Saturday 25 May 2024

Partizan Wargames Show 2024

Another year in the hobby and another Partizan Show to be enjoyed as I was joined last weekend by Steve M and Mr Steve on our 'Boys-Beano' to Newark for a weekend of fun, banter and great wargames.

This year was a little different from previous occasions in that we were not planning to travel up to play a game on the Saturday and so took things a little more leisurely which definitely suits the vintage of the boys involved, arriving up at Newark on the Saturday afternoon, in time to take in the Newark Air Museum, located on the former Royal Air Force Bomber Command station at Winthorpe, as is the George Stephenson Exhibition Hall in which Partizan is held each year.

An Avro Vulcan, one of the exhibits at the Newark Air Museum, we enjoyed on our pre-Partizan trip up to Newark on the Saturday afternoon.

I will do an additional post looking at the museum and its collection, but the Vulcan V-Bomber hopefully will whet the appetite for my take on the museum.

After our exploration of Newark Air Museum we enjoyed a very pleasant sunny drive out into the Lincolnshire countryside to our accommodation for the Saturday night, staying at the Fox and Hounds Country Inn at Willingham by Stow, where we enjoyed yet more fine weather out in the beer garden followed by a superb dinner and the next morning an excellent cooked breakfast prior to making our way back to the show-ground.

The carpark outside the exhibition hall was rammed as was the show itself and despite having had a leisurely drive over aiming to arrive about half an hour after doors opened there was still a queue to get in.

A rammed show is a great outcome for the organisers and the traders and so I can't bemoan that fact which ensures premier shows like Partizan keep going and I think it is indicative of the excellent quality of Partizan in terms of games on display and the traders present that keeps wargamers like us making, in our case the 4-5 hour drive up to Newark each year, to be there.

A very busy start to Partizan 2024

That said Mr Steve and I decided to take some time out in the mid-morning to enjoy the sunshine outside, grab an ice cream and wait for the usual crowd that come to shows to pick up their stuff from traders and leave, which certainly seemed to have eased the earlier crush when we went back in a bit later.

I didn't have much stuff to get as I had ordered and received prior to the show some new ships from Warlord and just had some sets of playing-card mdf tokens to pick up from Diane and Martin at Warbases for friends at club, so after a pre-lunch perusal of what was on show, went for a closer look at the games that grabbed my attention this year later in the afternoon session when game tables were much more easier to enjoy.

As well as the usual traders and display games to be seen there were the usual societies on duty featuring this year representatives from the Lance and Longbow Society, Northampton Battlefield Society, 21eme Regiment de Ligne, National Civil War Centre, Battlefield Trust, Models for Heroes, Society for Army Historical Research and a charity sale.

I have the excellent book by the Northampton Battlefield Society that contains their game recreating the Wars of the Roses battle fought at their local golf club, although I don't think the fairways looked quite like they do now back in 1460, but I seem to recall that the Society did magnificent work in challenging the golf club's plans to build a car park on this important historical site and seeing their terrain model of their game reminded me that I must have a go at playing it one of these days.

Battle of Northampton, the game, produced by the Northampton Battlefield Society

I come to Partizan to get inspired and just enjoy soaking up the atmosphere, chat and the historical knowledge and great art expressed in the games showing as they do our hobby at its best, however  I should say that this was the first year that I had left home without my trusty camera in hand and so had to resort to the phone which is not ideal and I apologise for the lack of the usual standard that I like to show here on the blog, but the camera on the phone did a fairly good job to capture the look of the games I focused on and so in no particular order I present them here for your enjoyment. 

Jutland 1916 - The League of Augsburg

Barry Hilton is a very talented chap and it was with much glee that I took the time to see the marvellous new WWI model ships in 1/4800 scale that he has produced with the chaps from the League of Augsburg here giving a birds-eye view of the Battle of Jutland 1916.

It's folks like Barry that inspire my own efforts and I love his attention to detail expressed here in these tiny destroyer flotillas with each destroyer carrying its yard-brush filament mainmast and picking up where he left of with his wonderful Anglo-Dutch Wars models I seem to remember enjoying at the last Partizan show I attended.

It's Hot Here Sir, 28mm Sudan - The North Riding Wargames Club

I love most things colonial and this Sudan inspired game with British and Egyptian troops up against a Mahdist army ticked quite a few boxes, and reiterated how in modern times a well turned out set of figures can be greatly enhanced with nicely turned out, simple but effective scatter terrain and a suitable terrain cloth, gloriously creating the right effect.

The Battle of Gabene 316BC, Macedonian Successors in 28mm - Westbury Wargamers

The Westbury chaps set their game up based on the original sources, mainly relying on Diodorus and using the maps from 'The Wars of Alexander's Successors Volume II' by Bob Bennett and Mike Roberts; that saw them combining the smaller cavalry units into one formation.

The bulk of the infantry is from Victrix and the cavalry from 1st Corps with them using their own period specific rules, 'Spear Won Land'.

