After a great show at Partizan a couple of weeks ago where Sharp Practice won not one but two awards, Best Demonstration Game and Best Game of Show, we enjoyed a smashing day at one of the newest shows on the circuit this Sunday, Hereward in Peterborough. Once again there were three games of Sharp Practice on display; Viva Ras Begus, our 1840s Royal Navy versus Arab slaver game, the Harrogate Wargames Club’s truly superb 1812 retreat from Moscow game which quite rightly won the the Best Game award at Partizan and, finally, the debut showing of Matt and Ralph’s Martian Sharp Practice game which, to say the very least, was a thing of wonder.
I have to apologise here as I failed miserably to get any photos myself; I was rather busy running the Viva Ras Begus games. Fortunately Nick Meredith took part in the first game of the day and very kindly allowed me to use some of the snaps he took here. Suffice to say, good fun was had by all and Matt and Ralph won Most Spiffing Game of the show, taking the Sharp Practice tally to three trophies in the past fortnight. To be brutally honest, the trophies were wins for the clubs who put the games on and their hard work rather than the rules, but as a game designer it is really pleasing to see how the variety of games on display showed how versatile the rules are for a wide range of settings, even, apparently, on Mars!
Here are a few snaps of the Viva Ras Begus game…
Followed by a couple of the Harrogate game which looked as stunning as it had at Partizan. This game is hugely frustrating as, having seen it in action twice, I WANT TO PLAY! To my mind it really shines out as a truly top class game and the number of people who have bought the rules after playing it is a testament to the fine job that the lads from Harrogate have done with it.
Finally, those cuddly woodland folk, Matt and Ralph, emerged from their sets in the deep, dark Forest of Dean to run one of the most unusual games of Sharp Practice I have ever seen. Matt did explain the premise of the game to me before the show began, which seemed to revolve around a cricket match being played in a Martian stadium to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Certain less than friendly elements of the Martian population were keen to halt the match before cricketing legend P.G. “Tipsy” Grace could get his century. Or something like that. The game was possibly the best supported with additional reading material provided in the shape of several martian newspapers which (hopefully) explained the back story better than I have. Full marks to the lads, who took the trophy for the Most Brilliantest Game back to their cosy woodland burrow. Here’s just one snap.
Apologies to them for just having one snap, but fortunately Matt has also got a smashing selection of snaps of his Mars game on his own blog which you can find here: Matt’s Blog
All in all it was a great day out and the Peterborough Wargames Club should be lauded for their efforts which have seen the show develop in just one year to an event with some really great games and a selection of quality traders to boot. Quite some achievement.
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,