26/01/2020 at 00:22 #130305Guy FarrishParticipant
I went to Cusade at Penarth, Cardiff, today. It was a lovely Welsh day, 8/8 cloud cover, mist, weeping rain, so a good excuse to stay inside the venue, St Cyres School, and immerse myself in all things wargamey.
I forgot to bring a camera and as I am a luddite with no mobile (I know, I know), I regret there are no piccies of the games. You will however have seen one of the star attractions already and you can refresh your memory by going to Jemima Fawr’s blog and reading his Cassinga Raid posts and revelling in the photos of this excellent game.
I saw a few old friends again and once more bumped into Roger Calderbank. We attended the follow up to Rob Jones talk last year about medieval infantry combat. This started in the lecture hall but immediately moved out to one of the game rooms where the Officers Mess group were putting on a the Battle of Ludford Bridge – a game based on a Wars of the Roses battle that nearly happened but didn’t, thanks to the defection of a significant portion of the Yorkist Army in the night and the rapid departure of the rest on realising their betrayal.
Rob and the gang had taken part of the pre-existing free set of rules Coat of Steel by The Perfect Captain, and amended and added to them, to produce a set of rules that reflected his and their reading of late medieval combat.
As Rob has previously said that he believed Medieval warfare makes for Bad Wargames – this was quite a challenge.
We arrived just as the Earl of March was killed – thus seriously rewriting English history – and the rules seemed to have fulfilled their brief of refuting Rob’s own thesis. They reflect the warfare of the period – no zipping about by super units ignoring cultural hierarchies – but give a feeling of player input through the importance of command personalities, from the Army leaders and nobility down to the significant leaders of various companies.
There is not a massive amount of manoeuvre, realistic, but there is more to do than simply wind up and let go the two battle lines then throw dice until one disintegrates.
A nice demonstration of how to turn theory into practice. Since hearing Rob’s talk at Crusade 2019 I have pootled about trying to do something similar – but I worked from scratch and I don’t think my attempts left enough player input, while managing to be too picky with placement of troop types within battles.
That session was a major positive for the show this year, and I enjoyed the whole experience more than last year, although I’m not sure precisely why. Perhaps it was because I found more things to buy on the trade stands and engage my attention on the game stands.
On the purchasing side I bought some Commission figures (6mm mdf) once I had seen the painted displays on their stand. Very much a case of seeing is believing.Whether this enthusiasm survives first contact with my painting is another matter, but I would recommend giving these a try for any massed rank armies – eg Napoleonics.
I also bought a copy of the En Garde rules I was looking for as a result of reading Graham Harrison’s report on the rules in the Renaissance board here. I managed to pick them up at half price, and as soon as I got them I threw my plan of trying them with my existing 15mm figures out of the window when I saw some of Colonel Bill’s D’Arlo Figurines 28mmBorder Reivers. These are lovely figures and my will to resist disappeared during a conversation with the proprietor. Odd thing an Armstrong and a Farrish, both border families, chatting amicably in Wales over Reiver figures when we’d have been trying to steal each other’s livestock at best a few hundred years ago.
Add in the acquisition of a few paints and some basing materials and it was the most enjoyable wargames day out I’ve had in a while. Yes there could have been more traders and the venue is still weirdly fragmented, but Crusade has a lovely atmosphere and the talks and displays make it different in a very good way.
Thanks all involved in making it a great day out.
En Garde and some of the Reivers
Austrian 6mm MDF Commission Figurines
I hope to have some pics of these in the painting stage soon.26/01/2020 at 10:56 #130315Jemima FawrParticipant
Cheers Guy! 🙂
Yes, it was a great (and very professionally-run) show. Sadly my players all took ‘sickies’ (one had a sick wife, one was called into work and another bust his ankle playing football on Friday night [all this healty exercise isn’t good for you]), but I did eventually scrape up a couple of volunteers and we played a couple of turns before the end of play.
My wargames blog: http://www.jemimafawr.co.uk/26/01/2020 at 13:48 #130325Roger CalderbankParticipant
I agree it was a grand day out, provided you stayed indoors. I thought Crusade was a bit quieter than usual, but maybe I missed the busiest time.
It was good to see Guy again, and several other friends. Perhaps it is a sign of age, but the shows I enjoy most are now those where I can chat to people I don’t see often, rather than those where I acquire lots of goodies. I’ve never been able to reach the size or standard of the demo games (and there were some excellent ones at Crusade), so they can impress me without triggering an urge to try something similar. I only bought the few things I needed for existing projects (an approach which I realise isn’t good for the traders), although it was good to collect some (painted) figures from Matt Slade, which I will get to use soon.
Like Guy, I greatly enjoyed Rob Jones’ latest take on medieval warfare, to show that it is possible to make an interesting game without straying too far from historical behaviour. The idea that you could have a massed battle driven by personalities rather than ‘unit types’ seemed to work well. I hope Rob’s rules will be released more widely. I can see a ready applicability to Japanese Sengoku era warfare, which currently tends to appear only as skirmish games.
So thanks to all at the Penarth club for staging the event once again, and I’ll look forward to next year.
RogerC26/01/2020 at 15:18 #130332Guy FarrishParticipant
Mark, wish I’d realised you were short of players – I thought you were just taking a bit of a break when I spoke to you – I was the person who interrupted your chat with Wayne Thomas – haven’t seen him for a year and I had meant to come back and say hello properly after we had chewed the fat, but I kept bumping into people and time ran away from me.
Really fantastic looking game, as your stuff always is. Love reading your contributions and your blog.
Maybe I’ll remember to say hello properly next year!26/01/2020 at 17:41 #130345Jemima FawrParticipant
Mark, wish I’d realised you were short of players – I thought you were just taking a bit of a break when I spoke to you – I was the person who interrupted your chat with Wayne Thomas – haven’t seen him for a year and I had meant to come back and say hello properly after we had chewed the fat, but I kept bumping into people and time ran away from me. Really fantastic looking game, as your stuff always is. Love reading your contributions and your blog. Maybe I’ll remember to say hello properly next year!
Shame on you! 😉
When I saw here that you’d visited, I thought ‘Bugger; it would have been nice to put a face to a name!’ 😉
To be honest with you though, I don’t think it could possibly have worked being the only person who new the rules AND trying to talk to people interested in the game. A similar thing happened during my last visit to Crusade in 2014; Martin and I brought our Battle of Fishguard game to Crusade and it caused something of a stir, so we spent the entire day talking and didn’t have time to so much as roll a die!
At least this time we managed to do the airstrikes, drop the paras, perform the initial assaults (Colonel Breytenbach himself conducted the very first close assault of the game) and give my mate Geoff some experience of the rules. So much so, that he wants to try Battlefront: WWII at club as an antidote to Flames of War, so that’s a success! 🙂
My wargames blog: http://www.jemimafawr.co.uk/
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