Thursday 26 April 2012

War game Shows,what do we want.

Over the last few weeks, I've been working my way through my many war games magazines,basically looking for further inspiration,and one of my favourite reads are accounts of all the shows over the many years I have been gaming.
This got me thinking about the present.
 Personally I think shows,certainly in the North of England are becoming scarce, the next one for me is Triples in May. So that will be two since the new year. After that it will be Durham and then Newcastle,finishing in December at Middlesbrough.  Five in total. There was a time when I would have attended probably a couple more. 
  Being a man,I then began to list my all time favorite shows.
  •  Coming in at number 5 was Salute in the late 1990's.
  •  Number 4 was Claymore when it was based at Adam House.
  •  Number 3 was a Durham show which must have been in the early 1980's staged at the University. [Thats if my memory is right]
  • Number 2 was the Napoleonic Fair in 2000.
  • Number 1 was any Northern Militaire.

So what was it about those shows that stuck in my memory. 
    Firstly the games,some were average,most however had something to take from them. Either the terrain,the way they were presented or the figures. But all had something to offer any gamer.
 The Napoleonic Fair had two giants of the historical world,Christopher Duffy and Colonel Elting. Both men were entertaining,informative and great at keeping a persons interest.
   Salute,Northern Militaire and Claymore had great painting competitions,and a real buzz about them.
While the show at Durham had a bit of everything.
   All naturally had trade stands,but the key for me,was the games,painting and personalities.
What do war gamers get now for their money.
 Rarely a painting competition,apart from Salute.
  Never any presentations from war game's personalities [define]
So that leaves the games and more importantly the traders.
   Without the traders,there probably wouldn't be a war game's show, as most people attend now to look and buy.Hence the shows emptying by 2.30pm. 
 I saw, I bought, I dicked off. 

The logical next step would be to do away with the games and just hold a trade fair. 
Maximum profit for the show host,and more traders per square foot.
 God help us if that were to happen. Because after that you might as well stick to the internet to buy figures and do away with any type of show.

I think Partizan when it first kicked off had a good idea,invite some good games,photograph them and put them in the war games magazine. What better way to encourage gamers to try harder.
 That incentive seems to have gone by the wayside,so how do we re invigorate the shows.

 For me it has to be encouraging competition between people putting on good games,with some sort of award. A painting competition again with an award. Decent cheap parking,and food,and perhaps a couple of people prepared to discuss and present something relevant to war gamers,ie rule ideas,painting techniques or whatever. As for traders, go for diverse quality,and help them by keeping the stall price fairly low to encourage them to travel farther.

 The photographs are from our Mollwitz game staged at Durham Wargames group many moons ago.

Wednesday 25 April 2012

My Inaugural Game

This report has been delayed because of Blogger changing my settings,which are still not right,so this may be my last blog for a while.
Sunday was my christening of my wargames room,with a decent sized Old School Wargame,based somewhere in Northern Germany in 1756.
 John had taken a scenario from C.S.Grants book,called Chance Encounters, which was an excellent choice. The terrain was based around a river with three crossing points,and four players,myself,John Reidy,Colin Ashton and Paul Stevenson. We each had a nation,I had Hanoverians,John Austrians,Colin Prussians and Paul French. The rules were Black Powder. The killer was the commanders level of ability. On the face of it my rating of Decisive seemed pretty good. Wrong,I was allowed re rolls on failed orders,a second failure however counted as a blunder. This was to cause me a lot of agony throughout the game.
 The poor French had the worst rating which caused the French to meander across the table, The Austrians were ranked as 'Aggressive' and the Prussians were 'Hesitant'.I wont bore readers with a blow by blow account,especially as Paul has crafted something for one of the war games magazines.
The Prussians acted Prussian like and threw themselves across the river,unsettling the Austrians, The French struggled to deploy,while the Hanoverians just couldn't move!!! quickly. The blunders kept coming and I had the edifying sight of my cavalry scattering off the table,where they had to be shepherded back on the table. Things finally worked in my favour and I was able to flank the Austrians on the last move. The game was a cracker,the banter was good,and the look was a great incentive to paint more figures. Roll on the next game.
The Austrians quickly advanced to the river,ready to take the pontoon bridge.

The Hanoverian cavalry were caught unprepared for the Austrian onslaught.

This shot was merely to show off my newly painted Warhammer chapel.

A shot of my Brunswick hussars 'running away!

 The reorganised Hanoverian guard cavalry showing how to do things.
 The upshot of the charge,was a reform in the corn fields.
 A shot of the steady Prussian advance.

My poor hussars,brace themselves for a French heavy cavalry onslaught.
 My Hanoverians cross the bridge to flank the Austrians.

 The Austrians,cling to the pontoon.

 My Hanoverians,just prior to a nasty surprise from the Austrians.

 The charge of the Prussian heavy cavalry,which halted the Austrians.

 First volley from the Hanoverians.

The figure responsible for all the blunders.

The steady Prussian advance.
Thanks to Paul,Colin and especially John who once again created a great sets of problems.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.
Austria 1809.

Austrian Hussars

Austrian Hussars
Hinchliffe figures

Austrian Grenzer

Austrian Grenzer
Austrian Grenzer

Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2013
Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2012

Smoggycon 2012
Smoggycon 2012

Smoogycon 2009

Smoogycon 2009
My French getting another beating