Well yesterday was Partizan, and John and I made the long drive south to sample its delights.
Unfortunately my air con has packed in so we were a tad warm by the time we tipped up to the airfield. I dont think we were as whiffy as some of the other wargamers whose whiff count climbed towards 11 as the temperatures rose in the large hall but we were hot and not in a good way.
I dont doubt there will be a lot of images from the show so I will attempt to review the show from another angle if possible but with pictures. [So really a review]
Partizan for me has overtaken Salute for the quality of the demonstration games that are on show and this year was better than ever.
The actual show is divided into demo games, ie. the more mainstream historical 'biggish games, a 'history' zone where various historical societies ply their wares and knowledge and the 'participation' zone where the smaller card table sized games [in the main] can be played.
All the games were of a high standard and some were just plain eye candy and a great incentive to me.
Trade wise the organisers attempt to provide a wide spectrum of scales, periods and the odd different trader. All seemed busy which is a good sign. Being of a certain age and now entering veteran status as a wargamer I shouldn't need to use the traders much, but as usual I spent and then spent again and I really dont know on what.
The one thing I had wanted was a couple of unusual ECW infantry standards which I managed to lose by the time I returned home. It could have been worse having once put my car keys in the fridge for a day but it was so annoying.
Parking is directly outside of the building and is free. The food is plentiful and not badly priced although the inevitable sausage sandwich wasnt up to the usual standard. Basically Partizan is just about all you need for a wargames show.
My only complaint was the 'dont photograph me' badges. I still bridle when I see the large posters reminding camera users that not everyone wants photographing and these people can obtain stickers to tell the said photographers that they are off limits. What is that about?
To be very honest, being an awkward so and so if I did see someone sporting a 'dont photograph me' badge I would make certain that they were captured on camera. Perhaps they are on the most wanted list?
Anyway onto some of the games.
Firstly was this little beauty in the participation zone, please forgive me for not recording the club name. I was drawn to the buildings which are made of card and were wonderful. After a nice talk to one of the organisers I discovered its from a book called the Terry Pratchett Unseen University Book.
My photograph probably doesnt do the buildings justice but they are lovely card models. The book is out of print, but one sold last night on E Bay for £16.00. On Amazon they were retailing for anything between £20.00 and £65.00. Definitely worth a look. The game was fun as well, especially for younger would be wargamers.
Ken Worley collared me demanding a mention regarding his purist Kreigspiel game. He is a great exponent of the 'game' and I must admit it always tempts me, just to understand how we started as a hobby. Happy now Ken?
This beautiful Strasbourg Cathedral model caught my eye on a lovely late medieval game. I had a long talk to one of the organisers regarding this piece which is a German railway model. It really added to the spectacle of the game which had some lovely units on display.I think the group were Derby Wargames Society.
Next up, a Mongol versus a confederation of kingdoms including Teutonic Knights. The game was put on by Kallistra using their terrain and figures and was a great advertisement for the company and the period.
You dont often see a Mongol army but they looked great en masse.
John's favourite game and a close second for me. The Napoleonic game was based around one of the old board games. The group had commissioned their own large hexed boards which were top class and then created the units accordingly. All the units were beautifully painted. I loved the hexed boards but wont say how much each cost. They werent cheap but were definitely worth the money.
I had to include this image of a British plane 'flying' over France.
This game caught my eye initially for the cloth which was first rate. It was something between a thick felt and soft fleece and was very effective, well I thought so. I then noticed the lovely fort and standing stones.
The terrible Perry twins staged a Egyptian adventure game using their beautiful early Napoleonic's. Top quality figures, terrain and crack. A great period to wargame.
The wars in India are very popular at the moment. Whats not to like, colourful units, overwhelming odds and rockets.
It was a well executed game with some real effort put into the whole game.
A very large late Napoleonic game, I think it was Genappe from the 1815 campaign. It looked great with some very large Dutch units.
This renaissance game ticked all the boxes for me. It had Swiss, a fortified castle and some beautifully painted gendarmes.
Barry Hilton had taken the long journey South to show off his beautiful new Turkish range.This time taking on the Russians. The game was an incentive to bring out my Ottoman Turks, a class game as is to be expected.
One of the games John and I really wanted to see was Simon Millers Battle of Marston Moor in 10mm. It was the biggest battle of the first civil war and looked very impressive laid out using Simon's wonderful rules.
MDF is the go to materiel for wargamers and I was very impressed by its use for the terrain in this game. It was neat, practical and gave a great effect.
And now my favourite game. Paul Robinson and the gents from Grimsby put on a large Swedish battle against the Russians, Poles and Saxons.I chose it simply because Paul used his beautiful Hinchliffe Polish army. Irrespective of the age of the castings they are brilliant figures. Somehow the images I took of the wonderful Polish winged lancers failed to come out! I can only apologise as they were a wonderful example of how to paint figures.
Somehow this one small unit of lancers survived.
So a great show and a wonderful advertisment for the hobby. It was very busy all the time I was there as I suspected it would be. It was great to bump into various wargamers I only see at shows and a very big thank you to David Bickley for his very generous gift of some Cran Tara Scots. They will be seconded into my French army as the Royal Scots or something similar. Wargamers can be very nice people.