Colours 2018 – Show Report

As the game write up was a bit long and I didn’t get much time to get round the show I’ve decided to do another quick post.

I thought the show was a bit better this year from a game point of view, we seemed to have more space around the table this year although it did get a bit cramped when the B&B was in full flow. Apart from being down in the programme as SELWG (have I mentioned that already?) I thought that the organisers might have had a tad more interaction with those putting on the games. Apart from getting our badges and them making sure the table was ok we never had a thing for the rest of the day, it would have been nice if someone had popped by to ask how it was going. Even at the end of the day no-one asked us if it went well, indeed as soon as we took the cloths off the table they were whipped away, and I mean as soon as! That aside it is a nice venue and from reading some other blogs the traders had a good time and the games seemed to have gone down well.

As for the rest of the games, I personally didn’t think that they were better than last years ones. There were a few crackers but not as many that made you go ‘wow’ as before with too many ‘line ’em up and have a go’ type games on pretty basic terrain for my liking. Having said that though the modelling and painting standards were very high, I just think that the old foam square approach has had its day what with all the great mats and cloths available today, and the basic terrain spoils things somewhat.

Unfortunately I seem to have lost my notes about what was what but here are the photos that came out ok, I was rushing a bit and the light was a bit crap in places hence no pics of the lovely looking Bosin Wars game which is really annoying as it was very cool!!

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General d’Armee – Loughton Club
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Cracking WW1 game…
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.. lost who by…
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… but was splendid..
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.. with added Rollers!
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6mm Zeebrugge raid, saw this at Salute. Lovely.
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Too the Strongest game I think. Beautiful figures.
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20mm WW2 Goodwood with Rapid Fire rules…

 

bit too ‘cramped’ for me but splendid models
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10mm Cold War…
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.. seen in this parish before…
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..converted from a board game..
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..dig this terrain!

Colours 2018 – game report

Right, now I’ve sorted out some technical issues I can get this post done!

Saturday saw me up and at ’em at 5 o’clock so I could get the first train to meet Daren at Tulse Hill so we could get on the road to Newbury Racecourse to attend Colours. We were putting on Daren’s cracking game centred around the fighting for Son Bridge during the Market-Garden operation in WW2 (the Arnhem campaign if anyone doesn’t know). Unusually for us we hadn’t had a chance to do a full run-through as both Dan and I were on two different Mediterranean islands when the club was last open for an all day game but we had discussed solutions to some issues in the few partial games that we had so were confident things would run smoothly.

Luckily we had no problem on the journey to the show and were in and ready to set up by half 8, even though we were down as being from SELWG (oh, the horror!!) on the organisers sheets and in the programme which caused a touch of confusion when signing in, and pretty soon the table was ready to rock and Dan and Bart arrived pretty soon after too. After Daren had finished setting the forces on the table it was time for a quick tea/coffee and obligatory bacon roll and a quick spin round the traders before the public were let in. I had a quick chat with Ian at the H&R stand about some of the planned Swedes in the pipeline (no plans for the BILL atgm but I’ve been in contact with Andy since and it might be a goer, fingers crossed for that!!) and checked out the models for the up-coming releases, there’s some very nice trucks coming soon that’ll make Warsaw Pact and ‘non-aligned’ players very happy! Then a quick visit to Pete at Baccus to get a few bits and to have a quick chat about next years Joy of 6 as there’s been talk of more than one Warlords game being taken and I wanted to check it’d be ok – apparently the more the merrier so all good there.

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So with everyone back from the traders we were ready to go and started the game just before the doors were open. Dan and I were in charge of both the Irish Guards advancing along the road and the US Paras dug in around the bridge, Bart was trying to stop us with Kampfgruppe Walther and was expecting some reinforcements later. Our plan was quite simple – barrel up the road as quickly as possible and by pass any tough pockets of resistance. Before we get stuck into the action though some shots of the battlefield before all the nasty shooting and stuff started! (as usual you can click on pics to make them bigger)

Dan had developed a fire plan for the first 5 moves which we thought would allow us to get past the PAK-40’s lurking in the first wood and maybe neutralise the second line of defence. We were also allowed to deploy the ‘Purple Smoke’ from the off to bring in a Tiffy strike too. Unfortunately things started to go wrong from the off. First of all the Typhoons didn’t make any impact on the waiting anti-tank gunners and neither did the application of HE from the 25pdrs, and soon a couple of armoured cars were brewed up whilst the long line of traffic behind them slowly started inching their way forwards. We decided to push the recce types forward hell for leather and they fell prey to, as Dan said, ‘A filthy Hun trick’ of being ambushed by Panzerschrecks. Bart also started calling in artillery onto the head of the column behind the Armoured cars and unfortunately for us his shooting was very precise causing the lead vehicles to become disorganised and supressed which slowed things down for the following units.

We did mange to knock one of the Pak 40’s out with an artillery strike but the other one led a charmed life and started taking out the lead Shermans. Our problems then went up a notch when we realised that we had miscalculated just how fast the Armoured Cars would be able to move and they were hit by our own guns when they lifted forward from the wood, a situation that was exacerbated when some RAF type missed his target and dropped his bombs smack on the survivors! Just to make things even nicer for the Irish Guards Bart’s artillery had a particularly effective couple of stonks in which he took out the majority of one of the infantry platoons when their carriers were knocked out. So a sticky start to say the least, so we decided it was time to get off the road.

We managed to eliminate the pesky infantry and their nasty anti-tank weapons and the last surviving PAK-40 finally succumbed but only after being shot at by a whole troop of Cromwells! However it had taken about 4 moves to get past the wood along the road and the Cromwells that were now free to go round the other side were having problems with the boggy ground (we had to dice for each model more than 4″ off the road and not in fields to see if the bogged down for a move) which slowed them down somewhat. Once past the wood however meant that we were now in range of the 2 Panthers deployed along the left hand road and they soon started taking out vehicles with gay abandon. So, we got the Purple smoke out again and trusted in the RAF to sort them out. Unfortunately we didn’t account for the German ack-ack boys who were on fine form, the first mission saw the Tiffy’s manage to miss both of the Panthers albeit unscathed but the second pair off the cab-rank weren’t as lucky, one copping a hit from an 88 that caused it to explode whilst the other was badly damaged by the Quad 20mm that was accompanying the Panthers. The Yanks by the bridge did have some success though with their mortars and artillery making short work of the quad 20mm halftrack and 88 that were posted on the other side of the river. The only other notable success was the taking out of a Marder around the hamlet but at the cost of a couple of Shermans.

Not happy to sit in the edge of the field that he was in waiting for more attention from the Brylcream Boys, Bart decided to attack the head of the column with his Panthers and they set off for the junction merrily dispatching more British tanks whilst laughing off all attempts to take them out. We did manage to supress them and their accompanying AA  once but that was as close as we got to a victory all day where they were concerned, even repeated strafes from the RAF didn’t work, and pretty soon the area around the road junction was a terrible scene littered with burning vehicles. The right hook around the wood by the Cromwells didn’t fare any better with a StuG and a Marder soon taking out half their number for the loss of the Marder. Luckily for us time was running out at this point and we decided to call it a day, with Daren declaring a victory for the Germans. For the loss of 2 Marders, 2 PAK-40’s, an ’88’, a Halftrack mounted quad 20mm and a few infantry teams Bart had destroyed: 6 Armoured Cars, a Platoon of half tracks plus their infantry, a Typhoon (and badly damaged another), and 20 odd tanks – we were running very short of knocked out markers by the end!

 

To be fair the dice gods were with Bart for most of the day but it did show just how difficult it must have been in real life, once the road was blocked it slowed the advance to a crawl not to mention ‘suppressed’ and ‘disorganised’ vehicles also slowing things down. It was lucky for us that the Germans were limited to only 4 rounds of artillery fire as it would have been so much worse for us if they had more. We spent some time discussing ways that we could improve things and are all keen to get the game on at a club Big Game Saturday to really get stuck into it and are thinking of maybe taking it up to Joy of 6 next year.

