It had been a long, hard couple of weeks prep for Partizan, so naturally a good night’s kip was the place to start before an 0500 start on Sunday morning when I’d head up the M1 to pick up Skinner. Of course, no much thing happened as I spent the night wondering what I’d forgotten to pack. Of course, the answer was “nothing”, so with a quick caffeine infusion I hit the road.
Travelling with Fat Nick is never dull, and three breakfasts later we arrived at the venue and began unpacking. Much to our joy, the game turned out to be nicely compact and we had time to spar to have a wander around a few games and chat to some chums. More on that shortly.
First a few gratuitous snaps of our games. Below, Big Rich discusses the initial set-up with a gentleman from Edinburgh who, despite having played Sharp Practice with Wee Derek, was sufficiently open minded to give it another go.
Below we have the morning game, with the British floundering on the beach…
While the afternoon game, below, saw Ras Begus chased off into the hills.
Two very different games, but both played with a singular joie de vivre by the participants who were polite enough to put up with a succession of poor puns which would have driven a Saint to drink. My thanks to all concerned, especially as their enthusiasm was sufficient to win us the best Demonstration Game of the show award. The first “Best of” trophy we have ever won in the UK in twelve years of shows (Apart from one where the forgot to give it to us, so I’m not counting that chicken until it hatches!). What a handsome trophy it is too.
But this was not the only game of Sharp Practice present at Partizan. No fewer than three games were present, one being run for the ACW in 40mm by young Matt Slade of Glenbrook Games, here:
And the other a stunning game by Harrogate wargamers (sorry, I’m not sure of the full club name) covering the retreat from Moscow in 1812. This game was, frankly, superb and left me reach for my wallet to buy some figures. Once again the temptation of Sharp Practice is to say “I only need fifty figures” and all of a sudden you have a new project on the go. Anyway, no more words, just look on in wonder at this spiffing game.
Quite rightly, this game also won a prize (not sure what) as it was a damned sight better looking than our game. Well done chaps!
Then on to some game was saw and liked. My apologies to anyone we missed out, but we had a very limited time to wander about before the gig started and the snaps below are a mere straw poll of beauty, but I think these games show why Partizan has a rightful reputation as being one of the prettiest shows around.
This first game was an 1859 bash in Italy. WHY does nobody do figures for this in 28mm? I am desperate to get forces for the period for Sharp Practice. For now these snaps will keep my enthusiasm for the period burning…
Next the Grimsby club were resplendent in faux leather with naval game which saw the Dutch take on the British. The sheer volume of Langton ships represent a true labour of love. Fatty was drooling and even I, who can take or leave watersports, was moved by the splendour. These are close ups, the whole game was about the length of a cricket wicket.
What can I say about James Morris’ Verdun fort game? It is such a splendid set up but there is always that nagging doubt that anyone who can create games this stunning probably lives in a hollow volcano with a selection of henchmen. Totally insane, but so unique and special that it is just a work of genius. But still loony.
Peterborough wargames club rolled out their bombard game, with a superb French bombard made from cotton reels. Remarkably, it looked exactly as though it had been made from cotton reels, but also looked exactly like a french bombard. Now there’s a trick if you can manage it…
And a few more snaps to finish off the day. Apologies to these gents but I didn’t get the names of their clubs, despite them being near neighbours. I usually try to say hello to those running games nearby, but yesterday was so busy I never got the chance. Nice looking games chaps:
Finally, a superb 6mm game by Steve Jones. That’s not Steve Jones the lead guitarist from the Sex Pistols, but a talented chap whose work I have admired several times at Partizan as he has the knack of making terrain look absolutely top drawer whilst not spending a million pounds or doing anything particularly “clever” Which, of course, is a clever thing to do in itself. I saw his 6mm terrain a few years ago when it was stuck in a dark corner of the main hall at Kelham Hall and ever since then it stuck in my mind as what a 6mm game should really look like. It was great to see a variation on the theme here. Top marks to Steve.
So, a superb show in the new venue which is a huge improvement on the hell-hole that Kelham Hall became. Congrats to Tricks and Laurence for a very jolly day out.
The role of cavalry in French doctrine was that of reconnaissance and maintaining security of the flank and rear of the infantry. Infantry divisions in France each had a groupe de reconnaissance de division d’infanterie (GRDI) and terminology aside these were simply half of a cavalry regiment. In colonial formations the Spahis and their semi-mechanised counterparts, the