Category Archives: Events & Event Reports

Conquest Thoughts

Over the weekend several locals and and four visitors gathered for a DBA competition held as part of the larger Conquest convention. As always I’m appreciative of all the organising that goes on behind the scene. Organising venues, gathering registration fees, organising prizes and the setup and take down of all the tables.

Generally the games being played at Conquest were the various fantasy and science fiction systems. I believe DBA was the only historical competition at the venue, attracting a number of visitors. Even more surprising was the lack of demonstration games, usually a feature of Conquest. Likely all a result of the change of venue and reduced space.

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From a DBA perspective the event was a success, at least based on player feedback. A solid ten players turned up for the first day competition that comprised six rounds of games. I must say I rather enjoy the splitting of the day into an Ancient theme followed by a Dark Age and Medieval theme as it encourages a greater mix of armies.

The second day comprised a three rounds Big Battle DBA competition. This too seemed successful though it attracted eight players rather than the previous ten. This format was a bit of an experiment, yet proved popular with all the participants.

A few photos of the DBA events, including some of the excellently presented armies can be found here.

Natcon Musings

Another Natcon has been and gone and for 2015 it was of course in Auckland. Despite there being some organisational issues, including a change of venue in the week before the competition, it seemed to go reasonably well. Well it did from my perspective. I’m always impressed how much time a few organisers and a small number of volunteers put into such events. I find it enough just organising a few competitors for a competition. But this year I had a break from this as well!
 
In recent years I have played in or organised DBR events, but with a range of local amendments being used I decided to look elsewhere. As a result I decided early to participate in the 15mm DBA competition which ran for two days. However, being in the main historical area of the venue it gave me a reasonable view of the other historical games. I believe there was a fantasy area but I didn’t go looking so I’m not sure of the details. The historical game systems in use were DBA, FOG Ancients, FOG Napoleonics, Renaissance using DBR and Flames of War, all in 15mm. I was a little surprised by what I thought was a small number of Flames of War games. The only 25mm games were Ancients using DBMM, but there was a good turn out for this.
  
I forgot my camera, so the limited photos of the day were of the DBA games. Above Sinhalese engage Norse Vikings on the second day. The thought of the Sinhalese massed archers fighting solid Viking foot was one game I was dreading! On another table Aztecs are engaged by Spanish, and a full European Spanish army at that. To my amazement the Aztecs overcame the Spanish, certainly a change from the history books! A few additional photos of the DBA Competition can be found here.
 
Unfortunately, there were no demonstration games nor any retailers. Perhaps these were casualties of a limited space at the original venue or the late venue change? Interestingly there were still a number of visitors and certainly the DBA area had a number of people who were looking to pull armies out of storage and buy copies of the rules.
 
Overall a great venue, and for us a positive change as it greatly reduced our travel time. I have no idea who will host Natcon 2016, but I’m sure details will come out soon.

 

Pikes, Muskets & Panzers

Gaming galore, but little time to post anything. Following a very enjoyable convention in Australia there have been plenty of gaming activities locally to keep me busy in recent weeks. That at least is my excuse for so few posts of late…

First were several Renaissance games. Some of these games were for players sought some experience prior to Natcon Renaissance Competition, which in itself while considerable work, was certainly very enjoyable. In other cases games were against plyers who wanted to try some DBR games, and blow the cobwebs off their figures. Such a difference from a few years ago when I had trouble actually getting people to play a game with DBR. In additiona to games against a single opponent there have also been a couple of multi-player English Civil War games, including this one between Brian, Roger, Robin and myself.

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I have also managed a short report of the other multi-player English Civil War game, entitled “A Solemn League and Covenant” which can be found on my Renaissance pages for those interested. Like the game illustrated above it included Allied Roundheads and Scots against the King in 1644.

Of course I have also managed several Volley & Bayonet games. These tend to be played at my regular Friday evening gaming slot. Volley & Bayonet games in recent weeks have featured either American Civil War or Napoleonics encounters. Below, Union forces advance on the Rebel lines in one of these games.

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Most recently we managed an 1806 game which just cried out to be recorded. An open battlefield and two aggressive players resulted in a game that really went down to the wire. Indeed, for some time I expected, as the French player, to have my army destroyed by the Prussians who kept the pressure on. The French, outnumbered, tried to regain the initiative repeatedly. As it transpired the French counter-attacks finally gained some traction and the Prussian commander was forced to break-off his attack and retire, an outstanding game. If you are interested have a look at the report on  the fictional battle of “Langenheim – 1806” on The Volley & Bayonet Page.

It has however been a while since I had a World War II Spearhead game. The game, set in late 1944, between Jim’s Americans and my own Germans provided great entertainment on a Sunday afternoon. I placed a brief report on this game, entitled “The Lucky Seventh” on my WWII Spearhead site. If you haven’t had a look, you can find a brief report and a few photos here.

As you can probably see it has been a busy few weeks. Hopefully the next few will be as well…

Aztecs Conquest & Glory

Currently running at Te Papa, the National Museum of New Zealand is a special exhibit which may be of interest to some of you. It is entitled “Aztecs Conquest and Glory” and it opened today. It runs until the 9th of February 2014. Today my son and I managed to visit the exhibit while in Wellington.

The exhibit opens with a section on the foundation and development of the Aztec civilisation within the Mesoamerican context. The exhibit then looks at religion and religious beliefs in some depth. Everyday life is considered and to an extent the city. A small but interesting section covered Aztec warfare. Finally the final section covered the destruction of the Aztecs at the hand of the Spanish.

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Lacking background on Mesoamerica in general, and the Aztecs in particular, I found the various story-boards both interesting and extremely informative. These story boards were well supported by clear and interesting mix of artefacts. Some were of course small but several large and full scale statues add scale to the exhibit. An example is the large ceramic Eagle warrior below, itself around six feet in height, and similair to that at the exhibit.

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The artefacts and story-boards combine to provide a rich and en-lighting insight into the Aztecs. I encourage you to visit Aztecs Conquest and Glory.

Conquest DBA – Matched Pairs

I have had the pleasure of orgainsng the Conquest DBA competition for several years now. Over this time I have run a couple of formats. Of these formats I have found the single day format works best allowing those with less time to attend. Yet this means I either have a narrow theme, or a full open. Of these the last option I am certainly not so keen on. Now while my main Ancient wargaming interest is in the Classical period I also want to support players that have a different interest.

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Over the years I have read with much interest of matched pair formats run in United Kingdom. So for 2013 I have decided to use this format. As a result for Conquest 2013 players will be required to bring two armies which are historical opponents. They will the use this pair of armies in half of their games and they will use their opponents pair in the other half. Which army that the players are to use will however be selected from the player not providing the specific pair. This should provide some real interest as the player will need to consider carefully which army his opponent will likely select and the strengths and weakness of both armies. These strengths and weaknesses are not always obvious.

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I also hope this format will result in a range of different armies being used. Indeed, there are several armies that never make the wargames table, at least at competitions, as they are not considered effective. As an example many biblical armies or even classical armies gather dust while the more balanced armies are fielded. As an example how often are Classical Greeks or Persians deployed? Likewise Dark Age armies often languish in storage despite having some fascinating historical backgrounds. Finally, this format will allow players to experiment with armies they may not normally get to use.

Full details on the format of the Conquest 15mm DBA Competition can be found here. Hopefully you will consider joining us for some Ancient and Medieval gaming at Conquest in October.