Saturday, May 28, 2016

22nd May, Newark Showground

Partizan 2016

Partizan's new venue at the showground - but very much the familiar formula and a hall full of old friends and a great atmosphere.  It seems they were queueing round the block to welcome a reconfigured favourite.

As an innovation, Partizan had zoned the space notionally into demo-style and participation games ... with a history zone in the middle (an island of tables with the Pike and Shot, SOTCW, GCN etc. and ourselves all clustered around and, as it were, mutually supportive) ...

A special zone for the societies - what a great idea.

By 'ourselves', for this one I mean Lance & Longbow, the Northampton Battlefields Society and the Society of Ancients.

We supported 2 battles from Northamptonshire ... the 1460 battle of Edgcote (directly on the L&L and SoA remit) and the county's most famous battle, Naseby from the Civil War.

(looking across Edgcote and in the distance, Naseby, Northamptonshire's battlefields)

I'll include a separate feature on our ADLG trial game of Edgcote as a follow up to this report, but meanwhile here are some pictures from the show ...

(Edgcote 1469: start positions looking roughly South West)

And the Battle of Naseby (Northampton Battlefields Society/Naseby Battlefield Project) ... Naseby, of course, have recently begun a start up project in the next stage of their bid for a 21st century Visitor Centre.

(Naseby battlefield from behind the Parliamentarian left flank)

(1645 Naseby: smoke from the volleys of Okey's dragoons engulf's the King's right wing)

And we were promoting Northampton's new book on the 1460 battle ...

(arms and armour from the NBS shows collection - photo by Chris A)

Having an aisle between the Society stands and our games (rather than the way we usually abut them) stretched us too thin and we were not able to man the stand talk about the historical battlefields and play the development game of Edgcote.

We simply did not have enough bodies to stretch over the gap.

So apologies to anyone who went unattended or who thought they were ignored.  Actually we were simply caught out by the layout (which was new to us).

Not a whinge though - the societies did perfectly well out of the arrangements and so thank you to the organisers for a productive layout - just now we have seen  how it works, we need to recruit an extra volunteer or two.

(the battle of Circensium)

Successful also seemed to be ...  the game based on a book with the author of the books next to the game signing books ... Mssrs Miller, Hendry and Sidebottom to be precise and Ben Kane in costume too ...

The battle was based on an episode in one of Harry's books ...

(collaborators ... figures by - game by - book by ... courtesy of the BigRedBatcave)

For more on the project, please have a look at Simon's blog.

Not that many anc/med games other than that ... there was a nice Eleanor Cross (based on the Northampton one) in the St Albans game ...

... and WD were running their Cursus Honorum game of Roman career advancement ...

(Wargame Developments: Jerry all set for the next set of Roman aristocrats)

The other participation games looked good too ...

(collage: some of the impressive participation games running at Partizan 2016)

... and there seemed to be a lot of lace (one of 2016's signatures?) ...

I rather liked this nice WWII game ...

But most innovative has to be this toy town game where the figures have all been made out of clothes pegs!!!

(click on the pictures to bring up a larger image)

Follow up links should you need them:-

Our next show will be Phalanx next month ...

... and finally, how about this for photographing 15mm from Chris A?  These are some of my Welsh from the Edgcote game ...

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A big welcome to Great Battles of History

Congratulations to Joe Collins and the team for getting the Great Battles of History for DBA 3 completed and published.   What a massive effort.

It includes 2 chapter from the Shows North stable, Yarmuk and Bouvines ... both games we developed and played as participation projects at various shows over the last couple of seasons (so they are genuinely projects to which everyone has made an input) ...

(left: Yarmuk played with classic 30mm flats; right: Bouvines played with more modern 15mm solids)

See our threads on them here (Yarmuk, Bouvines) ...

You can buy a hardcopy version of the book in all its splendour from direct from Lulu now, or if you just want to down load the files and don't mind waiting, they will be available for free (there is a delay while file sizes are reduced from the print version so the download is manageable) ...

Meanwhile, sample chapters are being made available individually - and I am very pleased Yarmuk has been chosen as the second offering (PDF here)

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the Yarmuk and Bouvines project ... and I hope the GBoH book goes down well with you all (I know many contributors are already assembling material for the next volume) ...

NB any profits from the hardcopy version (the one you have to pay for) go to the Society of Ancients as a mark of how important the Society has been to Phil and Sue over the years and how highly regarded they are within the Society.

Click here for Keith McNelly's synopsis of what's in the book.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

7th and 8th May, The Centre, Milton Keynes

Campaign 2016

Next stop, 2016, was Campaign in MK's Central shopping zone.   This is another of our few opportunities to meet the general public and try to engage them with wargames and military history.

Again, the Society of Ancients teamed up with Northampton Battlefields Society and we had a display of replica weapons and equipment around the 1460 battle layout, the two society pitches plus a DBA table.

(weapons and equipment from the NBS collection and the battle of Northampton display)

(DBA Lords of the Nile: a modern game with ancient armies using antique figures)

(the game table, this time featuring 'Axum's invasion of Arabia)

(the Arabian and Axumite armies)

(Have a go pairs at Campaign: 'Spartacus against the Romans')

We had copies of the new book published by the battlefield society on Northampton 1460, and on Sunday the author was with us to sign copies.

(author Mike Ingram introduces a Saints supporter to some local history)

You can get the book from Amazon on the link above but if you buy it from us at a show (and I generally have some), the battlefield society gets a bigger share of the price - and any proceeds go directly to protecting and interpreting the battlefield.  Recommended.

