Thursday, May 17, 2012

12 -13 May, The Centre, Milton Keynes

After a year off (after some jiggling, it clashed with COW last year) we were back at MK, and one of our favourite events.

This year, we were debuting the new Shows North game Call it Qids and showing off the newly restyled Slingshot.  

The latter has been delayed a little but is splendid (colour pages inside, don't you know ...) - the former will shortly be available from the web store and will be on show again later in the year for you to try out.

Meanwhile, 2012 subscriptions can be handled on the website.

Qids is the ancient name for Kadesh, and the game is an innovative and fast playing area based game of the famous battle between Ramesses and the Hittites.

We played the game several times during the show - with a mixture of wargamers playing it for the first time, and non-wargaming browsers - mostly with historical results.  The game's Producer/Editor, Trebian, has a lot more on the games and his 2 days out at the show on Wargaming For Grownups.

 (some youngsters taking on the Call it Qids scenario)

We did manage one wipe out win for Ramesses, and an unusual game where I, having a punt as the Egyptians, managed to break some of Pre through the ambush and rouse the camp (but then went on to lose the battle just as badly as the historical Ramesses did) ...

All of which just shows that the game is as capable of extremes as were historical events!

(click on the pictures for a larger image)

(a diverse range of wargames options in the MK atrium)

Campaign is the annual wargames show and tournament hosted by the Milton Keynes Wargames Society.  Some years ago they took the brave decision to host this in Middleton Hall, the public atrium and exhibition space in MK's main shopping centre.  As such, it is a unique venue, and provides enthusiasts like the Shows North team a chance to explain wargaming to the general public as well as to the more 'established' kind of wargamer we might normally meet on the shows circuit.

Hopefully I did the odd good deed by directing bemused relatives to suitable presents for absent wargamers.   Certainly we got a few potential enthusiasts to take their first steps directing miniature armies.

(a special shot: commanding the Egyptians in this DBA game, I inadvertently got all my troops into a single battleline group!)

I took along my Lords of the Nile 30mm flats participation version of DBA in the days of the Pharaohs.  As well as giving a flavour of V3 (which is nice and simple, so spot on for shows), it also allowed us to show complete newcomers to wargaming a fair variety of toy soldiers ... from flats, through the 15mms and 28mms all over the show, right down to the lovely Baccus 6mms in the Kadesh game.

(Baccus 6mm, simple but effective: Ne'arin wait just off table on the Call it Qids board)

Jaded wargamers ought to do shows like this and make the effort to greet and talk to browser who spill over from the Shopping Centre.  'Wow!' is an expression you hear a lot.   People just love toy soldiers - and many are blown away when they see the standards which are normal these days on demonstration games at shows.

(towering over mere mortals: Ramesses in the camp at Kadesh)

A big chunk of the event is given over to a teams competition (another cause of awe in people I spoke to ... 'the guys on the roped-off tables are commanding their miniature armies in a series of battles to score points, and the best of them will be awarded trophies tomorrow afternoon' ... I would explain.   'Wow! ... No wonder they look so serious' ... was a comment I got on more than one occasion.   'Oh, they are enjoying themselves' .. I offered with a smile ... 'just they can look a bit stern when they're concentrating' ... ) ...

There was a good set of demonstration games, from our explorations of Biblical times through to the great wars of the 20th Century (plus the usual fantasy, Sci-Fi and pulp ...)..  

Leighton Buzzard had brought along a very nice Impetus moderated hydaspes game ...

(big Indian elephants massing in the Impetus demo game)

If you want to find out more about the game, click on the little thumbnail of their caption (which should come up in a new window, big enough to read on a reasonable sized screen, perhaps) ...   

This was a great little game (if you can call 28mm little these days) ... understated but full of well turned out soldiers and with good supporting materials on the associated information boards.

Thanks to MKWS and the shoppers of Milton Keynes for making this a refreshing and worthwhile weekend show.

Thanks to the rest of the Shows North team (this time Will, Treb and Chris P) for helping out with stand as usual and making it all work.   For us, I'd have to say, it seemed a little quieter than last time we did the show in 2010 .. then again, in their 'wisdom' MK civic authorities have made all the parking 'pay and display' (that might not suppress shopping but it gives an incentive not to stay too long chatting to the wargamers) ...

If you've not tried this one, watch out for next year.  In a rare outbreak of multitasking, I even nipped into the department store and made my contribution to propping up the retail economy!

Next chance to catch up will be Triples
The Society of Ancients DBA Northern Cup on Saturday (competitions area)
War & Conquest's Battle of Plataea demonstration game all weekend (say hi! to Rob Broom)
The Northern Doubles League on Sunday (competitions area)

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