Monday, 28 April 2008

A long weekend

On Friday, my wife and I took advantage of our free time together to take Custard, our dog, on a long walk in the morning - this took us to a big combined garden centre/petshop, which Custard loves visiting. All of the food is out in buckets so you can have a good look at the stuff. Custard is unbelievably good, and has a good sniff but does not steal any of it! We bought him a huge hide chew as a reward.

On Saturday, I set off with Number 1 Son to go to play toy soldiers. To get there it time we had to catch the 5am train.

We were refighting The Battle of Poitiers, 1356, between the English and French, our age old enemies

The game went really well. Here are a few photos. The scenary is very spartan, but my excuse is that everything had to fit into my rucksack, so there was no room for anything too fancy! I did think the swamp worked rather well, though!

The French (left) begin their second attack - the first attack was over before I remembered the camera!

English longbowmen advance to meet the French as the treasure wagons at the back make their escape across the swamp.

The same scene from another angle.

After their second attack was defeated the French formed up for one final huge attack.

The English responded by jumping onto their horses and trampling them into the dirt. Our game managed to come extremely close to what we know of the original battle, which means we must have done something right!
On Sunday I had to stack the new delivery of hay for my mom's pony, Humphrey. In the picture above I was feeding him bits of apple.

What a sweetheart!


tz said...

what a cute pony!
and it sounds like a fun weekend, what a great way to teach/experience history.

Terri said...

It's awesome that your son is joining you in your wargames! Sounds like you had a great time. I'm glad you had such a wonderful long weekend.

Claire said...

I am really fascinated by the wargames - do you move them forward via the boards pictured? Is there movement or do you just set them up - seems like you move them - and I loved the swamp - my grandparents went to Europe when we were little and brought back marvelous "lead soldiers" for my brothers but we used to set battles up in the blankets on the bed and I have really fun memories of that.

Chachi said...

Wow sounds like you had a productive weekend.

I know nothing about these battles and I hope I don't sound dumb but how much of the scene do you create (make, build) and is it a competetion
or just more of a game like Battleship?

Jen said...

It makes me thankful to have not been born a male in 1356. Battles were just brutal and dare I say, frightening. I want none of it.

I think I want to stick Humphry in my pocket and bring him home!

Logziella said...

Rock Chef-I really think you need to do a post for us "wargame dummies" because I don't completely understand either. I know you make your own stuff and paint it etc. but how exactly do you go about moving them and actualy playing? I'm sorry, I know I have asked you this before...bare with me. :0)

CUTE horsey!!

James said...

Sorry to jump in but I could not resist answering the wargaming questions:

@ Claire: yes they get to move, and sometimes they even run away!!

@ Chachi: lots of people make their own terrain but others (with lots of money) buy ready made.There are many different rulesets, which wargamers argue about all the time. Some of these are specially for competitions but others are more for getting as realistic a historical refight as possible. Others are just for fun.

@ Logzie, Most games use either cards or different types of dice(or both) to create a random element so that you cannot just do exactly what you want with your troops. So for instance a die roll will tell you that a commander can activate 2 of his units. So then John would decide which units to move and where, then move them the distance allowed. He might get close enough to be allowed to charge the enemy or just be in range to fire arrows etc.
But then the enemy player would have plans of his own when he gets a turn. So it goes like that. It is a LOT easier to see than to explain by writing. But it is fun. My kids play too.


Rachael Rae Diaries said...

You have such a giant imagination! I used to play diego with E-man and that was a riot. It sounds like you and Number 1 son have something great going on there and you had a wonderful day off with your wife!

Chachi said...

Hey James thanks for the info.

Rock chef - Do you have anything to add.

Is it kind of like playing chess only much, much more interactive. You want to defeat the enemy, right?

Kiki said...

Okay, I love this, not sure that I'm up for playing, but I am completely fascinated and think you are a genius!!! The swamp was fab and I'm glad it was a successful war!!!

As for that precious pony....I am in love!!!!

Sitting in Silence said...

What an adorable pony....

You guys did a great job on the soilders....

Awesome !

kenady said...

Isn't the parent supposed to provide the pony for the child? J/K My M would be in hog heaven. She adores any kind of equine including unicorns and pegasus.

The toy soldiers looked like fun! The swamp was fantastic. Glad you had a great weekend.

Rock Chef said...

tz - I know a teacher who uses wargames to teach military history.

Terri - We keep planning to enter wargames competitions - maybe next year!

Claire - I think James did a good job answering questions about wargaming. Sometime soon I might do a post with photos that walks you through a game so you can see how it all works.

Chachi - I play purely for the fun and interest. There are competitions which people treat with varying amounts of seriousness.

Jen - I think being a man in 1356 was a lot better than being a woman! That is not saying much, though! Oh no, you don't want a pony now! :-)

Logzie - I think James did a good job explaining things, but as I said above I might do a post with pictures that follows a game so you can see how it works.

James - thanks for stepping in there!

Rachael - yep, I think I spend half of my life in a dream world!

Chachi - yes, chess is probably the original wargame!

Kiki - Thanks! Humphrey is a lovely animal and is especially friendly when you have got an apple!

Sitting in Silence - thanks. Would you believe that Humphrey was going to be slaughtered when my mom rescued him? He had been bought for pony trekking in Scotland (where my mom lived at the time) but refused to be ridden!

Kenady - Wouldn't it be fab if Pegasus were real? Might get a bit messy, though!

James said...

Hi John,

glad you didn't mind me answering the questions. It is not often that we get women interested enough to ask questions is it?

That teacher you know who uses wargaming to teach history...would that be Matakishi? I met him last year.

Rock Chef said...

James - no, he is from fairly local and comes over to game with us when he can. And you are right - women rarely show an interest in wargames!