Sunday 22 June 2014

Naval Wargames Weekend 2014

I've just got back to Shrivenham after day 2 of the Naval Wargames Weekend. As in the last four years the event has been held at the Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower now part of the National Museum of the Royal Navy). This year's show was in some ways smaller than 2013 and alas the "sleepover" element of the show is no more after a late-breaking museum policy change, but we still had a great time and some excellent games were presented.

Centrepiece of the show was Mark Barker and the Inshore Squadron with Trafalgar in 1/1200. This was quite simply awesome. Pictures do not do it justice. This game was also notable for having a Powerpoint presentation running in the background.

NWS regulars Wayne Pocock and Andy Jose fought out the battle of Tsushima in 1/2400 using Naval Thunder

George Street (accompanied by his absolutely gorgeous hearing dog) put on another Naval Thunder game, also in 1/2400 but using European ironclads form the 1860s to the 1880s. Very colourful!

Mark Backhouse and the Solent Wargamers ran different games each day. Saturday saw Mark's popular "Bread and Circuses" Roman dockside skirmish in 28mm using "Saga" rules - loads of fun and very popular.

On the Sunday the action moved to the Mississippi in 1862 with the battle of Plum Point, using the "Sail and Steam Navies" rules. Lovely terrain which was very quick and simple to assemble and looked extremely good.

Jim Wallman brought his Armada participation game. Fought out using his "Felicimma Armada" rules and using an eclectic mix of ships the aim of the game was for the English players to carve into a portion of the Armada and carry off booty whilst avoiding the gunfire (and the even more dreaded boarding) of the Spanish fleet. Loads of fun, notable for Jim entertaining a mother and her children with the game, all of whom enjoyed it, and a certain blogger who shall remain nameless rolling 23 on 4d6 when determining how much booty had been "liberated" - said blogger then legged it back to Plymouth for tea and medals (and a knighthood!)

Peter Colbeck staged a couple of games set off the coast of Tierra Del Fuego as Chile and Argentina squared off over the Beagle Channel dispute. the Chileans (quite correctly) emerged victorious on both days :)

Finally, Simon Stokes ran the NWS "Hunt for the Konigsberg" game from this year's Salute. Vert simple terrain (lichen on a sea mat) which looked great! Also some lovey 1/1200 models and a very exciting and fun game, enjoyed by all who played it.

 So, another couple of days of naval fun, and just about everyone looking forward to the 5th Naval Wargames Weekend in Gosport in June 2015 :)

Friday 20 June 2014

6mm ECW

Just at the moment I'm away on a rather interesting training course at the Defence Academy in Shrivenham. ne of the people I've met here in John Salt, a name that will be familiar to many wargamers. John advised me of the existence of the DA Wargames Club so after  hard day's lectures earlier this week I wandered down to the old Theatre and met up with the gamers there. And what a nice bunch of chaps! I ended up playing in a 6mm English Civil War game that is part of the club's continuing campaign.

My relief column on the road....

As my compatriot's force stands firm in the next village

As it happened my command (a Parliamentarian relief column seeking to rescue the baggage train of a friendly force) didn't quite make it into contact by the end of the game and the baggage escort managed to fight off their assailants anyway, but it was a fun game and the home-grown rules that the club is developing worked very well and "felt right". They would also work fine with 15mm figures on 40mm frontage bases, as all my ECW stuff just happens to be. I came away with a copy of the rules and 'm now on their mailing list. So I might well be giving these a spin with my PP figures when I get home.

Melee around the baggage train. 

Sunday 8 June 2014


I've been quite busy recently with work stuff and helping Laura with her new pony, but today I managed to get some time to do a bit of modelling. I'm looking at running some connected FLoB games at Berkeley Vale using my PP small ships and thought that a bomb ketch or two might be useful. one particular variety of these craft had the mortar located forward, the mainmast and mizzen mast set back to make space. Obviously a conversion was on the cards

Something a bit like this, but fitting in with the PP range, that's whats needed

The source model for the conversion was the "Small Ship - Schooner" from Peter Pig's "Pieces of Eight" range. I drilled a large hole in the foredeck, expanding the original hole there. the bottom of the hole was blanked and a scratch built mortar on a turntable added.

The foremast was located in the hole intended for the mizzen mast, and the mizzen relocated to a new hole drilled in the poop deck. To be accurate I should have sanded away the channels and made some new ones, but to be honest I felt it was a lot of effort that could have damaged the hull sides for little effort, so i decided to leave them alone. All in all a fairly simple conversion, not entirely accurate but in keeping with the style of the original PP models.

All in all I was quite pleased with how these turned out. All being well they'll be in action tomorrow night.