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Subject: Crisis 2015 - Antwerp - video overview rss

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Eddy Sterckx
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Went to Crisis 2015 - a historical wargame convention - over the weekend.

Somebody made a really good video about it :



... and for those wondering if the hobby is dying : plenty of youngsters there.
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Pokey 64
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Interesting system at 8:16. Seems they have the field marked off in grid using string eliminating all the measuring common to most miniatures rules.
 
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James D
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I almost had to turn off the video halfway through, I'd really rather not go down that rabbit hole.
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Lance McMillan
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Lots of beautifully painted miniatures, but I saw no evidence of board wargames. Were there any present?
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Eddy Sterckx
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Lancer4321 wrote:
Lots of beautifully painted miniatures, but I saw no evidence of board wargames. Were there any present?
Grant Dalgliesh was there with Columbia Games block wargames.

What doesn't show in the video is that - for me - the real value of that show is in the innovation that's shown in the various demonstration and participation games.

Somebody already mentioned that grid superimposed on the Waterloo battlefield table, but there were many others.

Just to mention my own group : my buddy Phil designed a solitaire "Beau Geste" card-driven wargame, playable on a hexagonal board (Hexon II terrain) that would take zero conversion to bring to the board wargame world. It's in the video from 06:53 to 07:00.

If you're like me and are very interested in cutting edge developments in the wargame world, you simply have to take a look at the historical miniature world. They're lightyears ahead in some crucial areas like command & control.

Here's another movie I found about the show


 
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Ben Bosmans
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Lancer4321 wrote:
Lots of beautifully painted miniatures, but I saw no evidence of board wargames. Were there any present?
At the last minute a BIG German distributor "Fanen" didn't come due to the fact there was a boardgame Convention in Eindhoven with 999 Games as the organiser.

I know Tom was there (Belgium boardgamegeneral) with a few boardgames but as he said, this is a puppet show, not a board wargame convention. Sheepgames.be was also there but mostly selling stuff like Star Wars FFG and some few VP games.

The organisers are a miniatures wargame club with 5% boardgames.

It let me sell 350 Euros in a few old boardgames though. I know some friends who really were displeased by the absence of new boardgames.

Next time, don't organise 2 Conventions at 50 kms apart...

And this convention is not promoting board wargames at all. A pity.

Next week there is a kind of Euro game convention at the same Hall and it is perhaps 5 times bigger in visitor numbers which is kind of sad.

Board wargaming is still the niche of a niche hobby. I guess the masses don't like studying anymore but push painted plastic instead.

I am done with miniatures rules, I only use my old miniatures to dress up a few board wargames these days.

I dig your "light years ahead" remark. No, they aren't : you see it in fantasy gaming too. Mostly pushing miniatures is very bleak in rules set compared to board wargaming.

Apparently we still have the same public: grumpy old men pushing plastic soldiers with not too much headaches concerning rules.

These guys never even heard about COIN series.

I think "our" future is more bright though as I see more euro boardgamers coming into thematic games and games like Twilight Struggle could eventually recruit general boardgamers into wargamers.

The miniature scene is too expensive anyway.

 
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Eddy Sterckx
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Ben_Bos wrote:

Next week there is a kind of Euro game convention at the same Hall and it is perhaps 5 times bigger in visitor numbers which is kind of sad.
Reality check :

Crisis : 1500 attendees on a Saturday
Spel : 1500 attendees on a Saturday, 1500 on Sunday - mostly the same people - me included.

Same location, same square footage, same number of attendees. I honestly don't know why people dare complain that a wargame convention is "only" attracting the same number of people as our biggest eurogame convention. Sheesh.

Oh, and Columbia Games will be attending Spel as well.
 
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Ben Bosmans
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eddy_sterckx wrote:
Ben_Bos wrote:

Next week there is a kind of Euro game convention at the same Hall and it is perhaps 5 times bigger in visitor numbers which is kind of sad.
Reality check :

Crisis : 1500 attendees on a Saturday
Spel : 1500 attendees on a Saturday, 1500 on Sunday - mostly the same people - me included.

Same location, same square footage, same number of attendees. I honestly don't know why people dare complain that a wargame convention is "only" attracting the same number of people as our biggest eurogame convention. Sheesh.

Oh, and Columbia Games will be attending Spel as well.
I heard Spel attracts 7000+ people: Source : Adriaensen Games themselves.

Sheesh? I don't think this convention promotes board wargaming at all, now that the 2nd biggest EU wargame distributor went to Eindhoven it was even more felt than ever.

In fact hardly one GMT box found unless you wanted to go at my table of second hand goods...

And 90 Euros out of that 350 bucks I made came from old Warcraft and Star Wars micro machine figurines...

