VIVAT 2017

VIVAT is a local Austrian historical wargames show. I didn’t make it last year due to real life intervening, but I attended this year. Generally, I’m not too happy with the location, as I don’t own a car and it’s difficult to get there by public transport. Thankfully, my mate Sigur picked me up at the train station and drove me back in the afternoon.

The show took place in a restaurant (which, as I discovered, serves quite nice food). There were several tables with games, the stand of a trader and Sigur’s painting stall. The atmosphere was pleasantly busy. Quite a lot of people were browsing, talking and playing, and I saw a couple of families with kids, always a good sign in my opinion.

I was drafted to introduce a new player to Sharp Practice on a spectacular table set up by Annatar. The scenario, which was set during the French and Indian War, came from an old TooFatLardies Special. Even though I was a bit tired and therefore not up to my game when explaining the rules, I think that Daniel had the opportunity to see what a great set of rules Sharp Practice are.

I didn’t have time to participate in any other games, but they looked very nice. Here are some images; more can be found on the VIVAT homepage. I’m pretty sure Sigur will also publish a detailed report on his blog.

Steinhagel

Steinhagel, a German ancients rule set.

Kugelhagel

ACW with Kugelhagel, a rule set from the same designer as Steinhagel.

NavalThunder

WW1 naval with Naval Thunder.

FoW

Flames of War.

Napo

A napoleonic game with General de Brigade.

FieldsofGlory

The Punic Wars with Field of Glory. I really liked the look of those 15mm figures.

 

And finally the Sharp Practice table.

I enjoyed myself a lot and was happy to meet old and new faces. Thanks to the organisers for making such an event possible!

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ZAMspielen Gaming Event in Vienna

The Museumsquartier is a large area of museums, cafés and cultural institutions in the center of Vienna. Three years ago, the group ZAMspielen together with the art communication agency esel.at started to host a semi-regular board and video gaming event there. ‘Zamspielen’ is Austrian dialect and means ‘playing together’, so the idea behind the event is to host a low-threshold opportunity for people to drop by and play games.

Last week, I finally had the opportunity to visit and join the fun.

The available board games were mainly family games, some older titles and some new ones. I started with Suleika, a rather nicely made tile placement game – I especially liked the small carpets made from real fibre.

Suleika

We then had a go at Ice Cool, which recently won the Children’s Game of the Year award. I’m not normally a fan of dexterity games, but this one is quite fun – you have to snip the penguins with your finger, one player taking on the role of the hunter trying to catch the others. It’s quick and simple and I can understand why kids like it.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Anita Landgraf of White Castle, a Viennese company that examines and brokers game ideas – so if you invent a game, you can come to them, they check it and then try to sell it to a publisher. I had the opportunity to test the prototype of a strategy game with an interesting movement mechanics. We also played a round of Elk Fest, another dexterity game that is being re-published by White Castle.

There were also a couple of video games from Viennese publishers on display, one of them a very nice looking adventure game called Old Man’s Journey.

OMJ

The event was small, but had a very welcoming and friendly atmosphere. It was a bit too much geared towards family games for my taste, but I guess this is easily remedied as everyone can bring what he or she wants to play. Let’s see, perhaps next time, I’ll bring one of my favorites.

Another ADA Gaming Salon

Last Saturday, we hosted another gaming salon at the ADA gallery in Vienna. Under the headline ‘Hunting Humans’, the evening was dedicated to monsters. We had two games for the visitors to play. The first was a pen-and-paper RPG ran by Alex. He used D&D and had prepared a couple of characters to choose from. The twist was that this time, the players were the bad guys: As a small band of Orcs, they had to help their tribe to raid a human settlement.

I had set up Zombicide, the cooperative Zombie game we have played a couple of times lately.

ZC1

Unfortunately, we made a scheduling mistake, as we completely missed  that there were two other events on that day which drew off potential visitors. We only had a handful of attendants, but at least we got in a couple of games ourselves. And those people who came were quite enthusiastic to play. Zombicide was a smash. We played three missions, each one with different players, but only succeeded in winning one of them.

 

The RPG also sounded like a lot of fun. K. joined in and told me she had enjoyed herself playing a tough female Orc, the leader of the raiding party consisting of another Orc, a goblin and an Ogre called Einstein (armed with a stone in a sack).

RPG1
The RPG in full swing.

Even though it was quieter than last time, it was a fun and inspiring evening. Hopefully, we’ll have another one soon!

First ADA Gaming Salon

Introducing new people to gaming is something I really enjoy. Last Sunday, I had the chance to help organising an event at a Viennese art gallery called ADA. A friend and member of our roleplaying group, writer Barbi Markovic, had the idea to host a gaming salon there. Another of our roleplayers joined in and we decided to stage two games: One roleplaying game and a miniatures game.

The roleplaying game was organised and prepared by our pal Alex. He used Dungeonslayers, as this is a quick and accessible system. It’s easy to explain and learn and it’s available for free, so if someone wants to try this at home, they don’t have to shell out the money for rule books.

Although I enjoy RPGs, I wanted to make the case for miniature games and decided to run a game of X-Wing. X-Wing is a perfect gateway drug: It’s easy to learn, combines fast action with clever mechanics and most people can relate to the back story (although I met someone who hasn’t seen a Star Wars movie!).

pic_a

I’m happy to say that the event was a success: We had a number of enthusiatic people who wanted to try out the games. As Alex had to leave earlier, I took over the RPG and K. ran the X-Wing table.

When we first had the idea, I was a bit uncertain if this format would work. I was afraid that people would only watch, too shy to get involved. I also feared that the whole gaming thing might be way too nerdy for the audience. However, when talking to people, I was surprised about how many had played RPGs or even Warhammer in their youth and were happy to give it another go. Others were new to the games but got into the mood quickly. Especially the X-Wing table was buzzing with excitment!

A huge thanks to the gallery people who were friendly and helpful from the start! A huge thanks also to the visitors, whose enthusiasm and willingness to get involved made the evening a pleasure. People kept asking if this was going to be a regular things, so let’s see – maybe this was just the start of a series of ongoing Gaming Salons.