Thursday 28 August 2014

Thirtieth Year of a Private Wargames Event - The Tarawera Weekend

Thirty years ago, on a cold wet night in July 1985, six wargaming friends drove to Lake Tarawera three hours south of Auckland for a weekend of gaming. The goal was to reinvigourate our group after we had become somewhat fractured. 

We arrived on the Friday night, played an English Civil War game on the Saturday and half of Sunday, then drove home again. It was a fantastic weekend of gaming and friendship. It achieved its goal of reinvigourating us all and started a tradition that saw the Tarawera weekend run every year since. The event has extended to beyond a weekend and now we go down on the Tuesday and back on the Sunday. The attendees have changed a little over the  years; two have passed away some have moved and others have joined. Of the original six four remain.

While the weekend is now almost a week, the format remains the same. Each full day is a full day of gaming, usually organised and umpired by one of the group. Over the years scenarios have ranged from the Crusades, to English Civil War, Border Reiver's Cattle Wars, American Revolution, the campaign of the Revolutionary French in the Vendée, Napoleonics, American Civil War, Austro-Prussian War, Franco-Prussian War, Russo-Japanese War, WWI, WWII and the Falklands War. The Sunday half day game has a tradition of its own, it is always a naval game - Napoleonic, American Civil War ironclads or ancient galleys.

This year's event, the thirtieth successive year will be this week. We head off tomorrow, Tuesday 2 September. I will post some reports of the event after we return.


  1. Hi Mark
    This is all very cool - what a great tradition! Seeing as you are in the general vicinity, I thought I could invite you to catch up with the historical gamers in Rotorua next year. We are a small group with a wide range of interests and plenty of painted lead.

    1. Thanks Nate. It is a lot of fun. I may take you up on your offer. my wife has relatives in Rotorua, so we are down there a few times a year.