Our trip to CRISIS started with a minor crisis, as the airline lost our suitcase and we had to make a quick shopping trip through Antwerp on Friday. Fortunately, Antwerp is a lovely city! This was the first time we actually had the opportunity to see something of the town and we like it very much.
On Saturday morning, we headed to CRISIS, where we not only got our bag of goodies but also met an old friend of mine who lives in Brussels. It was great to catch up with him and visit the show together!
The show itself was marvellous as always. There were a couple of participation games I wanted to play in, such as the wonderful Galleys, Guns & Glory game hosted by the South East Scotland Wargames Club. This is a new set of rules played with MDF galleys that look rather good. Unfortunately, we were not quite ready to play in the morning and when we came back, there were other people having a go. Equally busy was the Frostgrave table, which featured lovely terrain. (Unfortunately, my camera walked out on me and produced mostly crappy pictures, so sorry for their quality)
However, we did get to play Hammerin’ Iron by Peter Pig. Now I’m a long time Peter Pig fan and was very interested in their take on ACW riverine warfare. When I planned my own project, I browsed their ships but the few photos I found on the website back then didn’t look very good and they were a tad too big for my table anyway. However, when I now saw them in the flesh, I was astonished by how nice they look – in fact, they look much better than on the website! They are definitely lovely ships and I had a hard time resisting buying one or two…
Martin from Peter Pig hosted a great little game for K. and me. We both got a boat and started right in the middle of the action. The rules really are clever and great fun, and we had a blast steaming around and shelling each other. For a change, I even managed to win and sink K.’s ship!
There were a lot of other excellent games around. Being a fan of amphibious operations, I was captivated by Barry Hilton’s Great Northern War table, which featured a spectacular floating battery.
One of the show’s centrepieces was the huge Plancenoit table by the THS – Team for Historical Simulations. It featured not only an impressive array of 28mm figures, but also a plethora of small scenes and vignettes, like a dressing station for wounded or the quirky cook selling frog’s legs. Have a look at Stefan Kö’s wonderful blog for more images!
Another German club, Hamburg Tactica, presented a 30 Years War table with an impressive castle.
Another table that caught my eye was the Yppenburg 1940 table by Murphy’s Heroes. They played Chain of Command and won the price for Best Participation Game, so congratulations! I find the idea of a raid on an airfield very inspirational – this could be something for our Western Desert CoC games…
There were some very nice small skirmish tables. Pirates still seem to go strong, as I saw two tables, one of them a cool looking cluster of cliffs and half-sunken ships. I also spotted a nice Western gunfight table. The Crush the Kaiser Mexico game also looked a treat, with its dramatic range of craggy hills and the railroad running through.
This is just a small selection – there were lots of other excellent games around, and as always we were a bit overwhelmed by the sights.
I was also very happy to catch up with Annie The Dice Bag Lady and finally have a decent chat with her. She brought some new figures, which look lovely, and it was good to see her stand constantly busy.
As always, time ran by fast and we left the show pretty late, exhausted but happy. My bag was quite heavy at the end, how could that happen?
Well, one part of my shopping consisted of preorders, most of them from Peter Pig: some odds and ends for the ACW project, including a small train set, as well as a couple of packs of British 8th army figures for my new Chain of Command project. I also got some small stuff from Magister Militium, the most noteworthy being a pack of 10mm Dwarves riding on rams – my new chum Virago is pestering me to participate in a 10mm fantasy campaign using Mighty Empires, and who am I to resists such a temptation?
When I browsed the bookstands, K. noticed an Osprey on The American Civil War in the Indian Territory. Now K. is quite interested in American Indians and convinced me that we could perhaps add one or two units of Indian troops to the ACW project, so the book was bought and we headed over to the Worean stand, where I got a pack of Blue Moon Indians. I also bought Paddy Griffith’s Rally Once Again and a couple of (old and new) magazines. Finally, some bases from Products for Wargamers and a nice looking field also made it into the loot.
CRISIS 2015 was a great show and K. and me both enjoyed it very much. It was also great to meet my old friend and to walk around Antwerp, which showed itself from its best side. Especially the area around the harbour, where our hotel was located, is very nice, and the MAS Museum aan de Stroom is well worth a visit. Also, our suitcase did turn up soon enough – I wouldn’t have wanted to carry all the lead back in my small rucksack!