(see the Society banner, central, right over at the back)
Last year we drove up to Cheshire on the Friday evening listening to a lack lustre England World Cup game on the car radio (remember that disappointing summer of 2010?) ...
This year we went up early for a fuller Gentlemen Pensioners Phalanx/wargames weekend ... a Society of Ancients shows appearance on the Saturday sandwiched between my Naseby refight on Friday afternoon, and the big Sunday game - this year Bautzen ...
I thought Phalanx was very good. We had been moved from our tradition berth next to the Pike & Shot Society to the other corner alongside the Lance & Longbow ... with Irregular Miniatures, David Lanchester Books and Baccus as neighbours.
(Lance & Longbow Society game featuring a lot of pikes and quite a bit of shot)
(click on the picture for a better view)
The Lance & Longbow Society (of course, the aforementioned Gentlemen Pensioners, mostly) put on Cerignola, while for the Society of Ancients, Martin Charlesworth was reprising his ever popular 'Dirty DBA' Challenge table.
('Dirty' DBA ... )
(as usual, the Society defended it's honour in the DBA challenge)
I'm sure numbers must have been up this year, and most of the thoroughfares were crammed for the first half of the show.
(Pike & Shot Society)
The Bring & Buy was too crowded to get at, all morning, but when I did manage an afternoon visit, I found some bargains and plenty on offer.
(Just a part of the busy Bring & Buy: along with the Societies and a healthy array of games mixed in amongst the trade aisles - a good part of the formula that makes for a great wargames show)
It was generally wargamers selling 2nd hand, rather than semi-professional (like those expensive Southern Bring & Buys) and, 'yes', those £2 good condition military history books were, indeed, ex-libris the late Paddy Griffith.
Nestling between Manchester and the Mersey, we do OK for volunteers here, so everyone on the stand gets a chance to see the show and do some shopping, chat to people and take photos.
(Baggagetrain products are available with a Society of Ancients member discount)
So, Stephen from the Baggagetrain reminded me we need to get the discounts page updated (he offers 10%) ... that's one of his resin 10mm Watchtowers behind some of my 15mm Varangians ...
(some nice samples dropped off at Phalanx)
Cutting Edge Miniatures dropped off some new releases for review (Hittite 28mm ... very nicely proportioned I think - less clumsy than many of the cruder ranges in that scale ...) ... and Pete from Baccus talked me through Polemos and showed me some of his 6mm ancients.(Baccus 6mm Romans)
Elsewhere former President Halewood and his Crosby friends have been bitten by the Very British Civil War bug. Not my cup of tea, of course ...
but the Gentlemen Pensioners HQ is just down the road in Salford, and the Crosby game did remind me of Lowry's signature industrial backgrounds (perhaps Lowry's figure style is what VBCW needs to give it a little more resilience?) ...
(A Very North Western Civil War)
There was a big ECW Game ...And a smaller but very engaging Indian Mutiny game ...
But I was most impressed with this 10mm panorama (demonstrating yet again how a scale like this can capture the pageant of a full battle within the single visual frame of a modest table - frankly, comparing the 7 Yrs War game and the ECW, the 10mm game easily wins over the 28mm, I think (much though I like them both...)...
A good example of a regional show with a good mix of trade, displays, Societies and games. Thanks for the invitation, Spartans ... I'm looking forward to next year ...
Sunday's big game was a 15mm Shako-based refight of Bautzen, which looked something like this ...There are several blogs from players if you want to find out more about this lavish wargame (see .. Wargame Amateur ... Will's Wargames Blog etc.) ...
For what it's worth, I took the role of Wittgenstein, commanding the allies. I was satisfied with my subordinates' efforts and commitments to the cause as ever. We stopped the French (well, that's what my memoirs will say).
Enabling this great weekend to be 'bookended' with historical battles from my stable, the late-stayers finished off Sunday with a running of the 10mm Zama 'Double DBA' wargame.(Naseby: from Friday evening's game)
(Sunday evening -Zama: a fitting end to a weekend of historical battles)
For more on that Naseby refight, see my ECW Battles in Miniature.
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