I spent last weekend in Cardiff, helping my old friend Nick to celebrate his 40th birthday by playing lots of wargames. Nick and I go back a long way. We first met in 1992 through the postal Diplomacy hobby, Nick introduced me to his gaming club in Salisbury, and we've been firm opponents ever since.
Over the weekend we played C&C Ancients, Railway Rivals, 6 Nimmt!, Struggle for Rome, and lots of Up Front! Nick had downloaded a campaign based on the 1944 struggle for Caen. This was an amazing wargaming experience. It gave a whole new flavour to each game to know that I had to guide my platoon through 12 scenarios, managing my roster for each engagement, nurturing green men, and finding replacements for casualties.
In the first scenario my plucky Brits were assaulting a pillbox. A Panther (a Panther!!!) turned up at the start of the second deck and after a few turns of being pounded by HE I decided to settle for a loss and get my men off the battlefield ASAP. In 2nd scenario we came back at night, with a (fairly puny) AFV for another crack at the pillbox. Unfortunately the Germans had laid some mines in the interval. My Staghound fought off Nick's infiltrator, but meanwhile my manoevre group was being killed off to break my squad. Scenario 3 had no pillbox - it was more like "Meeting of Patrols". At first I was doing really well, with my mortar covering an advance into a building at range 3. But Nick outflanked both my groups, wiping out the group in the building, and I withdrew with only 3 survivors for another loss.
At this point I had 13 VPs to Nick's 69! 9 out of my roster of 26 were KIA, and another 2 wounded. We had to pause at that point, but I have to say it is not looking good for the British.....
A great weekend, and I suppose appropriate that I lost pretty well everything we played - it was Nick's birthday after all.