It’s that time of year again — Crisis 2004 is just over a week away, and I’m in full convention preparation mode.
Since 1997 we have presented a participation game at every Crisis, so that makes this year’s game our eighth big Crisis game. Until a few years ago, each year saw extensive preparations for these games, usually starting with several Saturdays’ worth of terrain creation over at BD’s parents.
The last time we did this kind of all out preparation, in effect creating an entirely new terrain set, was in 2001, with our Zeebrugge game. This game was very well received, winning the Best Terrain prize (which we still have to claim :) ), but very narrowly missing out on the Best Presented Wargame trophy (although many people, not in the least ourselves :), thought we really deserved it). Possibly partly because of this, but mostly through lack of time and real life developments taking place (most of us had by then moved on from a comfortable responsibility-light student existence to various next stages in life) the games after this, including this year’s, have seen less extensive and time consuming preparation.
In 2002 we staged a recap of our 2000 ACW game, on a bigger terrain, and 2003 saw the shortest preparation ever: our Woodens in the desert game took literally only two hours of preparation. Admittedly, those two hours were spent in Phil’s kitchen sawing MDF boards to shape for the terrain; I did not stick around for the vacuum cleaning afterwards, so Phil might have a different idea on the time involved :).
This year, we (mostly Phil and myself, but there was a flurry of activity on the mailing list after the initial announcement) had big plans for constructing a totally new type of game to take to Crisis. Unfortunately, building a house and having a daughter born has taken some toll on my free time, and we decided to postpone this to next year.
So, this year will see another recap of one our our old favourites: Zeebrugge, only this time, it will be set in 1944. Preparation has limited itself to painting up some new figures and terrain items (hence the appearance of British paras on the sidebar), along with coming up with some fringe paraphernalia such as handouts, posters to hang up on the backdrop plus some new stuff that will remain a surprise for now (don’t get too excited, though).
Even though we’re taking a recycled game (again), we still hope to be noticed at Crisis and will try to uphold the standard that people have come to expect of us (that last one can, of course, be interpreted in two ways :) ). The game will be full participation, so if anyone is reading this and is interested in joining in on the day, you are more than welcome to do so. See you all at Crisis!