Don't be too disturbed - it was not really a celebration of war, just a gathering of my old gaming friends from Salisbury to play a few games - especially two-player wargames - and spend some time eating and drinking together. Dave and Steve were first to arrive on Friday morning, closely followed by John, but Nick didn't turn up until 6 and insisted on a few pints in the Railway Exchange when he did arrive. It was ideal gaming weather on Friday - pouring with rain - so we had no qualms about staying indoors hunched over the tables. The weather did improve as the weekend went on but failed to lure us outside, except for a quick trip to the local game shop on Saturday afternoon, where we spent so much between us that we managed to negotiate a rare discount!
A quick run-down of what was played:
2 games of C&C Ancients, both times the Bagradas scenario. John's Romans beat me in a close struggle. Steve and Dave's game was abandoned due to player incompetence.
Dave's USA lost to Steve in the 3rd turn of Twilight Struggle.
I started a game of Twilight Struggle with John.
After dinner John beat us all at Through the Desert. In case you're wondering, this "John won" theme continued throughout the weekend. Sometimes I'm tempted to just not invite him....
My USA lost to John's Glasnost card on turn 8 of Twilight Struggle.
Meanwhile Nick gained an unprecedented Euphrat & Tigris victory over Dave and Steve.
After the game shop binge, we played a much anticipated game of Struggle of Empires. I really enjoyed this, even though my Netherlands was condemned by Nick's aggressive bidding to alliance with Steve for most of the game - being the 2-player alliance in a 5-player game we usually got the worst of it. John won (again!) Unfortunately there were some post-match recriminations as I prepared dinner - Dave felt that Nick had reneged on an agreement. My feeling was, more fool Dave for trusting Nick in the first place! I was a bit surprised by all this - one of the charms of Struggle of Empires for me is that the alliance auction removes the scope for a lot of the negotiation and unpleasantness that you often get in multi-player empire-building games. But I suppose there is still room for a bit of deal-making and breaking if you really want it.
Pacified by dinner we sat down to a Wings of War dogfight - no room for negotiations here! I managed to fly off the table again, but the others were kind and let me off. In the end I was shot down by John's Nieuport.
It was getting late so I pulled out Um Krone und Kragen as a light filler. Surprisingly Nick and Steve found it anything but light - in fact Steve dropped out altogether pleading his brain was fried. I won this one (not John!)
Sunday morning saw folks leaving for journeys home, but Dave and I had one last game of C&C Ancients, the Trebbia scenario. Dave (with Steve's help) took Carthage. The Mago ambush never materialized, but it was a knife-edge struggle. Dave's phalanx did great things, as did the elephant "Stompy", but Stompy died in the end, and I just scraped a 7-6 victory. What a great way to end our festival. Wargaming doesn't get much better than this!