I keep a pair of walking boots in the back of my car in case I get to visit a battlefield. Happily, I remembered to put them on before spending the day on Donington International's harsh Exhibition Hall floor.
Despite some drawbacks with the venue, Derby continues to be a great weekend. So much to see and do, so many old friends and associates under one roof.
(1485: the Battle of Bosworth ... the armies arrayed for battle)
Something of a homecoming for my soldiers ... we were just across the way from Irregular Miniatures who supplied 60% of the figures. It is remarkable to think that I just had a few test paints to show this time last year (alongside out 2012 game, Call it Qids). Things have come on well.
(mixed 54mm Medievals under Surrey's banner at Bosworth)
(Richard III ... never afraid to take the battle to the enemy)
While we demonstrated the V3 interpretation of Bosworth for the Society of Ancients, Will and Graham did a variant of the current game in 28mm for their Hedgeley Moor table as the Lance & Longbow game.
Graham is the Fluttering Flags man and is responsible for the fabric banners enhancing both games ...
(Hedgeley Moor: with the Lance & Longbow Society)
(Road Block ... 15th Century style at Hedgeley Moor)
Indeed it was a great show for medievalists (if we can still count 1513 as Medieval ...) ... and over the weekend very many enthusiasts enjoyed Like a Stonewall's splendid Flodden display and refight.
(excellent and clear information boards supported the Flodden Field table)
The presenters were polite and informed and the figures drew the attention of many a photographer.
(1513: Flodden Field ... the Scots advance)
(Flodden Field ... King James with his schiltrons)
A grand spectacle indeed.
And that wasn't all ... there was a Medieval Tournament as well. Crossed Lances is a new jousting and tourney game which was enthusiastically demonstrated and explained all weekend. Some great ideas: it seemed very popular and won best participation game ... Good luck with the project, lads ...
(Crossed Lances: Medieval Tournament and Jousting contests ... coming soon)
Impressive? That was just the Medieval content. This was a very well supported show with a full range of periods and genres.
Here's a flavour of the other displays that drew my attention ...
(The Deer Slayer becomes Hawkeye)
This was a participation game based on the prelude to Last of the Mohicans, and was played to Muskets and Tomahawks (about which the presenter were great enthusiasts) - well canoes and log forts always do it for me ...
And the Skirmish Wargames Society (the 54mm guys) were there, this time in the Sudan ...
A very enjoyable spread included this splendid 54mm gunboat (yes ... 54mm gunboat!)
(54mm Nile gunboat)
So a thumbs up for the show ... many of the things that were poor with the venue last year were a little better this time around. Hopefully they will do something about the overpriced cafeteria ... hopefully the sweet music of the racing cars on the circuit outside will continue to serenade us through the weekend.
We had some highly entertaining refights of Bosworth - I'm amazed such a simple game as DBA continues to give so many unexpected but plausible variations and has turned out so far from formulaic.
(Sir William Stanley joins the fray - and gets a lance in the throat for his troubles)
(a melee round on, and there is a gap where Richard fought ... and a battle lost)
We fought the scenario ten times, with 4 victories to Richard. The odds are against him from the deployment ideas suggested by Mike Ingram's interpretation, but it is evident that it can be pulled around. Like in 1485, Richard needs to get lucky ... he needs to have a good day.
(Bosworth Field: in this game the infantry have fought to destruction - the casualty markers show the game at 3:3)
I have added casualty markers to the game: each player gets 3 with which to replace lost elements or equivalents. For new players unfamiliar with DBA's 'defeat when 4 are lost' morale concept, it can help remember where you are - no markers left means you can't afford any more losses.
The markers are some recent additions from Irregular.
(Casualty markers: for some reason a victorious Richard wanted this picture included)
Two very enjoyable days ... a good show, plenty to occupy visitors, and a good choice of trade stands.
Thanks to the hosts, to those who stopped by to chat and to the various Henries and Richards over the course the weekend. I'll finish with some Scots at Flodden.
See you at SELWG