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The Orkney Wargames Club meets

in Kirkwall on Thursday evenings.


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Claymore 2017

Misc, Wargame Show, Edinburgh

I missed this week’s game, thanks to a sick First Mate. The early ferry from Orkney was cancelled due to illness – apparently you need two crew with Master’s tickets before you can sail. Then on the way down I had the customary pit stop with Charles Grant, who brews a mean coffee, and who showed me his setup for his next refight – the Battle of Klosterkamp (1760). So, I got into Edinburgh too late to play the Indian Mutiny we’d planned. Fortunately this was the week of Claymore, so I got my weekly wargaming fix at the show. I spent most of the morning acting as a Parking Steward, waving airily towards the car park or the unloading bays. Still, I was able to nip in and buy the stuff on my list – the last AWI figures I reckon I’ll need, some WW2 ships and a big bagfull of MDF casualty markers. Then it was time to wander about and look at the games. What follows is a selection of some of the more interesting of them.   These two are of a 10mm WW2 river crossing set in Nijmegen laid on by the Gourock club featuring some impressive home-made bridges over the Waal, and a 15mm Napoleonic bash using hex terrain.Next was an American Civil War battle, laid on by my friends Kevin and Peter of The Iron Brigade. The game used Kevin’s rules Bonny Blue Flag, which were available for the firsdt time at the show, sold by Baz Ryan of Caliver Books. Apparently they sold out, which isn’t surprising as the system is quite nifty. its the one we use for a variety of periods at the League of Gentlemen Wargamers games, so its really nice to see them finally appear in print. Here’s the game again. These shots don’t really do it justice, as it was crammed with little vignettes, and even a train, a town and hordes of bunting around the station! Quite rightly it won “Best in Show” for Demo Games. Just as impressive though, was this refight of Quatre Bras. The table looked magnificent, but what gave the ACW game its edge with the judges was that it was fully manned all the time, while apparently this one was unattended when some of the judges visited it. I loved it though. For me it was the best-looking game of the day. Here it is again, from another angle. That’s what a “proper wargame” should look like! Now for two that aren’t really “proper wargames” in my book, but seemed to draw a crowd. The first is a game of 1970’s gang warfare in NEw York, laid on by Funky Skull games, and Ian Macdonald from Flags of War. It looked good if you like that kind of thing, and the grubby streets were lovingly recreated. It deservedly won best participation game. Next up was tank participation game based on Fury, laid on by the Leuchars club. I didn’t get a chance to play it, but these guys always do a good game, and it was certainly popular, noisy and fun. Moving on, we have a Burma 1944 game, laid on by the Aberdeen club, and Chris and Pat from Mordor – sorry – Shetland. Here, size was everything – the table was enormous, and it looked impressive.  Which, of course, is more than you can say for Shetland. Beside it was Nordlingen, another big game featuring the Thirty Years War battle. The next two pics don’t really do it justice.

Nearby was another participation game, giving people a chance to try out the Pikemen’s Lament rules, published by Osprey. Again, I would have loved to have given it a go, but I didn’t get the time to indulge. Below this is the Kirriemuir club’s version of Gettysburg (1st Day) in 10mm. They got the 2nd prize for a demo game. There were, of course, loads of other games, but I’m just showing a sampler of them here. All in all it was a good day out, finished off by a long session in the pub with some fellow wargamers. This will probably be my last show of the season, but it was a darned good one




11 Responses “Claymore 2017”

  1. 7th August 2017 at 8:07 pm

    Glad you actually got to Edinburgh. What extra AWI figures did you buy?

    • 8th August 2017 at 9:48 am

      Just enough to “finish” my two armies – after 25 years! Some American dragoons, British regulars and loyalist militia. It’ll bring me to about 16 regiments a side, each of 20 figs, plus a few guns, horse, skirmishers and staff. That lot fits into six “Really Useful” boxes – three per army – and so that’s my size cap. We should start doing AWI games again – Michael’s campaign rather stifled it as a period.

  2. William Harley
    8th August 2017 at 8:33 pm

    An excellent report thanks for posting, sadly to far for me to travel, living in darkest Devon.

    Will H

    • 9th August 2017 at 11:37 am

      At just over 600 n.m you types “in the trade” can do the trip from Eddystone to the Bass Rock in less than 20 hours.
      Mind you, in a car you can drive it in 7 …

  3. 10th August 2017 at 8:34 am

    As one of the Border Reivers club ‘Quatre Bras’ demo game team, I would just like to point out that in no way was our table ‘left unattended’. It was manned throughout the day – but – since there were only two of us from our club that could make the show, it might have looked sparse on occasion (when nature called etc).
    Due to unforeseen lack of numbers, we did consider cancelling our demo but since we had promised the organisers a display game, we went all-out to provide one. It was very heavy going with just two of us but we managed – just.
    Might not have bothered if we knew we were going to be penalised for it though. Next time we’ll bring a coach-load.
    Chris 😉

    • 10th August 2017 at 9:37 am

      I’m glad you didn’t cancel Chris, as the game looked superb. Thanks for sharing it with the rest of us.

      As for the judging, I was just passing on what I’d heard. These things are scored on aesthetics, information, originality, public interaction and a few other things. In my mind though, your game was a cracker, and the real award should be the inspirational effect it had on your fellow gamers.
      In fact I’ve given up on judging, after a run-in with a particularly odious and vitriolic gamer a few years ago. He thought his group deserved a prize, but rightly they didn’t get one. I’m so glad you DID turn up though, put on a great-looking game, and shared your enthusiasm with others.

      • 10th August 2017 at 11:38 am

        Thanks for the reply Angus. Really glad you liked our game – as did many others that passed by that day. It was worth putting on a display game just to meet and have a chat with so many fellow gamers as well as to see the stalwart efforts of other clubs. I didn’t want to say anything about the judging – it is highly subjective after all – but the ‘unattended’ bit got to me I suppose.
        Hope I don’t sound anything like ‘that’ gamer of past encounters – I’ve met a few like that myself 😉
        Chris 😉

        • 11th August 2017 at 9:38 am

          Chris, Nobody quite sounds like that gamer of past encounters. That slimy little shit and his pals are unique on the circuit…!

    • Scott Duncan
      10th August 2017 at 10:00 pm

      I would echo Angus’ comments. Good for you guys to make the show with a cracking display and only two bodies.
      Better to have tried in the first instance. It can be with limited numbers it looked as if no one was about. Make sure you all wear something that is noticeable. Yellow t-shirts etc


  4. Chris Brown
    7th September 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Glad you liked the game from Mordor…it was actually much the same size as Shetland…and therefore much, much bigger and better than places like errrmmm…Oikney, which is, of course, where Oiks come from.

    • 8th September 2017 at 9:49 am

      Hardly, Chris. Everyone knows that bleak and grim Shetland = Mordor, and Orkney – that green and pleasant archipelago – is The Shire. That makes us hobbits than oiks, orcs or whatever. I could change a letter in Shetland and have some fun too, except that variation would be a tad more accurate!

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