Two shows in two weeks? Sheer decadence I hear you say and you wouldn't be wrong! But after so long away from the circuit and friends, it was good to have another chance to go to a show and one of the best known in the UK, namely Partizan. I had never been before so when my good friend Keith asked if anyone fancied helping out on a demo game he was putting on, I jumped at the chance.
An early start (4.40am) saw me on the road to Keith's and from there we picked up Jon and arrived at the show before 9.00am. The journey up whizzed by as we chatted away, which was nice. Parking was easy and a short walk and we were at out table. Set up was quick and largely left to Keith, who knew the layout, troop dispositions etc. The organisers came over and gave us complimentary tickets for coffee as well as the free show figure, which this year was the WWI nurse Edith Cavell, both of which were a pleasant surprise. We managed to check a few tables out prior to opening, but more on those later.
Shevardino, 5th September 1812
The scenario was based upon the French attack on the Russian redoubt at Borodino. Roy Boss kindly lent Keith is wonderful Hinton Hunt 20mm figures for the day and these drew lots of attention throughout the day and rightly so. with everything ready, Jon and I took on the unenvious task of playing the Russians, whilst Keith, Paul and Roland took on the French. I took some photos as the game went along but the action was fast and furious so I'll try and give an overview of how the game played out via the photo captions.
|The Peter Laing figures in all their glory with some hand painted flags to boot.|
|The Russian redoubt, with support behind, that we had to try and move before to support the redoubt before it could be overwhelmed by the French.|
|As the French advance, aggressive Russian tactics drive them back, much to the consternation of the French. However on the Russian right (top left) the French are about to push the Russian Jaegers out of the town.|
|The unexpected success of the Russian infantry has forced a French infantry unit back right in front of the redoubt. Huzzah!|
|The French and Russian cavalry clash, with the former getting the better of the day. As the French infantry surge forward, their is nothing to stop them at present.|
|The French are struggling to find space to deploy all of their troops whilst the Russians fail to deploy and are caught in the worst formations possible (ie square vs infantry or line vs cavalry).|
|Jon is still taking the fight to the French in the centre. This is the sort of situation that gives rules writers nightmare's!|
After some eight turns of intense action the Russians were simply overwhelmed, especially when fresh French infantry reserves arrived and moved towards the centre. The game was great fun and played in the right spirit with plenty of good natured ribaldry. well done to Jon for holding on for so long and taking the fight to the French. Paul was a great opponent as i faced him with my right flank, with Keith and Roland superb opponents too. I thing by the end of it we were all rather tired but happy.
Of Boats, Planes and Trains
As we were so involved in our game, we didn't get much of a chance to really see the show. We took a quick lunch break to allow us to try and shop and see the games on offer. So after a bite to eat, I whizzed round with the camera and took some photos as best I could. I'll add captions as best I can:
|An AWI game I think.|
|Vikings in some form or other.|
|Some lovely boats that really catch the eye from afar.|
|A lovely WWII table (I think).|
|Definitely WWII and a very large game.|
|So much detail and nice touches throughout.|
|WWII desert and skirmish level by the look of it.|
|A medieval game. Again lots of stuff to see and admire.|
|This was a beautiful game; Wellington in India or something like that.|
|The red fort was a wonderful model.|
|A nice and simple skirmish game and the sort of thing you could happily play at home.|
|Nice buildings and again something that most of us could do at home.|
|Seven Years War I think, but loads of lovely figures no matter the period.|
|A bit of a blank on this one, but looked good.|
|Borodino, 1812 and the table right behind us. They used C&C rules and it looked very effective I must say.|
|WWII island hopping.|
|Good to see landing craft and we talked about it being nice to have them when playing seaborne landings.|
|An ACW game and a nice boat in the foreground.|
|An ancients game.|
|Chariots or elephants are a bit of a must for an ancients game. Pure eye candy on the figures front.|
|The Perry's War of the Triple Alliance.|
|Superb figures as one would expect from the Perry's. I'd rather do it in 10mm to be honest.|
|These ships were huge and you couldn't miss them. How they got them to the show undamaged is beyond me.|
|I loved this star fort and thing one would be a nice addition to my games. something to ponder for sure.|
|So much to take in in the town behind the star fort.|
|Another medieval game, with great figures too.|
|Again something that could easily be done at home.|
|The Wild West, by the look of the tippees at the top.|
|A nice small game by the Pike & Shot Society.|
|Another 'Society' game.|
|To The Strongest participation game with 54mm figures.|
|Certainly eye catching.|
|My sort of game (with or without hex terrain) and with 6/10mm figures. Very nice.|
|Another lovely game with smaller scale figures, which is good to see at shows.|
So much detail to see, from the working cinema to all the great planes.
