About Me

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London, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
A mythical beast - a female wargamer! I got back into wargaming in the summer of 2011 after a very, very long break and haven't looked back since. I must admit that I seem to be more of a painter/collector than a gamer, but do hope to correct that at some point in the near future. My gaming interests span the ages, from the "Biblical" era all the way through to the far future. I enjoy games of all sizes, from a handful of figures up to major battles (see my megalomaniacally sized Choson Korean and Russian Seven Years War armies).

Monday, 30 September 2013

Back from "Derby"

Well, I did get back last night but I was too tired to post so I've waited until today.

On Friday evening 5 of us from the club met up for a veggie curry (which was very nice) before heading to St Pancras for our train. At the other end, after a cab ride to our B&B in Melbourne, 4 of us popped down to the pub for a drink or two. On the way we found that a new curry house had opened right next to the pub, so we booked a table for our Saturday evening meal.

Saturday morning saw an early start to have breakfast and get to Donnington Park. We got there in plenty of time to sort ourselves out and discover who our first opponents would be. We'd been drawn against France B. Do not let the "B" fool you - these guys are probably some of the top players in Europe (let alone France) and would be very highly placed in world rankings.


I'll be doing AARs of all the games over the course of this week, so I'll leave it there for now and skip to the results.

The Individual Results

The Team Results

We were rather worried going into the final round as we were in 9th place. How could we uphold our reputation, being placed so highly? We were even at risk of going up into 8th or maybe even 7th place! In the end we did manage to drop down to 10th place, but that was still 2 places higher than our target *sob*. Our heads hung in shame.

I had 3 games that were very enjoyable (even if I did lost 2 of them). Unfortunately I had one game where my opponent was, errmmmm, "difficult". Yes, I'll go with "difficult" as a description of him. I'm sure some of you reading this will know the type I mean.

Just to give you some idea of how big the tournament section of the show was, here are some pics:

I would guess that the tournament area took up about 40% of the overall floor space with the rest being for the trade stands and demo or participation games. Unfortunately, I didn't get much chance apart from an hour or so on the Saturday lunchtime to take a look around. There was one advantage to that though - I didn't buy very much. In fact, my only purchase was two Vallejo paints.

My Impressions


It is very much a huge barn and the lighting wasn't great for photography (almost all my pics seem to have a green tinge) but fine for the gaming. It did get quite noisy at times but not enough to be a distraction when concentrating on the games. Very occasionally we could hear planes flying over or go-karts on the adjacent track. I think the very high ceilings and air replenishment from open doors helped to eliminate the game(r)y smell you often get at shows and tournaments.

The only toilets I can vouch for the state of were the ladies loos down at the tournament end, which were clean and well stocked with toilet paper and hand towels. I remember that there were complaints about the gents toilets last year but as I obviously don't use them I have no idea if the problems had been resolved for this year's show.

Catering was about typical in cost and quality for venues like this (somewhat expensive, not particularly high quality).

As I only had a brief tour of the trade show, I can't comment too much on it. I did get the impression that they may have tried to cram too much into the allotted area which meant that the walking spaces between were quite narrow. There did seem to be more space around the demo and participation games.

The Tournament

The organisation for this was superb. Tables were all covered with suitable cloths and there was adequate space between rows for people to move about and watch games if they wished. Each tournament had an admin table centrally with a laptop and printer to allow results to be entered, collated and results and next round draws to be printed out within a few minutes of the final game ending. I didn't see all the prizes and trophies, but what I saw looked to be fairly nice.

Meet-Ups and Loot

Over the weekend I did get to meet a few bloggers:

It was great to finally meet all of you, even if we didn't get much time to chat. I know that a couple of others were there, and I'm sorry I missed you. Maybe next year or at some other event?

As I said earlier, I didn't buy very much at all. I did bring back a couple of other things though.

The Hastings Collection was a free sample being handed out to FoG:AM players (and possibly some others) on the Sunday. There were various different ones handed out. Mine appears to be a Saxon housecarl taking a well-earned breather on a pile of cut logs. The casting looks very nice. The company they are from is Cosimo Auricchio.

