Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wolverhampton 21st March

WMMS ('Alumwell') Show

I was talking to someone in the bar and we were wondering why - with so many wargames clubs in the Midlands - we seem to have a cluster of more local, less hyped, shows (and none, really, in the East Midlands ... although technically, I believe Derby is counted as East Midlands ...) rather than than the big, Triples, Salute, Colours type shows? Tradition, we thought, has a lot to do with it: shows just end up how they are and where they are as a result of random things that happened two decades ago ... But also it is because we are in the Midlands ... so we can attend the big shows in the North and the big shows in the South (so we fit in with what everyone else wants - and that probably applies to a lot more than just wargames shows I suspect!)... Well, the Spring's big show in the Midlands is Alumwell's WMMS. And I guess it can get much bigger unless someone build it a multi-storey car park!

For a Society of Ancients game we usually either take 'last year's game' for a final outing, or this year's (but it isn't always ready) ... This year we took this year's game. We tried out a long standing Anno Domino game at Vapnartak ... Anno Domino, but with (slightly random) movement, and the players getting a few extra 'non-player' characters clustering around them. It worked quite well, so, having passed the test, it needs to go to the next level. The game idea, all along, was based on Henry V's attack on the breach at Harfleur (shamelessly drawing on W. Shakespeare as the primary source). Yes, indeed, 'once more to the breach!'.

I had acquired the basic group of 90mm Revell figures at various discounts (so they cost no more than 28mm metal, on average ...).. And so needed a breach for them to fight for. This is where the 'it isn't always ready' comes into play! And so I started chopping up polystyrene packaging into masonry blocks ... And sanding them into shape. Unfortunately, although a lot of the construction got done, the resulting terrain had a somewhat blanched, abstract, look. So we could put this outing down as test No.2 ... now 90mm, now openly titled 'The Siege Works at Harfleur', and now with poly-blocks rubble about to be fought over.

Well it proved compelling for youngsters and veterans alike, and the team approved the progress so far. That's my excuse, at least. After some more research into the likely colour of the original fortifications (and a little imaginative interpretation of the English siege lines ... ) .. a few more blocks and a lot more paint will see this ready for a full premier (probably on Sunday at Triples) ...Thanks to everyone who played and contributed ideas and feed back. Yes, you will see more of the game.

(Shrewsbury's Viking game)
Elsewhere, there were the usual array of excellent games for which WMMS is become a reliable showcase.

For ancients enthusiasts, Shrewsbury's Viking game looked good value (though it was mostly in display mode whilst I was viewing) ... and Simon Clarke was doing something worthy publicising large amounts of Saxon Gold (and such like) being found in the ground of middle England, and engaging the youngsters ..

(a thin red line in the '45)

There were quite a few other participation games, though not all of them were historical ...

And some great stuff to look at in later periods of history.

Over all, an excellent show, and a great day out. Must avoid the myriad distractions and get those siege works painted next ...

Look out for us at Triples supporting the DBA Northern Cup ...

No comments: