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Montag, 1. Mai 2023

Show Report: Tabletop Knights Gaming Day 2023


The past weekend I attended the Tabletop Knights' Gaming Day 2023. After 3 years I returned to lovely Marktl in Bavaria.

(where the sheep seldom wear spectacles)

Right, up to this month I attended one show in the past 3 years. I paid some visits and so on, but no bigger shows until Harucon 2 weeks ago. That was huge by my standards, but I couldn't really write a relevant report for it, because it was a general "nerd" convention with no wargaming. I did run a painting workshop which proved to be very popular, but apart from that there it little gaming-relevant to report from there. I did learn a ton about competitive cosplay though.

Anyway, the past weekend I drove over to Germany to attend the large wargames show organized by Tabletop Knights. It's been on hiatus for the past years due to Covid reasons, but now we're back. 

Friday: driving there, setting up, dinner with the organizers and other vendors/demo game runners.

Saturday at 9 the show started. As usual it took place on several levels - the ground floor saw the usual 30/40k tournament, the galery had a Summoners tournament. In between, on the first level (the main hall) we had several demo tables and vendors. The organizers placed me and two more pro painters on the big stage, where we belong. :-P Also, the painting competition entries were on display on the stage.

Several participants were delayed by a few hours due to Autobahn issues, but by around 10, things were in full swing.

By the way, thanks very much to Santa Pile (she took all those amazing people-in-motion pictures. Have a look at her pictures here: and here: . She knows what she's doing.) and Yellow with Hobby for supplying photos for this report. I had barely any time during the day to take any. The ones I took are not that great either, because for some reason I left the proper camera at home and took cellphone pictures.

The show is rather focused on very contemporary Fantasy/Sci-Fi, and overall it's fun to see how many games of that genre start emerging in Germany now. Between The Exalted Ones, Summoners and Dockfighters, there's several things going on right now.

Now Dockfighters is an interesting project. Sat in an alternative 1948 in which WW2 never happened, but Germany had split back up into several smaller states who wage war basically over who has the best beer. This war is carried out by means of sponsored star-dogfighters who compete in aerial combat.

It's got funky fantasy-1940s airplanes and airships and plays swiftly and innovatively. Of course most of us will instantly remember Crimson Skies and that's not unintended by the developers.

Another demo table featured a very interesting project I hadn't known of to date - a small German publisher/rules developer named Mechworld are working on a new version of Full Thrust

They work closely with the original author (and head honcho at Ground Zero Games) Jon Truffley It's not quite finished yet, but there was a demo table with all-new snazzy designs and so on. 

Really something to keep an eye on. German- and English language releases are planned.

The day also featured the mandatory Lord of the Rings and Star Wars Legion tables.

Yeah, the above photos are by Santa Pile. Wargamers are a tricky subject for photography; these pictures are exceptionally cool.

There even was a Warmaster table!

A bit unusual for the TTKs' Gaming Day (but HIGHLY welcome) there were two historical tables. A large Napoleonics table featuring an 28mm battle in the peninsular war.

Black Powder, large table, pretty snazzy terrain and little extra bits like cattle, supply wagons, and so on. Shame I didn't get to talk to the two gentlemen who ran the game.

The other historical game on display was Bolt Action Korea. Not uninteresting either.

Kube, who I set up a lot of tables with on Friday prior to the show, and who is a very nice guy, ran a demo game of The Drowned Earth:

He's part of Ad Arma gaming club who got their own Ad Army Con coming up next weekend (May 6th)!

Roll-the-Dice is a fixture at all these events for years now. This time he brought more staff than ever before, and apart from selling high-quality wares to the wargamey-inclined, they ran two demo tables. A Song of Ice and Fire and Carnevale:

Other vendors included Urban Artworx showing some 3d printed terrain as well as; a wargames store in Pöndorf, with the usual attached games club and some attractive show specials on offer.

When it comes to vendors, Rooster Models is a fixture at Gaming Day:

By now he has a staggerlingly wide range of MDF kits and other bits and pieces on offer.

I saved one of the highlights for last though - the Mario Kart table. A little convesion of Gaslands. If ever there was a rules set suited for an adaptation it was this. And the presentation was top notch too.

Of course there also was the traditional painting competition:

The winners in each of the three categories on display.

What struck me was that there bascially were no GW systems tables exept for the LotR one (not counting Warmaster). None of the current "small scale AoS" games going, no kill team, boarding action and so on. I mean overall there was a huge majority of skirmish games of the "warband-y brawl-y" level, as I tend to call it, but all were different.

Overall, the variety was really, really good this year, and it seems like everybody was happy with how the day turned out.

As is tradition I have barely any pictures of my own table. Here's two of the glass showcase I bring to shows (with the cables having gotten a bit loose on the trip to the show. ehem.)

One new thing for this season of shows (apart from the new business cards and a logo shirt I'm wearing at the shows) is the little display screen, showing photos of figures I painted in the past and which for obvious reasons I don't have any more. It went over well.

Throughout the day I chatted with people about painting, gaming, and all of that good stuff. Special thanks to Garbosch and Oleg who dropped by for a good chat, Tobi-Wan who showed a lot of stamina standing there, looking me over the shoulder as I painted and tried to explain what I'm doing, the organizers of the show, and all the other participants. I didn't chat to as many people as I would have liked to. It was great seeing some old and new faces alike.

One more really cool shot by Santa Pile. I'll ask her if I can use it for ads.The picture also shows one of the little mishaps that happened to me - I forgot water cups! That's a first. Luckily I had the top of a spray can at hand.

Right, that's it for my show report. I'm sure I forgot to wrtie about one or two of the tables. Please let me know and I'll add a bit about them! Apart from that, I hope you enjoyed the show report. Next show will be excellent Austrian Salute on the 3rd of June at Gasthaus Leobendorf. Smaller than Tabletop Knights' Gaming Day, and a bit more in a historical/wargamey direction. Really looking forward to that one!

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