Monday, 5 October 2015

Marignano 1515 at Derby - Everyone's a winner!

The Ilkley Lads took Marignano 1515 to The Derby World Championships convention last weekend as a demonstration game. It's only the second time I've visited this two day event; the first time I went to this show I went as a volunteer to man a Leeds Club game on the second day. This year, with War Torn being cancelled, and the fact that Triples isn't an option, Derby was the obvious choice to take The Ilkley Lads' 2015 weekend game. Derby is as far south as we've ever been but, if the show is always as good as it was this weekend, it will go on to the Ilkley Lads calender from now on.

The show was a very good one. It was busy on both days, all day. The busyness of the show came as quite a shock. Usually, especially on the Sunday of two day shows, the mornings are busy then they quieten down mid afternoon - tumble weed blowing down the aisles has been reported at some shows after 3 in the afternoon. Derby bucked this trend on both days and we delayed our expected departure to the hotel on Saturday until after 5.00 p.m. because it was so much busier than we had expected. I think the fact that it hosts the World Championships keeps people around longer, and I think a lot were hanging around for friends to finish competition games. It is fortunate that war gamers are an honest bunch; leaving over 1000 figures on a table with hundreds of people around always feels risky - at roll call next morning not one of the little buggers had deserted, bless 'em.

The list of traders was impressive and very diverse. You could spend a lot of money at Derby very easily, even in small spends, because the list of stuff available was so extensive. According to the traders I spoke to, business was brisk, and sales totals were very satisfactory.

The standard of games on show was good, certainly better than average. The scope of the games was also very good, there was something for everyone.

Thanks to our hosts who were very helpful. I congratulate them for putting on such a successful show.

I talked to scores of people during the show, about our game, to others putting on games and to people I met around trade stands. Some old friends, old faces, but mostly new people who don't come further north than this. If we met and talked, it was a pleasure. I look forward to seeing you again. Special thanks to the guys putting on the samurai game who gave me some very useful pointers.

So, all in all, I think everyone came away a winner. The Ilkley Lads came away winners too. The Lads all managed to buy what we were looking for from the many and varied set of trade stands and, what's more, our Marignano 1515 game won best demo of show. Huzzah! Usually you get your name put on a plaque, or you get given a certificate for your winning efforts; it came as something of a shock to be given a brown envelope with a wad of prize money in it! Prize money in cash - I approve! - and it's already destined to be spent on the shiny Napoleonic stuff.

BTW, if you are wondering where I've been for the last couple of months the answer is varied. I've been busy with work, I've been on holiday, and my camera broke after years of good service. I've also had something of a health scare (involving lots of hospital trips) which threw me for six: I was given the all clear just last Friday, so no need to worry. A new camera has been obtained (used here) and work has been caught up with and is back to normal, so regular posting will now begin again.

Anyway, here are some shots of the Derby game. We fought it twice, neither time to a complete finish, starting afresh on each day, so these shots are best described as mixed bunch.
The initial set up from behind the French. It clearly shows the four distinct formations. In the distance the cavalry screen led by Fleuranges, then Bourbon's French vanguard holding the earthwork, then the mainward of Landsknechts and cavalry under King Francis I, and lastly Alencon's mixed rearward formed up behind the main French camp.

Against all of that lot, the ferocious Swiss and Sforza's cavalry and guns. Directly in their path are the light cavalry of Fleurange's.

Another shot of the French position. Bourbon is deployed in two lines; one immediately behind the earthwork (Gascons and guns under Pedro Navarro), and their supporting pike, and cavalry under Bourbon in the second rank. This is the area where most of the fighting takes place. The village of  Zivido (centre) is usually the high watermark of the Swiss attack.
The three Swiss pike squares supported by arquebusier and a couple of knots of halberdiers. The latter are essential for the Swiss to make anything of a game out of the scenario for the Swiss.
The Swiss break into the French position during Saturday's game.
The game reset for Sunday.
A shot of some Landsknechts - because there should always be one.
And some Gendarmes. The French fielded 14 squadrons of heavy cavalry in this scenario - there should have been even more. I had to substitute several units of light cavalry (mostly crossbows) to make the numbers up to 10,000 horse - the organisational 'lance' structure allows for this [?] at a pinch.
Height of the action during Sunday's game.
Anyway, onwards and upwards.


Chrisfigurines said...

Its always a treat to see your Renaissance collection, truly magnificent in quality and size!

Jonathan Freitag said...

Stunning layout with wonderful colors.

Phil said...

An awesome display of gorgeous terrain and painted units/miniatures - marvelous collection!

Caliban said...

Beautiful as always

Oli said...

Great stuff, a really impressive sight. Your collection has always been an inspiration for my 16th century armies

Phil said...

Most impressive pictures!

Simon Miller said...

A terrific looking game, James! Your Renaissance collection is stunning.

Steve J. said...

Well the table looks amazing as one would expect. Well done on winning the best demo game of the show. Maybe one day I'll take a trip up to the show as it does look rather good from pics i've seen.

Ray Rousell said...

Smashin' looking game James!!!

Ratmaul said...

Nice to see you back with such magnificent show!

Der Alte Fritz said...

Congrats on the game award. It was well deserved for such a gorgeous scenario

Gonsalvo said...

Magnificent looking... as usual, James! Good show, in more than one way!

Phokion1 said...

Amazing and inspiring...

Bedford said...

Congrats on the win for your troupe James :>)

A great looking game and I'm not surprised it in that it walked away with a prize.

Funnily enough being from Durham and having been a former resident of Edinburgh I've never been down to Derby show either. you may just have tipped the balance for me and I may just head down there with the Hastings demo next year if there is room.


rct75001 said...

As always your games look spectacular and seem to be a lot of fun. Most of all they are inspirational.

Great to see a new post also and to hear that things are fine. Was getting a little concerned without posts for so long bt such is the natire of the internet there is no wasy way of checking.


David said...

A lovely looking game I thought! Glad your health is restored!

Sgt Steiner said...

A visual treat for us and must have been special to actually play

caveadsum1471 said...

Fantastic looking renaissance armies, inspirational stuff

Anonymous said...

Superb stuff
Can I ask about the Landsknecht flags on the left in the 7th picture? What do they represent please


Most of the flags on the left are made up using common heraldic badges (like the dog), some are Italian and French from the period, at least one or two are proper Landsknecht banners. All of my flags are removable and interchangeable - they are on 3/32 aluminium or brass tubing simply slotted over piano wire. I had enough French flags for the pike square on the right, but not enough for the one on the left so I used what I had 'on the rack'. I have lots of Landsknecht flags but I couldn't use them because they are so tied with Landsknecht use by the Imperialists and would have looked completely wrong for French service, most of the ones I used here were also wrong, but at least you had to ask the question.

Anonymous said...

I've copied your idea of interchangeable flags having seen it in an earlier post - I was asking because I'm looking for designs that can be utilised for French service though I'm miles away from having enough troops for a game yet!

Scheck said...

A wonderful looking table - this is so inspiring! Also the the age of Landsknechts with their numberless flags.
Great, thank you for this post!!