Last weekend I played an away game.
Steve R. had invited me up to Scotland to play in one of the large multi-player games staged by the League of Gentlemen Wargamers, to be fought over Saturday and Sunday, in Kirriemuir. Steve R. had been organising this Wars of the Roses game for ages. From what he had told me it was not a game to be missed so when he invited me to play I jumped at the chance.
The game was played on the biggest table I've ever seen. It was the 'Kingmaker' map made large, though the actual war game only bore a passing resemblance to the board game.
In this picture I'm taking the shot from the Scottish border, the hexagonal towers (near distance on the right) are in North Wales, and Bill (the chap furthest away) is stood in the English Channel with France at his back.
The game had fourteen players, each playing a major noble with client Lord and knight sub commanders; I was a Yorkist, Scrope of Masham, based in Durham.
On turn one I attacked Newcastle to gain control of Edward Earl of March before Percy (Andrew) could get to him. Unfortunately this was the high watermark of my entire weekend.
Two moves later I had lost two of my three nobles and was forced to give Edward up to one of the Nevilles (Yorkist Kev), to keep him from certain death and fight the remainder of the first day with just six units - I couldn't reinforce because my remaining noble could only control a maximum of six units and I couldn't roll up a new commander during the reinforcement phase to save my life. For the remainder of the game I had to be content fending off southerly movement by Percy, and even that looked doubtful (I almost switched sides) at one point.
Elsewhere the struggle was just as fierce.
Kev (right) and Colin (left) fight it out west of York.
Colin is fighting off two Yorkists because Peter is attacking north from the welsh borders.
The 'mid' south table, where most of the players will end up fighting around a plague stricken London.
West of London, Dale surveys from what will become the Lancastrian side of this table.
Here there would be four or five Lancastrian players facing north against three or four Yorkists facing south depending on which side Charlie was on at the time.
Charles G., heading north to join his Lancastrian chums, moves through what I think is Southampton, or possibly Oxford (the island is the Isle of Wight).
The main battle lines are forming west of London at the start of day two.
Charlie (left), that would be 'Turncoat Charlie', changed sides so many times that I suspect even he didn't know which side he was on by the end; almost everyone else had decided it didn't matter which side he said he was on, because he wasn't on their side [grin].
Bill (right) would be the eventual winner.
Burger King crowns, if you were wondering, were to be worn by players in possession of Royal personages.
Man of the hour, game organiser and umpire Steve R. (centre) explains a point of law to Andy "d'Ice Man Percy" (left) somewhere south west of Norwich.
The game ended with a Yorkist victory (Edward of March was the last surviving Royal, but was uncrowned) with a Lancastrian player (Bill) ending the war as the most powerful (player with most points won) noble.
Thanks to all of the 'Gentlemen' for what, I must say, was a weekend to remember. I enjoyed it immensely.
Special thanks to Steve for organising such a large and successful game and inviting and taking care of me; to Dale for his hospitality on Friday night; to Colin for giving me a lift to Edinburgh to catch my train on Sunday afternoon; to Andrew, my most loyal enemy.