David Bickley's Wargames Blog

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

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Painting! Playing!! Partizan!!!

Bit of a mix and match entry today as this is the first real opportunity to sit down for a while and contemplate goings on in my hobby, and in GHQ in particular. The reason? Well, the wonderful arrival of our first granddaughter Emma Lily, our fourth grandchild, has been the main focus of life in the past few days. Needless to say we have been focused fully on the happy event and so all else has taken a back seat. I can now at least draw breath and think about what I want to get on with in relation to the Blog in recording the last few weeks goings on in GHQ.
Firstly, I have completed another unit for my VBCW games, the Workers' Militia figures from Footsore Miniatures to flesh out the Boulton Paul Workers' Cooperative ~

I enjoy painting the figures, getting the 'worker look' right without endlessly repainting the same dour colours is an interesting challenge, akin to painting ACW Confederates in my experience, but I did NOT enjoy the rigmarole of cleaning up so much flash, so many vent runs and even metal blocks from all the figures. That's three purchases now in succession which have had very poor quality control on the castings. Someone needs to get their finger out there I think! I've got a few more figures ready to paint now to add to the collection, so look out for more recruits in future posts if this is an area you are interested in.

As I've mentioned previously, with Jon's life being somewhat cluttered with more important matters than wargaming, my gaming total has taken a bit of a knock back. The last week therefore has come as a really pleasant change in that I played three games here in GHQ, although I only have pictures of two of them. Phil and I played an AWI Blackpowder game, by mistake actually, but I'll come back to that in a moment if you'll bear with me. The British commander, Phil, had a game objective which differed from mine as the American commander, leading to him having to respond to the unexpected and me to planning to deal with his unforeseen response as well as achieve my own objective. In the end the game ended in a draw after 12 turns, but with Phil poised to achieve his game objective of capturing the American officer in mid coitus and my own forces frustrated in their objective of capturing the enemy fortified camp. I think the pictures will tell the unfolding story clearly ~
The British fortfied camp ~ the objective for the Ameicans.

The 'Love Nest' of an unnamed American officer ~ the British objective.

Early moves on both fronts!

The Americans assault the British position!

Some set backs for the Americans!

The British close in on their objective.

The Americans gather for the final assault. Victory is in sight!

Or perhaps not!

Time for a quick exit! "A pleasure, ma'am!"

A great game with wonderfully tense moments and full of incident right up to the end of the 12 turns, with victory eluding Phil by mere inches and me my the throw of the dice in hand to hand combat!

My second game was with my good friend Kevin Calder, who flew down for the weekend from Aberdeen to go to Partizan with us and of course get in a game in GHQ while he was here. I had left the terrain out on the table when clearing away after the AWI game with Phil, so as Kevin had never played a Blackpowder game before I opted for the same game scenario, but moved the setting to the War of 1812 in the Canadas. Once more, I was the Americans and Kevin took the role of the Anglo-Canadians. It seemed rude to disrupt Kevin's first game in GHQ by stopping to take pictures, so I concentrated on the game play and helping Kevin to get to grips with the rules in his first game. He picked it up pretty well, as I'd only expected really. Too well in fact, as I lost in Turn 9! But once more it proved a challenging and interesting scenario, one which could be applied to many theatres and periods I think.
I'll come back to our Partizan experience later, but first the third game Phil and I played out after Kevin had returned home. Some small alterations to the table layout and once more a setting of the War of 1812 with the Battle of Calder's Creek! The simple game objective is to win control of the bridge over the creek, commanding one of only two approaches to the settlement of Calder's Bend. Again, I hope the pictures will tell the story of the unfolding struggle ~
The American left advances!

Light Dragoons sieze the bridge for the Anglo-Canadians!

American artillery target the Glengarry Rifles.

The might of Empire on the move!

British regulars advance to support the Light Dragoons, while the
Fencibles advance to confront the American right!

In the centre, the Americans sieze the hill!

A dashing charge by the American Dragoons disrupts the whole
Anglo-Canadian advance! Hurrah!

The Michigan Fencibles are in trouble!

The centre is held by the Americans, despite heavy artillery fire!

The Americans overwhelm the enemy! Victory!!

A win in Turn 6 for the Americans when Phil conceded defeat, unable to prevent the Americans siezing the objective of the bridge over the creek! Half of his army was 'Broken', resulting in the Light Dragoons being permanently 'Disordered', leaving them helpless before the American onslaught!

So, back to Partizan as promised. Our first visit to the new venue. Pluses? Light! Space to move around! Great games! Large range of traders! All good we thought. Minuses? Queues to get in even at 10.35! Poor planning there chaps! A bit warm for those on the sunny side suggests August could be 'interesting' for us all!Catering! Let's have some decent food and decent service please, none of this fast food junk! We'll bring our own in August I expect. A seating area for R&R for we elderly chaps would be good too. Overall impression though is positive. I can only see this show growing in the new venue! Well done Laurence and Richard! Pictures? There's heaps all over the web, but I do have just a couple of camera phone shots. Firstly from the VBCW game, two details ~
A Field Kitchen.

A Casualty Clearing Station.

And from the Great Yarmouth Good Old Boys, a wonderfully excentric game featuring armies of Dolly Peg troops, even with full instructions for making and painting them! My favourite of the show ~
The look of the game.

Even artillery!

And cavalry!

And Hussars!!!

A great game, but only one of many great games, and a great show all round. If you did n't go you missed a treat, so get there in August if you can. We certainly hope to! Toodle Pip for now though!


  1. Congratulations on the birth of your grandchild!

  2. A grand blog entry there old chap and some really great pictures that illustrate the action splendidly.

    1. Thanks Phil! Glad you think the pictures encapsulate the action?

  3. It was my first Partizan ever, I missed Salute this but no more, this was a fantastic show, very much historical games, and enthusiastic presenters, lots of space and some very good traders, who you would not see at Salute but have quality itesm for sale and those sort of figures the BIG boys wouldn't manufacture. After the fiasco of Triples this year and seeing that Salute from historical war gamer's point of view Partizan will now be my first choice, not sur about both shows, but who knows. Yes the queue was quite long but it was sunny,I am sure they will address this next time, perhaps advanced ticket sales, the inside temperature was okay as the doors had been opened, as for the catering, yes very slow but there were equivalent cafes across the park and one with no customers. I shall go again I actually stayed the whole six hours due to playing games and watching demos, all of high standards.

    1. Your response, Gary, will encourage the organisers I feel. Thanks for the heads up concerning others cafes, I'd not noticed those.

  4. Good looking games....Partizan is definitely going on the list for next year. The quality of games appears to have been very high indeed. Watch out salute !

    1. Don't wait until next year, go to the August Partizan if you can.

  5. That game looks terrific, David. The War of 1812 has been on my list for a while.

    1. Very kind, Giles, thank you. There are several ranges to choose from now.

  6. Congrats on your new granddaughter! Great looking games for sure!


    1. Thank you on both counts Christopher.