Monday, 11 June 2012
Fighting in the middle of the road....
In 1979, Paddy Griffiths developed an urban skirmishing game called 'Young Team' that was aimed at moving away from the traditional wargame rules for low level combat and trying instead to understand and model the combatant's inner personal psychology and will to fight. In this particular case, 'Young Team' was a game created from Glasgow gang fights and based largely on James Patrick's study A Glasgow Gang Observed.
The Sarrie Heed: or The Young Team Mk III devised by Jim Roche for the Conference of Wargamers 1990 (COW90), is a very playable revision of Paddy's original work and remains one of the reasons why I love my small stash of worn and well read Wargames Developments Annuals. If you ever come across them you will find they make superb reading. Wonderfully eclectic, each one brims with ideas, inspiration, evocative rules plus full or partial game systems.
The Sarrie Heed is one such gem, taking up no more than a double page spread at the centre of The WD Annual 1990. The basic premise of the game as played at COW90, is that late one Saturday night, fuelled up and bellicose, the punters at The Saracen Head spill onto the Gallowgate looking for trouble with the punters from The Quarter Gill. The winner is the 'team' - figure, player, who demonstrates the greatest 'bottle' in the ensuing clash, without getting themselves arrested by the 'polis'.
Naturally the potential of the game doesn't rest there...."Teenage guerillas on the tarmac, Fighting in the middle of the road" (Up Against The Wall, TRB).... with plenty of application for us within a Winter of '79 context, a game is already in preparation as part of our ongoing campaign.