Hot on the heels of the US Spitfire come another two USAAF fighters - this time home-grown P-39 Aircobras. These are again from the Partizan plane purchase so I neither built nor painted them. As usual my role has been to effect a few repairs and apply a coat of varnish. Amazingly both still have intact undercarriage - but I can’t see it lasting! No idea what make the kits are, though I’m sure Airfix offered a P-39.
Tuesday, 22 June 2021
Monday, 21 June 2021
Five years on and the Partizan ‘plane purchase still has much to offer.
Wednesday, 16 June 2021
Here is the timetable and session list. The paper programme will be sent to attendees next week and pdf versions are in the Files section of the WD io Group.
75 minutes all attendees
The government of a small eastern European country is attempting to change sides during a world war.
Time for a bold realignment. But which of your Cabinet colleagues can you actually trust? How loyal is the Army? Is the Prime Minister really up to the job? And how best to deal with all those political prisoners?
Is this hour for you to stand firm for principle and destiny or would it be better to head to Switzerland with those Renaissance paintings you put to one side just in case...?
CHANGING HORSES – THE REALITY
1 hour any
A presentation and conversation about the historical realities behind the plenary game: the problems, pitfalls and ways out of being a minor power on the losing side in a global war.
Tim Gow & Nick Huband
A BATTLE OF MONSTERS
A lawn game very loosely based on the second battle of Villers Bretonneux (24 April 1918). Starting with a gas attack and going rapidly downhill from there, this game is absolutely not simply a lame excuse for the fielding of large numbers of 1/32 model tanks.
The Centurions: Counter-insurgency operations in Algeria, 1958
2 hours 4-6
The French army pioneered air mobile warfare in its doomed attempt to defeat the 1950s insurgency in Algeria. Your chance to assault clifftops in the Kabylie mountains from Piasecki ‘Banane’ helicopters, supported by S–58 ‘Pirate’ gunships using 20mm figures and 1/72nd aircraft. Soundtrack by Edith Piaf.
CLUEDO HOSTAGE RESCUE TEAM
1½ hours - 2 hours 6-8
Terrorists have taken hostages in Tudor Mansion. The area has been secured by local security forces but, as they approached the house, Dr. Black was murdered by the terrorists. The Hostage Rescue Team has been deployed. A silly game cunningly developed from the virtual version….
THE BATTLE OF THE COWSHED
Do you believe in the golden future time when tyrant man shall be o'erthrown? Or do you think four legs good, two legs better? Come and fight for your chosen side in this climatic struggle for the future of Animal Farm.
3 hours 8-10
Managing a nuclear crisis related to hostile activity by ORANGEland. You will be a key member of the War Book Executive Government arm (GOV-EX) of HM Government, responsible for operationalising HM-CABINET decisions. Normal Governmental scrutiny is of course not possible at this time and you will work in a collegiate manner to arrive at saving the maximal amount of life and suffering of the Queen's subjects. Based on contemporary documents.
CLUEDO: BAADER-MEINHOF WAGEN
60-90 minutes 5-6
Gunning stolen high-performance vehicles the length of West German autobahns, the early members of the Rote Armee Fraktion try to get the maximum suss on the chaos of their own Revolutionary Cells. You may well know how to play Cluedo. But do you know who is blowing-up US soldiers 'for fun'? And who is the Black September Movement link at Munich '72? A road map, a lentil stew, a long-term isolation cell, and an extra-judicial killing awaits.
FOR WHOM THE DICE ROLLS
4 hours 4-6
Spanish Civil War Divisional Level game with 15mm Figures
“For Whom The Dice Rolls” is the much revised, published version of “Send Not To Know” which originally debuted at COW in 2011. The rules were written specifically for the SCW, trying to avoid being an add on or a set of “WW2-lite” rules. Within the rules the battalion is the basic unit of manoeuvre within a brigade structure. Heavy artillery and air strikes are included as part of an “Off Table Asset” system. The game uses an integrated IGO-UGO system with players alternating activations within a turn, the total number activations within each player phase being driven by runs of playing cards. The game challenges the player to put together a coherent plan within the confines of command structures that encompass armies often made up of multiple factions. (NB this is one of Graham’s rare game systems without squares).
Hiding in plain sight: the relationship between hobby and professional wargaming
1 hour any
The talk will focus on the theme of how the hobby have influenced developments in professional gaming over the last two centuries. The plan is for the talk to be broadcast live via Zoom to members of WD who cannot attend the conference.
It’s Getting A Bit Chile
3-4 hours 4-6
Land warfare in the 1879 Pacific War with 15mm figures
Returning after its premiere at COW 2016, here’s a chance to play the heavily revised and updated rules for battles between Peru, Chile and Bolivia in the infamous “Saltpeter” or “10 Cent War” that shaped modern South America. The game plays on a 3” gridded playing surface, and features novel firing and close combat mechanisms that inflict disorder on units. Disorder has to be manged through rallying and unit formation to ensure that armies do not disintegrate through mis-management. Commanders are represented as unique individuals whose abilities shape the way armies fight and perform on the table top. Plus it looks really colourful and has lots of llamas.
