This last weekend I attended the Virtual Conference of Wargamers, organised by Wargames Developments. The usual format is a 3 day/ 2 night residential that has obviously been cancelled due to COVID-19. Although I’ve been a member of WD variously over the years I’ve never, for logistical and financial reasons mainly, managed to attend their yearly get together. But this years I could attend some sessions remotely.
I couldn’t make any of the Friday sessions so sadly missed the plenary lecture by Peter Perla but Saturday morning saw me participate in a virtual TEWT, Tactical Exercise Without Troops, based on the English Civil War Battle of Crepedy, run by John Curry from the UIniversity of Bath. It was very interesting to see the ground from eye level to plan a battle rather than the usual bird’s eye view of the table top. Gave me lots to think about for my own games.
I also listened to a couple of lectures, one deliverd by Professor Gary Sheffield from my old alma mater University of Wolverhampton, on the links between history and wargaming in his own career. This was followed by Graham Longley-Brown on his work on Defence and Recreational Gaming, including an overview of his work as a professional wargamer. Both were very interest and thought provoking, with my academic hat on however, I would have quibbled a couple of the points….
In the evening I got the chance to take part in a stripped down professional game that has been run for various US govt. agencies exploring US/Japan/China naval confrontation in the imminent future. A fascinating glimpse of how things are done, I like think of myself as fairly up to date on military tech matters but I realise I do have a bit of a hole when it comes to naval systems.
On Sunday morning John Curry presented again, this time it was looking at his experimental archaelogy in storming a castle. This research forms part of his upcoming book on medieval history and wargaming. Very interesting and the experiments, sadly undocumented, sounded great fun, seemingly done some years ago before health ands safety got too onerous.
Sunday afternoon continued with accounts of lockdown gaming activities before being finished off with WD’s AGM.
All in all it was great fun and makes me really keen to attend the actual event next year when it resumes.