Saturday, 3 October 2015

MOAB 2015



Join me if you will on my photo essay about MOAB 2015. No not MOAB the daisy cutter bomb used to such effect in Gulf War 1, MOAB the Sydney Southern Battlegamers annual convention / show. And when I say 'photo essay' that's just a pretentious way of saying there will be more pictures than words. Mainly 'cos I want to beat Kaptain Kobold to the punch, which I should do this time as he's putting on participation games throughout the whole 3 day event, whereas I rather selfishly just went along to socialise, buy and sell, and indulge in participation games ...(No - too late, he's already posted!)



We may as well start with the good Kaptain, as he was staging a rather popular game of 'Machinas', which I've never played but seems to me to be the wargaming equivalent of the old TV series 'The Dukes of Hazzard'....


I daresay theres more to it than outwitting Boss Hogg and Daisy Duke's legs though....


And it certainly seemed to generate much excitement... So perhaps theres a dash of Mad Max in there too - very timely!


Other participation games which caught my eye was a couple of beautifully staged Bolt Action games, one set at a factory site located in a jungle clearing...


And the other at a U Boat base somewhere in France (well, probably La Rochelle, L'Orient or Brest...)
 
 


The only participation game I took part in was a wonderfully presented Bolt Action Tank War game, set in a cover heavy NW Europe, featuring 3 US Shermans taking on 2 Panthers. I already have a little experience with BATW, but wanted to see how it was done properly, and learnt some helpful tips and tricks, including how reverse works. The first two brewups were mine, a photo opportunity for Kaptain Kobold who gleefully comment that my tanks burn wherever I play! However, I did eventually win the game by stalking the Panther with side shots. Thanks to my courteous and informative hosts from the Southern Battlegamers.


Another very professionally presented game I saw was of the French and Indian wars, and I think you'll agree this Cigar Box battlemat has been used to great effect. In particular this high quality fleece drapes very well over round hills. Given the costs of US mail I am pleased to hear that these are available in Australasia from Shayne at Campaign Books and Games Logistics although some of the more versatile ones, just fields or grasslands, without roads and rivers, aren't available just now.

Of course one of the best things about a wargames show is the change to catch up with mates. It really is a great hobby when you literally can't walk 5 yards with bumping into an old acquaintance. It was good to see that Matt, the genial giant proprietor of The Hall of Heroes (HoH) Campbelltown, my very FLGS - (Friendly Local Games Store) - is up and about despite a very bad ankle fracture, thanks to the use of an ingenious scooter thingy - much to the envy of his young daughter! As always the HoH was out in force at the show, giving the chance to stock up on another box of lovely Battlefront hard plastic Comets - and no I haven't painted the first box yet! I also picked up a 'must have' copy of October's WI. Two things - since when is October's issue available in Australia at the start of the relevant month!?! Secondly I had to have it since it has an article by Phil Yates about his Team Yankee game! Matt passed on the fact that, whilst the rules are ready for release, they will probably wait until the models are ready before releasing the complete package, hopefully for Christmas.....



I shan't list everyone I bumped into, but it was great to catch up briefly with Scott, who the blogosphere will know as Trailape, and whose blog is linked over on the right. Scott is out of the Army now after many years good hard service, and it was great to see that civvy street is treating him well, he certainly seemed to be having a good time at the show. A great Aussie wargaming 'larger than life' character who also seems to know everyone!



I was please to see that there was a large Napoleonic game going on, with masses of beautifully painted 15mm AB Russian and French minis on the table. I tried to identify the battle from the layout, but failed - perhaps it was a generic scenario! The rules appeared to be a 'Commit the Guard' by GT publishing.
 
 
I should have asked, but the guys were totally immersed. Interesting to see the use of a hex based system in this scale. Didn't seem to detract from the overall look though, I'm sure you'll agree!


The Flames of War tournament, organised by Nigel, had I think 50 entrants, and as you can see much attention and effort had been put into the table layouts.


Nigel mentioned that he was thinking of also organising a Team Yankee competition next year, set at 100 points, and I volunteered then and there!


A good variety of terrain was on show for this competition.


Up in the various club rooms other competitions were being held on this 1st day of the 3 day event. The Bolt Action competition also had some great looking games going on...


With a variety of theatres and terrain on show...


