Category Archives: shows

Battleground 2018 Show

It’s nearing the end of November so it must be the Battleground Show in Stockton, ably organised by Leon and the chaps at Pendraken. Up early and a good run down the A19 saw me arrive with ten minutes to spare. It’s a good venue. Plenty of parking, easy to get to, and good lighting. And the event is free entry. What’s not to like. Only slight downside this year was that the student cafe was closed so there was a pie and sandwich van outside and drinks and little snacks in reception. They did at least have nice coffee and being vegan, I was glad I brought my own scran. The van apparently did very well and sold out and it seems that that will be the arrangement next year. 

As ever, some good games on display. There’s a gallery at the bottom of the page but the highlights for me were:

The Battle of Piercebridge by the Battlefield Trust. A very nicely done 2mm battlefield.

An excellent 10mm Battle of Blenheim by Stafford and District Wargames

And some lovely little figures in the Brompton Bankers Battle of the Standard

And mention must be made of the Lesser Spotted Peeler who with the Yorkshire Coast Gamers finally managed to turn up on the correct day and out in their DBN Waterloo game.

To be fair, all the other games were decent and above so no offence should be taken at not getting a special mention. See the gallery for more pics. It was great to chat with Tim W, Peeler, Goat Major, Bob, Norm, Dave J and many others. Thanks to Simon (Goat Major) for the loan of some AWI related rules things and to Peeler for delivering some Spencer Smith FPW Bavarians from Essex Boy. More to add to the Shinification.

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The Haul

So what did I buy, considering I was not desperate for anything. Theme of the day was Dark Age… I’d considered buying some civilian type figures from Newline as they have their sale in. But they didn’t have them. So they are coming in the post. I did buy some Viking Archers though. And then I popped to see Graham at Crann Tara. He was selling off a load of Early Saxon figures and some Crusader and other Normans. So a few packs of Normans were acquired and a few odd ‘character’ figures. The rummage boxes on Colonel Bill’s also saw a few cheap Norman types. 

And Crann Tara had a lovely new ADC on galloping horse that just had to be bought. And on the Tablestop sale I got five AWI Ammo wagons. Just need some horses with them. 

I tried not to buy some paint. Yet again I failed to check my stock so I’m sure at least a couple of these are unneeded. And I restricted myself to one pot of blue…

And Stuart H from the Tyneside Club had acquired some 15mm Samurai and amongst them were some FIW/AWI figures which he kindly passed to me. Not sure what make they are but they will fit in some where.

And finally, in the white envelope at the back in the top picture is another MDF paint rack from Warbases. I now need to sort my desk put to make room for it!

So, all in all a good day. There were some well attended talks upstairs during the day but I failed to make them. Hopefully they will repeat similar next time. So, thanks again to Leon and Co. for all the hard work for yet another excellent show.

A

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Border Reiver 2018 – Gateshead

Popped down to my local show today, Border Reiver at Gateshead Stadium. Not a huge show but some good traders there and it’s always good to support the local show. Spent a lot of time chatting with people and managed to be quite restrained with purchases. I’d wanted to do the tabletop sale but didn’t get my act together in time – maybe at Battleground….

There was a reasonable spread of games (demo and participation) including by my two local clubs: Tyneside Wargames Club and Whitley Bay 3D Gamers. The former doing some ancient naval action and the latter delving into the realm of the samurai!

My purchases were rather restrained. Some more trees from Andy at Last Valley, some Artizan Viking Hirdmen from Colonel Bill, some rather lovely Viking Shieldmaidens from Footsore, and some paints. I was very careful this year. Last night I checked all the paints I was low on. There were six. I then checked the ‘spares’ box and there were new bottles of ALL of them. Needless to say I still convinced myself I was running out of Dark Prussian Blue so bought a bottle and now have two spares…

Nice to chat with lots of people as well though I didn’t natter as much as I usually do…honest… I could have bought more but I’m trying to be sensible at the moment…

A good day then and thanks to the Border Reiver chaps for organising it all!

A few more pics in this gallery. 

Whitley Bay 3D Gamers - Pike & Shotte Japanese Sengoku Period

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Partizan 2018

Made the annual trip down to Partizan today. Had to get a hire car as my lad was doing the Gregg’s Cancer run so my wife needed the car. This delayed setting off as I spent five minutes reading the car manual trying to find out how to open the bloody fuel cap!! It’s a nice run south at that time on a Sunday so after a brief coffee stop at Blyth Services I arrived at 10:15. The queue had dispersed and I walked straight in.

