I have been to … Cavalier

I had several good reasons to go to CAVALIER this year, foremost amongst which was to meet and chat with David Crook who writes the ‘A Wargaming Odyssey’ blog.

As usual the Tunbridge Wells Wargames Society organised the show, and the venue was the Angel Centre in the centre of Tonbridge, Kent. Parking was not too much of a problem, and I was inside the venue by just after 10.00am.

There were already quite a few people inside, and I decided to start with a quick look around the main hall.

I then made my way towards the smaller hall where the ‘bring-and-buy’ and several participation wargames were taking place. To get there I had to pass through a lobby area …

… which is where I met up with David Crook. We were able to exchange a few items that were had planned to swap (a box of books for two boxes of Hexon II blue hexes … a very fair exchange in my opinion!) and to have a quick chat about his plans for a Madasahatta-type campaign set in the southern part of the Arabian peninsula.

Whilst we were there we were joined by Alan Abbey (the creator of the BLOOD, BILGE AND IRON BALLS naval wargame rules and the organiser of the annual ‘Broadside’ wargames show that take place in Sittingbourne), who has a new set of American War of Independence rules in the final stages of development.

I then paid a visit to the smaller hall …

… and spent some time looking at the various games that were in progress.

SEEMS (South East Essex Military Society)

Staines Wargamers: HOTT (Hordes of the Things) demonstration/participation games

Maidstone Wargames Society: Road to Homs 1982

North London Wargames Group: Monoontour 1569

Gravesend Gamers Guild: Warmachine

Southend Wargames Club: Helmand Rescue

Tonbridge Wargames Club: Chickamauga Day 2

This game used the latest version of Richard Borg’s BATTLE CRY rules, Hexon II hexed terrain tiles, and 10mm-scale figures.

In a small room adjoining the smaller hall was the …

Society of Ancients: Battle of Trebia 218 BC

… game being run – as usual – by Professor Phil Sabin and …

The League of Gentlemen Anti-Alchemists: Rommel: Our part in his downfall

On my return to the main hall I met up with a group of well-known wargamers and bloggers. (Left to right: David Crook, Postie, Clint, Big Lee, Henry Hyde, and Ray Rousell.)

Inside the main hall there were also several wargames in progress.

Friday Night Fire Fight: Zulu! 1879

Peter Pig: Hammerin’ Iron

Hailsham Wargames Club: Malplaquet 1709

This wargame was staged using hundreds of Les Higgins 20mm-scale figures … and was very impressive!

Deal Wargames Society: Prison Break! Los Banos, the Philippines, 1945

Crawley War Games Club: Trench Raid

This was – as usual – a great little wargames show.


I have been to … Broadside

2015 is the fifth year that the Milton Hundred Wargames Club has staged the BROADSIDE wargames show, and yesterday I travelled to Sittingbourne to attend it.

The show was held at the Swallows Leisure Centre in Sittingbourne, Kent …

… in a large sports hall …

… and an adjoining small room. (The latter was where the flea market was located.)

Besides a reasonable number of traders, there were quite a few local wargames clubs and groups represented at the show.

The Society of Ancients was using some of the best painted figures I have seen for a long time in their wargame entitled ‘Troy’.

Deal Wargames Club produced an excellent game based on the final scenes of ‘Saving Private Ryan’.

Rainham Wargames Club‘s wargame was set during the French and Indian Wars.

Gravesend Gamers Guild had an interesting steam/fantasy game in progress on their stand.

Skirmish Group staged an interesting battle from a very obscure conflict.

This battle saw the forces of Mexico fighting Yucatan separatists …

… who were supported by a gunboat and sailors from the Republic of Texas’s Navy!

Southend Wargames Club staged a very interesting Napoleonic battle that featured a Spanish town and fortress …

… being attacked by a French naval squadron and landing force. A Royal Navy flotilla (led by Sir Thomas Cochrane) had come to the aid of the Spanish …

… and were engaging them at close quarters at the point when I stopped to watch the wargame.

The ships were all laser-cut wooden models, and show the level of detail that this new method of producing models can achieve.

Shepway Wargames Club was running a very interesting colonial wargame entitled ‘The Heart of Darkness’ about the destruction of the Arab settlements in the Congo Free State.

I understand that this particular game won the Game of the Show award.

Posties Rejects‘ wargame was all about the Border Reivers …

… and used Posties‘ own rules. (He can be seen below holding them!)

