Battleships at Okinawa 1945

By Rob Morgan

(This is a note I wrote for the Naval Wargames Society newsletter recently. I thought it might be of interest to one or two SWA members who fight the Pacific Campaigns, and have wargamed the sea fight at Okinawa.)

The American Fleet at Okinawa during Operation Iceberg was truly immense, and was accompanied by the small British task force. The critical point of the operation, massive kamikaze attacks aside, must have been the Japanese surface attack, Operation Ten Ho, the final voyage of Yamato. She was destroyed by US air power of course, but during the fighting on Okinawa there was a period of bad weather known as the ‘plum rains.’

A model of Yamato.

What if Ito’s small force had attacked during the bad weather? If air power had been ineffective for reason of adverse weather conditions? Well. Halsey, of course, had no fewer than eight fast modern battleships — USS Massachusetts, Indiana, North Carolina, Washington, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Missouri, and New Jersey.

He could also call on HMS King George V and HMS Howe. In all, 72 16-inch guns, plus 20 14-inch guns against nine18-inch. There were as well 10 older US battleships in the bombardment groups, USS Texas, Idaho, Nevada, etc.  with an immense number of 12-inch and 14-inch guns carried. The Japanese ‘raid,’ as it’s so often described, could, quite possibly, have been the last battleship encounter in history. On paper, not only one-sided, but a clear wipe-out. Or not? Has anyone in the NWS ever wargamed this potential encounter, particularly in less than good weather conditions?

This must surely have been the largest concentration of battleships in one campaign since Jutland. How would the Yamato have fared before being overwhelmed? I’m reminded, incidentally, that one of the US warships, USS Washington, was the only modern American capital ship to engage an enemy vessel of similar size, the old pre-WWI battlecruiser Kirishima in 1942.

Posted in Naval gaming, Periods - World War II | Leave a comment

A new sample article

Kevin White provides this month’s sample article from previous number of Lone Warrior. “A House Divided” is a rule set focused on the English Civil War, and the article features photos of his paper soldier armies of the period.

It’s on the Sample Articles page.

Posted in Periods - Eighteenth century | Leave a comment

Favourite back issues?

By Martin Smith

Looking at requesting back issues of Lone Warrior, after a nigh on three-decade lapse (!). Thought I’d ask —

Which were your favourite issues of Lone Warrior (and why)?

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Nothing on D-Day?

By Rob Morgan

One of the things I anticipated, what with it being the 75th anniversary and all that, was a rash of material, notes, photos, comments, ideas for wargames, etc, etc, about D-Day in the Blog thing.

Nothing. Nothing at all.

I can’t understand why. Not at all. Perhaps solo gaming D-Day, the attack on Pegasus Bridge, the German small naval craft response and the astonishing potential of the Bocage no longer appeals to the modern wargamer.

Anyway, here’s my D-Day contribution. Three photos of Normandy sites from my collection.

1. A Sexton 25pdr Self Propelled Gun. Near Arromanches, behind Gold Beach. About a hundred metres inland.









2. A Centaur tank of the Royal Marines Armoured Group. This is mounted as a memorial at Pegasus Bridge.










3. A massive 88, Flak 41, mounted on a field carriage. This is in the yard at a farm near Formigny, behind Omaha Beach. A big gun. Very.

A quiz question to end. What date was D-Day originally intended to be? Answer, June 5th. Weather delayed it for a day.

Posted in Periods - World War II | 1 Comment

Eaglewall memories — lots of photos

By Bill Gilpin

(Admin. note: Bill Gilpin sends along these photos, mostly from the book by Donald D. Hood mentioned below, from the collection of Joachim Thiel, and some images from the Internet. The final two photos are mockups Bill designed himself of kits that Eaglewall “could have made.”) As Bill wrote in a comment on an earlier Eaglewall post, “The models originated at Vulcan Foundry in Dorking, England, but became Eagle Models when they were backed by the Eagle comic. They then became Eaglewall when they were also subsidised by Wall’s ice cream! The advantage of this was that, apart from toy & model shops, the models were also sold in newsagents and confectionists!”

The first series; Battle of the River Plate. All models 1/11d (old money) each = (19p!)

Donald Hood’s great book – sadly, now out-of-print.

Continue reading

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Another useful find

By Rob Morgan

Buy it when you see it … and not when you need it, as the old saying goes. I was in ‘The Works’ discount bookshop the other afternoon, and picked up this pack: Ten ‘wooden embellishments’ for a pound. Hm? Plenty of uses come to mind for them, each is 18mm diameter and 10mm high. So …

  • Huts for a Zulu Kraal in 1/300th scale? If you based them in a group and smeared a little modelling compound over each and ‘combed it’
  • Standard African huts, or maybe Yurts for the same scale? Similar treatment.
  • WWII Atlantic Wall 15mm observation cupolas? Simply sprayed and camouflaged.
  • WWI fort cupolas … if you drill a small hole low and add say 8 or 10mm of pin or nail for a gun.
  • In 25mm or 28mm, with a few pinhead horns — floating mines.
  • In 1/600th , harbourside storage gas tanks.
  • In 1/1200th Cold War radomes.
  • In Science Fiction a host of potential uses, weapon covers, communication domes, housing, etc, etc.
  • And all for a pound!
Posted in Current projects, Periods - General history, Wargaming | Comments Off on Another useful find

Battle of Britain rules now available

Mike Crane’s solo air rules, “Introduction to ‘Battle of Britain: Simple Hex Rules’,” have now been added to the blog.

They’re on the Complete Rule Sets page.

Posted in Air gaming | Comments Off on Battle of Britain rules now available

A sample article for July

Here’s this month’s sample article from the pages of past Lone Warriors. This time, Steve Turner explains the charts he created for officer casualties, to add color to campaign games.

It’s on the Sample Articles page.

Posted in Periods - Colonial | Comments Off on A sample article for July

French and Indian War rules added

Michael Gray’s “French and Indian War Rules” have now been added to the Complete Rule Sets page. The rules look to be easily adaptable to any type of Horse and Musket game.

Posted in Periods - Eighteenth century | 1 Comment

A free gift for D-Day

By Rob Morgan

I rarely buy the ‘glossy’ wargames magazines these days. They don’t have the appeal that they had back in the ’80s, but as I write this, the new issue of Miniature Wargames for July 2019, marked issue 435, has gone on sale. It’s the last few days of June, and dipping into my pocket I bought it. Little or nothing to interest the solo  in its pages, but …

Attached to the cover is a free gift. Well, two of them, Two 1/300th scale plastic British WWII  MTB’s! As the cover price of the magazine is £4.50, and the two models are from the far-from-cheap Cruel Seas range by Warlord Games, this is clearly a bargain — the cover says ‘worth £6.’ So, if you wargame WWII afloat, buy the magazine now!

Brief note on each of the models: High quality moulding,with no flash. There are two waterline hulls, both well detailed, 18 pieces in all, on a single grey sprue. One model is an early Vosper 73 boat, two torpedo tubes, and a two-part bridge and mast assembly. The armament mix of these early boats varied from group to group, and the sprue has four distinctive light weapons for this purpose. The second hull represents a later 73 boat, with four tubes, a similar pilot structure and a forward ‘gun tub.’ Again on these, the armament varied.

Excellent models, quickly built, and attractive. Buy at least one pack while they’re on the shelves. I bought mine in W.H.Smith’s, by the way.

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