Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The portable wargame: Another designer of chessboard games!

I had only just finished writing my last blog entry when I received an email from Edward Rodhouse. It turns out that he also designs wargames that fit onto a chessboard ... and mighty interesting they look.

His games include:

Tiger Hunt – Normandy 1944


Kronstadt 1919 – The 'secret' Coastal Motor Boat raid


Balin’s Tomb (from Lord of the Rings)


1914 Rearguard


Three Musketeers Bar Brawl

Edward uses a chessboard with 42mm grid squares, and has also developed a Pirate game and naval boarding action game based on S.W.A.B. ("The Scuppers Were Awash with Blood", which were designed by my old friend Tom Mouat).

I particularly like the scenery he has developed for his games. It is both functional and elegant, and really enhances to 'look' of his games.

It is nice to know that there is someone else out there trying to develop wargames that use a chessboard ... and from what I have seen of Edward's game, I have some way to go to equal his!

16 comments:

  1. Marvelous!
    The Tavern Brawl reminds me of my old Swashbuckler game.

    -Ross

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  2. Ross Mac,

    They all have a very nice 'look' about them.

    I like the bar brawl, but my favourite is the '1914 Rearguard' game.

    All the best,

    Bobj

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  3. They all look well - the Tavern Brawl lends itself to the format, but the Tiger Hunt is not without its charms.

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  4. Conrad Kinch,

    Certainly the checkerboard pattern suits the bar brawl game, but I think that all these games show that it is possible to design a game that will fit and work within a restricted area.

    The 'Tiger Hunt' has a certain appeal, but as I wrote in a previous comment, my favourite in the '1914 Rearguard'.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. The boards look fantastic. Did Mr. Rodhouse ever publish or otherwise make the games available? It would be great to see what he came up with!

    Best regards,

    Chris

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  6. Chris,

    I did ask if there was a blog or website that I could direct people who wanted more information towards, but I am afraid to say that Mr Rodhouse has neither.

    Perhaps the interest generated by this particular blog entry can persuade him otherwise.

    All the best,

    Bob
    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. The games look very entertaining, and serve to show the potential for themes and different levels for chessboard games. Perhaps we are only the tip of an iceberg, so to speak?

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  8. Arthur1815,

    I suspect that you are right. This is the second person that I have heard about who has designed wargames that fit onto a chessboard.

    In the old days of COW, I might have suggested that the plenary 'game' could have been a 'design a wargame that will fit on a chessboard' session.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. Yes! Agree with Ross that it's marvelous!

    And because the game is more important than the fascism of 'photo-realistic' scenery we as a hobby seem to have trapped ourselves in.

    Years ago I fought out Dark Ages skirmishes using a Viking Hnefatafl 'Chess' game but using 25mm figures.

    http://www.purplepawn.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/hnefatafl.jpg?w=300

    The attempted escape of MacBeth was one of them. Mmmm, maybe time to reprise with some Warlord Plastic Vikings/Saxons.

    Thanks Bob for bringing back some riches from the past and filling me with inspiration.

    Cheers
    Mark

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  10. Mark,

    It is pleasing to hear that you are a fellow designer of chessboard wargames (and not large moving dioramas) and that my meagre efforts have encouraged you to think about re-visiting what sounds like a very interesting game. I hope that you do give it another ‘go’ … and if you do, could you send me a photo for this blog?

    All the best,

    Bob

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  11. Just thinking.... those vinyl chess mats (or similar, could be used to create additional floors/rooms for this typr of game.

    Reminded me that I wrote a Stalingrad Sewers game. Must dig it out. A chessboard or two would be perfect for laying out the unfolding sewer system....

    Cheers
    Mark

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  12. Mark,

    An excellent idea! The vinyl chessboards are not very expensive (and traditional thick folding card ones can be found even cheaper in some low-price shops) and seem to be quite robust.

    On a slightly different tack, I remember playing a house clearing wargame some years ago on a 'Cluedo' game board. Not quite a sewer network, but useable for other scenarios.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  13. Cluedo, I hadn't thought of that Bob! Brilliant.

    I have Escape from Colditz.... following the same theme Vampire Counts? Medieval Mayhem? Hornblower raid on Peninsular castle? Evil Genuis Lair?

    Cheers
    Mark

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  14. Mark,

    From now on you will never look at another innocent boardgame again without thinking of its use as the basis for a wargame!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  15. Bob

    Just picked up Spellmaker on Ebay for £8.

    http://www.gamersalliance.com/W05/gcspellmaker.htm

    I love the game (from my youth) but if you look at the game map it makes a great fantasy battle board.

    Cheers
    Mark

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  16. Mark,

    A very interesting purchase ... and from what I can see, the mapboard has all sorts of possibilities, and not just for fantasy games but also for an 18th century 'imagi-nation' campaign. Each location could easily be a separate 'chessboard', with armies moving from one to another to fight each other.

    All the best,

    Bob

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