Big Lee was also there to help out run the game …

… as was Ray, although he wasn’t at the table when I was taking my photographs.

Maidstone Wargames Society‘s game featured James Bond being pursued down a ski slope by members of SPECTRE!

Medway Wargames Society‘s fantasy game featured what looked like a submarine in one corner of the tabletop.

South East Essex Military Society had a ‘Star Wars’ game in progress when I visited them, and it seemed to feature examples of just about every space vehicle used in the films!

Friday Night Fire Fight Club was running a game using the ‘Hail Caesar!’ rules.

Herne Bay Wargamers ran a game using the ‘Lion Rampant’ rules published by Osprey.

Medway Gaming Society‘s game was entitled ‘Batman’ … and it was rumoured to feature a working searchlight that projected the Batman symbol.

Crawley Wargames Club used some very nice models and terrain in their ‘Imperial Skies’ game.

Crush The Kaiser Wargaming was also at the show demonstrating their WW1 rules.

I always enjoy going to BROADSIDE … but I yet again I make the plea for all clubs staging wargames at shows to make it clear who they are and what they are doing. Some of the clubs at BROADSIDE were very good at this … but some of the others could easily have been anonymous had it not been for the map of the main hall that was handed out at the entrance.


Failing to resist temptation

Yesterday I paid a flying visit to the Skirmish Toy Soldier and Wargames Show that is held twice-yearly in Sidcup, Kent.

Besides having just enough time to take a quick look around and to talk to a few wargamers that I know (including Lee Hadley, Postie, and Alan Abbey), I did manage to find and buy a few things. One trader was selling individual Del Prado pre-painted 25/28mm-scale Napoleonic figures for just 50p each(!) … so I bought enough to complete a couple more units of Prussian infantry and to add another unit of infantry to each of the as yet unvarnished and based French and British armies. (I know that I wasn’t going to buy any more figures, but these were just too good a bargain to turn down!)

I also bought both volumes of the Funcken books about the Napoleonic Wars for less than I had seen them on sale for on the Internet.

All-in-all this was an excellent little show, and I am pleased that I was able to go, even though I failed to resist the temptation to buy more figures!


I have been to … The Milton Hundred Wargames Club Open Day

Besides organising the BROADSIDE wargames show in Sittingbourne, Kent, each year, the Milton Hundred Wargames Club has an annual open day that is held in their normal weekly club meeting venue, Iwade Village Hall, Ferry Street, Iwade, Kent.

I visited this club open day last year, and was struck by the very friendly reception I received. When Alan Abbey (an ex-pupil of mine and one of the driving forces behind the club) reminded me that the Open Day was today, I made sure that I made time to get there.

The venue is a typical small, late 1950s, single-storey, brick-built community hall.

There were three wargames taking place when I arrived.

There was also a table display of different sizes and types of figures as well as a trader’s stand that was being run by a locally-based online retailer.

The three battles that were taking place were:

A Napoleonic battle (fought using BLACK POWDER rules)

An Ancients battle between the Greeks and the Persians (fought using HAIL CEASAR! rules)

An eleventh century battle between Normans and Anglo-Saxons (fought using SAGA rules)

(This battle was staged by the Maidstone Wargames Society.)

I have not used any of these rules before, but the players all took time to explain the basics of each set to me. This was very encouraging, and had I just walked in off the street, I would have left much better informed about the hobby … and possibly a new recruit to it as well.

This Open Day was an excellent example of the sort of event that clubs can put on, and it was a great pity that it was not better attended.


A fleeting visit to Skirmish, Sidcup

I had promised my wife that we could visit at least one place during the OPEN HOUSE LONDON event that was on last weekend … and had not realised that it was on at the same time as the Skirmish Toy Soldier and Wargames Show in Sidcup. My visit to Skirmish was, therefore, a fleeting one … although I did manage a very quick chat with some of the members of Posties Rejects and to meet up with David Crook to collect some toy soldiers that he had for me!

I arrived just after the show opened at 10.00am, and the main trading hall was already beginning to fill up.

There was quite an impressive range of games on show …

… but the one that really caught my eye was a colonial wargame set in the Sudan.

This was being staged by the Rainham Wargames Club using 15mm-scale figures and BLACK POWDER rules.

