On Friday I motored over to the Wargames Holiday Centre, with a carload of Really Useful Boxes packed with terrain and miniatures.
Mark Freeth met me and together we set up three games on his tables. One of the nice things about the WHC's boards is that some feature hills much larger than I have storage for, and so I made full use of these. Also I couldn't resist using some very old Peter Gilder buildings from the WHC's Scarborough days to represent the town of Chaeronea (below).
The players arrived around 9:30 AM on the Saturday, and began playing shortly after 10:00 PM. I ran around like a blue-bottomed fly, fielding questions and relating historical anecdotes.
Below is the Pontic phalanx, drawn up in front of their camp.
A view over the plain, from the citadel:
Below is a shot of the Boudiccan revolt game, which was called "The Only Way is Eceni". The Romans and Britons won one game each.
One Roman auxiliary cohort was comprehensively surrounded, below, but successfully fought off many charges.
I didn't take any decent photos of the third game (below), which featured late Romans assaulting a Pictish line up a massive, heather-covered hill. The hill was a monster! It was a fast moving game and I have plans to expand it with more units, and even more heather.
Late on Saturday we replaced two of the games with even larger battles, which were gamed on Sunday morning (whilst I struggled with a massive hangover).
Thapsus (below) is a battle I've fought many times. Both games on Sunday were very close and, unusually, Caesar lost twice.
The final game was a reprise of the Partizan Cremona game. This was a massive slogging match between two evenly matched Early Imperial Roman armies. This time, both games were draws; the Othonians just couldn't break through.
Everyone managed to play each of the five games, once, and I hope everyone had a good time. Mark kept things moving along nicely, and made sandwiches and buckets of tea.
We ran all the games using my "To the Strongest!" rules, and, by the close of play on Saturday, I felt that everyone had a really good working grasp of these. I think everyone enjoyed the novel playing-card driven nature of the rules. By lunchtime on Sunday, we'd introduced most of the rules in the "advanced" section, and players were using the stratagems and some of the obscure rules, such as "orbis". A lot of intelligent questions were asked and some good suggestions offered, so I have some work to do in the week ahead.
It was a splendid weekend which I very much hope to repeat, in the early autumn!