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.


 Ashley said...

Nice pictures. Good overview of the show too.

Keith Flint said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keith Flint said...

Ashley, thanks. Your own blog post on this subject reminded me that the only real weakness of this show is the catering. Strange and disapointing for such a large and well established venue.

Steve J. said...

As always a great pleasure to read your post Keith. My more detailed AAR will follow but you have captured the flavour of the day nicely.

I agree that the only down side of a demo game is the complete lack of time to really wander the show and see all that it has to offer. This year I didn't even make it to the top floor and lots of the demo tables. From your few selected pics the standard look exceptionally high this year.

Maybe next year it's time to take a break from the demo games and just spend a leisurely day perusing the show...

Mad Padre said...

Thanks for these pictures, Keith. AS someone in the vast bleak part of North America, I envy you British types with all those great shows near to you.
The 1914 game looks very tasty, best of a fine bunch there.