And some lovely looking models...


There was also a DBA competition going on, but the participants looked to be taking things very seriously indeed, so I didn't like to intrude with my camera...

 

A thoughtful touch was the boardgames library, with games and a separate, quieter room set aside for those who wanted to try their hand. 
 

Of course no sane bloggist would take his camera into the heaving, foul smelling mosh pit that is the bring and buy, so just a few photos of  some of my bargains, which I was able to fund by selling off some of my older, metal 15mm tanks as I steadily replace them with the lovely new hard plastic offerings from PSC and Battlefront. 


This modern US infantry company will be converted; either Europeanised for TEAM YANKEE with some dashes of black and green to their choc-chip camo for MERDC, and a few patches of green and brown flock; or with a smattering of OG shirts and trousers for Arab and Israeli infantry for Fate of A Nation games. Or maybe both, I don't think my TEAM YANKEE force will need 3 Mech platoons, not for a 100 point force anyhow. Yes as far as 15mm infantry goes, I'm afraid I really am that slap dash when it comes to accepting pressed men!


This purchase, for the princely sum of $4, was pure nostalgia - this Airfix set of 'Modern' British infantry was one of my earliest toys, used for Northern Ireland CT skirmish games, complete with cereal packet buildings. 'We wuz poor, but we wuz 'appy'!

One thing I've noticed about the great Australian climate, and I can whinge now I'm a citizen, is that second hand books, a pleasure I over-indulged in back in the old country, tend not to last too well, and can become quite mouldy and smelly. However, and I have no stake in this, I've noticed that Osprey books seem to last quite well in the 'pre-loved' books stakes, but often keep their price accordingly. So I was thrilled with this slather of Americana at rock bottom prices:


The bulk of my splurging though, to my pleasant surprise, was on Battlefront plastic AFV kits. I expected everyone to be offloading the metal and resin versions as the new plastic kits came out, but I was able to pick up virtually pristine boxes of Pz IVs and SU100s, sprues completely intact. Together with a PSC Pz38t box, I picked up new from the nice chaps at War and Peace games, that should keep me busy for a while! 
Thanks to all at the Southern Battlegamers club, and their hardworking WAGs, for a great show - and for the die! A great day out, and a wonderful start to the austral summer!

18 comments:

  1. "No - too late, he's already posted!"

    On the plus-side you were probably sober when you wrote your post - I spent a day getting dehydrated at MOAB and then had the best part of a bottle of wine when I got home. I barely remember writing my post :)

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    1. Reasonably sober - by long weekend standards...

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  2. Fantastic pictures, thanks for sharing...love the French Base, of course!

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    1. Thanks Phil, yes a lovely setting for a game.

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  3. Fantastic event and great to finaly catch up Scott.

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    1. Yes best part of the show is catching up with mates!

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  4. Good stuff and it was great to catch up with you ever so briefly!

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    1. Great to catch up with you Jason!

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  5. Very interesting my Dearest Sparkles.

    I hope you didn't forget the long haired brigadier in your purchases. I'm sure she would appreciate a nice StuG IV or two ... coz only a cheap unimaginative b*st*rd would get her a common StuG III

    8O)

    Salute
    von Peter himself

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    1. Erm....well on getting home I BBQ'd a T Bone and a Chorizo snag for her, mixed up a celeriac and carrot salad and split a bottle of Chardonnay with her...what more can a girl want?

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    2. "what more can a girl want?"

      If you're still asking that question at this stage of life, you're in serious trouble :-D

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  6. Great show and lovely pictures.

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    1. Thanks Batek, glad you enjoyed it!

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  7. Some very nice photos....only one photo ruined by a "Andrew" type sitting pointing away at a table with a silly smile on his face :)

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    1. I took that photo, so you can blame me :)

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    2. Yes I usually spare punters pictures of my fizzog, but it was the only photo of that BATW game I had access to!

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  8. Ah, I know those 'serious DBA' types, it's always fun to get a few beers in and play for fun.. and win ;-) Nice scores, especially the 1/32 'Modern British' - very much my 70's and 80's vintage. The actual sculpts stand up really well to the test of time.

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    1. Thanks Doug, yes they are still pretty good. Doubt I'll do anything useful with them, but its nice to have them patrolling around my 'platoon harbour'!

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