Naval Wargames Society

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The Naval Wargames Society (NWS) is interested in all forms and scales of maritime wargaming, and has been so for more 30 years. The society was originally started by Phil Dunn, and the proprietors of Navwar and Skytrex. Originally, society games were held in Chessington, and in later years moving to North Holmwood. 1994 saw the merger between the NWS and the "Battleship club", which was also started by Phil Dunn. The merger saw the NWS expand, with regional groups being established in Kent(Ashford), Thames Valley(Mortimer), Wessex(Trowbridge) and Surrey (North Holmwood), as well as a group (the "6th Battle Squadron") in the US.

In recognition of the society's goal to promote naval wargaming, and to act as a forum for the exchange of information, it produces two publications: a journal called "Battlefleet" published approximately once a quarter, and a monthly newsletter, "All Guns Blazing". Not only does the society encourage their members to write articles about wargaming and maritime history, but it also encourages member participation by frequently holding multiplayer naval wargames. As well as these games, the Regional groups of the society sometimes represent NWS at gaming conventions, an example of this is the Lissa game run by the North Hull Wargames group.

Another feature of the NWS has been the organisation of a number of naval wargames "holidays". These have included groups despatched to the United States (Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana), Germany, Poland, Greece and to places of interest in the UK including Scapa Flow. The aim of these trips is to visit as many places of interest, historic ships, naval museums (and book and model shops) as possible.

The NWS also ran its own wargames show called "Flagship". This was held at Fort Brockhurst in Gosport, UK until 1997. Since 2012 a new event, the Naval Wargames Weekend, has held at the Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower in Gosport; this event concentrates purely on wargaming rather than the trade aspect common at many wargames shows. In recent years the NWS has staged a series of events on board HMS Belfast, starting with a recreation of the Battle of North Cape on the 60th anniversary of that battle. Other notable events have included a 90th anniversary refight of the Battle of Jutland at the national Maritime Museum, bicentenary refights of the Battle of Kamperduin at the maritime museum in Rotterdam, and of Trafalgar at various locations in 2005, and a refight of the Battle of Lissa on the 150th anniversary, which took place on the Croatian island of Vis, the scene of the battle.

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