Friday 09 August 2019 saw us hosting the Katritzky family for the 6th year in a row. They very kindly agreed to come and test the Border Reiver campaign that I have been working on for a number of years now, and it forced me to get off my backside and finally get it ready for play. The family had done a bit of research whilst visiting some of the English West March areas prior to arriving with us, and so they were ready for their two day reiving extravaganza.
We were joined on the first day by our good friend Roger Castle who painted most of my figures and supplied a fair number himself. Many of the figures are the old Graven Image figures that are now stocked by Hoka Hey Wargaming, but there were some Vendel miniatures in there as well.
The game is centered around a board game that I have created. Each player takes a famous borderer family and creates a small gang to go forth and do dastardly deeds with that might include raiding, subduing, or extorting “blackrent” from non player or player families. There are also AI controlled families available, and AI controlled March Wardens. However, for this weekend, Sissi took on the role of Sir Robert Carey, the English West March Warden, and did an excellent job of keeping the families in check whilst obtaining gold to support her missions. The game allows for the optional use of major subplots which involve the collection of a number of resource cards before taking part in a major power play to obtain significant wealth or power.
Each turn involves collection of wealth; recruitment of new reivers; an authorities phase including the March Wardens; player planning; checking for border events and reiver events; resolving player actions and raids; a market phase to buy new gear and sell reived goods; and a pay the troops and clean up phase. We found that once we got the hang of the sequence, turns can be played fairly quickly to allow more time for the skirmish raids if needed.
I have got to say that whilst I was understandably nervous about hosting a weekend with a largely untested game, everyone had a great time and the games played and looked great. We have learned a few things and have some minor tweaks to make to the rules, but other than that it is ready to go again if anyone out there is interested.
For an excellent report by Roger on the first day of the game, and a lot more pictures, please check out his fantastic blog at the following address.
Our thanks go once again to Rupert, Eric and Sissi who provided us with some great entertainment, and whose continued custom is greatly appreciated. They enjoyed it so much, they have said they want to come back and try the same campaign again next year (with a few new surprises of course).
Here are some pictures of the game in action.
Rupert and Roger doing battle. Roger is using his family gang and Rupert is filling in for the non player family that Roger was raiding. This idea of other players filling in for the non player families keeps everyone involved in the action, whether their family is involved or not.
Eric also helping out defending with peasants against Richard’s gang and doing a damn fine job of it too. Richard’s reivers were finding it hard going against some surprisingly tough villagers.
A look at the board game side of the campaign. Better closeups on the cards and the map can be found on Roger’s blog review as per the address above.
Sissi putting her border garrison through it’s paces at Carlisle castle. She also took the opportunity to develop her board as the game went on through some fun trading and persuasion of villagers on other tables to come to Carlisle
One of the Skirmishes.
Another shot of one of the skirmishes.
Everyone busy and a view of the room as a whole with four tables laid for games and one with the board game.