The new venue is excellent. Plenty of space but it did get a little warm at times today. I had no great plans to buy anything. I’m trying to be sensible and rationalise projects. I’d ordered some green stuff from Minibits to be collected from Eagle Figures and I had a few 15mm Japanese buildings to collect from Brendan Morrissey. So apart from the odd pot of paint and some bases that was all I expected to come away with. The best laid plans…

I know it doesn’t look a lot but… As I want to do some 28mm Sharp Practice (I now have a couple of Conflix pre-painted buildings from EB at Ayton) I thought I really needed some tree so Last Valley provided my first 28mm scenery! Not a lot but a start.  And as I’d been reading a bit about SAGA v2 and have some Normans AND now have some 28mm scenery I cracked and bought the new version! And the Viking boards. And some dice… You can see the buildings there as well. Brendan convinced me to buy the extra Russian types he had a well and as two were nicely painted it seemed churlish to refuse! I suppose I better paint some Saxons now…

So…the rest of the time was spent meeting and chatting with Simon, Iain, Graham, Gary, Kerry, John, Jeremy, Jamie, Phil, Henry and numerous others at different stalls and games. All in all a good social event! 

There were some excellent games on show and as I spent a lot of time chatting I didn’t get to do an extensive set of photos so I’ll just pick a couple for here and the rest will be in the Partizan 2018 Gallery.

For me the highlight game was the 28mm Stalingrad game from Earlswood Wargames Group. An outstanding table that looked like a WW2 battlefield should look!

The League of Gentleman Anti-Alchemists The Biscotti Wars – Garibaldi in Sicily 1860  had some lovely figures and an outstanding centre piece:

The Perry’s put on a lovely 28mm AWI game though I suspect all their games look like this!

And the large Zulu game from North Hull Wargames Club – Battle of Islandwana looked excellent!

And too many others. I’m sure when Henry Hyde posts his official show report his photos will do them all justice.

Thoughts on the games – There seems to be a increase in the use of printed mats and cloths and fur as the base terrain for games. Fur done well looks great (Graham’s Crann Tara game) and the pre-printed mats look really good nowadays (The Biscotti game and Simon Miller’s ECW game) but a couple of games used home made cloths and I thought they just didn’t work and distracted from otherwise lovely figures and terrain. I’ve tried colouring my own mats and it’s not easy so I’m not claiming any superiority here! And other games set the bar really high.

Traders – I was listening to the recent chat from the organisers on Henry Hyde’s podcast/battle chat. It was good to hear some background on how the show developed and the plans for the future. I like the focus on the separate areas (participation, trade and demo games) but I’d really like to see a few more traders let in. I understand there is a waiting list (and a long one for some traders!) but some traders seemed to have a LOT of space.  I wouldn’t want to see traders crammed in with no room to browse but I really feel a little adjustment would allow a couple more of the well know traders in. I did wonder if there could be a ‘new traders’ area. Just small stalls with new and upcoming companies having the chance to show stuff off. With advance orders they could bring stock to cover those and a sample stock to entice new trade.  But what do I know. I’ve never organised a show and I doubt any decision would keep everyone happy…

I’m not really complaining. It’s a two and half hour drive for me and if I didn’t think I was going to enjoy it I wouldn’t go! I left about 2.15, more because I wanted to be home for the kids in a reasonable time. I could happily have stayed ’til the bitter end and chatted away – it’s that kind of show. And long may it remain so.

A

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Border Reiver 2017 – a late report…

2nd September. Border Reiver. My local show. Gateshead Stadium. I always like to go to this. Support the local show and traders and catch up with lots of people. I never seem to make it to local clubs at the moment. Kids and work. Never seems to work out. Anyway. The Show. To be honest I was a little bit disappointed this year. There seems a lot of ‘space’ in the hall and it didn’t seem that busy. There seemed fewer demo games this year and I know a couple of traders pulled out. Whether the extra space created by that gave the illusion of less busy I don’t know. A good spread of traders although someone pointed out there were a lot of people selling Warlord stuff at varying prices.

I got to chat with lots of people, some of which I hadn’t seen for a good while. The tabletop sale seemed busy for most of the show and there were one or two absolute bargains on there! None of which I took advantage of…

The games. Some nice ones on display (especially  the 30 Year War one) but taking pictures was a ‘mare as the yellow light ruined every shot. I’ve tried tweaking them but…

Rumbling Guns game
Battle of Newburn 1640
Battle of Newburn 1640
Harrogate Wargames Club – 30 Years War
Tyneside Wargames Club – Trojan Wars in 10mm
Whitby Wargames Club
Harrogate Wargames Club – 30 Years War
Section 8. Some good participation games
Redcar Ironbeards
Section 8 again
AP Wiley 28mm Wild West
Battlefield Design

I’ve not seen any official figures for the show but I hope the numbers were OK and that next year the missing traders return. It’s good to have a local show that attracts the bigger traders.

Did I buy anything? Well… I had nothing I REALLY wanted. The bargains on the tabletop sale were good but I don’t need another period or scale! So my only purchase was two pots of Vallejo paint! Bronze Green and Light Sky Grey. Not a huge purchase but all I needed and the day out was made by the social side with lots of good chats.

If you want to see more pics of the day then visit Herybird’s Nest for a full show report.

Enjoyed.

A

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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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