Houston Beer and Pretzel Wargaming

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Historic Wargaming Boards the TEXAS

Posted by Andy on September 29, 2011 at 11:20 PM


United States naval history and board and miniature wargaming came together aboard USS TEXAS over the weekend of September 24th and 25th, as we hosted our first annual wargaming convention, Texas BROADSIDE! 2011. Texas BROADSIDE! 2011 was conceived and designed to achieve four main goals:


  • Educate the visiting public in military history, using wargaming as an interactive medium.
  • Entertain local and regional wargamers by enabling them to play in a unique, original, and historically fitting environment.
  • Grow the historical wargaming hobby in Houston.
  • Raise interest, attention, and funds to contribute, albeit modestly, to the ongoing maintenance and restoration of TEXAS.




The wargames featured in this event were played in the Dreadnought room, Wardroom, and port air castle. All of these areas were kept open to the general public. The volunteers responsible for running the various games had been encouraged to explain what was happening to casual observers, and a number of visitors to the TEXAS were seen to be actively engaging with BROADSIDE attendees.


BROADSIDE featured special guest, Australian naval military historian, naval artist, and wargame designer, Mal Wright. Mal had painted, and donated to BROADSIDE, a depiction of TEXAS, shown enroute to North Africa in 1942, with one of her Kingfishers flying overhead. This acrylic painting has been subsequently used to make prints and t-shirts that have been put up for sale to help raise further funds. The original painting, “Into the Storm”, is now being auctioned to also help raise funds. While aboard TEXAS, Mal gave a two-part lecture on the evolution of naval camouflage, which was very well received and is now available on YouTube.



Texas BROADSIDE! 2011 attracted some fifty-five wargamers from as far away as Virginia and Louisiana, with several making the trip from Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas/Fort Worth. A large contingent of Houstonians was also in attendance.


Following a Saturday evening convention dinner over at the Monument Inn restaurant, an overnight option in the convention schedule, organized through the Battleship Texas Foundation, enabled eighteen wargamers the unique opportunity to wargame into the evening in the Wardroom, and crash there later – some as late as 2:30 am!



Some of the games played that weekend included a refight of the battle of San Jacinto, using 28mm figures, a hypothetical engagement between TEXAS, NEW YORK, and the remainder of the 6th Battle Squadron of the British Grand Fleet against a German naval task force, and the debacle at Slapton Sands, as German E-Boats stumbled upon Allied troops practicing for Operation Overlord. Under the port air castle wargamers even refought the battle of Okinawa, as Japanese kamikaze aircraft attempted to penetrate the American antiaircraft/combat air patrol screen to reach one of several radar picket destroyers, the BUNKER HILL, or the TEXAS.



By the end of BROADSIDE, we were able to raise over $2700.00, more than half of which has directly benefited TPWD, the Battleship Texas Foundation, and the ship’s official food concessioner. It is anticipated that further funds will be generated and subsequently donated in the aftermath of this most successful event, which we fully intend to repeat and enhance/expand upon next year.


T-shirts and prints of Into the Storm can still be purchased in our web store, if you missed out on yours.

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