Sunday, June 28, 2015

20th June, St Helens

Phalanx 2015

Many thanks to the Spartans club for another great event at Sutton Leisure Centre.  Many thanks also to Steve and the Gentlemen Pensioners, my hosts for the weekend.

As is now a trusted formula, I was up with the Society's membership stand in support of Martin Charlesworth's popular DBA challenge table.

(Martin's 'Dirty DBA' ... let battle commence)

(Early Imperial Roman vs Picts)

(Achaemenid Persian vs Classical Indian)

We got around 8 games in during the day, but nobody won the challenge (although I took over playing the home army while Martin went shopping so the pendulum did swing towards the visitors for a while) ...

It is nice to see people playing the game.

Elsewhere, the Lance & longbow Society were running the Battle of Liverpool scenario with the Lion Rampant rules.

(The Battle of Liverpool with the Lance & Longbow Society)

(Battle of Liverpool: the armies close ...)

Also of an ancients style, I was very impressed with the large semi-historical naval game ... played on Kallistra hexes with home adapted rules ...

We don't really see enough trireme games on Ancients on the Move so I'm sure you'll enjoy so more details ...

Also seen on the ancient and medieval beat ...

Phalanx is an excellent show with a good mix of traders, demos and participation games: plenty of things to do and be inspired by for a one-day show ... here's a flavour of the rest of the periods ...

(Great terrain in this Liverpool WWII game)

... and an excellent Prusso-Austrian game from the Cobridge lads ...

Of course that's just scratching the surface - I was on the stand most of the day so these are just some of the things that caught my eye.  You really should visit this show if you are at all in the region.

There is also an excellent traditional Bring & Buy ... I picked up a bundle of stuff (I'm not a big bargain hunter so you know if I am shopping that there's good things to be had) ...

Then on to more important things ...

In the evening we filled a gap before dinner with a couple of games of Yarmuk.  Different again and well received by the players.

(enough said)

The Sunday was given over to a big multiplayer ECW game, more pictures of which can be found on my ECWBattles blog.

(Sunday: Pike & Shotte)

Excellent: my thanks to all involved.  A great end to the Spring and early Summer season.

Next up for me ... The Battle of Northampton in a local heritage show at Delapre Abbey ...

And COW 2015 where, amongst many good things, I will be reprising Bouvines and Yarmuk.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

13th and 14th June, Naseby, Northamptonshire ...

The Northampton Battlefields Society at Naseby 370.

NBS took a little medieval magic along to the Naseby 370 event over the weekend ... to promote interest in and understanding of Northamptonshire's other key battles (Northampton 1460 and Edgcote 1469).

We were also supporting the Magna Carta celebrations on Sunday at 3pm (the LiberTeas event) ... and visitors to the event were given a free cup of tea to celebrate the story of English rights and liberties.

(LiberTeas: 800 years of Magna Carta celebrated at Naseby 370)

It seemed peculiarly appropriate to be celebrating Magna Carta's anniversary on the battlefield where Parliament won its right to be part of the governance of the land.

In addition to the museums and artists, cake stalls and tea parties, the Phoenix Club presented a series of wargames with a 17th century theme ...

(wargames at Naseby 370)

The big game was played to a version of Pike and Shotte, and the participation game used an adaptation of Lion Rampant.

The exhibition zone was also supported by the Pike & Shot Society, Helion Books, The Battlefields Trust and David Lanchester's books.

On Sunday the exhibitors got an impromptu visit from the Naseby Project's patron, Earl Spencer who took a keen interest in the wargame exhibits, particularly the historic battlefields of his native Northamptonshire ...

(Painterman Simon explaining the Battle of Northampton to Earl Spencer at Naseby 370)

So we were able to demonstrate medieval battle, explain Northampton's part in the Wars of the Roses, as well as celebrate the anniversary of Magna Carta and see some of the 17th century stuff that was, of course, the weekend's main theme.

