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A visit to the Malta
Wargame And Role-playing Society

By Andrzej Cierpicki

I recently (July 2013) had the opportunity to visit Malta's own wargame club, WARS, which has been in existence a similar length of time to HKSW.  For the past twenty years or so it has owned its own premises, thereby avoiding having to regularly change its venue at the whim of landlords and providing a permanent space for gaming and storage of terrain and other game materials.  The clubhouse is situated in Floriana, a stone's throw from the impressive fortifications of Malta's capital, Valletta.

Behind the green door . . .

Three floors of gaming

The club's wargaming interests include Warhammer fantasy battles, 40K, Historical, Napoleonics, WWII, Confrontation, Warmachine, Hordes, Necromunda, Bloodbowl, Gorka Morka, Battlefleet Gothic, Man-o-War, Ancients and any other system that strikes their members' fancy.  Roleplaying is very popular and can be said to be limited only by the participants' imaginations.  From being a Vampire to living in the future, past or alternate present. Systems used are both published ones such as World of Darkness, D20, Pendragon, Runequest, etc., to completely new systems created by inventive game masters.  All-in-all, a thriving club with a very active membership that meet not only at weekends, but in the evenings as well.

I was met and introduced to the club by Justin Tonna, an avid and enthusiastic local wargamer and author of Wargaming World War Two: A guide to recreating the battles of our civilization's greatest conflictJustin showed me around the three floors of the traditionally stone built building and introduced me to some of the local gamers.  The ground and mezzanine floors are the domain of role-players and the first floor is home to the impressively appointed Napoleonic headquarters, where a 28mm skirmish game was in progress using the Age of Eagles rules set.

The Napoleonic headquarters

The top floor houses four tables that host a variety of games.  On the day I visited there was a lively game of Dystopian Wars in progress, which the publisher describes as follows: The world of Dystopian Wars is similar to our own, but subtly different. The year is 1870 and the Industrial Revolution occurred decades earlier than in our own world. Technology is far advanced, and in many cases, unrecognisable, which has led to the development of fantastic naval vessels, hulking land ships and terror from the skies in the form of airships and war balloons.

Dystopian Wars

We took over one of the remaining tables and Justin introduced me to the pleasures of WWII wargaming in the guise of a couple of scenarios from Blood Upon the Risers: D-Day using the NUTS! system published by Two Hour Wargames.  Great fun!

Justin explains the first scenario

The abortive US assault in our second game

It was good to meet up with the local Maltese wargamers and see such an active gaming group in their own environment.  A truly memorable visit and an excellent opportunity to make new friends with similar interests.

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