Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Feast

Last weekend turned out to be a bit of a feast of wargaming - thanks in part to a Saturday visit from Phil, who was keen to try plugging his PS3 into my home cinema projector in order to watch "There Will Be Blood" in glorious Blu-Ray surround vision. This plan sadly ran into technical problems of the why-is-this-plug-the-wrong-shape-for-that-socket variety. So we watched "Gone With The Wind" on old-fashioned DVD instead - at least, the first 10 minutes of it until Phil fell asleep. Anyway, well before this debacle unfolded we had spent an exciting couple of hours that afternoon with Up Front and the City Fight scenario. After a slow first deck I was feeling smug, with most of my GI's safely billetted in two building at range chit 2. Undeterred, Phil infiltrated the first building with scary Sgt Hauptmann who killed 2 of my boys with his SMG, then chucked his demo charge into the second building with decisive - and squad-breaking - consequences.

So, thrashed again at Up Front by my own son. But he made up for it by cooking a delicious ribeye steak for me immediately afterwards.

On Sunday afternoon it was over to Chiswick for a game of Unhappy King Charles! with Iain. At last I can knock this one off my list of shame! I didn't do very well as the Royalists (perhaps my heart wasn't in it). I lost Oxford early in the game, and inattention to the isolation rules cost me the South. Rupert did have his Macclesfield moment when he rubbed out Brereton (I love playing a game that features Macclesfield!) but that was hardly enough to stop the rot. We played for 5 hours and had to stop with 2 turns to go, but the outome was depressingly clear at that point.

I love this game. Yes. the rules are repetitive and wilfully obtuse in places, but it is a very well thought-out game on a fascinating subject. The history feels right - the way that big "panzer commander" armies are penalized at every turn is a good example of fine historical discernment being prioritized over the power-play urges of some grognards (which is earning the game detractors in some quarters) and I love it for that. Iain - we have to book a rematch, and soon!

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