Sunday, October 01, 2006

Harrogate Wargames Club

As a new inductee to the world of motor vehicle transportation, I took an outing to one of the local wargames clubs. Although Leeds is nearer, I opted to have a look at the Harrogate Wargames club first, they are on paper a fairly easy drive from where I live, and had a good reputation. There website is not much help however, and as it turned out the roads in Harrogate are a nightmare.

After a 35 minute drive and an hour long trundle around Harrogate and its' environs, I finally found the place. The RAFA club is one of many servicemens clubs in Harrogate, I should know, I visited three trying to find the right one! On entry I found there to be a large range of board and card games going on, darn I thought, no figure gamers.

But this was only the first floor, I soon found the historical gamers - at the bar - and was introduced around and given a tour. It turns out this is a healthy group of 30 to 50 (!) regulars with a more or less permanent residence in the club and the use of 5 rooms over two floors! masses of terrain, storage for regulars armies, and a huge selection of their own boardgames. Thankfully the emphasis did not seem to be on tournament play of a limited set of rules, but on a 'bring it and we'll play it' sentiment.

I was impressed.

Eventually we got round to a game, a modern version of the very trendy Flames of War rules, played in 1/144th scale (12mm) on a 8x6 table. British and Dutch forces against Russians in the sort of WW3 - cold war - scenario every modern gamer used to do in the eighties. Painted up, it all looked pretty good.

So after a couple of hours play I realised it was gone 11, and they showed no sign of stopping; I had to call it quits and drive home. A missed turn resulted in a 15 mile detour and rally driving conditions along pitch black country roads. Gulp!

Overall, I liked the place, and will give it another chance, but at this stage I just couldn't do that drive every week; even if I did get the right turns each way. Maybe as a monthly treat...

Next week I hope to try the Leeds club, and see how they compare

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