-table entertainment on Saturday evening in the style of the Late Arrivals game from "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue". Laughter and mirth will ensue (I hope!!) The best submissions may even find their way into the Nugget (Shock! Horror!).

Sue Laflin-Barker

It’s the latest version of the usual game, smugglers trying to deliver their goods and the revenue trying to intercept them.

Michael Young

This is a wargame developed for and played with 16th Air Assault Brigade. They wanted it to compare helicopter and parachute landings.
It uses a 200m hex grid and the units are platoons or sections, with 15 minute time steps. The scenario is the capture of an airbase against light, but cunning opposition.
16th Air Assault liked the game so much they took a copy of it back to Colchester with them.
This will be a double session: The first one will be a Helicopter Assault, the second one a Parachute Assault. Feel free to attend either or both sessions.

Jaap Boender

This game takes players into the byzantine complexity of Belgian politics. After the elections, Flemish and Walloon politicians are negotiating the formation of a government - complicated by the situation of the Brussels electoral district, declared unconstitutional by the courts. The parties will have to overcome their linguistic, ideological, personal and electoral differences to negotiate a state reform, as well as a coalition accord. Failure is not an option!

Ian Drury

Fleet action in the first years of the 18th century, when the English Navy was a long way from establishing the dominance enjoyed a hundred years later by the RN. Even the steering wheel was regarded as a dubious innovation. . .Game features Tumbling Dice's range of 1/2400 toy ships on a hex cloth

Graham Evans

At its first appearance a couple of years ago this 15mm figure game of warfare in 19th century China was criticised for not featuring any Taiping rebels and having a dodgy mathematical model.

Graham Evans

After the success of the Rapid Raphia card driven ancients game last year it is back slightly expanded and reworked to cover Alexander last battle. For those of you who missed it first time round the game uses a pack of cards per player to even the luck out and a simple system that keeps the players involved simultaneously throughout the game.

John Bassett and Jim Roche

A three part look at the Roman historian Tacitus and how he's shaped our perceptions of Roman warfare. "Tacitus for Wargamers" is an introduction to Tacitus and his writing by John Bassett. "The Romans in Scotland" is a presentation by Jim Roche on recent archaeological finds on Roman operations in the north. "Reign of Terror" is a game by John Bassett on a key episode of Roman history.

Russell King

A play of one of SPI's oddest offerings - a recreation of 70s Canadian politics at the high tide of Quebec nationalism, which has some resonance with current day UK politics. 4-6 players/teams vie for the trappings of office, and control over key issues and interest groups. Each play is different, as players get to vote over interpretations of the rules. With a quick look at some other political games.

Alan Paull

This session will be an attempt at an interesting and stimulating miniatures game and associated discussion about simulating tactical / operational engagements in WW2, focused on Normandy after D-Day. It will use Mission Command (the alpha version of SSG Wargames’ draft WW2 miniatures rules) and some toy soldiers.

Jim Wallman

Some experiences and insights from some of my recent work in developing wargames in a military context. A short presentation on some of the challenges, frustrations and joys of meeting a game design specification. Followed by discussion. Chatham House rules will apply.

Jim Wallman

A toy soldier game about fire-engines and burly firemen with big hoses attempting to save a small part of London during the 1940s firebomb attacks. There might even be some role playing involved. Any number can play.

Monday 22 June 2015

Vive L'Empereur: Artillery

After varnishing and basing the last of the French Infantry figures in my collection of Del Prado pre-painted 25/28mm-scale Napoleonic figures, I moved onto doing the French Artillery.

There are three bases of French Horse Artillery ...

... and nine bases of French Foot Artillery, ...

... each base having two figures.

Now that the end of this project is in sight (I only have the French Cavalry and Officers left to varnish and base), I hope to begin the first batch of French Cavalry very soon.

Sunday 21 June 2015

Miniature Wargames with Battlegames Issue 387

Friday's post included July's issue of MINIATURE WARGAMES WITH BATTLEGAMES magazine but thanks to recent circumstances I have only just opened and begun to read it.

The articles included in this issue are:
  • Briefing (i.e. the editorial) by Henry Hyde
  • World Wide Wargaming by Henry Hyde
  • Forward observer by Neil Shuck
  • A tents moment: The continuing tales of a wargames widow by Diane Sutherland
  • Fantasy Facts by John Treadaway
  • Chancellorsville 1863: Part 2: Wilderness Church - Jackson Springs by Trevor Halsall
  • Korps Harteneck: A WWII card game and campaign system by Martin S Pike
  • Evesham 1265: Thunderbolts and lightening, very very frightening by Dan Mersey
  • Trenton 1776: Boxing Day blood-letting in the AWI by Jim Purky
  • SALUTE 2015 by John Lambshead
  • The Brigadiers: Five rounds rapid by John Treadaway
  • Hex encounter by Brad Harmer
  • Send three and fourpence by Conrad Kinch
  • Recce
  • The Battlegames Combat Stress Appeal report by Henry Hyde

Saturday 20 June 2015


Ever since we returned from our cruise last month, my wife and I have been suffering from what can best be described as a boomerang virus. Every few days we seem to develop flu-like symptoms (e.g. a general feeling of lethargy, headache, muscular pain, difficulty with concentration, constantly changing body temperature) which pass off after a couple of days ... only for the symptoms to return again a few days later.

