Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Vapnartak Wallet Attack Report!

It's been a long time since I made any posts- this has largely been down to very ill health and the knock on psychological effects. I'm not going to go into details but 2013 was a particularly horrific year for me. I'm glad to be in the present, now in decent health and able to make an enthusiastic return to the wargames scene.

Naturally Vappa (as many of us call it) or Vapnartak to be correct is one of the first big shows of the year and one that I always enjoy, always friendly, always some great games on display, always many, many good quality traders baring their respective wares! I wasn't able to make it last year (see above!) so it was a real joy to race down the A1M and finally hit my first show in what seems like a very long time. What's more I found that my enthusiasm for the hobby had returned, though my wallet probably has a different take on this!

OK, so let's start with the bank busting, wallet crunching buys.....

Firstly I headed straight to Dave T's stand and filled one of his little plastic shopping trays he had with all the Perry Late Medieval (Agincourt to Orleans, Wars of the Roses [or Cousins War as it was know at the time] and the European Armies range) miniatures that I hadn't had a chance purchase yet. This amounted to over £100 but Dave T, always generous gave a nice discount and all was well. Cheers Dave, you're a gent.






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My next stop had a bit of a comical air to it as I stopped off at Warlord Games stand, mentioned that I had used their miniatures for the front cover vignette I painted up for  Wargames Soldiers and Strategy, asked how many browny points that might earn me in terms of a discount and got a fiver off a £25. book! Both Saby (my long suffering girlfriend) and I gave one another a knowing glance, tried to conceal our grins, probably not to much effect. I did manage to say thanks but I don't think I'll be using Warlords miniatures for any other publications without being payed for it first lol :>) In truth, I did appreciate the discount, it just seemed a poor reward for free advertising! Better move on now, eh?.....

One copy of Pike and Shot:

I plan to use these rules in combination of Hail Caesar for the Battle of Fornovo 1495 demo game that I have planned for the future with the Lance and Longbow Society. Fornovo falls right on the cusp of the Late Medieval period and the beginnings of the Renaissance. Of course these are artificial lines drawn in the sand set by us wargamers (and some historians!). It's all a matter of balancing out the gunpowder vs archery. I'm sure that this can be done with a combination of both rule sets but if anyone has any other ideas, please don't hesitate to get in touch!

darrell.hindley@googlemail.com

OK, onwards and upwards....

I was quite taken aback by the quality of some model trees that a chap had on a small stand that would have been easy to walk past. This was the Treemendus stand and I was quickly convinced  it would be a very good idea to buy a Tree kit. On close inspection of the kit it contains all the gear necessary to create a very realistic tree and I think I'll be going this way with all of my schwubbewy! The next day upon request the owner kindly sent me a file with extended instructions, which at least means I won't make any colossal blunders. I will of course be posting up pics of the tree in due course.

The kit:


What's possible:


Nest stop was Curteys Miniatures. I always enjoy a good chat with them. Two of the friendliest lads in the hobby. In between some discussion of England's unforgivable performance in the Ashes and playing a very young inexperienced team in the Rugby against France (& thus losing by two points!!) we managed to fit in a few words about miniatures. I was pleased to find out that Battle Flag, which Curteys stock, have produced a Venetian set of transfers that will fit the Perry Miniatures European Range Carraccio. This will save a lot of painting time since the army sent against the French at Fornovo was the League of Venice and therefore the transfers are ideal. Alhough Carraccio's were obsolete by the time of the battle, the model is so lovely that it would be a disservice to wargaming not to have it included on the tabletop. I do intend to paint one up without the transfers at some point but at the moment in order to keep the project moving along momentum is the key. 

Perry Miniatures Carraccio:


Curteys Miniatures version of the Corraccio with Battle Flag transfers:


Any trip to a wargames show would seem empty without a look at the Gripping Beast stand. However, time was running out as I had just finished my run of taking pics of what I considered to be the best games (anyone out there who was missed out, please consider that these are in my opinion the best games on display and in no way should deflect from the elegance and splendour of many of the others!) I digress.....

It was great to catch up with the guys from GB and have a good chat as it's been a while. Darren also ran both Saby (remember, the long suffering girlfriend?) and I through the Saga rules despite it being late in the day (I suspect that he was skiving from packing up!) as although I bought the Saga rules and two supplements when they were released I have not been able to get a game in due to illness last year etc. Here's a few pics of the game and I think that they hint very well who out of Saby and I  were to be crowned as King of England circa 1065 ;>) 

Did I mention that I bought some of the special dice for Saga? Well, they are worth it and add that little bit more flavour to the game.

Fearsome Norse ~Warrior Woman Saby Skagi!

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Saby Impressed by Darren's Dexterous Tuition Skills


Mr Harding Lending a Helping Hand to Us Both(?)


Yours Truly (Darrell Baldheadson) in Full Concentration Mode


Possibly the Most Fearsome Partnership in all of the 11th Century!


