Monday, September 13, 2010

Colours Wargame show.. 2010

Just for once, this year DG and I attended the Colours show on the Saturday - traditionally we've always attended on a Sunday but for one reason or another Saturday was the only day I could make (a complicated story involving the current Mrs Steve the Wargamer, the availability of Steve the Wargamer's sister, and the Southampton Boat Show which I won't recount..)

Arriving bright and early (just after 10) the first surprise was the large queue - not something we're used to seeing on a Sunday (the second surprise was the hideous downpour when we were still 25 yards from the door!) - I wonder if it isn't time for the Newbury & Reading Wargames Society to consider queue buster badges a la Salute... might make things easier...??

Either way, it warms the cockles to see so many wargamers piling into a show and Colours continues to be a huge attraction - the move to the racecourse at Newbury those years was inspired - if only for the perfect light that seems to stream into the building (well the first and second floors anyway!)

So.. a busy show, and because of all my sailing activity this summer I wasn't looking to buy any lead (though Newline and Black Hat were both their trying to tempt me out of some cash!) - I have stuff ready to paint, it's time I've not had; though that will change soon enough as my boat comes out of the water for the winter in two or three weeks time..

No - this trip I had one thing I definitely wanted, other than that I was there to browse... the thing I definitely wanted was a copy of the recently published "Regimental Fire and Fury" which I got. A small moan - why does Caliver have to be more expensive than everyone else??? It seems a small thing, but their copy of the rules was almost 10% more expensive that where I went and bought it - OK, it's only a couple of quid but I find it slightly irritating.... so if any of you want a copy, you can buy it cheaper from the Wargames Emporium and although it's not listed on their website I also saw it on the Miniature Wargames site...

Elsewhere, have you ever had that amazing feeling to have found a bargain on the bring & buy only to find out that you already have the item in question when you get home?? Me too on this trip!! I could have sworn I didn't have a copy of this book (Omdurman by Ziegler), but when I got home I found out that I have it in a different version.... bah - n'er mind, it will go to a good home eventually.

As was my wont, I had a look around the demonstration games, and have to say that in my view it was a "fallow" year - there were no really stand out games... so as usual, here's my top 3, in reverse order...

In third place, a large Napoleonic game put on by the Bedford Gladiators - 28mm and depicts actions during the Borodino Campaign ... impressive, but let down a little by the lack of sign-age to explain what was going on... click on any of the following for a gratifyingly bigger view by the way..

In second place a much better documented game - "Operation Hands Up!" - and a very friendly set of gamers who explained to me all the game was tying to represent - this depicts a fictional invasion of southern Brittany in July 1944 by a US infantry division and 1st British Airborne - fictional, but based on an actual WWII plan to do exactly that so as to capture an Atlantic port intact... lovely looking game, using Rapid Fire rules and put on by Maidenhead and District Wargamers..

..and in first place, a bit of deja vu as I last saw this game at Salute just five months ago (where it won "Best Terrain") this is the game by the Loughton Strike Force, based on the battle of Busaco, and with the most amazing terrain ever - the whole table depicts a ridge, most effective... beautiful figures too.

Some honourable mentions as well for Mid Somerset Wargamers who had a nice game based on the British garrison in Tangiers during the 20 years we held the town (the following from their website)

...also a very nice Spanish Civil War 10mm game which just wouldn't photograph well - Russians versus Italian put on by Dunbristenham Gaming Collective (cool name!)...nice looking - nice people too - happy to chat about the game...

..and that was it - roll on Colours 2011!


  1. Very nice article and pictures, as usual.

  2. Steve,

    I fear that I have a couple of books that I've inadvertently "doubled up" on. . . . *sigh*

    -- Jeff

  3. I was also caught in that queue and the rain at about 10.30 on saturday morning. Agree with your choice of games. I had not seen the Busaco game before so stood an admired it for some time. I could only stay for a couple of hours as I had to scoot back for a friends wedding but I did quite a bit of shopping to stock up with figures, paints etc. I also agree with your comment about prices. A number of items I bought were about 10% cheaper on different stalls.