Crisis 2013 – A Brushman’s Impression

Crisis: the report Crisis is undoubtedly the biggest wargaming fair in mainland Europe, and as such should mark major holiday on any wargamer’s calendar. I’m no different, and so I set out one grey morning with an all-too-modest lunch and a wallet full of ultimately inadequate funds. Though I was tempted to race straight for Antwerp, I first picked up a temporarily incapacitated friend at his place (Pieter-Jan, of Nurgle Lord painting fame) and we carried on to the convention.

We had a bit of an idea of what was coming when we drove onto an already jam-packed parking lot at about eleven in the morning, which was confirmed when we walked in. The convention hall, Waagnatie, is a massive maritime depot-style building, and even then it was chock full of wargamers of all stripe.

With some difficulty we first worked our way to the back of the hall, where the bring & buy section was located, and I quickly picked up a few Bolt Action boxed sets: some British paras and Fallschirmjäger for myself, and a box of US airborne for a friend of mine who sadly couldn’t make it to the event. There was a guy selling Pegasus Bridge boxed sets at 150 euro, which was rather dodgy as they go for 175 pounds from Warlord Games directly… Still, I resisted the temptation and carried on!

Meandering through the many gaming tables, we saw a great many fantastic scenery pieces. Alas, I couldn’t bring a camera, but there’s many people who did take pictures, so go ahead and check out some other blogs. Of particular note were: a Peninsular gaming table with about two thousand well-painted Brits and French facing off, a Bloodbowl table complete with dug-out, hot-dog kiosk etc., and of course my own mates from the Red Barons who had a Berlin 1945 set-up which was barely touched, and served mostly as a conversation piece which they prowled round whilst drinking many a glass of champagne. Now that’s wargaming done proper!

We continued our tour and I was very glad to find out Gringo40’s had come to the venue. This is a wargaming company which has up to now been focusing mainly on 19th century Mexicans (hence the gringos) but have recently released a stunning model of Joachim Murat. Of course, I couldn’t resist picking it up, and I had a great little discussion with the company owner. Good stuff.

Being involved with quite a few commissions at the moment, I was fortunate enough to have the commissioners reward me for my painting services by letting me pick some brand new models at their expense, up to the retail price of the models I’ll be painting for them (more on those later). So in return for painting seven blisters of Perry samurai and ashigaru I got four blisters of Perry Norman archers (to be painted up as Flemings) and three of sohei warrior monks, and in return for painting a Rus Princes Saga warband I got to pick up many a blister of Gripping Beast jomsvikings, pagan Rus, Saga dice and two Viking vignette pieces. A deal to satisfy all parties involved, although my penchant for calling these commissioners ‘uncle’ was met with some chagrin.

There was, however, a massive misunderstanding when one of these guys remarked that he couldn’t find any boxes of Victrix hoplites other than the Theban variant. After he’d wandered off, I found a box of Athenian and Mercenary Hoplites each, probably the final boxes available at the show, and immediately purchased them in the expectation of doing that friend a favour. Unfortunately, I had somehow misinterpreted his remark as he had no intention of starting a Greek army anytime soon. End result of this Babylonian affair: I have 96 hoplites. Sigh.

Other than that, I picked up some Dacian falxmen – the final component of my Dacian & Sarmatian force for now – plus the obligatory Dacian Wars supplement for Hail Caesar, so I’ve got that covered. Nice little book, by the way; a lot of scenario ideas and rules for sieges, ship battles and small skirmishes; and the latter will definitely be tested soon. Also some new brushes, some Army Painter meadow flower tufts (of the June 6th kind) and maybe a few other bits and bobs I might be forgetting. The day was rather taxing on my wallet, and yet I didn’t manage to pop round to the Warlord Games stall in time for a Napoleon’s Berlin Carriage. Mailorder it is!

All in all, it was a nice day for the pair of us and for the legion of wargaming enthousiasts who attended. Until next time!

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