Tuesday 21 February 2017

BBB Bash Day: B-B-B-Brilliant!

Not many wargames conventions can boast caviar canapes, but the second Bloody Big Battles Bash Day did.

Not the usual wargamer fare! Caviar, tapenade, salami, cheese and chive ...
clearly a superior wargames convention.

Thus there was a fabulous selection of delicacies on offer, both literal and metaphorical. Apart from Bruce's fine culinary contributions, creative gamemasters laid on a gorgeous selection of historical battles for some 30 enthusiastic players to enjoy.

The conflicts represented ranged from 1848 (the Second Sikh War and the Hungarian War of Independence) to 1941 (Bob Mackenzie's WWII variant of BBB), taking in the Italian War of 1859, American Civil War, Austro-Prussian War and Franco-Prussian War along the way.

The assembled company was an ideal mix of about half each of BBB veterans and near or total novices. The rules are sufficiently intuitive and easy to learn that despite this large contingent of 'green troops', all the games cracked on at a healthy pace and each was finished comfortably inside its 4-hour slot, with the smaller ones being done in under 2 hours allowing players to swap sides and replay. It was a pleasure to meet so many new fellow enthusiasts for historical nineteenth-century wargaming and to 'spread the love'.

Inevitably, it was impossible for me to follow everything that was going on on such a rich full day. 
The highlight for me, on a day of many highlights, involved Tony and John as the Hungarian players at Isaszeg. Their personal morale broke on Turn 7. They tried to concede the game but their opponents persuaded them to see it through to the end - and on Turn 9 a final glorious countercharge earned them a draw.

A healthy number of survivors made it to the post-battle reorg phase in The Plough, which was most convivial and served further to confirm the high calibre of the troops we had recruited.

For a brief AAR by one of the participants and a nice set of photos, see Shedman's blog.

For a few photos of my own, see my Bash Day 2017 album in Flickr.

Popular demand from this year's players, as well as from some of last year's who couldn't make it this time, already indicates that Bash Day 2018 must happen and make this a continuing annual fixture. Good show, chaps! Bash On!