Monday, September 12, 2016

Colours 2016

"Bear with..." the battle report from the last game [clicky] will be along in a minute (also - by the by - my 800th post!), but first a report on DG and I's foray into the wilds of Berkshire, to the very hinterlands of Newbury, where we were forced to visit Colours and spend a whole lot of cash..

It was the weekend of Colours so in addition to the game, DG was also here to visit the wargame show which is now in it's umpteenth year at the race course - not sure how many years - they had a hiatus for one, but I think at least six or seven - either way - cracking venue with lots of light, air, and much easier to get to than the old Hexagon (which was the very opposite in terms of air and light!).

It's also still down to one day instead of the old two day/weekend event...  jury (for me) is still out on that - I guess visitor numbers are up (it was pretty jammed all day from what I could see) but this seems to be at the cost of competition games/demo games and the like...  I assume (and I have no experience never having been one) that competition games require a longer period for the tournament???  I further assume that for demo games (as opposed to participation games) it's a lot of effort to set up for one day (Salute is kind of different since the audience is so huge..)? Either way, not so many good looking games, and the whole feeling is a bit frenetic - this is definitely more a trade show than a gaming show - but still an excellent day out (one of my three a year)

Due to the whole re-basing thing this year, for the first time in donkey's aeons I actually had a shopping list, most of which I managed to complete - with no Caliver at the show one of the items went by the way side - hopefully they'll be at Warfare in November - so, as the Bloggerati are want to say, here are my "shinies"  ==>

A bag of white mini dice - now that I'm using for casualty tracking I realised I didn't have enough of them - got lots of red (rout) and yellow (shaken) but whites were few and far between...

Also, a bag of static grass, half of which has already gone into my pot of basing material (the basing material pot is a bit like "Trigger's broom"* - I've been using the same stuff for 35 years now, it's just had 14 bags of static grass added, 25 bags of...  etcetc )

Lastly a couple of wagons for the ACW project - same manufacturer as the last one's [clicky] (Britannia - model HDT4 [separate clicky]), but a different type just for variety.. an excellent price by the way, £4.50 for a 20mm wagon, including horses and crew, but (having started on them already) the cast quality is as rough as old boots so they will need a little work....

Shopping and browsing done - and it took me a good 2 or 3 hours to get round every trader - it was time to check the games which as per previous events - were on the top floor.... as usual here are my favourites in reverse order - it was an easy win this year for me...  as ever, if a game features any of my illogical dislikes (hexes, 6mm or smaller, etc etc) it's unlikely to feature in the following..

"Last", or third if you prefer...  the Crush the Kaiser team had a demo game featuring the latest addendum to the rules covering the "Mexican Revolution"..

Nice terrain, some nice models..

..what earned it it's place was the train..

Little activity on the table to be honest, no one seemed to be playing it, and I'm not a huge fan of individually based figures...

..but the train was nice...

Second place - I think this was a participation game and there was nothing to show who was running it but I thought I recognised it and I can confirm that this game was a Salute earlier this year (it was my fifth placed game [clicky]) and was run by by 'Loughton Strike Force' [clicky] - "Russo-Finnish War 1940".

"The plucky (but misguided?) Finns take on Uncle Joe's minions, with an attack over an iced lake was based around the Battle of Rate Road [clicky] during the Winter War between Russia and Finland in 1939..."

Lovely modelling..

In first place, though, was this game - "Caught at Kut" - I'm a sucker for desert based games, and biplanes - this was also fairly close in period to my Sudan project - add into that some superb modelling and a very nice looking table, and it was a "no brainer"...

Bit of a "Lawrence of Arabia-type-thang", as a British relieving force fight their way through the Turkish besieging force, to a British held fort..  superb little vignettes all over the table though..  loved this telegraph/radio wagon in the fort...

Turkish siege lines - artillery facing both ways..

Royal Navy would not have it all their own way - I loved this as I can't imagine it had any effect on the actual game - it's just there for the look...

Artillery and attached "canteen"

The Royal Navy unloading supplies...

While the RFC provide air cover - look at the stitching on the cockpit - lovely model...

Sikh troops advance through the remains of an ancient monument...

While a Turkish biplane circles above..

These were the rules being used..

...a stand out winner without a doubt...  the only thing that possibly could have improved it would have been some Rolls Royce armoured cars...

...and now by way of a change..   this is the offering from the South London Wargamer's...  the sheer amount of time and money spent on this is beyond calculation...

..barking mad... this thing stood two foot tall and had little red LED lights for eyes...

..bonkers - not my cup of tea, but I doff my cap to anyone who feels engaged enough to want to put on a game like that...

...and that was it - roll on Warfare...

*I'm aware that for most non-UK readers the term "Trigger's Broom" will be a confusion - I can only suggest "Google is your friend", and enjoy the results...


  1. nicely presented - I like the focus on your top three.

    1. Cheers Norm - don't get me wrong there were a lot of other games as well, but nothing that pressed my buttons enough to want to include them.. there was an interesting depiction of the siege of Portsmouth in the English Civil War that didn't make the cut purely because I have an 'illogical' dislike of mega games, for example...

  2. Great post Steve. I do like the Caught at Kut game.

    1. Cheers Ray, for me it was the clear winner..

  3. Great post Steve. I do like the Caught at Kut game.

  4. Thanks for the report and pctures Steve as I didn't go this year. I think those ar the best pictures I've seen so far of the show.

    1. Cheers David - appreciated - new camera (this year) is a doozy, and Picassa/Photoshop helps! :o))

  5. I went myself and you have captured my impression of the show. 'More a trade show than a gaming show' - exactly my thoughts. But I enjoyed it.

    Your dislike of hexes and scales smaller than 6mm is of course not illogical, it is entirely rational. This kind of common sense needs to stated more often!

    1. Cheers Keith - it's a cracking show.. On the subject of hexes and 6mm I find myself getting more curmudgeonly as I get older... I even had a conversation with DG on the day about the fact that any future projects will be "bigger than 15mm 'cos my eye's can't handle it"... I'm getting old... :o)