Thursday, 22 March 2012

Monty on Tour: Rheindahlen Re-Action 2012

"On the road again... Going places that I've never been." was the motto for last Saturday. Only three days before I noticed that a wargaming convention would take place just an hour away: The Re-Action at Rheindahlen JHQ (yes, you are right Joint Headquarter → link).
The Rheindahlen Rooms, place of the last Action-Wagames-Convention...

Our Party: Max, Chrissy, Monty and Auld Nick
Years ago some guys from the base founded the Rheindalen Wargames Club and have been organizing conventions for the last twenty years. However for me it was the first time to visit such an event and I was really exited about it. Our party was built up of Auld Nick whom you already know, Chrissy (another friend of ours) with his son Max (my godson) and me. We met on the parking lot near the Rheindahlen Rooms where the convention took place after we passed the adventure of getting there since the JHQ is a military area as you might have assumed. We had our passports checked by a German guardsman at the gates and had to get a special parking permit at the SOC (Security Operation Cell), rather complicated but without any greater problems. At about 11 o'clock we entered the Ball Room and were overwhelmed by the view of the gaming tables and the merchants' stands.

The crowed Ball Room.
First we took a walk through the crowded ball room. It was filled with a delightful eagerness. All those people wandering between the nicely set up gaming tables. Other guys exploring the offers of the traders. We saw several well known companies there and even some local shops were present with stands. But of course the gaming boards kept our attention far more. There were a lot of groups introducing themselves and the different rule sets they were using. Unfortunately there wasn't enough time to visit all the tables, take photos of them or participate in the games the offered.

However there was a Japan themed table that cought our attention from the very first time we passed it. Tobias Schwabem, a nice fellow from northern Germany, had created a marvelous table representing a scenario called "The Battle of Mikawa" where one Samurai warlord (Daimyo) had to defend himself and a cloister against an attacking alliances of three foes. The board was set up for 28mm scale and all models were nicely painted Perry Miniatures from their Samurai Range.

The combatants gathering around the table...
When we passed the table for the second time, Tobias and another guy (he introduced himself as Gero later) were looking for three additional players to start a participation game. We took the chance and joined the game. Tobias used the "Triumph and Tragedy" rules for which he created some Samurai houserules. The game was great. Tobias was a really patient and nice gamemaster and described all rules to us. Afterwards we fought a brave battle with moments of luck, audacity and defeat. We spent more then three and a half hours there and challenged Maximilian's whole patience. Although he just turned six last October he was really uncomplaning and folowed the game attentively. He even gave me som tactical advice to me which unfortunately didn't lead to success...
Nick and Gero gather their superior attackers while I try to set a some kind of defense.
Unfortunately we were not able to finish the game because I had to pick up my wife and daughter at my parents-in-law's on time...

So we took a final walk through the hall and gathered some more impressions:
A great table with a Battle of the Bulge theme. The table was presented by the Herford Games & Modelling Club. They used the Rapid Fire Rules and we witnessed a Germany infantry squad being blast into pieces by an American mortar strike when Charles - one of the Re-Action organizers - rolled the dice. Although we don't know Rapid Fire it looked really fun to play...

Somewhere else the Dutch club Alde Garde presented a table with a battle between the French and the Netherlands that took place in 1690. Although we didn't get the chance to wath them playing we enjoyed the board and the great miniatures:

Another great table was the one below covering Wellington's Peninsular Campaign. The club "La Granden Armée" from Hoek van Holland set up a large table covered with cloth and several terrain pieces to represent a battlefield in Spain. In spite off the simple means the look was great.

After savouring every single minute we hurried back to Düsseldorf and closed a very nice trip.

Unfortunately the Rheindahlen JHQ will be closed within the next year. Therefore this was the convetion of the club based there. Since it was my first convention of this kind the Re-Action 2012 will always have a very special place in my memory and I'm looking forward to visit other events like this. Maybe Crisis 2012 in Antwerp will be my next chance...

However until then Nick, Chrissy and me decided to do something beside 20mm. Those nice 28mm figures cept our eyes and remembered us what details are possible in this lightly bigger scale. While I invested in a unit of Napoleonic British Infantry at first, there might be some room for a couple of Samurais as well. I'll keep you on the loop...


  1. Excellent pictures and report Monty, very enjoyable....

  2. Very fortuitous. It looks like a lot of fun. I don't think my six year old would have haad the patience, but you never know. I just missed Conquest Sacramento. I arrived on Saturday afternoon and didn't find out about it until Sunday and I had other plans. Oh well.

  3. Thanks for sharing!