Thursday, October 28, 2010

Well now that's all over...

The Pursuit

A scene from an affair of light cavalry over the weekend.
Courtesy of Donogh.

Gaelcon, Ireland's largest and oldest gaming convention was over the weekend - my involvement was pretty low key this year compared to previous years, but any doubts I might of hand as to the future of the convention were most assuredly put to rest - it was fantastic, well organised and very well attended.

I ran two games over the con, a LARP called "Yes, Grand Duke" which was set in the comic opera state of The Grand Duchy of Little Siskington in the late 18th century. It was a great success, with 24 players taking on the roles of advisors to the Grand Duke. I'll include some more about this game in a later blog post, but in brief, each player plays the role of an advisor to the head of state who they try to sway by reasoned argument, flattery and shouting.

The Grand Duke outlines a number of a problems facing the Duchy and asks for advice, while the players try to sway him to make decisions that serve their interests. An example problem from the game on Saturday was...

"Voltaire has been kicked out by Frederick the Great and is looking for somewhere to hang his hat, we have received word that he is likely to attempt to lodge in the Duchy, what do you suppose we should do?"

The Grand Duke allows the players to discuss the problem like gentlemen, calls for a show of hands and then makes an impartial and entirely independant decision based on the majority. There's also a lot of faff about duelling and arranging marriages and the like, but the bones of the game is the politics, which is great fun.

And lest you think I did something clever in putting this game together, a fiercely keen American by the name of Greg Stolze did, though his game was about American politics and was called Executive Decision.

And speaking of stealing other peoples work, I ran six games of Jim Wallman's En Avant diceless Napoleonic wargame over the weekend. I ran a variant of the latest cavalry teaser from Battlegames four times and two other homebrewed scenarios as well.

A few more games would have been played, if I had not foolishly attempted to keep with Donogh and others at the bar and ended up drinking well, but not wisely. I turned up somewhat the worse for wear on Sunday afternoon.

Scenario number one, had a British battalion sent out to cover some returning foragers running into a much larger French force and relying on front and bluff to buy enough time for the foragers to get away. This did not end well, the British player made some very imaginative moves, marching troops in a circle in a gap between two buildings, making extensive use of skirmishers and the regimental band, unfortunately the French player thinking that the marching men and distant drums signalled the approach of British reinforcements, resolved to attacked immediately. It was still a close run thing.

The second game was a holding action, where a small force of British riflemen backed up by one gun of the Royal Horse Artillery had to delay a French force for a short time and withdraw with their force intact. This did not end well for the British, not that any game that weekend did, and while they did manage to hold up the French, a considered but daring French player took both riflemen and gun and still managed to make it off the board in time.

I, of course, forgot to bring my camera and didn't have the wit use my iPhone, so the above is one of two pictures that Donogh shot over the weekend. It shows a moment during one of the Cavalry scenarios, where British and French squadrons having "threaded" each other turn to charge again.

On the whole, a very rewarding weekend, I thoroughly enjoyed myself, caught up with a lot of old friends, umpired some really enjoyable games, my feet still ache from dancing and I've sworn off the sauce for at least a month.

Capital. I can't wait until next year.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like you had a grand time, sir.

    Any movement on the House front?

    -- Jeff