Monday, 15 October 2012

Conquest 2002: A Look Back....

So, Conquest is fast approaching for 2012, and I have been manically painting Australian infantry for the competition. Am I done? No, but to make me feel better about myself, I am going to write a blog post and hide from the unfinished-ness.

This year's Conquest is markedly different to other years. Firstly, it is the 10th anniversary of the competition! 10 years ago, minus a week, a young impressionable youth wandered into the local gaming store in Christchurch, Comics Compulsion on a Friday night. Playing a game on a back table were two really nice guys, Tim D (the owner of said LGS) and Stephen H (local WW2 officionado). The two were playing a game, British against Germans, with some tiny looking tanks. Interest piqued, I stayed until the shop closed, rolling dice, moving tanks and playing what was my first historical wargame. Wouldn't have a clue who won, all I knew was that I was hooked!

So, the next day I went back with my mum (my bankroll!) and walked out again a couple of hours later with a large box of stuff- enough for a 1500 point US Armored Rifle Company in fact!

My list was... US Armoured Rifle Company

HQ- Bazooka, Jeep, M2 Halftrack
Armored Rifle Platoon- Full Strength
Armored Rifle Platoon- Full Strength
Tank Platoon- 3 M3 Lee Tanks
Tank Platoon- 3 M5A1 Stuart Tanks
Armoured Recon Platoon- 2 M3A1 Scout Cars, 2 Jeeps
Self-Propelled AT Platoon- 2 M10
Limited Air Support- A36 Apaches (1/72nd Scale Mustangs!)

So there it was, 6 platoons of awesomeness! Taken in those days from the Version One Rulebook, where all the lists were printed in a terribly illegible format.

I had two weeks to paint the army for the tournament. Now, I knew next to nothing about tanks in WW2. All I knew was the few stories I had read, so tank gun barrels were silver, and all the infantry were in classic OD.

I did manage to get them painted the night before, and turned up as a fresh faced kid at my first tournament. Handily it was around the corner from my parent's house too!

At the tournament, there were I think 8 games, 4 Free for All and 4 Hold the Line (where it was a straight roll off to see who would attack!).

I don't remember much of the games themselves. I remember using Craig's Sturmovik air support to kill his KV-1s, I remember assaulting Dale's Italian artillery with infantry, when he was attacking me in Hold the Line (and my style according to some hasn't changed).

I also remember winning the tournament. Now that sounds very much like bragging, and to me then, it was really important. I felt a great deal of pride to win! Looking back at it now, I feel embarrassed about how much it did mean to me. Which is why I can understand those players who do want to win at seemingly any cost. But, that just is not me anymore. I have won more than my fair share, as I have lost my fair share.

The main thing that I do remember, is the people I played against. At that tournament I met many people I am proud to still call friends, some people who I regularly share emails with, some who come to stay with me for local tournaments, others who return the favor for me when I travel.

So that is what Conquest means to me. It was where I began this journey into history, through wargaming. It is where I met some amazing people, shared some wonderful moments with them, and most importantly learned to laugh when all you can roll is a 1.

Oh, and I am still painting Auzzies...

Paint, paint, paint...



  1. Great post Chris. Maybe catch up on the weekend.

    1. Would be good to catch up, are you guys doing a demo game?

  2. Have a great time, the real reason of playing is having fun, something we all need to remember


    1. Absolutely! And I fully intend to have fun. 15 year old me was a little more serious...

      But he is long gone!