A brief overview of my journey to GLAM 2010 with pictures and an incomplete commentary.
I have used Lead Adventure Forum names and real names interchangeably depending on my mood and knowledge; names aren't my strong point. please feel free to add any corrections and observations in the comment box at the end and I will endeavour to correct any mistakes and update information in due course.
Friday 14th of May 2010 dawned bright and early for me at 04:00 as my alarm dragged me from my bed after only a couple of hours' sleep so that I would be ready in time for Nick (Malamute) to pick me up at 05:00. He arrived bang on time and we headed off towards our rendezvous with Richard (Captain Blood) who was going to take us to Gatwick for our flight to Germany and the long-awaited GLAM 2010.
Captain Blood shows a fraction of his vast estates to Malamute.
Thanks to the good Captain's wife (Mrs. Blood?) we all arrived safely at Gatwick where Paul (Overlord) and Dylan (Plynkes) met us according to plan and we were soon whisked into the sky courtesy of Easyjet.
A parting view of Blighty.
The first glimpse of Germany below the clouds.
We were met at Hamburg airport by Tobi (Green Knight) and Dirk (NurgleHH) who had already met Peder (Hammers) from his flight and we were soon blasting down the autobarn towards Kiel, our home for the coming weekend.
Malamute, Grimm and Driscoles in front of Driscoles' house in Kiel.
We spent a little time exchanging pleasantries with our hosts at Bjorn's (Driscoles) house and Grimm showed us his new tattoos.
After this it was back into the cars and off to our first venue.
Deep inside the local woods, well off the beaten track, nestled at the end of a rugged dirt path was a wonderful building that oozed Germanic charm and character. it was like something from a Brothers Grimm tale.
Inside there was a roaring wood-burning heater, a kitchen stocked with cheap, plentiful beer and a large games room. Everything a visiting gamer could wish for in fact.
Jens of Pardulon (Zafferelli) sets up his game whilst Tobi, Doomhippie and Vikotnik (amongst others) work similar magic in the background.
We all played games and chatted until, at around 15:00, Vikotnik's mother arrived with the world's best home-made Kartoffelsalad and we broke off to stuff ourselves. then it was more games and chatting until the butcher turned up at 19:00 with the roast pig. More stuffing of faces and drinking of beer followed.
The games resumed until around 22:00 when we all staggered out into the deep, dark woods to make our way home for the night.
The roast pig.
Grimm's .45 Adventure Cuthulhu game.
I was destined to spend my weekend at the apartment of Volker (here on the right next to Christian) and his wife in Kiel. I had a great time in their company and enjoyed a comfortable room, fantastic food and good conversation. When I finally left them on the Sunday, as well as being completely full of a huge German breakfast, I was also staggering under the weight of a copy of Tigris and Euphrates that Volker had given me.
Day two saw us all ferried to a local hotel where our ever-efficient German hosts and some enterprising Danes were already setting up the day's games. A full day of gaming and beer drinking was to follow.
The Danish VSF game.
The painting table.
Towards evening there was an award ceremony where everyone received their GLAM 2010 trophy, a hand inscribed (by Vikotnik) beer stein, what could be more fitting?
After this it was upstairs to the dining room for the evening meal and more socialising and beer.
Hammers shows us how to drink wine properly.
Day three began early with frantic checking of websites, the dreaded ash cloud was threatening to close down air travel over England. To take our mind s off it we were taken to the coast of the Baltic to play around in a U boat.
The U boat was on display next to the German Naval Memorial which we also visited, a solemn place indeed but very interesting. We all trooped up to the top of the tower to brave the wind and admire the view and looked at the ship models in the historical room.
The Laboe Naval Memorial.
After all that excitement we travelled further along the coast to enjoy a lunch of freshly cooked fish and seafood (and Currywurst) by the beach.
At last it was time to head back and we got to spent a tense couple of hours in Hamburg airport waiting to see if we had a flight home.
luckily Tobi and Grimm waited with us and we found some more beer to help pass the time.
We made it on to the last flight out and touched down at Gatwick tired but relieved. The end of a wonderful and unforgettable weekend spent in the good company of our friends from the LAF.
After the excitement of the journey and meeting everyone the little house in the woods was a great calming influence. As we arrived there was much bustling about by our hosts who were busy setting up games so I kept out of the way and had a mooch around with my camera.
The well stocked kitchen, beer was 1 euro a bottle.
It didn't take long for the games to start appearing. This was Vikotnik's beautifully realised Rut's Garden of War board. I'm upset that I didn't get to play this or Vikotnik's Count Orlock game that he staged on day two but I guess there's always next year.
