Wednesday, 6 July 2011

What sessions should I attend at COW2011?

Helping to organise COW has one major benefit and one major drawback. The benefit is that you are first to know is on and when it is on; the drawback is that you are usually last in the queue to sign up for sessions because you are handling the administrative tasks as everyone arrives at the conference and signs in.

This year I am going to try to avoid the pitfalls of the latter by taking regular breaks to add my name to session 'sign up' sheets as and when session organisers pin them to the notice board.

So what sessions have I decided that I want to sign up for? Here is my list of possible 'runners and riders':

Friday Evening
  • ALL IN THE BEST POSSIBLE TASTE (the plenary game) – I have not done 'dance' since I left college over forty years ago ... so this might be both a challenge and a life changing experience when my fellow attendees see my un-sylph-like figure cavorting about during my interpretation of whatever great battle I am asked to render through the medium of dance
  • BETTER RED THAN DEAD – This is WD Display Team North’s game about the possible and probable dangers of being an ambitious junior commander in the Red Army during the period from 1918 to 1941
  • BROKEN SQUARE – Richard Brook’s solo game about the Sudan campaign is a ‘must try’ for me for so many different reasons
  • ANOTHER FOOTFALL SITUATION - if I am still awake by the time it starts, I will hope to take a small part in this game. I usually get killed in Tim Price's role-play games ... so the chances are that the same will happen again this year if I manage to get a role!
Saturday Morning
  • Either FATAL GLORY (Ian Drury’s latest incarnation of his REDCOATS & REBELS rules) or A SPLENDID LITTLE WAR (Wayne Thomas’s recreation of the Battle of San Juan Hill) – it is difficult to choose between these two sessions, but as there is always a possibility that I can persuade Ian to run his session at some future date, I will probably opt for A SPLENDID LITTLE WAR
Saturday Afternoon
  • Again another difficult choice of either FROESCHWILLER, 1870 (The battle will be re-fought using Ian Drury and Richard Brook’s latest rules, KILOSCHLACHT, which have been developed from their earlier MINISCHLACHT rules) or SEND NOT TO KNOW … (Where Graham Evan’s newly-developed divisional-level Spanish Civil War rules will be used) – Making a decision as to which session to attend is very difficult because I love to fight wargames set both during the late nineteenth century and the inter-war era
Saturday Evening
  • CAESAR’S HEIRS – John Bassett’s map/role-play games are always great fun as well as being very educational, and I will try to get a role in the game; if not, I hope to watch events as they unfold
Sunday Morning
  • GIVE ME A PING, VASILIY – Any submarine game that begins with a quote from the HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER is a must for me … and knowing Rob Cooper, it will be a great game to take part in!
  • PORTABLE WARGAME – My turn to bore attendees in the ‘just before Sunday roast lunch’ slot with a (hopefully) short presentation, followed by some ‘hands on’ gaming
At some time during the weekend I also hope to have a try-out of the FUNNY LITTLE WARS rules with Tim Gow … but at the moment I am not quite sure when that will be.

So this is my plan … but knowing what happens to the COW timetable once people begin arriving and changing it (a perennial problem that Tim and I have long since stopped worrying about) I may well end up going to a completely different set of sessions. As Helmuth von Moltke the Elder once said ‘No battle plan survives contact with the enemy’ … and that pretty well sums up the COW timetable by dinner time on Friday night each year.

Roll on Friday and COW2011!


  1. Ah, so many sessions and so little ability to decide...

  2. Tim Gow,

    I blame the conference organisers ...

    See you Firday.

    All the best,


  3. Conrad Kinch,

    You said it!

    All the best,

    Bob (one half of the jerks!)