Friday, November 23, 2012

Warfare 2012

Rivermead Leisure Centre - venue for Warfare - picture
shamelessly blagged from Legatus's blog post on the
same show
So this weekend was perhaps my favourite wargame show of the year - yes, I know they're all good when push comes to shove, but of the three shows that DG and I typically attend in a year, Warfare shaves it for me because the atmosphere is always so good - I think it's also to do with the time of year that its held..  you can almost, just about, sniff Christmas when this show is held...

This year was no different, and after a slightly later start than normal (DG and I were playing the concluding game in the Raid on St Michel campaign the night before and were having such fun I don't thnk we finished until well after midnight - watch out for a post soon) we hit the road on a beautiful sunny day - you can see what it was like in Legatus's picture let - clear as a bell, with the autumn foliage in full display...

Hour and a half later we were there having set the world to rights and taken a scenic tour of Basingstoke on the way....

First impressions were that the show was a little quieter this year - it was the second day, but it wasn't quite as busy as usual, but the same culprits were displaying in the traders area, and certainly seemed to be doing good business....  as a small show you would normally expect it to stretch over 2 days, but Warfare has always been primarily a competition event and that drives the number of days it's on...

I didn't have a shopping list this time, as I'd stocked up at Colours on most things I wanted - I had a few "nice to haves" though which I enjoyed checking out - a few things I didn't buy () were:

  • Zvezda 15mm kits - there were a number of four for £10 deals going, and there was one 5 for £12 but I resisted - that project is primarily skirmish orientated too many vehicles will just drag me into a different scale of game....
  • TSS Terrain tiles - I had a yen for some long ridge lines as per those you sometimes see in Charles Grant's teaser replays [clicky] but he'd sold out the day before... never mind I said - no doubt you'll be at Salute in April? Not on your life he said - we make more money by staying away and running a sale on the website...   interesting......  a portent of things to come perhaps???
  • 15mm artillery for the WSS project - I just needed a few to use as abandoned gun markers, and to put on the back of limbers....  but at average £2.70 a gun I thought that was a bit steep when you could buy an entire limber and horses for the same amount!
As a competition event the display and participation games have always seemed to me to be secondary - which is fair enough - if I want display, pomp, and four part shading I look for the games at Salute and Colours, but I thought that this year there was an even greater paucity of games to drool over....  such that my top 5 this year is a top 2....

I'll say straight off that I ignored the hex based games, and I also ignored the 6mm/1:300 games, sorry guys it's my blog, and hexes and 6mm are the spawn of the devil....

In second place then - and it would have placed highly irrespective of how many games there were there I'm sure - is this effort by the Malvern Games Club or possibly the Society of Ancients (I've checked my notes and I think this was put on by "Malvern Old Wargamers" who seem to have no web presence at all!)..

All in 28mm and what first caught my eye was the deceptively simple terrain - this is old school Ancients wargaming with a modern twist - very plain cream coloured cloth, a few low hills, and then lots and lots of brightly coloured, well painted, figures....

Looked like the rules were Armati (I didn't want to interrupt, though they were happy to chat)

...and it looked to me like 1st Crusade? Western troops with kite shields (a la Normans) against large numbers of Arab types...

I loved the flags...

In first place though was this little game put on by the Wessex Wyverns [clicky] which despite not being the advertised Sudan game (the guys told me that they weren't happy that t was a ready as it should be so they've held it over for another show) was absolutely lovely...

Rules were Muskets and Tomahawks [clicky] and this time what got my attention were the lovely Indians (Native Americans??) - the war paint had to be seen to be believed - superb!

Just look at that war paint!
Nice looking game I think you'll agree..

Table as a whole...
..and that was it - brilliant day out - but do you know?? I didn't buy a single thing.... 


  1. Very nice pic steve... but have they got rid of the smell of old jockstraps and wee wee yet?
    Its been a few years since I traded there and aside from the fact that Sunday was largly pointless the "fruity aroma" is about all I can recall.

    1. One of the joys of warfare is getting to watch the young mums swimming as you go in.. :o))

  2. Always a pleasure to peek at what's going on across the pond. The Crusades game is Old School but nine the worse for it. I see some Military Orders, surcoats etc so probably not 1st crusade but that about reaches the limits of my knowledge of the era.

    Not as impressed by the F&IW game. Nice painting on the figures. Doesn't look terribly North Americanish though and where are the farmers and families? Oh well, presumably the players had fun.

    So were there a lot of the devil's spawn about?

    1. Ross - a fair amount... both hex, 6mm, and a combination of the both.... I remember a fairly large brigade level American civil war game that was quite colourful.... Wings of War..... It's a foolish notion, and I don't expect everyone else to agree as we are a broad church, but I see hex's and 6mm figures as just a tiny step away from board games..... :o)

    2. I thought being a bit like a 3d board game was most of the point of hex games.

    3. Hi Ross.. yes.... but that's the source of my irrational dislike...I want to wargame not boardgame (now there's an interesting discussion to be had)...

      My wargaming aesthetics were largely formed by Featherstone, and to a lesser extent Grant - neither of them used gridded boards, as a result a wargame with a grid just doesn't feel "right" to me (purely my opinion of course, nether right nor wrong, just mine)... if I want to boardgame I play Chess.. :o))

  3. Some great pics Steve, the Crusader game looks excellent!

    1. The thing I liked most about it was the sheer simplicity.. all extraneous bits and pieces stripped away, all that is left is a simple but hugely effective terrain cloth, a few hills, and lots and lots of colourful contrasting troops.... seemples as the irritating meerkat says, but genius really...

  4. Thanks for sharing your day Steve - that Crusades game is wonderful!!!
    Less is definitely more sometimes

  5. Great pics, thanks for sharing. Those banners look beautiful!

    1. Scott - not bad are they! I wonder where they got them from??

  6. Thanks for the excellent pictures - I forgot my camera -although the Blackberry worked outside! The figures on the Muskets and Tomahawks game do look beautiful (Conquest/ Warlord figures?) but I agree that the scenery does look a bit too civilised!

    Don't know how you resisted all those cute little tanks though...

  7. Went on the Saturday myself and have to say that I was very disapointed by the 'standard' of Display games on offer this year, and this is a show I always enjoy visiting too!