Wednesday, May 20, 2015

16th May, Sheffield, EIS

The SoA DBA Northern Cup at the Sheffield TRIPLES show.

So my trip to Triples started with a powercut, a broken down lorry on the A43 and the M1 North shut due to an accident (apologies to the thousands of other people choosing to travel then and who therefore ended up caught in my jinx) ...

So no surprises that I would lose more than one game of DBA on the day rolling a one with my general ...

This was the 11th annual Northern Cup and as smoothly organised as ever by our stalwart Lincoln friends.   The theme was Britain: a Nation at War' and featured scenarios from ancient times to the Wars of the Roses.

(Sub Roman British vs Scots Irish)

(Later Imperial Romans)

(splendid 15th Century armies based on Game of Thrones)

The possible boards (draw randomly for each round) were: Ancient British vs Caledonian; Pictish vs Late Imperial Roman; Scots Irish vs Sub Roman British; Norse Irish vs Norse Irish; Welsh vs Anglo Norman; Scots Common vs Scots Isles and Highlands; Feudal English vs Feudal French; House Stark vs House Lannister.

The Northern Cup offers a pretty full day of wargaming - 5 rounds in the day - but one of the advantages of getting beaten relatively quickly is that there is a bit more time to wander round the excellent show ...

Ancient/Medieval enthusiasts would have loved the display by the Knights in Battle Medieval Society ... combining equipment displays from their reenactments with a colourful battle using Neil Thomas rules ...

(Knights in Battle equipment display and picture books)

(the miniature Knights in all their glory) 

There was a popular participation game being run all through by Wargames Developments (didn't really get to talk to them as there was a game in progress every time I walked past) ...

(WD's Costal Command game in full swing ...) 

... and amongst a number of attractively presented participation games, I also noticed this gunfight game (again, supported with an eye-catching display of weapons and relevant exhibits) ...

I know a lot of fellow enthusiasts insist it is all about the game (or all about the minis), but I think the additional display features, exhibits and interpretations are all part of a good presentation these days: not only do they catch the eye, they also give another crack at explaining to casual browsers why you think your period or genre is worth their attention.

An all too brief look round from me, but lots to see and do.

Back at the DBA Northern Cup, the final round shuffled the pack, and for the 11th successive year, a new Champion emerged (astonishingly, nobody has ever won this event twice) ...

(The 2015 DBA Northern Cup Champion and runners up)

Phil Johnson won with Pete Duckworth (2nd) and Scott Russell as runners up.  Thereafter ... Dennis Grey; Martin Smith; Paul Hodson; Colin O'Shea; Graham Fordham, Tom Howes and Tom Whitehead; Richard Pulley; FrankShaw; Martin Myers.  Phil Steele and Mark Johnson jointly propped up the table.

A thoroughly good day out.  Thanks to Paul and Tony for organising the event, Sheffield Wargames Society for hosting it at Triples, and to the Society of Ancients for sponsorship.

See the Society's Shows North team next at Partizan at the end of the month.

UK DBA League page (Society Sponsored)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

9th and 10th May ... The Centre MK

(wargames meet the public in Middleton Hall)

Well done MKWS in getting Campaign back on in Milton Keynes Central shopping atrium: the wargames show with open access to ordinary members of the public.

The Society of Ancients has been proud to be associated with this initiative since its inception and is keen to do its bit presenting our wonderful, life-change and life-affirming leisure interests to a wider public - young people in particular.

Kids today lead very deprived lives that may not involve libraries, museum - even, I am told, toy soldiers (though that can hardly be believed) and are often misled that games are mostly noisy, head-scrambling video and console challenges.

This year, the Society stand hosted a participation game by the Northampton Battlefields Society (Northampton 1460: figures and layout by Shows North and Fluttering Flags; game design and umpiring by Trebian), a display by The Battlefields Trust (we had a reenactor in kit coming but he was taken ill) and a battlefield display by The Naseby Project (again, figures and layout by Shows North and Fluttering Flags) promoting their massive June 13/14 event.

Here are some details of the games ...

