Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Weekly Update For Sunday, January 25, 2015 - Lord Vimuhla Is on The Side Of The Big Battalions (3) - Sportsmanship

A 'long table' (120" x 30") game set-up 

Things are still hectic here at the house; Middle Daughter (#4 in the set, collect them all - sure to increase in value! - pro-painted! - limited edition! - or something...) is staying with us for the weekend, so she gets some 'face time' before she goes back to her wonderful husband in Zurich - I like Zhodi a lot, and we share an interest in Chinese history.

However, we plod onward, down the Sakbe road of life...

We had a great organizational meeting yesterday for the Chakan campaign; I outlined the logistics and organization of the thing, and we had a great time discussing what we all want to accomplish. The guys in the group are all very excited at the chance to play in Ye Olden Style, and get a feel for what things were like back in the formative days of the hobby. Interestingly, they are also going to pass the word amongst their game-playing friends, and so we may see some new faces around the new game table, pushing some very old lead around.

One of the things that has the troops pretty excited is the opportunity for some of what used to be called 'sportsmanship'; as my 'home team' of players will be acting as the 'eyes and ears' of the 'remote' / 'virtual' players (as well as their hands and feet), they will have the chance to play a wide variety of roles as the campaign develops: one game session, they may be playing the 'wild' Pe Choi of the deep Chakan forests, the next the soldiers of one or another of the Five Empires or their allies.

This goes back to the days we were playing at the Conflict Simulation Association meetings at Coffman Union at the University of Minnesota; somebody would announce that they were running a game, and we'd either sign up for it in advance or choose sides on the day. More then once, if nobody had a preference as to what they wanted to play, we'd simply roll dice for it, and 'play it as it lies'.

(Which also led to the house rule about non-game stuff on the game table; generally, you were asked once by the person running the game to please take your soda can off the scenery, and if you didn't it became a part of the game - hence the battle cry, "Play the Coke can!" - and I do have to say that after a couple of fights where the tanks blew up the Coke can [see also the wonderful game, "Panzer Pranks", by Lortz and Lortz] and the Americans had to roll a morale check - the issue of crap on the table dropped off to nothing.)

Back in those more innocent days, we were all about playing the game and having fun. Those of us who liked building things worked very hard to amuse and astound our fellow players - don't get me started on my 1/700 Japanese seaplane models for our naval games - and we viewed their impeding doom on the game table with more then a little amusement. For us, this wasn't 'serious gaming'; I don't think the concept had been discovered hereabouts yet, back then.

So, there will be a lot of this in the forthcoming campaign - today's valiant foe may be tomorrow's stalwart ally. Carry yourselves bravely, and we'll all have some fun!


  1. That table looks like its set for a great game.


  2. Thank you! I have three 30" x 60" tables with folding legs, and before I built the current 'permanent' table we used these for all of our games. I normally use one of several table formats: 60" x 60", 60" x 90", or this 30" x 120", depending on the game scenario.

    In this case, the game involved the players going 'up country' from the human coastal village to investigate Strange And Mysterious Doings inland, and so I configured the table to be a 'road game' in format. The players got about halfway to their destination before being bushwhacked by The Dire Peril, and a running fight up and down the board broke out.

    It was, if I may toot my own horn a bit, a very good game; everyone had fun, and I got - once again! - to 'show off' a bit and demonstrate the kind of game that I enjoy putting on for people.

    I've been building up my gaming resources for years, bit by bit, and this table shows what kind of thing one can achieve with some patience... :)

    Thanks again!