You are missing the boat in promoting the new wave of board wargaming. That's very sad indeed.

Now I liked your video: very well done, but ...well ... this is a boardgamegeek website and a wargame thread of a convention where you couldn't even find a recent GMT game or Decision or XXX.

.../...

This convention should be a place where you can find difficult to find board wargames from GMT, Victory Point Games, Decision Games, Multi Men Publishing, Dan Verson Games and so many others.

It is a ONE time occasion for such games. But now it is just degenerated to a miniatures fair. Quite awesome for those who like that, but browsing through your games inventory, you would be glad to have some rare to find VP, GMT, Decision Games too btw.

Overall the Belgian market - except 2 - know only ONE GMT game and that's Twilight Struggle, don't even dare to mention the latest new wave of COIN games.

So the Fair was a failure for board wargamers. (I still think the boardgamegeneral should have been there with an official shop). Only few know the deep secrets of EU board wargame distribution ... and how to get to these games.

It is a missed opportunity.

 
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Eddy Sterckx
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Ben_Bos wrote:

I heard Spel attracts 7000+ people: Source : Adriaensen Games themselves.
You heard wrong.

http://www.bordspelmania.eu/spel/topic13287-30.html

Scroll down to the post of "Forum-Fed" - the guy who actually organizes Spel - and there you'll read :

"We ontvingen dit jaar 2.848 betalende bezoekers."

Translated : "We received 2.848 paying visitors this year" - that's for 2014 and for both days combined.

I guess no matter how lively the local wargame scene, the glass will always be 3 quarters empty for some.
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Ben Bosmans
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eddy_sterckx wrote:
Ben_Bos wrote:

I heard Spel attracts 7000+ people: Source : Adriaensen Games themselves.
You heard wrong.

http://www.bordspelmania.eu/spel/topic13287-30.html

Scroll down to the post of "Forum-Fed" - the guy who actually organizes Spel - and there you'll read :

"We ontvingen dit jaar 2.848 betalende bezoekers."

Translated : "We received 2.848 paying visitors this year" - that's for 2014 and for both days combined.

I guess no matter how lively the local wargame scene, the glass will always be 3 quarters empty for some.
Well Ardiaensen Games told me otherwise. SO it was ~=2848 paying total.

The glass of the (European) Crysis Convention was ... EMPTY for board wargamers though. That's the main point.


I seriously can't call this a promotion for board wargaming if even the most rudimentary GMT game BOXES were not even present.

This huge lack of current day new trends of board wargaming shows up in your inventory btw, and that's simply ... because these games don't reach most of us ... not even in these shows.

And that's so sad.

I just saw that Adriaensen for example just NOW had their first copy of Wing Leader (GMT) on sale (that's 5! months) after I got it through other channels.

I wouldn't even mention board wargames from far less known publishers.


 
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Eddy Sterckx
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Ben_Bos wrote:

The glass of the (European) Crysis Convention was ... EMPTY for board wargamers though. That's the main point.

Except that Columbia Games was there with a couple of tables and while not even looking for boardgames specifically I saw the complete Blocks in the .. series from VentoNuovo, various GMT, MMP and Avalanche Press games, some Compass Games, Battle Cry, Memoir '44 and umpteen expansions, Heroes of Normandie at 2 separate booths and even came home with a cheap 2nd hand copy of AH's Fortress Europe.

I was totally wrong : for some people the glass is always 100% empty.


 
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Kris Van Beurden
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I saw Hannibal - Rome vs Carthago ... for €30 even.

Proof that this was not a board-wargamer convention (or too much of one, maybe): it was still there when I left ...
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Carl Paradis
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Ben_Bos wrote:

The glass of the (European) Crysis Convention was ... EMPTY for board wargamers though. That's the main point.

Same thought here. Not much Board Wargames. It's ok and not really unexpected: far more pageantry with miniatures, less intimidating, too, in a way. So miniatures are always big convention hits.

BTW about miniatures: I was a big miniature gamer in the 90's, and I found the activity far more "Social" than board wargaming. I probably played more miniature games than board wargames from 1990 to 2010! wow

Heck, I still have over 15,000 Napoleonic Miniatures (all painted by me, gasp! Franch, British, Prussians, Austrians, Russians, Brunzwickers, etc... Still no Spanish, though). I also dabble in 25mm Late Medievals (Burgundian Army, Holy Roman Empire Army), 15mm Renaissance (French Army), Napoleonic Sailing ships (I have enough Minatures to do Trafalgar) and WWI Ships (Yes, I can do Jutland). Of course made my own Napoleonic and Naval rules.

