Category Archives: shows

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…

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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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Vapnartak 2016 and stuff…

Today was the annual York show, Vapnartak, at York Racecourse. I’ve been attending this regularly for a few years now and it is always a good show and a good start to the gaming year. For a change this year I travelled down on the Saturday afternoon with the intention of meeting up with Iain Burt (Essex Boy) for a few beers. Couldn’t find a cheap place IN York so I ended up at The Bay Horse in Fulford. Clean and friendly B&B, they even sorted me a vegan breakfast. And easy to get to and from by bus (last bus back at 11 though). So last night had a few beers and nosh at Wagamama with EB and a good rant/natter. After a good feed this morning I walked across to the Racecourse via the Millennium footbridge. Bright and chilly it was nonetheless a pleasant walk in.

I didn’t have a huge purchase list for this so the show was more about meeting a few people (from both LAW and AMG) and chatting. It was nice to see a few traders had been moved around and there seemed to be more space between stalls/tables so even at peak time it felt busy but not congested. I didn’t get much time to view the demo games but those I saw were the usual high standard. A couple did seem rather ‘static’ and I have to admit I’d quite like to see some of the ‘regulars’ trying something a bit different or giving other clubs a chance. Admittedly there may not be many other clubs chasing the spaces but it would be nice to see some new blood…

The Alamo game looked particularly nice and I grabbed a couple of pics of other games. These were a bit last minute so I missed getting shots of the upstairs games. The Dragon Rampant siege looked rather nice though!

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The tabletop sale area seemed rather busy on number of occasions and I only managed two run throughs and came away with wallet intact! I know a couple of people picked up some bargains though. There did seem to be a couple of tables/groups there who appeared to have booked quite a long session. Not sure if there is a limit on time but a couple of the sections just felt like a normal Bring and Buy with the same stuff there an hour or more later…

What did I buy? First up was REFIGHTING HISTORY –VOLUME 1 SEVEN YEARS WAR – FIGHTING WITHDRAWALS by Charles S Grant. The first in a new series. I have all his Wargaming in History books and rather like them. Like them, this is not cheap (£32.50) but the production quality is spot on. It is A4 hardback and full of lots of eye candy from both Mr Grant’s collection and that of John Ray. I’m looking forward to delving into this over the next few days so shall report back.

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I also had some battalion guns and crew to collect from Graham from Crann Tara Miniatures. These are the few extra I need for Ayton. Best start painting! And finally, as I have partaken of the latest Forged in Battle Kickstarter, I bought a pack of Celtic infantry so see how they paint up. If I get round to painting them! And final purchase was next month’s Wargames Illustrated which has Marlborough as the theme. Looks a good issue and the content of this mag has been improving much of late. May consider a sub again soon.

And that was it! Very modest purchases (apart from the book!). It was good to meet up with various AMG members (I really must get round to re-registering!) and a few LAW members. Always good to catch up. And good to see some members of the Tyneside and Whitley Bay clubs making the journey as well. All in all a good day. Thanks again to the organisers. And the day rounded off nicely with a few beers with Iain in the York Tap as we awaited our respective trains.

Workbench update

Things have been a little slow so far this year. Despite my great plans I’ve failed miserably to stay Wargaming Neutral and the only time at the work bench has been to do a little basing and a little more to the modern British…IMAG5027 IMAG5028 IMAG5029

Still, better than nothing at all. Hopefully the rest of this month will see things moving again…

 

 

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Border Reiver Haul

Having spent the last week with the family up the coast at Low Newton, we vacated the cottage this morning and headed back to Newcastle. After dropping my daughter off at the stables my wife dropped myself and my lad Zach at Gateshead International Stadium around midday for Border Reiver. This is likely to be my last show of the year and despite my best efforts I’m going to have to work the weekend of the excellent Battleground Show in November. Zach was feeling a little off as last night as we settled down for a relaxing drink and movie on the last night of our holiday, he fell, smacked his head in the door frame and ended up in Alnwick hospital to get a nasty little cut over his eye steri-stripped. But I’d promised to take him to the show and he still seemed keen.

Border Reiver is a nice little show and being local I always meet a good few people there. However, like a lot of ‘sports hall’ shows it suffers from that horrible yellow lighting which is fine for the show itself but a nightmare for taking pictures. This, combined with having a 7 year old in tow meant I forwent the taking of pictures. There were some good demo games on though. The Whitley Bay 3D Gamers were running the 20mm Afghanistan game using a variant of Chain of Command. I’m quite keen to try this and also to see if it will work for 1980s Cold War. The Tyneside Club had a nice 10mm Waterloo game and… that was all I took note of really as I was dragged around the show in search of ‘space things’!

I did manage to pick up the few things I went for:

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It was nice to see Leven Miniatures there. I’ve seen a lot of their stuff online, mostly on Ian Willey’s The Blog with No Name, and have been tempted by stuff for a while so it was good to see them in the flesh. I was quite restrained and picked up some tents, supply dumps, fuel dumps and some Perfect Six Scenics wooden crates. These are all for scenic ‘specials’ for my assorted Cold War 1/300 armies. Eventually… Was nice to have a chat with Mr Leven as well.

Needless to say I had a load of MDF bases to pick up from Minibits. All for the continuing basing of my microarmour. It seems we have lead piles, plastic piles and now MDF piles!

