This game, if you recall, has come about from the 18thC Imagi-nations game of last year, which we also hosted here, was umpired & written about in BattleGames by the good Mr Henry Hyde, and was played out by chaps from the WD3 Forum. Well, following on from last year, it was decided to have a similar bash this year, and the tale followed on that Grennoiusse, after giving Granprix a thorough drubbing, then sailed forces across the ocean to invade Byzarbia, a small country based on Africa (ish).
M'Lord Peeler, having failed in the defence of Granprix, decided to change sides and sailed with his former enemies, whilst Tim Hall also did his own thing & decided to defend Byzarbia. I was confused until Henry explained it to me, and no doubt there will be another right good write up in the BG magazine to follow.
So, last weekend, with the weather not too bad, around 20 gamers, from far far away and also very very local, gathered once again at The Ayton Village Hall. As well as the 'main game', we also had a spiffing VBCW game put on by Bob of the Brompton Bankers, and some board games by the Scarborough Gaming Society, a newish group in our local town. All were welcome, and it was good to see old chums again as well as to meet some new ones. As blokes & gamers at a gathering, I have to say, that this bunch have to be among the most easygoing to get along with.
So, in a short space of time the tables were set up & the terrain laid out. Here, Mr Tim Hall (good old chum, gamer & erstwhile former workpal), shows off his collection of buildings, some refurbished & others newly built for the game. They were absolutely cracking, and in the flesh, certainly show off Tim's considerable modelling skills.
One or two gamers had not yet arrived by dinner time on the Friday, one in particular having gone c/o goodness knows where, so after setting up we had a good feed at the local Dennison Arms ..
.. followed by quantities of beer & the musical entertainment of our own Hairy Dave & the Shamrockers ..
.. followed by yet more beer.
We regained the Hall around 10am Saturday morning, the missing gamers arrived, and the troops were laid out. Basically, our forces were doing a ship borne landing in an attempt to take the city, whilst our opponents, naturally, were out to stop us. I could not give you an accurate account of the entire game, the table being between 24-30 foot long (with a dog leg added), but suffice to say that there was plenty to do, time to wander the rest of the table, partake of refreshments & tobacco, and some superb umpiring by Mr Hyde, with sound effects for exploding ships in the distance as well as a major sandstorm that messed up some gamers well planned plans.
Here's some pictures of various troops & parts of the game. The painting standard was a joy to see, with different figures from as diverse as Spencer Smiths to RMS, they were all good, and it reminded me to darn well up my own painting skills! My own Peasant Brigade, backed up by four elephants .. despite all the talk, I was the only one to field them. (At £4.99 each from a seafront tat .. er .. souvenir shop.
John Francis & Iain EssexBoy get to grips with it. There was plenty of dice rolling, both to hit & save.
My Cavalry, being faced off by lights, who could shoot & retire .. damned cowardly, but damned effective!
And after a short while, they sent my cavalry trotting backwards with heavy casualties, including those caused by a poisoned oasis... darned sneaky stuff!
On the left, on the hill, can be seen Norman's camel Mounted light guns (wonderful figures & a credit to Norman's painting skills) - a short of a long punt gun, and rather lethal too, they caused enough hits to paralyse my left flanking move, and worse was to come.
Andy Beleras's magnificently painted cavalry troopers, going in against the lights, watched over by my line troops.
In the distance, those darned lights again, being faced off by my line Regts, including a new one - Lt Col Percy's Own Pinksters, on the right. In brief, I was making no headway at all, and to be frank, was just taking a continual slapping from my main oppo's, Norman, Paul & John. Something had to be done, & done swiftly & decisively.
In short, it was Elephant time. In they lumbered, two by two, roaring away, chomping on buns, supported by the archers in the Hollow Backs. (Special elephants these, they started as candle holders). After squashing & scattering those light cavalry with ease, I thought "Wahay, things are looking up!" until one went down to fire from those camel gunners ..
.. whilst sadly, and to my deep upset, another two went down to well directed Btn fire. In fact, there were so many hits, I'd say that they'd have died from lead poisoning if nothing else. I decided to withdraw my final beastie, so as not to leave my opponent with yet more ivory for his collection.
Oh, this was a good one - NDL's lights, being native arab types, trotted down, skipped gaily over the wall, & pushed back my infantry inside a small town. With a heavy sigh & an acceptance of the way things had gone, I packed away my awful dice. I may sell them. Or put them in a box marked "Give to the opposition". Notwithstanding, the other side played a very good game, and as ever, it was played in a gentlemanly & friendly manner. (Except when my third elephant went down - goodness, I was really rather miffed).
By the end of Sunday, it was decided - without much doubt, that the invading forces ( including me) had failed. Only just, in some parts of the table, but I think fairly decisively in mine. Humph.
Whoops, only got the one shot of Bob, Russ, Billy & the Testo's at the VBCW game, which was played throughout, and looked excellent.
So, there we are, a right good weekend was had by all I'd say. Naturally, we had more Dennison & Forge on the Saturday, and er, those who remained on the Sunday evening too. By Monday, we just weren't hungry any more, due to the decent portions dolled out. Around 5pm Sunday evening, the figures, terrain & tables were packed away, the floor swept, and the Hall was again empty. It was like it had never been! Most said their goodbyes, and I have to admit, I was quite sad to see them go off.
All the players brought along figures, some also brought terrain, and we used Henry's own rules, which I think may well be published soon. My thanks to those who came & gamed, and to Mrs Peeler & Mrs Wright for the kitchen duties & cakes. Each gamer paid £15, as a result of which we gave £285 to three charities, being the Hall, Combat Stress & the local Jubilee committee. Not bad at all really! For further pictures, write ups, and - even - a movie - pop over to the WD3 Forum, and take a look through the WD3 Games section & see the BG Blog.
"Historical Note" - As for Lord Peeler, having twice been unsuccessful in his campaigns, it is rumoured that he did then retire to a small estate, there to mull over his remaining forces, drink beer and smoke roll ups. One of his sons apparently ran away to sea, whilst another went away to Germany, where he (luckily) married into a minor aristocratic family. This family strand was not heard of again, as history will recall, until the 1860's - which is when next years game is set for! The Hall is already rebooked for the same weekend & I've already ordered some Spencer Smiths, for Count von Peeler's Forces.
Regards, (and my thanks & welcome to the new Followers),