What you missed at the Chestnut Lodge Wargames Group (CLWG) December meeting.

In December we started from 12 at John Rutherford’s house and played until after 9pm and chatted with the aid of several bottles of wine until almost midnight. In total we had 13 members at the meeting. It started with a fairly light-hearted game called ‘Battling Druids‘ which was originally designed by Trevor Farrant as a participation game for wargames shows for another club that he is a member of. This involves four 100mm models of druids, four fountains, a cloud with a lighting bolt, hordes of hedges, magic spells and a whole lot of fun.

A sergeant air-gunner mans his Vickers 'K' gun...
A sergeant air-gunner mans his Vickers ‘K’ gun from the rear cockpit of a Fairey Battle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Next up was an RAF Aircrew RPG which I ran with the help of a couple of others. This involved the layers creating themselves characters, setting off in their Fairey Battles and hamming it up big style. Every stereotype was there, from the Australian bush pilot (who was a real-life Quantas Jumbo Jet pilot) to the terrible ex-public schoolboy who drove his Morgan nearly as fast as the aircraft. All the players ended up in enemy hands (what do you expect when you take a Fairey Battle to bomb a bridge in Maastricht?). They were separated, interrogated and then combined in a prison camp (except for the Aussie who broke and ran for it like a man).

This led us nicely into our next game from Jerry, which was set in a POW camp near the Swiss border in the later part of 1944. It was based on one of the exercises that the regular army uses to test its potential officers reasoning ability. We split into two groups for this, and although both groups came up with reasonable plans neither of us managed to get the ‘DS solution’ which is what the army consider to be the correct answer. Admittedly the set problem does tie your hands a bit and railroads you towards a sub-optimal solution (at least in my view). This also ran alongside another session of the ‘Battling Druids’.

Next up was the club quiz, run by me. It came in two parts. The first part was where I asked people ten questions about their ideal game, its title, what it would feature, what it wouldn’t feature, where it was set, its subject and who the dream designer would be and a couple of other things too. The interval was filled by Chinese takeaway and some wine. After that I read out the answers to each of he questions and people had to guess who had written which answers. Given the rather silly nature of some answers (e.g. one of the games was titled something like “Manchurian Kung-Fu Space Marines vs. Psycho-Alien Death Nazis from Mars”, another called “Charles & Die” – about the English Civil War naturally) this was a highly amusing game where people were accused of all sorts of things.

After the club quiz things degenerated further into hilarity with a game of Starship Marine. The game was different from normal because each player had to write down what actions the player on their left did (which rotated round the table each turn). When you got the bit of paper telling you what had just happened you announced what you wanted your character to do next (and hopefully the person who was writing down what actually happens was listening to you). This game involved teddy bears, VR porn, scantily clad women, large alien robots, leaking steam, a system failure in a suit of powered armour, accidental grenade throwing and a host of other improbable and hilarious outcomes that wouldn’t normally have happened in one of our usual games using the rules.

All that happened after that was that we sat around and talked for an hour or so before deciding that we had to leave to get last buses/trains/etc home. In all it was a good session.