Well, I have just about recovered from the trip to Crisis, as always it was a hectic weekend which combined great wargaming, great food and great company. This was the first year we have taken seven of us along, and the chaps played a huge part in helping us with the Best Participation Game of the show. Here’s a snap of five of the ugliest Lardies with the trophy. Elton wasn’t present as he was just TOO ugly. I have no idea where I was, but nice to see they went ahead without me!
From left to right we have Biffo, Noddy, Fat Nick, Harpers and Sid. Quite how the camera worked with that lot gurning at it I will never know. Anyway, the luxury trophy stands resplendent on the table before them.
Our trip began at 08.45 on Staurday when I picked up Sid, Nick then RV’d with us at 09.30 and we loaded up the Lard Bus and hit the road. Two hours later we arrived at the Channel Tunnel depot and grabbed a quick Burger King before embarking on the train under the channel. Sid had never been under the sea before and spent much of the journey looking out for sunken galleons and fish. It was a shame for the poor lad.
Anyway, we got to France by about 13.30 and hit the coast road as it heads past Dunkirk up to Ghent and then goes round the bend to Antwerp. Noddy, Biffo, Harpers and Elton were half an hour behind. We got to the hotel at around 16.30, scrubbed up and met in the bar at 17.30 enjoying some light refreshments before heading into Antwerp to sample the bacchanalian delights. In truth we were pretty moderarte and just hit a couple of pubs before getting some excellent dinner in one of our favourite old Inns. We headed back and hit the sack around 1150.
So, up bright and early and a lavish breakfast of continental design. Cold meats and cheese, breads, jams and conserves, croissants, juice, coffee, eggs and the likes served to set the Lard team up for what would be a tough day at the table. We got to the venue at about 0800 and set up in pretty short order. It was nice to have a bit of time to chat to some of the traders and do a bit of shopping before the show opened its doors.
1000 and the doors opened to a truly cosmopolitan crowd, Holland, Belgium, Germans, France, the UK, the US and Canada were all represented. For those considering travelling to Crisis you may rest assured that English is the lingua franca and it is spoken perfectly. What is wonderful is the friendly nature of the show, something that radiates from the Tin Soldiers of Antwerp and infects everyone there. It really is the most friendly show I have ever been to and as a result the games are a huge pleasure to run. The morning game saw Anti Tank Ace Gunter Mensch take out an incredible 11 Soviet tanks, whilst the afternoon saw some hectic armoured action as a German force attempted to break out of the Kessel. The games were tremendous fun and filled with laughter and good natured banter. I am told that at times the crowd was two deep around the game, so it is undoubtedly due to the enthusiasm of the participants who joined us that IABSM won the prestigious award. Thanks to you all.
By the end of the show I’d been on my feet for seven hours and my voice had almost completely gone. I had hoped to get a game of Saga in during the day, they were on the next table, but this never happened. I did, however, get a chat with Darren of the Beasties and we talked through the game in some detail.
So 1700 came and the joyful punter retired back to their respective homes whilst we cleared up. The Lard Bus was soon loaded up and by 1730 we were in the hotel. I had a couple of beers while my adrenalin levels dropped a bit after being “on stage” all day, then a quick shower, change of clothes and we met up in the bar again. It was very pleasant to meet up with the chaps from North Star and have a few beers with them. We headed off about 2000 and had a quick beer in town before our table in the Peederstaal was ready. Horse steak for most of us, except for veggie Noddy who chewed on a turnip and softy Sid who went for beef. A splendid meal ended at 0000 and then a couple of bevvies in the pub round the corner until 0100. Here’s a snap of all of us in the boozer.
As we sat and enjoyed the great company and excellent Belgian beer we worked out that this was the fourth time we had attended and the third time we had won the best Participation Game trophy which is a great honour. Unfortunately Sid’s terrain let us down on the other year. It’s at times like this that you learn who you can really cut the mustard and come up with the goods. You can see some of Sid’s non-award winning terrain on his blog here: http://sidneyroundwood.blogspot.com/
You can also see some snaps of our game and the other games present at Crisis. He may not be very good at making terrain, but he can take a decent photo.
So thanks to the Tin Soldiers of Antwerp for hosting yet another excellent show. Thanks to all of the punters who voted with their feet and won us the fantastic award. It was a brilliant launch for the new version of the rules. We had to get re-runs of the cards and token sets to cope with demand, so thanks to all who bought the rules. We have had a number of invites from clubs around the continent a a result, so hopefully we’ll see you all across the channel soon.
“Rubble, Rubble”, as David Bowie nearly once sang and, let’s be honest we know what the man who fell to Earth meant: there’s never enough of it on our wargames tables. Well, after making a whole host of new damaged buildings, I wanted more and I wanted it fast and, if I could manage it,