Saturday, October 26, 2013

20th October, Portsmouth

2013 English DBA Open

The October English Open is both the National event and the end of the UK DBA League season.  Both events are sponsored by the Society of Ancients, and I was invited to go down and present trophies.

(Trophy haul: the mock reliefs are for the English Open; the bespoke Roman shield awards are for the UK League)

As usual, I was tempted to get a few games myself ... and with Montaperti coming up for the BattleDay next year, I chose to take some Italian Condottiere ... OK, yes, dated to a period after the famous battle but my soldiers are Florentine and a dressed in regalia appropriate to the battle.

(Medieval Florentines mixing Mirliton, Gladiator, Essex, Peter Pig - to name but a few in the mix)

There were quite a few elephants around so I probably was fortunate to bookend my day with outings against Lindon P's Hittites (opening pool game and Plate final) - out of period, but a knight army vs a knight army.

So I didn't manage the knock-out phase of the Open but did take the final of the Plate competition to 4:4 (just failed to kill the all important next element despite having a 3:1 shot at a 'quick kill' combat.  But given my many lucky episodes during the day, that was nothing to  moan about!).

(Florentines vs Hittites on a bare Italian heath ... )

A full day of DBA wargaming (once I'd got going), and some entertaining moments as ever.   I was sufficiently engaged that I have to rely on Martin Smith to help with the eye-candy ...

(a selection of pictures from Martin's collection: gets bigger if you click it)


(Vedic Indian archers close up)

A great selection ... if you are members of the DBA Yahoo Group, you can see the Smith collection in the photos section there.

I will post up the full results, both for the Open and the UK League  ... but after the pool games and semis, the Open final was played between Myers and Smith, leader and second place in the League standings.  

By this time Martyn M was too far ahead in the League but Martin S was able to ensure the 'Winners' trophies would be shared out by winning the last game.

(English DBA Open sponsored by the Society of Ancients: final)

So, congratulations ... English DBA Open Champion Martin Smith; SoA UK DBA League Champion Martyn Myers.

(some of the happy winners at the English DBA Open)

You can check the League standings on the UK DBA League page.  I will publicise the full results when I have them avaiable.

Thanks to PAWS for hosting the event with their customary efficiency and enthusiasm.

Thanks to everyone who played in the League events in the 2012/13 Season.

Thanks to Martin Smith for the additional photos.

(bespoke trophies awarded for the Society of Ancients UK DBA League)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

13th October, Crystal Palace

SELWG 2013

I was over on the Pike & Shot Society stand - on duty with my Newbury ECW game - while David Edwards ran the stand and Philip Sabin hosted a reconstruction of the battle of Zama ...

(Secretary Edwards posing with the Society membership stand)

(the Lost Battle of Zama)

Scenes from the Society of Ancients battle of Zama

(Those classic 25mm elephants in close up)

Other ancient and medieval content at SELWG:

(click on the pictures for a bigger image)

(Second Battle of St Albans by the Essex Warriors ... using Impetus rules)

(Second battle of St. Albans: close up)

(Second battle of St. Albans: close up)

(Simon Miller's battle of Thapsus)

(the legions at Thapsus)

... and there were also a number of splendid games in other periods

(the award winning 'battle of Trysler's Farm' 1813 - War of 1812)

(Phil's Newbury game for the Pike & Shot Society)

(fantastic terrain as always in the Loughton Strike Force eastern Front game)

For more on the Newbury ECW game see ECWBattles

A great day out as always ... I'm asked to than k everyone who visited the Society stand and who played in the Zama game.

Personally i had a great day on the adjacent P&SS stand, and, for a change, we had a relatively trouble free drive back to Northamptonshire after the show.

Many thanks to SELWG.   DBA Open, next, for me and you can catch the Society of Ancients on the road next at Warfare 16/17 November in Reading.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

28th and 29th September, Donington

Derby World Wargames 2013

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