Tuesday, September 18, 2018

I have been to.. Colours '18

So before I put up a post on the JC Memorial game just a brief review of the Colours show which I attended Saturday.. this was my first wargame show in 10 months, as I purposely missed Salute this year (I think I'll go next year by the by, as I've worked out that a show is much more than a big bunch of traders and hygienically challenged fat blokes with pony tails -  it also helps to fuel the enthusiasm, and general wargaming mojo which was much missed this year)

Big crowds of people - no decline for this show, but again, apropos of nothing, every time I go I''m amazed at how much more ground has been sold and turned into luxury flats looking over the race course..  so the old car park is now a block of flats, and the new parking is in the centre of the course..  bit of a frisson walking across the race track to get to the stands..  I'm amazed how long the straights are..

First point of call the Art of War t-shirt stand on the top floor - big Lee clued me into these guys on one of his posts, and I put in a trial order for their Shieldwall t-shirt - which i was very impressed with - good fit, good quality, so I was going to get another tshirt today - the Raven banner one this time. I recommend them completely and without reservation...

Job done I then wandered off to have a look round the show -  wads of twenty quid notes widely seen so people clearly not short of money - didn't really sense a trend this year, lots of MDF of course but that's not new, didn't really sense a new period coming to the fore, or any new 'go to' rule sets..  lots of shopping going on though..

What caught the eye? Some very nice and very reasonably priced resin boats on the Games of War stand the boats [clicky]in particular were very nice and very reasonably priced.. I also liked these which I thought were brilliant and hugely affordable - I may well invest and replace those ratty old home made terraces I use for 15mm WWII skirmish... they are separate as well so roof and upper story can be removed..

Booty then? The aforementioned t-shirt, some additional mini dice for the AWI collection (to show unit status), a book on the Earl of Essex that I've had on my to 'get list' for a while (my ECW project is based round Edgehill so this will fit the bill nicely) and for the first time in an age some little metal men - dismounted dragoons who are destined for the AWI project - enough for two units, one of them will be British for sure, the other I can paint as the American 4th Dragoons - if they work I'll get some more to represent the other units I have. These were from Eagle Miniatures and very reasonably priced..

...and so on to the games...   not going to a wargames show for 10 months is good for the soul - it refreshes the taste buds and allows you to enjoy games that if you were going to lots of shows you'd probably ignore ("meh" as the young people like to say)

So I have four games to feature from the myriads of games being shown..  and in the usual manner, in reverse order, they are..

Fourth.. "Operation Goodwood" by the Friends Who Like Rapid Fire... shed loads of 20mm goodness, and everything I like and dislike about Rapid Fire on a single table...  

...everything I like and dislike about Rapid Fire...

...modelling was magnificent, vehicles and terrain lovely, but..  you knew there had to be a but...  wall to wall cab ranked tanks...  it looked like a Sherman NCP car park on a busy Saturday morning at the local shopping centre...  it called out for just one carefully time fighter bomber sweep...  I know, I know, it's an operational level game, but it would have been infinitely better looking if a smaller scale had been used so the the vehicles could have been spread out a bit...  10mm perfect, 15mm better..

In third place, not my period, not my scale, and hex terrain (though DG thought they weren't using the hexes for movement measurement?) but I thought this game was magnificent..  "Blood and Bridges", a cold war game in 1/200 scale (tick) by Chris Wykes and Friends..  now this is a miniatures version of the board game (Lock ‘n Loads World at War series) and is a fictional 3rd World War encounter between British/NATO forces and Russia..

..loved the helicopters..
Simply superb..

Cab ranked tanks again, but in this scale they work..  yeah, I'm weird..

...and in second place... "The Race Across Idlib Province, 28th October, 1918" by "Adrian Shepherd and Friends".

...so the background to the game is that the British are attempting the capture of the last remaining Ottoman/German airstrip in northern Syria (a collection point for serviceable aircraft) ...  and it was the aircraft that caught the eye for me...

..."Krak des Berger", a ruined Crusader castle scratch built  for the game by Adrian Shepherd....

...game information presented on A3 laminated sheets made to look like old newspapers from the day - very clever..

Rolls Royce armoured cars and Model T's ..  what's not to like!

Loved the Triplane as well

...and that Fokker DVII is good enough to eat..
...other blog posts [clicky] would confirm the British failed in their objective on the day, but a good time was had nonetheless.. 

So without further ado..  in first place...  Simon Miller's "To The Strongest" English Civil War game, "Soggy Bottom", which was wall to wall beauty, and a joy to behold..

Parliament left, Royalist right

...Cromwell and the lads looking for a good time..

Old Robin's own..

More Parliamentary horse - left flank..

Royalist horse - right flank

...I bet Archer liked custard as a child...  how GOOD are they?

Stunning flag..

...final view.. one day...  one day..

Superb show..  roll on Warfare... 


  1. All good, I like the focus on just four games.

    1. My apologies Norm, Blogger didn't let me know you'd commented.. thanks..

  2. I haven't been to Colours for years now, but I enjoyed your take on the show. I sent Phil to do my bit of shopping!

    1. Cheers David, one of my favourite shows... Warfare next month!

  3. Thank you for the commentary on these games. I agree about the 'wall to wall shermans', completely unrealistic. However the spectacle of the game is great and a tweak to the rules would easily stop this. I put a large desert game on some years ago and liberally sprinkled cotswold buff stones around the table saying they could not be moved except by troops taking one move to do so. Any tank going over a rock threw a dice to test for shedding a track. 'Tank phalanx tactics' stopped immediately!

    1. Stephen - the spectacle was indeed awesome..