Yesterday saw the inaugural megagame put on by Pennine Megagames. Given the explosion of interest after the Watch the Skies video done by Shut up and Sit Down there has been many more groups being set up running games both in the UK and further afield other than Jim Wallman’s Megagame Makers.
Talking of Jim, Paul the driving force behind Pennine Megagames chose one of his designs to rework as the first game: Sengoku being a game of warring clans in late medieval Japan. This version had fewer played teams and an open map combat system.
Being set in Sheffield it meant I had to catch a rather early train to get down there- no problem as it allowed me to catch up with some reading.
The venue was light and airy with plenty of space for the 6 played clans (3-4 players per clan) and the large map (very nicely realized by Simon).
I was down for a control/ umpire role and true to form to most non operation megagames what you are down to do and what you end up doing on the day tend to be rather different. Obstensibly I was there to control and sneak underhand plots that the players might try to spring on each other- spies, assasinations – the fun stuff really. But the players didn’t seem to want to try any of that on each other… I only knew of one bribe being played. In the end I mainly checked to see that correct etiquette was being observed. It was great to see that this side of the game being embraced by the players… kimonos, respectful bows, exchanging of gifts and very formal tea ceremonies were all ther in abundance. This was not mere set dressing either as the cultural worth and honour of each clan was being monitered not just their military prowess. In this way there was a game for everybody there, those with a military bent could enjoy the manouvering of forces on the large map, the schemers had allainces and treaties to make.
As far as my control role went it was fairly light- the players quickly got a grasp of the rules and by lunchtime was effectively running itself. Simon on map control was busy up to the final moments of the game as everybody jockeyed for position. Tim did a sterling job running 17 non played faction simultaneously, often adopting 5 different roles in as many minutes….
Pennine Megagames are looking to run several games next year in the M62 corridor area. First up will be a Very British Civil War themed interwar bash in Manchester in February, along with a Napoleonic Jena game and a 1950 Korean War game being developed by Simon and myself (more detail on this later) as well as a non military/ operational game being discussed too.
For more detail see their website here:
There is also a facebook page for those of you who do such things.
There is a reddit page that lists all upcoming games that is well worth keeping an eye on: