I have been to … Cavalier

Cavalier is a smallish annual wargames show held at the Angel Centre, Tonbridge, Kent, and if it is at all possible, I always try to attend it. It is organised by the Tunbridge Wells Wargames Society, and this year part of the proceeds are going to be given to Combat Stress, a charity devoted to helping veterans and ex-service personnel suffering from psychological injuries and mental health problems.

This show is usually the first I attend each year, and it always gives me the opportunity to meet and talk to some of the many wargamers I know. This year was no exception, and amongst those that I met and talked to were David Crook (with whom I did a swap; a box full of unmade Zvezda Russian and German infantry and artillery for a large collection of Axis and Allies Miniatures: Angels 20 aircraft), Kenny Smith, Nigel Drury, Peter Grizzell, the ‘Rejects‘ (including Postie, Big Lee, Ray Rousell, and The Angry Lurker), and Henry Hyde (the current editor of BATTLEGAMES and the recently appointed editor of MINIATURE WARGAMES/BATTLEGAMES).

Henry was able to show me the layout he intends to use when he takes over as editor of he ‘new’ magazine, and I must admit that I was very impressed. It looked clean and easy to read, and it appears to be more content-driven and less full of pretty pictures. On the strength of what I saw I will be giving very serious consideration to taking out a subscription for this publication.

Wargames shows are an excellent opportunity to see new products, and Cavalier was no exception. I resisted … just … buying a whole load of stuff from the Plastic Soldier Company. The range that they offer is constantly growing, and had I been able to get to the rack of kits that I wanted to look at, I probably would have bought some. (The reason why I did not manage to get to the rack was due to three chaps who stood in front of it for over ten minutes discussing which kits they were going to buy. In the end I left them to it … but I did notice that they were still there when I walked past later.)

I did make a couple of purchases. I bought a couple of mini starter packs of World War I 20mm-scale figures from Tumbling Dice (these are going to be used as Hungarian Infantry and Russian Militia in my projected Eastern Front/Great Patriotic War campaign) and a book from Dave Ryan of Caliver Books. The book was THE CHACO WAR by Adrian English (Published by Partizan Press [2013] ISBN 978 1 85818 657 3), and it is the second edition of the book originally published by Spellmount in 2007. The original was entitled THE GREEN HELL, and was a paperback; the new edition is a hardback and has been revised and had numerous photographs and illustrations added to it.

There were a number of demonstration/participation games on show, including:

A Very French Civil War (SEEMS)
As usual the ‘boys’ from SEEMS came up with a novel twist on a popular theme. In this case it was a clash between the forces of the Left and the Right in 1930s France, and the action was centred upon the town of Clochemerle.

Brave Little Belgium 1940 (Crawley Wargames Club)

Patton’s Charge 1946 (Friday Night Firefight)
A hypothetical battle between US and Soviet forces in the aftermath of the Second World War.

Drop the bridge (North London Wargames Group)
An interesting wargame about a Soviet airborne attack on a vital bridge.

Square Bashing (Peter Pig)

The Battle of Crimisus 340BC (Society of Ancients)
Another battle from Professor Philip Sabin’s book, LOST BATTLES. Professor Sabin was at the show running the wargame.

Operation Deadstick (Maidstone Wargames Society)
This game was about the seizure of the bridge over the River Orne early on the morning of D-Day.

Dixie 1863 (Staines Wargamers)
This was a recreation of Pickett’s Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg, the famous ‘high-water mark of the Confederacy’.

Medieval Siege (West Kent Wargamers)

Denmark 1940 (Deal Wargames Society)
This game illustrated the incredible modelling skills processed by some wargamers, and included some wonderful vignettes.

This was an excellent show … and I am already looking forward to next year’s.

20 Comments on “I have been to … Cavalier”

  1. Nice report and pics. Sounds like a good little show but way too far south for me! 🙂 Interesting to see the comments on Henry's proposed layout. Really looking forward to seeing the re-launched MW/BG mag.CheersAndy

  2. Conrad Kinch says:

    Sounds like a good show. Those are some very good looking games.

  3. Vladdd309 says:

    Wow, were any bloggers not at Cavalier this year? (Well, I wasn't!)Great pics, looked like a great event.

  4. Thank you for taking a picture of the Dixie game – The Staines Wargamers are my old club, and it's made me feel all nostalgic :)It's based on the Charge of the Light brigade game we did a few years ago, by the looks of it.

  5. Phyllion says:

    I missed a while load of those games – was there another hall off the main one?

  6. Nigel Drury says:

    I was very impressed by the 3D printed bridges for the Operation Deadstick game. All the buildings and the boat ( a flak ship?) were also made that way.

  7. Andy McMaster (Andy),If you ever get the chance to go to Cavalier I am sure that you will enjoy it.The layouts that Henry Hyde showed me seemed to retain the best aspects of both magazines, and I look forward to buying the 'new' magazine.All the best,Bob

  8. Conrad Kinch,Cavalier is a great little show, and always attracts some good games and excellent traders.All the best,Bob

  9. Vladdd309,It did seem a bit like a bloggers convention!Perhaps you will be able to pay a visit to Cavalier yourself one day.All the best,Bob

  10. David Crook says:

    Hi Bob,It was great to meet up and the transaction was the icing on the cake!I like the 'new' venue (it is the first time I have been to this site)and the whole atmosphere was very inspiring – even merely by a process of osmosis!All the best,DC

  11. Kaptain Kobold,It looked like a good game, simple but very effective. Unfortunately I did not have time to play it,All the best,Bob

  12. Francis Lee,Many thanks … and it was good to see you!All the best,Bob

  13. Phyllion,There were more games in the same room as the Bring & Buy and in a small room at the far end of the foyer. Neither was particularly well signed, and I only found them because I knew that these other rooms had been used in the past.All the best,Bob

  14. Nigel Drury,I had not realised that they had been made using a 3D printer. If this is the way forward, it looks like it could be very effective as long as the cost can be kept down.All the best,Bob

  15. David Crook,It was great to see you … and thanks very much for the aircraft.It is a nice venue, and I always enjoy going there.All the best,Bob

  16. Nigel Drury says:

    3D printing is still quite expensive but for ship and aircraft models (particularly in 1:144) it is getting better.The models used in the game can be found under 6mm terrain on the Brigade Games site.

  17. Nigel Drury,Thanks for the heads-up as to where to find the models.I suspect that we will see a rise in the use of 3D printing, especially if it allows manufacturers to reduce stock levels and to use 'just in time' manufacturing.All the best,Bob

  18. Ray Rousell says:

    Nice post Bob, nice to meet you there.

  19. Ray Rousell,Many thanks … and it was nice to meet you too.All the best,Bob

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