Anyway, you are lucky to have as many well-organized gamers in your country, and so close from each other! I am horribly envious!
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Ben Bosmans
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eddy_sterckx wrote:
Ben_Bos wrote:

The glass of the (European) Crysis Convention was ... EMPTY for board wargamers though. That's the main point.

Except that Columbia Games was there with a couple of tables and while not even looking for boardgames specifically I saw the complete Blocks in the .. series from VentoNuovo, various GMT, MMP and Avalanche Press games, some Compass Games, Battle Cry, Memoir '44 and umpteen expansions, Heroes of Normandie at 2 separate booths and even came home with a cheap 2nd hand copy of AH's Fortress Europe.

I was totally wrong : for some people the glass is always 100% empty.


And your movie showed how many of these ? LOL Compass Games/Avalanche Press ? Really ?

Look I was there m8. And the games were simply not there.

Oh I could believe a second hand copy of the 30 year old FE in the second hand market where I stood, just like I had BattleCry for 20 Euro for sale... and ... 3 second hand GMT games... Not even the boardgamegeneral had more old boardgames for sale on his table.

But there were no new board wargames of the companies you mentioned as I know the distributors of these games and they simply weren't there OR came to sell some puppets too.

Oh I had pity with the President of Columbia games. I talked to him quite a lot. A pity it was ALL about miniatures, just like your movie showed... btw.

So sad.



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Eddy Sterckx
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Tegarend wrote:

Proof that this was not a board-wargamer convention (or too much of one, maybe): it was still there when I left ...
I never said it was a board-wargamer convention, I just thought that a wargame convention with 1500 participants, with lots of youngsters, a genuine board wargame company - Columbia, two cross-over boardgame companies - Osprey and Studio Tomahawk (Saga), a decent number of board wargames for sale and lots of clubs/publishers with neat ideas that could well translate to board wargames - might at least be somewhat interesting to some people in here.

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Ben Bosmans
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eddy_sterckx wrote:
Tegarend wrote:

Proof that this was not a board-wargamer convention (or too much of one, maybe): it was still there when I left ...
I never said it was a board-wargamer convention, I just thought that a wargame convention with 1500 participants, with lots of youngsters, a genuine board wargame company - Columbia, two cross-over boardgame companies - Osprey and Studio Tomahawk (Saga), a decent number of board wargames for sale and lots of clubs/publishers with neat ideas that could well translate to board wargames - might at least be somewhat interesting to some people in here.

You only have to watch your EXCELLENT video to see this was nothing for board wargamers.

Certainly not if you wanted to have a look at the latest board games which aren't already mass produced like a long lost copy of Memoir 44 somewhere.

And ONE lone lost CEO of Columbia Games didn't make up for that either. Actually ... he lives in Brussels ATM he told me.

This contributed ZERO to the promotion of board wargaming. In fact I had the impression we were redudant any how.

Made worse by the fact it was an International event (from UK, FR, GER etc...).

----
@ Mr Paradis. I don't think the board wargame scene really is in a depression either.

I think it just lacks the proper PR and distribution to lure people in to our beautiful boardgames at the moment.

We should hook up on the general boardgame trends more and I don't think miniatures are the vehicules to play historical boardgames.

Just a thought of course.
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Eddy Sterckx
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Ben_Bos wrote:

And your movie showed how many of these ? LOL Compass Games/Avalanche Press ? Really ?
Reading 101 - it wasn't my movie.

Yes, Compass Games and Avalanche Press - in the same booth that had the complete "Blocks in the ... " series - I spend some time there negotiating with the guy over the price of Waterloo 200 by the same company.

Ben_Bos wrote:

Look I was there m8. And the games were simply not there.
I know you were there - I saw you sitting in the B&S all morning and early afternoon. How could you possibly have seen anything ?

Ben_Bos wrote:

Oh I had pity with the President of Columbia games. I talked to him quite a lot.
Funny then that your name didn't come up when I drove Grant back to Brussels.

Edit : completely forgot : Caliver books had stacks and stacks of S&T, Command, 3W, ATO and other magazines. Guess they're not wargames either.

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Ben Bosmans
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My wife was at the stand.

So you didn't see me.
 
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Ben_Bos wrote:
My wife was at the stand.
So you didn't see me.
Edit : it has been brought to my attention that I shouldn't call people out in here. Fair enough.
 
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Paul C
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The video reinforces my feeling me that wargaming is doing OK.

What isn't so healthy however is the sight of a wargamer who prefers playing with cardboard components being so dismissive of his fellows who prefer playing with plastic or metal components- for the hobby's sake, I hope this is not a growing schism (or vice-versa from the miniatures wargamers).

S&T started out with both boardgames and minis, we're 30+ years on from Axis&Allies introducing minis within a strategic board wargame, minis have recently become more fashionable in the wider world of boardgaming, BGG includes pure miniatures rulesets and miniatures games, such as Wings of Glory. Now the taboos of adults playing boardgames, and adults playing with miniature figures, have both been broken by the proud modern geek.

