Sunday, 26 July 2020

Clifton Moor reprise

This week Steve and I made our first foray into gaming in person since the lockdown was implemented back in March.   Naturally we aimed to abide by the social distancing requirements; the table was set up in Steve's garage and the choice of Clifton Moor, (one of our show participation games) was so we could each use our own figures.  In addition, I brought my own dice, ruler and refreshments and we kept at least 2 metres apart at all times.

Our lockdown compliant set up
The original plan had been to have the game out in the garden, but true to form, the British weather intervened and the garage had to be used.  That being said, with both doors open there was plenty of fresh air.

As usual we used our in-house version of"Lion Rampant" for the game and before long the nice straight lines of the initial deployment began to disintegrate.  The scenariio was a fictional dispute between the Lowther and Strickland families; I was in command of the Lowther force and my left wing was particularly slow in getting forward.  The Strickland centre battle was making good progress and I committed my unit of mounted sergeants in a mistaken belief that it would make short work of the enemy spearmen.

Lowther attacks

Sadly, I was to be disappointed.  The spearmen prevailed, reducing my segeants to half strength and then continued to force them to retreat for the next 4 moves.  The left made good progress, but the men at arms I had sent to reinforce them performed badly.  They were soundly defeated by a unit of billmen and only survived because the billmen failed to follow up.  My men at arms were saved by the levy archers who whittled down the billmen's strength sufficiently for them to fail their courage test and flee.

By now Strickland's right was struggling and my left wing units which had been reluctant to move,  decided to act.  The wing commander, plus a unit of spears turned their flank and moved towards the centre.

Lowther's flank attack closes in on the enemy centre

Their intervention was needed because my centre was in a parlous state.  It's strongest unit had been reduced to half strength and two more, even more battered, were edging back towards the base line, on the brink of fleeing.

Pressure increases on the Lowther right

However,Strickland's losses had been heavy, over half his units had fled and the remainder of his force was in danger of being surrounded.  Lowther was declared the victor, but it had been very close, only some very lucky dice rolls had kept my much reduced units on the field.

As an experiment, this 'distanced' game worked well.  It was definitely an improvement on our Skype games. Being able to see the game in front of you, rather than via a camera enabled you to see distances and angles far better.  Also, the communication between Steve and myself was much better, with no delay due to the whims of the internet connection.  I appreciate that this sort of set up will not be possible for everyone and increasing the participants would also increase problems with distancing, figures, dice etc.  

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