Hello MoDer’s, yesterday was a great day, you could kind of say I really got my geek on. For the first time in quite a while I was able to attend the annual wargames event that is hosted by the South East London War Gamers otherwise known as SELWG. This used to be a regular on my calendar, but for various reasons I have not been able to get there since 2012.
The event is generally held at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, with a generous mix of traders, demo/participation games and the famous SELWG bring and buy. The show is on a slightly smaller scale than events such as SALUTE, which is normally held at London’s Excel, but I believe that the SELWG venue has more character, and the show has a friendlier atmosphere.
I got to the venue at 0945 hours, and was surprised to see that the queue was much shorter by this time, than in my previous visits a few years ago, although in the remaining 15 minutes that were left before the show started a steady flow of expectant gamers added to the line of people waiting to get in, making the queue stretch away from the front door and away toward the Penge West entrance.
Once I had paid my £6 entrance fee, I strolled toward the bring and buys sale, not to peruse the wares on offer, despite the strength of the lure of bargains to be had, to drop off samples from my own lead pile that I had decided were never going to get the lick of paint they deserved, in hopes of making a small profit.
After the drop off I took part in my first participation game of the day, a watered down version of the world of Tanks board game, that had be set up and run by the Gravesend Gamers Guild, a brief yet informative briefing way provided, and before long I was propelling my Russian Tanks toward a deadly duo of a German Tiger and Panther tank. By virtue of getting first turn I was able to manoeuvre my T36 into a position that provided both cover and line of sight, and opened a barrage upon the Tiger that it was later to prove its undoing. This version of the game was only a basic version and quite fast paced, I believe we were given 40 minutes play time, but only required about 20. Buoyed by my unexpected victory, I marched off in search of paints and scenery.
A piece of advice when attending an event like this, is to make a list of what you actually need prior to attending, there are often so many treasures on offer that it is easy to become over excited and spend like there is no tomorrow. I have often gone home bearing the fruits of my show viewing, only to wander why I have purchased half the stuff I have my swag bag. This time I had a list, but there were still a few stalls that were able to tease the cash from under my grasp due to the fantastic produce they had on offer. My three top stalls had to be:
INFINITY-ENGINE – Dungeon Designer: This stall had some rather lovely, if a little luridly painted and somewhat macabre scenic pieces, useful for both role play games and table top war gaming. I bought a skeletal pedestal and set of stone monoliths that I hope to convert for use in my KoW Empire of Dust army.
TITAN WARGAMES – Whilst ambling around the lower floor hunting down the items on my list, something truly wonderful caught my eye, and collection of wonderfully sculpted and painted Dwarf miniatures, units posed with differing weapons and shields which included a rather characterful squad of dragoons, toting various firearms and some rather striking characters. This is the first in the range by this fledgling company, and I hope that there is plenty to follow.
CONQUEST GAMES – It was not until I was fatigued and ready to leave the show that I found the last of my top three. At first glance it seemed like just another stall for a miniatures company. However upon closer inspection the figures that this designer is creating hold such brilliant detail; and have a twist to the regular version for the warriors he is basing his armies upon, I am really looking forward to whatever he is going to produce in the future.
Before I finish this month’s update I have to mention the really fun participation game by the Maidstone Wargames Society: Fenris Descending. This was an amazing and super fun table top game that was scratch built by the gaming club. From the horde of robots that were assaulting the planet (made from electrical components) to the rocks and buildings (yoga blocks and children’s dominos), all put together to form an amazing battle scene. The premise of the game was to control a squad of human warriors and their Mech support, to achieve a randomly generated mission, such as re-establishing a comms link, or laying mines. The enemy was a never ending horde of robots determined to assail and destroy the human settlement. To be successful, you needed to complete your mission whilst killing as many droids as possible, it was not easy but it was a lot of fun, and I believe the Maidstone gamers won an award for their efforts.