Gamers go to war in a fight to win Sophia op

Steve Foote looks over the field of battle for the 48-hour marathon game to raise money for Sophia Aitken

Sophia Aitken and dad Andy admiring the wargaming models

First published in News Witney Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

MODEL gamers are getting battle-ready for a marathon 48-hour charity tussle to help a girl with cerebral palsy.

Innsmouth Gaming Club will hold a non-stop tabletop war to raise hundreds of pounds for Witney cerebral palsy sufferer Sophia Aitken, two.

The youngster’s family are raising money to send her to the US to have a life-changing operation that could allow her to walk.

Nine players will work in shifts to fight the “Battle for Sophia” Warhammer game, based on the roll of a dice.

The forces of light, including Lizardmen, High Elves and Ogre pirate mercenaries will fight the forces of chaos like Beastmen, Damons of Chaos, Warriors of Chaos and Skaven.

Battles usually last a few hours but continuous reinforcements, objectives and weather will create a two-day conflict.

More than 2,000 minatures and 50 terrain pieces will be used and it will all go out of line online in a bid to attract donations.

Club chairman Steve Foote, 46, will convert his Carterton kitchen into a battlefield including Mayan-style temples and a sea port.

He said: “We wanted to help the charity. We are all gaming mates and someone suggested the idea of holding an event to raise money.

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“We thought we would have to do an endurance test, and the idea of playing from Friday night to Sunday night came up.”

Mr Foote said: “Our aim is to try and make it a bit more interactive and raise a bit more money and engage with people.

“People can influence the game if they spend money, by giving someone extra models or a re-roll.”

He added: “I am really looking forward to it. I have never played a game like this before and it gives us a great excuse to bring all sorts of monsters out.”

Mr Foote was a teenage gamer and recently got back into the habit through son Ben, 12.

It is hoped the October 25 to 27 event will raise up to £1,000 for Sophia, whose mum Tara worked at the school Ben attended.

Sophia, who cannot walk without a frame, has spastic diplegia that causes pain and spasms in her legs.

Her family have raised £60,000 of £65,000 needed for an operation not available to young children The procedure – booked for October 17 at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St Louis, Missouri – will remove faulty nerves in her spine and enable her to walk unaided.

Sophia’s dad, Andrew Aitken, 35, said: “I think it is a great idea.

“Steve has been with us from the very start, helping us organise things and designing all the posters.

He said the family would watch the battle online.

For more and to watch the game visit http://www.innsmouthgaming club.wordpress.com

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