We had a great meeting, our last of the year, and all...apart from Mark, I'll explain later....had a very good time; I doubt many of us had ever laughed so much. The trouble is that it was such an extraordinary meeting I have been struggling to write it up. This is my sixth attempt! I am going to have to start at the very beginning and let the story unfold organically. Cue wobbly fade-out picture and eerie music.....ooooooeeeeeeooooooooeeeeeeeeeooooooo etc
|Some of the tokens in play....note Santa looking as if he is surrendering :)|
You wouldn't believe the trouble I had getting these figures at the right size! Each figure would give the owner a bonus, the penguin increased your initiative, the reindeer your movement, the snowman took a bullet for you and the polar bear gave one out. If you were lucky enough to get Santa then you could pick the bonus you wanted when you needed it. One use only these bonuses. Also note the present awaiting collection in the graveyard.
We almost had a full house for the meeting, so many I had to pull out of the game and umpire it, the lot of a Chairman. There are only 54 cards in a pack and with every player needing five we only just managed. I ran through the simple rules with the players, ensuring they were all wearing their hats and using the new club tape measures I had arranged for them all and had placed into the Christmas crackers. I am such a nice Chairman. The object of the game was to kill as many of each other as they could, a kill won you a specially made token and whoever had the most tokens won the prize, a milk chocolate Battleships game! And off we went.....and all seemed well, the game rolled along...Mark was shot dead almost immediately which did cause some sniggering. All such killed players returned next turn in a random location....and no, not as zombies either.
|Our specially made Kill tokens, actually modified children's party badges...isn't eBay great?!|
The game continued with more than the usual degree of one upmanship....just because you were shot by someone seemed reason enough to then seek that person out to return the favour; high cards were trumped, turns and initiative stolen, cries of victory and groans of defeat resounded....loudly and accompanied by more laughter and insults....and the sticky badges were being handed out as the dead were piled high and new John took full part. It was then, at the height of the raucousness, that Dave casually asked new John what period and scales he played. John didn't have a clue what he was talking about and said he had never seen wargames before...John, in fact, was there to be co-opted onto the Iwade Parish Council but had got the wrong day; the parish council meeting was the next evening!! This caused riotous laughter that was actually painful...side splitting in fact. To a group of wargamers already in a high and jolly mood (and with not a drop of alcohol in sight) this news stopped play with not a dry eye in the house. All those questions new John had asked had fitted our profile and activities and so the confusion, like a TV sitcom, continued until the truth was revealed. It could not have been written any better. New John, to his credit (and enjoyment I am sure) carried on with the game until the end and even gained a badge or two...along with a club membership application form. I wonder if he will come back? I wonder what he told his wife when he got home and she asked how his evening went????
To add to the general hysteria Mark spent the entire game either dead or with no usable cards in his hand and Clive, in an attempt to navigate past a chair, instead fell full length over it whilst still keeping his party hat on. The game became several smaller and more personal actions as vengeance was sought in various quarters and ended with poor Mark deciding to use the only cards he could to move his figure and the Santa token off the table to end his misery. Even then, with the shotgun armed cowboy leading away a Santa with arms raised in seeming surrender, the silliness continued. Several people wondered what Mark's figure intended to do with poor Santa and you can imagine the scenarios these over excited wargamers came up with! Certainly not a game for the ladies.
The game was eventually won by Bob who had managed to kill five or six cowboys during the evening leaving him the clear winner. Several wondered whether Bob's American roots had something to do with it but all agreed that the game was a great success....except for Mark perhaps. I know it took two days for my laughter induced headache to go away! I may have cracked a rib too.