Monday, 21 July 2014

The Joy of Six, 2014

As you can tell from the absence of blog posts it's been a while since I've lain awake at night, thinking about game mechanisms.

That ended last night after attending the Joy of Six show in Sheffield yesterday when, in spite of having being up for 36 hours and coming off a night shift, I finally got to sleep at about 3am.

The venue was the Workstation across the road from the station, which had 3 large conference rooms for the games and traders, a small meeting room for the seminars and a small snack bar at reception at our disposal. I believe it was sponsored by Bacchus and Wargames Emporium. The front windows were pushed back for some welcome breeze for players slaving over red hot gaming & painting tables. Unfortunately, I have scant imagery of the day as I wanted to travel light on the train from London after work so was relying on my mobile which decided to have a secret seizure on the day. There I was happily snapping away, unbeknownst to me that only a few would escape corruption and even then at naff resolution, so as I don't have much of a visual aide-memoir to help my sleep deprived brain recall as much of the various games as I would like, I am going to refrain from what would be a half-baked, incomplete and superficial show report and leave that to other blogging visitors. official show report here.

Show Floorplan

The miniatures of all games were all excellently painted and thanks to the universal 6mm scale, most games were representations of entire battlefields which enabled an appreciation to be made across the different periods, without the distraction of 28mm skirmishes.

One highlight of the show was finally meeting Andy Kirk of Heroics & Ros, whose stand was also manned by Ian Armstrong.

Andy & Ian

My first 6mm purchases were from the original H&R owners (down in Beckenham, I think), then when they were with Tony of Navwar in Seven Kings (that was a good day out at the shop, hard to drag oneself away) and had bought from Ian as well before his range was incorporated into H&R.

I lurked a great deal around the Kalisz 1706 table hosted by Wyre Forest Wargamers club mainly because they had decided to playtest some rules put together at short notice by Nick, who is the Polemos Northern Wars author. The figures and terrain (which were excellent) were provided by Per Broden. There was a good deal of quality handout material provided for the game.

Per Broden and Dan Wharton

If my addled brain absorbed the concepts correctly, the majority of the very little dice rolling is for unit reactions. There is no casualty recording or shooting per se. If opposing units are in contact it is assumed that melee or shooting is occurring and any nearby enemy, terrain and General figures also contribute to reactions, if I've got it right. This means the game is more concerned with the situation the units find themselves in, if they will obey orders and if the units react and force something unexpected on the gamer. Whatever criteria the rules use and however simple the mechanics are, it seemed to work, producing realistic-feeling action (in this type of warfare at least).

It's going to be an interesting journey to work out if I can reduce my somewhat micromanaged combat into something simple, elegant and as workable as the Kalisz 1706 game rules.