Personally, I haven't the skill to paint figures well enough, and I haven't the space to play with them. But I don't feel a sense of "them and us", and I think of myself as a wargamer rather than a board wargamer.





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Carl Paradis
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Mr Paradis. I don't think the board wargame scene really is in a depression either.


Well Wargaming in Europe is definitely a ray of hope. It'll be there that the future of our hobby will thrive. Not in North America.

And I was talking mainly about Board Wargaming.
For the record over 75% of my playtesters come from Europe.

Anyway I don't mind much. I have been always involved into Miniature Wargames, I also did a very long stint into Role-Playing (Heck, I started what was one of the major role-playing game clubs in my town), I was also one of the first to play and introduce Euros in the 80's and 90's in Canada (Games Workshop products), I also started gaming on computer on my trusty Apple II+ in 1980, and coded some games, so I know well that aspect of the hobby too.

So... Whatever happens I will always continue to game on, in a form or another.

But my "First Game Love" was Wargames, when I was 10-years old.
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capracaligo wrote:
The video reinforces my feeling me that wargaming is doing OK.
It is, but I'm starting to think posting a link to those videos in here was a mistake. The people who took those videos obviously pointed their camera at the eye candy, the fluff, while people who were there had the opportunity to look deeper and beyond.

To look at things like the constant interaction so typical of modern tabletop rulesets, to how many youngsters were there throwing dice and consulting fire effect tables, to how many clubs ran participation games specifically designed to be very open and welcoming to new wargamers, to look at the daring experimental and innovative games that get presented.

Those young Germans from Hamburg, running that Mech game, are every bit the wargamer we are. They also talk about LOS and armour penetration and setting up a firebase while flanking with the quick scouts. Crisis really shows how inclusive wargamers can be - nobody scoffed at their game - I saw grizzled grogs asking them questions and congratulating them on their paint job.

Much more than just a tabletop miniature show, Crisis is an exchange of ideas place for people who are open to this and if board wargames can't or won't show the same openness to new people and ideas it deserves to wither and die.

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eddy_sterckx wrote:


Much more than just a tabletop miniature show, Crisis is an exchange of ideas place for people who are open to this and if board wargames can't or won't show the same openness to new people and ideas it deserves to wither and die.

Anyway it's like comparing Apples to Oranges. Or the difference between watching a movie (Miniature Gaming) or reading a book (Board Wargames). Not the same experience, and it's hard to compare the two.

We see that trend in Euros also: More and more games with huge boxes, lots of plastic miniatures and 3-D intriguing bits included, to make it mor eof a "multi-media" experience.

Mind you this is a good thing for visibility. Hopefully people will get interested enough to try some "deeper" products, like board Wargames.

BTW my Game of Choice to introduce newbies is Commands & Colors: Napoleonics, together with a 3-D terrain system I made. meeple



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Paul C
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licinius wrote:


Or the difference between watching a movie (Miniature Gaming) or reading a book (Board Wargames). Not the same experience, and it's hard to compare the two.
If you include the army building/painting and scenery making, perhaps it's more like MAKING a movie than watching one!

licinius wrote:

BTW my Game of Choice to introduce newbies is Commands & Colors: Napoleonics, together with a 3-D terrain system I made. meeple



I think that's well on the way to becoming miniatures game, just by changing the playing pieces.

To take a clearer-cut example, how far off being a miniatures game does SPI's "Sniper" become when played with figures and model terrain in place of counters and map?
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Carl Paradis
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capracaligo wrote:

I think that's well on the way to becoming miniatures game, just by changing the playing pieces.
I could do that.

BUT that game also has HEXES!!!

capracaligo wrote:

To take a clearer-cut example, how far off being a miniatures game does SPI's "Sniper" become when played with figures and model terrain in place of counters and map?
I fond that miniatures play is far less "clear-cut" and "Cartesian" than Wargames. There is a lot of leeway and interpretation left to the player. Lots of Fudging in most rulesets.

Not so with the majority of board wargames (OK OK some wargame rulesets are really bad, but still...).

Also, Miniature games are mostly tactical affairs. And most of the time Historicity is not that good. I see that Hobby as more of being playing "Toy Soldiers" and not as a "serious" simulation. Not that there is anything wrong with that! On the contrary. Of course there are exceptions, Naval Wargames is a good one.

Take a tactical wargame that many grognards (not me!) define as not very realistic, like Combat Commander: Europe, it's still far more realistic than the majority of Miniature games of the same scale and topic.

Playing the whole WWII Pacific War with miniatures? I think not!

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