Five years ago, upon completing my PhD, I went off into the world as a new professor, and after teaching for a few years, and serving as a research professor for a few years, Providence has brought us full circle, and we are now returning back to Newport News.
I will be teaching at a local university, and my daughter will be attending my alma mater, Christopher Newport University. And, I have fallen back into step with my old wargaming club. There is also talk of regular game days at GwC HQ, and also (gasp) rumors of regular roleplaying. Where will all the time come from? Still it is good to be coming home.
Soldier from the wars returning,
Spoiler of the taken town,
Here is ease that asks not earning;
Turn you in and sit you down.
Peace is come and wars are over,
Welcome you and welcome all,
While the charger crops the clover
And his bridle hangs in stall.
Now no more of winters biting,
Filth in trench from tall to spring,
Summers full of sweat and fighting
For the Kesar or the King.
Rest you, charger, rust you, bridle;
Kings and kesars, keep your pay;
Soldier, sit you down and idle
At the inn of night for aye.
- A.E. Housman, 1922
I mentioned that I have fallen in with the old wargaming club, Old Dominion Military Society, which is now actively gaming again on a weekly basis. Our summer convention (Guns of August) is being hosted at the Virginia War Museum. We have plans underway for the new winter convention (Williamsburg Muster), returning to its regular February timeslot. The local club is also talking about monthly game days (game nights?) where we rent out or acquire access to a large venue, for some big, serious, miniatures gaming. Maybe at the Museum? Maybe at a local community hall? Still working the details.
Miniature gaming, so far, has been of the Thursday night variety. Which means, typically, smallish games. Some ODMS members have hosted great things - (The Rules with No Name, FrostGrave, Wings of Glory, DBA, etc etc), and this week we have some Ancients happening, and next week we have some Napoleonics happening. All very good.
Boardgaming has been quite fun, and with our new game room (the den, or family room, in our new house is dedicated as a game room, with storage for all our board games, and a nice game table, some chairs, a couch, and a computer desk), we have been playing on a regular basis, as a family, and with some guests. During the move, the inventory and packing/unpacking experience showed us that we have a lot of games that we really like, but haven't played in a while. And some that we have never played. To address those issues, we made a list of "games we have not played lately, but want to" and will be using that to schedule Wednesday night family game night. Several recent games of Fantastiqa have been quite fun, and looking forward to some Terra Mystica and maybe some Archon and/or Tempus.
Roleplaying has been discussed, especially with our return to the old stomping grounds, and so many of the players we love playing with from years ago. There is talk of "getting the band back together" with some of the our old regulars, in an old fashioned roleplaying game (either fantasy, or maybe sci-fi). Nothing yet, but details will appear in this fine publication.
Planned upcoming game activities -
Guns of August is going to be in a public place - so it will be a little bit different. I am treating this as a recruiting and/or community outreach opportunity for both wargaming in general, and for the game club (ODMS). I will be hosting four (introductory level) wargames, and am in the process of preparing handouts for each, to introduce some history, wargaming, and the rules being used.
1. Introduction to Medieval Wargames - very similar to the games I hosted at Guns of August 2016, with two games going on at once (maybe, Vikings/Saxons, and Crusaders/Saracens). I'll be using the Neil Thomas introductory rules, and am working on a handout for this game.
2. Wargaming the Revolutionary War - I will probably use a smaller version of the scenario I ran at Thanksgiving 2015, which was a fictional Southern Campaign battle, set in South Carolina 1780. I won't be using Black Powder for this, because I want it completely friendly to newcomers and kids. Either some homebrew rules (Patriot's Blood) or Neil Thomas Napoleonic rules adapted for the purpose.
3. Introduction to Renaissance Wargaming - This one will be a lot like the first one, with two battles (four armies), and using the Neil Thomas rules. One of the battles will most likely be French/Imperialist vs. Italians. The other might be English Civil War. Again, similar to the solo Renaissance game I did back in 2016. The main feather here is the history of the period, and trying to get people interested, so I am working on a nice handout.
4. Introduction to Medieval Wargaming - This one is a conundrum for me. I have a couple of ideas. The first is to do the same thing I plan for number 1 above, but maybe with different armies. The second is to do a 28mm scale game using Lion Rampant, to show what medieval games are like, at that weird mix between skirmish and full army battles (such as LR, but also Saga and some others). The third idea is to use the Chainmail rules such as my recent games supporting the Lord of the Manor project, and use the handout session to show the connection between miniatures games and the later roleplaying game revolution. Still deciding this one.
Lots more coming up, including finishing some of the projects here (dark ages wargaming, retro reviews, etc). Watch this space.