Unfortunately I didn't manage to get up to Glasgow til later than planned, and missed Caliban's big Friday night tactica game - I bought into that idea where you get your car serviced before a long trip ... and trust them to finish it on time ...
The good news is that the Glasgow collective have found a new venue ... and it is ideal (adequate free parking, decent rooms and breakfast, a spacious conference suite for our games with modern coffee facilities - and a bar that stays open at night til the last man drops*): good find - Glasgow Campanile** at the SECC.
I only drove round the block 3 times to get the last bit right (which solo driving in Glasgow also isn't too bad).
(scenes from the 2013 Armati Calcutta Cup ...) ..
So after a Friday night that just consisted of beers and snacks with the usual suspects, it was into the Armati fest and Round One: the Calcutta Cup ...
Like many events, you can't play your clubmates/home nation in the first round - this has been achieved for the Glasgow event by configuring the first round as, more or less, Scotland and chums vs England and chums (the chumming being decided by the organisers to get broadly balanced teams) - it counts for the weekend but has its own little trophy, too ...
And here we all are celebrating our victory in bouncing footballer style, teasing tartan and pirate bandanna***
David H joined the English to make us Anglo/Irish (but needs must) and he ended up on the winning side :) ... I contributed a lucky win to the cause so everyone can smile. In the early years they used to call this the Bannockburn round ... but we scotched that years ago so now it is the Calcutta Cup.
The format is preset (loosely) historical scenarios all provided by the hosts (who also provide implements, markers, dice etc.****) ... preset tables diced for before each round, then the players dice for which army.
There is an army list/scenario notes for both players, plus a deployment screen, and, love it or loath it, each 'board' is a game mat with deployment zones marked out.
I played Crusader vs Mamluk (Crusader), Roman vs Pontic (Roman), Burgundian vs French (Burgundian), Late Roman vs Hun (Roman) and Saitic Egyptian vs Achaemenid Persian (Egyptian).
That's a fantastic mix of what ancient and medieval wargaming has to offer, so well done to the organisers.
Here are some pics:
(a 'Bennett Box' marshaling up against a Pontic battleline mostly of Imitation Legionaries)
(Egyptian chariots bundling over a gentle hill to take on the Persians)
Splendid figures all round as I'm sure you will agree.
I got 3 wins out of the 5 games, which is enough to keep me happy - and finished just in the top half. Mostly my win/loss went with the normal outcome of the scenario I played (yes they are balanced ... and yes, the outcomes do show a pattern) ...
On the other hand, I was disappointed to become embroiled in a rules dispute in game 4 and left not happy about either the issue or the outcome. Hopefully the host club will be prompted to look at how they play the game and fix some problems. Most of the 'new' formation arrangements are 'gamey' in their intent: they are also illegal, so it is down to the umpires to know the rules and fix it: and frankly, if they don't know the rules, they should rule _against innovations that are not 'clearly' permitted. It was like being beamed back into the bad old 80s for a while.
Enough of that.
The weekend finished in good spirit with Meth picking up the trophies and the rest of us various 'gifts' that made us feel silly but welcome. I will edit in some more detail when it becomes available.
There followed some Armati-moot chat about next year (which will follow the same pattern as this year) ... Bournemouth - London - Paris - Derby - Glasgow (with the usual chat about Britcon - maybe/maybe not).
Suffice to say, the next event is in Bournemouth (March 1st/2nd 2014; Venue: Hotel Royale, Bournemouth): it also follows the 'all provided' formula and has an airport so international visitors would be really welcome. Email me.
Happy Christmas from the Armati League ... Wargamer and Recon still to come for SoA Shows North!
*which isn't that late these days, but that's a different blog I think!** not my first Campanile hotel but easily the best so far ...
***that's a bandanna Bruce is brandishing, not a trophy from Friday night (whatever they tell you!!)
****so players only need bring themselves, plus a set of rules if they intend to refer to them - which, with Armati, isn't usually necessary ...