Category Archives: shows

Durham Wargames Open Day 2017

Today, 10th June was the annual Durham Wargames Show put on by Durham Wargames Group at their club venue. I couldn’t make last year’s show so was determined to make this year. Luckily Lawrence was able to offer a lift and we arrived shortly after 10am. The bring and buy was in the pavillion on your right before you get to the main venue so we nipped in there first. It was quite busy with people booking stuff in and a good selection on the tables already. There was a table opposite that I think was meant for people booking in etc. but everyone seemed to be rummaging through the boxes there as well! Lots of books on the B&B but possibly not as many figures as previous years. And although quite busy for the first hour and a half I felt that by 11.30 everything that was going on was on and pretty well all the stuff that was going to sell was sold. There seemed to be a few bargains and the book prices were good. If I had spare shelf space I’d probably no longer have spare shelf space! 🙂

Hitting the bring and buy first was a good idea. I only had one thing on my shopping list, Jena, Auerstaedt: The Triumph of the Eagle by Francois-Guy Hourtoulle. 

I used to have a copy of this acquired during previous project starts for an 1806 Prussian Army but I have been unable to find it! I must have sold it on at some point when I gave up. I knew that Worley Books usually had copies for £10 so if nothing else I was going to buy that. But there on the bring and buy was a copy for £5! Bargain! Sorted!

In the same room was a nice looking 28mm ACW game using Johnny Reb 2 rules. Very tidy game and nice to chat with Dave Jarvis both during the game and over coffee. 

The main venue is two large rooms. There were only a dozen or so traders but all are fairly local and good to see them supporting the local show. Sadly, one of the traders, Northumbria Games, had a a closing down sale. I’ve seen them at many shows over the years and it is sad to see them go. I think the dominance of online purchases and Kickstarter played a big part. A shame…

The chaps from Old Glory UK usually put on a game at Durham rather than trade and had a nice looking late medieval game. This was the only game in the right hand room. In the larger main ‘hall’ were the remaining traders and two more games. A WW2 skirmish: And a nice looking game using the recent Pikeman’s Lament:

Durham is always a small show and for me is more about supporting the club and traders and having a good natter with the local players. It did seem quiet this year, possibly not helped by the rotten weather. I do hope it continues though as I always enjoy the day.

So given I had got the book I wanted and I’m trying to be sensible at the moment I started no new scales or periods and only bought four average dice! Not sure why but I’m sure they will come in somewhere! 

Thanks to the Durham Wargames Group and nice to bump into a good few people and natter. And thanks again to Lawrence (and Rowena) for the lift!

A

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Partizan 2017

Yesterday I made the trip to Partizan at Newark Showground. I’ve always enjoyed Partizan and the new venue is excellent. Despite a soft spot for the warren that was Kelham I have to admit the new place is ideal. Easy to get to, light and spacious. Food is a little basic and pricey but as a vegan I was quite happy with my chips and beans! There was a long queue to get in when we arrived at 10:10 and that was still going at 10:30 when other friend arrived. A good sign! There were some excellent demo games and a good selection of participation games. Not sure how the latter went as it’s not something I’m generally interested in but seemed popular enough and is a good thing to see at shows.

I usually take lot and lots of pictures for show reports but of late that has become less of a priority. I tend to sort my orders out beforehand and then the event is more of a social meet up. Lots of the LAW guys present and good to see Brendan and Timmo. Had a long chart with Harry Sidebottom and picked up the first of his latest Throne of the Caesars series, Iron and Rust. I’ve read the Ballista series and enjoyed them and have been meaning to try these for a while. And it was actually quite nice to have a proper book rather than the Kindle I’ve been using of late for fiction books. Interesting as well to discuss the popularity of ‘Roman’ fiction with publishers and their preference for that over other periods despite the risk of flooding the market. I took a few pictures of the games that took my eye or were in my periods so apologies to the ones I missed out. Nothing personal! 

