Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Donnybrook in Dublin

For years I have admired the Napoleonic battle reports posted on Joy and Forgetfulness, the blog of the mysterious and erudite author and wargamer, Conrad Kinch.   Between elegantly presented tables, port and cheeseboards, and the witty and dashing cast of characters brought to life there, wargaming has seldom looked so genteel and appealing as it does on young Kinch’s blog.   Last week I finally had the chance to make it over the sea to Ireland.  I had planned to go to Dublin two years ago for the baptism of the young Kinch twins, but sadly that never worked out, so it was a delight to finally arrive there, where CK and his lovely wife Lizzy showered us with warmth and hospitality.  Minutes after entering their house, my fiancee Joy was snuggling with the young and handsome Master Kinch.

After four days in the West of Ireland, we returned to Dublin, where Kinch had arranged a refight of Waterloo.  After dinner, the gentlemen withdrew to Kinch’s war-games room, a place of wonders - and silly hats.  

 The splendid table.  Note the wine glass used as an objective marker.  “Why do you have to refight Waterloo?”  asked Joy, innocently.  “I mean, you know what happened, why redo it?”   Some things will have to be explained over time in this relationship.

As you can see from the dice, we were playing Command and Colours Napoleonics, with 20mm figures.  Very posh.

Some of the Dublin gaming brain trust assembled.   I couldn’t have wanted to have enjoyed better company.   Marshall DeGourmand, second from right, tries to persuade the English team that they should just give up now.

 Since I am something of a Bonapartist, I volunteered for the French side, commanding the French right flank.  As I recall, DeGourmand is saying something like “Go and die there.   There, sir!”  His order were shockingly simple and to the point, though slurred somewhat by the fearful amounts of drink (note the bottle on the table).

With furrowed brow, I watched as my brave chaps threw themselves on Plancenoit, drawing the entire English left into a vicious meat grinder.   As you can see, I am propping myself unsteadily on the table, praying that I can get this done before my troops all die and before the Prussians arrive, but it wasn’t looking good.

 They weren’t giving up Plancenoit without a fight.

 Bantering with my opposite number, General Oisin, who seems confident that the Prussian sausage-munchers will arrive and bail him out of his predicament (they did).

Sadly we called it a night when the port ran out and the English had managed to fend off our fine French fellows, thus making Joy’s question, “Why bother”, uncomfortably acute.  

 

Also sadly, I don’t have a photo of CK himself, but he was a grand host and it was a gaming night for the books, though I’m blessed if I know how I walked back to my hotel.

Thanks, old chap, for a splendid time of it.

MP

29 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. It was one of those nights when everything good about our hobby comes to the fore.

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  2. Replies
    1. Grand indeed. The only thing I found a bit hard to get used to was the elevations, which seemed a bit like mountains, but the entire table was spectacular.

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    2. That can be fixed easily with shallower elevations.
      But the French did maintain for about a hundred years that the sunken lane was a deep trench thus explaining the defeat of the French cavalry

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    3. True. That was a bad day for Milhaud.

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  3. Seems to have been one of ‚those‘ evenings. Great game, nice companionship and above all good drinks. What more could one ask for?

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    Replies
    1. Indeed. It could have only been better if we had beaten les rosbifs!

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  4. How splendid! Pity the port ran out, must remember to lay in a larger supply next time so you can see if reinforcements could put paid to the English.

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  5. What a wonderful vacation Mike! Green of envy !!!

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  6. Replies
    1. Indeed - even in CoC Naps terms - I believe we were using the Naps Epic rules.

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  7. Splendid!
    And how do you like Command and Colours?
    Better than Blucher?
    Which we'll have to get back to someday.

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    Replies
    1. I've played CoC more than Blucher. Without the minis, just as a blocks game, it feels like a board game but it also feels Napoleonic. It's a good system, and I like it as a way to study a Napoleonics battle and perhaps then go on to play out a smaller part of that battle in more detail using minis and a more complex rules set.
      Kinch's combination of CoC and minis is the best of both worlds.

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  8. Wow, that looked like a grand game and what a setting! Those Irish fellows sure can put on a good gig.

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  9. Looks like a great and convivial evening. I was thinking in one of those pics you were looking a bit rubicund in the phizz, Padre, but was inclined to put it down to the light...

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    1. It took me a minute to figure out what you were insinuating, young Ion. At first I thought you were saying I looked fat.

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  10. This is wonderful! A beautiful looking game, and I'm sure the company was a delight too! A night to cherish!

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  11. Replies
    1. It was splendid with additional splendid sauce.

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