Then of course the penny dropped or the light bulb above my head came on, you get the idea, Lancaster! I checked them up online to ensure they were still operating and found out they were and HQ was still Lancaster Grammar School. I phoned and found out that they played Dux Britanniarum and was also informed someone else played X-Wing, so that was a good start, I was also invited to come along and see for myself, which I decided I would.
Like someone going on a first date I showed up, was welcomed and slotted into a game of Sails of Glory, during game play I quizzed the players and generally managed to enjoy a few hours with people who talked my language; history, soldiers, rules, games etc. I had also arrived just at the time a Dux B campaign was about to start, my troops were given land in Northern Britain and prepared to hold it to the last drop of their blood. All in all an excellent new beginning.
However, being human I still felt something was missing, the club tends to play multiplayer games and no one is left behind but I still wanted to fight big battles and looked at my now almost complete War & Conquest Dark Age armies and wondered if they would ever get out of the boxes. I noticed on the Scarab forum that a tournament was being organised at Wargame Foundry and for other reasons as well as wanting to play I decided that I would go for it, launch myself into the unknown, never having actually played the game being a minor problem. I was told the list was full, too bleedin' late.
I don't know what happened but a slot was found, perhaps due to my enthusiasm on the forums I don't know, but I was grateful, booked my hotel and impatiently awaited the big day.
I turned up at the hotel early as I met an old Navy buddy for lunch, I fretted away in the room until I thought it was the right time to go and look for a bunch of wargamers in the bar, I took a suitably military book with me for identification purposes and sat where anyone who looked would obviously see me as an old hand. I think what they saw was an old guy pretending to read a book making furtive glances around the place looking for a like minded soul, it was a mercy I was not told to move on. Then an opening, someone shouted 'Reece' at a guy at the bar, one of the players was a Reece, how many Reece's could there be in a pub in Newark on the night before the tournament. I gathered my courage, tucked my book under my arm, grabbed my by now lukewarm pint and trotted over to 'Reece', the blank looks on their faces said it all, there apparently were two Reece's here and this wasn't the one I expected. Mumbling wargames stuff, apologies and something about mistaken identity I retreated to my room, feeling the stares at my back.
The next morning I hesitantly approached breakfast, again looking for wargamers when I was confronted by a chap seemingly organising some other guys at the buffet and due to the miracle of the internet I did recognise from forum pictures "Phil Turner I presume?" The rest as they say is history.
|The inestimable Mr. Turner.|
Well there you have it my journey so far through a life of wargaming. I have now reached an almost perfect stage where I have a thriving local club and outside that I have had the good fortune to be involved in the War and Conquest world of a great bunch of people. We all know that wargaming never stops and plans for the future concern possibly two more W&C armies, a Muskets and Tomahawks force and I still feel a pull from WWII due in the main to the lovely figures and vehicles available, also when the PO does close I have a huge area to turn into my wargame room/study. Thanks for listening.