Saturday, May 26, 2012

19th May, Sheffield

Northern DBA Cup

The Society of Ancients is proud to be a sponsor of the DBA Northern Cup which was held on Saturday at Triples.

The Society had a membership stand attached to the event, and had taken along our Lords of the Nile flats DBA (V3) try out game. 

This year's Cup followed the now tried and tested formula: the Lincoln organising team provides boards and armies for (in this case) 8 tables, which are drawn at random for each round.   The event of 5 rounds was played using the standard 2.2 version of DBA.

 (Galatians and Thebans)

The featured pairings were ... I/1c Early Sumerian vs I/1c Early Sumeria;  I/23b Vedic Indian vs I/60c Early Achaemenid;  II/5c Theban vs II/30a Galatian;  III/78 Early Russian vs IV/30 Teutonic Orders; IV/38 Granadine vs III/74 Fanatic Berber; III/35c Feudal Spanish vs IV/4b Feudal French; IV/28 Prussian vs IV/27 Estonian; IV/39b Navaresse vs IV/68a Medieval Spanish.

Some old favourites and some new challenges.

I was particularly taken with this year's snowy Baltic battlefields ...

 (Prussians and Estonians fight it out in the snow)

(Russian cavalry engage their Teutonic enemies in a classic Winter encounter)

There was a generous break for lunch so players could enjoy something of the wargames show, then final rounds followed in the afternoon.

In a close finish, Paul Hodson pipped Graham Fordham to take the title by 3 points, ensuring another new name goes on the trophy (which has never been won by the same player twice!).  Well done Paul.

(Medieval Spanish and Navarrese)

 1. Paul Hodson 37 points; 2. Graham Fordham 34 points; 3 Martin Smith 29 points; David Constable and Mark Johnson were 4th equal, followed by John Saunders, UK DBA Champion Colin O'Shea, Denis Grey, Scott Russell, Tom Whitehead, Geoff Bowker and Frank Shaw.

 (another new Champion)

Many thanks to Paul and Tony for all the effort that goes into these events (we hope they will be happy to repeat the formula), and to Triples for hosting the tournament.

A smoothly run and successful event - a great day out for all the players.

Next shows North outing: Partizan, Sunday 27th at Kelham Hall, Newark

Friday, May 25, 2012

19th-20th May, Sheffield

Triples 2012

Triples was such a big weekend for the Society Shows Team that I will be splitting my report into two.

On the Saturday, Triples, as well as being a fine 'must see' show, has for 8 years now, hosted the DBA Northern Cup, sponsored by the Society of Ancients.

(intrepid adventurers find out more about the Society of Ancients)

This has been a very fine venture, and we have customarily had a presence and a stand with the event.  It has, of course, left us with a conundrum as to what to do for the second day of the two day show.

This year, the Northern Doubles League took up the invitation to add Triples to its popular series of one-day FoG/DBMM events.   This was a very attractive prospect as the key stand personnel like to play occasional Sundays in the NDBML.

(Rob's Plataea table - left foreground, a visitor flips through the latest Slingshot)

But would it take the Society out of the show entirely?   Enter Rob Broom and his War & Conquest/Scarab Miniatures stand and his offer to host Slingshot on his table in the main part of the show.

I'm not saying the solution was perfect straight out of the box, but it certainly kept plenty of us busy and entertained all weekend (and I think if we can just give Rob a bit more support along the way, we may have it cracked).

(NDBML tournament tables against the backdrop of the running track)

So this is a view of the show as a whole, and of the NDBML Sunday event that was part of it.  Rob's weekend is covered here, and my separate report on the Saturday's DBA Northern Cup will follow.

Highlights from the show

So, we had the Lords of the Nile out with the DBA, Rob was doing Plataea and the Lance & Longbow Society were refighting Grandson (title picture).   Impartially, I'd say those were the best games in out period.

There were a number of good participation games at Triples ...

(WD's popular participation game ran all weekend)

I didn't get to play the jazzed up version of Rollbahn Ost (but am a veteran of the felt pen version) ...

And there were some very good smaller scale battles

The 28mm WWI game was much more interesting than is often the case, and had a number of nice vignettes around the board (the sort of thing I might do in smaller scales ...) ...

(Dachshunds and Bulldogs)

And there was a useful presentation board.

So I thought this massive presentation was worth its space.

 (click on the pictures fro a larger image)

My favourite was, of course, the Old School game resplendent with 40mm Prince August semi-rounds - looking like episodes from Charge! or The Wargame (although the original figures were smaller of course: but somehow this impression of an old wargame looks exactly right).

(classic looks from Ilkley Old School)

Good to see some of the players had the decency to wear their ties (smoking and drink-driving being out of fashion, wargaming in a tie is about it for a 60's revival these days ...)...

Tucked away in the smaller front hall, mention should go to the Burton 18th Century Colonial game which had a very  convincing look to it.


Two games of FoG of a Sunday is about right for me, and having had a reasonable look around they show on Saturday, it was nice ot get some games in against old friends.  Graham Fordham partnered me in the morning so it was with old friends, too.  Graham and I have been doing shows for around 25 years, but seldom get to team up these days.   A quarter of a century.  Hmm...

(the masters at work)

I hope the 'Sunday only' players got enough time between the games to get good value from the show.

We used my Later Sicilian army for this event, and came out just ahead of par over the two games (it's a 'class II' army, so for us the best is yet to come). 

 (FoG on the Steppes)

In the afternoon, we had the luxury of one of those tournament 'what ifs' ... we invaded we invaded Medieval Peru and fought against a sea of barely clad footsoldiers armed with slings and clubs.

They made life difficult for the Sicilian horsemen by clinging to every bit of field and lowland cover they could find, but by sunset we had got a strangle hold on the game.  But by then the game had ended.

A very good day, which I hope will be repeated next year.

(Colin Betts dishes out the trophies)

Jon Fletcher won the DBMM, Dave Ruddock and David Eltringham won the (Ancient and Medieval) Field of Glory ...
More info on the NDBML: Maws Northern Doubles site

(Newcomer to the SoA stable: Call it Qids)

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)