Monday, November 18, 2013

Warfare 2013

Sunday was Warfare at Reading, traditionally DG and I's last show of the year, but always enjoyed... of the three we usually go to (Salute & Colours being the others) this is by far the smallest, but because it is predominantly a competition weekend it always has a an excellent buzz...  it's also hosted in a leisure centre so there's usually something going on on the civilian side as well - this year it was cheerleaders, and before you all get excited, not one of them was over 10!

All in all, an excellent venue and without further etcetc, what did we get up to??

First off, new to me, Empress Miniatures [clicky] had a very spiffy stand, and I loved these for fairly obvious reasons (that ECW project is just SO close)...

Should I win the lottery or the Premium Bonds I shall cast all caution to the wind..

Lovely figures, 28mm I'd guess, very accurate anatomically...

They really caught my eye..

...and the damage?? £7 for four, or £1.75 each, but they do four pack value deals for £22 (£1.38 a figure), and regimental deals for £35 (28 figures - so £1.25 a figure). Lovely...

Steve the Wargamer is not know for splashing the cash at these events but this time was to be different with the following purchases:

They are WWII early war British:
  • Peter Pig 15mm  - two packs of riflemen, one command, one Bren's, one 2" mortar
  • Essex - one pack of riflemen, one 3" mortar
..and to back them up, some soft transport, and some armoured perambulators ..I love the early war British AFV's - Heath Robinson doesn't even begin to cover it..  (I purposefully didn't buy the MkII Matilda, by the way, as it would dominate the table too much)...

These were prompted by my recent reading of the "To Lose a Battle" [clicky] book about France in 1940 which I loved - they will form the basis for a small composite British force that I can use in Rate of Fire [clicky] games. I have a mind to put together three infantry sections, with a little support, that can provide support for their French Allies...  Jut need a little anti tank support (2 pounder) and they're good to go, but I doubt I'll be able to stop myself buying some Bren carriers!

So having picked myself up following this unusual spending, I then had time to concentrate on the games - some OK ones this year - but (for me) one run away success....  as usual, I ignored anything hex based (hexes are the work of the devil), anything in 6mm scale (they are counters, not figures), most ancients games (bit Dark Aged out) the following is my own hideously partisan, skewed, and generally cantankerous view - but hey, it's my blog...

So in fifth place we have this Japanese samurai game - no idea who put it on, but I was talking to the organiser and they were using his own rules...

In fourth - a very simple looking game which just caught my fancy...  this was the (fictional, I think) Battle of Latek Nek presented by the Wargames Association of Reading, and set in German East Africa in WWI. It also featured a Rolls Royce armoured car, and was thus guaranteed to get my attention!

Not sure what it was about the game, but it just looked....  "nice"...

Really must dig out my copy of "Shout at the Devil" [clicky]

In 3rd place, "Jackson Springs the Trap at Chancellorsville", which was a participation game believe it or not.. presented by the hosting club Newbury and Reading Wargames Society this was 28mm ACW action - and very fine it looked too..

Think they were using a summarised version of "A House Divided" rules

In second place - and this won best Demonstration game - a 54mm (!) Stalingrad game "Attack on the Tractor Factory" put on by the Huntingdon club

Very effective, and lots to look at and see...

Huge amounts of work gone into this...  the figure groups were little diorama's each on their own movement tray....

Counters prove the game was being played...

The factory - complete with part ready T34's


...but in first place - this was by the Christchurch club and featured Napoleon in Egypt in 28mm...

Streets ahead of the other games...

Been a huge fan of this period ever since I saw an article years ago by Charles Grant illustrated by the inestimable Bob Marrion....

Picture courtesy Caliver Books

If I was ever to return to Napoleonics (and that would be a 30 year gap!), this would be the theatre for me..  simply superb.....  so much colour, so much variety...  hussars on camels for goodness-sake!

My game of the show - hands down...

Roll on 2014!!


  1. Great post - I feel as if I was there!

    1. Stryker - glad you liked it - that's the idea really..!

  2. A great haul and some really nice looking games!!

    1. Ray - makes a change for me to buy stuff - don't think I've bought anything at a show this year before Warfare!

  3. Wot...... no hexes :-)

    Must say those ECW figures are absolutely superb, I have seen many ranges but the detail on those is spot on, the way the face guard bars are lifted from the face for example is incredible, some very fine undercuts. And as for that cannon wheel and the Apostles and the hose etc, some of the finest detail I have seen.

    Great report,


    1. Lee - couldn't agree more... the detail was out of this world!

      PS. Welcome to the hex free zone.... :o)

  4. Reading has always been one of the 'standards' and it doesn't look to have lost any of its sparkly.

    A word of caution about the Empress ECW though. I bought a couple of their 'personality' figures and I'm not at all confident as to their longevity, being finely cast in a relatively brittle metal. The swords are unfortunately 'to scale' (never thought I'd moan about that!) and I doubt they'll withstand even modest handling in a war-game. The alternative is obviously flattened pins, but I'm not inclined to spend the equivalent of a cornea transplant on a figure and then have to make it serviceable. They are, however, bang on and well researched which only adds to my frustration.

    1. Gary - thanks for that - one of the great benefits of the web is to get this personal kind of review.. noted!

  5. ECW figs look awesome.

    Totally agree with your #1 choice HUZZAH!

    1. Murdock - that Napoleonic game was mouth watering.... what a choice for a Napoleonic project... Sardinian conscripts, free company's, French line infantry in locally sourced uniforms of all the colours under the sun, camels, pyramids, Ottoman's... what's not to like?!

  6. Empress Miniatures' ECW figures are outstanding! Really works of art.

    Many excellent looking games. I especially like the Napoleon in Egypt and ACW games.

    1. Jonathan - you picked my two stand out moments at the show...

  7. Cracking post Steve - a very thorough catalogue. That Egyptian game looks wonderful and has me casting wistful glances at my pile of unpainted Strelets figures for the period.

    I really enjoyed the Charles Grant book, my Dad got them for me as a graduation present years ago.

    *sigh* Someday.

    1. CK - you're a lucky man - I'd like to get the books.... not sure why, but I got a parcel from Caliver many moons ago and they wrapped it in the covers from those Grant books - I guess they must have over ordered, either way they are now framed on the walls of the loft!

  8. I did n't make the show this year, so it was really nice to see the games. Love the Napoleon in Egypt and the Samurai games! Thanks for the virtual tour!