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Sonntag, 2. Oktober 2016

Show Report: VIVAT 2016

Saturday, October the 1st saw the annual return of VIVAT, Austria's dedicated wargames event for historical miniatures games.

After 2015's theme of the grand Waterloo mega game this year's show took a step back to more numerous, smaller tables. 

As every year the event started with a rousing speech by Nikfu and Virago's blessings.

However, the fact that last year Waterloo had been reduced to British and French troops battling it out was taken account of. On one of the larger tables a big Prussian attack was carried out as an aftermath to last year's mega game.

The rules were General de Brigade again of course.

Prussian reserves!

As I've gotten into Napoleonics more seriously over the past months I had a special interest in taking a longer look at the French minis. I have never seen this many Cuirassiers on one table. The collections of these guys are quite impressive (all 28mm).

The theme of this year's show was the American Civil War. Despite all the variety in tables, two of them were dedicated to the ACW. The one which caught my eye first was the one on which a game of Altar of Freedom took place, with 6mm figures. 

Great looking table. I do love 6mm battles and Altar of Freedom (of which I had heard, but never played it myself) sounds like a rather cool and elegant system. The figures displayed are all by Adler.

It was also a great opportunity to see his kind of 6mm woods in action. I had planned to do my 6mm forests this way as well, and seeing them on this table made me realize that this is the way to go.

Not quite ACW, but on a related note: Dead Man's Hand.

Dead Man's Hand, published by Great Escape Games, recently got a German language release. This gave the already beloved system yet another push in popularity in Austria/Germany/Switzerland.

It's a typical game of the time: skirmish-y, just a handful of figures, extremely well supported by 4Ground with their Old West buildings (one of the few periods in which mostly bare MDF actually work), gaming mat underneath and all. It drew a lot of attention and people had loads of fun. Good times.

Another table which saw action pretty much throughout the whole day was the Axis and Allies table. 

The naval battles version was switched to the aerial combat game by the late afternoon. This table was presented by the Society of Historical Simulations (GHS). He also had the Great War boardgame based on Memoir'44 and with minis by PSC which I would have loved to see. Maybe next year.

The other big table, apart from the Napoleonics one, and the big ACW one had a big game of Kugelhagel in 28mm going on.

One of the very few wargames rules from Germany. It covers the horse&musket period and is rather popular.

It turned out to be a very hard fought battle over a narrow battlefield between forests and a little village. Lots of back and forth in the centre and attempts of out-maneuvering on the flanks.

For the first time for VIVAT we actually had some tables outside. The weather was great throughout the day, so my painting table and the Chain of Command table were set up outside the main hall. Which is a decision I regreted not once. It was great.

Of course the Chain of Command table drew in the crowds, just like last year's Chain of Command table did too.

Granted, not just because of the great rules used, but also due to the table looking stunning.

This was during the set-up phase. don't mind the trees falling over at that point.
This year the Chain of Command presentation had gone from early Western desert 1941 in 15mm to the North of France in 1944 and 28mm.

The table was set up and run by Virago (who also is on the organization committee of VIVAT) and over the course of the day introduced several people to the magic that is Chain of Command.

I contributed in the shape of my 28mm Germans and minor terrain details, buildings were supplied by Nikfu.

I did my best to finish a Panzer III and another SdKfz251 in time for the show, but they didn't see any action on the day. Aww.

As usual with these events I didn't do a whole lot of painting on the day and much more time was spent chatting.

Amongst the usual things (Napoleonics, American Civil War, WW2, Dark Age, ...) I brought some of my Samurai to look at this time:

For the third year in a row S-Games (now with great new store just south of Vienna!) brought a lot of merchandise on the day. Interestingly enough, about 90% plastics. Signs of the times I guess.

Interestingly enough, about 90% plastics. Definitely signs of the times. And of course easier to transport.

On the whole it was a very nice VIVAT again. Dialed back a bit from last year's it seemed, but more spacious.

It's just one of my favourite events throughout the year. It's by no means big, but this is also due to the relatively small community of historical gamers out here. All the greater to see most of the guys all in one place once a year, with new faces turning up as well.

Apart from that it gives people an event to build up to, get the collections out, neaten them up, work on tables and scenarios and just have a good day.

So once again, thanks to the organizers, the contributors, the people who provide location and the guests for making VIVAT happen every year.

The people in this picture don't agree on many things (far left and right only, of course!),
but they raise their thumbs for VIVAT!

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