Matakishi's Tea House

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21st-22nd November Warfare 2009

Warfare 2009 was held over the weekend of 21st and 22nd November at the Rivermead Leisure complex in Reading. As usual the show was put on by Wargames Association of Reading.
I trotted along on the Sunday looking forward to my usual fix of people, games and hobby products and perhaps an injection of cash from the Bring and Buy. On the whole I wasn't disappointed; the show lacked some of the 'wow' factor of last year but that could be because last year was my first visit. Generally I got what I was expecting.

The first thing that struck me as I entered (okay, the first thing that struck me after I went through the tedious rigmarole of booking my stuff into the Bring and Buy and finally got into the show proper) was the massive Blenheim game staged by Matt Slade. An impressive array of beautifully painted troops and some decent scenery that displayed the spectacle of this hobby to its fullest. Unfortunately it wasn't much of a game from what I observed with nothing much happening during the day. Having said that, and nailed my curmudgeonly sod credentials firmly to the wall, who the hell cares if they didn't play much? It looked great and was a testament to the hard work and skill of some of the people in this hobby. The booklet only attributes it to Matt Slade, I'm assuming it was more than a one man effort though.

click on this picture for a HUGE version, nearly 1meg so those on dial up need not apply.

There were some other decent games around too but not as many as I'd hoped. As usual for wargames shows many games seemed to be an excuse for a club to have a game in different surroundings and green cloths dotted with different coloured felt patches and polystyrene hills abounded. These unimpressive 'efforts' don't get a look in here so don't hold your breath.

The first game that caught my eye was this nice and compact encounter set during the Russian Civil War called The Tsar's Gold which the Wessex Winchester Wargamers put on. A nicely designed, versatile setting in a handy carry case and an interesting scenario kept players amused over several games.

As usual the Skirmish Wargames chaps were out in force. Still in desert mode and still in WWII, still with hundreds of 1/32 scale figures, vehicles and buildings, but this time with a different scenario the Attack on Fort Murzuk 11 January 1941. The focal point was this impressive mosque made from a drainpipe with a night light holder on top (and a plant pot, cunning eh?)

There were Free French, Italians, LRDG, Germans, Arabs and all kinds of other folk running about and getting in each others' way. Planes were taking off, weddings were being held and Arabs were crawling through the dirt like murderous...well...Arabs I suppose.

This is Darren with his custom made Stuka stand that let it fly level or dive, depending on his whim. Of course some tosser pointed out that a Stuka 'couldn't actually achieve that angle of descent you know' (did you manage to read that to yourself in the same self-satisfied nasal drone in which it was originally delivered? Yes, I bet you did, we've all heard it before.) Haha, tough luck Darren, that'll teach you to bring your toys to a wargames show, certainly told you eh?

More planes, lovely and BIG, 54mm makes a strong visual impact that these photos don't really convey.

Who the hell are these blokes?

Arabs, a wedding, some stabbings...usual stuff.

The Italian fort. Made from a Mighty Fortress of course, even though everyone present said it wasn't. Go look at the online photos, the brick pattern matches up and everything.

The people on fire in the foreground are French. Brilliant.

Some plucky Brits waiting to join the fray.

Next up was this Lego Star Wars game, Assault on Yarvin 4 by the Dark Knights and Bloody Dawns. Lovely idea well executed. I don't like Star Wars and I don't like Lego that looks like what it's supposed to either, I remember plain blocks in red or white, they were the days...all this was orchards...
I liked this though.

Now, I can't remember who these guys were. they were friendly and were running participation games of Malifaux, AT-43 and Warmachine. People were playing and having fun so it was all good stuff. They did speak to me and did tell me who they were and what they were doing and I did make a note somewhere but I can't find it. They're not mentioned in the (frankly lacking) show booklet either so it's not my fault they're anonymous.

Here's the other end of their table with the Malifaux game going on.

Warmachine. There's a lot of counters, cards and bits of paper for these games isn't there? I'm not a fan of that, makes everything really messy. There's more markers and stuff than figures. Some people like it I suppose.

This was a game involving orks on a spaceship. I liked this, it made me think I might make my own spaceship.

The spaceship was raised above the table on a pivot so it could be moved round to allow everyone to reach their figures.

There was a great big scoreboard with wheels behind t to display the numbers. All-in-all a great effort. I think these chaps are the Dunsterville Generals but I'm not sure. If it is them the game was called In Space No One can Hear.

Battle Group South put on this impressive Vietnam skirmish game entitled Gooks on the Wire. Lots of stuff going on all the time with loads of cotton wool explosions and suchlike. It seemed to involve a firebase being attacked interestingly enough, hence the title.

Nice boats.

Even nicer aircraft. sadly I didn't get to see them in use.

That's it for the games, now on to the traders. I'll admit up front that I don't go to shows to buy stuff these days so I don't tend to look too closely at traders' stalls. Consequently I missed the fantastic new modern sculpts from Empress Miniatures but, so what? I'll buy them when they're available anyway and there are several good photos of them on the internet.

Here are some of the traders I did stop and see.

First up was Jo at the Black Cat Bases stand. Ben is currently unwell (get well soon Ben) so Jo was being assisted by the gorgeous Carrie and the not-so-gorgeous but equally talented Kelvin. Through masterful use of one of Black Cat's purple shopping baskets they enticed me to spend money on more urban scenery. Pictures when it's painted.

Oshiro Model Terrain were there. I bought nothing despite it all looking so good. I am strong, I will resist...

Iain and Mike from Fighting 15s and Black Hat Miniatures. I said hello and took a closer look at the Mythical Chinese range from Black Hat. I've moved this up my list a bit after Jolly Bob's great game at BLAM this year.

The range in question...

Here are Lewis and Andy from Minimi Miniatures. Once again I managed to not buy any of their boats but this shouldn't stop you, their models are excellent and very good prices too. we had a long chat which is my main reason for attending shows these days. Fine chaps.

Here is some of the stuff available from Tablescape including the excellent cargo containers for 28mm games which they refuse to put on their website for some reason. I have several sets and they're great, very useful pieces of scenery for modern games. You'll remember I bought some skips off them at Colours this year too, equally useful items.

This year I bought some barbed wire thingies (there's a technical name for them but, really, who cares?). These come complete as you see here for only 3.00 each. All of Tablescape's stuff is incredibly cheap (in a good way, not in a shoddy way obviously).

I also bought some Pegasus oil drums
which I've been meaning to get for some time. My total spending came to 27.75 on games stuff and 8.40 to get in and buy a sandwich for lunch. I made 100.00 on the Bring and Buy so a good profit on the day.

Here's Mrs. Matakishi smiling because she likes nothing better than to drive me to wargames shows, carry my stuff and wait in the car until I'm finished. yes, it's true, my wife is better than your wife. Roll on next year!