Monday, 18 July 2016

Barrage Show, Stafford, 10th July, 2016

Sunday, 10th July saw the latest outing for the "Wyrley Retinue", the occasion being the annual Barrage Show in Stafford. We took a 10x6ft version of our "Battle of Canny, c.1476" demo game and we all had a good time (I think), with the Swiss earning another win, but a more hard-fought one than previously, but the Burgundian left had pretty much beaten the Swiss right (another dodgy showing from "Occasional Wargamer Brother Kev" with the Bernese contingent!). Still, I got to beat up Nephew Ben with the Lorrainers and a mixed Swiss contingent and the Zurichers broke through the Burgundian centre right, so it was all going well by closing time!

It was not all entirely good though.

The weather was alternately (very) wet and dry, which made emptying the car amusing! The venue was stiflingly hot and there was arguably too much crammed into the main hall which made it feel hotter and more claustrophobic than perhaps was necessary. Several traders were also a bit peeved that people did not know they were there in a second hall.

Note to organisers: put the tourney games in the small hall and move the trade presence to the main one, which would also probably free up some space there too.

However, there were numerous good bits too.
  1. £150 was raised for a local hospice from raffle ticket sales.
  2. James Morris (and friends') Verdun game. Take a look at this game if you see it offered at a show. It is a very simply but excellently staged rendition of a small section of a fort on the Verdun front (Fort Vaux, I think), beautifully modelled and with a novel game played over, in and around it.
  3. The Athlone game from Derby (I think). Colourful, well-modelled and with some very nice touches. I almost broke out my stalled 1690 figure project...
  4. Some very decent trade offerings for a small show.
  5. Many other, smaller games from Telford and others, which I did not get much chance to see in detail.
Overall, a well done to the organisers and I am looking forward to seeing this show get bigger and better again for next year.

I would show you photos of the best bits, but my camera died without taking a shot in anger and then my phone refused to yield its contents!

So the only pictures you get are of my customarily too frequent purchases! I only went to the show with the intention of buying two things - "Sharp Practice 2" and, if I could get an early copy, Dan Mersey's latest offering via Osprey Publishing, for colonial games, namely "The Men Who Would Be Kings".


Eagle Figures are a company I have seen at loads of shows, but not bought from before, as I do not really "do" the periods they offer figures for. However, the opportunity to add a few more figures for my Thirty Years' War collection was too good to miss, so a unit pack of musketeers with rest was duly purchased. Spanish guerrillas, Austrian Pandours....and "Sharp Practice 2" newly released could change all that though...

The "Wyrley Retinue" AGM decision (OK, a small gathering of three of us at my house a few months ago) was that next year's demo game would be something we already had and Nephew Nick was most keen to do a "Vikings in Ireland" game. We all agreed so there we are. Thus, I thought I would buy myself some Irish cavalry from Ainsty. I added in a few Welsh cavalry for variety...They will all be speaking Gaelic when they take to the table though. 

And who would not have a stone circle in their Irish/ Ancient British games?

Three boxes of Perry plastics and I hope to have a Peninsular War set up for Sharp Practice. Infantry, Hussars and Dragoons pretty much covers all I will need for the first few units. Then back to Eagle Figures in the near future for some Spanish?

One ruleset to rule them all, one ruleset to find them...What I ACTUALLY went to the show with the intention of buying! I thought I would buy both the cards and chips in case I lose one or the other...

And now for something COMPLETELY different!

I did not get to play the demo game on show by Questing Knight games of Wellington, Shropshire, and have not even seen the latest "Mad Max" film even though I have the DVD, but this was a must-buy when I saw it. Four double-sided road boards, some cars and bikes, game aids and artwork...What is not to like???