Saturday evening..(well Sunday morning now, but this blog is about last night)
I'd signed up for John Basset's "Spartacus" game. An ambitious attempt to game the slave revolt, involving about 18 players, divided into two games that interlinked. There was the small and well managed map game with the slave players rampaging round Italy and a political committee game at the other end of the table for the Roman players which seemed to be complete chaos..
In the end the slave armies were destroyed all but one unit of Thracian Cavalry at the very gates of Rome itself, - which was one more unit than the Romans had. Many of the Roman Leaders were dead but the slave revolt central command decided to call it a day and retire to Thrace with their piles of loot (except for Crixus who chose to die with his men. Silly man).
Played over about two hours there was a fair amount of noise and energy in the game and with so much going on it was amazing it got to a conclusion and such an enjoyable one as well. Marvellous effort by John Basset.
Skipping over Mike Young's game of genetic inbreeding in the Hapsburg Empire (immortalised with the instruction "I'm now going to show all of you how to make babies) I sat in on John Curry's session on commercial boardgames from the 1960s (which included Waddington's Battle of the Little Big Horn" and General Horrock's "Combat").
John C has done a lot to record the development of the wargaming hobby and if you haven't already done so you should check out his History of Wargaming website. John is also republishing most of the great wargaming books of the last 50 years so I finally got round to picking up Featherstone's "Wargames" and "Advanced Wargames" as well as Charlie Wesencraft's "Practical Wargames" and "Wargaming with Pike and Musket". I don't know if they now have anything I really need nowadays, but I felt I should have copies. John is really doing excellent work in this area and fully deserves all our support.