Chestnut Lodge Wargames Group

Review of 2021

by Jim Wallman

Our second year of pandemic saw quite a few attempts at replicating the CLWG experience using on-line tools and the relaxation of lockdown saw us experimenting with hybrid meetings – a non-trivial undertaking!  As in real life CLWG remained somewhat chaotic, though like 2020 the year gave us multiple opportunities to learn more about different means of wargaming.

This is a very short summary of our year (probably filled with glaring inaccuracies as my memory isn’t brilliant and I’m relying on the signup sheets to trigger recollection!)

January 2021

Nick Luft’s Seize Warsaw 1939 was a first attempt by Nick to do an operational map game using Conceptboard and Discord.  Notable for the generation of a potential War Crime sub-game.

My game “The Joly Aarvark Inn” was an attempt to use for an interactive fantasy role playing game that would hopefully be usable in a future megagame.  It didn’t really work, though I learnt a lot from the session!

February 2021

Future Space Cruiser Project 2178 was a discussion and planning comittee game using jitsi and google sheets where two allies attempt to agree on the design and construction of their new future space cruiser, balancing the needs of national industry with operational effectivness.

The Whole Duchy Rejoiced by Andrew Hadley was a playtest on jitsi for one of the elements of his ‘The Bastard Comes’ megagame project – in this case testing out the continental aspects of the Norman invasion.

March 2021

Who Will Win the Fight?  was Deborah Southwell’s debut CLWG game – introducing CLWGers to a novel perspective on some of Australia’s most tenatious adversaries.  This was a game involving toy soldiers and using Discord and webcams.

Operation Bingo – 1944 WW2 Map operation at Brigade Level using a simplified version of the STONK rules and played on Discord, Conceptboard and Google.

Games Weekend, April 2021

Le Grand Départ by Jaap Boender was a sequel of ‘France Fights On’ in which France has to make some key decisions in the summer of 1940.

There was a demonstration of Dave Boundy’s emerging software development Gameboard designed to facilitate megagames or games like that on line.

Look Into My Eyes was an experimental game about influence warfare in the modern world.

Acts of Mutant Registration by Pickles looked at the legality and political implication of super powered individuals (developing thinking on his megagame on the subject ‘The Real Heroes’).

Would they stand against him if he came? was Andrew Hadley’s game about the Anglo-Saxon response to Duke William.

Operation Water Cooler was a game by Nick Luft about the cyber attack on a uranium enrichment plant, designed to teach cyber security to Year 13 students.

May 2021

The Bear Growls by Terry Martin was a design session – part design, part playtest in preparation for the megagame of the same name.

Zombies 2: The Sequel by Rex Brynen was one of his legendary zombie skirmish games using webcam and models, as player fights their way accross his infested city in his basement near Montreal.

June 2021

Congress of Berlin by Brian Cameron & Dave Boundy was a run through of a congress game using Dave’s Gameboard software.

July 2021

Tobermory Tourists – role playing by Andrew Hadley

August 2021

The Bear Growls – megagame design discussion led by Terry Martin

September 2021

The Bastard’s Crown Discussion and playtesting of the political game system for Andrew Hadley’s planned megagame on the period 1066-71

The Village – A game of influence set at the tactical level. Teams represent different socoieconomic groups managing the arrival of troops in the village. Totally, 100% NOT Ambridge!

October 2021

Mist! Was jetzt? by Jaap Boender.  June 1940. The French haven’t done the decent thing and surrendered, so the German High Command has to figure out what to do now…

Spatial Chat, Dave Boundy’s exploration of how the on line meeting tool Spacial Chat can be used for our games.

Operation Shoestring – A session by John Dennis, the early stage development of a new WW2 Megagame. Part peer review and part brainstorm.

November 2021

Akiyoshi Monogatari in which we set up a Japanese town and fought over it using toy soldiers, for the first time in ages!  Played in person because the hall’s wifi failed!

The Bastard is here – a final playtest for Andrew Hadley’s megagame.

December 2021

Raiders of the Lost Temple of Doom by Brian Cameron.  This was originally intended to be hybrid, but technical barriers meant that in the end a fabulous time was had by all in Brian’s role-playing adventure.

The Quiet Year, brought by Nick Luft, was an introduction to an interesting narrative game method.

Splitting Cowes by Dave Boundy was a try out and design session for a game on the subject of negotiations about splitting the parliamentary constituency of the Isle of Wight.

and finally…

The Wnter Solstice Quiz, pitted members on line with members in the hall in a battle of what we can loosely describe as ‘wits’.  I can’t remember who won.

So I make that 27 sessions.  Well done everyone, both those who put on sessions and those who were able to attend in spirit (virtually) or in person to support the sessions.












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One Comment
  1. Terry Martin

    Most of the impetus and effort to promote hybrid and involve us far flung outliers came from Jim. Many thanks to him and to all the others who tried to involve us. There were times that on line gaming and chatting to gaming friends was for me a real lifeline to something approaching normality and sanity in an increasingly weird world.

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