I was only able to stay about an hour, and wish that I could have stayed longer, but a promise is a promise …


I have been to … Broadside

Despite feeling slightly under the weather due to a mild stomach bug, I was determined to go to BROADSIDE. This is a small regional wargames show that is run annually by the Milton Hundred Wargames Club. I know the main organiser – Alan Abbey – very well indeed (I taught him when he was eleven!), and it was a pleasure to meet him again this year.

Here is a picture of the man himself:

I managed to get around all the games that were taking part, and took photographs of as many of them as I could. I did have the usual problem though; some had excellent signage and information whereas others did not. As a result I have not been able to attribute some of the games to a group … so if your group’s game is featured but unnamed, please accept my apologies.


World War I (Crush The Kaiser)

Kandahar: Second Afghan War (Gravesend Wargamers Club)

The Arabian Campaign, World War I: The taking of Akaba (Rainham [Medway] Wargames Club)

American Civil War Ironclads in action (South East Essex Military Society)

Note: SEEMS (South East Essex Military Society) were using a slightly tweaked version of my Portable Naval Wargame rules.

Western Gunfight … using Playmobile figures (Gravesend Gamers Guild)

Dr Who (Friday Night Fire Fight Club)

A variety of skirmish-level wargames (Hornchurch Heroes Gaming Club)

Somewhere in France: Summer 1944 (Shepway Wargames Club)

Battle of Shaho: Russo-Japanese War (Posties Rejects)

Postie scratch-built this very impressive balloon using a polystyrene ball, wire, and cardboard. He used a metal base so that it was stable.

Belgium: August 1914 (Medway Wargames Society)

The Magnificent Seven Gunfight (Skirmish Wargames Group)


North West Europe

Vietnam War

Science Fiction games

Western Shootout

Napoleonic Wars


Thanks … and a reminder

Thanks to everyone who responded to yesterday’s blog entry about the campaign to try to save the Royal Artillery Museum FIREPOWER in Woolwich. I understand that over 200 people signed the e-petition yesterday, and I suspect that quite a few of them did so as a result of my blog entry, my Facebook entry, and my message on The Miniatures Page (TMP).


The Milton Hundred Wargames Club will be running the BROADSIDE wargames show in Sittingbourne next Sunday. I hope to go … and if you live in Kent or South East London and have not yet been to this show, I thoroughly recommend that you go along.

The venue is the Swallows Leisure Centre, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 4NT. Entry cost is £3.00 … and women and children can get in for free!

Click on the image to make it larger

The traders who will be attending are:

T1 – Adler Miniatures
T2 – Armourfast
T3 – Brigade Models
T4 – Redoubt enterprises
T5 – David Lanchester Books
T6 – Fenris Games
T7 – Ainsty Castings
T8 – Cymbeline Games
T9 – Tablescape
T10 – Harfields Military Figures
T11 – ToleHaven
T12 – Realistic Modelling
T13 – Early War Miniatures
T14 – Shellhole Scenics
T15 – Col. Bills.com
T16 – Lesley’s Bits Box
T17 – WargamesNkits
T18 – 7th Heaven Games
T19 – Monarch Millitary Books
T20 – SHQ Miniatures
T21 – Polly Oliver Castings
T22 – Red Knight Wargames
T23 – Wargames Emporium
T24 – Always Darkk
T25 – Warmill
T26 – Andy’s Models
T27 – Royal British Legion
T28 – Wargames Foundry
T29 – Warlord Games
T30 – WW1 display by Historical Research Group of Sittingbourne
T31 – Pilum Painting
T32 – Gladius Game Arts
T33 – Essex Miniatures
T34 – Sphere Products
T35 – Wargame Solutions
T36 – PE2 Collectables
T37 – East Street Games
T38 – Engine Shed Toys

The clubs that will be attending are:

G1 – Gravesend Wargamers Club
G2 – Maidstone Wargames Society
G3 – Posties Rejects
G4 – Herne Bay Wargamers
G5 – Deal Wargames Club
G6 – Skirmish Wargames Group
G7 – Shepway Wargames Club
G8 – The Gamers Hub
G9 – Southend Wargames Club
G10 – Hornchurch Heroes Gaming Club
G11 – Friday Night Fire Fight Club
G12 – Gravesend Gamers Guild
G13 – South East Essex Military Society
G14 – Medway Wargames Society
G15 – East Grinstead Gamers
G16 – Rainham Wargames Club
CTK (Crush The Kaiser) Wargaming will also be providing a demonstration game using their WW1 rule set but are not part of the club competition.