The Battle of Unao September 1857, 28mm Indian Mutiny - Boondock Sayntes

The Boondock Sayntes are regulars at Partizan and given the standard of game they produce have regularly appeared on JJ's reviews of previous shows, and their speciality of all things Indian Mutiny always impresses, although I did notice the chaps normal flair of an accompanying bottle of claret seemed to be missing from proceedings, but that certainly didn't detract from their lovely setup and game.

Oscar Mike, 28mm Vietnam - Rubicon Models

Rubicon Models have a wonderful selection of WWII and Post War vehicles and infantry on their website and were featuring their Vietnam inspired collection of figures and rules 'Oscar Mike'.

JJ's Wargames - Vietnam 2016

I was initially drawn to their stand where I noticed they had a wonderful diorama of a Vietnamese tunnel complex complete with US troops cautiously checking out the jungle terrain topside, and it reminded me very much of our visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels near Saigon during our visit to Vietnam back in 2016, with a link above for those interested in the six posts I put together recounting that extraordinary trip.

I then turned about only to notice their display game which immediately remined me of our time on the Perfume River and our visit to Hue with the balustrade wall lining the river side roadway brilliantly capturing the feel of the place as I remembered it. 

On the Perfume River in Hue City Vietnam 
JJ's Wargames - Vietnam 2016


I have never built a collection for Vietnam but this is the look of the game I would hope to create had I done so. 

Conquistador, 28mm - Like a Stone Wall Wargames Group

A certain member in the Devon Wargames Group sprang to mind when I saw this wonderful Conquistador game from the Like a Stone Wall Wargames Group, and Chas, I reckon you will like this one.

As well as some lovely looking figures on display, I was aghast at the attention to detail shown on this amazing collection of period buildings, right down to the cascade of blood shown running down the steps of the obligatory sacrificial dias.

Warriors of Rome: The 3rd Century Crisis, 28mm Rome Vs Sassanids - The Bodkins

As described above, this game was inspired by Harry Sidebottom's novel 'Warrior of Rome' and the adventures of Ballista, appointed Dux Ripae, military commander of the Empire's eastern frontier, by Emperor Valerian.

It is 255 AD and the borders of the eastern empire are under threat from the Sassanid Empire led by their ambitious and ruthless King Sharpur I, and Ballista, a distinguished soldier, has been given the task of defending and holding the city of Arete, a strategically crucial fortress on the border.

Unfortunately for Ballista, the city is in a state of disarray and its garrison poorly equipped and undermanned with the defences in desperate need of reinforcement from a Roman relief column and this game setup assumes the arrival of that relief column.

I was very interested to see the excellent looking game as I had read the book and this certainly looked like a great 'What if' setup.

The figures are from A&A Miniatures and Aventine and the rules being used were Warlord's 'Hail Caesar'.

The man himself, Ballista, complete with Raven emblazoned shield, ornamental helmet and white Draco flying defiantly overhead.

One Steppe at a a time, 28mm Eastern RenaissanceMr Phil Olley

Phil Olley's Eastern Renaissance theme illustrated well that you don't have to have a huge table to produce a gloriously turned out game and his collection of figures, the teddy bear fur married with scatter terrain and a wonderful steppe style village really captured the look of this period.

The colours of the armies and their banners makes this a very attractive period to model and I thoroughly enjoyed taking my time over the pictures of this superb little collection. I might have to get my copy of George Gush's WRG Renaissance rules back out!

Across the Rio Grande, 28mm Mexican-American War - 1st Corps

This fictional battle was set in the Mexican American War of 1846-47 and features a Mexican army under the command of Santa Anna, arrayed along a ridge blocking the advance of the Americans under Zachery Taylor.

The village is being used to secure the Americans right flank as well as acting as a supply depot astride a tributary of the Rio Grande and is guarded by American dismounted dragoons.

All the figures are from 1st Corps and the rules used were General D'Armee.

Far East Chain of Command - Too Fat Lardies

It was fun to see Nick and Richard at the show giving an airing to their new theme for Chain of Command, focussed on the Far East theatre in WWII with this wonderful Malaya inspired set up complete with a Japanese light tank and opposing 2-pounder anti-tank gun.

I know my paternal Uncle Les who was a Singapore and Malaya veteran and who survived the Burma Railway, no thanks to the best efforts of the Imperial Japanese Army, would have been thrilled to have seen this game and Chain of Command is an excellent choice of rules to fight this infantry heavy theatre of battle.

Guildford Courthouse 1781, 28mm AWI - Huntingdon & District Wargames Soc.

If you are putting on a 28mm AWI themed game at a show that I'm at you're very likely to have me standing close by having a look and having gamed Guilford Courthouse a few times over the years I always love to see how others interpret this very well known battle that left General Cornwallis victorious with his Pyrrhic victory but would see him retire from the field of battle and end up in Yorktown to surrender seven months later to General Washington, that would ultimately cause the war to end two years later.

