Post-Ayton Recovery

An overview of the Battle for Pescadrix on day 2, seen from the eastern table end with Andy McMaster (l) playing Altefritzenburg exchanging ribaldry with Simon Tonkiss (Majorgeneral von Hauptzeige of Prunkland) (r).

An overview of the Battle for Pescadrix on day 2, seen from the eastern table end with Andy McMaster (l) playing Altefritzenburg exchanging ribaldry with Simon Tonkiss (Majorgeneral von Hauptzeige of Prunkland) (r).

I shall write about the weekend in Ayton at greater length, but I just wanted to say that yet again, it exceeded all my expectations and was as fine an example of “the spirit of wargaming” in action as one could possibly imagine.

A number of things were at stake here. Would the campaign work out as I had hoped and produce enjoyable games for the players? Would my Shot, Steel & Stone rules from The Wargaming Compendium stand up to another hard pounding from a dozen experienced gamers over two days? And would the weekend produce results that were memorable and inspiring enough to make those gamers want to have another go in the future and inspire me to come up with another pretext for them to have at each other with gusto a couple of years from now?

Of course, I needn’t have worried; the answer to all these is “yes”.

The upshot, in short, is that Grenouisse and its axis of The Gateway Alliance, Altefritzenburg, Aytonia, the Margraviate of Hunmanby, the Duchy of Elland and the Margraviate of Cress were trounced by the Granprixians and their allies, Prunkland, Medetia, the Barony of Darien, Borscht and Whyeydia. General E Pickled of the Gateway Alliance lies dead on the field and King Raoul of Grenouisse is a prisoner, his fate dependent on tough negotiations and, no doubt, the payment of a spectacular ransom. He has, in the meantime, been excommunicated. It had all the excitement and tension you could want in two solid days of gaming, during which three colossal games were played, with thousands of figures on the table. More detail on all this in due course (I have a magazine to produce this week!).

Meanwhile, you can feast your eyes on a couple of short videos I made on day 2 (nothing fancy, just hand-held iPhone 5s with the din of play going on) and a couple of albums of photos, some taken with the iPhone, some with my trusty nearly 10-years-old Fuji S7000.

Video 1 here

Video 2 here

Photos of day 1 here

Photos of Day 2 here

All images © Henry Hyde 2014. No use without express written consent.

The campaign was entitled “Grenouisse Ascendant”; perhaps it comes as no surprise that the outcome was the complete opposite, with Granprix now restored to its rightful owners.

Special thanks to Mark Phillips, Richard Frost, Mike Whitaker, Dave McClumpha, Ken McGarry, Andy McMaster, Paul Bright, Peter Mark-Smith, Simon Tonkiss, Dave Hall and the redoubtable Iain Burt (who even now is weeping at the loss of General E Pickled) for all their energy, input and enthusiasm. Truly, they are an umpire’s dream.

Troops of The Gateway Alliance sally forth from the gates of Pescadrix in a vain attempt to stem the onrushing tide of Granprixian allies.

Troops of Iain Burt’s The Gateway Alliance sally forth from the gates of Pescadrix in a vain attempt to stem the onrushing tide of Granprixian allies.

 

7 comments for “Post-Ayton Recovery

  1. May 9, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Now that’s what I call a wargame. Very inspiring Henry. Looking at all those photos is motivating me to get some figures on a table soon.

    All the best, Keith Flint.

    • henryhyde
      May 16, 2014 at 10:40 am

      Thanks, Keith. It was certainly a magnificent sight and I was pleased that, despite it being an imagi-nations game, it really did have that 18th century look.

  2. May 9, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Henry, what a stunning game!!! This looks like it was an amazing experience. Huge congratulations to you and all the players. Very much looking forward to hearing more, and seeing more of that wonderful Vauban gateway!

    • henryhyde
      May 16, 2014 at 10:44 am

      Thanks Sidney. Those Vauban walls were originally made by Dave Andrews (he of GW and Great War Miniatures fame). They were then acquired by Phil Olley, who kindly passed them on to me. They featured once in Battlegames (the issue with my siege wargame rules). I’ve been meaning to add more sections for some time, but it’s just another of those jobs I’ve never got round to…

      It was certainly a terrific weekend: even as the umpire looking on, the action was gripping, with several highly amusing moments, and I was really chuffed that my elite cuirassier unit, commanded by Dave Hall on Sunday, ploughed through three (or was it four?) of my chum Iain Burt’s heavy cavalry regiments before finally retiring gracefully, with a captured colour in tow!

  3. May 8, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    A stunning display and game! More than worthy of all those wonderful old photos from the Wargames Holiday Centre 30+ years ago. The lighting, photography, etc. is much better now!

    • henryhyde
      May 16, 2014 at 10:45 am

      Thanks Stokes. Pack a few thousand miniatures onto a 30-foot table in linear formations and it does, indeed, look very pretty!

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