Tuesday, 8 September 2015

End Of An Era

Sunday saw Dave and I heading east for the last Partizan at Kelham Hall, the weather was fine only fitting that the sun should shine on it, I shall miss the old place in many ways, except perhaps the gloom ;-). Thinking back to when we did display games there I never really had an issue with the lighting, was it down to proper lights and not these energy efficient abominations or the big FO lights Duncan used to use when taking photos that illuminated the place like a WWII searchlight, perhaps its just that the old eyes are not up to it anymore.
There were some fine games put on, keeping up the tradition of quality and the unusual, Minions Grand Prix anyone? It would be unfair to single any game out in particular we all have our favourites from Sunday and previous shows, I am just grateful that folk still give up their time to put them on.
On a nostalgic note I shall always remember the games that Dave and I put on over the years in the guise of “The Two Sad B*ggars” sometimes with the aid of Dave’s very talented son Matt and Kevin “Iron Brigade” Calder, American Civil War, Crimean War, Franco-Prussian War, American Revolution, English Civil War, War Of 1812, Darkest Africa, Back of Beyond, including a Yeti hunt at one of the Fantizan shows and WWII.
We even did a couple of participation games, Dave put on an Old West game whilst Matt and I put on a WWII Italy demo game, for which Matt had specially made some American paras being disgorged from a Dakota. That had to be one of the hottest days at Kelham, Dave was visibly wilting while the plastic rods holding the Dakota were visibly bending. I had a hard decision to make that day, should I give the last of my water to my good friend Dave or Duncan's rather attractive assistant? We also did a four scene Pulp game, with jungle and desert locations. I also recall being up till after midnight the day before the show making aerial shell bursts for our Fort Fisher game, happy days.
Sadly time marches on and we do not do demo games now apart from the occasional outing at our old clubs show, WMMS which we used to organise longer ago than I care to remember.

I did not take any photos, there will be plenty on the web, most if not all will be better than any I would have took anyway, below though is a pic of my purchases, bases from Warbases, 20mm roads and field positions from Ironclad to add to my WWII collection, some Ready to Roll vehicles for my footsore Germans most of whom have had to march to battle for the 20+ years, some Gamers Grass tufts, I am really taken with these, you do not get all those useless wispy and flat bits you get with Silfor and the Mig Ammo three colour late war German vehicle camo set.
Dave popped over on Monday for a WWII eastern front game, we used the Battlegroup ruleset, choosing a scenario from the original rule book Battlegroup Kursk.
This was an attack on an enemy strongpoint, in this game held by the Soviets, Dave would command the Germans.
 Looking at the terrain and Soviet positions and not knowing when and where Soviet reinforcements would arrive Dave decided not to detach a flanking force.
 The German attack proceeded well with half of the Soviet defenders beginning the game pinned as a result of a preparatory bombardment, turn three saw any real threat with a timed Soviet Katyushka barrage, which destroyed one of the PzIVs and pinned the accompanying infantry.
The Germans drew an aircraft counter and for the first time in any game I have played in when diced for it did arrive, the plane was diced for and it was a HS129, for which I actually have a model for, OK so it is the later model with a 75mm ATG, I do have an earlier one with the 37mm cannon, but it is not built yet, come on now I have only had it for over 15 years after all.
I would have preferred the plane to be a Soviet one of course, but the disappointment was allayed by the plane promptly dropping its bombs on its own troops! Nothing was destroyed or killed but the resulting pins did stall the German advance giving the Soviets time to recover and hit back. The Germans never really got going again after that, except for a bold dash by one of the PzIVs which was met head on and destroyed by the arriving T34s.
After three hours of play with a brief stop for lunch the Germans exceeded their BR and called off the attack, with only one remaining PzIV and a depleted infantry platoon they would not have been able to fulfil the mission anyway.
A few pretty pics  and captions follow

The Quiet Russian Countryside

Its A Plane!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This Soviet Maxim Team Was To Spend Most The Time Pinned

The German Attack Begins To Stall

The German SO Looks On

The Reds Don't Play Fair, Three T34's Brew Up A PzIV, Yes It Did Take The Three To Do It Too

T34's Sweep Around The Open German Flank

Doubt there will be a game at GHQ next week, Dan is popping over to take some photos for upcoming articles in WI, I will take my copy of Neil Thomas's "One Hour Wargames" because you never know.


1 comment:

  1. Fine reflections on an era Phil! As to the game, well, what can I say? It was the 'Chits' what did it! Or the plane!