Missed opportunities, and looking ahead

Last weekend I decided to wave off the “Warhammer Warband” tournament on Saturday because I already had two hobby-related events on the calendar–an RPG session Friday and my regularly scheduled WHFB 3000 pt. battle Sunday, and instead spend some time with the family. Unfortunately, my wife got sick Sunday, scrubbing my Sunday plans completely (this, after wasting three hours at a church-related event where no one showed up). So of the three possibilities, I got one in, which is not as bad as a kick in the head, I guess. I’ll go next Sunday and once again kick orc backside with my dwarfs (or hope beyond hope, one of the other opponents).

Speaking of WHFB campaigns, I’ve been kicking around in my head (and probably should put on the 24-hour section) the notion of doing something different with the 2008-2009 campaign. The current campaign, The Reaver Princes, will continue for another seven or eight months, well into the summer of 2008. Since management of the campaigns tends to alternate back and forth between me and Vince, I’m beginning to wonder what I’ll do when this one dies down. Here’s my idea:

One of the classics of wargaming campaigns is Tony Bath’s Hyboria campaign. For those who don’t know, Bath was one of the early organizers of the UK wargaming community, including the creation of organizations, magazines, conventions, etc. along with Donald Featherstone. Both men did “pseudo-historical” campaigns, Bath’s in the biblical era, and Featherstone’s in the SYW range. I don’t think that the impact of those choices can be underestimated: Bath is credited with doing the first fantasy wargame, and Featherstone laid the groundwork for all the SYW “ImagiNations” out there.

Anyways, Bath did some nice write-ups for Hyboria, including rules for territories, etc. WHFB has territory rules I like in the General’s Compendium, or I could easily use those, or the ones in Mighty Empires. Here’s what I thinking about for doing something different. Bath’s armies are essentially all variants on a theme, namely biblical-era armies: low-armor infantry and cavalry, chariots, elephants, etc. I was thinking about seeing if the group would be interested in limiting themselves to a single army book, say Empire or Bretonnia, or (gasp!) making the switch to Warhammer Ancient Battles instead (where I could use Shield Wars to recreate Hyboria, if I wanted). If I used Empire, I could re-enact the Empire in Flames era, or do some sort of War of the Roses with Bretonnia.

This would put a stronger emphasis on generalship and less on the strengths/weaknesses of the army books (especially the old vs. the new). It might be a inconvenience for those players who lack the appropriate miniatures, however, but I’m thinking that between Vince’s large collection and my own, we might be able to field two armies on the table if need be. Failing that, I’ve got eight months to work that out.

The other thing it would do is facilitate games with more than two players on a side, even unequal numbers of players.  One big problem with WHFB and these big games is how to negotiate the magic phase.  Can one player’s dispel dice be used by a player on the same side?  What if it was to dispel a spell that either affected the opponents team (some sort of “beef up” spell) or one that could overlap (like “Foot of Gork”)?  Having the same army allows players to just play sections of a bigger army list (battalions, etc.) while WAB removes magic altogether.  Okay, off to the 24 Hour section with you!


  1. I HATE it when you put all that effort into a program and no one shows up. I’ve actually made a 20-minute rule policy, because I’ve found myself at other people’s programs that have bombed spectacularly. I’ll show up, fly the flag, make nice, and then get the hell out when it becomes apparent that it’s a waste of energy and time. While I never recover any game time that way, I at least get to spend it with the wife& kid.

  2. What I find particularly frustrating is that, when it usually bombs like this, it is because it is under-promoted. This time, however, it wasn’t. It was in the newsletter, the worship leaflet, and the announcements. In this case just no one came. I’ll tell you what, though, it made it a lot easier for me to consider blowing off most of the Christmas Craft Show so I can go to a gaming convention in Fort Wayne, IN.

  3. Nothing petrifies me more than lack of communication. Our synagogue website looks like it was designed by a 15-year old in 1996, our email newsletter is similarly unwieldy, the newsletter (now sent only as a .pdf) is 47 frickin’ pages long, leaving the mid-month mailer (which is a booklet with the calendar and promotional material for programs) and a few other sources. And heaven forfend we hire an expert to wrassle all this stuff into something that works.

    Sigh. On the other hand, your trip into historicals (among other things) has caused me to have a complete lapse in judgment as I embark on VSF/Gaslight ACW project. And if there’s anything more insane than fantasy or sci-fi gaming, it’s historicals and Victorian sci-fi. I’m sure SYW will be similarly engrossing. Just don’t get sucked into different scales. That way lies madness.

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