Monday 10 March 2014

Hamburg Tactica 2014 / Part Two

At 3pm our first participation game started, an introduction to Field of Glory Renaissance with 15 mm miniatures. The theme of the game was Mogul India. The gaming table was really beautiful, with pieces of tropical forest, a pirate ship and various buildings. I played Indians, Krüger Persians and Jörg pirates. The fourth player was Burghart, one of Jörg's old friends from Waltrop. They had met by coincidence half an hour earlier. Burghart played British soldiers.

Each player was supposed to fight everybody else, but the double-tongued snake I am, I convinced Krüger to ally with me, while Jörg and his friend from Waltrop were already shooting with cannons at each other.

I was a bit nervous because our next game was supposed to start at 4pm, but in the end Berhard Hennen, the Perry twins and Aly Morrison took much longer to finish their game than they had originally planned. I kept pointing at Aly Morrison, telling Krüger: "Look, that's the guy who sculpted the Talisman wizard that I used as a level 2 wizard in our last game of Warhammer. And he also sculpted the chainsaw wizard that I use as a chaos lord in 40K, the one with the daemon waepon."

Thanks to the game masters from the club "Kurpfalz Feldherren" our game of Field of Glory was lots of fun. They were very friendly and patiently answered all our questions about FoG. In the end we were even offered a glass of whisky. I won the game because of my unfair diplomatic trick and because my knights and elephants turned out to be very effective against the British soldiers.

Jörg took pictures of the game.

im reich der mogulkaiser

im reich der mogulkaiser


im reich der mogulkaiser

herr zinnling und krüger

Although Jörg drinks whiskey regularly, he ended up with a heavy headache and wasn't able to join the second participation game. He had to leave early. One of his colleagues who was in Hamburg for a soccer match gave him a lift to Berlin.

That night he twittered: #Hamburg #Tactica: Nasspalette gekauft, #FoG verloren. #Whisky. #Kopfschmerzen. Was ist da los?

Krüger and I went to the other table to try "1812 White Death". We were joined by a third player. I remember that he has four children and lives in Bremen, but I don't remember his name.

Bernhard Hennen briefly explained the rules to us which he wrote himself and gave us an exciting introduction to the background story. "1812 White Death" is a scenario-driven skirmish game with role playing elements. We played a group of French and German soldiers under Napoleon's command, lost in Russia. Bernhard Hennen, the game master, played the Russians, wolves, the unfriendly weather, etc. We had to get into a village, take along as many wounded French soldiers as we could carry, activate a cannon and occupy the buildings. A bunch of markers appeared in our rear, getting closer each turn. When close enough, they would eventually be turned over. The markers, the idea that you had to take stragglers with you and not knowing what was inside the buildings made the game quite exciting.

I think Bernhard Hennen is looking for a publisher at the moment. I hope he finds one. I can highly recommend "1812 White Death".

Our last tin soldier made it into a Russian hut around 7:30pm. The convention closed at 8pm and Krüger and I had to rush to the train station to catch the last train to Berlin. I was quite exhausted. In a food court in the Hamburg main station we ate more junk food and I arrived at my house around midnight, where I told Marjorie, my wife, in great detail about my day.

Friday 7 March 2014

Hamburg Tactica 2014 / Part One

On the 22nd of February, Krüger, Jörg and I went on a road trip to Hamburg to visit the Wargames Convention "Tactica".

I have already been to the Tactica once, in 2008. I remember a couple of cool participation games with beautiful miniatures and terrain. Back then it was a medium-sized convention with a friendly atmosphere.

tactica 2008

This year it was much bigger. It was crowded and there were lots of things to see. At first I felt uncomfortable. I asked myself: "What am I doing here?" I felt out of place among all those people with whom I share a strange, childish passion for playing with miniatures.

I had pre-ordered a pack of Thracian Command from Wargames Foundry, so I went to  their stand to pick it up. I met Marcus Ansell, the manager, who sold the miniatures to me. I also received the current giveaway model, a dismounted knight, sculpted by Michael Perry. Marcus Ansell is the son of Bryan Ansell, who is the co-author of Warhammer Fantasy (first edition) and was the manager of Games Workshop back in the 80s. I said: "I really like what is happening at Foundry at the moment. That you bring back all the old ranges, offer special giveaway models, etc." I think I really got on his nerves.

I wandered off, still feeling uncomfortable and discovered a table covered with miniature trees and artificial snow. Bernhard Hennen was there, introducing the Perry twins and Aly Morrison to a participation game called "1812 White Death".

Now I got really excited and ran off to find Krüger. Bernhard Hennen is a German Fantasy author and member of the wargaming club "Team for historical Simulations". Krüger has talked several times to me about his series "Gezeitenwelt" and how disappointed he is that the series was discontinued. I found Krüger and dragged him to the table. We talked to Bernhard Hennen and got an appointment for a participation game at 4pm. I was in a good mood now.

We took a look at other gaming tables, tried to join a dark ages skirmish game and a samurai vs ninjas skirmish game, using the Saga rules, but both games were booked out. We did manage to get into a Field of Glory Renaissance participation game at 3pm though, organized by a wargames club called "Kurpfalz Feldherren".

This left us a couple of hours, so I walked around, taking pictures of various gaming tables with the old 35 mm camera I inherited from my dad. Besides collecting books and visiting archeological sites, taking pictures was one of my dad's obsessions. I wonder if he sometimes felt lost, walking around in ancient Roman ruins, and asked himself: "What am I doing here?"

x-tra 800

I briefly talked to the designer Tobsen77 whose miniature vehicles I like a lot and stopped at the stand of Magister Militum. They have a range of cool 10mm dinosaurs. Looking at the dinosaurs I started to think about old school miniatures, about old school ancient Greek miniatures by a company called Miniature Figurines, you know, those that are true 25mm in scale, come in one pose only and were used by the guys who invented the hobby before I was even born. Maybe I should start to collect Minifigs.

Around 1pm Krüger, Jörg and I went to McDonald's to have lunch. Krüger convinced me to try a a burger with rösti (hash browns). His arguments were that it is the best burger McDonald's produces and that it's only available once a year. My original plan was to go to the Portuguese restaurant Vasco da Gama with Krüger and Jörg in the late afternoon.