Friday, October 7, 2011

1st-2nd October, Derby


Phew what a scorcher.

A beautiful weekend and the atrium of Derby University's Kedlestone campus lets you enjoy all that sunshine.

I really like these bright, open venues - though I understand some areas got a bit warm. The Bring & Buy was not pleasant during the quiet time when I popped up, and I have heard from more than one source of people just leaving it because the fragrance got eye-watering.

It's a bit sad when you consider that the people who clear up the facilities probably associate all of us with the hygiene problems of a determined minority.

(The Elephant In The Room: a lively bunch of youngsters take on the elephant)

The Society of Ancients stand was an oasis of freshness of course - even if we were reprising our successful The Elephant in the Room. New this year we had the deluxe (if that encompasses cutting up the cards yourself) published version of the game for people who liked it to take away. And many did.

Although the show seemed fairly quiet at times, the Participation game was busily played, off and on, throughout the weekend - and was still active by mid afternoon on Sunday (at a time when many a northern show is breaking up).

(TEITR: scenes from a Society Participation game)

Many thanks to Graham for steadfastly manning the game all weekend and entertaining so many participants young and old. I'm sure there were some seeds of inspiration sown amongst some of the younger participants.

There were quite a few other ancients games out at Derby.

(Yorkshire, Palm Sunday 1461: The Rather Large Towton Project)

I was pleased to get a good look at the tiny but massive Towton game. I understand some infilling has raised the figure count to 18,000 now. 18,000? Is that possible? They are very small.

(like someone said .... the faasands of 'em ...)

It is a great project - and they play it too (Poleaxed II) ...
(The Rather Large Towton blog)

I'll also include a couple of shots of the 6mm Trebbia game.
(The Battle of the Trebbia, 218 BC, Northern Italy)

(the game was being played using 'Impetus')

I thought this was a great example of what small scale wargames can do: visually much more manageable than many a sprawling 28mm monster. I think this ticks a lot of boxes.

Our level was (excepting our 54mm game) a mix of 6, 10 and 28mm (perhaps some of it due to the proximity of Pendraken and Baccus ...?), all of them good. Again, I like the way smaller scales can capture the whole battlefield ...
(10mm Operation Brevity)

A pity that that section of road was knocked out of line ...

(6mm Gettysburg participation game: no monuments, but you can still make out Cemetery Ridge)

And I know some of you wouldn't want me to miss the big Warlord Games/Hail Caesar Romans bash (so here's a picture) ...

The Sedgemoor game I featured in the The Other Partizan was on show again. I got to chat to the presenters about the battle, which is nicely presented and about as good as sprawling 28 gets. They were happy to explain things, so thumbs up for that, too.
(Vienna 1683)

Back to the small but spectacular, I thought this 6mm Vienna 1683 game again came out a winner. I love that painted background: I really must think in terms of getting round three sides allows some extra visual options on side 4 (I used a mirror behind the City in Welcome to Jerusalem all those years ago - but I can imagine doing it differently now ....) ...

(close look at some of the Ottoman forces)

It is a truly remarkable scale, these days ... just in the photos, I can clearly see the Turkish cavalry, the characteristic Janissary caps etc.

Of course, a lot of this is down to Derby's atrium letting all that sunlight in. I think some of these smaller sale games would suffer badly in the more muted light of, say, Kelham Hall's Dome (where the Sedgemoor game was a real eye catcher).

(another look at some of the soldiers at Sedgemoor)

The Society had a reasonable weekend, including recruiting that magic new member whose decision means - as Shows North - we have recruited more members this year than in the whole of 2010 (so a big thank you to all the Shows volunteers: not only have you made a great contribution to keeping ancient and medieval warfare alive in people's minds, you have also helped the Society of Ancients keep head up in this age of the Internet).

Add to that some very nice shopping and an evening out at a Jazz event to see a long-standing friend's daughter play trumpet and you are getting close to a perfect weekend.

That said, nobody gave us a prize for winning anything this week ... so I guess it's situation normal really.

Very good show, Derby. Lots of good traders. Plenty of new products and lots of deals on offer. Lots of games to join in or inspire (a great collection in my camera - and they were just the ones I liked ...) ...

Thanks. I'm now looking forward to SELWG and then the DBA English Open.

Join the Society of Ancients (here)
Get a copy of A Domino Double Header (here)
Look forward to SELWG (here)
Get details on the DBA English Open (here)

Plenty of scope to get involved there ...

Fancy helping out at Fiasco? Recon? Wargamer? Drop me a line ...


Caliban said...

Those smaller scale giant battles are lovely. Not that there's anything wrong with sprawling 25s - I know my eyesight can't cope with the smaller figures!

SoA Shows North said...

Thanks ...

I was tempted to say 'no-one does sprawling like you do sprawling, Paul' but I'm not sure that sounds quite right ...

I have to confess 6mm is still too small for me despite all Pete Berry's work at Baccus ...

But I like the way that in a 6mm Trebbia you can get a 'Caliban-style' packed battlefield with the river still on the table _and be able to reach the figures.

I should have taken some Action Men figures dressed like wargamers to put leaning over the table so it would have looked like a Claymore game!

Now there's a thought ...