Monday, November 20, 2017

Alde Gardes' trip to St Helens

Let us start this message with some sincere apologies to two ladies and a whole bunch of gentlemen for not publishing this message a bit earlier; one way or the other it never materialized on this blog.

What is the case, you will question yourself.
Well actually it’s rather simple. Last June (yes June 2017, almost 5 months and still no mentioning on this blog of this event; shame on you Alde Garde!!)  the whole Alde Garde went to St Helens.
This after repeated invitations of Steve Ayers to come over, organize a wargames demo on behalf of the Lance and Longbow Society during Phalanx , the Spartans' wargames show and stay some days at Steve's and his wife Gwens' house so we could also have a game on Sunday with a bunch of other well-respected gentlemen who call themselves the Gentlemen Pensioners.

So on an early Friday morning June 15th we sleepy started our car (fully loaded with our medieval demo of Venlo 1372)  somewhere in the South-Eastern part of the Netherlands and drove through Belgium, France (the Channel Tunnel) and various Motorways in GB to St Helens.
After unloading most of our wargames stuff at the Spartan show location (we had to wait some time until the gymniastics cleared the hall) we went to Steve's and Gwens' house at Salford where we were very warmly welcomed; not only by Steve and Gwen but also by a delegation of the Gentlemen Pensioners of which later more. And last but not least ........ we were surprised with a great plate of fish and chips and some excellent London Beer, which was very much welcomed by us after a trip of almost 900km.

We felt immediately at home and the conversations that evening felt as if we knew each one of the group already a long time. Of course the beer made it more easily, but we think it is a great group to discuss history, wargaming, the shows, but also daily live. Even the Brexit was a theme that was not neglected, but the outcome didn’t find it’s way to 10 D.S.. Even our Dutch/British accent was accepted and on the moments we were searching for the correct English expressions, patience was all over. 

building up on saterday

Next early morning after breakfast, we went to Phalanx, building up the rest of our demo. The Gentlemen Pensioners had offered to play our demo game, so that we had time to explain things to the onlookers and answer questions.  For the first time in 15 years we had enough time to discover in a relaxed way everything else that was happening on the Show. We gave a short explanation of the game and the Hail Ceasar Rules to the playing members of the Pensioners and off they went. Being a spectator to your own game felt a bit strange at the beginning, but we were quickly used to it as we saw how much the players enjoyed our game. They had a great game as we heard later.

The 1372 game

After packing up between 4 or 5 o’clock we went back to Steve's home and had a great and enjoying evening with chatting, drinking etc. Nothing fancy, just great.

Sunday afternoon we had an ECW wargame with the whole group in which the Alde Garde was on the same (Parliamentary) side and in which Peter had a great flank battle with Ian lasting almost the whole game and Jan just gave his best to immitate the British stiff upper lip and defending the centre of the battle line.
It was a great wargame and we forgot who won (suppose it was the British/Dutch Parliamentary combination but it could also be the Royalists, boooh) but the battles were fought out with great but friendly elan and Steve and David did a great job as umpires. We loved it.
The battle field: left the Royalists, right the Parlamentarians
In the foregound the two adversaries Ian (on the left and thinking for a good move) and Peter (thinking how he can outthink Ian). This they did almost all the game. 

The Dutch part of the Parlamentarian side gets an explanation of umpire Steve. Reading English isn't so hard, it's the understanding part that is difficult. 
The Royalist side (although their right flank -Ian-) is missing

At last, Jan didn't miss. We suppose, Will loved  to be on Jans' side after all those misses! 
And again, an explanation is needed, now even from both umpires David and Steve!

This was followed by a lovely evening with what was left of the Pensioners, as some had to say goodby a bit earlier as they had to leave for home, family and/or work.

What remained was a good night, breakfast in the morning, saying goodbye to our hosts Gwen and Steve and a journey home almost along the same route as we came. We made a slight detour and visisited Tilbury Fort, which happened to be closed on Monday. However we were able to take some nice pictures still.

Tilbury fortress

We must sincerely thank our hosts Gwen and Steve for inviting us, feeding us and letting us sleep at their lovely (red) house. It was a weekend which we will  always remember; it was just great!
Of course our sincere thanks to all the Pensioners Chris, Dave, David, Ian, John, Martin, Neil, Nick, Steve and Will and of course Lynne, for giving us the feeling that we were for a limited time part of the group; thanks for the interesting conversations we had and the overall kindness we felt.

Maybe we can repeat this again some day, but perhaps we can first meet at the next Crisis show in Antwerp; we would love to bring a suitable demo for you to the location so that you just have to come over to play and chat and have some Belgian beer of which is said tasts good.

PS: we have used pictures from both several Pensioners and from ourselves, but because of the lightning at Phalanx the quality of the pictures of the show games isn’t so well. Also pictures of the Sunday game are included, all taken by the Pensioners.   
Some other pictures in grey tone as this is better then the yellowish pictures we made due to the lighting in the hall.

Short discription of the game after a coffee incident on the table

Monday, November 6, 2017

Crisis 2017

And again, the Alde Garde went to the yearly wargames event in Antwerp called Crisis.
And as each year, we were not disappointed as we enjoyed the show very much and of course the Alde Garde will be there again next year at full strength.

Congratulations to all the members of the TSoA who each year make this event possible and they must put a lot of effort in the show to the benefit of traders, gamers and the public. Just great !

We had a new demo game situated in 1793 or in the French Revolutionary period (which is Jan's favourate period)  and at last we had the opportunity to show it for the first time.
Peter excelled in making part of a Vauban period fortress which got the most attention and admiring remarks but to our surprise the "Milka cow" almost got first place.

We will end this message with pictures of our game but first show pictures of a lot of games on Crisis. We hadn't time to collect alle the names of the clubs or to take pictures of all the games as the time we could leave the table was't enough to wander around.
What we did see were a lot of great demo and participation games and we admire a lot of great painted models, figures terrain etc. Of course traders showed a lot of new figures but as the tin mountains of the Alde Garde members almost led the ceiling collaps our hunt was restricted.

And at last, it is always a joy to talk to a lot of people about gaming, history, figures, terrainmaking or just a a chat. Be it old acquaintances which we met almost every Crisis (or other shows) or new ones. It is great talking to you so don't hesitate the next time to come to our table.

And now the pictures of Crisis:

 Stipsizs Hussars'demo of 1302

a blood and plunder game; nice settings

Turfschip van Breda

A trenton game, great settings

Dystopian war by Militia Brabant

two pictures of  War in Africa, very nice table 

A veeeeeeeery long warhammer setting: impressive

Nordic War refight of Poltava, thousand of figures; we love this 1700 period

We are sorry that we don't have a picture of all the demo's and participation games going on, we lacked time or sometimes the quality of the pictures wasn't good enough to show here.

And then our own table: French Revolution in 1793; a period which isn't played a lot so ideal for the Alde Garde.
French units attacking Austrian and Dutch troops who a trying to reach safety in the Fortress (as said, newly build by Peter). Some pictures starting with pictures of the fortress with of course overneath the flag of the Alde Garde and above the entrance A-G :

underneath the village were the Dutch provision train started:
in the right under corner the now almost famous Milka cow

French troops emerging from the woods
The hand of god, wearing the green sign of Crisis!

But there must be time to enjoy biljart; but even on the battlefield ?

Jans'T-shirt was probably washed to hot. And he himself is shrinking also it seems.