Sunday, 17 October 2021

The Wargame Developments Virtual Autumn Gathering

Yesterday saw the first of what we hope will be a regular occurrence ... a virtual gathering of some of the members of Wargame Developments.

The idea behind this 'gathering' arose as a result of the successful VCOWs (Virtual Conferences of Wargames) that were held during lockdown, and after quite a lot of planning, the following programme of online events was held yesterday:

  • 14.00 to 14.15: Introduction
  • 14.15 to 15.45: The Second Battle of St Albans: A virtual battlefield tour
  • 15.45 to 16.15: Break
  • 16.15 to 16.45: The WD Handbook
  • 16.45 to 17.00: Break
  • 17.00 to 18.30: Wargaming the 1980s: A discussion forum
  • 18.30 to 20.00: Break
  • 20.00 to 21.00: Paddy Griffith's 1974 Operation Sealion game at RMA Sandhurst: A presentation
  • 21.00 to 21:15: Break
  • 21.15 to 22.30: From Roman times until Protestantism: How British military life and military history have been shaped by the Catholic faith, including a minor excursion on the US Marines against the slavers in Tripoli

All the times shown are UK time.

As can be seen, this was a somewhat varied programme of events, and it attracted a sizeable number of attendees from the ranks of WD's membership. It started at 14.00 (2.00pm) so that members in the US were able to take part without having to get up in the middle of the night, and there were plenty of short breaks (and one longer one) to ensure that attendees could get refreshments and attend to their personal comforts.

The virtual battlefield tour was conducted by one of the group's members who is a resident of St Albans as well as being a member of the Battlefields Trust and co-author of a book about the battle. He made good use of maps and photographs to show the course of the battle and the terrain as it is today.

The WD Handbook discussion looked at the outline, structure, and contents of what will be the third edition of the Handbook. It is hoped that this edition will be published early in 2022 and will serve as a guide and reference book to hobby and professional wargamers.

Wargaming the 1980's looked at the sort of games that were already available, many of which were in the 'Cold War gone hot' genre, as well as other conflicts of that era that might be worth looking at some forty years on.

The talk about Paddy Griffith's 1974 Operation Sealion wargame looked at how the game was structured and the German team's seeming inability to exploit the fact that hindsight should have prevented them from making some of the mistakes that they did. For example, not realising that radar ground stations could be quickly repaired as could grass runways, and that large-scale parachute drops over a wide area lead to the dispersal of elite troops at a time when concentration of force was a priority.

I cannot personally comment about the last session as fatigue and problems with my stoma meant that had to miss it, but from what I can gather, it was yet another classic mixture of history and singing!

All in all, it was a great success, and I hope that it will become a regular feature of WD's contribution to wargaming.


  1. Epic stuff indeed, it was highly enjoyable
    My man-flu got the better of me before the singing started
    Probably best for everybody else's ears

    1. Geordie an Exile FoG,

      It was a great event, and I hope to take part in further ones.

      Sorry that you were not feeling 100%. In my case, I was still feeling tired after my drive back from Tiverton and I was having a bit of trouble with my stoma.

      All the best,


  2. You both missed out on the singalong - the highlight was the finale - a rousing chorus of "Rule Britania".
    All in all a great day, and I hope that it will become a regular event on the WD calendar.

    1. John Armatys,

      I am sorry to have missed the singalong, but the circumstances made it difficult.

      I agree about the excellence of the event, and do hope that it will become a regular feature of WD's year.

      All the best,



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