Saturday, 27 August 2016

Claymore 2016

Well it's that time of the year again, or rather it was, earlier this month.  Yes!  Edinburgh's premier wargames show Claymore 2016 has been upon us, as always on the first Saturday of August, staged brilliantly as usual by the SESWC.
Edinburgh, yesterday
And as usual it was very well attended with all the demonstrations, participation games and vendors you would expect to see.  Over the years trends are visible and this year for example I don't think I saw an eighteenth century or A Very British Civil War game.
What the hell, just invite everyone
However, there did seem to be a couple of Napoleonic Sharp Practice games on as well as various Dark Ages and WW2 games.
Italians defend the train
One game that caught my eye was the Falkirk and District Wargames Club Boxer Rebellion game.  Apparently every colonial nation available (including the Japanese) was on the table.
Pizza Express tests controversial new doughball delivery system
And it was comforting to see the WW2 games.  I think there were three on, including one using Flames of War, another Bolt Action and the last using Rapid Fire, which was nice to see.
Bolt Action, StuG IIIs
The Bolt Action game was Arnhem/Oosterbeek, put on by... actually I'm not sure who.  I didn't see much movement over the day but something must have been been happening.
Not Much Action, Oosterbeek
The Rapid Fire game was a refight of Tobruk over a very large table put on by one of Glasgow's clubs (Tradeston).  I think Glasgow has four clubs now, at least.
Tobruk - greener than I thought it would be
My particular delight, apart from learning that people still use Rapid Fire, was seeing the old Airfix gun emplacement on the beach.  I used to have one of those, but I think that all we've got left now is the hexagonal bunker that we cut holes in to make it into a free-standing pill box.
Any colour you like as long as it's grey
We've been attending Claymore since at least 1980 and now my son has started to come with us as well.  Being of the X-box generation he tends to like the futuristic sorts of things and so he spent over an hour hovering around the Dropzone Commander demonstration, put on by the Glasgow Games Group.
Dropzone Commander in progress
The game is one of those that has lots of supplements and vehicles that you can buy, with new factions coming out all the time.  I have to say that though, if you like that sort of thing, the hardwear is impressive (all at 10mm scale).
There really is a building a bit like this in Edinburgh.  It has a pub in it.
I also liked the futuristic urban terrain, all made by 4Ground.  Apparently they are laser-cut MDF with layers of printed card pre-applied, which means they don't have to be painted (unlike the models).
Strangely familiar.
Obviously each of the factions (I think there are four now) has different styles of vehicles with differing stats.  My son took part in a participation game and said he'd enjoyed it, so perhaps there is hope for migration away from the computer to the tabletop.
Russo-Japanese War naval - Old Glory ships
Other participation games included a Wings of Glory dogfight (I think it was WW1), Custer's Last Stand and a couple of others (Halo & Bloodbowl?), plus two Dark Ages games put on by Gripping Beast, using the new Sword Point and alternatively the SAGA rules.
Sword Point or SAGA, not sure which
The Pancho Villa participation game by Glasgow and District also looked very nice.
Mexican standoff
And here are a few random pictures of other games of interest.  I really need to get a new and better camera.
Ye "Cannae" break the laws of physics [Tyneside; Great Captain]

Iron Brigade ECW game
Finally, even though my shelves are groaning with books and rules, I went and bought the latest (3rd) edition of Chris Peers' Contemptible Little Armies and the Back of Beyond campaign supplement.
I've been thinking about this for a while, particularly as my work has recently taken me to a number of exotic places in Central Asia such as Tashkent, Ashgabad and the bed of the (former) Aral Sea, not to mention the western terminus of the Trans-Caspian Railway at Turkmenbashi (Türkmenbaşy, formerly known as Krasnovodsk) on the Caspian Sea.
This is what happens when you play billiards with a shotgun (never grows old)
All I need to do now is get those Copplestone Siberians and British sailors I bought five years ago painted up plus maybe a few Sikhs, Bolsheviks and archaeologists...