Tuesday 26 March 2013

Canon show at Retford

As I mentioned in the previous post I was at the all new Cannon show in Retford yesterday.
This was the first time the show had been staged and it was in the rather lovely surroundings of the Town hall - all high ceilings and chandeliers.
We were demoing the El Cid game, but I had plenty of time for a wander round. It was quite a quiet show, a combination of newness and poor weather I suspect, and I'm not sure the traders who made it will have done terribly well, unfortunately. It was reasonably busy first thing but by the afternoon it was just us demo players and the traders left upstairs. Downstairs was a bit busier as it had the cafe and several Warhammer tables on the go.
It was a nice little show and I hope the organisers didn't lose any money and maybe made enough to keep it going next year. I certainly enjoyed it and met up with a few familiar faces, including my first ever follower (*waves to Jim*)
The visitors who didn't make it certainly missed out on some very nice looking demo games. and I took a few pictures

First up was a beautiful looking Muskets and Tomahawks game in the snow. I'm very tempted by these rules, but this table did just reinforce my view that it's actually a shortcut to just buying lots and lots of trees.

There was also a very nice looking Death in the Dark Continent game going on just behind us, complete with (compare the) meerkats, Pumba and a couple of visitors from Gallifrey

Just behind us Great Escpae Games were demoing their forthcoming Dead Man's Hand cowboy ruleset which set Scrivs an I off on planning a "Mongo punches horse" vignette for a Blazing Saddles game. Matt disappeared from commanding Pedro Bermudez for half an hour or so mid-game to get a demo in!

Finally Steve Jones was had at work playing a lovely looking game of Dux Bellorum.
You can see his progress with the models over on his blog. Go there and follow him at once.
But here's a few of the game in progress:

I've been invited to join with Steve (and James, Scrivs, Andys Hawes and McTaggart and author Dan Mersey) at Salute next month to demo Dux Bellorum ("Milk, two sugars Mr Mersey, sir?" is the role I'm expecting to fill). So I'd best get a game in before then (and finish off my Sabot bases too).
So if you're going to be there drop by and say hello, tell me my jokes are rubbish, or give me some painting tips.

Monday 25 March 2013

Valencia 1094. Hail Cid at Cannon in Retford.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to be invited to help James Morris recreate the battle of Valencia 1094 at the Cannon show in Retford.
James originally staged this game ten years ago at Salute to celebrate the launch of the El Cid supplement he'd written for WAB.
This time we would be using the Hail Caesar rules but still fighting over the same superb scenery that James had created. I bought along my WAB Moorish army, and James and Scrivs provided plenty of additional Almoravids, Andalusians and Christians.

The game began with the Berbers forces hurriedly deploying to attack a diversionary force led by the Cid's banner bearer Pedro Bermudez. As the Moors struggle to form up for battle the Cid leads a force of cavalry out from a side gate to crash into the flanks of the Arabs...

In the event the game played out pretty historically. I made reasonable progress through the defenders of the main gate led by Bishop Jeronimo. Although I was able to bash the bishop, he escaped inside Valencia and the gates were barred against me as crossbow bolts rained down.
Scrivs led the Berber left flank to crush Bermudez, although (to chants of Pedro! Pedro!) he went down fighting.
However the battle was won on our right flank where the Cid himself led his men unstoppably into the Berber camp before rounding on the camel heavy rearguard and sending them packing.
But enough of this, Tom I hear you cry. Where are the pictures?!

Well, here, actually:

 As the sun breaks over the walls of Valencia the Cid prepares to ride into the pages of history

 The ranks of implacable Berbers await him

 The loyal Bermudez leads the forlorn hope

Whilst the fiery Bishop urges the townsfolk to defend their gates

The Berber camp, sack this and become a rich man...
 Jinettes hunt down the heavy Caballeros

 The Cid prepares to thunder home!


 Bermudez begins to run out of places to hide...

Hail Mary and pass the crossbow bolts!

The rearguard urge their recalcitrant (and smelly) mounts forward, to no avail...

Hail Caesar gave us a great game. We managed to get the entire battle played out in around five hours, but had lots of breaks and played in a very leisurely and unfocused fashion (this is I have to say my default setting). James certainly seemed to think it was a lot better suited to a battle this size than WAB had been ten years ago!
I had a splendid time (even though neither myself not fellow Berber Scrivs could roll anything other than a four for the all-important break tests). It looked marvelous and James, Matt and Scrivs were a pleasure (as always) to play with and against.

My fellow Moorish commander's views (and lots more pictures) are over on the Scrivsland blog

I did take a few other pictures at the show, but they can wait until tomorrow.