Saturday, 3 July 2010

Plucky Belgians and other short stories

Another rich and varied day at CoW. Started off (following the lavish traditional breakfast) with Richard Brooks' 1914 Operational Level game "Op14". This is square based and card driven.

This is a very high level game. The picture shows a German Corps attacking a river line in Belgium. Each one of those figures represents a Regiment, so each square has a brigade in it. The blocks in the foreground are the Belgians dug in along the river line with dummy blocks to enable effective concealment.

Each turn represents 90 minutes, and Richard is strict about the time off day which means we could, as the plucky Belgians, play for time, defend until nightfall before slipping off to Fortress Antwerp. The clever thing about the game is that period doctrine is forced on players. Artillery has to be attached to Divisions, infantry has to attack even if apparently futile. A close and tense game was fought. Hopefully the updated set of rules will be included in Nugget.

Also managed to squeeze in a longer chat with Martin Wallace of Treefrog (best boardgames company in the world) and look at what he's got in playtest. Picked up one of his signed limited edition copies of "Age of Industry" as well. Our chats work much better when we are both sober.

CoW has a number of non-programmed and ad-hoc events. Post lunch we had a Jim Wallman special. No description for now, but here's the recruiting poster. This is another lawn game, which w2as short and silly but at least it gets you out in the fresh air and sunshine for a while.

This afternoon I took part in another square based game this time Ian Drury's Battle of Nicopolis which uses Richard Brooks' "Middle Age Spread" rules. The Christian attack was as stunning in its audacity as it was in its total failure. They'll be burying the dead for weeks. This photo shows the Turkish command deliberating. I don't know why they're looking so worried, - if you look closely you can see that most of the christian army is heading towards the camera and so the River Danube. A fun game, but not my finest hour.

Rounding off the pre-evening meal session with an interesting lecture from a serving officer who is currently mentoring the Iraqi armed forces. Fascinating stuff.

This evening holds the wonders of Spartacus and something to do with the Cold War in the Arctic.

Can't wait.

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