Tuesday 10 December 2019

CONflict 2019

CONflict 2019

On the 22nd of June Krüger and I took the train to Langenfeld to go to the wargaming convention CONflict. The train was filled with visitors of the Kirchentag, the German Protestant Church Assembly, that took place in Dortmund that week.

We were picked up by my cousin at a forsaken train station. He drove us to a building at the edge of the city, next to some fields.

On the parking lot we met Alex, a friend from Wesel, an amazing painter and very relaxed gamer. He was smoking a cigarette. There was a strange picture on the package, looking like an illustration from the Call of Cthulhu monster manual. I made a bad joke. I said that in a year Alex would look like the thing on his cigarette package, a piece of meat with a hole in it, if he wouldn’t quit smoking. "In a year?", he asked.

The CONflict is mostly about presentation games. There were a lot of excellent tables and maybe three vendors. More Terrain, GeBoom and somebody selling books. I already knew some people from the Tactica in Hamburg and other gaming conventions.

I think we were the only visitors. We played three games.

The first game was Shootout in Dingstown. It's a game I had played in Hamburg with Jörg earlier this year. A German skirmish game by Axel Jansen. It’s great fun. I wrote about it here. In February we had to rob a bank. Now the scenario was about kidnaping a doctor.

When my cousin almost managed to do so with his gang of gunslinging women, one of Alex's lawmen accidentally shot the doctor and thus ended the game.

About 20 years ago my cousin and I came across a website called The Dortmund Amateur Wargamers when we started to search the internet for 28mm miniatures and strategy games like DBA and HotT.

We are from Dortmund and were surprised that such a club existed in our home town. The question came up: what is a professional wargaming club? My cousin sent them an email, but they never responded. To my surprise the table next to the Dingstown table was run by members of The Dortmund Amateur Wargamers.

They were preparing a large ECW game using paper miniatures and rules from the book 'Wargame the English Civil War' by Peter Dennis. We asked if we could join the game for an hour.

A friendly man in his 60s explained what kind of scissors he had used to cut out the 2000 paper soldiers on the table. Tailor’s scissors, if I remember well. We also found out that the Dortmund Amateur Wargamers lost access to their website and that most of them had moved away from Dortmund, but not too far away. We slowly moved around some units on the table, rolled some dice and then left for a lunch break …

In the afternoon we played a 40K game which was presented by a member of the club Kurpfalz Feldherren. He had recycled parts of a Frostgrave table, I had seen at the Tactica in Hamburg this year, to make a beautiful table looking like the scenery common in the 90s. He used the second edition of Warhammer 40K as a ruleset.

Alex and my cousin played the forces of the emperor, space marines and imperial army, Krüger and I played tyranids. They had to take a scientist out of a frozen fortress and we had to prevent this. There was a lot of power gaming going on in our group. At one point Alex said: guys, this is a convention game, not a tournament!

The last turn was a battle of PSI abilities. Nevertheless I enjoyed the game.

I hope to visit the CONflict again next year, maybe I can even go for two days, to try out more gaming tables.

And maybe one day I will meet the guys responsible for the excellent website Major General Tremorden Rederring’s Colonial-era Wargames Page, but I think I have to travel to Texas for that …