NWA Despatches – May|June

Alas dear members, news from the front has been scant and sketchy these past few months.  Despite the onset of winter weather, horses throwing a shoe and their riders and highwaymen waylaying the mail coaches on the way, the despatches have just got through and it is now time to report.

Both venues have been doing pretty well, with good turn-outs despite the cold weather. The absence of the Napoleonics players was noted, and they left a large hole in our tabletop expanse, but it was good to know that the games were going to the inestimable Mr Quinn, so it was still a win-win for all. Also of note over June was the return of the Mechwarriors. Battletech has seen an unforeseen resurgence like never seen before (well, the past few years anyway). This is great to see, and there’s a few players new to the club who’ve been enjoying themselves bashing away, with regular NWA members, at each other’s giant metal behemoths. Long may it continue! Also of note was the success of (Ancients &) Medieval May: a great range of games and scales saw this reach a fever pitch with the Hail Ceasar big-bash. This event looks to be cemented into the calendar now.

Looking forward, the new mats and terrain have been added to the muster of items available at Backburn, so don’t hesitate to use them. If you do want to avail yourselves of them, please make a comment in the Friday night Facebook Group games post so other members can see that those items are going to be used. Also note that the menu on Friday nights has been simplified. Unless someone knows a volunteer who loves being in the kitchen and is willing to do all the cooking and cleaning, we will run with the scaled-back but still delicious offerings on Friday so we can focus on games and not catering. Lastly, don’t forget to post your games on the Friday night Facebook Group (if you use that system) so others can see what’s going on, ask to join in, and plan their games accordingly. Make sure you put enough detail down so people can know what you’re running, adding any additional info in the comments below. 

While there’s more detail on the Games Day below, don’t forget that from next year we plan to run a show. This will involve a few different activities, but for now we’re most interested in ideas for a name for the event. We’ve had some excellent ideas submitted so far, portending a difficult job for the committee to whittle them down. Without presupposing what we’ll end up with, we’re still keen to hear from you all about about what you think our show could be called. Don’t hesitate to either email either president@nwa.org.au,  secretary@nwa.org.au or submit them in the comments box at the bottom of the page.As always we always what to hear from our members.

That’s enough from me, over to other members of the committee now.

After a great return in 2022, Games Day 2023 is on again at the Ringwood Community Centre on Saturday 26th August from 10AM.

This year we will be focusing on games (display and participation), local traders but no bring and buy, so that we can better show off the wargaming hobby and hopefully attract some new members to the club.  This also means that we can arrange the tables so that the hall is easier to negotiate and gives visitors the opportunity to see everything on display.  

We have allocated space for five 8’x6’ tables for the large games and another twelve 6’x4’ tables.  

We encourage all members to run a table showcasing a game.  We are collecting participation/display game details using this form. https://nwa.org.au/games-day-23-participation-form/

Once we get more information we will promote Games Day 23 on the website https://nwa.org.au/games-day-23/ and via the usual social media sites.  

Over the last couple of months we have been pinning a Weekly Games Poll to the top of the Facebook group. Whilst we appreciate that not everyone uses Facebook and many members coordinate games privately, we have been really pleased with how many members have used this poll to coordinate games in advance. There have been some really good examples of someone posting a game and before you know it we have hade multiple people signal interest and we have got a solid number of players with multiple games as a result. Battletech on Friday nights and Bloodbowl on Saturdays immediately spring to mind.

Given the large number of games being played every week we decided to mix things up and ask some members to write a few lines about what they have been seeing around the club.

May went all Medieval with members taking up the challenge to play lots of medieval themed games. Lots of ADLG was played on Friday and Saturday meetings, with old 15mm armies being unpacked, dusted off and some seeing battle for the first time in many years. Never Mind the Billhooks, the Baron’s War and Lion Rampant games were seen at most meetings. The month culminated in the massive multiplayer battle using Hail Caesar rules, with the Hemmingseatic League overcoming the the army of Noirebrûlere. The game was played on a 12’x6′ table, with 28mm knights and foot aligned side by side across the full width of both sides.

Never Mind the Billhooks is a relatively recent ruleset for late medieval battles. It works well for multiplayer games is great fun and has been a regular game Saturday meetings Croydon RSL. These rules were originally written to play out the battles and skirmishes during the War of the Roses. Lots of dice, card based turns and lots of odd stuff result in a game which is always in the balance, with unpredictably leaving players on the edge of their seats.

Sadly, due to life events, I haven’t made quite as many club meetings recently as I would have liked, but those few I have left a big impression. I have the good fortune to have been an NWA member for most of my life, over twenty years so far, and I have rarely seen the club as busy and exciting as it has been of late. So far this year, new games like Zulus and Mars Code Aurora have been played, but old stalwarts like Battletech, Warhammer 40,000 and Frostgrave have returned as well. Be it a Friday at Blackburn or Saturday at Croydon, the variety of games on offer is pretty staggering, and whilst we way not have the attendance of some other clubs in Melbourne, it’s rare to not have every table at the venue be a unique game, and I think that’s pretty damn awesome. Due to this variety that has become our norm, I’m really excited to see what our Games 2023 event is going to look like.  JW (aka Hat Guy)

Piotr Kaczmarek has started a Frostgrave First Edition campaign running on Friday meetings at Blackburn RSL.

We are using all the First Edition supplements and will be playing various scenarios from these books. The campaign already has six players signed up with hopefully more joining the campaign in following weeks.

Frostgrave can be played as a campaign with many players and monsters, or as single games. The Frostgrave campaign happens in the world of Frostgrave where mighty Wizards, Apprentices and Soldiers battle it out for treasure and fame. 

A Medieval Polish peasant is out working in his fields one day, and digs up an old magic lamp. He begins to wipe off the dirt, thinking to sell it at market, when suddenly a Genie flies out, offering the astonished peasant 3 wishes.

“Oh Noble peasant, you have freed me from my prison, and for that I grant you 3 wishes! What say you?”

The peasant thinks hard about his first wish, and finally says “I wish for the Mongol hoard to come invade Poland.”

The Genie looks at the peasant, puzzled for a moment, then nods. The entire Mongol hoard then eventually shows up and begins pillaging and looting everywhere. It is a time of great misery and suffering, but the hoard eventually leaves again.

Shaken, the Genie asks the peasant for his second wish,

“Oh Noble peasant, now that thou hast brought this country to its knees, what is your next wish?”

The peasant looks around at the devastation, resolve in his eyes, and says “Genie, I want the Mongol Hoard to come invade Poland again!”

The Genie looks at the man in horror, and starts to argue with him, but then just sighs and snaps his fingers. Eventually, the Mongols arrive once more, and re-destroy the surrounding country. It is another time of great pain and misery for the Polish people. Eventually, the Mongols depart once more

Shaken by what he has witnessed, the Genie cautiously asks the peasant for his third wish. Without hesitation, the peasant immediately says “I wish for the Mongols to invade Poland one more time!”

The Genie can’t believe his ears.

“Oh Cruel peasant, why would you wish such misery on your fellow countrymen? What harm and suffering have they heaped on you to make you hate them so?” the puzzled Genie asks, as he snaps his finger one final time.

The peasant grins at the Genie. “Oh, I don’t hate my countrymen, I love my friends and neighbors and this country. But every time the Mongols invade us, they go through Russia twice!”

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