On Saturday I choogled down to Olympia for an all day game fest at Scott Murphy's house. Scott hosted a potluck and some garage gaming, which would have been perfect except for some unseasonal ridiculous rain.
This was a showcase for a couple of Mark Waddington's games. He's been wanting to run a Zulu War game in which each of the players has a stake in overall victory, but each of the commands has competing objectives. I had three specific commands. The first was a light horse unit in which I had to visit more terrain features than the other light horse unit in our army. I also had a martinet captain that could chirp at each of the units of the 24th (I believe there were six,) and could improve their movement and shooting, but gave a -1 to morale. The bonus was that I could also be shot by my own troops. Finally, I also had the Naval Brigade unit, clearly an elite shipboard force, but not so much on dry land. They couldn't shoot straight, melee properly or form square, but you should see them row a longboat.
Things got off to a super start with Whitehall's cavalry heading off to their first terrain feature, Snosworthy barking at whichever poor Welshmen could hear him, and the sailors dutifully covering the rear of the baggage train. By turn two, however, Zulu signs began to pop up. Where would the impi arrive, and would those we see simply be part of a feint. On turn four Whitehall's horsemen made it's high water mark, and encountered the right flank of the Zulu advance. The rest of the game would be spent running for their lives, shooting at the Zulus and keeping the unit intact (averaging two kills per turn shooting over their shoulders.) Snosworthy was an albatross around the neck of all those redcoats he could find, sticking too close to them to be shot in the back by his fellows. The sailors tried to form part of a brigade square, but couldn't form up in close order. Sent into a hole in the British center, it looked like they would play the heroic martyrs against an advancing Zulu regiment, but got the last laugh when they ran away instead. Well, I laughed anyway.
We played out the game for four hours until the food was officially cooked. I don't quite know what the status of the game was at the end. The Zulus seemed to be moving pretty handily through the center, while British troops were just beginning to flow to fill in the gaps. It certainly looked dicey for the Brits, I only know that my cavalry and sailors were quite prepared to run away the fastest.
After some great eats we settled down to game two--colonial adventures on Venus!! The Brits were on a mission tramping around the marshes of Venus to rescue some missing archaeologists. Yes, you're right the archaeologists were actually were in the evil clutches of the meddling Germans, mwahahahahaa!! The Germans were meddling in the affairs of the Skinks, the slimy little reptiliad Venusian lowlifes that inhabit most of the stinking swamps of the "morning star." You might be wondering what my command was during this episode of "My Venusian Vacation." Was it the 1st battalion Grenadier Guards? No! How about the Kings Royal Rifle Corps? Be real, they are so effete. Perhaps a squadron of Royal Marine Light Infantry, with all their expertise in boats and all? Nah, in fact I was a commander of the corps of Venusian lowlifes tasked with making life miserable for the Brits.
And I must say I did my best. I swamped about shooting tiny little Skink arrows at the Brits in their boats, and those slogging through the swamp. I heroically made 5 to 1 attacks on shot up British units. We made life pretty miserable for them, and by the end of the game, things were looking pretty bad for the redcoats.
It was a fun, fun day, and thanks to Mark for putting on the games and Scott and Dale for hosting the party.
I'm a high school history and journalism teacher, a career I've loved and continued to enjoy. Aside from my family I have several passions-miniature wargaming, movies, books and music. I'm also a died in the wool Mariners fan and baseball lover.