Early on I picked up an pre-order from Pendraken, with a real mix of bits'n'pieces that were mainly nice to have rather than essential for my forces. I didn't really get to have a good look at the traders, but did pick up a book.
|A nice mdf trebuchet to scenery or as an objective in a game, some lovely 6mm Raiden aircraft (very nice) and some medieval artillery, again probably mainly for show, plus some WWII additons for my Italians.|
|Not cheap but a treat for myself and a book I've been after for a while. The scenarios are great and can easily be used for other conflicts. I plan to 'Rebels & Patriots' for the smaller actions and BPII or SotE for the larger ones.|
Thoughts on the Show
Bear in mind that this was my first Partizan, so am not sure how it compares to previous one, plus that playing a demo game meant that I had little time to really take in all that the show has to offer, so here are my thoughts a day after and in no particular order:
- The venue is very nice, large and spacious and well ventilated. The doors were kept open to help stop it getting hot and stuff and more importantly lots of fresh air given the prevalence of Covid. Parking was easy and you could move around freely and there was plenty of space to view all of the games.
- Apparently Partizan is known for the quality of the games on display and it certainly lived up to its reputation. If you are into 28mm games then you are in Seventh Heaven! The downside is that there were only a few games of different scales and of ones that you feel you could put on at home. As one gamer commented, some of the games looked like museum pieces rather than wargames. Now it's always hard to tell when taking a wander at lunch as to how much gaming takes place on these tables, as naturally everyone needs a break. Personally I prefer to see a game in action, but I must admit that you can take plenty of inspiration from these 'museum' tables, not matter what sort of game or scale you play with. I certainly did.
- Once the show opened I put a mask on and wore it for around 6 hours, which was rather tiring, but I felt more comfortable doing this than not wearing one. It did make conversation difficult during the game, especially during the busy part of that day with the general hub-bub and echo of the venue. However virtually nobody was wearing a mask, whether gamers or visitor. I know that this was a worry for many planning on attending the show and the lack of mask wearing won't have allayed their fears.
- On the trader front there was a reasonable mix, with some new ones I hadn't heard of, such as a company producing 3D printed 1/144th planes. However the quality was good enough for me (with my old modelmaking hat on) so passed on those. Maybe if they improve then I might consider them in the future. As this show is mainly about the games, then it's hard to compare it to say Colours, which is probably 2/3 traders, 1/3 games.
- I like to pick up a few books at the shows, but frankly it is easier and cheaper to buy them off ebay or Amazon, rather direct from a seller. One item I was interested in was cheaper to by online from the same seller rather than at the show. This was something we talked about on the way home and pretty much agreed that it no longer makes sense buying certain items at shows. I do try and support the traders but there's only so far I can go to be honest.
- From where I live the 3+ plus hour journey each way, makes it a very long day out. I got home around 7.45pm, so a bit too much for me and certainly a bit too much on the family to be away so long. Will I go again? Not for a while as I much prefer Colours, due to proximity, the type of games on show etc. However if I do go again I might go as a visitor so I can really take in all the the games have to offer, which is something you can't really do whilst taking part in a game.
- I missed a few gamers who were due to pop by are table, but did see Geoff (Ellie's Dad) but we failed to meet as I disappeared of before we could be introduced. Sorry Geoff. Normally I do bump into gamers I know and have a chat, but not this year. Maybe it's too far away for them or Covid was keeping them away. Either way I did miss that chance for a catch up. I did get a very brief chat with Leon of Pendraken before the show opened, but missed him when I went back later.
So there we have it. My thoughts on the show and of our game. It was a good day out and the time flew by, but I was certainly a tired bunny when I got home. So thanks to Keith for organising the game and for driving us there and back, and to Jon, Paul and Roland for being such good chaps to play with and against.
Until next time take care and stay safe.