Sunday, 3 May 2015

The (Almost) Never Ending Wargame

In April 2009 we started our Napoleonic Campaign, in order to provide us with interesting battles to wargame.   Since then every wargame we played has been provided by the campaign.  At least 157 battles, all of which I have recorded and posted battle reports on the various campaign diary blogs.

We are fortunate to have a permanent wargames room and fight all of our campaign battles on a 6x6 foot table.   We tend to wargame about four or five afternoons a week, usually for an hour or so at a time.   It usually takes us about one week to complete each wargame.

There are five independent geographical areas in the campaign, each with its own French and allied army.    So there is usually one, or more, battles waiting to be wargamed.   Until last weekend.

We have recently restarted the campaign in order to update the maps and rules.   This has meant that all ten army commanders were starting their campaign from scratch.   So there was a lot of movement to try to gain advantage, and no actual fighting.  

Our reserve of battles ran dry!

It only lasted for four days, but each time I passed the wargames room the empty table struck me as most unusual.   I considered setting up a “one off” game, or even starting a solo campaign to cover such an event in the future.

But when the next set of orders arrived they resulted in a battle, and the crisis was at an end!

It has made me realise two things.

First how important wargaming has become to Jan and I.   We discovered model soldiers, and later wargaming, just after we were married.   For many years we played the occasional wargame together.   Then I started regular wargaming in our converted garage, and for 20 odd years met with a group of friends to wargame each week.   Jan never liked playing with a group, but we had the occasional game on our own.   Finally we retired to Spain and designed our campaign.   Since then wargaming has become a regular part of our weekly, and even daily, routine.

Second how well our campaign has worked.   The objective was to provide enjoyable wargames, using all of our model soldiers, buildings and scenery.   It has done so for more than five years without a break – until now.

If this does happen again I will add an extra georgaphical area to the campaign, but I will control both armies myself.   The sole aim will be to provide wargames should we again run out of campaign battles.   If I run it on my own there will be no problem if there are long gaps between battles, because there will not be another player to explain why nothing is happening.

Mind it may not be necessary.   It has worked for five years, with just one four day gap.  

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