Saturday, December 03, 2011

Creating a participation game Part 2

Sunday night saw the first trial game for The Death of Louis, Crown Prince of France, the Evesham Wargames club first venture into participation gaming at a Wargaming show.

I felt it was important to play through the scenario to iron out any issues and to tweak any rules that may be needed, 3 players put their hand up for a game two of which had limited exposure to the Too Fat Lardies Rule Set, which made it far easier to replicate a show enviroment.

I had earlier posted a couple of question on the Colonial Wars Yahoo group which unfortunately prompted a response from Tim at the Staines Club.

Tim reminded me of a game I had read in one of the wargames magazines several years before, that they had put on and helpfully explained some of the mechanisms that they had used in their participation game, where each player completed to escape from the Zulu hordes, a nice mechanism where by the Zulu's only go after the closest figure.... brillant and just what I was looking for.
It would give the game a competitive edge.... Thanks Tim perfect inspiration...


We played two test games each one lasting under an hour.

Game 1
The British walked on mass to the donga, an ordered fighting retreat with only for one groups of three to be left behind and swamped  by the Zulu's.


Game 2
A more competitive edge with one of the players spending the first turn saddling their horses before racing for the donga leaving the other 2 players to fend for themselves.


The feed back from the guy's was that the game had the right tension and lasted just long enough to keep people interested, the closest figure target was a great way of the using the initiative cards so key to the fun of the Too Fat Lardies Rules.

There were some key learns to tweaks to make before the next outing.

1. Add a couple of additional breaks in the Kraal would stop the British and the Zulu's being funnelled to the same spot on each game.

2. Perhaps even turning the enterance to the rear of the table would provoke a different feel as player break out?

3. We decided on not telling the players it's a competitive game until they have deployed their forces...

4. It might be benefical to have some clear factions, FrontierJackets, Scarlet Jackets to allow players to remember who they were?

In terms of tweaks to the table and required painting a number of extra's are still needed.
Single dismounted horses.
Who on earth makes 25mm saddles?
A camp fire.
More Rocks need for the Donga.
Change the Lichen terrain to Coconut fibre the Lichen gave it to much of a jungle feel rather than veldt.

Handouts and rule summaries will be needed together with some spare measurement tapes.

Plenty to do before the show date of the Sunday 29th January.


  1. Looking fantastic! It's going to be a really busy Christmas getting that lot ready!

  2. Brilliant! Can't think of anyone who makes individual saddles but I recently picked up some liquid green stuff from my local Games Workshop. Really easy to use too.

  3. Thanks Michael I have a feeling I will need to give that a try if we go to that level of detail. Cheers Stuart

  4. I don't know what is meant by term participation game. Could you explain what is meant? Does it refer to allowing show attendees to play rather than just watch club members demonstrate a rules set. Many years ago, I did attend Salute and one small convention near Portsmouth and saw that at Salute attendees couldn't play. I was invited to play at the smaller one near Portsmouth.

  5. Yes that's exactly what we intend, as a clud we felt the only way to encourage members to join our club was to get people to play along rather than sitting on the side lines and just watch. We have created an abridged version of the rules to give people a quick flavour of the rules in under an hour.