Saturday, May 19, 2018

12th - 13th May, Milton Keynes


Yes ... as 2018 rushes by, last weekend was spent in the middle of a shopping centre meeting the public as exhibitors at MKWS's unique free wargames show.

At this time of year we combine up as The Naseby Project, The Battlefields Trust, Northampton Battlefields Society and The Society of Ancients ... basically historical wargaming and battlefields history.   And we hope to get people interested.

Although politicians, news organisations, pundits and statisticians institutionally ignore it, this is the kind of thing that interests people.   People love their heritage and, in all the shows and events we do, I've yet to meet a member of the public that didn't care - and, where heritage is under threat, who didn't think 'something should be done'.

(Naseby Battlefield displayed at Campaign 2018)

So it's important we get out there and let them know what is going on.  People care.  Mostly, though, they just don't know.

(The Society of Ancients display at Campaign 2018)

For the SoA we took along the Tony Bath 'flats' game (which hasn't been out for a while and which hasn't been to Milton Keynes before) ... the repsonse suggested it was a good choice. 

(the figures in this game are mostly by Phil Barker with some by Tony Bath and some by Deryck Guyler)

(Celtic cavalry in horned helmets and surprising colours from the brush of Tony Bath)

(Elephants and ... err ...)

(... more elephants)

The best known version of the Bath wargame is, of course, in Donald Featherstone's classic guide - if you don't have a copy it is generally available second-hand (usually the prices are a snip) or John Curry has done a reprint.

For Northampton Battlefields Society we took along the 1460 Participation Game.

(Northampton 1460 at Campaign: Graham gets the shoppers wargaming)

Of course a lot of what we do is getting people interested by encouraging them to handle reproduction weapons and equipment, pose for selfies (and, apparently, talk to Imperial Stormtroopers!)

And talk to people ...

Mike, Peter (in the archer's garb) and Corin came along on the Sunday and increased our level of expertise

It's a nice event, and at times we were quite busy.  Which is encouraging.

(the battlefields societies and Society of Ancients at Campaign 2018)

Out and about during my breal I caught up with some familiar faces ...

(Lynne on the DL Books stand - a cornerstone of the Campaign show)

There's always a competition here ...

(Campaign 2018: wargaming the BHGS way)
... and some other games to distract you ...

Well done to all of them.

Campaign is probably the most important show on the wargames calendar.  It is the only one I know which really tries, heat on sleeve, to get people interested.  Support them.  Come next year.  Run a game.  Meet and talk to people.

Here are some links:

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

28th April, Newark Showground

Hammerhead and the Northern Cup 

So, ordinarily, this would be late Feb/early March ... but that was the big freeze and the Police shut Newark to traffic.  But the show must go on - and it did: at the end of April.

In addition to playing in the DBA event and presenting the Society sponsored Cup, I was asked to support the tournament with a Participation Game version of DBA ... and there was also the show.

So this report will have 3 parts.

 (Pharsalus ... the BattleDay DBA Participation Game)

The Game, the Cup and the Show.

Pharsalus 48 BC a Double DBA Game 

Details of the Double DBA were published in the History of Wargaming DBA 2.2 reprint (Zama) but I'll post an updated version here in due course (as V3 is a little different to earlier versions) ...

Essentially each player has 2 armies deployed one behind the other.  The front army is 'expendable and may be used to batter through the other player's front army or play for time or manoeuvre for advantage.  These armies will ultimately be withdrawn.

The rear army is the reserve, and the battle between the reserves is for keeps.  The winning reserve army wins the game.

We'll get back to that in a minute.

The DBA Northern Cup 

The Northern Cup plays over 6 rounds with randomly selected scenarios between historical enemies  on imaginary preset terrain.

Here are this year's boards: 

I had variable success over the six games ... no duplicates ... I won some - but mostly I lost the others.

I had the army right in front of the viewer.

(The 2018 DBA Northern Cup: 6 games from Phil's point of view)

I really liked those Classical Indians.

(DBA Classical Indian)

Nice armies, Tony ...

OK ... let's have a quick wizz around the show ..

Hammerhead Show

Naval looks like it's going to be a thing this year.

I really liked this one where the ships stand on stilts and the subs cruise around beneath them.  A good idea I think - and well executed.

But there's more ..

(more from Hammerhead - and, yes, that carrier game was also at Salute)

Back in the DBA zone, here are some closeups of Pharsalus:

The armies are 10mm figures.  Most of Caesar's infantry are by Newline Designs.  A welcome addition.

Pompey's foot are the AIM/Chariot figures from my Republicans, and the cavalry on both sides is a mix ... the above plus Magister Militum, Pendraken and a few Adler and Baggage Train for variety.

They are on 40mm frontages ... basically 10mm figures on 15s basing.

I really like the panoramic look you can get with 10mm.

(DBA Pharsalus in 10mm ... Pompey's vastly superior cavalry suges forward on the open flank)

 ( DBA Pharsalus in 10mm ...the infantry close)

( DBA Pharsalus in 10mm ...Pompey's lavish and well-defended camp)

Winners and Losers

Everyone's a winner, of course (they're playing with toy soldiers, afterall!)

But here are some positions ... Simon 3rd and Phil J runner-up ...

West Wind presented the prizes and generous shopping  vouchers.  I presented the Society of Ancients DBA Northern Cup.  Drum roll ... to ... Martin Myers.

... and then we all had our picture taken.  

Friday, May 4, 2018

14th April, London Docklands

London's SALUTE 2018 at Excel exhibition centre in Docklands was a bit of a flying visit for me.  Having exhibited or manned a stand for most (all?) of the last 30+ years since the days back in Chelsea and Kensington, this year I was at a Battlefields Trust meeting in the morning - so only able to give the big show a couple of hours. 

Amazing to think it is 12 months since we did the 'Nick the Tsar' redux game!

Click that picture for a link to what may have been the AdHoc Games Group's farewell Salute appearance ...

Anyway, this year seemed very well attended (and I missed the busy morning session don't forget) - I walked in past a National Wedding show or some such ... seemed very quiet: everyone was heading for or crammed in the wargames event!  Good choice I reckon.

(Salute 2018 ... visitors chill out.  Still busy round the trade stands though)

I made sure I visited all the Society stands and wished them the best.  It's a big effort for clubs and society volunteers to do this show but it is the one all their members and enthusiasts go to so pretty much mandatory.

So good on you, 
(click the links and go join something ...) 

... without you Salute and wargaming would be much the poorer.

Northampton Battlefields Society couldn't be there but it was good to see the 1460 game on sale and (I'm told) doing very well.

And there's a wave from our own stand ... Phil and David with the BattleDay reprise - Paraitakene.

At the BattleDay I was busy with the DBA game so here are a couple of better pictures than I got the week before.

(Paraitakene 317 BC - a Lost Battle at Salute 2018 from the Society of Ancients)

(Paraitakene 317: some pike sperai from the Eumenid army)

Here are some other games I liked the look of -

Good to see naval and coastal games well represented - this year's trend?

Plus WWII ...

Crusades ...

... and much more ...

Here's a closer look at some of those 10mm figures in the ECW version of To the Strongest -

Very nice, Andrew ;) 

All in all, a nice afternoon.  I'll be back next year I'm sure.  Maybe promoting The Great Game.  Watch this space.