There will be a number of catch up entries in quick succession as my timing get back on schedule. The Alfred East Art Gallery has just celebrated its Centenary and some of my attention has gone that way over the last few weeks. Congratulations and happy anniversary! ... meanwhile the Autumn shows season has clicked into gear with its usual bustling frequency.
Newbury Racecourse provided the customary good, bright and efficient facilities for Colours.
The Society of Ancients had a triple feature: on Saturday Philip Sabin hosted games of Gaugamela (331) using his Lost Battles formula; on Sunday, inheriting lots of space from the big game, I took over the display space and put on Bosworth together with a display of the latest addition to the nostalgia collection: Phil Barker's 1960s flats army.
(Gaugamela reconstructed as a Lost Battle)
(Gaugamela: the spectacular Persian host)
(click on the pictures for a bigger image)
FLATS FROM THE TONY BATH ERA
(Phil Barker's original Roman Army set up for Tony Bath's rules)
(closer in: splendid veterans of wargames 50 years ago)
Saturday got off to a somewhat grudging start ... I was doing the membership stand for Day One of the show and we are situated next to the Bring & Buy. This queued past us all morning (yep ... all morning ): a phalanx several deep and right down the main avenue for the best part of 3 hours. It has been like this in previous years but not quite as bad I think. I commented wryly that it would wash out the first hour or so for us - I was optimistic, it wiped out the whole morning (nobody can really get at the stand because of all the bodies in the queue ... now that might give us a captive audience, but they aren't there for us, they want to deposit their wares on the B&B): to give everyone something to look at, I switched on my laptop and set it to slideshow pictures from the Chalons BattleDay. Much though I like Colours, there has to be a better way to book in for the Bring & Buy.
Colours is a big show with plenty to look at and loads of good shopping opportunities. During my breaks over the weekend, I particularly enjoyed ...
(John Curry's demo of the Fletcher Pratt Naval Wargame)
(Crawley's wintery Battle of Fraustadt, 1706 table)
(15mm World War II from Loughton Strike Force)
(Dux Bellorum presented with - inset - some splendid new 10mm figures from Pendraken)
(a ravaging 15mm contingent in Peter Pig's Vikings demo game)
Plenty of good things for the ancient and medieval enthusiast. Had I had time I would have delighted in taking a seat for the Vikings game and for Dux Bellorum - both look great and I fear I'm falling behind the pack.
We had a number of tight reruns of Bosworth on the Sunday ... I still find Mike Ingram's interpretation convincing, but Richard can overcome the handicaps of a poor deployment and Percy's reluctance if he can grab opportunities with both hands. He nearly did so on the day, of course, but was edged out of history by the slenderest of margins.
(Bosworth at Colours: Richard prevails)
It was also a good show for 54mm enthusiasts ... in addition to the Society game we were next to the Skirmish Wargames Society who this year put on a sprawling snapshot from Leipzig
NB those are 54s, so that's quite a big table. ... and across in the annex, there were some 54mm ECWs ...
(The Rearguard at Rowdeford, 1643 by Devizes and District Wargames Group)
(Hastings & St Leonards ... also in the Annex)
Back up on the top floor, the nearby Pike & Shot Society had support from the Liverpool Wargames Society and their Battle of Bicocca, 1522 - a good looking 10mm Field of Glory Renaissance game ...
... and the Sheffield Wargames Society had a huge 25mm Crusades game ...
This is certainly one of those shows where it would take you two days to do justice to all the good things on display. Hopefully the photographs give some flavour. Backing all that up, of course, is an extensive trade fair and a range of competitions as well ...
Great show, free parking, wonderful light from the big Racecourse windows, but they need to sort out the Bring & Buy queue ...