The other bag of figures are some AW French Indian War coureurs. Unfortunately they aren't for me to keep - they are my painting contribution for the Bloggers for Charity game next year. Loki gave them to me on the Sunday morning.


  1. It was nice to have met you Tamsin. I was coming back for a chat on the Sunday morning but saw you engaged in rather lively debate with the T̶W̶A̶T̶ see I said it!!! Seeing this brought back memories of tournament gamers and the reasons I stopped playing for a long time.

  2. Great to meet you as well at long last.


  3. Curry and wargaming that sounds like a good weekend to me! I really hope you did enjoy it the writing style seems to imply that you did.

    As for the "Difficult" player, "there are ants at every picnic!"

  4. When I saw the names of France B I understood what you meant. Those guys are very good.

  5. Andy - that wasn't the word I had in mind. More like one that begins with an A, ends with an E and has an E, H, L, O, R & S between, but not necessarily in that order! So far, he's the only opponent like that in 4 tournaments - everyone else has been great, even when beating me hand over fist.

    Ian - likewise, especially after Comrade Trotsky stopped me attending last year preventing us meeting back then.

    @ Clint - I did enjoy the weekend (apart from the Sunday morning). As for himself, yup, there are some like that which is a damned shame for the rest of us.

  6. That's a lot of gamers in your photo. Glad it was fun. I've run across a "difficult" gamer or two in my time. Most of our peers are not that way and sometimes we can "encourage" them to leave the game early; not in a tournament though. .

  7. Two decent curries and good company. Not a bad result by anybody's standards.

    It's always a shame when you come across 'difficult' players. They can certainly take the shine off any event and give all tournament players a bad reputation.

    Roughly which number on that list was he?


  8. Well it sounds like you had a great weekend anyway Tamsin!

  9. I've never seen a shot like that of a tournament. Really gives me a feeling of how important these are. Looking forward to your batreps!

  10. Wow, I didn't realise Derby was so tournament-heavy. Glad you had a good time.

  11. @ Seb - yup, they were very good players. Guillaume was a great opponent and we had a fun game and a good chat before, during and after.

    @ Mike - I wonder if he can actually find anyone to play him outside of the tournaments. If he acted like that at most clubs, he'd soon run out of people willing to give him a game.

    @ Gary - both curries were very nice indeed, although the Saturday night ones seemed a lot milder than they should have been.
    As for Mr Difficult, I think his identity will become obvious when I post the AARs.

    @ Ray - apart from that one game, it was great :)

    @ Anne - the tournament scene is quite important to some gamers. I'm not particularly into competitions, so only do team and doubles tourneys.

    @ Phil - it hosts the "Worlds Teams" for a lot of rules - FoG, FoGR, DBMM, Flames, WAB, Impetus, WRG 6th and 7th, Bolt Action, Armati, moderns (not sure what rules) plus some smaller games. Some of the tourneys had more teams than others - I think FoG and FoGR probably accounted for about a third of the games between them. Some of the tourneys were individual rather than team.

  12. Sounds like you had a great weekend.

    Cheers, Ross

  13. When you say "difficult", do you mean like Ray?

  14. It's jerks like your difficult opponent that makes me not want to even appear in tournament areas at conventions. Yes, I have met a few of them in my day, and they ruin it for me. Give me a nice friendly game any day.

    I really must get over to the UK for a show one of these years. I would enjoy very much meeting a lot of you from blogland and TMP. Can't make Salute in 2014, as my travel budget for the first part of the year will be eaten up by a trip to Paris for the memsahib and I for our 20th anniversary, but maybe Derby.

  15. @ Fran - you might find ray annoying, but he isn't in this guy's league.

    @ Andrew - you missed 2 x much there!

    @ J Womack - if only there was some way of preventing them attending. The only way I can think of would be for all their opponents to refuse to play them, but then they would get a "Bye" and their opponent would score zero for that game, so the offender could end up highly placed.

    I wouldn't recommend "Derby" as a UK show to visit from overseas. If you are looking for one later in the year, then Colours or Warfare would be better.