We got in 4 or 5 runs of each of the DBA scenarios ... they started out pretty even until my goddaughter joined us and proceeded to defeat all comers through her mastery of the rolling a 6 tactic.  OK - she's learning the came and coming on fairly well but utterly thrashed me in the dice department as kids and females generally do.

(flats DBA at Campaign: the Pharaoh goes into action)

The Northampton 1460 display is always popular at this event as the battlefield is only some 20 miles or so up the M1 from Milton Keynes (and a lot of the shoppers come from much close to Delapre than that) ... we often meet current of former resident of the areas around the battlefield with anecdotes to share and fragments of community knowledge that would otherwise remain buried.

Same time, there are still plenty of people who just don't know what is on their doorstep.

If wargames can help people be better informed that is all to the good.

(Campaign - the 1460 display: a dad explains to a youngster how the armies fought at Northampton)

(Northampton 1460: looking through the Lancastrian camp at the approaching army of Warwick and the Earl of March)

Elsewhere there was quite a good mix of games of all sorts and the big competition which the show annually hosts.

If you didn't know, at Campaign, the red zone tables are a national competition, the blue zoned tables (like ours) are the public show.   Together with a fair cross-section of traders and a lively Bring & Buy, it seems like a good mix. 

So here's a look round ...

Some great stuff there ...

On Sunday Peter, from the battlefield society joined us, and brought some of his equipment and demonstrated some of the secrets of the longbow archer.

It is very handy to have these sorts of exhibits around, especially with the general public (many wargamers know this stuff already).  They are fascinated and amazed by the sophistication of the military equipment of days gone.  The sheer variety and quality.

The show itself seemed a little less busy than in previous years - perhaps it was the first hot weekend of the Summer.

Nevertheless a very useful outing and a lot of publicity goals achieved.

Thanks to everyone who did a stint on the stand or just stopped by for a chat.

Next stop Partizan.

Friday, May 6, 2016

23rd - 24th April, Leeds, Royal Armouries

RAGE: Royal Armouries 100 Years War Event

This event at the Royal Armouries was organised to mark the arrival of the Armouries' Agincourt diorama in Leeds (formerly the centrepiece of the Agincourt exhibition at the Tower of London) ..

Most wargamers and military enthusiasts will be familiar with it ...

(Agincourt at the Royal Armouries)

Will has some better pictures than I got on his blog ...

We had a steady throughput of general visitors over the Saturday and Sunday and a range of wargames to help them explore the 100 Years War and try out wargaming.

I was there with the Northampton Battlefields Society, promoting our project and running a participation game of Greyhounds in the Slips, the Anno Domino game of Henry V at Harfleur which we published through the Society of Ancients a few years back ...

(Northampton Battlefield Society)

This was the first time I've been back to the armouries in a while (well, for a proper look around - which I was able to get on Saturday lunch time - at least) ...  What a splendid Museum and activity centre it is.  Really interesting, achieved with absolute quality - and a national asset we can all be proud of.  World class.

(The Royal Armouries, Leeds: world class)

We played GitS a total of 16 times (OK: I may have missed one or two) and, with differing degrees of success, Henry took Harfleur 12 times.  The other four times, his heroic story ended early, killed in the storming of the town (usually by an unexpected counter-attack after a failed hack at someone) ..

Here's his story ...

Game by me, script by W. Shakespeare ...

And what a joy it was to have (mostly young) players playing Henry V, on St George's Day, quoting their Shakespeare, on the 400th anniversary of the bard's last gasp, and in the Royal armouries.

That ticks a lot of my boxes.  No finer venue.  No better day.

I also took along some of the smaller figures from the Northampton display to showcase our work protecting and interpreting the battlefield ...

(Yorkists from the Northampton display)

(Lancastrians from the Northampton display)

(Warwick's cavalry from the Northampton display: picture by Alma Traska)

You can see the Battle of Northampton at Campaign in the Centre MK on 7th and 8th May.

Here's a look at some of the other games ...

(Simon Chick's Agincourt)

The Lance and Longbow Society had a Lion Rampant game of Bauge 1421 and the Simon Chick Agincourt that won all those awards at Salute last year (which uses Basic Impetus) ...

(Bauge 1461)

Also ...

(Sheffield Wargames Society: Castillon)

(Wargames Illustrated and the Perrys)

(The Peterborough Club revived the Donald Featherstone skirmish game with old Britains soldiers)

(Derby's Combat of The Thirty)

As diverse a mix as a BattleDay ... There's more ...

(St Crispin's Day)

(Doncaster's Sluys game)

(Wakefield and Osset's mini 1415 campaign)

... and a different take on the storming of Harfleur ...

There were some changes for the Sunday ...

The lance & Longbow, Chick, Perrys and Sheffield were not available both days ... and were replaced by 

(More 28mm skirmishing)

(... and a very pretty DBMM game by the Headingly wargamers)

Meanwhile ...

... Harry led assault after assault ...

Most ended like this:

(Harry triumphant)

But the French cut him down in around a quarter of the games:

What a great weekend - and hopefully some new recruits for our shared interests ... well some seeds sown.

Greyhounds in the Slips is part of a two game pack A Domino Double Header published by the Society of Ancients ... get one while stocks last!

See us next at Milton Keynes ... we will have The battle of Northampton 1460, supplies of the 1460 book and some pick up ancient and medieval games for you to try out ... DBA, ADLG etc.

I hope to see you there ...