Colours 2019

Colours is probably the most convenient of the wargames shows that I attend. It’s a ~45 minute drive to Newbury racecourse, where there is ample parking. It’s not as large as Salute, but the latter is in central London which takes 90 minutes to get to, and unless we want to brave London traffic it’s a train journey which makes bringing back loot harder.

Going with my other half does tend to bring out the biases in people at the show. Right at the door, when buying tickets, she was told “obviously you’re just here to make sure he doesn’t spend all his money”. Er, no. Last year, she spent more money than I did. Most of the demonstrators were quite happy to talk to her about how they built their terrain though (I’m not the one who used to build and run demo games at shows like these) as soon as she started asking questions. Me, I just looked and took photos.

As is usual, we didn’t play anything but marvelled at the demonstration and display games, took many photos, and bought a few bits and pieces. The full set of photos are over in my Google photos album. A few of my favourite are below.

A really nice terrain piece for a Thud & Blunder demo game, by the Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare. It’s a set of fantasy skirmish rules, but the terrain was awesome. Apparently that was the last time this particular piece of terrain will go to a show, because it’s unsurprisingly cumbersome to cart around.

Panzer Brigade 150 is a game set in late 1944, when Otto Skorzeny was told to form a special brigade to capture bridges over the river Meuse during the Ardennes offensive. The brigade was to be formed from captured American vehicles and uniforms. Some nicely painted vehicles and simple but effective terrain.

Ducks & Dwarves was a demo game using a simple set of fantasy rules. The terrain was dominated by a massive fortress, which I somehow managed to avoid taking a complete photo of. The ducks in question were some old Ralpartha Gloranthan ducks. Fortunately it was fantasy, since parts of the castle looked like it was defying gravity.

This game, based on the Battle of Wagram in 1809, was impressive just because it was so nicely laid out, with a good little village and surrounding fields. There was no one dominating feature that stood out – it was just a really well put together setup.

Darkside of the Moon was one of the few non-historical demo games there this year, using 15mm Stargrunt figures from Ground Zero Games. There were some really nice custom terrain pieces, and a cool looking Moon base which dominated the centre of the table.

Finally, there was the Operation Enduring Freedom game, set in Afghanistan in 2004. I really like the river – which actually looked like water rather than simply being blue. The title image at the top of the page is also from this game – they kindly provided a ‘sky’ backdrop for taking photos against.

Did we buy anything? A little bit of Hex terrain from Kallistra – I liked their new rocky features, and it stacks really well so though I don’t use it much, I can justify buying it because it’s easy to store. Also, few medieval heavy foot soldiers for my planned Saga army. I spent more this year, but it wasn’t me that picked up the details of a painting service that could paint the figures for our Mansions of Madness board games.

Samuel Penn