Although I had actually booked myself in to help on the Pike & Shot Society stand, a last minute change saw me taking the Shows North stand to Crystal Palace to support the Society of Ancients.
Thanks to Steve and Neil for managing most of the day without me.
(click on the images for a bigger picture)
Although the big southern shows are not my explicit brief, as I often get asked to pick up the pieces, perhaps I can appeal for volunteers to contact the secretary? Meeting the public on the Society's behalf is a great pleasure and an easy way to make new friends and contribute something to the organisation ...
The game we featured was Phil Sabin's treatment of Trebia ... a fascinating battle from the first phase of Hannibal's invasion of Italy (and the last trumpeting of the Elephant corps he had famously brought over the Alps).
This is the one where Sempronius has his men wade the freezing river before breakfast in order to get double enveloped by Hannibal and Mago's Carthaginian army on the other side. Thanks, Semps! ....
The Legionaries cannot be destroyed and manage to break their way through the entire Carthaginian centre and march off the battlefield.
(Italians and Numidians in Hannibal's army)
For me, Trebia is the battle that shows that Hannibal's great victory at Cannae was unlikely a freak combination of circumstances (as some will always argue) but a deliberately orchestrated battleplan: all the features of Cannae arise at Trebia except that the Romans are able to fight their way out of the potential encirclement.
The next time Hannibal gets the opportunity to surround and annihilate a Roman in the field, his army would be deployed in such a way as to ensure the centre remain trapped in the pocket.
Of course, that's just my take on the significance of the battle, and you can find an authoritative account of the engagement and Sabin's methodology in reconstructing it in Lost Battles.
(Southend's Battle of Benfleet)
I like SELWG, and enjoyed a leisurely wander around as it got quieter in the afternoon.
(GLG Games Group's Battle of Sagrajas)
There were some excellent ancients games on display (actually a little less unhistorical gaming, this year I thought - which might have suited others a little less than it suited me) ...
(splendid Gravesend/War & Conquest Kadesh game)
Prettiest game of the Show surely went to the battle of Kadesh demo by, I believe, the Gravesend club, hosted by Rob Broom's War & Conquest/Scarab Miniatures.
(Hittite chariotry lie in waiting)
Nothing that flashy, of course ... just everything exactly right - terrain, figures, space, layout ...
('Shepway's Germans Go Home')
I also liked the Germania tree-fest ... I got a real sense of the Romans being stranded in the forest ...
There were some good displays and games out of our period, as ever ... some that have done the round of other shows, some new.
(Atlanta by the Essex Warriors)
For nice clear presentation, I particularly liked the ACW Atlanta game and and the (loaded with figures) Aspern-Essling. The former was being played during the show (which is always good to see) - the later just looked too crowded (but what do I know?) ...
(Loughton Strike Force: Aspern-Essling)
Great show. Horrible journey home.
Don't forget the DBA English Open in Portsmouth on Sunday.