Saturday, 28 March 2009


So this morning at 0630hrs I left home for my journey down to the big smoke. Everything went to plan, the train picking me up from Stafford at 0740hrs and arriving on time at London Euston at 0900hrs. After a few minutes orientating myself I found the Euston Underground and the Northern Line, then onto the DLR and eventually joined the que outside Excel at 1000hrs.

Whilst in the line some pretty girls were selling the relaunched 'Miniature Wargames' which I have to say looks very promising. It is now unrecognizable from its previous incarnation and I am looking foward to how it progresses.

One amusing aside was a Spanish gent standing behind me who periodically looked down the rather long line winding its way towards the Salute entrance and repeatedly smacked his forehead!

The que reduced remarkably quickly and I was at the entrance by 1015hrs. Reassuringly the first thing I saw past the crowds was a flying pink pig! I tried to photograph this strange phenomenon but with now luck (still no new camera you see!).

So once inside I headed straight to Peter Pig new AK47 Gamette. Me and Martin taking on Rob Roriston who was defending. I have to say Martin and the team have put some real effort into the look of the on table game and the off table display material, which you
can see below. I love the line 'Dont worry if you get slaughtered'!.

As you can see an authentic fake animal skin is the backdrop for the game! This picture shows the set up for the gamette, Rob is to the left. At the far end of the table just to the right of the road is a lovely little 'police station' with a couple of Mercedes police cars. Unofrtunately in our game my militia failed to storm the village to my front and my armoured column consisting of two T55's a Panhard AC with tank gun and jeep technical suffered at the hands of Robs RPG troops. Martin did even worse on his flank with his unit of regulars routing in turn 2. Oh well!

Here is a picture of Martin demonstrating the finer points of war in Watumba. Rob and Julie look on.

The gamette was busy all day. Having played the playtest and now actually played the game with Martin and Rob, I have to say I am loving the new version of AK. Some real improvements on the original. I'm very tempted to steal the idea of the khaki coloured cloth with painted on patches. It looked really effective. I am also going to build myself a local police station (obvious really). Martin anticipated these will be out by June, so not long now! I may look at sprucing up some of the paint jobs on my AK stuff too.
Some nice games on show but not as many as I expected. There wer probably 4 or 5 that I would say werev of a 'Partizan' standard. However all the games seemed interesting with a lot of participation games. Stand out 'showcase' games were the Perry twins Napoleonic bash with their plastics to the fore. A large ECW game using Warlord plastics was nice too. Pictured below is the Loughton Strike Forces 'Attack on the Reichstag'. Lovely 15mm WW2 action in Berlin. some nice touches like the statues made out of Airfix '100 Years War' figures, some Greatcoated Peter Pig Germans and the Reichstag itself. Lovely model this but at £80 a pop a bit pricey! This picture shows Russians in the ruins of Berlin about to press on to the Reichstag. This was probably my favourite demo at the show.

Excel is a huge venue and to be honest in places looked empty. There were several games with large empty spaces around them. This I feel detracted somewhat from the atmosphere of the show which is a shame really. Olympia seemed to have far more of a buzz to it.
My main motivation for going today was to get to play in the AK game. I doubt I will make the trip next year. With Triples (Sheffield) next weekend it was a bit of an extravagance to make the trip but I am glad I did. Picked up the Samurai I preordered plus the obligatory extra few bits including 3 ships for Pieces of Eight. This will be a side project most likely not seeing the light of day until next year now, but I have a hankering to paint up a couple. Unlike Alumwell I have no energy to paint tonight but I may try to fit a bit in tomorrow. Lisa is back from France in the afternoon so I will have to try and squeeze it in in the morning.
Thats all for now....more soon!

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