It’s been a while since I brought you a report from one of the wargames shows in the UK. There’s an obvious reason for this – which is I don’t get to visit many. Work and family life often prevent me from taking to the road and travelling around the country, even thought the shows are almost always on a weekend. It was a rare treat, therefore, to make the trip up to Derby World Wargames over the weekend (now held in Castle Donnington), accompanied by my good chum and Chief Lard-meister, Mr Richard Clarke.
We ran a participation game of ‘Viva Ras Begas’, and excellent short scenario using the Sharpe Practice 2 rules form TooFatLardies. The action was set in the Horn of Africa in 1840, and lots of details of the game, the figures and the terrain are available HERE on Richard’s Lard Island News website.
Everyone seemed to have a fine time playing the game, which saw two thumping wins for the evil African slave-traders. Good job that history never turned out like this! Huge thanks to everyone for playing, chatting or just stopping by.
I had a good chance to walk around the show and collect a few things. I met new friends and old, and thanks to everyone who made me feel very welcome. I think that every one of the demonstration games I looked at was at least a very good standard, with a select few being really excellent. While not discounting the merits of the other games at the show, one game, based on the Battle of Rain in 1632, caught my eye.
As a Thirty Years War game it looked superb. I had the chance to chat with Dave, who was running the game and had painted the figures, at length. What I loved about Dave's game wasn’t just the amazing standard of painting of figures, or the superbly hand painted banners. What excited me was that the units had been built in a very eclectic manner, using figures from the widest possible range of 25mm figure manufacturers.
There were Wargames Foundry, Warlord Games, Essex, 1st Corps, Dixons, TAG, a small number of Redoubt and no doubt others in the Imperial, Weimarian and Swedish regiments and squadrons. While figures of markedly different sizes were not mixed in the same unit, Dave mentioned that he had gone out of the way to mix figures of the same size of different manufacturers. The result was amazing. The differences in 25mm figure size and style blended seamlessly, as they so often do when the figures are on finished bases on fine terrain. Sometimes when we hold two 25mm figures in our hand, they can look to be very differently sculpted, shaped, sized and proportions. When painted, these differences can, I think, melt away in the glory of a game like Dave’s.
The one downside of an otherwise good venue was the dodgy lighting, as sadly you can see from some of the photos above. For once, my hamfisted photography was not to blame, but rather it was the electric light in the venue, which seemed to have a distinct ivory cream glow to it. If the colours in the photos look a little vivid, and on the yellow-ish side of the colour wheel, I am sorry – but for once, I don’t think it’s my fault!