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.


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