Derby World Wargames at Castle Donington 2013

Having failed miserably to make two shows last month (working on the day of Border Reiver and discovered a flat at 7am as about to set off for The Other Partizan the following morning) I managed to secure a trip to the Derby show by combining it with a visit to friends in Birmingham on the Friday night and a trip to Shrewsbury to visit my aged Aunt (who we are planning to move up with us soon). The trip down was not too bad bar traffic south of Ferrybridge and Friday evening was spent at Billy’s with copious red wine and an excellent curry! I did regret the wine the next morning… but it didn’t stop me getting to the show for just after ten. There was a pretty long queue to get in but it moved quickly.

I was a little lass than impressed with the venue last year. It felt cold and ‘corporate’ and just too big and noisy with passing jets and racing cars! Some of that was undoubtedly the shock of the new (I really like the old Uni site) and this year there seemed less noise and the atmosphere felt ‘warmer’ so I think I may be OK with the change now! I avoided the food bar an overpriced cheese pasty at the bar but I understand there was a deal on for breakfast. And the frankly shocking state of the toilets last year seemed a little improved. I did leave at 1.30 this year and the toilets had started to stink but didn’t seem as bad as last year. Hopefully heading in the right direction…

As I only really had three hours there I hadn’t intended taking photos as I just wanted to meet up with a few people and grab my indented purchases. But a few of the games were rather nice so I ended taking a few. And then stopped as my camera (on my HTC One) started giving everything a green tinge so I gave up. But here’s what I managed…

I had wanted to watch the illustrious Rich Clarke demo the new Too Fat Lardies rules, Chain of Command. I watched a few parts of the first demo and the game seemed to flow well and attract a good bit of attention. I already have the rules but this has finally pushed me to start playing them.

derby01 derby02One game that did catch my eye was The Leicester Phat Cats “Booster Ridge” (Yom Kippur War) – The Last Line of Defence in the Valley of Tears. Well presented with the players in suitable garb!

derby03 derby04The Boondock Saints had their usual wine enhanced 6mm extravaganza but my only phone was a green tinged blurred mess but though no picture they deserve a mention!

Another excellent desert game was Derby Wargames Club Battle for Tunisia 1943.

derby09 derby10 derby11And this excellent looking game which I can’t ID from the leaflet!

derby06 derby05And finally a tidy little game, Caseshot Publishing, Boxtel 15th September 1794. Wellington’s First Battle.

derby07There were other equally deserving games but for once my camera (and time) failed me.

The Social and the Haul

The plan was to meet a few people (mostly WD3’ers) at the bar at noon but on passing the Baccus stand I spotted Ian Willey (of The Blog With No Name) picking up some of the new Baccus French. These and all the new Napoleonic ranges are lovely figures but I have decided Napoleonics are not for me, especially in 6mm. There is just no way I can paint enough (I usually do both sides) to enable a game so I finally unloaded the last of my figures. The two completed Prussian 1815 stands I did went to Ian and can be seen (along with some kind comments) here and the unpainted 1806 Prussian went to Ian’s mate Lee.

I stopped off at the Fighting 15s stand to pick up some of the excellent Huzzah Miniatures SYW Prussians and the figures for one of my ‘specials’ for Ayton 2014. Nic Robson of Eureka was also on the stand so it was nice to catch up with him and say hi and to thank him for the two lots of geese he sent me to convert into swans for my ImagiNation projects.

The Lardies demo had finally tipped me over the edge for CoC so I stopped off at the Adler stand and grabbed a few packs of Germans and Brits to give them a go. I only have scenery for 6mm (in any quantity) and don’t find single based 6mm fiddly! And Adler have more character than H&R or GHQ so seem the obvious choice.

I also grabbed a second set of cards for Longstreet of which more below…

The noon meet saw Ian and Lee and then we were joined by Simon Tonkiss (Goat Major). I’d already bumped into Andy H both in the queue and around the show. World2Dave was due but I only met him as I left the building at 1.30! All in all good chats were had.

I also (after seeing AndyH grab some) got some A3 hex paper. I’ve been trying to do maps for my ImagiNation for ages and have been using various computer apps and drawing programs and nothing has been coming out well so I’ve decided to go Old School and draw them by hand!

Final purchases were a copy of SPI Hof Gap for £1! And from the Bring and Buy a copy of Tom Clancy’s Marine and Paddy Griffith’s Battle Tactics of the American Civil War. The Bring and Buy seemed pretty well run and never seemed heaving. I had a few good looks through and there was some nice stuff there but nothing bar the books grabbed me…


So that was it for another year. I actually enjoyed the show more than last year. Got all I wanted. Had a good natter. The atmosphere seemed quieter and a few people I spoke to felt the numbers were down on last year, but others seemed to think it busier! The organisers will no doubt be able to confirm! I think I can now live with the venue. I’d like less smelly toilets and I’m still less than impressed with the food but as a show it ticked all the boxes so well done to he organisers. I cannot comment on the competition games as I only really passed through that area once but it looked busy and well organised. I’ll be back next year, hopefully for the full day!

A Diversion?

I’ve been trying to trim my projects down and not get distracted. The release of Sam Mustafa’s Longstreet ACW rules posed a little dilemma. The forces involved didn’t seem large and the enthusiasm for the game generated in the months running up to the release had grabbed me. I contemplated using 3mm and very scenic bases, or even Baccus 6mm. But the prospect of painting up both sides meant it unlikely I’d ever get a game. Then I remembered. Many years ago I bought a 15mm Union army on the B&B at the Edinburgh show. Mostly Minifigs figures it was a decent size force. I’d then acquired from my mate Billy in Birmingham a small Confederate force. Needless to say I never played a game and eventually sent both armies to Billy as he planned to use them. Despite adding some figures he never managed a game and on Saturday morning we rummaged in the attic and I reacquired them to use with Longstreet! I’ll be sorting them out this week and seeing what is there but I think there is plenty for a game!

acw01 acw02 acw03 acw04I think the Union may be lacking some cavalry but there are a lot of unpainted figures there as well and I’m sure that can be remedied! I’ll post more when I’ve sorted them out.




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