Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Colours 2012

Pictures and a report of the Wagon Train game will follow in due course, but first of all here's my report from the Colours Wargame show, which DG and I went to on the Sunday...

This was the reason that DG was down from deepest darkest Wales as we go every year, and is one of our three regular shows..  in as much as you can express a rating for a wargame show though (they're all brilliant aren't they? ), while I still think it's a brilliant show, it's the least brilliant of the three...

I used to like Colours more when it was at the Hexagon Centre in Reading - yes it was a bit dark, and a bit convoluted to get round, but it had a brilliant atmosphere - I'll be the first to say that on paper the race course is the airier, lighter, more refreshing venue - but wargaming is an  inside activity suited to darker surroundings....

So how was this years show??  Welllllll...  I don't have much to compare my view with as things seem very quiet in the blogosphere with regard to the show - I've only seen one other review (he liked it), I'll be interested to hear what Legatus has to say when/if he blogs, as I believe he was there, other than that I only have DG's view and we thought it was a pretty quiet show to be honest...  a full set of traders, but not many people to buy from them, the show games were a little lacklustre (in my opinion), the demo games were OK, but there didn't seem to be any bright and new idea's....

Dark Ages continues to dominate, the theme of the show this year was Borodino so there were a few games related to this (none of which I really liked! One was 6mm ..  blechhh...  one was nice terrain - I forgave them the hex tiles - but the figures were a little "average"...), and if I was forced to make a call I'd say the next rave period is going to be ECW (based on no analysis at all - just gut feel)

Purchases were the first Wargames Annual for a knock down £8 (reduced from £15), and a copy of the Esprit de Corps "A House Divided" ACW rules for the same price...

I continue to be slightly put off by the Regimental Fire and Fury rules (I think I'm getting cantankerous in my old age - I preferred the beta version to the final version!) but am slightly mollified in that DG appears to feel the same way so maybe it's not just me! We've now dismissed "Guns at Gettysburg" as a possible alternative (too complicated), these one's look OK, and at £8 you can afford to take a punt, but I'm slightly put off by the sheer number of tree's that must have been felled to print this publication...

So...  what about the games at the show....??? Welllll (uh oh - there's that "welllll"  again) I have to say there was a paucity...  so unusually for me I don't have any favourites, but here were my stand outs....

First the Skirmish wargamers were there with another of their huge games set on the retreat from Moscow in the Napoleonic wars..

.. I asked what the white powdery stuff was, as it looked a bit like soap flakes - apparently it's the stuff shops buy at Christmas for their window displays - either way it was getting everywhere - hope they had a hoover with them!

All in 54mm - lots of detail..

Another stand out was the Very British Civil War game by the same guys who did the game I liked so much last year - this years game, I thought, was a bit crowded though - it lacked focus and just seemed to be an excuse to shove as many (lovely looking) figures and models on the table as possible... it just ended up looking a little unrealistic...

Liked the fold down armoured truck centre... oh, and Jones's lorry complete with the full Dad's Army platoon...!
See following for what I meant about crowding...

...and the only thing missing in the following is a kitchen sink...

Last of all the following was a game put on by the Warlords, and represented the Battle of Alam el Halfa (the first battle of the 2nd Alamein) in North Africa. click on the link for further views..

On the face of it this should be my stand out favourite game of the show but it fails so badly on the crowding issue... I dislike WWII games where the vehicles are lined up right next to each other.... the the terrain was lovely, and the models were mouth watering - what put me off was the sheer number of them..

...any Kittyhawk driver who saw that little lot in front of him would have have thought all his luck days had arrived at once........  now clearly this is a divisional level representation but even so - in my view the table is not big enough, or they should be using less models to represent the division....

Sounds like it was a really rubbish show which would be very far from the truth...  DG and I enjoyed it very much, just not as much as we have done in the past...  roll on Warfare


  1. In short, less is often more.

    Thanks for the pictures and report.

  2. I have the same problem with games for the Second World War - at times it looks like wall to wall armour aka medieval knights. At least they had air support in this game which is so often overlooked by gamers.
    Good report for the show.

  3. Your not the only one getting older and wants his games easy to play and understand. While I do like Fire and Fury and I agree Guns at Gettysburg is too complicated might I suggest Black Powder if you haven't already tried. Honestly, it's the best rules I've played and is so easy to tailor it to ones taste and would have no problems with ACW.


  4. Some very impressive looking games. We used to go to Colours each year at the Hexagon, and have only been once since they moved. Bring back the Hex!!!

  5. Agree about the VBCW game, and the desert game you mention. Apart from that, you must have been at a different show to me! Loved it myself, thought the 6mm Borodino was very impressive, demo games excellent as a whole.

    I thought it was pretty busy on the Sunday, and this remains my favourite show. As for the old Hexagon Centre being better - crowded, noisy, smelly, a bitch to get round - you must be joking!

    Seriously, always interested in alternative views. Thanks for posting.

    Best wishes, Keith.

    1. Keith - surely if we all though the same way, this would truly be a boring hobby! As an example, DG and I have agreed to disagree on the matter of hexes for as long as we've known each other!

      You and I can agree to disagree on 6mm counters... sorry... miniatures.. :o))

    2. Actually I've decided that 15mm is the smallest I will use from now on. You just can't make out the infantry in any smaller scale. But I thought that Borodino battle was a spectacular effort regardless.

  6. Steve, I like your 'I'm currently reading...' and 'I just finished reading...' features. Can you let me know how you added them? Thanks, Keith.

    1. Hi Keith - yes - they're Blogger "Picture" gadgets - I use the caption field for the review.. I don't want to teach granny so I'm assuming you know how to add gadgets.....