Wargaming in the Debatable Lands... Or, a visit to Dumfries!

Saxon Cuirassiers await the order to advance
A visit to Dumfries is something I would recommend you try and accomplish if the chance presents itself. The approach from North or South takes you through some stunning country. My trips have had the additional bonus of meeting old friends and participating in some wargaming. The locals are very friendly and full of colourful tales not for the faint hearted! We chose to host the latest League of Augsburg wargaming weekender at the labyrinthine Cairndale Hotel which is a prominent feature of the famous Borders town. Friendly staff, absolutely excellent victuals, miles of corridors and a ghost in Room 43. What more could you want?

Jacobite Dragoons race to repel William's cavalry at Drybridge
Well, we had a weekend of exciting games, a comedy club and a coach party of female over 60's who were throwing their mobility scooter keys in the commode hoping to 'pull' one of those 'weird wargamers'!!! Possibly some of the lads got lucky. I missed Gerry and Toggy for a while. When the came back they were both wearing cardigans and had family sized bags of Werther's Originals hanging out of their pockets, so there may be a tale there.

The formula of running four games, used last October in Derby seemed a logical choice for Dumfries. We had a little less space than Derby and Donnybrook has appeared since then so I chose to run two large scale BLB games and two Donnybrook games. We had 12 players not including the umpire team. 

Hot action around Oldbridge. The Jacobites are fully committed.
BLB Scenario #1: The Battle of the Boyne - Crossing at Oldbridge. July 1st 1690.

Blog members will not need me to explain the significance of this one. It was a good choice as very few of our players had fought the Boyne before. It is an interesting game and we'll feature it in detail on a later post. 

A tsunami of Saxons about to break on the Swedish shore
BLB Scenario #2: Winter 1706  Poland. Great Northern War.

Our Great Northern War game last year was very popular. I wanted to use a Winter table so this provided a perfect combination. The Saxons attacking the Swedish lines of communication in Poland. An entrenched covering force of Swedes protected a vital river bridge from a large Saxon Army. The game was played length ways and proved very challenging.

The mean streets of Auld Reekie
Donnybrook Scenario #1: Escape from Edinburgh 1681.
The Earl of Argyll has escaped imprisonment in Edinburgh Castle dressed as a woman! His retainers now have to get him across the city and into a safe house. The forces of the King are out to track him down. The only problem is - this is all going on whilst the denizens of Auld Reekie are having a riot! Three factions with competing and secret objectives had an action packed game one iteration of which lasted 5 hours on a 4 x 4 table!!!! Donnybrook stretched to the absolute limit.

Franciscans and Death Soldiers bid for freedom
Donnybrook Scenario #2: Revenge of the Huguenots, Southern France 1683.

The Huguenots of south western France are fed up being pushed around by Louis XIV's anti-Protestant policies. They take matters into their own hands and go on the rampage. This involves burning an abbey, attempting to murder the Franciscan Friars and liberating Catholic gold, jewels and artefacts. Protected by a fanatical group of Spanish adventurers known as the Soldados Muerte the Friars and their treasure must reach the safety of Royal lands. Meanwhile the Comte de Bidet leading the soldiers of King Louis are on their way to rescue the friars.

We'll feature every game in detail in separate blog posts. So, join us again for the unfolding story of wargaming in the Debatable Lands!