Wargame Developments

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Coronavirus/COVID-19, Wargame Developments, Conference of Wargamers 2020, and VCOW 2020

15th April 2020

The Conference of Wargamers is an extraordinary event. There can be very, very few, if any, conferences which charge a fee for entrance and then expect delegates to provide the entire program and write up the proceedings. Yet each year CoW is a triumph of good will and collective endeavour over standard consumer practice. Each year, as the call goes out for sessions and the members of WD provide, and we all have a jolly good time at Knuston. Then your Editor eagerly awaits, and eventually receives, enough reports for 9 issues of The Nugget.

For obvious reasons this year is not the same. It is extremely unlikely at this time that we will be meeting at Knuston this year. We can however take this as an opportunity to develop our wargames and the way we engage with conflict simulation. Following a discussion with a handful of members, we have taken the decision to offer an alternative to CoW – Virtual Conference of Wargamers (VCoW).

VCoW will take place over same weekend as physical CoW, that is the weekend of the 10th to the 12th July. It will begin on Friday with a Plenary session, and there will be 4 blocks of sessions over the Saturday and Sunday. These sessions will be a mixture of lectures, discussions and games, and attendees will be able to sign up to a range of different activities over the course of the VCoW. Sadly, you’ll have to provide your own food, but other than that, we hope to recreate the CoW experience as far as possible for all attendees. We also hope that VCoW will provide us with some innovative new types of games and allow us all to explore the benefits and limitations of the virtual medium.

Obviously, attendance at VCoW will be by remote access (or, from the comfort of your own home, if you prefer), using conferencing apps such as Zoom or Skype, which I’m sure many of you are becoming rather familiar with at the moment. Sessions will likewise be run via a remote access media of the session leader’s choice.

To register a session, please send Tim Gow the following information:

  • Name of presenter(s)

  • Title of session

  • Type of session – e.g. Role play, matrix, toy soldier, committee, lecture.

  • Approx. number of participants

  • Running time

  • A few lines of chat about the session for the updates and programme

  • Preferred time slot (day, morning or afternoon)

  • Media for participating (Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, etc.)

We intend to be able to provide technical support and a virtual briefing to session organisers ahead of VCoW to help the less technically secure.
As virtual participation is rather more intense than face-to-face meetings, we recommend that non-game sessions last no longer than 40 minutes.

We are delighted to announce that the Plenary session will feature two sort lectures by:

  • Peter Perla, Author of Peter Perla's Art of Wargaming

  • Mark Herman – author of numerous titles for SPI, Victory Games, etc.

Also Graham Longley Brown, a well know professional gamer who runs session for the army, will provide a lecture over the weekend.

Any fully paid-up member of Wargame Developments or anyone who has been a member within the last two years may register to take part in the Virtual CoW. In order to take part must register your email address and make a small contribution (£5.00) to the cost of the software licence. This can be done via the VCoW blog page at https://wdvirtualcow.blogspot.com/

We very much hope that this format will enable WD members who for whatever reasons have been unable to attend CoW in the past will be able to participate in the full WD experience.

Just as with CoW, participants are strongly encouraged to submit On and Off – side reports to the Editor of the Nugget. As always, you submissions ensure the Nugget’s publication.

We hope that VCoW will appeal to the membership of WD, and we look forward to you registering to attend and submitting your sessions in the near future.

Bob Cordery, Tim Gow, and Matthew Hartley

24th March 2020

THE NUGGET will continue to be published on a regular basis, but it has now become necessary to temporarily move over to an electronic format (i.e. PDF) rather than a printed format. This will be available online via this website as well as being sent as an attachment to an email to all members.

This will last for as long as is absolutely necessary, and printed issues will be published when the current panedemic is over.

16th March 2020

It is now apparent that the current pandemic is going to have a significant impact on life for all of us. In the light of this, we have decided on the following measures:

  • Until Knuston Hall informs us that they will not be able to host this year’s Conference of Wargamers (COW 2020), we will continue to plan for it to take place.

  • Bearing in mind the number of members who fall into the group who have been identified as vulnerable (i.e. those who are over seventy years of age and/or who have an underlying medical condition), anyone wishing to cancel their booking for COW 2020 may do so without penalty.

  • Anyone wishing to cancel their booking for COW 2020 will receive a full refund of all monies they have paid less the cost of being a member of WD for 2020-2021 (i.e. £25.00). Those wishing to cancel are asked to contact the Membership Secretary/COW Bookings Co-ordinator by letter to the address shown below or by email (wargamer1950-AT-gmail.com). [Please replace the ‘-AT-‘ with ‘@’ when entering the email address.]

  • It is intended that THE NUGGET will continue to be published on a regular basis, but that it may be necessary to temporarily move over to an electronic format (i.e. PDF) rather than a printed format. Such a move would last for as long as is absolutely necessary, and it is hoped that a printed digest would be produced and distributed after the pandemic is over.

  • It may be necessary to move publication from nine-issues-per-year to once-per-quarter. This is because so much of the content of THE NUGGET is dependent upon COW.

We have not taken these decisions lightly, but we have done so in order to ensure the safety and well-being of our members and to secure the future of Wargame Developments. We may have to change the above in the light of future developments, and we ask for your forbearance in advance.

Finally, we hope that all of you and your families will remain safe and well during the pandemic.

Bob Cordery, Tim Gow, and Matthew Hartley

COW Refunds, 84 Eglinton Hill, Shooters Hill, London, SE18 3DY

What is Wargame Developments?

Wargame Developments (WD) is a group of like-minded wargamers who are dedicated to developing wargames. It is a non-commercial organisation, and its aims are:

  • To provide a forum for the exchange of new ideas and concepts.

  • To develop both new and existing methods of recreating military conflicts.

Wargame Developments was founded in 1980, and since then it has pursued its aims in several different ways. These include:

  • Running an annual conference (COW - the Conference Of Wargamers).

  • Publishing a regular journal (The NUGGET) that is sent to all members nine times per year.

  • Putting on participation games at major wargames shows in the UK in order to demonstrate the sort of developments in wargaming that are being undertaken by members of WD.

  • Supporting groups of members who are working together to develop particular ideas and concepts (e.g. Megablitz - a set of operational level rules for twentieth century warfare - and Matrix Games).

It is now possible to pay for membership of Wargame Developments and to attend COW using PayPal.

Recent News

The PDF version of Nugget 326 is now available to download. The Wargame Developments Data Protection Policy is also now available to download.

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The page was last updated on 15th April 2020

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