Boat Hooks at the Other Partizan

The Other Partizan Show is held at the George Stephenson Hall at the Newark show ground, just outside of the historic town of Newark. The Other Partizan show is the second Partizan show of the year, held in the Autumn, with the original Partizan show held in the spring. I am happy to proclaim Partizan as my favourite wargames show, although I admit to being totally biased in this respect. It is only an easy 20 minutes down the A46 from my house.

However, to back this claim up I would add that the venue is generally bright and airy, there’s free parking, the standard of games on show is the best you’ll see anywhere and the selection of traders means that you should be able to find most of what you want and much that you didn’t realise that you needed! Add in a decent cafe (the bacon cobs are excellent!) and an Ice cream stall – somehow the weather always seems fine at the Partizan shows – and you have the recipe for a very pleasant day out.

An ariel shot of some of the exhibits at the Newark Air Museum

If all that isn’t quite enough for you, the venue is next door to the Newark Air Museum, 5 minutes away from Newark; which of course has the Castle ( free entry), the English Civil War museum, Queens Sconce and Polish WW2 Cemetery and is 15 minutes away from the Stokes Field Battlefield at East Stoke village. So you could quite easily make it a weekend break if you fancied it.

My Fleet all packed up and ready to go to Partizan.

I was attending the show with Andy Callan and his brother Ian, and as the ‘Billhooks Brothers’ we were presenting a participation games of Never Mind The Boat-hooks. It was the second time that we had presented this game and having learnt from the first game that we had run at a previous Partizan, the idea was to present a stripped down game, involving three or four ships rather than the whole fleet that was on the table, to allow for faster games. As it happened, we had very few people that actually wanted to roll dice but plenty that were happy to chat to us about the game and the various spin offs of the ‘Bill Hooks’ rules sets.

It was a very enjoyable, if tiring day, meeting so many good friends of the game, some of whom, we only knew as Facebook friends. We spent so much time chatting that we barely finished the actual game that we had started, to get things going. I was tasked with taking photo’s and posting live to our Facebook group so here is a round up of all of the pictures as well as a brief narrative of the battle.

The Fleet on the left of the picture were designated as the French and started the game aggressively by sailing straight across the table and peppering the English with Arrow fire. The Green and yellow galley had positioned itself in a commanding position to windward!

The English Cog (red and Yellow) attempts to grapple and board the now French Carrack ( formerly the George!). The boarding attempt failed but in the ensuing collision, the French archers were thrown out of the fighting top! In the back ground, a French Galley is rowing to support.
Another English Cog joins the fight and again fails to grapple. The French carrack could elect to slip away between the two ships but decides ( rather optimistically…) to fight and successfully grapples.
To add to the mayhem, the French Galley joins the fight although comes off worse in the ensuing melee. To add to their woes, the English Galley has swept down to pour fire onto the French. In addition, their other galley, thanks to a special event, has run aground and can play no further part in the battle. The French aggression now looks somewhat hasty!
Against all odds, the French are able to resupply their galley with additional crew and board the English galley! The English will fight on but at a severe disadvantage.
It’s small comfort for the French though, in the continuing melle, their Carrack has been captured, all the crew have killed and with the loss of their Flagship, the French are forced to concede the battle.

So, it was only a brief game of just four moves but thanks to the amount of chatting, a battle that could have been over in an hour stretched out over the day! I hope that everyone enjoyed themselves at the show and perhaps were tempted to have a go at Boat hooks – you can always start as we did, with some cardboard cut out shapes. The rules are available as a free supplement to WI 426 – we still have copies – see the link below – and the cards and tokens are available as free downloads from the WI NMTB site. As for crew, we use the same troops as in the land version, Never Mind the Billhooks – hence the landscaped bases!

One final thought, there were some amazing games on show at Partizan – the best way to see them is to go to the Partizan web site and Blog.


I hope that you all enjoy your hobby as much as I do – remember that our web site will have much of what you need! Click here to see our shop:


We also have a category devoted to Never Mind the Bill Hooks:


The magazine with the free rules set is available here:


For free down loads of cards etc go to the resources section here:


Happy Modelling!