Graham at Crann Tara had an excellent looking game using his teddy bear fur done for our AMG games at Partizan a few years ago. This time graced with lots of his own range of figures. Excellent looking game. Just along was the Perry’s Egypt game. VERY nice figures. I’ve been following the Steve Jones’s painting of his AWI figures on Facebook and it was good to see them in the flesh in his excellent Bunker Hill game: Dave Docherty’s Sudan game was very pretty. Meant to stop and have a char but kept getting sidetracked! And the Derby Wargames Port Arthur Russo-Japanese naval game looked excellent! The League of Gentleman Anti-Alchemists put on a nice looking WSS game in 28mm:

Too Fat Lardies were in residence with two games. A Peninsular Sharp Practice game and to go with the launch of General D’Armee, Dave Brown’s new Napoleonic rules, a 15mm Napoleonic game.  Some nicely painted ABs in display and the game certainly looked the part. I have a copy of Pickett’s Charge on which these rules are based and was getting very twitchy about my off/on/off/on/off 1806 Napoleonic project! 

And a few more of games I liked the look of! The last is of Simon Miller’s ECW variant of To The Strongest. ECW is a period I’ve never been tempted by. No idea why. It’s just never clicked with me… The table looked impressive though. 

Lots more good games there as well and some pretty participation games as well. If I hadn’t spent so much time talking I’d have taken more pics! 

I had very few needs for the show and a clear mission to not start any more periods or scales! Most of what I wanted I had pre-ordered. This was the haul:

I’d arrange with Graham at Crann Tara to grab some of the new Savoia cavalry, partly in exchange for some 6mm painted Napoleonic British. And he also bought me the extra figures to make up a unit from figures I traded with Peeler in return for food! There are a couple of little packs of Perry 1st Crusade. Some Hospitilars to make up the rest of the Brotherhood of the Swan, and some more armed pilgrims so I can do serfs if needed!

The show figure was Hemingway (no use to me…) and Harry S gave me one of the Ballista figures which I might paint and chuck in with some Saxons! And speaking of which, I wanted some command type figure to go with the plastic Saxons I intend to paint. The SAGA packs were a little costly but Foundry came to the rescue with a nice command pack.

I get a little leeway getting to Partizan as it coincides with my birthday (today!) so my wife has also renewed my Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy subscription. For me this is the only magazine worth getting at the moment. And I also finally got the last of Christian Camerons’s Arimnestos books, Rage of Ares. Really enjoy these and it will be good to see the conclusion. 

And there we have it. Another Partizan. Another birthday. All good and only offset by a developing toothache!

A

 

 

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Battleground 2016

Today I hired a little car and took myself down to Stockton-on-Tees for Battleground 2016, organised by Pendraken Miniatures.  This is the last show of the year for me and always a nice little event. The venue is easy to get to, lots of parking, cafe nearby, and a good size hall with good lighting. It’s a well organised and well publicised event with a good selection of traders, a good few participation games and some nice demo games. There is the now common TableTop sale area which seems to work well, although you have to grab the bargains when you see them because if you nip for a coffee and then pop back there’s a chance the guy will have finished his slot and taken his stuff away! Missed a couple books that way today…

So, before we get to the purchases (which were few) here’s some pics of some of the games. A plus point for the show is that each table has a large clear sign saying who is playing what on each table. Other shows take note! 

First up were Stafford and District Wargamers with a 10mm take on part of the battle of Ramilles. Nicely put together.20161126_110209 20161126_110228 20161126_110244Then we had a long game of the Battle of Skalitz from the 1866 Austro-Prussian War. Some very nice figures on the table but I felt the cloth shade of green was a little too green, though I admit it was probably the easiest solution for what was a big area to cover. By Durham Wargames. 20161126_110319 20161126_110636 20161126_110648 20161126_110717And again my local club, Tyneside Wargamers, had their big take (with little figures) on Cannae. Lots and lots of 10mm. 20161126_110755 20161126_110807 20161126_110816The Border Reivers put on their usual excellent display with a WW2 ‘Cross of Iron’ game.20161126_111730 20161126_111745 20161126_111757 20161126_111806Along from them was some excellent WW1 terrain from Generals and Kings. Very nice…20161126_111822 20161126_111837 20161126_111856 20161126_111903There were a good few participation games which seemed to attract attention throughout the day.20161126_111929And I still have no idea what the cup cake game was about!20161126_111944Simon Miller’s To The Strongest rules put in an appearance via the Old Guard Wargames Group. Very nicely presented 28mm figures.20161126_112016 20161126_112031 20161126_112048This was one of the more interesting games. Iacta Alea Est presented Jutland using the old Avalon Hill game of the same name. Had a nice and well informed chat with one of the guys running it. Meant to pop back to see how it turned out but never got chance. 20161126_112106 20161126_112349Redcar Ironbeards presented a Rapid Fire East Front game, Capture the Port.20161126_112401 20161126_112416 20161126_112433Rather nice little 10mm Sudan game from Independent Wargames Group – Blood on the Nile. I really must make a start on my 10mm Sudan!20161126_112504 20161126_112517 20161126_112528 20161126_112537 20161126_112542Then we had a very good looking Black Powder ACW game again from the Independent Wargames chaps. Really nice figures. And in my current favoured period.20161126_112559 20161126_112623 20161126_112632 20161126_112647And finally the Brompton Bankers had their excellent Toy Town Wars. Really cute stuff!20161126_113002 20161126_113018 20161126_113035 20161126_113103

