Saturday, 22 May 2010

Grown Ups In The Sudan (part 1)

When I first thought about what I might blog this week I reckoned it would be just a simple account of a Friday Night game. As it turns out it's sort of a classic Wargaming For Grownups type situation.

This week was going to be the first "Science vs Pluck" game of the year. That's a "Wargaming for Grownups" event in itself as it means opening up the garage for the first time since the last game of the autumn. That involves the very Grownup activity of tidying it out of the rubbish that has accumulated over the winter (defunct microwave down the tip, for example), the putting up my 12' x 5' table, which wouldn't be possible if I wasn't Grownup with my own garage.

I've got no serious heating in the garage so we have to wait for the good weather to arrive, which fortunately it has done. (Insulating it and making it a proper year-round wargames room is a real Grownup project that will have to wait a few years until I retire.

Anyway, I committed to putting on a largish SvP game for our group. As we normally have 3-4 players there's enough for a proper command structure so it works quite well.

The scenario was a bit troublesome. You can't just run SvP as a "pick up" game. Its role playing elements mean some thought has to go into it. Of course, having committed to the game a week ago my mind went a complete blank, and I started to scrabble round for inspiration. Trouble was real life kept exploding all around me (not literally, - my job isn't that dangerous). Any how I managed to squeeze in an hour or so in the evening to flesh something out - based around Hashin & Tofrek - and I typed up the briefings in my lunch break at work. What I didn't have was time to get the tables, terrain and figures sorted out. No worries, - I'll skip work at4:30pm on Friday and do it then thinks I.

Inevitably the phone goes at 4pm and there's someone saying "Treb, - we've got a problem......". Two hours later after several conference calls, some gentle cajoling and some moral blackmail I finally leave the building. Luckily for me the large accident involving use of the air ambulance that blocked all the roads round my office was starting to clear so I wasn't too long on the drive home.

After a hurried pizza I got out to the garage and set everything up, only to find that one of our number had been forced to drop out, so I had to think through turning a player character into an NPC as well. I finally resolved on cutting out the cavalry commander as he's the easiest to ham up as an umpire.

All finished in time for the first couple of players to arrive and be presented with their carefully crafted briefings.

And this has taken a bit longer to write than expected, so I'll close now and post some pictures and details of the battle in my next blog.


  1. Last minute planning, work-related delays, and friends cancelling? Sounds about par.

  2. What, for a wargaming evening or a campaign in the Sudan?

  3. Wargaming with adults, period.