And finally, showing great restraint and sticking to my plan of finishing off existing projects… I bought two Starter Packs from Tumbling Dice. 1/2400 Mid-Victorian French and British ironclad ships… This is to ‘expand’ my C19th Imaginations. No doubt in time for Ayton 2019 when we should be scheduled for our next C19th game! 🙂 (2017 will be Lion Rampant themed…)

Zach picked up a Chaos Marine and a Halo Heroclix figure. And on the way home a M1 Abrams 1/90 4D puzzle. 35 pieces that make a quite nice looking model. Quite usable if it wasn’t for the gap between all the pieces! 50p in a charity shop.

And when I got home the latest Wargames Soldiers and Strategy was waiting for me. Looks like an excellent First Punic War themed issue. I shall be discussing magazines again soon.

So all in all a nice little day. I now have no idea when I’ll get chance to paint anything again as the kids are back at school on Tuesday and it’ll soon be Christmas!

Nice to catch up and chat with a few people at the show. Thanks to the Border Reiver Club for organising.

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AMG at Partizan 2015

It’s taken me a couple of weeks to get round to this. Partly due to work and partly due to being on a slight downer afterwards as it was such an excellent day and it was a shame it was over! So what was it? Well, the gentlemen at the A Military Gentlemen Forum (for people who own John Ray’s most excellent book of the same name) were putting on an C18th take on the battles of Ligny and Quatre Bras. With nearly 20 people involved and using figures from some of the finest C18th collections around it was always going to be an excellent event but it far exceeded people’s expectations and was a real showcase for the hobby.

Most of the planning and organisation was done by Graham Cummings (of Crann Tara Miniatures) who produced the excellent teddy bear fur terrain and also the leaflets available on the day. The scenarios were based on Charles S Grant’s Wolfenbuttel War book and Mr Grant himself was the main umpire as we were using The War Game rules. Here are the attendees:

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  • Charles Grant
  • Adam Woolhead
  • Dave Jarvis
  • Mark Allen
  • Jim Purky
  • Paul Robinson
  • Colin Ashton
  • Dave Hall
  • Graham Cummings
  • John Ray
  • Andy McMaster
  • Gary Philips
  • Neil Cogswell
  • William Harley
  • Andrew Fielden
  • Guy Barlow
  • Phil Olley
  • Iain Burt
  • John Dougan

My part in the game was on the ‘French’ side at Quatre Bras, the smaller of the two games, allied with William and Adam and opposed by Andrew and my arch-nemesis Mr Burt! 🙂 Everyone else was on the Ligny table and I have to admit, the day was so engrossing and fun that I never really got time to investigate the other game fully so this post will really deal with my game.

Where to start…

As the morning mists cleared the French advance guard, sixteen squadrons of cavalry approached the Allied defenses.

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Time was of the essence and with the infantry advancing behind it was decided the cavalry would push forward across the stream and engage the enemy who were defending woods and buildings.

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The left hand squadrons began to deploy to the right rather than try and force their way up the narrow road, the remaining squadrons pushing on past the farm complex.

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And over the thunder of hooves the supporting infantry came marching onto into sight!

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As the cavalry advanced to cross the stream they came under effective artillery fire to their front and withering musketry from the occupants of the farm complex on their left.

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Eventually the left hand lancer squadrons took so many casualties they were forced to retire. But the others pushed on and across the stream. The squadrons to the right having better success as those in the center were subjected to canister, volleys and cavalry counter charges!

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Meanwhile, the infantry on the left began to drive back the troops from the woods and my own ‘Savage Swans’ began to assault began to assault the resolute defenders of the farm complex.

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The first assault was driven back but they went in again!

2015-05-31 14.27.032015-05-31 14.27.16And were again thrown back but enraged at the injustice they went in again!

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But to no avail. The farm complex remained in enemy hands!

In the center, the cavalry battles raged as squadrons were driven back and returned to the fray, those to the right finally engaging enemy infantry and driving them off.

2015-05-31 15.15.17 2015-05-31 15.27.41But more enemy troops were arriving in support and the task facing us now seemed insurmountable!

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Regardless, the infantry in the center pushed on and across the stream.

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But the first unit across, assailed by musketry and canister, was charged in the flank by skulking lancers!

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At this point, we decided to call it a day. It was clear we could not get anywhere near our objectives. But we’d had great fun trying! William, on the right had had better luck forcing a crossing. Adam’s cavalry finally came into play and drove off one enemy infantry unit and his infantry on the left had driven the enemy from the woods. However, the stream was the killer. There was just no time to reform after crossing before being engaged by either firepower or enemy cavalry! It was great fun playing with William and Adam and the opposition (Andrew and Iain) were gents (well, Andrew was… 🙂 ) .

The Ligny games was stunning. A superb table crammed with superb troops. Others on the forum have posted better pics and hopefully there will be something in next month’s Wargames Illustrated but these were all the pics I got.

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It was a most pleasurable day. My main regret was not getting to chat and meet everyone on the other table properly. Thanks have to go to everyone really for getting there and making it so special but especially to John Ray who’s book and forum brought us together in the first place, Graham Cummings who brought the whole event together on the day, and Charles Grant for the rules, umpiring and years of inspiration. I just wish the light had been better so I could get better pictures (a couple of used have been filched from Graham Cummings blog!). John also supplied the attendees with a lovely figure of a gentlemen about  to put on his coat with the help of a servant and it was also great to meet Jim Purky (Die Alte Fritz, Minden and Fife and Drum miniatures) who had made the long journey across from the States for the event! Although Ayton was the first game that got me into C18th ImagiNations, Jim was the man who sent me my first batch of RSM figures (the Savage Swans in the above pics) which helped decide my choice of figures for the entire project!

So, there we are, a great day and plans are already afoot for AMG 2016. I just hope I can secure a pass!

 

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