After a break of two years, we finally returned to the biggest wargames show in Continental Europe, namely CRISIS in Antwerp. This is going to be long, so for those of you too lazy to read on: We had an absolute blast! For the rest:
The weekend started on Friday, when we met up with Mikko (from Dawn of the Lead fame) and his fiancée Emmi. We had a nice dinner and an even nicer chat about wargaming, history, knitting and all kinds of other stuff. It was a great evening and we are very happy to have made new friends!
The next morning, we were off to CRISIS. I was completely overwhelmed when I entered the hall – after a break of two years, it felt like the first time all over again! There was so much to look at that it took us two hours to even enter the second hall. We saw lots of great games – I think there were more games than the last time I was there – and we even played one: The German trader Worean Shop had an ACW table for Regimental Fire & Fury and I always wanted to try those rules. The game was very enjoyable and convinced me to buy the rules.
We also exchanged hugs and banter with Annie from Bad Squiddo Games – it’s always a joy to see her!
Some disjointed observations before I post images from some of the games: I’m not convinced by printed playing mats. The proportion of WW2 games felt higher than before, but the quality of those games was generally very high. Most games were skirmish games, big battle games were rare. There wasn’t that much ‘hot and new’ stuff, but I saw a Star Wars: Legion game. There was a surprising amount of SAGA games. And of games with waterways. There was a great and varied selection of books available for purchase. There were a lot of gaming tables and some very nice and inspirational games.
With this, on to the games. Unfortunately, for many of them I can’t remember the names of the clubs and the games.
Jon and Diane Sutherland put on one of the few large games with hundreds of miniatures, representing the Battle of Rügen Island in 1715. Jon painted the miniatures and wrote the rules, which will be published by Caliver Books.
Militia Brabantia Wargames Club had this incredible set up based on the computer game Assassins Creed. The level of detail was astonishing!
It was good to see a Sharp Practice game, presented by the Kurpfalz Feldherren (I think) and set during the Jacobite rebellions.
Studio Tomahawk presented the new SAGA fantasy rules, which will be out in 2019.
A nice looking peninsular war game:
A WW2 game with incredible terrain:
Another WW2 game. This is the impressive Crete 1941 game put on by James Morris and featured in Wargames Illustrated 370 & 371.
TooFatLardies had two games: What a Tanker and Chain of Command, the latter showcasing their new Blitzkrieg 1940 handbook. The canal set up looked really good! They also won the price for Best Participation Game.
This is the ACW game we played. The set up is simple but very effective. And it warmed my heart to see 15mm figures in action!
Ships are always cool. This is a game of Blood & Plunder:
And here we have a medieval sea battle, namely Zierikzee 1304 by Murphy’s Heroes. The ships are made of paper and so that the 6mm figure stands fit in perfectly. A clever and effective set up!
Another impressive WW2 game, this time Dunkerque, presented by Dortmund Amateur Wargamers:
This cool looking chariot racing game by a member of the Tin Soldiers of Antwerp was busy all day. The tiny spectators are individually painted grains of rice!
A Firestorm Armada space battle. I like the ring planet!
Two cool-looking medieval games:
And finally some games that caught my eye, but I can’t remember what they represented:
So what did I buy?
Mainly books, to be honest. I got ACW stuff while K. made me buy the Ospreys. I also bought one pack of Halflings for a small upcoming fantasy project and a pack of Old Glory 15mm ACW infantry, just to try them out. The black box contains coastal forces from Magister Militium – more on that some other time. The big bag contains a narrow river I pre-ordered from Products for Wargamers.
The next day, we had a very nice breakfast with Jon and Diane Sutherland, whom we haven’t seen since we were at their (now sadly defunct) Wargames Holiday Center in Crete. It was great catching up with them!
What a marvellous week-end. CRISIS has a very welcoming atmosphere and the organisational effort of the Tin Soldiers of Antwerp is incredible – everything works smooth and quick and friendly. And the pie was excellent!
Our trip to Antwerp was most enjoyable. It was great to meet old friends and make new ones, to play games, buy stuff and reconnect with the wider wargaming world.