Matakishi's Tea House

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Matakishi's Tea Party

I made it to 50 so I had a little get together to celebrate. The first Matakishi's Tea Party was held on Saturday October 1st at the Bishop David Brown school in Woking which is the school I work at.

The Metal Matakishi above is plated in 22ct gold, there will only ever be 50 available and only at the Tea Party. As always I have to thank Mike Broadbent for sculpting him and organising his new shiny coat for me.

Click on the picture above for a larger version.

Photos by me, Karl Saunders, John Crawford, The good Captain Blood, Scott Middleton and Kevin Dodman.

Personally I thought the Tea Party was a fantastic day. I had loads of fun running my Conan game and watching the other games that were going on. Everyone certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves and most of the photos show smiling faces.

Fifteen guests turned up for the day and we had four games running continuously; Mark Bush put on an ACW game using Fire and Fury rules, Neil (Thunderchicken) ran his spectacular and topical War of the Worlds game, Richard (Captain Blood) gave his very impressive wars of the Roses skirmish another outing and I ran a small CROM scenario to further test my rules.

Mrs Matakishi and Matakishi Jnr (Frances and Michaela) kept the refreshments coming ensuring everyone had access to free tea, coffee and food throughout the day. Mark Bush provided some wonderful home made cakes and biscuits and a colleague of my wife, Liz Morley, added to the cake pile with a stunning Matakishi cake. 

Everything wound down around 6pm and a few of us headed off to a local pub for food and beer whilst the others who had further to go, and some had very long journeys ahead of them, made their ways home.

The furthest travelled attendee was Pete (Sterling Moose) who came all the way from Canada to attend and added a welcome international flavour to the proceeding. Another Pete (from TAG) came down from from Nottingham, John and Victoria arrived from Peterborough, Neil brought his Martians from almost 200 miles away (somewhere up north beyond civilisation at any rate) and Scott (Alien Surfer) ferried a car load of Frothers from Hertford. The rest of us ambled in from the surrounding countyside to make up the numbers. 

Mark's American Civil War game

Richard's Wars of the Roses game

The game was played on a 1000mm x 1200mm board made up of two loft insulation boards. Terrain features are either carved into or built onto these base boards. If you have enough boards, you can make a lot of combinations, even though the main features are fixed in place. Trees are 'spiked' in. Buildings, hedges etc placed on top.

The figures are all Perry 28mm from their Wars of The Roses range. Most of the foot figures are plastic, the mounted figures are metal. Paintwork by yours truly (Richard).

The rules for the game are a very simple set of large scale skirmish rules derived from the free 'Kill Zone' near future skirmish rules, and customised for medieval flavour. Each figure is individually based and fights/shoots as an individual, although most figures operate in groups for purposes of movement, orders and morale.

The scenario was a three-way skirmish over a disputed village, with 'all against all', although each of the three competing lords and their retinues had differing objectives. The successful lord on this occasion was Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey, who killed both his rivals. So even though thyey partially completed their own objectives, the fact they were dead, meant they could hardly win the encounter!

The following pictures are some of the ones that Richard took on the day. They really let you see the high quality of the figures and terrain.

These photos are from John Crawford:

Neil's War of the Worlds game

The scenario is based in Surrey in the first few days of the invasion when the Martians are more handy with the Heat Ray than the Black Smoke. Each player controls a Fighting Machine and the objective is simply to make it off the other side of the board intact and with as many victory points as possible.

The winning player is the one which survives with the most victory points. Victory points are achieved by engaging and destroying human units which are randomly rolled at the beginning of each turn and controlled by the umpire.

Units can be anything from an infantry unit to a battery of heavy guns with anything else the military authorities can throw at the Martians in between. To make things more interesting the Martians only have a set number of damage points.

This dynamic poses a dilema for the Martian player; remaining on the board to gain more victory points than the other players invites a greater risk of destruction as the human forces will gradually concentrate in greater numbers along with increased fire power. It's the old addage of the slower you move and the more you hesitate, the more fire you will attract.

Click on the Lancers for a bigger picture.

In the games I ran at The Tea Party this is exactly what happened. The players risked destruction to the extreme in order to get extra victory points over the other Martian players. It made for great, fun and exciting games running to the wire with players pretending to assist each other when all they were after was the glory of victory. Unfortunately some players went too far with their quest and their Fighting Machines were sent whirling to destruction!

 The rules are by Shaun at 'The Bunker'. They are very simplistic, on two sides of A4 and slightly modified by myself as my board isn't as big as Shaun's! They are designed to give a fast moving game with all the heavy fighting and excitement you would expect when men of the Empire are defending it's beating heart against these mighty invaders. It also makes a change to play the Martians!

My Conan game

I ran my Conan game three times using my still in development CROM rules. The scenario was designed to allow as many players as possible to take part and, I'm pleased to say, each game was full to capacity with five starting players and occasionally even more with other characters brought into play as the game progressed.

 The setting was a small section of town near a prison where Conan was being held captive. Three players took on the roles of Conan's girlfriends Belit, Red Sonja and Valeria who were each trying to rescue him and gain favour and precedence over the other two.

Another player controlled the prison garrison comprising of a captain, five guards and a priestess who wanted to keep Conan behind bars and a fifth player controlled three groups of slaver bandits lurking in town on the lookout for some prime female flesh for the auction block.

Scattered around the playing area were four objective/treasure markers that, when collected, added other elements to the game. Two brought Deathdealers into play to further hamper the heroines and two were more helpful. One revealed Subotai as an ally and another allowed the player to discover and use Conan's Atlantean sword which confers an additional 4 combat dice.

In the three games Conan only escaped once and that was at the cost of all the girls' lives. In another (shown above) he was freed by Valeria as she was cut down by the guards only to be set on fire and stabbed by the priestess before being unceremoniously dumped back in his cell, unconscious. In the third game the girls never came close to rescuing him.

On the whole the slavers seemed to do best out of the encounter usually managing to drag at least one unwilling victim off the table to an uncertain fate. When Victoria was controlling them they were particularly successful and netted two prizes, pausing in their escape only long enough to brutally murder Subotai in passing.

The task was just a little too big for a single scenario. The town and slavers should have been one scenario and the prison assault another to keep things balanced but no one seemed to mind even when their character was cornered and chopped down mercilessly.

click on the pic above for a larger version.