May 10, 2017

MATT KOLTONOW'S GAME ON! Off to the Races!

Last month we had a bit of a change of pace of our normal game schedule. I ran a game that I've been cobbling together for almost a year now and am very excited to share photos of. The last Thursday of April was the day I ran my huge Chariot Race game. The idea for the game came sometime last year when I was looking for a new convention style game to put together for the club. While looking for inspiration I found a few examples of people running chariot races and decided to do one myself. I started by picking up the old Avalon Hill "Circus Maximus" game on ebay and running a few playtests of the game with a couple friends. Once I was sure those were the rules I wanted to use I started sourcing the other components. I purchased 8 15mm chariots from Outpost Wargames Service and had fellow Trench Runner, Charles Oldaugh build the table. The table itself comes in three sections (much like the board from the original game) and is lightweight but sturdy. 

Being the wargames butterfly that I am, it took me almost a year to actually get the game to the table. I left the rules almost entirely intact but left out the advanced rules and the rules for different sized chariots to keep it accessible for new players or a convention setting. I also pre-made the chariot sheets ahead of time to get the game started as quickly as possible. In the original game the chariot and horse teams are separate pieces but in order to keep the figures from getting broken, I based them all on one base. I color coded them similar to the board game. Finally there was one last round of playtesting (less than 24 hours before the game) to make sure nothing stuck out as broken or hard to follow.
The game itself went very well and seemed to work great with 8 players. I was worried I didn't get enough time to tweak things or test the rules but I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't break under pressure. The game was a success and everyone had a great time. I'm looking forward to running the game again this fall and making it a bit of a tradition. It was a good change of pace from our normal schedule and will be a fun way to take a break between big campaigns or leagues.

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