Is it really over so quickly?! Every year the only disappointment we experience with Crisis is the flat feeling of coming home back to normality after two days in wargaming Heaven. Not only do we get the greatest show in Europe, but we also get to enjoy one of the understated gems of the continent, the truly buzzing and eternally welcoming city of Antwerp.
This year we packed the two Lardy cars on Thursday night and set off early on Friday morning. Arriving at our hotel in mid-afternoon we had time for a quick wash and brush up before having a few pre-dinner drinks next to the harbour and then into town for dinner in a fabulous 12th century vaulted wine cellar lit only by a myriad of candles. As wander around the various squares, sampling a few more beers before heading back to the hotel made for a most enjoyable evening.
Saturday morning saw us arrive at the show venue at around 0830 where we quickly set up the small village of Lardville with its associated manoir and Chateau.
For me the rest of the day was one great blur, as we played three games of Chain of Command. Two with the BIG Chain of Command rules, one with the vanilla rules for a couple of newcomers who wanted to see the game in its original format. As always it was great to game with our old friends from Europe and to make new ones. It was particularly nice to chat with a number of German wargamers who had made the lengthy trip. I fear that my ability to tweet from the show as very limited, but Nick and Sid kept up a good running commentary on the events of the day.
I must note here the hard work put in by the Tin Soldiers of Antwerp. They had taken even more space this year whilst keeping the number of traders and games the same as before. This really gave the show a feeling of space and allowed one to manoeuvre around the show with ease. Their efforts in keeping everyone fed and watered were much appreciated. The food smelt fantastic; sadly I was too busy to eat anything!
The high point of the day for us was that Chain of Command won two awards. We won the Best Participation Game and next door James and Scrivs had traveled across with their spectacular Keren game which they also ran with our Chain of Command rules, winning the most Innovative Game of the Show. Nobody who has seen the amazing East African hillside over which they fought could be anything other than amazed at its beauty and originality. A truly worth winner! Here we see Scrivs, James and Rich wielding said awards.
Of course Crisis doesn’t end when the doors shut. We headed into town for a slap up feed of horse Fillet Rossini and a few few bottles of vino collapso, before joining James and Scrivs for a very merry evening around Antwerp’s historic Inns. Here we see, from left to right, Elton, Scrivs, Noddy, Sidney, Clarkie, James, Biffo and Nick raising their glasses to toast the joys of the day. Cheers!
So, another fantastic Crisis came to an end. The long drive home gave us time to contemplate on the fun we’d had and chat a bit for a forthcoming Lardy podcast. More on that later. For now, here’s a gratuitous photo of the Best Participation Game trophy which now graces the Lard Island Trophy cabinet.
As 2014 comes to an end, thoughts on Lard Island turn to next year’s projects and, in particular, our games on the show circuit. By the middle of the year we plan to have our rules for ultra-modern conflict, Fighting Season, published. Down in Australia, well known military author Leigh Neville has been working hard