RogerBW's Blog

Hereward Wargames 2015 14 November 2015

A new wargaming show in Peterborough, organised by a friend. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

Mike's deliberate emphasis was on participation games rather than showpieces; I think every game in the place was welcoming players, for short or long sessions.

The main hall, while people were still drifting in.

This was the setup for a late 19th century game in India, using the new Osprey colonial wars rules. I'm glad to see companies getting away from the "army list" approach: after all, historical units in historical battles were hardly ever at their official strength, so why should wargames units be?

Speaks for itself. Clearly there's a market, so…

The local scale modelling club looked a bit lost, but had this rarity, a B-58. (Kit, not scratch-built.)

Kings of War, published by Mantic. Great big fantasy battles.

Some lovely 2mm-scale (about 1:914) scenery. Even I might produce a plausible paint job at that size.

Of course you would want a police box, and a half-invisible police box. Because you are wargaming in the 1950s and 1960s, not in any way because of any media property for which this figures company doesn't hold the rights.

Some rather pleasing steampunk mechanical men.

Stop That Pigeon! A very serious air combat game.

Too Fat Lardies were showing off a test of the second edition of Sharp Practice (small-unit Napoleonic rules with a twist), and I got roped into playing (obviously with great reluctance).

Original Sharp Practice has "Carpe Diem" cards mixed into the leader activation deck, which allow the drawing side to take special actions. For this test at least, and maybe in the final version, these were replaced by sausages. Why? Why not?

Yes, there were mallards on the river.

I had a French force attempting to build a pontoon bridge; most of them worked on that, while one squad lined up for defence against the advancing Prussians.

Most of the rest of the Allied forces went off towards the main objective, leaving me only outnumbered a mere six to one.

We opened fire, and got a smoke cloud which impaired further fire; no bad thing, at first.

Meanwhile French commander was attempting to escort the Polish countess ("played by a younger Rula Lenska"), and her belongings, across the river. (She was, perhaps inevitably, known as "the tart with the cart". Actually I've never played a wargame with more innuendo round the table.)

The Prussian infantry charged…

…and the French musketeers fell apart.

Back at the inn, the defenders were doing their best to hold off the Allied advance.

Further charges saw the French grenadiers whittled down further. They had nowhere to retreat to, so they didn't try.

A random event had a family of pigs running into the inn yard. (Some discussion on whether they could be harnessed to the wagon to get dry powder to the men on the front lines.)

The grenadiers rallied just a little, and started to wear down the Prussians.

Reinforcements! Just at the Prussians thought they could call the towpath their own.

The Prussians were forced back in disarray.

Even their steadier forces started taking heavy fire.

The game ended at the turn limit, and the battle looked surprisingly inconclusive. The beach-head was secure, and the other French forces could probably make it to the boat, but the Prussian jaegers and field-piece were still doing them damage.

Napoleonic isn't my usual period, but this was hugely enjoyable. Clearly influenced by Chain of Command, but its own game too, and never taken too seriously.

Tags: wargaming

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