|Excellent modelling displayed by the Earlswood Wargames Club and their Ardennes themed game|
This is the third visit to the show which has grabbed the end of year spot in my wargaming calendar and as well as having some interesting and inspiring games to see also boasts a good turn out of traders and new products.
The show has from my experience also been well supported by visiting gamers and the pictures below shows a very crowded and busy trading hall when we arrived at about 10.30 am.
|Crowds fill the hall, great for traders not so much for the crowds in a limited space|
Not only that but the car parking, in a very busy sports centre, on a weekend, is not really adequate for the added pressure created by the wargaming visitors and we like many others were forced to drive around a nearby trading estate looking for somewhere to park.
If the internal tannoy was anything to go by some visitors didn't bother looking too far away for parking opportunities and I heard several calls for owners of various makes of vehicle together with identifying registration plates to come to reception to move their said vehicle.
I should say that the crowds fell off dramatically after lunch and it seems to me that shows like Warfare may need to come up with ideas like the Penarth club with Crusader, where guest speakers are invited to present on historical subjects that encourage punters to stay on and potentially spend more afterwards which is really important for traders who, with some I chatted to, had travelled as far away as Lincoln and Hull.
I offer these comments in a constructive way as I know a lot of work goes in to organising shows like Warfare and ideal venues with plenty of parking, particularly in the London area are not easy to find, but the problems described are not likely to decrease over time and I would be keen to see shows like Warfare prosper going forward.
|Prototype MDF Roman Villa buildings on show at the Warbases stand|
The first item on my must see list were the promised examples of some 28mm Roman Villa style buildings being developed at Warbases that I believe should be available next year.
The precision of these laser cut masterpieces was something to behold and with the Dacian War collection in mind something that would really grace the table for the games I have in mind.
I didn't linger to long in the traders hall, fearing falling over would likely mean I wouldn't be getting up. However I picked up some much needed magnetic tape from Coritani and the AWI Scenario Book 3 from Caliver Books, plus a dice bag and some mini dice.
Wargaming supplies replenished I headed for the game displays and was immediately attracted to a fine model of a Typhoon laying it on thick with the 60 lb rockets, I'm sorry but I didn't note the organisers of this game, and I am assuming from the list of displays that it was the Huntingdon and District Wargames Society.
There was a distinct 1066 theme at the show, rightly so, given the 950th anniversary of that momentous year in British history and the Malvern Old Wargamers had a very fine table representing the Battle of Fulford, using the Armati rule set.
|Hordes of Vikings seen in Reading yet again, very fitting in memory of the Great Heathen Army tying their boats up in the town in previous times.|
What follows and heading up this post are the pictures of my game of the show, this fantastic Chain of Command game by the Earlswood Wargames Club representing the 505th/101st Airborne Division's, Easy Company's attack on the town of Foy during the Ardennes fighting and so memorably staged by HBO in Band of Brothers.
The attention to detail in this game was something to see, including the use of spray can tops covered in material to represent the classic snow covered hay stacks as portrayed in the TV show.
|Screen shot from the series to remind you of the detail captured in this game|
The attention to detail in the terrain was matched by the figures with some great snow cammo effects achieved on vehicles and men.
Some of these pictures make me cold just looking at them!
I think you will agree, a superb looking game, and having featured a few on this blog over the years, well up there with the best.
|Spot the LMG team in wait in the roof cavity|
I do know from Steve M that two of the chaps running the game were former "boot-necks" otherwise known as Her Majesty's Royal Marines and therefore having spent some time down in our local parish.
With my own 28mm collection for the Dacian Wars percolating in the background this scene could quite easily replicate a Dacian War struggle on the Danube frontier with the Roman navy and the Limes frontier post.
Lovely looking game chaps, and great inspiration for us fans of early Imperial Rome.
As announced in the preceding Wargaming media, Gripping Beast were rolling out their new set of ancient/medieval rules 'Swordpoint', demonstrating the game with a nice little display of Teutonic Knights going at in a suitably snowy set up.
These rules are a possible contender for my Dark Age big battle set and I found the interview about them on the recent Meeples Podcast most interesting as well as recent magazine reviews . However I am not in a hurry to be an early adopter so I will wait to see what further reaction develops about them.
Did I mention 1066? Well you would be surprised not to have seen the 'Hastings Set To' not represented and here is King Harold's line in all its glory facing off multiple attacks from Duke William's Norman cavalry and infantry.
Having just reviewed and enjoyed our own game of 'Over the Hills' Napoleonic rules it was a pleasure to meet the authors in person, Adrian McWalter and Quinton Dalton, putting on this Austrian vs Bavarian display game.
As you would expect there was plenty of information detailing the game and Steve M got himself a mint copy from Caliver Books whilst we were at the show.
This little 'cribbage board' caught our attention as these were the first prototypes of a potential option for recording brigade,/divisional/army morale other than just writing the scores down.
We had a discussion about potential price points going forward, and with the some ideas forming on doing some Talavera scenarios with the rules I really like this way of recording fatigue hits.
With all the chatting about the rules, I nearly forgot to share some close ups of the game, which would have been a shame as the chaps had brought along some nice figures and terrain to show how things get played using 'Over the Hills'.
If want to know more about the rules you can also go to the Over the Hills Facebook page, join the group and see what others are doing.
Continuing the Napoleonic theme, close by was this very nice Napoleonics in Egypt game presented by Steve Deeprose.
I am sure I have featured Steve's game on another show report, but for me you can't have too much of the look of this early period in the Napoleonic/Revolutionary war as the uniforms are great especially against a desert style background.
And last but by no means least I present this participation game about the Raid on Schweinfurt carried out deep into German territory by the US air-force on October 14th 1943 which finally disproved the idea of the self protected bomber group making deep penetrating daylight raids without fighter supremacy.
Again I am guessing this was put on by the Staines Wargames club as they are the only game down as a 1/144 aerial combat game, although I fancy the bombers were closer to 1/300th.
I really enjoy getting the planes out on the table and have a large Battle of Britain collection stored at JJ's Towers but 1/144 scale models only add to the fun. The German fighters were particularly attractive and the terrain board was simple but very easy on the eye designed to represent the terrain from high altitude.
So there we are another Warfare seen and enjoyed.
Thanks to all the folks at the Wargames Association of Reading. I could see everyone involved yesterday were busy helping the visitors have a good day out and looking after the traders .
And thank you to Steve M and Mr Steve for their company on the day.
Next up, well loads of stuff, as the day job has been getting in the way of posting. So we still have Vikings to come and the Spanish 2nd Cavalry Division which is now finished awaiting parade pictures together with the last regiment of Dragoons, the Almanza Regiment, and a special project announcement.