Misc., Wargame Shows, Newark
I did a lot of driving this weekend – a round trip of 750 miles. After giving a pirate talk in Whitehaven (raided by John Paul Jones in 1778), visiting a relative near Bolton and interviewing old sailors in Hull, I landed up in Newark, and my first visit to Partizan for a few years. the show used to be held in a dingy and cramped old civic hall a few miles out of town, but now its moved to a bright and cheerful hanger-like structure on Newark showground. This was a great venue, with the space to move around, and the light to see everything on the tabletops. Like any show this was about meeting old wargaming buddies and chewing the fat with them, buying lead, admiring the games on display and generally enjoying the experience. Highlights for me were hooking up with my old friend Peter Dennis – Osprey artist – who brought Andy Callan along with him, a man whose rules I’d admired for years. I also met Nick Buxey for the first time, the guy who did such a brilliant job with the maps for my Jutland book, and who I successfully enrolled for a couple of new projects. The only drawback was I had to leave by 2pm, in order to make it back to Edinburgh (300 miles away) at a reasonable hour. So, in no particular order here are a few pictures from the show, featuring a few of the tables that caught my eye. The very top one is my own club – South East Scotland Wargames Club and their late Samurai participation game, using the fun-packed The Men Who Would be Kings rules. Below that is a pirate game, run by an RAF club (surprised to see the air force turn up at a weekend), and below that is a stunning table featuring Bonaparte in Egypt, laid on by the Perry twins. Above and below are two details from a table featuring the Japanese attack on the Russian Far Eastern harbour of Port Arthur in 1904. If the 1/600 scale pre-dreadnoughts aren’t impressive enough, just take a look at their modelling of Port Arthur and its defences. Next is my newly-met chum Nick Buxey’s group – Stonewall – and their game set astride the Kokoda Trail in New Guinea in 1942. Nick modelled the mountain, which was pretty impressive, and was a real jaw-dropper compared to the largely two dimensional games on other tables.
Below it is the late Great War game laid on by Aly Morrison, which looked terrific. Below that is Dave Brown’s table, a 15mm Napoleonic game which was played using his new rules,. General d’Armee (published by the Too Fat Lardies). I hadn’t seen Dave for a few years – we used to game together when I lived in London – so it was nice to see him again, and to check out what looks like a very promising set of rules.
Next was a real highlight for me – the Battle of Edgehill in 10mm, staged by Andrew Brentnall and Simon Miller. I know these two gentlemen fairly well, and so I would have chatted with them longer, were it not for the big press of people, eager to learn more about their forthcoming English Civil War rules. While the game was only in 10mm, it looked great, and Simon sensibly had a selection of 28mm figures on hand, on his squared mat, to show how this would look in a more sensible scale. Their For King & Parliament rules are the ones we playtested the other month, and are based on Simon’s To the Strongest, my Ancient rules of choice. Right, below this is Dave Docherty’s Sudan game – a real visual feat, and full of delightful little vignettes. I’ve gamed this with Dave at AMG 16, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. So, it was good to see his kit on the table again. .. and I really love the balloon …To wrap up, here are a couple more – a Bunker Hill game (I’m not sure who laid it on), a Marlburian one, both of which caught my eye for various reasons. So, Partizan was a great day out, despite the five hour drive home. I’m not sure I would have gone if I hadn’t been down south anyway, but I’m glad I did, and will certainly go again.