Wargamers can be unpredictable. As Commander : Europe at War was undoubtedly King of the Hill at Spiel in Essen, I was preparing myself for another day of giving wargamers a tour of this game. As it turned out, while there was some interest for it, the trophy for “Most Wanted Game” at Crisis went to … Close Combat – Cross of Iron.
Because I still haven’t recovered from an overdose of CC1 over a decade ago I was lucky to have real CC nuts like Grouchy and Final_Drive there to talk people through what’s in there and what’s not. Thanks guys.
The other surprise was the number of times people came over to say “he, you guys *promised* last year Empires in Arms would be out – and it still isn’t” Short memo to Matrix : get this game out *before* Crisis 2008 or we’re going to be lynched. Seriously. Another favorite game, with kids queuing up to get a chance to play it, was Tin Soldiers : Julius Caesar. Graphics don’t matter they say – yeah, right
The nice thing about Crisis is that so many clubs from all over Europe come to demo a game they’ve developed. It’s a kind of show & tell in a friendly, but competitive spirit as some clubs really make an effort to come-up with something original – a couple of highlights : Murphy’s Heroes, a Dutch club, had a game set in the Antarctic – the Danes of Aalborg had some weird looking big hex thing which I didn’t have the time to explore – then there was this French club who really went all-out on their WWII Germany 1945 design and because I always have to mention him : my buddy Phil had a game based on the classic Tintin “Blue Lotus” graphic novel set in Japanese occupied China in the thirties.
The weirdest booth was that of the South-London Warlords were they were just promoting their own Salute wargame convention – no doubt that they are the Top Dog in wargame conventions, but maybe they realize they’re a bit weak on the international aspects. The Channel seems to be really stopping the barbarian hordes from crossing, so promoting their own convention a bit could be a good call on their part.
As is the norm at conventions they all wander round looking at what everyone else is offering, which usually includes a short stop-over at a by now familiar corner where these computer dudes are showing their stuff. We handed out a lot of calling cards, talked to a lot of people and generally had a great time. I felt the convention really ended too soon as we finally had to kick the last CC junkie of the computer half an hour past the official convention end time of 17:00.
Pictures are up here :