Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Derby 3rd - 4th October

World Championships
Many thanks to the Derby organisers for their good offices. We were in one of the further corners last year, and a little short - especially on the Sunday - of the passing traffic necessary to make participation games work. This year Graham offered to reprise the 'double game' offer of The Great Commanders which we ran at Milton Keynes earlier in the year ... but on the proviso that we had a more suitable pitch.

OK - so the layout of Derby University's Kedleston campus Atrium meant it wasn't quite as easy to get round the stand as we'd have liked ... but we asked for footfall and we got it. It was really only be Sunday afternoon that the games had some idle moments (otherwise, more often than not, both were in continual use and attracting spectators, too)

So, Alexander at the Granicus or Hannibal at the Trebia , played with Ancient and Medieval Wargaming (AMW) - I've explained the basic idea here before. The project attempts to introduce people to historical wargaming in the ancient period: Neil Thomas's game is one which, although it has a fair degree of variety and subtlety, has basics which can be picked up pretty reliably during the course of the first game. The rules are in a book which is aimed at the general reader and which is available from mainstream bookshops. Stylish though they are, Graham's presentations feature simply painted 20mm plastics (mostly HaT) .. also available in many High Streets (if you have something passing for a hobby shop) ... So, an introductory game that's quick to pick up and is good with youngsters and newcomers, which you can buy in normal shops and is shown played with equally 'non-specialist' figures in a package where a few boxes of plastics will do you a very plausible Great Battle for a minimal investment. Excellent.(click on the pictures to get a bigger image)
The results were a bit of a swing from the Milton Keynes outing. Without Will bringing his uncompromising determination to the Roman cause, Hannibal reasserted his customary control over the Trebia scenario. Alexander, however, was no longer just walking over the Persians at the Granicus. Whereas in the MK version, the somewhat flimsy cavalry force was backed by a unit of hoplites and a unit of foot skirmishers, in the Derby line up, both units were hoplites. Facing a Macedonian phalanx, this really did seem to bolster up the Persians ... meaning attempts to overwhelm the enemy flanks did not automatically entail allowing the Phalanx to walk off the board in the centre (which is fatal in AMW).Well, the results speak for themselves ... The (experienced) SoA presenter team beat Alexander 4-2 at Granicus, but lost 6-1 to Hannibal (and his elephant, if that isn't giving the game away ...)..

I think 13 games isn't bad going for a participation game at a show that is a real battle - one or two of them 'two handers' . 8 visitor/Great Commander wins against our own SoA Romano-Persian opposition shows we mostly let them win!With the games popular and busy, I only got a cursory go around the rest of the show. There were quite a few ancient and medieval games around ... a good looking FoG demo by the Burton lads ans another chance to see the 1st Corps demo game of Magnesia which I included in the entry for The Other Partizan a couple of weeks back.(good looking 28mm figures)
Now I don't feature 28mm ancients here much (well, aside from Eric's collection which regularly fills out the requirements of the Lost Battle series of Society presentations) ... but the 1st Corps ones are quite nicely proportioned and I do like the Magnesia set up.(more good looking 28s!)
I quite like these Peninsula Napoleonics as well. Again, no fan of the sprawling Nappy 'static' games we see so often, this time the big one was a Borodino in 6mm (the kind of scale you might well actually use for refighting Borodino! ) and the compact and densely filled Peninsula game wasn't too overblown and looked great (the sort of Divisional scaled game you might actually play in 28mm ...)... An uncharacteristic thumbs up from me.
The Leeds club very big 'Raid on St Nazaire' which I had to go up to the balcony level to get a good look at (get it all into the camera frame). I wonder how it worked.

Maybe it'll be at their home show, Fiasco, at the end of the month.

Thanks to everyone at this one - enjoyed it as usual ... (similar slot next year maybe?)

SELWG on 18th, English DBA Open (in Portsmouth) also on the 18th, Fiasco on Nov. 1st

Come and see as at a show.

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