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.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Travels with my Chum and Other Things

Phil and I have been out and about recently: to Gripping Beast in Evesham last Thursday and to The Other Partizan at Newark Showground on this Sunday. The 'Beast' was combined with a day out with Sue and Di, a very fine day as it happened, including my purchase of the Staff and the Armed Schoolboys for my VBCW project; the Woodbine Design WWI Character set of Padre, casualty & bombers for the 1914 game and the VBCW; and, at last, a pack of Saga Highland cattle! No pictures of that of course, but patience is a virtue remember. On to Partizan then on Sunday, and what a day that was!
Of course, the days when we were up, game packed and on the road for 6.30 a.m. are long gone, now a days we leave at a genteel 8.30, hoping to arrive around 10.00 and miss the opening queue! As we traveled eastwards towards the spiritual centre of the wargamer's world the weather grew warmer and sunnier, a sure sign from above that we were going to have a grand day out! We arrived, parked and walked straight in, no queue at all! A good start in my book, I hate queuing! We had decided on the way over to collect our pre-orders first and stow them in the car's boot, no sense in carrying stuff for the sake of it after all. I trotted off to Trent Miniatures, Warbases, and Colonel Bill's in short order and soon had all the pre-ordered loot stashed in the car! Time to browse the stands, meet up with friends and take in the games staged for our delectation! And we were not disappointed I have to say! Some splendid games on show, in some lesser gamed periods as well, and all to a grand standard guaranteed to inspire the most jaded of us! I only had my iPhone camera with me, so you will have to be a little generous in judging my efforts to capture the essence of the games which appealed to me the most, no other judgement made than that. Firstly a Great War in East Africa game ~

Secondly, a splendid VBCW Canal Commando raid game staged by the stalwarts of the VBCF! I can claim a marginal involvement, having contributed a building to the town set up!

Thirdly, a Russian Civil War game with a time travelling theme! Spot the Time Bandits!

Fourthly, a rather nice Indian Mutiny game, mostly the Mutineer Miniatures figure range I think. I wonder what happened to them?

A rather nice 28mm Western Desert 1941 game. Lots of interesting things going on within the main game. I like to see that myself, it adds to the period interest more so than rank upon rank of troops!

While it should n't come as a surprise to anyone who knows me that all the games I've chosen were 28mm games, there were plenty of others to delight the eye. A rather nice 6mm(?) Napoleonic game; a 20mm Italian Wars of Unification game; and a 54mm Ancients game featuring these rather splendid Nellies ~

Much, much more to delight and entrance even the casual gamer in my view, and that's not even taking into consideration the splendid array of Participation Games and the various Societies displaying their wares, not to leave out the Traders themselves, for many the whole point of attending a show like Partizan! Now, an aside, but a necessary one. You'll notice I have n't said who the games were presented by. This is not a slight on any chaps, intended or unintended, but a reflection on this old chap's lack of organisation and his inability to hear folk due to increased deafness. Large venues full of folk leave me functionally deaf, as for instance the chaps on the VBCF game must have realised in chatting with me! That aside, the muggy heat in the afternoon needs mentioning. I needed to sit outside in the fresher air or I think I might have fainted! If future events are held in August there needs to be some thought given to ventilation or to air conditioning! A small inconvenience really though and it did give the opportunity for a fine ice cream!
Finally, the almost obligatory 'Loot' photos. Figures first of course and mostly from Trent Miniatures for my ongoing Wars of the French Revolution project ~

The gaming aids and terrain items we all need now a days to beautify, or in my case distract from, the painted chaps! Plus the free figure of Nurse Gladys Emmanuel and a gift from Dan at Wargames Illustrated of the Lord Kitchener figure! The counters for Sharp Practice might give you a clue to a minor project next year, as might the Osprey I bought for £5.00 on the New Zealand Wars.

Finally, You may recall that I started off by mentioning that patience is a virtue, and so my final offering combines purchases from Reiver Castings at Claymore, Gripping Beast and from Colonel Bill at Partizan. For the VBCW in Wolverhampton, some heavier weapons in the form of an 18lb gun, a Stokes mortar and a Leach Trench catapult, while for the Great War in 1914 the start of a casualty clearing station vignette ~

I have managed to clean up a few more figures earlier tonight, mostly French Light Infantry for more skirmisher bases and a character figure for the British forces, one General Bykleigh. But, I still have three Eureka Chevauxleger to finish before I can get on to anything else. So, off to the painting desk I go. Toodle Pip!


  1. A good day out then. Again, I missed out but at least I made some progress on some French at last, and I started some Russian j├Ąger. My good friend a Robbie collected a load of Trent Austrians off Duncan so I look forward with. Feint heart to starting them sometime not very soon.

    1. Yes, a good day, despite the afternoon muggy heat in the hall! Glad to hear that you are on to some French piping! You will enjoy that, not! Now, started any Austrians yet?

  2. Great pictures, splendid tables!

    1. Thanks for the kind sentiment,Hil. I'm no David Bailey but I try.

  3. Wow! those are some impressive looking games!


    1. Glad you liked the games I chose to feature, but there were many more equally worthy of featuring.