Whilst going to large shows can satiate the need for many games, many traders and much spending, it can feel all a little hectic. Dealing with rucksacks and the lively conversations in front of trade stands can make shows a little tiring at the best.
It was a really pleasant surprise when I had a phone call from Shaun of the 'Bunker' fame. I have gamed with Shaun infrequently since his move to Newark in the past. For the second year, Shaun has organized a small 'show' in a village hall in a a small hamlet called Owthorpe. Without speaking too much for Shaun, I know that he is very much about enjoyment, fun and the spirit of wargaming; simple rules, full of flavour, that leave a pleasant 'gaming' taste in the mouth.
Whilst the scope of a village hall in itself can seem limiting, what it does bring is a focus back upon gaming for pleasure. The limited number of games and limited number of visitors provides a relaxed, intimate experience for those involved.
There were five games to join in with, three traders, and a warm cup of tea if you wanted one. William, myself and another gentleman started the day with a game of French Indian Wars. More specifically, a gentle recreation of the British evacuation from a fort made famous by the film 'Last of the Mohicans'.
The players took control of the Indians whilst the Umpire managed the English. All of the Hollywood characters were well recognized on the table. It was inevitable that the British would lose, yet the story telling certainly livened up the game. William is normally quite reserved at shows but the small setting and soft umpiring certainly brought William into the game. The Native American in him definitely came out as part of his warparty cut down Colonel Munro at the head of the column.
Contrary to the film, Hawkeye saw his father cut down, and in anger, challenged Magwa to a death dance of a duel. Meanwhile the rear of the column became as embroiled in combat as the front. Causing panic within the British ranks, an Indian spy revealed their true nature and attacked the drivers of a cart, causing a minor panic for those around. Whilst William was having fun at the front, I finally managed to engage the rearguard company, potshots taking their toll, with Redcoats falling across the track.
The game ended predictably with the main characters going down to hordes of Indians, with William striking the final blow. Wills had a good time, so a big thank you to the umpire for his spirited and engaging approach to the game.
Time ran away, so we did not have time for another game. Thanks to Shaun for putting on this little gem. Here are a few pictures of the other games that were there...