Another good show put on by the Newark Irregulars. I spent most of my visit there having a great time playing in the participation game using the To the Strongest rules by Simon Miller – and Simon was there in person to lead those who joined in through the rules. The game was a Roman v Ancient Britons game with a large number of superb looking 28 mm figures, complete with a fortified camp for the Romans and a baggage camp for the Britons.
Unfortunately, I forgot to take my camera and had to rely on my not very good phone but here is a photo of Simon explaining the rules to a young gamer who was actually on holiday from New Zealand with his family. Brett, his father, played on the opposing British side with me – we lost gloriously!
I am sure that there will be lots of much better photos of this game – particularly as photographers from Wargames Soldiers & Strategy and Miniature Wargames magazines dropped by and showed keen interest – as did many other visitors to the show. Historian and author Dr Harry Sidebottom took part in the afternoon game, so there was quite a lot of ancient warfare knowledge round the table!
For those new to To the Strongest, it is a grid based game (although the grid is very discreet) and uses playing cards to activate the units and quickly resolve melees, shooting and saves – so you can leave your dice and rulers in the cupboard. The game that I participated in the morning moved at a fast, fun and furious pace and reached a credible historical conclusion in 90 minutes even with new players and the rules being explained and the large number of figures as shown in the photo above. Another thing I really like about the rules is that the game can accommodate any basing convention and so you could equally play with, for example, 40mm DBx units on a 12 x 8 grid 24 inches by 16 inches.
There is more information, including free army lists, on Simon’s website at http://bigredbatshop.co.uk/ and there is also a forum at http://tothestrongest.yuku.com/ with the author being very helpful and willing to answer questions.
I will be playing more with these rules!
I ran out of time at the show and one game I regret missing was the SOA one. Phil Steele was putting on a very good looking DBA 3 Byzantine v Arab game using 30mm flats. I do hope that one is put on again at another show.