Apart from the playing of the game it was really cool to see the interest in the game, we had people around the table nearly all day long and some were coming back throughout the day to check on the progress of the advance (or lack thereof!). It was also great that we solicited as many quotes from ‘A Bridge Too Far’ from people, racking up 8 ‘this is the wide bit’ during the course of the day, it was a major inspiration obviously. It was genuinely nice to engage with everyone, (thanks for introducing yourself Greg by the way!), with people saying nice things about the game, models and terrain and thankfully we didn’t have any rivet counting annoyances this year!

Of course big thanks go out to the chaps who made it a great day out as usual and a good humoured game played in the right spirit, although Dan did look a bit twitchy at one point after yet another of Barts dead eye dice rolls! Special thanks must go to Daren for all his brilliant work in making the terrain and for coming up with the scenario as well as letting us use his terrific models. Mind you I did the Purple Smoke so, you know….

 

Son Bridge ’44 at Colours – Preview

Just like last year an intrepid band from the South London Warlords are heading off to put on a display game at Colours tomorrow (we when I say intrepid I mean me, Dan, Daren and Bart). Again like last year we will be using Daren’s lovely 6mm kit and his spiffing terrain to try and recreate the action around Son bridge during Operation Market-Garden.

Unfortunately I was away on hols for the final dress rehearsal so haven’t got my usual teaser photo’s but will post what I do have, rest assured Daren has come up trumps again with the terrain. Both the village of Son and its bridge are brilliant and done with the usual level of meticulous detail we’ve come to expect from the good Bombardier (he’s just a massive show off really!!). Anyway, as usual, please stop by and say hello if you are around – the organisers have put us down in the programme as being from SELWG (oh the sacrilege!!) but we’ll be sporting our spiffing new club attire and should have a ruddy great big SLW banner up as well so it’ll be hard to miss us.

Again apologies for the lack of numbers but here are the teasers, full report and pics Sunday or Monday.

Preparations for Colours 2018

Once again Daren, Dan and myself will be flying the flag for the South London Warlords at Colours this year. As is our wont we will be putting on a 6mm game, this time set in WW2 and in particular the action around the Son bridge during Operation Market garden. As this one is going to be a large one we will be assisted by a few other clubmates we already have Bart on board but have realised that the 15′ length of the table means that we are going to have to rope in a few more!

Also as usual Daren has pulled out all the stops to model the terrain and we will be using his lovely collection of GHQ kit to try and make sure that XXX Corp can push through the ad hoc German defenders and link up with the American Para’s holding onto the bridge. Although everything isn’t quite ready yet we have done a couple of quick playthroughs of the rules (Micro Armour from GHQ) to acquaint ourselves with them again and to hash out any scenario specific bits that we want to bolt on to add a bit of flavour to proceedings.

So to whet anyone’s appetite that might be interested here’s a few pics of the practice games (as usual click on them to see larger). I’ll be adding another post once we have the full dress rehearsal in September with more details and pics.

 

Colours 2017

Saturday saw myself, Daren and Dan take the Neustadt game out on the road again for its final outing, this time to Colours at Newbury Racecourse. Getting to the venue and getting set up was quite straightforward, with no traffic problems on the way down to Newbury and without the one-way system hell of Sheffield to contend with, and pretty soon we had everything set up. After the usual cup of tea/coffee and bacon roll (not the best it has to be said!) we started the game just as the first waves of people rushed past to stampede toward the Bring and Buy.

We were short handed as neither Warren or Jonathan could make it so we were not expecting to get much done with regards to finishing the game at all so Dan and I decided on a new tactic of chucking everything on the table as quickly as possible to see if that worked. It did, and even though we only played around 4 or 5 turns we had managed to capture half of the supply convoy and destroy all of the defending Chieftains and secure a win as Daren admitted that he wouldn’t have been able to stop us from reaching the river with what he had left. We are planning on having one last go at this game at the next Big Game Saturday at the club so that we can really do it justice which is fitting I think.