(Northampton 1460 has been boiled down to a rapid attack card game with a strong historical skew)

(March and Warwick attack the Lancastrian ramparts)

(overlooking the formidable position from the London Way)

(the game in full flow ... a Yorkist victory is imminent) 

Tim and Pete from Staines had the excellent Agincourt participation game from Salute up for the Saturday ... 

The designers gave me a quick run through and the game looked good ... the basic idea is that the French are in a race to capture hapless English nobles for ransoms ...

Ancients enthusiast would also have enjoyed the Hail Caesar game ...

... but pride of place must surely have gone to the Playmobil chariot races ...

Other periods were represented, though, I have to say, with the notable exception of the eye-catching Dambusters game (another Salute veteran) the ancient and medieval games clearly had the edge.

(display and participation games at Campaign 2015)

(Big kids went dambusting)

For more pictures of the Naseby Battlefield, please visit our sister blog ECW Battles in Miniature - but here's a plug.  The big weekend in 13th and 14th June (unmissable if you are within travelling distance of middle England ... it's the big one!) ...

(The dragoons in Sulby ... battle opens)

(Naseby: the Kings army advances on Parliament's position)

So a big thumbs up from the team and plenty of smiling faces from the public ... some new enthusiasts recruited and a lot of leaflets distributed.   A great show.

Write to the Centre's managers and tell them how much you like the show.

The Society of Ancients is next out sponsoring the Northern DBA Cup at Triples

Shows North will be doing Yarmuk at Partizan at the end of the month.

Meanwhile, you can catch me at Northampton talking about the Battle of Bouvines and the Road to Magna Carta on the 28th 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

25th April, London, ExCel


Salute likes to have a theme ... and the Society is seldom able to join in with it ... this year was different, however, and the theme, Agincourt, felt directly into our period of remit.

We set up two games from Henry's epoch defining 1415 campaign, a full scope Agincourt game using Impetus rules and the Society's Anno Domino game of the assault on the breach at Harfleur, Greyhounds in the Slips.

(Agincourt - the French vanguard moves forward)

(Agincourt - some 'extra input' on the game from Lorenzo)

(larger figures for the 1:1 action at Harfleur)

(Greyhounds in the Slips - the author was also on hand to help players through this game, too)

Both these games ran during the game and I enjoyed giving Greyhounds another run out ... players and browsers were appreciative as usual and we had the full range if outcomes (including Henry getting killed by a crossbow bolt from the tower ... how very 'lion-hearted' of him! ... ) although generally the iconic warlord won the town and went on to fight at Agincourt.

Elsewhere there were a number of impressive ancient and medieval games ...

('Bloody Cremona' played with To The strongest')



... and, of course there were a lot of games out of our period and 'off theme' ... plenty of Napoleonics (in what is also Waterloo year), plenty of 20th Century and a whole host of wonderfully presented figures - I'll include a couple of collages in the vain attempt to capture the feel of a truly vast show ...

Back to the Agincourt theme, Donnington/Ancient & Modern had a great and well thought-out Field of Glory game in glorious 15mm ...

(Agincourt across the ploughed fields of glory)

(FoG Agincourt ... battlegroups of Frenchmen surge forward)

But with less emphasis on the ploughed fields but a strikingly French castle, The Lance & Longbow Society's Hail Caesar game swept the board as far as the organisers were concerned (bagging 3 awards) ...

(Hail Caesar Agincourt ... a panorama of fighting men in the fields of France) 

(Painterman Simon adds to his trophy cabinet on the Lance & Longbow stand)

And here are some futher joys from this lavish presentation ...

(Salute 2015 ... some details from the award winning Agincourt game) ...

Well done to the L&L ... and well done to the Agincourt theme ... I have featured games using Impetus, HC and FoG but there were others as well.  A great showcase.

I always try to wrap up with some thoughts on the show but with Salute it never works (the show is so big I can't take it all in in the few sessions I get off from running the game ... and then I bump into people anyway so miss half the other games) ...

The lighting seemed better, but the acoustics can be attritional ... and the fantasy shopping hubs were a bit scary ... but it remains the UK's premier show and it was great to see the societies there flying the flag for traditional historical wargaming and contributing some of the best looking tables at the show.

See you next at Campaign ... don't miss it.