There were a number of other particpation games I didn’t manager to snap but the full details are on the show website here.

I thoroughly enjoyed the day. Met up with Simon T (Goat Major) who was looking slightly battered! And chatted with various people thoughout the day. Yet again the Pendraken chaps are to be congratulated on a well presented show. I trust the number and trade made it all worthwhile for all concerned.

I have to be honest and say I didn’t REALLY need to buy anything at the show. Have plenty of recent odds and ends to keep me busy! I did spot a couple of books on Ironclads in the Table Top Sale but missed them. So I grabbed a couple of packs of MDF round bases and was happy to call it a day. Then Graham at Crann Tara dug out the boxes of 6mm SF he wanted to sell. So I grabbed the painted chaps for a good price and am negotiating for the big pile of unpainted! It’s all Dark Realm stuff which fits with lots of what I already have. Needless to say it needs rebasing!

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This might encourage me to finally finish and USE my 6mm SF!

A good day…

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Border Reiver 2016 – Gateshead Stadium

I haven’t done a show report for a while, mainly because I’ve managed fewer shows this year! However, I was granted a pass for today and so set off for what is my local show – Border Reiver. Gateshead Stadium is a good venue. Decent size and quite light but suffering from the usual sports venue yellow light which effectively ruins all the photos. I took a few anyway but you’ll see what I mean… This year the entry was via a large access way directly into the hall rather than winding through the corridors from the main entrance. This seemed to work well, apart from getting wet when going for coffee or toilets. Not sure if this will be a permanent change or was just down to there being an event in the main building.20160903_122110There was a good spread of traders but seemed to be fewer games on display. Good to see a couple of participation games as well. No Bring and Buy but the now common flea market. I’m still not sure on the idea and think they work better at the bigger shows but there seemed to be 3-5 tables active most of the time I was there so hopefully those concerned did well.

The games… Not all had clear info on who was running them and I was negligent in finding out as I just did a quick run to take pics.

Tyneside Wargames Club presented Cannae using their own Great Captain rules. A LOT of figures!20160903_115641 20160903_115651(0) 20160903_122034 20160903_125942Sharp Practice seems to (justifiably) put in an appearance at most shows. A nice FIW participation game.20160903_115710 20160903_115719 20160903_115742A nice Napoleonic game20160903_121621 20160903_121635 20160903_121656 20160903_121709Sword and Spear rules put in an appearance20160903_121401 20160903_121410 20160903_121421

And 40K, Blood Bowl 7s, Wild West and Wings of whatever it is this month…

20160903_121721 20160903_121731 20160903_121809 20160903_121845 20160903_121911 20160903_121922 20160903_121940Vietnam game and Kings of War20160903_115824 20160903_115836 20160903_122008 20160903_122018And finally some big viking things!20160903_115907 20160903_115924 20160903_115930I usually get chance to chat to people on the games but that didn’t really happen other than at the Sword and Spear game, a set of rules I have but have yet to try!

So there we are. The games were fine but nothing really grabbed me as outstanding.

So. On to the haul!20160903_191717First off, no lead! Nothing! So no new scales or periods which is a big relief! 🙂 I had order a load more Fire and Fury size bases from Minibits so had those to pick up along with some 45mm bases for the possible re-base of my 28mm ImagiNation stuff… I also grabbed a load of round bases for various uses. Probably more than I needed but you can never have too much MDF! And as I seek a suitable blue to match the Union I have I grabbed  some ACW appropriate paints. I was tempted by quite a few books (of which more anon) but in the end only grabbed Sear’s book on the Peninsular Campaign. And finally, after a chat with Colonel Bill I bought some 15mm MDF fences suitable for ACW. There batter be easy to make or I’ll be having words with him at Battleground! 🙂

And on the way home I grabbed some brown paint for the ongoing basing fest and the latest Wargames Illustrated.