The game seemed to go over quite well with lots of praise for Daren’s terrain, especially for the river which received praise from a few chaps I spoke to as to the simple ingenuity of it being suspended between two tables. Unfortunately we did suffer from a couple of know it all types who loftily told us their opinions on what we were doing wrong and how it was all totally unrealistic as they were in Germany and it wouldn’t have been like that – funny how bell-ends like that never seem to actually give the rest of us the benefit of their superior knowledge and put games on themselves aint it. Fortunately they were vastly outnumbered by the well wishers and so, overall, we enjoyed the day from a game point of view. The one slight gripe we did have was that the tables did seem to be a tad close together. Once you had a few interested people round the tables it was very tight space-wise: add to this the occasional bad mannered,  more well timbered and backpack sporting members of the gaming fraternity barging through and the chances of someone getting knocked onto a table was quite worrying.

Unfortunately we didn’t get to check out the show all that much but I did manage to slip away for a bit to pick some kit up from Heroics and Ros (which I have already posted about) and to have a good shufty at the games. Most of the other games were well presented and there were one or two which were ingenious – the one next to us that involved an underwater adventure was particularly good, we all agreed that the way the boat was done on a plinth to get depth was cracking. It also seemed to have a gone over very well with the constant stream of people joining in, particularly the younger ones who were having a hoot which was great to see. Unfortunately the pics I took of this game were absolute rubbish, so I can’t show any and I lost my note about who put it on – apologies!

The only two games that I was interested in seeing before we went was the Franco-Prussian game being put on by Bruce Weigle as I’d seen plots of pictures of his fantastic terrain before and was keen to see some ‘in the flesh’. I wasn’t disappointed as the snowy battlefield was expertly depicted, with the snow being realistically muddy where it should have been and the contours of the hills beautifully sculpted. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to speak to Bruce himself but it was a pleasure to see it, maybe next time he is over at a show I’ll be a punter and will get to have a go myself.

The other game that I was interested in seeing was the Eisenbach Gap, 1985 another Cold War game being put on by the Berks and Bucks Occasionals. I had seen some pics of this game on the Wargames Website and was intrigued as the game is a boardgame that has been changed into a miniatures game. I must say, I thought it was done really well with both the 1/200 Skytrex kit and the Kallistra hex based terrain fantastically well done. The miniatures and terrain complimented each other very well and was a great example of the board/miniature game crossover I thought. Hats off definitely chaps!

The largest, and to my mind, most impressive game on display was the ‘The Assault on Ali El-Muntar, 1917’ put on by Adrian Shepherd and Friends. A true work of terrain artistry I thought with the trench systems being particularly well modelled. Apart from the terrain on show the figures were also amazingly well done and chuck in the aircraft and tanks into the mix it made for an absolute cracker – the chaps involved seemed to be having a blast playing it too. Unfortunately my photo’s suffered from the weird light in the venue and only a couple came out well – hopefully John Treadaway managed to get some good pics for MW and has done the game the justice it deserved!

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As for the other games, I liked Dave Brown’s Marengo game which was being played with his new ‘General d’ Armee’ rules. There was another WWI game from the early period which included Belgians which are a firm favourite of mine from that period using ‘Through the Mud and the Blood’ rules, (again I’m sorry as I can’t remember who put it on if you let me know I’ll edit this!). There was a cracking table which, although seemingly simple, was very effective by the Battlegroup chaps which had a hilltop German defensive position that had clearly been the attention of some heavy Soviet fire. The trenches and battle damage modelled was top notch. Also one of note was the Palestro 1859 game by the Friday Night in Crawley team which, apart from the period being of interest – 1859 Franco-Austrian, had some well painted figures and a fantastically modelled castle.

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Well that’s it for our ‘away days’ for this year, we’ve been talking about what we will be doing for Joy of 6 next year and you never know we might have a go at one or two more shows too but it will be nice to attend as a punter to a couple!