Retro Gamer

Mid­win­ter’s Bizarre ori­gins

How a restau­rant be­came a host to wargam­ing


“Mike and i ac­tu­ally de­vel­oped the con­cept for the Mid­win­ter se­ries in a Chi­nese restau­rant in Liver­pool – se­ri­ously now!” surely we need to take this story with a grain of salt and some soy sauce for taste? “it’s the ab­so­lute truth, it’s not a yarn,” Jane tells us. “We were sat in the restau­rant, there was my­self, Mike sin­gle­ton, sid Meier and Bill stealey. so we were sat in this restau­rant and sid said to us, ‘Why don’t you guys do a war game?’ so we were go­ing to do a big, open world war game. i was won­der­ing how we were go­ing to do this when Mike said to me, ‘Have you ever tried table­top wargam­ing?’ i said no, so he said, ‘Well we’ll use this, the table­top idea, as the ba­sis for the new game.’ and be­fore i knew what was go­ing on, Mike had been rush­ing around the rest of the restau­rant col­lect­ing all of the condi­ments, and the knives and the forks and ev­ery­thing, and we had the knife army ver­sus the fork army. We were table­top wargam­ing, with sid and Bill as ad­ju­di­ca­tors, and we de­signed the whole con­cept – we pulled ta­bles to­gether and ev­ery­thing. The guy who owned the restau­rant was start­ing to get re­ally pissed by the end of the night… i think we shipped him a few quid to keep him quiet. We ac­tu­ally wargamed through­out the night with Mike and me com­ing up with ideas on the fly, with the knife army ver­sus the fork army. We wrote all that up the next morn­ing and that’s how the Mid­win­ter fran­chise came about. all that in­trigue and mov­ing armies about and stuff, all from that night in a Chi­nese restau­rant just near the cen­tre of Liver­pool.”

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