Category Archives: Events & Event Reports

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.

Cancon 2013 – Around the Halls

I am arguably a little late with this but I still thought it worthwhile to post a few reflections on Cancon 2013 which was held in late January in Australia.

As with previous Cancon’s I have travelled to this one was massive, at least based on New Zealand conventions. The halls, of which there were at least three, were filled to overflowing with a range of miniature and board-game competitions as well as a reasonable number of participation or demonstration games. Then of course there was an impressive range of dealers providing plenty of excuses to part with your cash.

I have posted separately photos of the DBR competition, in which I was playing, which includes several game photos. You can find this report here. Without doubt the Renaissance DBR competition was enjoyable, as always. However, over lunch breaks I also managed to have a quick look at some of the participation games on show.

Not far from the Renaissance tables was a large 6mm Spearhead game based on Stalingrad. I had a quick chat to the players but I don’t think they grasped the fact I played Spearhead. There Stalingrad game was fought twice, once on Saturday and again on Sunday, with players switching sides each day. I didn’t get sufficient time to get back during the course of the day to investigate progress. If you are familiar with Spearhead the number of town sectors looks daunting!

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If I recall the orientation correctly the Germans were advancing from the right of the table. In contrast the Soviet forces, at least when I visited, were only deployed when German forces entered a specific town sector.

Not far from the Spearhead table was a 15mm Gettysburg game which I believe was using the Fire & Fury rules. I suspect the group hosting this game were from Sydney as in previous years I have seen their terrain boards at MOAB which is held in Sydney. I’m not sure if they were fighting one day or all three. Just time for a quick look before moving on.

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Just across from the Gettysburg table was a 25mm Franco-Prussian refight of a portion of the battle of Froeschwiller, fought on the 6th August 1870. The models all looked great, if you enjoy 25mm figures. I didn’t have time to determine the rules in use.

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Skipping over the Boxer Rebellion and Zulu participation games I headed to the Wings of War tables in an adjoining hall. I managed a short discussion with the chap running the Wings of War (WWII) who was clearly a real enthusiast.

He ran, over three days, a series of games covering the Japanese attacks on Darwin. These games were complete with a number of unofficial models all organised for Wings of War. The spectacle, including printed maps of the Darwin area, looked superb.

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Above and below a couple of photos of one of the sceanrios clearly showing one of the A0 printed maps, sourced from google maps, which provided the backdrop for the games. In addition below some of the homemade player aids can be seen. These were designed to increase the player experience.

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Alas, after visting the trade stands, also at lunch, I had little additional time to look in detail at other events around the various Cancon gaming halls. If you ever have the opportunity to attend Cancon I encourage you to go…