Tobi had an underwater .45 Adventure game with some lovely plants and an excellent sandy sea bed. The sea bed isn't shown in it's full glory in any of my pictures so you'll have to take my word for how real it looked. Obviously it was done with sand but it's rare for sand to look good unless it's just used for its texture and painted. This was made with natural, unpainted sand yet still looked exactly like it ought to and in scale with the figures; a remarkable achievement.
This was an interesting little game, it's the World at War Blood and Bridges board game converted to be played with miniatures by loki. I had a go at this and was hammered by Hammers for my trouble as my German/US force failed to dislodge his Russian Paratroopers from the town they were holding. Win or lose, this was a nicely put together game with a simple combat mechanic that allowed it to move along at a fast pace.
This was a Samurai skirmish game using the This Very Ground rules (designed for the French and Indian War). Another one I didn't play, I'd like to have tried the rules which I chose for my own aborted FIW project a couple of years ago. Judging from the noises coming from the table, those that did play enjoyed themselves quite a bit. There was a lot of Oshiro houses in evidence which is never a bad thing.
The arrival of the butcher and pig bought a pause to the gaming action. I must admit the butcher wasn't what I was expecting, that's her in the foreground. The big empty bowl is one of the two containers that held the mid afternoon meal of Kartoffelsalad that was made by Vikotnik's mother. As you can see there was a lot of it and, as you can also see, we finished it all.
I took the opportunity to wander about outside as I ate and collect a few 'atmosphere' shots of the surroundings.
n the 1920s this house was used for children with TB as somewhere for them to get some good air and presumably some exercise away from the city. Later on it housed mental patients and today it's a centre for children's outdoor activities. For the few hours while we were present the old walls may have thought the days of the mental patients had returned as they listened to some of the conversations going on around the tables.
Back to the gaming after two plates of pig and sauerkraut. Grimm ran a three chapter .45 Adventure game set in Innsmouth which began at the docks...
continued to a hotel in town...
and finished with gunfire, dynamite and a whole lot of bleeding toes (everybody gets shot in the legs in .45 Adventure it seems) at the old, abandoned church.
While that was going on I was playing on Zafferelli's superb near future derelict urban board. This was a skirmish game using a variant of the Triumph and Tragedy rules and was a lot of fun.
I love this board so I took lots and lots of photos, it is indescribably good and I wish I owned it myself. To compensate for the fact that I don't I'm going to do my damnedest to make my own version which I intend to populate with some of Jens' figures.
was teamed with Hammers, our scavengers had to collect loot and avoid the government troops. Unfortunately the troops started on top of us and we had little option but to fight it out. This meant we didn't move around much of the board or get to use the fully detailed building interiors.
Jens uses 1/64 scale cars which look good with both the figures and terrain. I find myself drawn towards this scale rather than the very overlarge but popular 1/43. I wish I could make my mind up.
Still, we won and it was good fun. I'm not sure what I did to upset Hammers (we were winning after all) maybe it's best if I just apologise here for whatever it was and move on.
Finally, after 22:00, we packed up and made our way home to our lodgings. Volker made an excellent pot of tea which we shared whilst we chatted and I finally went to bed completely shattered after a long but enjoyable day.
Saturday dawned bright and early for me and after a rather filling German breakfast we were whisked away to the Legienhof, a very nice restaurant in the centre of Kiel, where our hosts were already busy setting up the day's games
Volker had promised me a game of Flames of War so I could try it for myself and possibly see why it generated so much hate amongst so many people.
It started out promisingly with a good looking board and a couple of well painted armies. The setting was Tunisia, early on in the war with some Germans facing off against the First Army, mainly Brits with a few Americans thrown in to absorb the bullets.
I was the Brits and Americans and Christian played the Germans. I had a very friendly and helpful chap advising me on the rules who's name I forget (sorry). He was also responsible for painting the army I used which looked spectacular when it was arrayed on the table.
I enjoyed the game (not just because they let me win) it was a good looking spectacle. I'm not so convinced about it being a decent WWII 'simulation' but as a game it works well and generates lots of fun. I'm also a fan of the packaging and presentation of the books and miniatures. I notice Warlord Games/Bolt Action seem to be developing along these lines too with their 28mm WWII ranges.
I was facing a mostly armoured force and my Infantry did little all game except look good. Luckilly I had a Hurricane and a large amount of artillery that wrecked the German tanks and some nippy bren carriers that ran through a Panzer screen to attack and damage the German rocket battery.
Apart from losing the carriers my only casualties were some American Stuarts and a couple of howitzers (also American).
