My first stop was the usual hellos and to catch up with the regulars and then to look at some games. I immediately ran into Mike and Les at the Peter Pig demo game of Washington's Wars. As Les was showing Mike how to play I joined in, and fortunate for Mike I did! The rules are usual Peter Pig style with tweaks to give that period feel and are good fun. Mike dallied on the left flank, while in the right I led the British forward, while the Indians swept around the American flank, carried the first objective and was descending on a second by the end of the game, while Mike was still short of even pushing back the Rebels he was facing.
Next up was a wander around and to look at some products and games. Again I found myself underwhelmed by the general material on sale. That is not to suggest it was lacking in quality, as the vast majority of traders now carry a wide range of high quality products. However they are all very similar and nothing really stands out from the crowd. I yearn to see something that is going to excite the gamer in me and really tempt me. AS it was the only purchaser I made were planned, some PanzerJager Is and L3/33s for our desert games.
As far as games go, it was a similar story. All very good and generally high quality, but nothing that really grabbed my attention and made me look a second time. The most memorable game was the skirmish wargamers fight around a stage coach. It had everything a game should, interesting terrain (rolling hills covered in teddy bear fur, looked stunning) and a strong focal point of the stage coach in the centre of the table. I know the 54mm scale helps, but these games are run once with items the members own, so really clubs that plan their games and build them together should be able to consistently achieve a similar standard.
For the afternoon I joined Robin in a participation game of his new Gruntz sci-fi rules being done in conjunction with GZG. I really enjoyed them, although 15mm they are small unit size. The game we played I controlled 3 vehicles, a bike squad, a couple of infantry squads and a large walker and that was plenty for a game. The rules obviously owe some inspiration to the Partizan Press Hordes and Warmachine systems, but that is not a bad thing as they are very solid and easy systems. I quickly had me head around the rules and the games was flowing very easily. This is what Sci-Fi should be and what recent editions of WH40K seem to have lost. Find out more at Robins blog at Gruntz.biz