There are two main dates in the Austrian wargamer's calendar which are to be attended without any excuses: Austrian Salute in March and our only event for historical tabltop gaming: VIVAT, taking place in October/November. See my report of the third coming of VIVAT which took place on November 14th 2015 after the jump!
For over a year the plan for a huge Waterloo game - of course going along with the 200th anniversary of the famous battle - was being worked on. With 28mm figures no less, at a ratio of roughly 1:30 (1 miniature depicting 30 men). The exact plan changed a few times since then, but the ultimate goal was achieved at VIVAT and was made the centre piece of the event.
Around 8:30 in the morning we started showing up at the location, which had changed from Zinnfigurenwelt Katzelsdorf to Alexander - Das Restaurant. The new location is more compact than the previous arrangement, but it's more convenient having the whole event in one big room rather than alinged along an existing museum setup in two separate buildings.
The clever folks doing the Waterloo table had set it up the night before and the first impression of the setup was nothing short of impressive. Still, there are more than enough work still left to be done.
The look of the table was massively improved with flock and sand strewn across the felt base, as well as the addition of shrubbery and such. In the back you can see a big poster with the order of battle and a map of the historical battle being affixed to the wall.
My tiny contribution to the table quickly found their place amongst their comrades and patiently waited for their baptism of fire.
I brought the usual painting and display setup. Lots of of various periods, the painting rig, business cards and so on.
The setup went pretty smoothly, and at 10:00 sharp the head organizer Nikfu spoke a few official opening words.
Now for the tables. Displaying Condottiere warfare in the 16th century using Kings of War rules:
After one demo game table had dropped out on short notice it was swiftly replaced with a Chain of Command table which will look very familiar to you if you follow my battle reports on various internet fora and skirmishwargaming.com:
Interestingly enough, and much to my own joy because Chain of Command is a brilliant set of rules, the table drew a lot of attention and for the first two hours of the show I didn't even get a chance to take decent pictures of it between people gathering around it and of course me being busy chatting with people about painting things.
The table depicted the Northern African theatre in mid-1941, pitting Virago's Deutsches Afrikakorps against the British army. The minis for the Brits were supplied by myself. Many thanks to Virago for supplying pretty much everything else and running the table and Frank Shandy, who on short notice was activated and ran the table until noon. Have a look at his excellent blog here: https://wargamingraft.wordpress.com/
|Using any of the sparse cover, a German Gruppe advances.|
|The beginning of the second game|
Kudos too to the guys who sat down to have a game. They really played from start to finish over the course of a few hours. Many people were impressed with the rules and maybe we helped Spreading the Lard as they say.
|Gasp, a tank!|
|Panzergrenadiers on Overwatch. An awfully familiar sight.|
Another table which until the day I hadn't seen before: Trojan War in 15mm using the Field of Glory rules:
Excellent stuff. I never played Field of Glory myself, but the sheet amount of chariots and all the colours are a sight to behold. I think deep down everyone wants to do chariot warfare. The problems of course are the relatively limited periods you can do with them and the fact that in 28mm this will get expensive fast. 15mm probably is the best choice there.
Now for the SAGA table:
Seriously good stuff. The guys started out with a 4 players game for control of the river crossing.
I supplied the terrain for this table (except for the monolith and the trees), including the GF9 rivers which I had just finished repainting for the occasion
You may recognize these Franks as well. I built and painted them for one of the guys just a few months ago. :-)
The second game was an introductionary game for a new player.
Then there was the centre piece of course - the Battle of Waterloo 1815:
|First shots are fired|
|...and then some more. 'We need more smoke!'|
|In the centre you can see my brave 27th advance.|
|Early on the day a few gallons of coffee were required to get everyone going.|
If you ever had something to do with Napoleonic wargamers you will know that it's impossible to agree on a set of rules to use. So everybody was told to agree on General de Brigade.
|'Come at me, frére'|
I heard something about 6000 minis being on the table that day.
Of course such a game is impossible to finish in just seven hours. Around 5 in the afternoon, the set end of the event, things didn't look too rosey for the French anyway and things were packed up. Before that however, a picture of the commanders with their troops:
Once again VIVAT was a great day out. Always a pleasure chatting with friends, customers and fellow wargamers in general. The wargaming scene in this region isn't exactly huge and going historicals-only without having a tournament either automatically makes this event a niche thing. That's fine though, as the people who attend are a bunch of people who are very dedicated to the history and gaming and rather unbothered by details such as winning or points systems. Very laid-back. The new location works well, even though it's not too spacious. I had an excellent space with my display cabinet and painting table, but unfortunately no space to actually sit down and paint.
Just like the years before S-Games were at the scene, with a huge pile of Perrys, Saga and Warlord Games boxes and blisters (they also snuck in a bunch of Battle of Calth boxes). They seem to have sold a lot as well; especially the gamers with the largest Napoleonic armies bought most of the Napoleonic stuff. Here's my loot, by the way:
Yup, great event. After everything was packed up and back in various car trunks it was time for chats and drinks. One of the major perks of having the event right next to a bar/restaurant. Thanks to the organization crew, the guys who ran the tables and everyone who attended on the day, Very much looking forward to next year's VIVAT!