Monday, September 26, 2011

10th - 11th September, Newbury


After a busy weekend managing the overlapping events at Newark and Abingdon, it was back down the A34 for Colours at Newbury Racecourse - a more relaxed schedule meeting the public and playing participation games in the airy sunlight that modern racecourse stands seem to offer (beautiful as long as you're not right next to the window on a hot day!)

We had our usual slot on the 2nd floor, next to the busy Bring & Buy*
and plenty of space ...

On Saturday, Philip Sabin, Eric Cruttenden and Alan Waller put on a reprise of the Kadesh game they did for
this year's BattleDay. Lost Battles in the Late Bronze Age. A sprawling 28mm game with over 100 chariots. A very popular game.

Phil also had samples from the brand new 'delux' boxed game version of Lost Battles. I must get one - it is bound to be a classic, the quality is remarkable. Here's a look at the game by Aaron from the
Planet Ancients blog list ('Lost Battles Arrives' link)

On Sunday I took over the Society pitch offering a choice of quicker Participation Games, Henry V's assault at Harfleur ('Greyhounds in the Slips') or my Britannia's Eastern Front DBA set up (Arthur vs the English invaders) ...

(once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more)

(The Sub Roman British win again: DBA in the age of Arthur)

Indeed, Colours sees a good turn out by the Society teams ... the Lance & Longbow Society downstairs were supported by a Wars of the Roses game ... while next to us upstairs, the Pike & Shot Society had a busy weekend too.

(RFCM's Bloody Barons with the Lance & Longbow Society)
(S.E.B. signing up members for the Pike & Shot Society)

Next door to us both, the Skirmish Wargames folk had one of their 54mm scale wargames. These are a regular feature at Colours .... But, well, maybe it's me .... I thought this one was the best ... Perfectly on theme to run next to our displays ...

(54mm Crusades wargame)

(a closer look at some of those 54mm Moslems)

(a closer look at some of those 54mm Crusaders ...)

It was the kind of game that makes you start planning and rummaging through all those 1:32 plastics boxes ...
We ran several assaults on Harfleur until the show slackened off in the middle of Sunday afternoon. Henry should carry the breach - the challenge is how many speeches he needs to deploy to motivate his hard-pressed soldiers (and the more he uses at Harfleur, the less easy it will be to stir up the lads when they find themselves cornered at Agincourt ...) ...

(Game 6: Harry has another crack at Harfleur)

Nevertheless, the action can be very bloody as the non-player characters fall victim ...

(A victorious Henry V cuts down the Captain of the Guard in the breach at Harfleur)

If you want your own copy of the game (plus Graham's Romans against the Elephant skirmish) you can order the Domino Double Header from the website store (Society of Ancients Games) - you will just need to have some sets of dominoes handy and some dice (everything else is in the pack including paper soldiers and a fold up tower ...)...

There were plenty of other ancients games on display

(Rob Broom's War & Conquest demo)

... and a massive Roman battle against the Sassanian Persians ...

(the Roman war for the east)

The Society stand was reasonably well manned throughout the weekend (thanks, all), so I was able to get out with my camera and capture a few more highlights ....

(Isandlwana - a massive diorama of this chilling episode in the history of South Africa)

(an eye-catching game of the air war in Vietnam)

(World War II in a box - followers of my ECW blog will know why I was intrigued ...)

(another of those really effective ACW layouts ... )

I'm not sure how well attended Colours was ... whilst the sunlight was blocked-out by the Bring & Buy queue, it seemed impossibly busy ... as the weekend progressed visitors did seem thinner on the ground (and there were one or two trade stands absent from the usual line up I thought) ... I was able to thank both Black Hat and Lurkio for their super-prompt mail order service, and got some excellent new Saxons from Donnington ('New Era' ... you must have a look at these ...)..

Big tables again (bar Rob Broom's, which was exemplary in its compactness) ... but, like Partizan, mostly worth the space they took up.

Endless free parking at Colours, of course - plus a massive trade presence ... lots to see and a great day out. Great show. Make a date for next year ....

(which sort of wiped out the first hour or so on Saturday - Colours now has one of those fiendish systems that causes massive queues as people check their items in: literally, from the SoA stand you could see nothing but backpacks and carry cases for most of the morning - I'm surprised there weren't more complaints) ...

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