(Naseby 370 ... the big battle captured on my small camera)

Next outing as Shows North will be in a week's time at Phalanx supporting Martin C's DBA Challenge

For more picture from Naseby 370 see ECWBattles/Naseby 370

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

31st May, Kelham Hall, Newark

Society of Ancients and Lance and Longbow Society at Partizan 2015

Yarmuk 636 ...

Shows North attended Partizan on behalf of SoA and L&L, and took along the prototype DBA V3 scenario game of Yarmuk.

Yarmuk was the cataclysmic battle fought out East of Damascus between the rising power of Islam and the formerly dominant regional power of Eastern Rome (the Byzantines).

(Yarmuk at Partizan ... flats from 50 years ago refurbished for today's wargames rules)

This is a development project in its final phase and enjoyed a first public outing.   The game represents the significant cavalry battle on the Northern flank on the penultimate day of fighting. Above shows my interpretation of the historical deployment.

(Khalid's Mobile Guard appear behind the Byzantine's Northern flank)

We pick up the battle narrative when the Arab cavalry reserve makes its surprise appearance behind the Byzantine position.

(looking along the Arab battleline ... mostly infantry with cavalry support directed by Amr ibn al As)

The Arabs must hold the line long enough for their elite force to swing the battle.

(the Byzantines drive forward in the centre)

Unfortunately, Pips (and the threat to their flank) meant that, in the game, the Byzantines were not able to attack all along the line and take the battle to the Arabs.

(Yarmuk at Partizan: the Byzantine line rapidly collapses)

Poor dice rolls accelerated the pace and the Byzantine forces were quickly split up, surrounded and annihilated.  Vahan's senior army evaporated first, leaving Qanateer's Slav recruits assailed on all sides.

(Yarmuk at Partizan: the last stand of Vahan's army)

The Slavs faired better only in holding out for a couple more turns but won few exchanges with the dominant Arabs.

(Yarmuk at Partizan: Qanateer's army is broken)

The battle was fought using adapted V3 armies (2 commands each, with independent break thresholds) and the scenario specifications will be published in a forthcoming book supporting DBA V3.   Watch this space.

(The Battle of Yarmuk: a DBA V3 scenario debut at Partizan - final positions)

Both Byzantine commands were broken ... for the loss of 1 element of cavalry from Khalid's Mobile Guard.

Our most emphatic Arab win in all the trial games - but on public debut, quite probably the most historical outcome.

In 636, Khalid's cavalry manoeuvre completely outflanked the enemy and led to the destruction of Vahan's cavalry and reserves, cutting the army's retreat.   It went very badly for the remaining troops.

Elsewhere at Partizan ...

Lots of good games around, sadly most of them in predictable 28mm but probably the best you'll see in that format ...

(Partizan 2015: a mix of spectacular 'big' table 28mm games)

(Grimsby's splendid gentlemen tread the teddybear fur ...)

But top 28mm game, for me, was Simon Miller's To the Strongest presentation ... good rules, masses of figures, simple rules and people joining in.

(Partizan 2015: BRB getting people involved in his To the Strongest demonstration)

... so here a couple of indulgent shots of massed battle, Roman-style ...

(Partizan 2015: To the Strongest ... you will need reserves ... )

Great day out ... seemed quite busy in the morning (well, 'crowded' - so we were unable to run the game til the afternoon, a bit like Salute used to be in the old days) ...

Yarmuk ran very nicely and its unique flat figure charm was enjoyed by a string of admirers once the crowd had thinned enough for people to see the game (NB: I must switch soon to much bigger tables like everyone else) ...

Partizan very much knows what it does best and caters to that audience.  The lighting has never been great and Kelham Hall's catering has evolved over the years away from what wargamers generally hope to find ...despite which we had quite a few visitors over the day and everybody seemed to be enjoying the show.

We're all looking forward to the next one.

Thanks to the crew, hosts and visitors.