The poor German army was left with a single tank and two rockets by the end of play. I would have suffered more if he's pushed his tanks forward but he seemed reluctant to do so, probably just being kind to the bumbling foreign visitor. I'm sure next time I'll get the kicking I no doubt deserve.
Once my game was over more scenery arrived and a second game was set up.
I didn't get to play in Vikotnik's Count Orlock game. Those that did raved about it, however, apparently it plays as good as it looks.
As well as the superbly realised black and white board there were other props and items available to add atmosphere during play. The players had gloves, black for Orlock, white for the hunter, to wear which was a nice touch too.
The rising of the sun signals dawn and the end of the game.
The sun and moon timer were controlled by a clock mechanism, pure genius.
The Danes brought this VSF game with them. An impressive mine dominated the board as you can see.
Quite a lot of people seemed to be involved with this and there was much merriment in evidence. I steered clear as too many rivets make me feel odd and I can do without being sucked in to another interesting period.
I do have a set of those Spongebob houses that look like faces though, they're making an appearance on my alien table soon, great minds think alike.
Tobi (Green Knight) put on this ACW river war game. I'm assuming it was ACW, it could have been more Victorian weirdness I suppose but the lack of death rays and steam walkers leads me to believe it was purely historical. Again, lots o people having lots of fun here, with some really lovely scenery, simple but very effective. I particularly liked the buildings (I have a thing about buildings you know).
Jens set up his beautiful industrial board again to let more people have a go on it.
I'm happy to report that the Saturday players made more use of the detailed building interiors and, by all accounts, it was a close run thing.
By the way, if you're thinking you've already seen enough of this board, you might be in the wrong hobby.
If it was up to me everyone would have to look at pictures of this every day (did I mention I have a thing about buildings?)
At about this point we broke for lunch. I had my first ever currywurst, a moment that will live with me forever. After luch and some more German beer we resumed for the afternoon and evening session, join us for this in part two.
Driscoles put together this North West Frontier game to tie in with the soon to be released Colonial supplement for Triumph and Tragedy. Beautiful terrain, well painted figures (and a decent rules system too) made this another game I'd have liked to play but wasn't able to because of the limited time.
This set up, like virtually all the games presented at GLAM, is the work of just one person working at home; no workshop, no special tools, just enthusiasm, commitment and skill. To me this epitomises my hobby; an enjoyable and entertaining game presented with an eye for spectacle with scenery that evokes a feeling of time and place married with figures painted and based to a high standard. Frankly, when I go to a major show like SALUTE and see TSS boards and a bit of lichen scattered about, I wonder what some people are thinking and whether they really believe that sort of crap should be on public display.
Oops, I've started a rant, sorry, back to the wonderment...
I'm assuming this ravine is for a .45 Adventure, it looks the part. These small, self-contained scenario driven games seem very popular with the Germans, and I can see the appeal.
The chap in the centre is (I believe) Michael Funk who owns and runs Miniaturicum, an online shop that offers good prices on some hard to get lines of figures and excellent service too.
There were many miniatures on show at GLAM and even some painters working their magic during the day.
This lot is all by Hammers who dragged them through many customs checkpoints and had to explain them every time, no wonder it took him nineteen days to get here.
I love these etched doors.
My afternoon gaming revolved around Grimm's Chinese Triumph and Tragedy game.
I want to go on about how much I enjoyed this but I won't because that should be obvious by the number of photos I took. It's a stunning game, the scenery, figures and setting all combine with Grimm's excellent and fluid gamesmastering to provide an experience that I guarantee no one who's played it will ever forget.
The game involves Chinese bandits, Chinese troops and White Russian troops rampaging around the town trying to achieve their individual objectives and control strategic buildings for victory points. Umpire controlled forces and secret player event/tactics cards add more mayhem to the mix.
Hammers again looking worried this time. Three of the four games I played involved Peder and you couldn't wish for a better opponent; always cheerful in adversity and ruthless with his attacks. (Occasionally a little too focused on wiping out my forces and ignoring the real threat but nobody's perfect.)
My valiant 'Leopard skin Tong' looting an important building.
The evening was rounded off with a fine meal in one of the restaurant's function rooms and then it was home to bed, commemorative inscribed GLAM beer stein in hand, so as to be ready for the excitement of day three.
Day three began with worries about the volcanic ash cloud shutting down Gatwick. These thoughts were soon put from our minds however, as our hosts took us to the Baltic coast in Kiel to explore a WWII German submarine.
U995 is the last surviving type VIIc submarine. The type VII submarines were the standard German U-boats used during the Second World War making up roughly 700 of the 1200 submarines commissioned. The famous submarine U96 from the film Das Boot was a type VIIc. U995 was launched on July 22nd 1943 from the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg. Click on the composite photo above for a bigger version.