Lovely terrain, Perry miniatures, nicely turned out, what's not to like?

The Battle of Bladensburg 24th August 1814, 28mm War of 1812 - Forest Outlaws

The War of 1812 is also another period I have always fancied building a collection for and the Paul Hicks range of figures from Brigade Games is what I would use if they were available here in the UK.

In the meantime I focus on other projects and scratch the itch by enjoying others efforts in producing games for this theme such as this rendition of the 'Bladensburg Races' as it became known to the British troops involved on the march to the American capital, Washington, unable to run quick enough to keep up with the retreat of the US militia sent to to halt their progress.

I have a feeling the chaps recruited a few Portuguese infantry and their mules, seen below, to accompany the British Peninsula Veterans! 

The Battle of Freeman's Farm 1777, 28mm AWI - Mr Steve Jones

Steve Jones was back at Partizan with his lovely AWI collection recreating the Battle of Freeman's Farm with his own rules, 'Bloodybacks' version 8.3 which can be found on his blog; 

Again a very nice AWI game to see.

The Silmarillion (28mm), Midgard Heroic Battles - Morris and Chums

I love a bit of classic fantasy and it doesn't come more classic than The Silmarillion by Professor Tolkien, a book I read before Lord of the Rings and so am well aware of the feast of battles it contains within it from the first and second ages of Middle Earth.   

I have seen the Midgard Heroic Battles rules system from the pen of James Morris previously and I see from the information presented by Morris and Chums that they are still awaiting publication by the Too Fat Lardies Reisswitz Press, which I look forward to and this game was a great example of what you can produce using them, with High Elves going toe to claw with a fire breathing dragon and accompanying orcs and trolls.

Bloody Omaha, 6mm WW2 - All Hell Let Loose

Finally, a game that appears at the start of this post certainly caught my attention even though I am not a 6mm gamer but can appreciate the artistic effort in the game presented by the chaps from All Hell Let Loose and their rendition of Bloody Omaha in this the year of the eightieth anniversary of D-Day.

I find with these smaller scale games that the terrain is as big a draw to the eye, if not the biggest draw, than the figures, and they create a different type of game to that of the larger scales and when done well, as in this case, are very appealing, although at my age and declining eyesight this is a scale that I am very unlikely to indulge in.

A game such as this seems to combine all I love and enjoy in a board game with all the aesthetics I look for in a tabletop figure game and makes for a nice combination of the two.

So I hope you have enjoyed my take on Partizan 2024, and I know Steve M, Mr Steve and I thoroughly enjoyed our day and I would thank the organising team, traders and game presenters for making another enjoyable show.

Next up: I have the first of my small ships for Camperdown to showcase, plus my take on the Newark Air Museum and Carolyn's and my adventure to meet the 'Jumping Crocodiles' on the Adelaide River near Darwin.

More anon


  1. An excellent post, what a wargaming eye candy treat.
    Thanks for sharing JJ.


    1. Hi Willz,
      Thanks mate, we had a glorious weekend with weather to match the quality of the show which I think is right up there with the best the hobby has to offer which is why we keep on making the log drive up each year.


  2. Thanks for the plug for Northamptonshire Battlefields Society at the top of the blog! We added "shire" to our name after we published 1460 as we realised we had a lot more battlefields to talk about. The "Northampton 1460" game is now out of print, but you can download the pdf from Wargames Vault. Did you have a chance to play our Argenta game about 5th Northants during WSW2?

    1. Hi and thank you for the update to the 'Shire' wide focus of the society and the important work you chaps do on behalf of all of us concerned with preserving our military history and heritage.

      Thanks also for the update on your games and the accessibility of the WOTR Northampton game via Wargames Vault as I didn't know that, but no I hadn't seen the Argenta game, but it sounds very interesting.

  3. Brilliant report with some lovely pictures to boot ! It is is difficult to pick a favourite from those offerings, but the Conquistador game certainly gets my vote for the terrain. Good to see you gave the Midgard game some love too. I think the fantasy players are some of the best painters in the hobby.


  4. Super report and so many great games to pore over, really inspirational stuff!

  5. Loads of great photos of what was a brilliant show.

  6. Great report and fantastic photos. Shows our hobby in an excellent light.

  7. Great report . Glad you enjoyed my Sudan stuff 😀

  8. Thank you very much for your kind words about my Omaha board and for an excellent write up of the show.

  9. Hi Chaps,
    Many thanks for your comments as it's really fun to be able to share these experiences with like minds, and to the game organisers who were featured and have commented, my thanks to you for contributing to making what Partizan is all about, namely a premiere show-case for our hobby - well done.


  10. Great report,love the pictures in the Bodkins game - well done

    1. Hi and thank you; yes indeed, me to, it was a superb looking game and very evocative of period and the story with great attention to detail.