22nd-23rd November Warfare 2008
Warfare is organised by the Wargames association of Reading
and held over two days at the Rivermead Leisure complex in Reading.
This year's event was the 29th Warfare show and the 30th anniversary of
the W.A.R. so it seemed like a good idea to go along and sample this
show for the first time.
On arrival I paid the paltry £4.00
entrance fee and received my entry badge and free figure. The figure is
of a Saxon raider and was commissioned from Musketeer Miniatures.
It's a decent figure but I doubt I'll find a use for it in the near
future. (In case you're wondering they chose this subject because
Reading is believed to have been named after Reada, a Saxon leader, who
settled in the area in the 6th century. Originally Reading was called
Reada ingas, the people of Reada.)
Warfare is spread over three
sports halls. There is a dealers' hall, a games hall and a smaller room
for the Bring and Buy. I didn't manage to get an overview shot of the
dealers' room because the stands seem to have grown vertically quite a
bit recently; perhaps this is due to Salute where a low stall becomes
all but invisible. Regardless, the room was packed with around 70
traders doing what looked like brisk business.
The games room was massive and housed both the competition games and
the display and participation games. I tend to ignore the competition
games because they don't offer much in the way of visual stimulus. I
did notice one game where they were using printed cloth for terrain
which was quite interesting. I didn't get a usable photo to share so
you'll have to take my word for it. I've filed the idea for possible
use in a Monkey King project should it ever reach fruition.
The Bring and Buy was well organised and not the usual scrum that you
find at most shows. Ample room had been allocated for it and the tables
were arranged to give maximum browsing room. I was impressed with the
organisation and there were several decent lots there but they were in
the wrong scale or for periods I'm not interested in so I left without
spending. Usually I leave without looking so this was a definite
improvement over some shows.
first game that caught my eye was was vast table depicting Nomonham, an
encounter on the Manchurian-Mongolian border in the summer of 1939
during the second Russo-Japanese war. This game was put on by The Escape Committee from Burnham on Sea, Somerset.
terrain was a low, undulating area mostly covered with synthetic fur
'grass' and dotted with some well sculpted shell holes. There was some
very effective water and a superb bridge at one end. The game was
fought out with 28mm figures and vehicles at 1:1 scale using some home
grown rules. The figures and vehicles were beautifully painted (which,
of course, my tiny camera and flash bulb have failed to capture) and
the whole set up was very inviting; one of those games you just want to
different 1:48 scale planes were dotted about for added flavour and to
give some height to the proceedings. The one firing its rockets was my
favourite because I'm easily swayed by shiny gimmicks like this.
The next game I saw that was worthy of note was this Home Guard affair staged by Battlegroup South, organisers of the Bovington
show held each year in July. There was much to marvel at here;
excellent scratch built buildings depicting a town
(Walmington-on-Sea?), a stately home and a lighthouse as well as some
well painted troops and vehicles in 25/28mm. This was another game that
I'd like to have played, everyone involved seemed to be having a lot of
fun. The whole set up provided me with loads of inspiration and ideas
for my own Home Guard setting.
Despite the many impressive large buildings on the table it was the green house that initially caught my eye.
Moving away from historical settings for a minute I spent some time admiring the conversion work on some Black Hat Miniatures' Martians that the Staines Wargamers were using in a 15nn Principles of War game set on the red planet. I wasn't the only one either, as you can see Mike Lewis of Black Hat (on the right) was doing the same.
was no point in even trying to get usable photos of the figures so
you'll just have to imaging the Cephalopod palanquin, the lizerd
mounted British lancers and the beatifully animated martian collecting
machine. What you can see however is the home made tie-dyed ground
cloth which I thought was a great idea well realised and the 'grey
alien' mask used to make a 'face on Mars' which I fully intend to copy
in the near future.
final game for the spotlight counts as my lucky find of the show.
Waterloo in 54mm showing you can have the flavour of a large battle
without a huge number of figures and in a scale that took me right back
to my childhood. This started my Napoleonic juices flowing, previously
skirmishing was on the horizon but now, who knows?
Anyway, all that aside, the reason for this being my lucky find was that this game was staged by Andy Duff
who I haven't seen for about ten years, not since he used to bring his
two boys to my shop where I taught one of them to paint miniatures.
Andy is one of the most enthusiastic wargamers I know and an all round
top bloke so it was a real pleasure to get back in contact with him
Andy Duff planning the next additions to his Napoleonic collection.
figures are from a mixture of manufacturers and the buildings are from
Ertle (I think), whatever, this is playing with toy soldiers as it was
meant to be, fantastic stuff!
The Duke of Wellington himself.
There were several manufacturers demonstrating their rules and figures in the dealers hall. This is the winter war table that West Wind Productions used to showcase their Weird War 2 rules 1949 Secrets of the Third Reich. I'm always a sucker for snow tables and this one had a genuine chilly feel to it.
Now for the traders. Everyone you'd expect was probably there. I visited Jo and Ben (Ben was absent) at Black Cat Bases
to look at their new wares, there's quite a lot of new stuff from them
so I'll be doing some reviews or features or something when I order it
in the New Year. I came away with some figures to add in to my upcoming
I managed to get a good look at the Victorian Science Fiction walkers and tanks from Ironclad Miniatures
too. These are looming on my horizon for more than one project. I can
report that they live up to my high expectations. Very clean little
models indeed and at a good price.
attended with their usual assortment of solid, functional terrain. I
have a lot of S&A scenery items and I like their simplicity and
sturdiness so it was high time they got a mention in a show report.
Some rather nice deserty hills caught my eye whislt I was browsing so I
shall be ordering those shortly.
I had a browse of the new items on offer from Oshiro Model Terrain who I first saw at Salute 2007.
Since then the range has grown and I noticed a very nice Samurai ship
on the 'in progress' area which I plan to keep an eye on.
The fine chaps from Tablescape
were also in evidence. I'm a big fan of their scenery items and have
quite a few now. They do a particularly nice set of cargo containers
which don't seem to be on their website but are certainly worth an
email to enquire about. This is a photo I snapped at Colours this year as it's better than the one I got from Warfare.
That's pretty much it I suppose. Warfare is a good, well organised and friendly show that I have added to my list of regular wargaming dates. I prefer it to Colours which has been uninspiring for the last couple of years and I am looking forward to returning in 2009.
Finally, I only bought a single figure, from Gamers Quest, making Warfare 2008 my most successful show ever for hobby spending!