CLWG Games Weekend – Brian Cameron
This was a re-run of my game on the Siege of the Peking Legations during the Boxer uprising in 1900. You may well have seen the old film, 55 Days at Peking. In reality, most of the fighting was between defenders and the Chinese Army engaging each other with rifle fire but that’s nowhere near as exciting as hordes of Boxers charging so I went with the movie version,
This is a slightly unusual game for CLWG in that it requires the players, who are all the defenders, to co-operate in order to survive. This they did and once again survived despite my changes to the rules to make the Chinese mobs tougher though fewer in number so that the players had to support each other with troops (as happened historically).
My thanks to those who took part. I’m currently looking for other situations for similar games as I’m enjoying a number of board games which use a cooperative approach.
Shameless, Impudent and Indebted Lords – Nick
This looked at the situation in 1450 when Henry VI is being worked by his wife, Margaret of Anjou (shamelessly played by Richard Hands) and Richard of York, out of favour, is aiming for the throne. The players were various lords who were in or out of favour or engaged in local disputes. Two played the commons (Marcel and myself) who were subjected to impudence by the lords and looking to get our loans back from the indebted crown.
While Marcel and I proved an irritant by passing unwelcome legislation our only lever was taxation so the game was a bit limited. Moves to get the Dukes of York and Buckingham as advisors to the ‘king’ were always going to be hard work, especially as York (Dave) seemed to be sucking up to him (her!).
I think a number of the roles need beefing up and York really needs to be the driver of events to take the game to the point where conflict breaks out. More local events, in which various lords need to take sides could also be a driver for more friction between them. That might then see them attempting to work with the commons. Still, it was an enjoyable game in which I took every opportunity to be impudent, particularly when Margaret retired to the king’s chamber with the Duke of Somerset!
A constitution for the Batavian Republic – Jaap
Liberation (and huge indebtedness) had come to the United Provinces in the form of the French Revolution and now we needed to come up with a new constitution. Appropriately, 50% of the players were Dutch (a map proved necessary for the rest of us).
I thought the game echoed some of the arguments I’m familiar with from the American Revolution between Federalists (i.e. those who believe in states’ rights rather than central government) and centralists (who believe the opposite). It was interesting to come up with arguments for a position I don’t believe in but I’m not sure there was any likelihood of getting a resolution so I felt I was more in a re-enactment of an historical event than a game. However, I rather think that with something of a Pickles’ style positioning on various issues (i.e. telling the players were they stand on issues – strongly against, against, for, strongly for) and specifying and limiting the issues would provide the structure for a game where a compromise could be achieved. I’d suggest that it would be well worth another run on that basis.
An Island Fortress – Andrew
This was a nice change – a game planning a military operation! I’m afraid that from the start (1759, the war is going badly for the French so we decide to invade the England!) I didn’t think this was likely to be successful given our lack of a navy. This gloominess was proved correct when the navy players proved unable to roll higher than a 3 or a d6 or a d8. As I will later be quoted as saying “Give me a lucky Admiral”.
I ended up as The Duc de Choisel, in charge of the planning, apparently as I was the only Frenchman who had had any success recently; fortunately I never had to roll any dice to see if this streak was continuing.
I can reveal nothing of our plan (except to mention that the initial plan survived to the point where the invasion is to be launched) as Andrew is intending to play through the invasion at another meeting. The planning covered the army, navy and diplomacy though we were over-manned; one player could have handled each of the activities with a fourth to be the overall head. I had quite a relaxed game, working with my broad brush and the other players sorting out the detail but I rather like that sort of role.
Thanks to Nick for keeping us in order and Dave for providing the tea and coffee. An enjoyable weekend as usual.