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Crusade Wargames Show, Penarth 2015

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Apologies to those of a nervous disposition but I’ve been feeling very optimistic about this great hobby of ours. Apologies also to those who know me and cannot believe that I have put a photo of Warhammer 40k miniatures on my blog. This particular story begins about eighteen months ago when I became involved with organising a school wargames club. How could I refuse? There was no way out, I had to play 40k which of course to most people under twenty, and the general public, is wargaming.

Why I ‘m feeling so upbeat is due to the generosity of all those who have made such an effort to support this venture. The school where I work allowed us to compete in the school league in Nottingham. To the uninitiated this was worth all the staff room laughter. Hidden in their Nottingham industrial estate, Games Workshop staff could not have been more accomodating. The image of myself and the team, in a puedo-medieval liscensed gaming centre, the size of an aircraft hanger still brings a smile to my face, and I was being paid for it….

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The club has grown steadily and meets in the Art rooms on a Friday afternoon. When we were short of terrain, the lads at Cardiff Wargames Club went through their stocks and sent more than we needed. When I mentioned to Ian Richards at the Penarth and District Club that we should encourage the school boys to attend their annual event, we were given a whole table and an invite to game all day at the venue (probably the only time I can be seen in a Sports hall!) The game of choice was of course WH40k, with my garage supply dump providing the Spaceport/1940s airport that has been fought over in many Flames of War competition over the years. I lasted three turns with the army that Big Chris from the Viet-Taff sold me at a very generous discount.

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The atmosphere at Crusade is so friendly. The boys from the school club played all day and by the end of it were spent out and hoarse from “discussion”. I bumped into a number of old faces, including Richard from the Lardies who did some painting for me a good few years now, when Flames of War models were worth their weight in gold on “flea-bay”. I did try to point the boys towards historical games and I was encouraged by their responses. I missed out on 40K, I was already a student when the first penguin faced marines stomped out of Nottingham, although I must admit to a collection of Dwarves and Goblins from the period😳😳 I must also admit to being a bit snobbish when it comes to games of “Pixie-hammer” but , at the end of the day, all gamers have to make that lonely walk across the car park into the safety of the venue…..

I’ll close with just two of the many excellent games that graced the event. The first was imagethe Lutzen re fight by Blockbuster wargames, using the new ‘The Warre Game’ rules. What a superb display and not an elf in sight….

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The War and Conquest team always put on a good game. Gamers who are looking for inspiration should seek out the free downloads on the unofficial Warhammer site, supplements for the Acw, Napoleonics and others. They are of superb quality but just never got published.

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In short, many thanks to all those involved in helping get the next generation of gamers into the hobby. It was much appreciated by our group. We have already asked Ian for a spot at next year’s Crusade!

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About the Author

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The wild ramblings of an infamous wit and wargames guru. One of nature's true gentlemen who devotes his time to the care of his two sons, i.e. watching episodes of Peppa Pig together, and recreating great moments of military history using toy soldiers. Currently a leading light in The Collectivo Despertaferres wargames and duelling association who meet regularly at Firestorm Games ( formerly Ali Baba's Carpet Warehouse). Find me also on Facebook "Despertaferres"!

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