Dicing With Death
30 minutes up to 6
A quick play gladiatorial combat game designed by WD founder Derek Henderson, who sadly is no longer able to attend COW. The rules use a novel poker dice style combat system, which has wider application. The game will be played with really old 25mm gladiator figures from the early 70s, and will feature an arena in a biscuit tin. Ideal for late night games in the bar.
Invasion and Blockade
2 hour 1-8
Tactics was a board wargame published in 1954 and is credited as being the first commercially successful printed (i.e. board) wargame. My research has shown this not to be true. This session is an opportunity to play two rare examples of games published prior to World War II. Invasion (1938) and Blockade (1939) were by Dennis Wheatley and they anticipated some of the opening games of the subsequent war.
2 hours 6-8
A game on the future of Putin's Russia and the struggle for the succession. As Russia approaches the 2024 Presidential election the Kremlin has to manage a number of crises in which many actors, including liberal reformers, the energy sector, the intelligence services, hard line nationalists and the military all have stakes. Your chance to preside over the secession of the Russian Far East, roaring hyper-inflation, a rising tide of extremism in Central Asia and NATO enlargement in the Caucasus...
War Plan Red: A Second Boston Tea Party
90 minutes 2-4
With the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty in tatters the former allies entered into the feared naval arms race against each other. The cost crippled economies that had not yet recovered from the Great War. A fiercely isolationist American tipped Great Britain into an ill thought out Second Naval Treaty with Japan. US Import tariffs and an aggressive US stop and search policy on inbound merchant ships to Canada caused a trade war to turn into a Naval War.
Based on the game mechanism of the Atlantic Chase WWII game player plot out their naval campaign.
Miniatures (with suitably fast play rules) will appear if the fabled War Plan Red "Battle of Sable Island" occurs.
Stephen Aguilar-Millan, Charlotte Aguilar-Millan, Robert Eagling
4 hours 6-9
In a near term wild card scenario,
what would happen if China, as we know the current territorial entity to be,
were to fragment? Where would the fault lines of separation occur? More to the
point, how could various actors guide this fragmentation to achieve an outcome
more to their liking?
China Implodes is a game set in the near future that examines the political turmoil that could result from a less cohesive China. Played at the grand strategic level, the players will represent various internal and external political actors who may be affected by a fragmenting China. The game will progress using matrix style arguments, with the umpires adding a little spice to ensure that a hot dish is served up.
2 hours 5-6
A Matrix game about the current situation in the Ukraine. Roles for Russia, Ukraine, Ukrainian Separatists, The USA, The EU, and Other global Actors, including China, COVID-19/Economic factors, and Refugees.
2 hours 4-6
A Staff-Planning Game based on the author's experiences at the Department of Health during the COVID-19 pandemic, including reminiscences about 39 Victoria Street... You have just arrived at 39 Victoria as a "military planning team" to assist the battalions of highly-paid consultants in solving the pandemic crisis (Operation MOONSHOT). The head of the team (ex-SAS) has just returned from Downing Street and wants you to come up with a plan for mass testing in the Channel Islands! (This game is completely fictitious. Any resemblance in the game between any persons or Government Departments, living or dead, is entirely coincidental).
2 hours 4-6
A One-Shot Role Play Session in a 1980s vision of the far future, using a streamlined 2D6 system. A lone freighter, in the depths of space, receives a weak proximity distress signal while passing through the asteroid belt. The signal is localised and the radar return is small. What is it? What should we do?
Gibraltar of The North
30 minutes (will run several times) 4
Being a (probably short) post prandial entertainment based on an incident during the Siege of Louisbourg in 1758.
Nostalgia Rules OK
2 hours up to 6
A game using Spencer Smith figures and a set of rules that first saw the light of day over 50 years ago, albeit with a few tweaks to make them easier for modern wargamers.
To Sail the Spanish Main
2 hours up to 7
The situation is still the same. The merchant fleet is attempting to reach harbour and the pirates are attempting to intercept it.. This year I want to see what effect changes in the terrain have on the game.
Tuesday, 15 June 2021
Sunday, 6 June 2021
Today's music link:
Thursday, 3 June 2021
Back we go to Paris, where when we left, Government troops were poised to storm the gates.
Tuesday, 1 June 2021
Back in France, Government troops are closing on the city. For those of you wondering about the title of the game, help yourself to some music while you read.
Friday, 28 May 2021
For our second outdoor game of the season I opted for a lightly modified version of the Paris game played in London back in far-off 2019. See here for the first part of the report on this earlier game. The game was set in May 1871 as French government forces close on the Commune-controlled city. The Commune forces were led by General Cluseret and Colonel Rossel. Govedrment troops were commanded by Marshal MacMahon, with Generals Gallifet and Cissey.