Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sheffield 17th April

Society of Ancients DBA Northern Cup

Saturday at Triples has become the established venue for the Society of Ancients sponsored DBA Northern Cup.The format is straightforward: the organisers provide preset play boards appropriate to the matched armies also provided ... the players just need to turn up (and hit the ground running as it were). So that allows broadly historical battles (within the parameters set by the DBA lists) and fairly quick start ups ... no terrain set up etc. although there can be a certain slowness while players get to know with unfamiliar armies (or there certainly is if I'm playing!).
A new feature for this year was Paul powerpointing the draw and standings onto the wall rather than printing out and pinning up lists. We were all very impressed, but it strikes me this also saves paper, ink and removes the need for taping/pinning and its related annoyances.

(the players at DBA command with the draw projected in the background)
Not sure how it might work for a multi category event like Britcon, Warfare or whatever, but it was a neat and tidy solution for this event (well I liked it anyway).
This everything provided formula is the similar to that used for some Armati events, and certainly benefits anyone with complex or longer travelling plans - and in this case, despite the clouds of volcanic ash from Iceland, players flew in from as far afield as the US and the Balkans ... Old friends and new, good to see you all ...
(Game on)
The format also means the organisers can achieve a certain conformity within the tournament and a good standard of presentation ... a few examples I hope will suffice to show how pretty the armies were - a feature which I know always enhanced the enjoyment of the players, and is well worth the effort.
(preset terrain and armies)
(II/5c - Theban)
(III/74 - Fanatic Berber)
The quick set up allows a reasonable shot at the 5 games played in the day (and that includes an hour off for lunch and shopping) - one or two did get 'timed out' for the benefit of the majority (but the intention is to maintain a certain imperative to get on with it and encourage decisive play ...)... Five games, of course, makes it important to get a good start.
After some last minute changes due to players being stuck at airports etc. 12 players fought it out for the title (against an effective limit of 16 I think). The lead changed hands several times, but eventually Scott Russell established himself firmly at the top of the table. Well done, everyone. Last year's winner, and Shows North stalwart, Graham Fordham finished in a respectable mid table - continuing the tradition of the Northern Cup (which has never successfully been defended).
The Society stand spent the day attached to the DBA event (before relocating to the main Halls for Sunday) ... and in keeping with the BattleDay happening simultaneously down in Bletchley and the DBA theme of our own day out, I brought along my 'Double DBA' work in progress game (for a Zama workshop) ... this got played through a couple of times and was a focus from some useful discussions of the historical battles/DBA topic (if you want input on designing a DBA scenario, take it to a DBA event) ..
In Northamptonshire, we've been doing a couple of Zama related projects in the build up to the BattleDay, and I will collect these together for a dedicated post.
Thanks on behalf of the Society of Ancients to Paul Murgatroyd and Tony Morley who do all the work to make this event happen (and to Pete Scholley for finding the extra tables!) ... Thanks also to Triples for kindly hosting the event.

A trip round the rest of the show follows.

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