This weekend just past was the annual trip of the St Albans Wargames Club (now perhaps better known for being the home of TooFatLardies) to the Crisis wargames show in Antwerp. Each year this is one of the highlights of my wargaming year. A combination of the chance to get away for a couple of evenings with friends, the excellence of the Crisis show and the wonderfully cosmopolitan city of Antwerp always make it a weekend to look forward to.
This year was no exception. Six of us went from St Albans – Rich, Nick, Elton, Biffo, Noddy and myself. We had a great time both running our participation game of “Big Chain of Command”, and looking around the show.
Many of the photos below I tweeted on the day on the @RoundwoodsWorld
twitter account, until my iPhone battery died. Others come from Rich and Nick’s camera – and you can probably tell those because they’re the good and finely framed ones!
Rich and Nick justly won the Best participation Game award for their Normandy 1944 game, and it was great to see James and Scrivs win the Most Innovative Game award for their stunning game of Keren 1941, which also featured the “Chain of Command” rules.
As for the other games at the show, its hard to know where to start. There were numerous excellent Great War games, many of them (suitably enough) featuring Belgian resistance to German invasion, including this wonderful game from the Maidstone Wargames Club, entitled "Brave Little Belgium".
There was also an extremely finely crafted participation game in 10mm, set in the Battle of the Frontiers in August 1914, which certainly made me think of brushing up my remaining 10mm figures.
The League of Augsburg put on a stunning display of the wintry field at Fraustadt 1706…
... and Dortmund Amateur Wargames staged an equally impressive game on the Russian steppes as part of Operation Bagration in 1944.
The Freebooter crew put on an excellent game featuring sunken galleons and buried treasure ...
…with more than a couple of games featuring the new “The Crescent and the Cross” rules from Gripping Beast ....
I was also struck by the number of really innovative games being put on at the show. The Tin Soldiers of Antwerp
offered a couple of really excellent themed and abstract games of the Great War...
… and another group offered a really lovely game of the Balkan Wars of the early 20th Century. All of these were interesting and unusual, and very welcome for being at a show where the more traditional wargames are much in evidence.
Part of the “Crisis Experience” is the chance to visit Antwerp’s old town. For those who have never been, I can recommend it strongly. It’s cosmopolitan, beautifully restored and welcoming. We ended up at the excellent De Pederstaal restaurant on the Saturday evening, to a man enjoying fine steaks and ribs with a couple of fine wines. I haven’t yet found a better way to round off a full day of wargaming!
All I can say is, I hope to see you all there next year!