Monday, 22 August 2016

Northampton at Newark

So Sunday saw a trip to The Other Partizan at Newark with "Northampton in 15 minutes", or as it is going to be called "Northampton 1460" or "N1460" for short.

I went with Phil, who had a boot full of display materials for the Society of Ancients, Battlefield Trust and the Northampton Battlefields Society including models of Naseby & Northampton, swords, helmets, a cannon ball, banners, display boards, books and games for sale and loads of other stuff. Oh, and some nicely painted tents to go in my fortified camp.

Sterling work from Phil, there, as he'd been up doing the Bosworth show the day before.

My main concerns were to make sure I'd got all of the bits for the game and they were transportable in a secure fashion. As I wrote in my blog in May the new Partizan venue has its pluses and minuses so I won't repeat them here. We were in the "History Zone" again and I'm still not convinced it does us any favours getting people along to play the game.

We had a couple of helpers on site when we got there so we were soon unpacked and setting up.



I seem to have got the dimensions for the tables at Partizan just perfect, as you can just get the cards and the board on the table with millimetres to spare.


Due to my relentless blogging and use of Facebook the WD boys from Sheffield were soon across and having a go. Jerry liked it so much he took over running it for a while, even though he had a perfectly good game of his own to be running elsewhere.

This was all important. The game is designed to be played without an umpire and in fact without me there at all. It seemed to pass that test quite quickly. The other question is whether it is balanced in any way, so running it with lots of members of the general wargaming public was important too.

According to my record sheet it was played at least 16 times. I don't know if all the results when I was off shopping were recorded. The outcomes were:

Win by:
Margin
Winning players
Yorkists
+6
Will
Darren
Yorkists
+5
Tabitha
Yorkists
+4
Steph
Dillon
Jake
Jerry
Yorkists
+3
Richard
Andy
Yorkists
+2
-
Yorkists
+1
-
Lancastrians
+1
-
Lancastrians
+2
Will
Lancastrians
+3
-
Lancastrians
+4
Jerry x 2
Graham
Will
Lancastrians
+5
Graham
Lancastrians
+6
Chris

So not too bad a spread between Yorkist & Lancastrian victories, although it seems to favour the more extreme results for both sides. The historical outcome is a Yorkist +5 victory, which only happened once. A lot of +4s, as Margaret of Anjou succeeded in spiriting her husband away from under the noses of the rampaging Yorkists on a number of occasions.

Most of all, however, people seemed to enjoy Scrope sacking Northampton and setting fire to it. Especially the locals.

I had a lot of good feedback from wargamers whose opinions matter to me (ie they design games I like), so that was pleasing. The historical fiction writer* Harry Sidebottom who was at the show signing books was impressed and wants to buy a copy when it's published.

Now back home I have a bit of work to do. My thinking crystallised rapidly over the last few days and I'm no longer happy with Grey of Ruthin having a battle to command. He's going to be demoted to just a banner (although a very treacherous banner) under Talbot's command. Margaret of Anjou needs her own flag to be flown in the Abbey. What's more I got Buckingham's standard completely wrong (it's Beauforts...) and Edward of March's is his AFTER he becomes King. So they need swapping over.

And Jerry remarked that it'd help if the blocks had the names on both sides as the cards instruct you to attack a named opponent.

So, a very satisfactory day all round, with good results and good feedback. The game will be revised and sorted in time for Derby (1/2 October) at the latest and I'd like to get in another show or two before then as well. Hopefully see more blog followers at them.

Finally I never got round to saying thank you to Nigel Drury, follower of this blog, who pointed me in the direction of the excellent Leven Miniatures. They really make nice features on the board, and saved me a lot of scratch building.

* I do him a disservice with this description. Dr Harry Sidebottom of Corpus Christie College Oxford has published books on ancient warfare for the OUP as well as his historical fiction.


13 comments:

  1. It's a jolly nice little game, Graham that achieves the objective of explaining the battle in 10 minutes, in a way that a straight historical account cannot. I also enjoyed setting fire to the Odeon cinema and the car park. Err, were they around then?

    Regards, Chris

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    Replies
    1. Yes, the Mayorhold car park did take a beating. No Odeon in Northampton, however. Think you must have got Cineworld on the way through.

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  2. Glad the Leven Miniatures were suitable. Wasn't sure if you were already aware of them. I've had good service from them and they seem to be constantly expanding the range. The castle components look useful and there's soon to be a Vauban set...

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    Replies
    1. I wasn't aware of them. I gave up on 6mm scenery for my WW1 project and went to 3mm for a better fit. The 6mm buildings had too big a footprint. However I like the look of the railway sections. They're about the cheapest out there.

      As for a Vauban fortress....already got one. The very first product sold by Baccus. No longer available. It's an impressive piece of work. I may photograph it or a future blog.

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  3. I regard burning Northampton as a victory of sorts.

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    Replies
    1. How dare you! It took years for the town to recover, as you would know if you had read Mike's excel;lent book on the battle.

      It was amazing how excited everyone got over a piece of laminated cardboard.

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    2. It's a very nicely presented game - a 'toy soldier' game with no toys. I think Paddy G would have approved.

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    3. High praise indeed. Thank you very much.

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  4. Sixteen plays in one afternoon is a terrific accomplishment. Having it virtually run itself deserves a well placed pat on the back!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To be fair it was 16 plays from c10am to c3pm, but still a good turnaround.

      And running itself was a big plus.

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  5. Looks great! Have you played W1815 by any chance? http://upgames.fi/home/w1815/

    ReplyDelete