24th-26th October 2008 BLAM!
It all started as a mad idea on the Lead Adventure forum. 'Suppose we sort out a venue and invite forum members from around the world to come and play games with us,' said Malamute one day in early January. 'Splendid,' replied everybody and the list of who to invite was drawn up forthwith.
The criteria to be included was pretty simple, British Lead Adventurers were invited to submit their ideas for games they would put on and, once the volunteers had been roped in, everyone suggested who they would like to invite from afar. Every guest proposed was contacted and approached with the idea, most agreed to come along.
After that we all went off and started beavering away on our games; all, that is, except Malamute. He had to sort out a venue, arrange transport, decide on possible restaurants, negotiate prices and keep everybody updated and in the loop.
Much discussion followed on the ‘secret’ British Lead Adventure Meeting board. We decided on a name for the event, BLAM, and I managed to design a logo most people were happy with. Once that was finished I did nothing more, my game was ready to go. However, I kept up with the different forum threads where others posted their progress and watched the games come together with mounting anticipation.
Finally the great day dawned. I got to the Pope’s Grotto hotel a little late on the Friday because of work and everything was in full swing by the time I arrived. I met people, chatted and looked at the games until it was time to break for supper. We all trooped off to Pizza Express and gorged ourselves on pizza, pasta and engaging conversation.
Saturday saw an early start and I set up my meager game with the help of Mark and Karl as usual and then we waited for players. Mark and Karl took the opportunity to play in Rob (JollyBob) and Gavin’s (revford) Lost World Dinosaur Safari game with Grimm. Grimm was very sporting even after his party was almost wiped out by charging dinosaurs that Mark’s safari had managed to side step. Karl’s French shot as many people in the back as they could but were beaten off by British pluck. Eventually Mark won with Queen Victoria (Gawd bless ‘er) returning to camp with the biggest trophy. Grimm was second after having bagged King Kong in the last seconds of the game. Karl’s Foreign Legion were never seen again.
Grimm, Karl, revford, JollyBob and Mark at the Lost World table.
Mark,Grimm and revford being gentlemen....what, no Karl in this shot? Must be gentlemen only then.
King Kong attacking Queen Victoria's party.
The stampeding dinosaurs.
The French Foreign Legion being dastardly and cunning.
A view of the Lost World. Baseboards and figures by Lowtardog, jungle and figures by JollyBob and revford
The rest of the day for me was spent running a couple of games of Alien Invasion. My stand out player was Tobias, (Green_Knight) who played his Daleks with such relentless ferocity and murderous enthusiasm that all the others turned on him in fright. No matter how many of the little tin destroyers were wiped out he always seemed to have more to fight back with. I’d like to thank all the people that played and I hoped they enjoyed it as much as I did.
Tobias and his Daleks. Araganor is playing UNIT (and winning).
A perfect Saturday was rounded off with a fantastic Chinese meal and the closing medal ceremony where every attendee was presented with their BLAM! 2008 medal. I for one will treasure mine and hope it’s the first of a large collection.
Sunday was a time for goodbyes as our European friends headed off to the airport but we still managed to get some games in. I played a game of Geezers! “Shut it!” run by Karl (Lowtardog) and Paul (Overlord). I took the part of the scummy criminals and Nick (Malamute) attempted to stop me robbing an office payroll with his Flying Squad. Needless to say he failed and all my gang got away scott free with all the money leaving DI Regan reeling around the car park firing his gun wildly. This one game is going to cost me a fair bit of money in the near future as I plan to buy the rules and figures so I can stage my own 70s fun again and again.
Grimm, Green_Knight, Overlord and Lowtardog at the scene of the crime.
Scratchbuilt arches, tube station, prison and pub by Overlord, Lowtardog painted the Plastruct buildings and nearly all the figures.
Green-Knight's blag wasn't as successful as mine, the main culprits went down for 15 years a piece.
That was it for me, my BLAM! 2008 experience was truly memorable. Everyone was friendly, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. I can’t wait for the next one. Maybe next time I’ll be able to get near the Victorian Science Fiction game and have a proper look or play in Captain Blood’s spectacularly good looking Bloody Border Skirmish.
Captain Blood, hammershield, Vikotnik and Green_Knight play out a Bloody Border Skirmish.
A (very poor quality) close up of the action.
The English prepare to repell a Prussian invasion around the venusian glass house at Kew.
The Glasshouse built by Bullshot. Wonderful ornamental garden pieces too.
Standing left to right: Grimm, pal-of-revford and revford; aka the Pratchett brothers , Overlord, Green Knight, Jolly Bob, Dr. Death, fastolfrus, Thunderchicken, Vikotnik, Dewbakuk, Driscoles and Lowtardog
Sitting, left to right: Mrs revford, mrs fastolfrus , fastolfrus jr., a young Sean Connery straight from the set of Dr. No (hammershield), Bullshott, the Prince of Darkness himself: Malamute and Aragonor.
Laying prone after taking a 3d6 hit from a caliver: Captain Blood.
Elsewhere: Me (Matakishi), Mrs Matakishi, Mark and Karl because we had to leave a little early in order to get the game stuff home before returning for the Saturday night meal.