USS Intrepid

A few years ago while i was still working as an officer on cruise ships our ship the Caribbean Princess docked at the Manhattan Cruise terminal instead of its usual Brooklyn berth. This dock was right alongside the USS Intrepid museum ship.

I took advantage of some of my time off watch to go and have a look round the museum. Here are a few of the photos i took. My old ship can be seen in the background of some of the photos.


Fireteam:Modern – AAR

Last night at the Minehead wargames club I put on a game of Fireteam:Modern. Mark played as the British while I took control of a group of Insurgents.

The British force comprised of three four man fireteams armed with assault rifles and LMGs, a two man sniper team and a two man light mortar team. The British also had available air support from a USMC Cobra gunship.

The insurgent force comprised of four five man fireteams armed with assault rifles, LMGs and RPGs, two technical equipped with heavy machine guns and a motorcycle ridden by two insurgents with an assault rifle and RPG.

Early on in the game the insurgents inflicted a number of casualties on the British however as the game progressed the tables began to turn.

The arrival of the Cobra Helicopter forced many of the insurgents to take cover inside buildings to avoid the Cobras machine gun and rockets. The domination of the helicopter was however cut short when it was driven off after taking a hit from one of the techical’s HMGs.

This was still not enough to prevent the insurgents losing more men and although having put up a strong fight losing the game.

Buildings and terrain by Paul Davies

The Game in a Box

At my local wargames club we have been discussing the idea of a “game in a box”. This is a game that is easy to transport (throw into the boot of a car, or the back box on my motorcycle) and put on in  a rush, ideal if someone who was planning to put on a game cancels at the last minute.

Although board games often fill this requirement sometimes players want the flexibility and aesthetics of a miniatures game.  The requirements of a “game in a box” must be that everything that is needed to play including models and terrain can essentially fit into a reasonably sized box for easy transport. Another requirement is that the game must be fairly quick to play with simple and easy to learn rules.


A good option for making a game more portable is “downsizing”. Using 6mm miniatures in the place of larger scales drastically shrinks a game allowing it to be played in a much more compact space.

Fellow WordPress blogger “northernwedding” has built an excellent modular terrain board for use with individually based 6mm miniatures for playing modern skirmish games.



Another good candidate for the title of “game in a box” is De Bellis Antiquitatis or DBA as it is commonly known an ancient era rule set written by Phil Barker of WRG. If played in 15mm scale the game only requires a 2′ x 2′ playing area and games are quick, often lasting less than an hour.


The 3rd edition of the rules are available to buy on amazon or alternatively the unofficial guide to DBA provides the entire 2.2 version of the rules (translated from Phil Barkers questionable writing style) for free (although army lists are not included).

Unoffical Guide to DBA

Naval & Air

Naval and air games lend themselves top easy transport as relatively few miniatures are required and little or no scenery (other than a blue sheet to represent the sea) is required.

The only downside especially true of naval games is that the rules can often be complicated and games are not always the quickest. However this can be solved by picking an appropriate scale of game and a fast-playing rule set.




Naval Command – Solo

One question I have been asked a lot recently is: are my rules able to be used for solo play? The short answer would be yes, I’ve played them solo many times myself, however this got me thinking about ways that I could make a more satisfying solo gaming experience using the Naval Command system.

This post suggests some additional game rules that allow the enemy fleet to act independently from the solo player.

Photo 11-08-2016, 19 59 48


By using the optional rules for hidden deployment using blinds the solo player can deploy enemy forces in such a way as they do not now the exact location of the ships. Before the ship and decoy markers are placed on the table they can be shuffled, then deployed.

Enemy Reconnaissance

During the early stages of the game the enemy will most likely launch AEW or ASW aircraft to attempt to detect the players forces.

Roll 1 d6 to determine the number of AEW aircraft the enemy launches. The launch point can be designated as a position in the rough centre of the enemy fleet. This prevents the player from identifying the enemy ships. Once launched the AEW will head for the nearest target bind marker and systematically try to detect the players ships one by one.

Enemy Reaction

When playing solo the enemies reaction to detection and attacks must be determined.

When the enemy successfully detects one of the players ships or submarines roll 1d6. On a roll of 1-3 the enemy will attempt to launch attacks and destroy the target. On a roll of 4-6 the enemy will not attack. Roll again each subsequent turn.

If any of the players ships launch attacks the enemy may immediately launch attacks in response.

Enemy ships will automatically attempt to attack ay ships, submarines or aircraft that move within visual range.

Final Thoughts

Although brief I hope this post provides some ideas for ways to make a solo game more interesting by providing some uncertainty in the enemies actions for the player. I would love to hear any other ideas and suggestions for using these rules solo. Also if anyone has any AAR I would love to put them up on this site.