David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occasional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Two for the Price of One

I've had a busy few days since the middle of last week! An ACW game here in GHQ with Jon proved to be something of a disaster for my Union army, so I'll draw a veil over that for now. Then on Friday Matt and his eldest, Arthur, arrived for a long weekend visit. That entailed much entertaining of a grandson, a visit to an adventure farm in Shropshire, and Arthur's first wargames show on Sunday; a visit to the Alumwell show, or WMMS as its widely known now. I think Arthur had a good time. He liked the loads of games on view, especially the Star Wars game {which I see won a prize for best participation game for the STAGS of Chesterfield}, and also the vehicles and kit of the WWII Displays. He managed over an hour before Grandma came to collect him: not bad for a three year old I thought! I took a few shots on my iPhone to give an impression of the day. I rather sadly broke my glasses early on, which both curtailed my purchases on the whole and rather limited my appreciation of the games on show. My favourites were the Kinver 20mm WWII game of my old chum Dave Page and his group and the Derby Wargames tricorn game; nice to see some of Phil's commission work on display  there too ~

Dave always claims that they don't have the internet yet in Kinver, but I'm sceptical of that myself. If he's looking in now I hope that he approves of my snaps above of his game!

Now, I know that they have the internet in Derby! So I hope that the lads from the Derby club will approve of my choice of their game for the best I saw. Sadly, I expect one of the games from Shrewsbury won again... A selection of the other games, all anonymous, as my glasses were broken by then, as you can probably tell from the pictures!

Of course there were many other games on view, several of them Participation games. I've mentioned the Star Wars game, but I recall a decent looking Saga game you could join in with and a nice small game using recycled aquarium decorations ~

Matt, Phil and I enjoyed our day at WMMS I believe, at least I know I did. Phil bought a few things, notably a Grand Manner Roman Mansio and an Olive press. Matt bought some Perry and Foundry packs for his 100 Years War project - you may have seen some of his knights on an earlier blog. Me? Well, I had a preorder from Foundry for SYW British and French packs to fill some gaps in my collection and some bases of various sizes from my chum Martin at Warbases. On impulse I bought a greenhouse and a hand cart from Martin. I also got three Perry Miniatures packs from Dave Thomas for my AWI armies, some mounted Militia and some mounted Riflemen and a pack of mounted officers. Dave Thomas kindly located them for me on the racks, as they were all just silver blobs in blurred packs to me then! I also picked up a European windmill from Grand Manner, preordered in their March sale. A good day: we even walked home along the canal in pleasant sunshine.

Now, I suppose I must bite the bullet and go back to my rather disastrous showing in last week's ACW game with Jon. I lost in Turn 9 of a 10 Turn game when very suddenly my whole right flank melted away in a series of routs! Typically, my reserves were away on my weaker left flank and I had just forgotten about them until it was too late. Motto: keeping your eye on the ball is definitely recommended! A few shots of the game for those who are interested starting in about Turn 2 ~

The Irish Brigade, supported by a battery of 3" Rifled guns and two Brigades of New York troops ~

A shot of Ol' Jubal E Bykleigh leading his Reb division forward ~

A Brigade from Virginia smash home into a New York Brigade, the beginning of the end for Useless S Bykleigh I fear ~

The Bhoys prepare to repel the waves of Rebs bearing down on them ~

While in the centre the attention of old Useless is drawn to the unfolding Rebel threat to his centre and left ~

Regulars, supported by artillery, prepare to drive off the Reb assault ~

But back on the right the first unit breaks in rout and heads for the rear ~

Only to be followed in the next turn by most of my right wing, leaving my centre about to be turned. I threw in the towel at that point, my appetite for more slaughter proving weak ~

The figures are almost all Dixon Miniatures, as my regular reader must know by now. The rules were my own Bull Run to Gettysburg from Foundry. I think Jon enjoyed handing out a walloping more than I did being on the receiving end! That's two thrashings in a week: I could almost pass for a Tory MP! No game here in GHQ with Phil today, a testament to age I fear there. I'm playing Blucher on Thursday with Jon, so that will be something altogether new to report on in a future entry. Toodle Pip!


  1. Nice overview of the show, another good one again this year, shame I forgot my camera. Thought I would let you off another defeat today ;-)

  2. The ACW game looked great. I have a couple of small armies in my collection but the appeal isn't there any more. But I have them and might change my mind! Lol

    1. Thanks Colin, but I played like a zombie! Glad you are keeping your ACWs, it's the one true period you know!

  3. Nice reports and photos. Sorry to have missed you at the show. We arrived late and the time seemed to pass in a blur. I thought there were some excellent games on display.

    1. Sorry we didn't meet up Matt, we might have fixed up a game in GHQ. I agree on the games, always a high point of any show for me.