Tuesday 31 October 2017

Souvenirs from my recent cruise

The more cruises I go on, the fewer souvenirs I seem to buy. This time I brought back an MDF Dice Tower (which I have now glued together), ...

... an Andalusian regional flag to add to my collection, ...

... and three 1:87th-scale model Lisbon trams.

I am not sure if the trams will have any possible wargaming uses ... but they look quite interesting and could well end up being used as barricades in an urban battle.

Monday 30 October 2017

Other people's Portable Wargame battle reports: Romans vs. Gauls and a mid twentieth century battle

Ross Macfarlane and his long-time wargaming friend Ron recently fought an Ancients battles using the rules from DEVELOPING THE PORTABLE WARGAME ... and his battle report can be read here.

It would appear to have been a very enjoyable battle for them to fight, and I was interested to read both the House Rules they devised and the discussion in the Comments section.

Subsequently Ross fought a solo skirmish battle using some of his 54mm figures and models. The battle was set during the mid twentieth century and saw the forces of two imagi-nations battling it out for control of a village.

His battle report includes some interesting observations and house rules, and is very well worth reading.

Please note that the photograph featured above is © Ross Macfarlane.

Baltic warships: Part 6: Tallinn

When we visited Tallinn in Estonia, our ship moored in the main ferry/cargo port, which was across the bay from the Estonian Navy's base. We could clearly see two of the Navy's warships ...

... the EML Admiral Cowan (M313) (the ex-Royal Navy Sandown-class minehunter HMS Sandown), ...

... and her sister-ship the EML Ugandi (M315), formerly HMS Bridport.

Towards the horizon, and on her way to the open sea, was the third ship of the class operated by the Estonians, EML Sakala (M314), formerly HMS Inverness.

The vessels were transferred from the Royal Navy to the Estonian Navy between 2006 and 2009, and form the backbone of the country's fleet.

Sunday 29 October 2017

New Chinese training ship in Lisbon

During our recent visit to Lisbon, I noticed a warship had been moored some distance away from Azura, but it was very difficult to make out whether or not it was a Portuguese Navy ship or a visiting foreign one.

During her departure from Lisbon, Azura sailed past the warship ... and it soon became apparent from the flag flying from her masthead that she was Chinese.

At the time I could not identify what ship it was, but since returning to the UK I have been able to. She is the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy's Qi Jiguang (83), a newly commissioned Type 927 training ship.

The Qi Jiguang was commissioned on 21st February, 2017, and is attached to the Dallin Naval Academy.

Her characteristics are:
  • Displacement: 9,000+ tons
  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 163.0m
    • Beam: 22.0m
    • Draft: ?
  • Propulsion: Diesel engine
  • Speed: 22.0 knots
  • Complement: 50 instructors + 400 cadets
  • Armament: 1 × 76mm H/PJ-26 gun; 2 x 30mm H/PJ-17 CIWS guns
  • Aviation facilities: She is equipped to handle a helicopter, but does not have a hanger

Saturday 28 October 2017

Sittangbad revisited: Another of Archduke Piccolo's Portable Wargame battle reports

Since the end of the first week of October, Archduke Piccolo has been blogging about his recent re-fight of the famous Sittangbad scenario from 'CHARGE!'. Whereas I transposed it to the imaginary Rusland Civil War, he has set his re-fight in North Africa during World War II.

You can read the various parts of Archduke Piccolo's battle report by clicking on the following links:
  • Sittangbad Revisited (3): Part two of the battle report ... including a very interesting suggestion for improving the card-driven activation system for solo players

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this battle report, and I thought that the final result was reasonably historically plausible ... and that is the sort of outcome that I always hoped my rules would achieve.

Please note that all the photographs featured above are © Archduke Piccolo.

Nugget 303

The editor of THE NUGGET sent the latest issue of the magazine to me on Thursday evening, and I hope take it to the printer by midday today or on Monday morning. This should mean that it will be printed and posted out to members of Wargame Developments by the end of next week.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this is the third issue of THE NUGGET to be published for the 2017-2018 subscription year, and that members who have not already re-subscribed can do so by visiting the relevant page on the Wargame Developments website.

Friday 27 October 2017

Baltic warships: Part 5: Kronstadt

When we sailed from St Petersburg, we passed the main Russian naval base at Kronstadt.

The first ship we saw was a very tired, rusty, and partially disarmed Project 956 Sarych (English: Buzzard) or Sovremenny-class (English: Modern) guided missile destroyer, Rastoropny (English: Prompt) (420), which was decommissioned in 2012.

Moored just behind her was an unidentifiable ship, probably a research vessel of some sort.

Moored nearby was the degaussing vessel СР-120 ...

... the firefighting/rescue vessel ПЖК-900, ...

... and the fire-boat ПЖС-282.

The next vessel of note that we saw was the Project 2038.0 or Steregushchy-class (English: Vigilant) corvette Soobrazitelnyy (English: Astute/Smart) (531).

She was laid down in 2003, launched in 2010, and commissioned in 2011.

Leaving the harbour via a narrow lock was the Project 12411 Molniya-1 (English: Lightning-1) or Tarantul-III-class (English: Tarantula-III) corvette R-47 (819).

The Evgeniy Kocheshkov (770), a Project 1232.2 Zubr-class (English: Bison) air-cushioned landing craft, was also present in the harbour ...

... as were two Project 877 Paltus (English: Halibut) or Kilo-class diesel-electric attack submarines.

Amongst the smaller ships in the harbour were the Project 1265 Yakhont (English: Ruby) or Sonya-class minesweeper 515 and the unidentified vessel 308.

The harbour also contained an number of smaller vessels ...

... and naval auxiliaries.