Monday 10 September 2012

Colours 2012

Once again yesterday I made my way to this great show. This year I was lucky enough to be part of a WW2 demonstration game set up by my friend Steve J, which meant I would also be meeting up with some wargaming buddies that I hadn't seen for a while. The game was in 15mm and was set on the Eastern Front in 1944, with the Germans counter-attacking a Soviet bridgehead across the Vistula.

As one would expect with Steve, the game turned out to be well planned and the terrain a pleasure to fight over. Unfortunately the German players (one of whom was me) failed to break through the Soviet defences and were judged to have lost. Nevertheless a great day was had by all 5 of us, with plenty of the obligatory banter to keep things rolling along nicely. One doesn't want to take this wargaming thing too seriously!

Infantry of the 45th Volksgrenadier Division advance bravely towards a Russian held village,
covered by a smoke barrage.

The 'Double Six Gamers' hard at work.
Dave (foreground) arrived by motorbike and is suffering from a bad case of helmet hair.
Personally, I believe this was the reason we missed out on the 'Best Demo Game' prize.

You can have as many tanks as you like,
but breaking through veteran infantry in hard cover is a slow business.

The Volksgrenadiers have taken the village.
As usual with the Germans, command units are in the forefront of the attack.

Overview at a later stage of the game. Russian air support appears over the table.

As for the show itself, I found it as good, if not better, than ever. All 3 floors were full of people enjoying the large number of demonstration and participation games, in addition to which the trade stands area had been expanded and was full of new products. Perhaps the only drawback of being involved in a demo game is that time to see other games and give the trade stands a really good look over is limited. 

I took a few photos of games that appealed to my personal tastes - there will be better and more comprehensive photos on other blogs and sites, I am sure. The standard of many of the demo games was mind-bogglingly high, providing great visual appeal and also inspiration to visiting gamers, which is what you want from a show. 

Agincourt in 15mm.

28mm Napoleonic action.
Bedford Gladiators I believe, and a game related to the 200th anniversary of Borodino

Detail of the above game. Ah, the old 'base too wide for the bridge' problem...

Borodino in 6mm, by 'The Old Guard'.
Look at the extraordinary effort that went into the terrain.

'Borodino, The Grand Redoubt'. 15mm game by Loughton Strike Force. Another  outstanding effort.

Detail of the above game.

Belgium 1914, by the Whistable and Herne Bay Wargamers (20mm).
An example of a 'model railway standard' layout which created a magnificent spectacle.

Another view of the 1914 game. The church and town hall were particularly impressive.

Just one corner of the 28mm 'Very British Civil War' demo game. A table packed with  interest .

These few photos do no justice to the number and variety of quality demonstration games on display. The number of innovative and good looking participation games was also impressive. The time and effort which had obviously been put into some of these games, of both types, was amazing.

All in all, a great day out  and I can't recommend this show highly enough - the nicest venue currently in use, playing host to one of the biggest and most thriving shows out there. Congratulations to the Newbury & Reading Wargames Society on another great success.

Saturday 8 September 2012

Polish Campaign Link

Assuming that some of the visitors to this blog are interested in the 1939 Polish Campaign, I wanted to post a link to Alexander Kawczynski's blog, Anatoli's Game Room. Apart from a fair amount of other stuff on the blog, Alexander has produced an outstanding resource for wargamers of the Polish Campaign called The September Campaign

Whilst this is at heart an 'orders of battle' booklet aimed at Flames of War players, it is beautifully produced and contains a lot of useful information for any gamer of this campaign. Even better, Alexander has another project in the pipeline to be called 'Poland In Flames', which will be an historical scenario book of even greater interest to non-FoW players.

'The September Campaign' is available as a completely free download, and is a pleasure to read. Thanks to Alexander for an outstanding contribution to wargaming this period and making it so readily available to other wargamers.

Thanks also to Steve J for letting me know about this.