Thursday, 7 January 2021

Nugget 332

The editor sent me the latest issue of THE NUGGET a few days ago, and I have just uploaded the PDF version to the Wargame Developments website. It can be downloaded and read online using the password that was sent to all members when they resubscribed.

This issue will only be available as a download until the current lockdown has been raised. At that point a printed copy will be produced and sent out to full members. In the interim, a copy of the PDF version will also be sent as an email attachment to all members later today or early tomorrow.

In addition to the current issue of THE NUGGET, a free set of wargames rules by John Armatys has also been included with Nugget 332. They are entitled PIGSTICKING, and can be downloaded here.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this is the fifth issue of THE NUGGET to be published for the 2020-2021 subscription year. If you have not yet re-subscribed, a reminder was sent to you. If you wish to re-subscribe using the PayPal option on the relevant page of the website, you can use the existing buttons as the subscription cost has not changed.


  1. Thanks for putting these game mechanics and rules online.
    Unpleasant as it may seem in the light of post colonial views and modern animal welfare concerns, I can see Baden Powell's colonial Victorian logic of using it to train and shape his Cavalry's skills. Presumably what worked for pigsticking also worked against revolting peasants?
    I have always found the original cover of Donald Featherstone's Skirmish Wargaming quite disturbing, a too realistically unpleasant Victorian illustration of a lancer riding down a native, a curious cover choice.
    On a positive side, this gamification of essential skills by BP is much the same as how his Hints for Scouting and tracking book inspired the Wide Games of the Scouting movement, as Alan Gruber and I have been exploring on the Tabletop

    As it says in the introduction to these rules, the wild pig has good chance of escaping and injuring the horse and rider. They are 'Fierce and Wily' streamlined muscly beasts with tusks, excellently shaped for their habitat.

    I wonder what the experience of a player playing as the pig would be like? A little like Fox and Hounds on the chess board?

    I wonder if shifting the whole thing to an alien desert or jungle planet like Star Wars, riding alien horse equivalents, with laser tipped spears hunting a fierce alien pig substitute or Wamp Rat would take the ethical issues away?
    Or whether Monty Python Holy Grail knights on horseback hunting a small fierce mythical beast like a dragon or megapig would do the same ethical sidestep? (The SPD or Society for the Protection of Dragons will be on my case for suggesting this).

    1. Mark, Man of TIN,

      I’ve always regarded pigsticking as somewhat akin to fox hunting (and Polo) when it comes to cavalry officers. They were sports that enabled them to practice their horsemanship far better than the formalised training exercises performed in barracks or the training ground. Nowadays, these sports are either regarded as reprehensible reminders of our colonial past or of the class decide.

      Reading books by people like Baden Powell helps us to understand the way our forebears thought and acted. As long as they are read and taken as a useful resource for this rather than as a guide for how one should behave in today’s society, I can see no problem. By ‘denying’ their existence, it becomes possible to wipe that part of our national psyche clean ... something that I am sure that parts of our modern society would love to do as it then means that they can ignore awkward question ... and even more awkward answers!

      I can see the rules being adapted for other games. One thing that struck me was the way that they might be adapted for a 2D WW1 air combat game, where one side are the hunters and the other the hunted. Bearing in mind how many early RFC pilots (and their equivalent enemy fliers) were cavalrymen, they may well have done some pigsticking in their time!

      Keep safe and keep well,



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