Thursday, 14 October 2021

Partizan 2021 - Mr Steve has been on his Travels!

Last weekend saw the running of the rescheduled Partizan show at Newark that I and friends normally attend in May, one of the two usual dates the show has been run in the past, pre-pandemic.

However with the relaxation of lockdown restrictions here in the UK, thanks in main to a positive uptake of the vaccine programme that has allowed people to start to resume a social calendar, there has been a bit of a rush for certain shows here in the UK to get on one of the weekend dates before year end, forcing some of us to choose which ones we will include before Xmas and hopefully a return to the usual wargaming calendar.

So it was that I found myself committed to attending the DWG this weekend to not only run my own game but to chair the club's Annual General Meeting where we sort out club business for the next twelve months ahead.

In spite of not being able to be in two places at the same time it is with great pleasure that I have been able to bring some unique pictures of this year's show submitted by the blog's regular outside correspondent Mr Steve who made the drive to Newark from South Wales and sent me a folder of games that grabbed his attention.

In no particular order, the games for October 2021 are;

Continually Wear the Blue, Plains Indian War, 28mm- Barnsley Association of Wargamers

With the glossy new republication of 'Pony Wars' by the late Ian Beck, I still have my original 1980 copy, I have a feeling we might be seeing a resurgence of interest in Plain Indians and 7th Cavalry games and the Barnsley chaps show how appealing these games are especially in 28mm.

Barons War, 28mm- Barons War Facebook Group/Warhost

I have to say I wasn't quite sure how this pet project of Footsore Miniatures would take off when they announced their Barons War range of 28mm figures and rules, with the Hundred Years War and Wars of the Roses the dominant games theme, perhaps because of the larger battles and figure availability.

That said this table really shows how to play this theme on a grand scale and the Footsore figures only enhance the effect with the glorious sculpts they have come up with.

El Cid, The Battle of Bairen 1097, 28mm - Mr James Morris & Friends

Wow! I can see why Steve lingered over this table, what a stunning table and lovely looking game. Our hobby shown at its best which even the casual onlooker couldn't not find themselves wanting to know more. Excellent.

The Battle of Crecy, 28mm - The Bodkins

What was I saying about the Hundred Years War being a popular medieval theme and I think this shows exactly why, with lines of English archers and men at arms facing off against massed ranks of gaily festooned ranks of French knights, what's not to like?

Battle of Zama, 28mm - Hull and East Riding Wargames Club

The Punic Wars and the second in particular is always a popular theme with ancient wargamers and when you see a classic battle such as Zama, Hannibal's last throw of the dice, and the final battle that determined whether it would be Rome or Carthage who would dominate the Mediterranean world you can see why. Love the classic Roman manipular chequerboard line.

The Battle of Dieg, 13th November 1804, 28mm - Boondock Sayntes

This is a period in Colonial Indian history, when the likes of Sir Arthur Wellesley and his brother were looking to make sure that the French would not be a problem in India as they had been in previous conflicts, that I have always fancied getting into. The colour and exoticism of Napoleonics meeting the ancient world together with the backdrop of the Indian terrain and architecture, makes this period a feast for the eyes. 

Fort Isolation 1758, 28mm (Muskets & Tomahawks) - Newark Irregulars

We have a large collection of 28mm FIW figures in our own club and I know a few of the chaps will be interested to see this 'lockdown project'. I think the bright side of this global pandemic is that our hobby has benefitted hugely from all the furlough's and increased painting time. With my own AWI Niagara collection taking shape, fought in the same part of the world only a few years later, I have grabbed plenty of inspiration from the Newark chaps, and I think that's the log fort I have my eye on for my own collection.

Seven Years War, 40mm - Friends of a Military Gentleman

As someone who has spent the last eighteen months building and rigging 1:700th ships for Trafalgar, I have to say this game is ridiculous, well ridiculously amazing; building a collection of figures and terrain in 40mm being mad enough but then to populate the table with fully rigged warships complete with crew has to be up there in the realms of extreme eccentricity and why I love this hobby so much.

