New Wave Wargaming

Ever since I got back from Singapore four years ago I have been working hard to find wargaming opponents. It has been surprisingly difficult. So I have been pleased that for the past six months we have actually managed to get together a group of wargamers that can have a game session once a week for enough weeks in a row to actually get through a multiplayer game. Usually it takes us three or four sessions but at least we finish the game. We've played Wellington a few times. Then we switched to The Napoleonic Wars. Not wanting to dwell on one period of history too long we are now in a series of games of Virgin Queen, which covers the Wars of Religion of the Elizabethan period (last half of the sixteenth century).

Playing Virgin Queen against Lowell, Erik and Frank's head

Virgin Queen is sort of a strange game. It's not really a wargame. It is more about managing an empire. You can fight wars but you also do piracy, support religious conversions or supress heresy, arrange royal weddings, sponsor scientists and artists, explore the New World and establish colonies, and do diplomacy, espionage and even assasination. Reminds me a lot of Europa Universalis although it covers a much shorter period of time.

Although we usually have been able to get together about once a week for our game session, the picture shows one evening when Grandpa Frank had to babysit for his grandkids on short notice for a part of the evening. Not wanting to miss out, Frank copied the game setup into Vassal. Then he used Skype to connect to our game session while he followed the moves in Vassal. I've played Vassal before with other people - some of my friends in Singapore after I moved back to the US, and even once with Tim while he was on deployment in Iraq. But it was kind of weird to be having a boardgame session with one of the players present as a talking head. It worked though. It's hard to find a time when everyone is free to wargame. Anything that helps is a good thing.

I'm hoping to increase my gaming time using more Vassal online session.