Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Christmas at the Club

Club night once again, and although I would quite happily have stayed in and put my feet up I decided to make an effort as my day had been fairly easy compared to yesterday, the tradition at Lancaster is to put on a Christmas game in which everyone is involved. Last years was a Steampunk game which was pre blog so I did not write about it. This year it would be fantasy with Dragon Rampant rules, these have been extrapolated from the popular Lion Rampant rules but with fantasy elements and no doubt will prove just as popular, but maybe not with Frostgrave ruling the roost at the moment.
Matt explains the game to a mesmerised audience.
Matt had organised the game and done a splendid job, explaining the rules and providing cheat sheets etc. he also volunteered himself as umpire to ensure a seamless game, a duty he performed well. We had four 'teams' two good and two evil, Elves, Dwarves, Orcs and Goblins (me, Andrew and Alfred) and the object was to collect as much treasure as possible in the time allowed. Andy turned up with a large tub of Roses chocolates which were suborned for treasure, 24 sweeties being placed on the large table. We had four units for each faction and three players per faction and took turns being the 'boss'.

My Wolf Riders, beautiful figures and paint job.

I started for the Goblins and did not make my activation, which meant no Goblin units could move, this happened for four turns, nearly everyone else was able to move, apart from the Elf leader who would spend most of the game in the same spot until Matt reduced his activation roll to give him a part in the game. When we did move we had a good run, I led my Wolf Riders to pick up two sweets and moved on a third, but on the way I was attacked by an Elf warband, I beat these off and was then attacked by a big tree, I beat this character off as well but eventually lost my courage roll which meant I was removed from the game. I actually ate one sweet too quickly and had to replace it, I was able to choose another from the box rather than put it half eaten on the table to the relief of all present.

We Goblins were the worst bunch on the table, we lost three of our four units and were left at the end with one bunch of archers and one treasure, the good guys won very convincingly despite a heroic effort by the Orcs who narrowly missed putting the Dwarves out of action. So there we are, the end of another year and another new game, but not one I would play again if I could help it, the activation rule where you cannot do anything if you fail your first activation roll is a nonsense in my book, the Elf leader spent most of the game doing absolutely nothing, what is the point of that? The rules aside it was a splendid evening and everyone got involved, just what you want for a Christmas game, well done Matt and everyone who turned up.

The Orcs and Dwarves clash.

We also had the club AGM before we got down to enjoying ourselves, I was amused that we decided to become an adult only club to avoid the red tape involved in having anyone under 18 come along, to keep within the law we have to have procedures in place where a 17 year old if not accompanied by a parent fills in a form nominating a club member as a chaperone. Not only that we have to do a 'risk assessment' on the club, which involves us all knowing the fire escapes in the case of an emergency and no doubt other stuff, it also came to our notice that several of the guys who had put on a show at Leeds Armouries recently were asked if they had done a risk assessment before they set up.

What a palaver to play a wargame with like minded individuals, I helped run Carluke Wargames Club for nearly ten years without any of the above encroaching on our enjoyment of the hobby and most of the membership were under 18. For heaven's sake I  joined the Navy at 15 and they were prepared to pit me against the Soviet Red Banner Fleet out of Murmansk without a risk assessment or a chaperone!

That is it for 2015, I head south on Thursday for the festive season and will not be back at the club until 5th January when I shall get on with that Sudan Game I missed turning 63. Simon very kindly gave me a Christmas present which was a nice surprise, I give him a lift in to the club when I can, I was tempted to open it tonight and keep schtum but I decided not to. Musings will therefore be going dark until the New Year, so I wish all my readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


  1. The something Rampant series doesn't appeal to me either. Are there just too many overlapping rulesets out there now? ;-)
    Anyway, Merry Christmas to you and yours George!

    1. Thanks Matt. I think there are too many rules full stop. All of them try to be unique hence all this different activation guff, most of which ruins the game for me as only a few work well. Many in my humble opinion are board games with toy soldiers.

  2. Merry Xmas George!! I'm doing the reverse journey...driving up to Glasgow on Xmas Eve...must be made!!