One consequence of this has been that I have not felt inclined to do much in the way of blogging and/or wargaming as I did earlier in the year. With luck – and appropriate treatment – we will eventually shake off this virus and return to normal. In the meantime we are taking things one day at a time and doing what we can when we feel up to doing it.

Thursday 18 June 2015

The bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo

Today is the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo, when the combined forces of Britain, Prussia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Hanover, and Brunswick finally put paid to Napoleon's French Empire.

Hopefully the countries of Europe have moved on since then, and this bicentenary can be celebrated by the populations of all those countries that took part in that struggle ... and that we remember all those who fought – and died – during the Waterloo Campaign.

Tuesday 16 June 2015

The Foreign Correspondent

After some prompting from David Crook, I finally got around to re-joining THE CONTINENTAL WARS SOCIETY.

The Society focuses on European conflicts of the nineteenth century (i.e. from the end of the Napoleonic Wars to the beginning of the twentieth century), and they publish a regular quarterly newsletter – THE FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT – and a number of booklets. The latter include:
  • The Battle of Nachod by Theodor Fontane, translated by Robert Mantle
  • The Hanoverian army and Langensalza by John Pocock
  • The Polish Army 1815 to 1831 by W J Fiedler
  • The Bavarian Army in the 1866 Campaign by John Pocock
  • The Battle of Montebello 1859 by Ralph Weaver
  • The Battle of Froeschwiller by Richard Brooks
These booklets cost £6.00 each (including postage).

Membership of THE CONTINENTAL WARS SOCIETY costs £6.00 if – like me – you opt for the PDF version, and it is possible to buy Issues 1 to 69 in PDF format (along with Issues 1 to 5 of MIT EISEN UND BLUT) on a CD for only £6.00. Membership details can be obtained from Ralph Weaver (non-US membership) and Robert Burke (for US membership).

The current issue of THE FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT ...

... includes articles entitled:
  • The Francs-tireurs in the Franco-Prussian war, 1870-71
  • The Feld-Post in the Prussian Army
  • A new museum in Gravelotte
  • Information Wanted
  • A Neapolitan Artillery Officer
  • Book Reviews
  • Königgrätz 2015 or A Day in the Life of an Itinerant Wargamer by Ernie Fosker
  • Comments of the Krupp anti-balloon gun by Rob Morgan
  • Salute 2015 report and background to the Society display
  • Salute Wargame, a view from the tabletop by Kelvin White
I am looking forward to reading through all the back-issues on the CD, and no doubt they will give me lots of fresh wargaming ideas.

Monday 15 June 2015

I have been to ... Broadside

2015 is the fifth year that the Milton Hundred Wargames Club has staged the BROADSIDE wargames show, and yesterday I travelled to Sittingbourne to attend it.

The show was held at the Swallows Leisure Centre in Sittingbourne, Kent ...

... in a large sports hall ...

... and an adjoining small room. (The latter was where the flea market was located.)

Besides a reasonable number of traders, there were quite a few local wargames clubs and groups represented at the show.

The Society of Ancients was using some of the best painted figures I have seen for a long time in their wargame entitled 'Troy'.

Deal Wargames Club produced an excellent game based on the final scenes of 'Saving Private Ryan'.

Rainham Wargames Club's wargame was set during the French and Indian Wars.

Gravesend Gamers Guild had an interesting steam/fantasy game in progress on their stand.

Skirmish Group staged an interesting battle from a very obscure conflict.

This battle saw the forces of Mexico fighting Yucatan separatists ...

... who were supported by a gunboat and sailors from the Republic of Texas's Navy!

Southend Wargames Club staged a very interesting Napoleonic battle that featured a Spanish town and fortress ...

... being attacked by a French naval squadron and landing force. A Royal Navy flotilla (led by Sir Thomas Cochrane) had come to the aid of the Spanish ...

... and were engaging them at close quarters at the point when I stopped to watch the wargame.

The ships were all laser-cut wooden models, and show the level of detail that this new method of producing models can achieve.

Shepway Wargames Club was running a very interesting colonial wargame entitled 'The Heart of Darkness' about the destruction of the Arab settlements in the Congo Free State.

I understand that this particular game won the Game of the Show award.

Posties Rejects' wargame was all about the Border Reivers ...

... and used Posties' own rules. (He can be seen below holding them!)

Big Lee was also there to help out run the game ...

... as was Ray, although he wasn't at the table when I was taking my photographs.

Maidstone Wargames Society's game featured James Bond being pursued down a ski slope by members of SPECTRE!

Medway Wargames Society's fantasy game featured what looked like a submarine in one corner of the tabletop.

South East Essex Military Society had a 'Star Wars' game in progress when I visited them, and it seemed to feature examples of just about every space vehicle used in the films!

Friday Night Fire Fight Club was running a game using the 'Hail Caesar!' rules.

Herne Bay Wargamers ran a game using the 'Lion Rampant' rules published by Osprey.

Medway Gaming Society's game was entitled 'Batman' ... and it was rumoured to feature a working searchlight that projected the Batman symbol.

Crawley Wargames Club used some very nice models and terrain in their 'Imperial Skies' game.

Crush The Kaiser Wargaming was also at the show demonstrating their WW1 rules.

I always enjoy going to BROADSIDE ... but I yet again I make the plea for all clubs staging wargames at shows to make it clear who they are and what they are doing. Some of the clubs at BROADSIDE were very good at this ... but some of the others could easily have been anonymous had it not been for the map of the main hall that was handed out at the entrance.