Only down part of the day was at the end. As I perused one of the book stalls I noticed a copy of Don Troiani’s Regiments of the American Civil War. I’d placed a copy of this in my Amazon basket a few days ago. £14. When I returned the next day to add another book and buy the price had gone up to £25!! Too steep for me. This one was £12. Bargain!! But it was the end of the show. I checked wallet. Bare. But in my ‘purse’ I had a lot of pound coins and started counting them to see if I had enough. As I did so a chap picked up the book, flicked through, and then bought it! I was gutted… However I did only have £10 so would have had to haggle! Next time. I’ll find a copy soon…

So a nice day out and good to chat to assorted people from the local clubs. Shame it rained for the walk home. Thank to the chaps for organising it all.

 

 

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A Partizan Birthday!

Today is my birthday. That gave me a little leverage in ensuring I could make it to Partizan this year! 🙂 What can I say… I’ve had an excellent day. This year Partizan moved to Newark Showground. I’ve always liked the old Kelham Hall venue despite the light issues in some areas and the maze of little rooms! It has character. But I can see the reason for moving and despite some trepidation about a move to another ‘hanger’ type venue (I really dislike the Donnington Worlds venue) this one is excellent. It’s not too huge and soulless, the light is excellent and the space seems just spot on for the number of traders and games. I really liked it.

And the games on show were excellent! A fine showcase for the hobby both in display and participation games. I could have taken hundreds of pictures but in the end spent too much time talking so I only have a few of the games I sought out.

First up was Graham Cumming’s C18th bash using his Crann Tara range. There are some lovely figures in this range and it was good to see a lot of them on the table:

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Lovely figures…

A stone’s throw from there I was finally able to say hello to Simon Miller (To the Strongest) who had a lovely game on show with beautiful figures again:

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We’ll be using these rules for our Newark Punic War bash at Foundry in November. Looking forward to this.

Bit of a break to the posting here as just been sat in friends garden down the street drinking copious amounts of gin! 🙂 Now where was I….

Battle of Short Hills AWI. By Steve Jones & the Newark Irregulars. 28mm. I do like a bit of AWI…

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Next up was Levied Troop and the League of anti Alchemists. Calvados and Chips – 1944 France. SS Paras vs Americans with Chain of Command. LT’s games are always nice to see. Lots of details, including, in this case, the bathroom sink!

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It was good to see so many C18th games on. This one from Grimsby wargames with a 28mm Marlburian game. How can you not take a picture of that many cavalry in a melee!

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And Grimsby wargames also presented a stunning Second Anglo Dutch naval game:

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More C18th, this time 15mm and good to see a lot of Minifigs on display from… and at this point I was hoping to find this info on the Partizan website! [EDIT: And thanks to Richard Tyndall I now know this was put on by the Forest Outlaws!]

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In many way this was the highlight game for me. Washing peg armies!

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Next up the Bunker had an excellent Winter ’79 game. Some lovely 20mm terrain and a good exampled of using stuff from various periods. This is a game I’d like to try but I feel it relies a lot on the terrain and I just don’t have any!

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There were a lot of excellent participation games. None if which I partook! 🙂 But some nice winter camo on display…

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There were a lot more excellent games on display and I’m sure pictures will appear on many sites but these were ones that caught my eye.

But what is a show report without a haul! I had a few things to pick up at the show and few presents opened the day before with the family but this was the haul!

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I’m slowly working my way through the Highland Park! And the chocolate…. But basically what you can see are..

  1. Odds and ends of 10mm Pendraken League of Augsburg courtesy if Goat Major and Essex Boy
  2. Foundry Norman command and Prussian Jaegers
  3. Vallejo paints
  4. The new Charles S Grant Refighting History book
  5. Some canoes for my C18th Indians
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  6. I finally joined the Society of 20th Century Wargamers and May (depending on the freebies they gave out) join the Pike and Shot Society!
  7. The latest Wargames Illustrated…

And finally, my big birthday treat, the recent 2 volume Great Northern War Compendium – which looks excellent!20160522_185959Overall, a bloody good day and a bloody good birthday! I’m well impressed with the venue and look forward to next year

It was a good social event as well, seeing Iain B, Simon T, Dave H, LT, Ronan, Henry, Simon Miller, Phil O, Ian Willey, Olli, Shaun, Paul and lots more! A really good event.

Now, back to the Highland Park!

 

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