Well I am home safe and sound from my exploits Across the Pond. Had a great trip, saw a lot of neat things, and met a lot of really nice people. I even managed to get a few games in while overseas, attended a gaming show, UK-style, and had one or two cups of tea. I might have had a beer or two as well. Oh, and I bought a few interesting things...
First off, the games. On our first night, Tamsin and her mate Simon hosted the boys and I (that's my son Dane and my non-biological son, Zane) to a large game of Gruntz. We all had a good time, I have a better understanding of the rules, and they introduced me to a really fun method of activation. I will give it a go myself sometime. Best of all, my corporate forces managed to damage the Crunchy outpost before those do-gooder UN types could stop me, helping my corporation lay claim to the planet (I won).
A week later we were in Weymouth, home of Martin Goddard and Peter Pig. Martin's working on revamping his rules for Vietnam, and I played two nights with him and the boys and some of his gaming mates. My record was 1 and 1, playing the wily Viet Cong both times. I won't spill the beans on it, because I don't know what all Martin is keeping secret, but it was a lot of fun. The rules are quite easy to pickup and play, and a game can be completed in about two hours, really.
In between games, I attended the Joy of Six show in Sheffield. The Joy of Six, as the name implies, focuses on 6mm size/scale gaming. I saw some really interesting things being done. One of the most interesting was a modification of the popular SAGA rules, using stands of multiple 6mm figures in place of the individual 28mm figures the rules expect. I don't think any other rules were changed, but I am not sure about that. What it did do was give a visually appealing game that could be played in a small area and still look like real raiding parties. I was strongly tempted to buy some Dark Ages figures - and still may.
What did I buy? A few books - including reprints of both the Instructions for American Soldiers in Great Britain and German plans for the invasion of Britain. But as far as figures go, I picked up some Baccus 6mm Imperial French for Franco-Prussian War, destined to become Imperial French VSF troops, some Baccus Highlanders (VSF British) and Mahdists (VSF Martians). I also bought some 6mm sci-fi buildings for OGRE, some of Brigade's Small Scale buildings for Dystopian Wars. Finally, I bought a batch of Peter Pig's 15mm US Marines for some FOW, and a few packs of Peter Pig colonials that I muled back for a friend.
Went to Scotland, wandered about the Old Town and the Castle. Drank an Irn Bru. Went to Loch Ness in the Highlands. Saw part of Hadrian's Wall at Segudunum in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Had a Nucky Brown (Newcastle Brown Ale). Went to the Royal Armories in both Leeds and the Tower of London. Saw both the Scottish and British Royal Treasures (Crown Jewels). Walked across Tower Bridge. Ate a good scotch egg. Went to the IWM again (noticed their WWI exhibit's SMLE was a Mk. III* from 1944 made by Lithgow in Australia - that's not cricket at all!) Saw the changing of the guard at Buckingham in their red coats (Grenadier Guards). Explored the East End on a Jack the Ripper walking tour. Rode the London Eye in daylight. Had some really good Chinese and Indian food, some really good Thai food, some really good English food, some really good beer and cider, haggis (which is quite good, actually), more beer, a lot of bacon rolls with brown sauce, plenty of crisps, fish and chips, Mr Whippy ice cream...
I will post pictures when I get them downloaded off the phone.