Sunday, November 18, 2012

Warfare, Reading November 18th 2012

For various reasons I haven't been able to get to a wargames show since Salute earlier in the year so was glad to have a few hours at Warfare in Reading today.  It's not my favourite show, not least because the drive there from my house is quite stressful and negotiating Reading's notorious one way system is always a pain.  I managed to get lost on the way back and spent a terrifying 15 minutes in the centre of the town looking for an exit.  If ever there is a monument to disastrous town planning, Reading is it: nightmare!  Anyway I am safely back and it's time to review my purchases.

I was very conscious of my lead pile on this visit and had a very limited hit list of figures.  Firstly, I bought two packs of Musketeer Miniatures Great Northern War Swedish cavalry.  I supplied Bill of MM some copies of pictures I'd taken of a Swedish cavalry display in the Stockholm Army Museum when he was looking for research material for these.  These cavalry have been a long time coming but I do wish he had put some of the dash and movement he did with his infantry figures into the cavalry.  They are perfectly nice just a bit static: charging figures would have been more welcome and more Swedish!

Secondly, three packs of Perry Prussian Landwehr.  I thought about the Warlord plastics but have read so many iffy reviews of them I decided accuracy and anatomy was better than cheaper price.

I am reading an excellent novel about Hannibal at present so am trying to put a few more Carthaginian army figures on fast track.  I bought a pack of Crusader Miniatures Libyan skirmishers on the basis that they shouldn't take very long to do.

I'm also basing some Crusader Spanish for Lusitanians at the moment but needed bigger shields for them (according to my Osprey anyway) so picked up two packs of Magister Militum round shields which look just right.

New Empress Afghans: Sorry they are a bit blurred I only had my Blackberry camera with me!

My biggest figure purchase was of the new Empress Miniatures English Civil War cavalry.  Now I actually have three painted units of Renegade/Bicorne ECW figures and thought that these would be too small (Perry/Warlord size).  This does not appear to be the case however; I think they will be fine in separate units (the muskets are very much more in the proper proportions).  Apart from a unit of cuirassiers I don't have any cavalry so for £40 bought a special deal which included all six of the new cavalry packs.  They are truly gorgeous!  Empress were promising a new range at the show and they had the first figures on display: some North West Frontier Afghan tribesmen.  No-one makes a good range of these in 28mm and they are promising (eventually) some British for the period as well.  At the speed I paint I'm not in a hurry!

My two biggest purchases were for scenics.  I recall BigRedBat saying that maybe wargamers concentrate so much on figures that we don't get on with as many scenic items as we should.  This is certainly true for me!

Muddy stream from The Last Valley

I have no way of representing streams or rivers in my games and have always felt that I could make my own but, of course, I never have the time so I bought come streams from The Last Valley.  I'd seen their rivers and streams at Salute but couldn't carry them so I picked up 3 curved pieces and six straights.  I am going to customise them quite a lot, I think, but they provide a good start.

Finally, I bought two scenic items for my main two projects: Jason and the Argonauts and the Zambezi campaign.  Steve Barber (whose prehistoric settlement I have enjoyed playing) had a marvellous golden fleece and dead tree which I couldn't resist, although the resin and metal tree looks like it will need a bit of work.  

I can't resist Grand Manner's stuff (is it me or have their prices increased a lot lately) and they had a perfect trading post for the Zambezi campaign.  This I will get on with once I have finished the Argo.  It's just the job for Trader Jones!

I had a quick chat with fellow Guildford Wargames Club member Mike of Black Hat Miniatures and he said that today had been very quiet.  He also felt that people were coming with a fixed budget and once that was spent that was it.  I really wonder whether Warfare can continue as a two day show in the current economic climate but, apparently, it is to do with the requirements of the wargaming tournament.

So that's it until Salute next year.  Now all I have to do is actually paint something!


  1. Terrain- good for the soul!

    I didn't make it to Reading, too much on domestically I'm afraid. I have managed to fit in a couple of paintign sessions, instead...

    Cheers, Simon

  2. Sadly, I didn't get anything painted this weekend!

  3. Ah yes big cities, all signs point inwards! I recall a trip I made many years ago to see the Royal Armouries in Leeds (Yorks). Got to Leeds easily, found the museum and enjoyed the visit. Got back to car and wasn't too sure which way to head out, I recall going round and round, the city centre failing to find any helpful sign that might direct me back north. I think I wasted something like 30 minutes trying to find a route north. The planners, or at least those in charge of signage should be hung!

    I agree we often spend too much time on painting figures and not enough time on terrain to set them off. Its certainly fairly easy to buy stuff, but I am always aware that I could make stuff far cheaper than buying (allowing more money for figures!), the only downside being the time to make it!

    Decisions decisions...

  4. The traffic in Reading is something to behold.... DG and I were there same day as you, but given your MI6 training it's no surprise I didn't see you... I thought the show was a little low key this year - I have a post lined up but I came home having bought nothing at all - something of a first!

  5. I was only there for just over an hour myself. In, shop, out!

  6. Intended to go this year but I was endlessly side tracked over the weekend with family committments. I have after many years sussed Reading's traffic system out but like Scott above, I once got lost in Leeds. No matter what sign I followed, half an hour later I still ended up at the Tetley brewery. A hell hole. Never, never again.


  7. I'm intrigued by the wine you're drinking. Is this your own "Chateau Legatus"?

  8. Another great posting, as usual, Legautus.

    You might be interested to know that I've nominated you for a Liebster Award:


    Roly ('Arteis')

  9. Well, how very kind. I was jealous that everyone else was getting it!

  10. Giles, It's a nice Entre-deux-mers and I picked up a case when Waitrose had a 25% off sale. We get another 15% off too as my wife is a John Lewis partner so it came out as just over £5 a bottle!