Infamy Infamy, Wintery Romans vs Ancient Britons, 28mm - Harrogate Wargames Club

I was planning to play my first game of Infamy Infamy last weekend at club, but ended up running my own game so have it still on my 'must play' list. That said, I loved this rendition of a wintery first century Britain with legionaries in the snow and reminding me of needing to get back to my Romano-Dacians soon.

The War of Triple Alliance, 28mm - Perry Miniatures

I think it is safe to say that you could write down on the back of a postage stamp what I know about the War of Triple Alliance or the Paraguayan War, however the Perrys, regulars at Partizan, always produce an interesting and well turned out game and I think, like Steve, I would have spent plenty of time lingering over this table. Not that I'm ever likely to get into the Paraguayan War, but simply to enjoy the aesthetics of a lovely looking game and come away inspired to produces something similar.

The Battle of Guagamesque, 60mm Ancients (To the Strongest!) - Messrs Lycett and Miller

Alexander and Darius going at it in this 60mm, that's big!, To the Strongest game run by Dave Lycett and Simon Miller. You have to see these figures close up to see the level of detail lavished on them and Simon has posted some great pictures of their game on his blog, The Big Red Bat Cave, just follow the link below.

WWII Pacific 28mm - Iron Brigade

WWII really accentuated the empty battlefield effect of modern weaponry and the period is always a balancing act of the wargamer looking to get the toys out on the table versus depicting that emptiness particularly when it comes to the larger scale of figures.

In the end, as always, there is a compromise to allow the game to show off the look of the battle and the troops involved whilst trying to capture the look of terrain being fought over and this pacific atoll game does a very nice job.

The Battle of Utitza 1812, 28mm Napoleonics - The Old Guard

The advent of boardgame systems like Command & Colours from GMT and indeed Simon Miller's To The Strongest have heralded a new interest in grid/hex wargaming that brings all the advantages of zone based terrain to wargaming with figures; with units in clearly identifiable terrain and with targets clearly indicated by the hex or square grid arrangement, negating the use of tape measures and guessing angles of fire.

That said I have long passed though my own hex and grid phase of gaming as old friends of mine will know with my own adaptations of Peter Pig's WWII set PBI and the Worthington Games for my AWI system, Hold the Line, and have returned to my tape measure and angle of fire device.

The good thing to see with these latest incarnations is that the figures and terrain are not with the stress on the word not a boardgame, when the games are presented in this style and the figures are by no means simply tokens, with all the attention to detail lavished on them and the terrain, whilst capturing the ease of play the game has to offer.
So there we are, a quick review of the games Mr Steve pictured at this year's Partzan that has left me very much looking forward to 2022.

Thanks Steve, and this has been a Mr Steve Production in association with JJ's Wargames.

Next up, I've been enjoying painting some Footsore Vikings so hope to get some pictures up soon and I'm off exploring local battlefields with Mr Steve, so will post on our journey and the traveling goes on with a trip up to Nottingham to join the chaps at Warlord Games commemorating a certain world defining naval battle that occurred this month in 1805 - More Anon JJ.


  1. What a superb looking show. Now I am jealous.

    I have never seen Romans v Britons in the snow. What a nice twist on an old favourite. The El Cid and Pacific war games looked superb too.

    Wellesley in India. Always struck me as a subject worth a look. From what I have read, it has some great colour and flavour to offer.


  2. If you'd seen the "Wellington in India" period game in the flesh, you'd have been searching out figures within the hour. It was superb - to my mind the best at Sunday's Show.

  3. Very much the show that got away from me. I just couldn't take the risk of going to Partizan though it is great to see the wargaming community back into gear. I was glued to Facebook all day waiting for the pics of the games to appear!I was expecting very high class games after such a long hiatus for us all; I was not to be disappointed! all the games were excellent but from what I could make out on this side of the screen I was particularly impressed by the Bodkin's Crecy game and James Morris and Chums El Cid game. I remember being very inspired by James' El Cid game in the very early 2000's at the Claymore show which was my introduction and subsequent obsession with 11th CE Spain!