I’m typing this after getting back from the Crisis 2011 show in Antwerp. It was a truly fantastic weekend, and I have to give huge thanks to the Tin Soldiers of Antwerp who made us very welcome indeed and to the many friends, old and new, who dropped by to say hello.
The show was a great success, and we greatly enjoyed putting on the participation game based on the Cherkassy Pocket in February 1944. The snowy terrain produced by my chum Richard Clarke looked impressive under the very bright lighting in the Crisis venue, as we’d hoped it would.
The TooFatLardies team were awarded the Best Participation Game award, which was a great result but also a bit of a surprise given the very high standard of games being staged on the day.
Above all, certainly to me, it was a huge pleasure and a great moment to meet some fellow bloggers. Please take a bow, MiniMike, Rob and Suchet, who travelled down from Noordwijk in The Netherlands to the show and dropped by to say hello in the afternoon.
It was great to meet up with people whose blogs I get a lot of inspiration from – it certainly made the world seem a much smaller place.
Turning to the game were took to the show, there were two games played during the day. Both turned out to be close-fought actions.
In both the German defenders in the prepared positions stubbornly held on in the face of the Soviet armour onslaught, taking a heavy toll of both T-60s and T-34s.
Turn after turn saw the German defenders, machine gunners and PAK crew being whittled down but still able to reply with telling fire. In both games, once the position had finally been taken by the Soviet infantry, the German counter-attacks threatened to dislodge the Soviet toehold. Indeed, in the final game, the platoon of panzer grenadiers were poised to dismount from their Hanomags and storm into the Soviet infantry when the Show Organiser’s PA system went for the end of the show!
Any participation game only works with a great crowd, and for sheer enthusiasm, knowledge and eagerness to play I don’t think we could have found a better crowd of wargamers in the world than in Antwerp this Saturday. Thank you to everyone who joined in.
The Old Town in Antwerp, especially around the Cathedral and Grote Markt is stunningly beautiful. We had some great experiences on both the Friday and Saturday night, sampling the local beers, the fine bars and splendid restaurants in the town.
As before, we chose De Peerdestal on Wijngaardstraat for the traditional Saturday night post-Crisis meal. I can’t think of many restaurants I like more, and on the third year of going it’s starting to feel almost like a home from home.
Finally, after a good night’s sleep, we stopped off at a couple of locations around a very rainy and windswept Calais trace some of the actions fought in 1940. Here’s the TooFatLardies tour in Les Attaques and Orphanage Farm. Observant viewers may be able to grade the hangovers from our expressions ...
I’ll do a blog post of some of the other very fine games at Crisis a little later in the week (I’m travelling for the next couple of days, hence the slight delay). Until then, dear friends ...