Tuesday, October 31, 2017

15th October, Warwick

As a result of the clash with the Bakewell DBA event, I could only do the Sunday of this year's Society Conference.

So I won't attempt to offer a review/report ... just a note on what was on offer on theSunday ... which started with a lengthy talk on Procopian Warfare by Roy Boss, after which the Conference split into 3 options ... wargaming those Byzantine battles with Roy and friends (Armati) ... and Ancient Wargames workshop with Richard .. and the Tony Bath wargame with me.

(Phil Steele's Tony Bath wargame)

 (wargaming the Procopian wars had three refight tables available)

There was also a mini campaign running during the session intervals.

After an indulgent lunch (all part of the package), Mark Fry gave us a talk on the Khmer army (and a critical look at the evidence) ... insightful stuff that will be boiled into a Slingshot feature - so look out for that.

Then there was an open final session in which people were invited to revisit games they'd liked or missed earlier in the weekend.  I got some more takers so ran the Bath game again (though we only had time to sample it before the wash up and departures) ...

Here are some pictures ...

(the figures were originally from the collections of Phil Barker, Deryck Guyler and Tony Bath)

Of course originally they would have looked more like this ...

How can you not be charmed by these wonderful figures? 

We made some good progress with this project so my thanks to the players, particularly Andrew and Duncan in the first game: we started with me a little rusty but I think got the game up and running and the players mostly running it themselves.

This is a topic to revisit and a game we can evaluate.

Look out for more.

The Conference was a little down on numbers this year but seemed to be doing well - again with new faces and familiar personalities.  It sounds like there will be one next - you should go (you really should!).

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

14th October, Bakewell

Round 12 of the 2017 Society of Ancients DBA League

Following the success of the Midlands Open, Simon has decided to run another event - this time quite similar to the Alton Pairs format (so establishing this option to players further from the South)

Basically players take an opposed pair from the DBA lists (i.e. enemies of each other) to a fixed list, with terrain.  The 'visitor' player picks which army to use.

Slightly different to Alton, Simon used a simple rule where if either player had used their own pair fewer times then this was the option to take.   If usage was equal, then you rolled dice.

It seemed to work - and certainly I ended up exactly 3 and 3  for the 6 games.

I like the format as, instead of obliging you to pick kind of cynically (to maximise your own chances), the system encourages you to pick a balanced pair.

Armies that might otherwise be dodgy choices are fine (and indeed quite intriguing) when matched with something of equivalent utility.

I was pleased with the Axumites and Arabs ... and tallied a W D and L - so just about par ... and scored 13 points (just behind par and just under half of my 30) ... I got given the Arabs twice and I think the Axumites did just about shade it (so might make a small change for future outings).  

But it's a good game.

Of course, there are always a number of good pairings out there so, compared with, say, the Northern Cup, you do miss out on some other options by playing your own pair 3 times. 

Here are my games.

So you get the picture ... in addition to the Abyssinians and Arabs, I got to play with New Kingdom Egyptian, Sassanids and Macedonians, all in plausible set ups.   That's a nice cross section of what you might call 'proper ancients'.  That's why I like this format.

And its the UK DBA League crowd so everything's nice and 'happy go lucky' amongst a diverse player mix.   And a healthy mix of new faces and veterans.

Paul Murgatroyd topped the order ... must be all that practice putting together the Northern Cup scenarios!   Good to see Paul able to enjoy a day just as a player!

Paul and Tamara were the bookends, Scott was just pipped into second on count back - I came bottom of the top half.

OK ... everybody smile:

The Final Round is the English Open in Portsmouth on Sunday (29th October 2017)

7th October, Bruntingthorpe

Derby World Wargames

This year the Derby Worlds moved to Bruntingthorpe (right on our doorstep) but - for various reasons - we didn't book in to run a stand or a game.  That's probably the first 'no show' Derby show since the old days in the Assembly Rooms.

Instead I joined in on the Saturday to play L'Art De La Guerre with Chris, Patrick and Richard.

I enjoyed my three games and, given how cramped the rest of the show was, was probably better off wargaming than trying to shoehorn the stand into a cramped pitch.   We like to engage with people, demonstrate weapons, have visitors 'gather round' ... so our normal approach would have just blocked up the narrow aisles.

Maybe next year ... and good luck to them bringing Derby to Leicestershire.

There wasn't much time off from the games and it was hard to see all the displays and traders - but here's a lovely interpretation of Cerignola ... 1503 so just about in our anc-med period.

'At the coalface', we had a 3 player team, Early Imperial, Abbassid, and Condotta ... the Roman period was 25mm, the others traditional 15mm.  I played the Abbassids on the Saturday.  Chris joined us and took over the army for Sunday.

Here are some of my games ...

 L'Art de la Guerre is one of several rulesets I'm enjoying at the moment - although I still play DBA, even AMW, more often.   I did OK but don't really know my way round the block that well.

So many thanks to my generous opponents for their indulgence.

Ther armies are nicely sized, the generals have some personality and function so I will certainly get some inspiration.

Adding a 25mm band into the mix seemed to work as well ...

But I need to sort out some DBA armies for Bakewell.