Monday, 9 October 2017

Are we there yet?

I suspect that there are many people saying that they won't be going back to the Derby Worlds show in 2018 if it's at the same venue, and I am certainly among them. From my point of view the distance alone would be sufficient reason. If it takes twice as long to get somewhere from the Lower Wharfe Valley as it does from the Lower Lea Valley then it really can't count as a northern show. The last half hour of the journey was on narrower and narrower, but otherwise identical, country roads with no sense of getting any closer to anywhere worth going. The venue was - and if you follow many wargames blogs you are going to get fed up reading this - far too small for the number of traders and games squeezed into it, and became very noisy and very hot; admittedly the last bit was in contrast to the previous venue being far too cold. There also weren't enough toilets. On the plus side the light was a huge improvement, as could be seen if I had bothered to take any photos.

James didn't win best game this year, but then again nor did anyone else, the new organisers having apparently decided the concept wasn't worth the trouble. The game went down very well with the punters though and so I think he can claim a moral victory. We played it through once each day, with the same result both times - a French victory. Given that the original battle was an overwhelming defeat for the French who suffered forty times the casualties of the Spanish, it would seem that the scenario and/or the rules aren't quite doing what they were supposed to (1). It did make for a good game though.

There was a small amount of shopping: as usual at shows some trees from Last Valley (only another ten years or so of show attendance and I'll have enough to refight Hanau); Blandford's 'Army Uniforms of World War 1' at a very reasonable price from the Bring and Buy; and a copy of EWM's 'Crush the Kaiser' rules. These last are at a level that appeals to me, but do on first reading seem to have a number of areas which are not spelled out in much detail. However, I do seem to have enough figures to try them out, whereas I'm still way off being able to play 'Square Bashing'.

(1) For what it's worth I think that to make the scenario better reflect the battle (and as a corollary the game less fun to play) the French should be downgraded in some way to reflect their march to the town and their unpreparedness.

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