Seahouses, Probus

Big waves during a tidal surge at Seahouses harbour  Picture by Jane Coltman
Big waves during a tidal surge at Seahouses harbour Picture by Jane Coltman

Chairman Tony Willis opened the meeting with an apology from secretary Fraser Suffield, who had a hospital appointment. This is the first meeting Fraser has missed in several years.

With no secretary’s report, the treasurer Forbes Grant gave a short report to inform us that the funds were healthy.

Tony Willis told us that he was going to publicise the need for new members as our number had reduced due to members moving out of the area and others suffering ill health.

Anyone reading this who is interested in joining us every first Wednesday in the month should contact Fraser Suffield on 01665 576236.

The chairman then gave a few facts of what had happened in previous years around March 7, before introducing the speaker Jim Monksfield, who is one of our own members, to talk about Table-top Gaming.

This has evolved over several centuries and the games of the present day came about after the author HG Wells wrote the rules for war games in 1913. This was called Little Wars.

Before 1913, table-top games were confined to chess, draughts and card games, such as whist and bridge.

The ancient Chinese had used models to demonstrate manoeuvres, and the Spartans had a similar set up, with models representing cavalry hoplites and warriors to evaluate potential leaders’ ability in tactics.

Table-top gaming covers a large spectrum, from Pike and Shot to Star Wars scenarios. Dice determine the moves a player can make, ordinary dice or multi-sided regular objects.

Nowadays, players can buy ready-made models or make them from scratch, painting them to suit the conflict. The game can last for a short time between two players or for several days for a group of players.

Making the models look the part and building the scenery is all part of the fun of this pastime, and it appeals to all ages, from five to 105.

After a short question and answer session, the vote of thanks was given by Brian Brand, who thanked Jim for the fascinating talk on a subject foreign to most members.

Before the talk, Brian had compiled a list of what he considered table-top games, but missed war games.