My final downfall.... (watch out for those Ulfhednar! Seriously!)


OK, so now onto the pics of the games. Time was running out verily so I had to pick some games and miss others that I would have liked to get some snaps of. In particular there was a fantastic WWI game and a Martian War of the Worlds encounter that I would have loved to get. In the end I managed five games but managed to take a large numberl of pics.

The Lance and Longbow Society/Simon Chick Battle of Cravant 1424

To anyone who knows me it should come as no surprise that the Battle of Cravant game would inevitably be my favourite. As obsessed by Late Medieval Warfare as I am. 

Simon Chick (Painterman on various wargaming fora) had really made marvellous spectacle on the tabletop. The first time I saw the game it was in the throws of the action where the English and Burgundians had just launched their attack over the river after staring the French and their Scottish allies in the face for a while. It was very late in the day when it came to do the pics and with much of the French and Scots scattered I decided to concentrate on the details of the demo of which there were many as you will see below:





















M. Wheatly, The Battle of Justice Mills (Aberdeen) 1644:

This game was unusual in that there were no players playing the game. I had heard a few utterances from a few people that this was rather silly, "after all, why not play the game?" but I have to say that I disagree. I know plenty of painters who don't game and even some that just paint professionally and have no interest in having a collection of miniatures. So, why not? Each to their own. The terrain and miniatures were, very much like the Cravant game, fabulously detailed and had a sense a deep imagination in terms of setting the scene.









Bolt Action Game:

I took a few quick snaps of the game. I haven't had the pleasure of playing as of yet but it's proving to be the No. 1 set of rules for WWII in 28mm so it would have been a bit daft of me not to have taken a few snaps.





Leicester Fat Cats, "Booster ridge", The Last Line of Defence in the Valley of the Tears
(October 16th, The Yom Kippur War)

Unusually for me, this game struck quite a chord. I'm not usually attracted to 15mm gaming with the same enthusiasm that I take to 28mm stuff but the game was a real spectacle as the images below will bear witness to:












Falkirk Wargames Club, The Slaughter of the Danes;

Dark Ages? Of course there will be pics!! The Falkik lads really seemed like they were really enjoying themselves playing the game. I can recommend the Falkirk Club's show Carronade as I've been many times and never been disappointed. Ranks nearly as high as Claymore show in Edinburgh, run by SESWC as far as the Scottish shows go.






.....and that's a wrap!

38 comments:

  1. Hi Darrell, it's a real pleasure to see you're coming back in the marvelous wargames world. ;) I hoper 2014 will be a great year for you and Saby !
    J-B

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    1. Thanks Jehan, that really means a lot to me :>)

      Darrell.

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  2. Hmm thought you'd been a bit quiet. Good news to see you active anyway.

    Cracking show report/photos. Warlord Games? No comment!

    ;O)

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    1. Cheers Gary, :>)

      Maybe the guys on the stall just didn't have the authority to give more than a fiver off any product? who knows.....

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  3. Great pics Darrell. I was hoping to get there myself but to no avail.
    Wow what great discount?? you could of still bought it cheaper from amazon lol

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    1. I know.... all a bit sad really but they may not have had the authority to give large discounts.

      Darrell.

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  4. Great photos of some lovely looking games/demos. Can't say I'm too surprised about Warlord Games, a fair few number of figures I painted are in that Shotte & Pike and I've never received a discount from them (and I've bought a fair amount from them since). Their payment scheme isn't exactly generous either considering the prices they charge the end user.

    Regards,
    Matt

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  5. Very good, sir! Smashing report - but when discussing cricket the IPL is the way to go :D

    Darrell, nice to actually put a face to your forum username. You've a better camera, and steadier hand, than mine, so I will give a nod to your show report from my own blog, if you don't mind?

    Roy

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  6. Looks like a great show, Darrell. Nice photos!

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    1. It really was Simon, it would have been great to see your Partizan game there! The show woke me up a little and got my enthusiasm rising by the minute. I'm reasonably sure that this alarmed Saby as much as it did my wallet lol :>) to be fair she has supported me in everything I do.

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  7. Darell, great to have you back, fit, healthy, looking very well and posting again. You've been much missed! Can't wait until you get back to the brushes. Take care, ease yourself back in gently and very best of luck to you both.

    Oh....and wonderful photos and a fine blog post!! And....Fornovo's a terrific battle - very interesting indeed. Good luck with it!

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    1. Sidney, The mini's are out on my painting table as i type, less than a few feet away. I've just got to do a bit of training, make dinner and the rest of the evening will be spent in my studio!

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  8. Matt, might be worth complaining. I know it was a different company but I complained to Great Escape games (in fact I didn't even get as far as complaining, they read a post on the internet) and they furnished me with a free book and mini. The right way to do business. In future I think I'll copyright every pic I take lol :.)