You enter the submarine via a rear door that allows access to the stern torpedo and electric engine room. This is me and the stern torpedo tube.
Bilge pumps. this submarine has more wheels than, well, a wheel factory.
Moving forward from there you come to the diesel engine room, as you can see, not much room between the engines, it must have been a horrible place to live and work.
You need to watch your head all the time, the amount of hard metal objects sticking out at all angles is phenomenal.
Next up was the galley where this little electric cooker was used to cook meals for between 40 and 50 men. Behind where I stood to take this picture is the crew toilet which was usually used to store food supplies and so wasn't available for its intended use.
Bunks for the crew, hot bunking was the norm with half the crew on duty while the other half slept and rested. The bunks are incredibly small and very difficult to get in and out of. The ones here are the easiest to use, others were behind cupboards and pipes with very limited access.
Here's the hatch to the conning tower which the public isn't allowed to use, good job because I wouldn't have fitted anyway and would have missed out on the fun.
This is the radio and sonar room, at least they get some space to work in.
Beneath the floor are the electric batteries that powered the ship when it was submerged.
The officers' toilet; it has a door which is nice. This ended up being used by the whole crew (all 50 of them) because the other toilet was a food store (see earlier).
The forward torpedo tubes, the red thing on the left is the nose of a torpedo.
And then it's through the forward door to the outside world again.
I've tried not to duplicate too many pictures from the film clip so you'll need to watch that as well to see the periscope and other interesting stuff.
This is a superb ariel shot of the submarine taken by Captain Blood from the top of the German Naval Memorial. I've used it without his permission so take a good look before I have to remove it.
After the visit to the submarine we all headed off to the next-door German Naval Memorial. This is housed at the base of this impressive 72 metre tower.
The tower was designed by Professor Gustav August Munzer from Dusseldorf. It was built on the site of a disarmed naval battery Laboe; construction started in August 1927 and hte completed building was inaugurated at the end of May 1936.
Originally conceived as a memorial to German sailors killed in the Great war it has since become a memorial to all sailors lost at sea.
The movie clip at the start of day three shows the interior, I didn't take many more pictures; it is a sombre and majestic place with a unique atmosphere and i didn't feel like snapping away with a flash.
The walls of the Hall of Honour are inscribed with the silhouettes of the ships that have been sunk.
The lift carries you the 53 metres to the first balcony level if you don't fancy the stairs (I didn't). The view is spectacular but the wind was ferocious and made staying outside quite unpleasant.
Some wag suggested we hire this small plane to sight-see but I wasn't convinced we'd survive in the gale that was blowing.
There was a second, higher, balcony which I didn't get to (more stairs). next time I'll make the effort.
Down on the ground again the Historical hall contains a large glass painting and models of ships showing the development of seafaring.
Unfortunately they're moving stuff around so the painting was fenced off and only the modern models were present.
None-the-less the models were magnificent, many in 1/50 scale, perfect for a bit of naval gaming.
This last model was outside in a quiet (except for unearthly howling of the wind in the line of surrounding flag poles) open area.
Achtung minen! (I knew that phrase would come in useful one day). Grimm shown no fear however...
This gun was from the Boxer Rebellion. The crowd of slightly eccentric miniature enthusiasts is from a later period.
A final pause before the journey to the beach and lunch.
We all piled into our convoy of cars and headed to parts unknown for a promised feast; none too soon either, the sea air and a fair amount of walking had given me a fierce appetite.
You can just make out Malamute and Grimm in Tobi's car if you are familiar with their distinctive outlines.
After a short drive we arrived at the beach. There were no sea gulls which was surprising but welcome.
These are the little restaurants that salt and cook the freshly caught fish.
Everyone tucked in to a very reasonably priced and delicious fish dinner.
And beer, everyone tucked into more German beer (except the drivers like Jens here who had to settle for a soft drink). Overlord seems to be drinking enough for both of them though.
Malamute can't abide fish but, luckily, he found a currywurst seller and was as happy as the rest of us.
Then it was back into the cars for the journey to Bjorn's house and the final goodbyes. Here's the Kiel telecommunication tower that deserves to have aliens living in it. lovely piece of scenery.
The knackered British contingent just before the final trip to the airport. All of us were wiped out after possibly the best weekend of gaming and fellowship ever.
I cannot adequately express my thanks to all our hosts and all the other visitors and friends at GLAM 2010, it was a perfect weekend and a wonderful experience. Hopefully this little report has communicated some of the enjoyment and fun that we had.