Sunday 25 February 2018

Cavalier - The Gift that keeps on giving....

Not a spur of the moment thing - at least the rules were not - and the two books complete complete a trilogy with a similar title that covers naval operations in the Mediterranean. There is a good deal of information to be gleaned from official reports from the commanders in the field so to speak which helps to gain a greater insight into what took place and why.

It is the last weekend in February which can only mean one thing - the Cavalier show in Tonbridge, Kent. I always enjoy this show for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is the first show of the season for me (well the first that I would go to!), secondly, it is not too huge so you have a reasonable chance of seeing everything and finally, it is actually not a bad hour or so drive to get there. It is also a chance to catch up with old friends and to ‘splash the cash’ if required.

I spent the early part of the show helping Dave Lanchester of Dave Lanchester Military Books and his wife Lynne setting up their stall - which seemed to be doing a roaring trade by mid morning. I parted with some cash whilst here in support of a cunning plan I am working - more of which later. I was able to meet up with a number of the ‘Blogeratti’ so to speak - mainly Postie’s Rejects in the shape of Postie, Big Lee and Ray, all of whom were on top form. I also caught up with Henry Hyde in order to thank him for something that will feature in his forthcoming 18th century ‘not quite India’ campaign. You will have to wait and see what it is in due course.

The games were many and varied and the one that really caught my eye was the 54mm Portable Wargame - it looked very stylised but was quite superb and it has certainly given me something else to think about. SEEMS put on a Tanks! Game with some very nice looking models. The redoubtable Mr Fox was busy keeping this in order. There was a nice WW2 aerial game with a table mat of the Grand Harbour in Malta using the Check Your 6! Rules - these are a set I would like to try at some point although I really enjoy Axis and Allies: Angels 20. Another game that caught my eye was a representation of the Zeebrugge Raid with a very nice model of HMS Vindictive around four feet long!

The Bring and Buy was very busy with the crowds three or four deep. There were some interesting bits and pieces up for grabs but nothing that I wanted to fight through the crowds for. 

The Battlegroup rules and series of campaign specific supplements are well known and very popular. They are designed for both 15 and 20mm models but could readily be adapted for other scales. I have always had a soft spot for the war in Africa and given the fact that I am also looking at WW1 in the desert as well there are some practical advantages in respect of terrain acquisition and such like. Besides, I am not entirely divorced from the idea of making some kits for the period. It would be fairly low level, perhaps a troop a side with a modest amount of support - even I could tackle that. It would certainly make a nice alternative to the larger and more operational scale of games I am planning.

The two books are a two part set covering the official reports and dispatches from the various commanders in the Mediterranean theatre. The reports cover everything from the war against the Italians through to the arrival of the Africa Korps  and the great battles of Rommel. They also cover Crete, Tunisia and Operation Torch. There is a lot of information contained in these books and they are a valuable resource to get a fuller understanding of what happened and why. Being official reports they are somewhat dry so next I will look to get something a little more narrative in nature.

I must apologise for the lack of show photos  - I took some on my phone but they did not come out very well so I did not bother uploading them. I expect that a good few will surface on various blogs in due course.


Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Interesting Haul
Keenly wait for your review on BatleGroup WWII rules
Anything different from Move, Fire, Morale?

I am currently going through my collection of WWII battalion'ish board games and rules

Currently looking at the classic Panzer Blitz and Panzer Leader
Building up to a newly acquires Advanced Squad Leader (Starter kit #1)
Taking in Command Decision and Spearhead along the way
Along with BattleFront, CrossFire and Great "Canadian" Battles of WWII
Played around with Phil Sabin's FireMove from Simulating War
I also need to stop by Bob Cordery's Portable Wargame ;)

It's a bit of a WWII (land) game frenzy at the moment!

Best Wishes

David Crook said...

Hi Geordie,

The rules use command points and most units have a couple of actions that can be paid for - mover and fire, fire and move, double fire etc. They appear to give a good tactical game (and are highly regarded in this sense) so they should give me the chance to take care of some kit bashing at some point. I picked them up for a very good show price (as with the two books) and am looking forward to reading them.

You seem to have a substantial collection to wade through - I used to really like Squad Leader back in the day but never got into ASL.

All the best,


BigLee said...

Good to see you at the show. That book you pointed me towards is excellent, nice bit of sporting for my Zulu project!

David Crook said...

Hi Lee,

Happy to help old chap and naturally it was a delight catching up with the Rejecteratti so to speak!

All the best,