Wargamer 2011 (Great Barr Leisure Centre)
(ready for action at Wargamer 2011)
Wargamer, Derby and Partizan are my nearest shows, all within an hour. For me, Wargamer is the end of the shows year and the point where Shows North goes into Winter Quarters - generally until Vapnartak at the start of February.
I ended up doing this show solo due to lack of volunteers. It is a less busy show than some others so it isn't something that couldn't be managed ... same time, it is an appropriate tone on which to end the year, as the Society has several hundred members who live within easy reach of the show but who are obviously far too busy to help for half of a morning.
Those of us who have invested more than two decades of voluntary effort into the Society have come under attack of late for not being able to summon up sufficient candidates for vacant positions on the Society admin team to allow the ones who don't volunteer a proper democratic vote.
Well it seems to me that if our members are so pressed for time that not even one can volunteer 2 or 3 hours once a year on a Sunday morning (within the enclaves of one of the biggest cities in the United Kingdom), you might as well whistle for a choice of officers.
(Coming of the English DBA game)
But I digress ... the Society took along a choice of DBA options (Double Zama and conventional Arthur against the Early English), which was handy as Barkers, Phil and Sue Laflin, joined us for a pleasant hour or so chewing the DBA V3 fat, and chatting about the games.
I did my best to persuade Phil that Double-based Elements are off scale for DBA (he is wedded to the idea that the game should represent the fact that some troops characteristically fought in deeper formations, and doesn't like the implication that this chrome is lost in 'true scale' DBA unless you use 10mm or 6mm figures) ... Sue tried to engage Phil with the good looks of those double ranked 10mm figures on my Zama board ... and I think we all had to acknowledge that Phil knows more about the formation of Hellenistic pikemen (Pk, who benefit from rear support) than Italian Medieval Crossbowmen (8Bw, a 'compulsory' Double-based Element - DBE - in the current and apparently revised versions of DBA)*
(the gauntlet thrown down: Totila's Gothic army)
I had hoped to get a Championship game in if there were any takers, and so had Totila's Ostrogothic army on hand (DBA, Armati or FoG 650 configurations available) ... but that seems to have run out of steam too, as wargamers prepare to veg out for Christmas ...
(Wargamer 2011: very attractive Napoleonics game)
(Wargamer 2011: Cobridge lads with their big 15mm Armati game)
Which leaves me asking the dwindling circle of volunteers (and blog commentors can join in too ...)... what do we want to do for shows in 2012 ... What themes, what games - if the current formula doesn't float your boat, the blank page is open. Of course, the majority of enthusiasts didn't answer that question for 2011, yet ...
(Wargamer 2011: Shrewsbury club's impressive 18th century Carribean game)
(civilian details from the game)
For me, the flats project for Plataea will dominate the first few months, though I can't see it featuring at shows much before its big day at the end of March (Plateaea BattleDay at Sycamore Hall (Bletchley) Milton Keynes, 31st March 2012) ...
I had a plan to do a 54mm Chariot Racing game, but it won't be any of the conventional commercial products (least of all the clumsy slow and dull Circus Maximus) ... and I won't have any painting time before April at the earliest (so it's more of a 2013 project I suspect) ...
I had intended to work on an ancients naval game (Peloponessian War period) with 10mm figures on the ships ... (and that would certainly support the Ancient Greek theme )...
(Wargamer 2011: 28mm Thirty years War game)
(close up of some of the infantry)
And undoubtedly we will continue our combined displays with the Lance & Longbow Society (We did the Elephant game and GitS earlier in the year, but the big combo was Verneuil at The Other Partizan ...) ...
(more great detail from the Wyrley Retinue TYW game)
But the bottom line must remain what do you want to do? It is your Society of Ancients ...
Christmas is coming.
*Civic Crossbowmen seem to have enjoyed a ratio of 3:1 against pavisiers, suggesting the whole body formed up 4 ranks deep (quite plausible given the lack of testimony to 'lofted shots' for the crossbow) ... at best, 1 element depth in DBA. Hellenistic pikes, of course customarily formed up 4 times that depth ... 16 ... sometimes, indeed, 32 ... As a parallel, a new DBE is being introduced to simulate deep Theban hoplite formations (famously '50 shields deep'): it seems breathtakingly inappropriate to represent 16 to 32 ranks of pikemen with an option to be one or two elements deep in the game whilst compelling 4 ranks of crossbow/pavisiers to be on double depths (which, technically, being 'Bw' in DBA is actually physically deeper than 50 ranks of Thebans!)! But what would I know?