What a pleasure to finally be able to write this post about the Battleground show at Stockton on Tees. Of all the wargames shows I attend when able this has always been the one I've enjoyed the most. It was always the most laid back and friendliest show from its inception back in the 1980's when it was run by those wargaming enthusiasts, Tom Davidson and David Clemmet until the challenge was taken up by Leon of Pendragon Miniatures when the original show had to close.
It was never the biggest, but being at the end of the campaigning season it was always the show that got me enthused the most, and I still dont know why.
I knew it was going to be a good day as the sunshine blazed as I drove towards Smoggyland. Sunshine can be an unusual event down in Mordor, hence its name. Leon had laid on refreshments even before one entered the hall and I was able to pile into a very large bacon roll as I stood outside admiring the sunshine. Only £3.00 for a big butty, followed by free entry and free parking. What's not to like.
John and I used to put a game on every year but prior to Covid we realised it was time to let others do all the hard work. Yes I do miss not having a game on but to be honest the effort is very tiring. Because of Covid concerns, Leon had spread everything out to allay any fears for the punters. It was a pleasure to walk freely around the hall but still have a lot to look at and of course buy.
I must apologise for the poor images I took. I dont know how this happened, but it did sadly.
It was good? to see the Westerhope posse back at the show resplendent in their new more masculine coloured shirts, although they were easier to detect when they wore their day glo pink shirts. Here we have poor Malcolm beiung badgered by one of the Westerhope miscreants, probably was asking for a handout. Its tough in Westerhope, North of the river.
The group have entered the 21st century now and displayed their thousands of Warlord plastic ACW units. If I was younger it would have been the way I would have gone although some of the add on units are very pricey. Brian [ the sensible one] looked very happy keeping an eye on the gobby one [John]annoying the life out of wargamers attempting to enjoy themselves.
And to show you what I mean here he is begging off some poor punter. The man has no shame.
But after god knows how many years he very very kindly 'gave' me two units of painted Garrison ECW figures. So all is forgiven, especially as they were nicely painted and will look great in my armies.To be honest, they are great set of gamers even if they do come from North of the river.
Battleground is more than staging a game and meeting up with old faces is a pleasure. Additionally Leon had managed to organise the bring and buy which I always like to attend.
Not having any thing I needed I came away with a beautiful English church and surrounding graveyard created by Gerry Miller for a modest price, and I mean modest. I insisted Gerry sign the piece simply because his work is always quality. I also picked up a large bag of Wars of the Roses sprues at a knock down price. Frankly for a man who didnt need anything its always amazing what you DO need.
Later in the day a gentleman appeared at the bring and buy selling off the armies of a deceased waramer. The boxes were full of old school ancient armies using early Mini Figs, Garrison and Hinchliffe figures. Sadly this is becoming more common, but I suppose the figures will continue to be used
It was a desperate temptation not to buy up all the Garrison Persians but somehow I didnt sucumb, probably more to do with space than anything else.
One game that deserves a special mention is Joshua's Game which is being used to raise funding for a very good cause. All the figures are being donated to Joshua's father by wargamers from around the World, based and painted by them. The armies will then be auctioned to raise funds in Joshua's memory. There were some lovely looking units.
3D printing is starting to become common and John and I bought some beautiful sculpts from a stall selling printed Reaper Miniature figures. I dont do fantasy, but I do admire great figures. I came away with several groups of humans. Not cheap but very good figures.
Did I tell you about the cheap refreshments? Well the tea is only a £1.00 a mug, so really anyone who attends could probably feed a family of four for a tenner, such is the generosity of Battleground. As this nightmare recedes put this show in your wargaming diary, its a great day out. So thank you Leon for all your hard work.