Monday, May 15, 2017

6th and 7th May, Central Milton Keynes


The show in the shopping centre.  Yes, and a great opportunity to reach out to ordinary folk and engage them with wargames and military history.

To do that we team up with the Northampton Battlefields Society and the Battlefields Trust ...

( The Battlefields Trust reprised Phil's wargamable display of the 1645 battle at Naseby)

(Northampton Battlefields Society added a participation game of Northampton 1460 by Graham Evans)

(medieval weapons and equipment from the Northampton collection)

(while the Society brought out the Kadesh game 'Call it Qids')

We were busy all day Saturday and both games got played a lot.  The displays attracted a lot of interest - feeling the weight of the swords, trying the helmets etc.

On Sunday we were joined by another of the Northampton team, Peter, the archer who answered questions on the longbows, demonstrated fletching etc.

Here are some more pictures of the games and exhibits

There was a nice mix of scales and resolutions ... blocks for Northampton, 6mm figures for Qids 

(Call it Qids: 6mm Hittites from Baccus)

(showing members of the public how wargames work - and letting them enjoy some history)

(Northampton 1460)

Elsewhere in the show:

This 15mm game was DBMM at the Teutoburgerwald on hex terrain.  Lots of trees.

And some nice scenics and figures in 10mm

But if you want bigger figures, Skirmish wargames had these 54mm ...

Next to our Wars of the Roses displays, Bedford Gladiators put on this 28mm Barnet

Nearly all lovely ancient and medieval games but I also like this 54mm colonial bash...

For more of the Naseby, see Phil's ECWBattles blog.

See NBS, SoA and the Battlefields Trust/Naseby at Partizan next weekend 

Call it Qids is available from the Society website.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

22nd April ... London ExCel


Another Salute came and went at the massive and constantly busy ExCel exhibtion centre in Docklands.

I was fully engaged this year with Ad Hoc's 'Nick the Tsar II', but spent my (extended) lunch break with the Society of Ancients stand as always.

The Society's big game was a Lost Battles interpretation of Kadesh ...

(the Society of Ancients at Salute 2017)

You will just about see a Rameses style Nile monument in the background ... just to say that this is a control marker, not a terrain piece ... and Lost Battles recovers the battle from the mists of time as a grand chariot engagement beside the Orontes.

For the full campaign, you can do no better than refer to Call it Qids from the Society games collection (easily the best published account documenting the battle).

Elsewhere there was a massive interpretation of the battle of Raphia using 'To The Strongest'

Here's a close up ...

(Raphia at Salute 2017)

For more shots of the game, go to Simon's blog)

Indeed almost everyone ends up at Salute

Another Ancient/Medieval battle I saw was a Mortem et Gloriam 'Hastings' (keeping the anniversary going) ...

(Hastings 1066)

And a few battles in other periods caught my eye as I briefly toured the show ...

(Salute 2017)

Including some wintry ones ...

(the Battle of the Snowshoes)

But of course most of my day was spent with this one ...

(Nick the Tsar II at Salute 2017)

There's a full set of pictures on Phil's 20th Century Wargames Blog ...

Next event is Campaign 

And watch out for us at Partizan.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

1st April, Blectchley

The 2017 SoA BattleDay 

This year was Arsuf 1191 and the event was supported by eight different game/presenter combinations.

I had previously developed an Arsuf scenario for Armati but was very impressed with the reconfiguration I tried out as the show game at Claymore 2008 ... so, after a bit of tinkering, I decided to go with that.

This was therefore a mature project and benefited from having all the components available - Richard's fleet, personality figures for all the commanders, bespoke baggage for the marching column etc.

Here's a quick tour around the tables (I'll complete the captioning when I have fuller details - I was pretty much imbedded in my own game so haven't got complete notes) ... 

This was a lot more intimate a group than we have had for some of the Hellenistic/Roman fight days - which gain support from the 28mm big beasts - nevertheless, the room set aside for the introductory talk session was full (so we probably had fewer games but more player/visitors per game) ...

I had planned to 'workshop' the battle in episodes, trying bits of Impetus, FoG, ADLG maybe ... but as it turned out one of my volunteers wanted to try out Field of Glory (so that's where we started - it worked very well, so we decided as a group to stay with FoG and play it out).

Here are some scenes from my game:

(Arsuf - phase one ... Richard's army emerges from the defile into the open ground on the road to Arsuf)

(Arsuf - looking down Richard's column towards Arsuf, Saracens massing in the hills)

(Arsuf - phase two ... the Turks advance and engage the Crusaders with continual archery)

(Arsuf - phase two ... the Crusader foot are forced to turn and face ... )

(Arsuf - phase three ... Crusader knights charge out of the lines and a general engagement ensues)

In our battle, the Crusader column was successfully stopped and bodies of knights were drawn away from the protection of the close formation ... gaps appeared in the lines and Mamluk cavalry were able to burst into the box, even as far as Richard's personal standard.

Although there were a number of routed and exhausted enemy, many Crusaders fled towards the beach and cliffs, tumbling into the sea (presumably hoping to reach the sanctuary of their ships but certainly lost for the purposes of our game) ...

Luck was not with King Richard.

Historically, it had been a different story ... though many Crusaders did drown in panic, charges from the line had been more controlled and had caught sufficient of the Saracens to disperse Saladin's army beyond immediate recovery and Richard was able to claim a victory.

Operationally Arsuf was something of a stalemate: though claiming victory, Richard lacked the resources to strike at Jerusalem ... Saladin's field army was spent, however, and he could not exploit Richard's predicament.  The two commanders were forced to come to terms.

After the battle, though, Richard held the field and was able to complete his march to Arsuf in triumph ...