The biggest 18th century games I’ve been involved with are the ones I’ve organised myself. Our Ayton games are, of course, imagi-nations based, but we’ve had a few stonkers in the last handful of years. You can see the ones from this April on my Flickr feeds: the Second Battle for Pescadrix day 1 is here and day 2 is here.
What I’ve found is that you need an extremely active umpire(s) who makes sure that everyone is engaged as much as possible in one way or another, even if that means helping out other players who are busier. I would agree that this size of game, which also included off-table map moving, is only possible occasionally, if for no other reason that I couldn’t take the strain of doing it more often! The other thing that makes these Ayton weekends winners are that everyone displays ‘the spirit of wargaming’ that I tend to bang on about. I’ve witnessed some large games where that spirit was in very short supply, if not altogether absent.
Perhaps the imagi-nation aspect means that people don’t take themselves so seriously, even if they take the battlefield tactics very seriously indeed.