I have enhanced further my growing reputation as the grumpy old man of wargaming. We had a crack at Blitzkrieg Commander II last week and when my tactics didn't work I may possibly have complained a bit. My irritation drove me to re-read the rules, searching for confirmation that I had been wronged by our errant interpretation thereof. Instead I found that what I had done was not just ineffective, but was actually specifically forbidden. As anyone who remembers our (many) refights of Sidi Rezegh can testify I have never pretended to be an expert on the Second World War. Anyway, expect James' blog to contain much ranting about artillery drift, about which he is prone to carry on like a drunk in a pub looking for a fight. Speaking of which, whilst we were en route to Vapnartak he regaled Peter and I with amusing and colourful stories of his life as a young man in the Channel Islands.
The organisers of the show have apparently made the decision to switch from demo games to participation games, the net effect of which was that there wasn't a great deal to look at. I'm rather partial to having a go at participation games, but there wasn't time as it was a flying visit; Peter being keen to return in order to muck out his horse. There was some meeting and greeting of those others who had made the journey from Ilkley - epicentre of wargaming in the lower Wharfe Valley - across to York, and I was somewhat impressed to be introduced to the author Angus Konstam; certainly more impressed than he was to be introduced to me. As it happens I have been reading his new book on The Barbary Pirates, and very interesting it is too. I have some half baked ideas for games based on their raids on southern England using my small fleet of Zvezda medieval life boats; none of which have seen the light of day so far. But then again I have all sorts of projects in hand, and my shopping reflected that. I picked up some pre-ordered trench sections for the next trench raid scenario, some MDF bases (admittedly with multiple possible applications), some ladders from Irregular (for the Siege of Constaninople, a game that you will remember I couldn't make work and actually packed away) and a copy of Square Bashing (with the intention of using my existing stuff to game at a different scale). Add in the wish to test the new C&C Napoleonics rules and rewrite the Romans in Britain rules and it's a bit of a long list. You won't surprised therefore to hear that I continue to paint 15th century English longbowmen, which address no item appearing on it.