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  9. As a helper on the Justice Mills display I can tell you that we had rules (A Crowning Mercy) and dice with us, but Mark (Wheatley) likes to talk to visitors about the battle, painting and modelling etc. Plus we would hate to be like those who play their game and ignore those who came to see it.

    Dave

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    1. Dave, I completely understand and I'm on your side. As I know many painters that paint just for paintings sake and do not even collect mini's etc. Anyway, it matters very little, a spectacular looking game is simply a spectacular looking game and worthy of praise.

      Darrell.

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  10. Smashing report - I had a great day there.

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    1. As did both Saby and I. It's a shame that I couldn't have put more faces to names but I was really busy trying to fit everything in.

      Darrell.

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  11. Glad to see you back. You two will enjoy Saga but I would love to see you, Simon Miller and co do Agincourt next year. I'd be tempted to even fly from Australia for that one!!! good health to you sir.

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    1. Thanks Chris, I think you mean't to name Simon Chick though? Unless BigRedBat aka Simon Miller has something under his collar that he's not letting on(?).

      Darrell

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    2. Alas not I; my collection peters out in the 500's AD.

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    3. I thought that it might Simon.

      It is some collection though it has to be said!

      Darrell.

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    4. Thanks. BTW that Cravant game looks splendid; I particularly like the breach in the castle walls.

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    5. It was really a spectacle. I'm afraid that I didn't have any miniatures on the table and that everything on the table top had been painted, designs and constructed by Simon chick (aka Painterman) with the exception of the castle that he had a pro modeller design and construct the hoarding and the breach.

      I was not even playing the game as it wasn't certain a few months ago that my health would have been up to it. Happily, it would have been and I'm not much, much better! :>)

      The game, based around the Siege of Cravant prompts me to ask you a question; do you ever envisage yourself putting together an Ancients Seige game? No that would really be something to behold. Maybe something to think about(?). I'm certain that it would look splendid!

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    6. I'm very pleased to hear that your health is improving!

      The breach is fantastic! I've sometimes thought about sieges, and years ago I built a city in 15mm. One day, I would very much like to model part of Jerusalem for the 70AD siege, but first I'd need to build a large Jewish army, and the minis aren't out there, yet.

      Dr Phil Hendry has been building Dura-Europos, I'd love to see him finish that and besiege it!

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    7. Now I come to think of it, the fact that there are no miniatures for the Jewish revolt etc is a bit of a shock. After all, it was a big issue at the time and we get much of what we know about the Roman Army of the time from Josephus, who was actively involved in the Siege itself if I'm not mistaken? Does anyone do anything in 28mm for the Jewish Revolt. I can't think of anyone. Even Newline who have some slightly off the wall lines.....???

      "Dr Phil Hendry has been building Dura-Europos, I'd love to see him finish that and besiege it!" Maybe you should besiege it with your mini's?

      Darrell.

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  12. No there isn't a range, at all. Some existing figures could be converted, but it would be too big a job to convert the 500 or so minis I'd need. Having said that, the coming Victrix Peltast set, in plastic, might provide suitable conversion material.

    Re Dura, I think Phil has quite enough Romans of his own! Last I heard, he was waiting on some Sassanids to round out the besieging forces, but recently has been painting Wild West buildings. I'm sure he'll get back to it.

    Cheers, Simon

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    1. It's not that often you see great games covering Ancient sieges, they all tend to be Medieval or Renaissance in flavour so maybe it's something worth pursuing in the future? The Victrix Peltasts sound promising but that will still be hard work even in plastic!

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    2. I have got a fair amount of Roman buildings and terrain. If I can, I'll incorporate some into the Partizan game...

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    3. I've found that it can make all the difference with a demo game. I think that it was simon Chick's Hudsen and Allen converted City Walls that won us the Best display Game prize at Salute in 2011. Not that is why we did the game of course but it was nice to get some recognition for all the effort etc.

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    4. Yes walls and buildings add a great deal, as does water. I do like to build those into a display game, where possible... I shall give it some thought!

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  13. Great report always been on my bucket list Vapnartak. The Treemandus stuff is great, met the chap at a show last year nice chap.Well done on getting the good lady to a show( must be love:-) ). I will be following your progress with the Italians as I'm going to be putting an Italian Mediaeval army together this year also BUT 10mm of course:-)

    All the best
    Jason.

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  14. Hi Jason,

    Good to hear from you. Saby usually accompanies me to shows, it's her 12 year of doing such deeds so she is used to it by now lol :>)

    An Italian army in 10mm with your skill at painting such tiny little buggers will be a great sight. Are you planning on doing a demo of any sort? i'd love to see one if you do.

    Darrell.

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  15. So beautiful pictures, figures and terrains! Thanks for sharing!

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  16. You're most welcome Phil.

    Darrell.

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  17. Beautiful post. BTW it is not Corraccio neither Carraccio, but CARROCCIO.

    Fabrizio from Italy

    torgauproject.blogspot.it

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