Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Gaming in the time of Lockdown

Since the pandemic has made face-to-face gaming nonviable, I have been forced to look into other ways to play with my friends.

I managed to borrow a laptop from FG and got a zoom session going with the gang yesterday (more of that in the future), but I've also managed a couple of other virtual games since this whole things started.

The first is The Somme Campaign 1916, which my friend Steve and I set up. Since we live in different time zones, a game that required a quick response was not possible. Fortunately, by trawling through Wargames Vault, we found an operational level game that had a theme we enjoyed (as much as anyone can enjoy trench warfare), and which played at a pace that suited the limitations we faced.

I downloaded the game, printed out the board and chart (which you can see below), and instead of using counters I used the coloured pins I had and made counters out of them using a sharpie. I set everything up on a cork board, which made it easier to keep all the pieces in place, and to take photos of the board. I originally planned to play out all the moves and send them to Steve by email, but he was so inspired by my set-up he went ahead and built something similar on his end, so we traded photos each turn, with me playing out the orders and rolling all the dice. 

The second game was a game of Kings of War 3rd Edition with FG. I had spent a bit of time doing the movement trays for the two armies I own, and was really looking forward to some play with them this year... so why not now?

We played the game over a weekend afternoon. I prepared the army lists, set up the board, and sent FG a photo of the battlefield and my deployment via Whatsapp. He relayed his deployment, and once I sent him a photo of that too, he gave his orders by drawing arrows on the photos I sent him and returning them to me.

Granted the game lacked the social element of face-to-face gaming, but it was a good way to try the rules out at a leisurely pace, and give the figures some sunlight.

In the coming weeks my friend Dave will be GMing a Warhammer Fantasy Role-playing Game campaign for us via zoom, which I am really looking forward to.

I hope you are getting some gaming done in this difficult time too. Stay safe.

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