Today, `Team TSA` took the road to the French town of Lille (Rijsel), just across the border of the chaotic, anarchistic monarchy known as Belgium. We went with a `not completely historical game` of Napoleonics skirmishing, using the Drums and Shako rules from Ganesha Games, and putting the French Balloon Corps under attack by a British marines landing party.
So let`s start with the venue and the first impressions. It is held in the local sports club where something-of-Lille rugby teams plays, a nice venue with a big glass roof providing ample lighting... but also an increase of inside heat by factor much. Luckily, this year it was about 10 degrees colder then last year, making it a `cosy heat` instead of `I`m gonna drop stone dead` jungle temperatures. A relative small show, it hosts about 15 different traders and as much game tables, and on the pitch outside there is also a reenactment location.
The range offered is rather limited though, I went out there with a shopping list of 28mm scenery and 3 boxes of Perry miniatures, but on the whole show I found exactly 4 blisters of old Renegade at -25%, from Art Toys. Now, in my opinion, the French `gaming circuit` is different from the UK / Belgium tandem, aimed more at skirmish games (think Malifaux, Confrontation, Eden, Alkemy, etc etc etc...) and their historical `scene` seems to be hovering more to 15mm. Is this a fact? Probably not, just my personal observation of the few ventures I made south of the border.
Gaming tables that caught my lens, and my eye:
A dinosaur hunting game, including a lovely nice Aeronef
Grunwald 1410 had no less then two tables
A very nice table including the camel corps
A strange game involving a raid of beastmen upon a village inhabited by ducks, and a very cool cityfight table
A game on the table adjacent to ours, involving 3 wooden cones, a hex map and some cards... and play Tennis! Smash was for me by far the most `out of there` concept I saw the last year on various shows, elegant in all her simplicity
Of course there was many more things to see, like Games Workshop games in all their variations, Flames of War and others, so here is an overview...
Another strange `development`, was the complete lack of a Bring and Buy stand. They seemed to have spend more space on the painting competition, and as can often be seen worldwide (CMON, Golden Deamon, ...) the french are really strong in the artistic side of our hobby, as you can see below.
But no BnB then. No worries, I did find a lot of nice scenery at Gauthey Miniatures, who produces really cheap and very nice scenery pieces ranging from 6mm to 28mm.
Also nice, a new manufacturer of `latex scenery pieces`. The whole thing is still a tat too expensive for my taste, but it did look good though
So that brings us to the Loot list: I spend about 150 euros total on the whole day, netting me some Soda Pop miniatures, some fivish long oop Aberant `Mad Max style` cars (for LPL6!) which where sold at 2 euros a blister, two nice ACW houses from JR Miniatures through Magister Militum, and a heap of small barns, walls, a bridge, barrels, boxes and odds and ends from above mentioned Gauthey.
See, I`m sticking too my focussing, I`m keeping inside the ACW / Anime box here, ain`t I proud on myself now...
And thats it from the frontline of the most recent TSA excursion. I like Lille, I`ll be back next year for sure, the show has a certain `aimable-ness` to it which i really love.