Sunday, 10 June 2018

Durham Wargames group Open Day

Yes I was there. Wearing my T.W.A.T.S   hat rather than my Old Glory hat. This year I was a mere player on a splendid demo game devised by Andrew the Tekkie and Theatrical Steve.
 Set in 1985 the Cold War had gone hot.  Warpact forces have crossed the inner German Border and have seized territory . However by Day 6 of the offensive they are beginning to run out of steam. Est German forces hold the town of Bratberg and have orders to deny the town and its Autobahn link to West German forces approaching at speed..
Jim the builder and I your gentle author command the forces of Freedom and Theatrical Steve and Mechanical Shaun those of the DDR . Andrew the tekkie is in the Umpire's chair and the table- 10 feet by 6  is laid out for a splendid encounter using Steve's excellent 20mm collection. For a chap used to 15mm these tanks are bloody Huge .
Around move 3 West German forces take possesion of a small hill and a wood as the jumping off point for the assault on Bratberg.

 Now a short break to discuss a few other matters .... Doubtless chaps have notice our groups name. The Tantobie Warfare And Tactical Society.. Now as we were setting up some aged grey haired old bird stuck her oar in  to comment that it wasn't right as children might be present. Now as it happens we don't put up a banner or anything to  refer to the group by name so she must have read this blog or perhaps my  facebook announcement- she was part of a trade stand selling not much at all as far as I could see- still what is had to do with her is anyones guess. Nevertheless  ignoring her "New Puritan" stance we continued to set up, my only remark- in a loud "stage whisper" being "Don't forget lads, tleave the end 2 feet of the table clear- I need somewhere to put my beer and Fags !"  Well if you don't like it, tough. I do not and will not indulge in my hobby only for the edification of someone else's possibly present brats- especially if they are not there. Equally I do not go out of my way to offend either BUT I will not be browbeaten by narrow minded old  birds who should  mind their own bloody business. Even if as is likely in this instance they are younger than I. Since when pray tell has our many faceted hobby been all about children.
East German forces move into cover to counter .

 Moving on to the show. It felt a little less busy than last year- but I was told that the gate was exactly the same  but contrariwise it did not die as early as previously so may be the flow was better. Certainly there were more games as trader numbers were down by at least 3 on previous years. As regards the trade  Irregular, Colonel Bills  and Hoka Hey Wargames catered more or less for wargamers the rest seemed to be boardgames or fantasy dudes with the exception of Worley Books- who as usual saw some of my money. I did see some rather splendid SCI-Fi figures available and some lovely Conan style fantasy Barbarians - but the Prices Jeez! and I think they were resin too- so a tad fragile to boot. . At £2.50 (foot) each a Barbarian Horde is out of the question- tempted though I was for at least 3 seconds.
The Armoured Fist moves up,
A hind pops up but is engaged by Roland. missiles
Roland does the deed. 

 As for the game- well the forces of Freedom won- our plan was a fient on the left - with air support then a massive punch on the right and it worked(shocked surprise may also have occoured)  but it was a damned near run thing  and for once the odious cubes were not always so odious- though they did their share. Once or twice they were even kind as when Roland shot a Hind out of the sky .. A full battle report will appear on Andrew the Tekkies blog Tantobie Internet Tattler- which initials doubtless aforementioned Grandmama would not wish to sully here eyes with. We are thankful for small mercies.
 The Resistance Lives ON.

As usual at this show the conversations with fellow enthusiasts were many and varied. There was a good bit of interest in Steve's wonderful collection of 20mm models. Andrew runs a  good  modern game and he and Steve know their stuff. A good yime had by all - despite the Puritans.
 Next year it will be back to horses and muskets for this event- assuming we are invited- plans are already afoot.


  1. Well, if one must be a Vaguely Aged Gent Indulging Nasty Activities, such as war gamimg, I guess a certain type is apt to raise ... something. An eyebrow perhaps...

    1. Absolutley - but when the eyebrow is trading at a wargames show- pot- kettle -grimy arse !

  2. Sorry I missed the show and your game (one of the better features of this show), sounds like a slight improvement on last year's offering.

  3. I wonder what she would have made of the last ECW campaign I was in. We named the regiments after well-loved British personalities; Saville's, Hall's, Harris', Gadd's, Smith's etc.
    Nice to see I'm not the only 20mm Cold War nutter about! Looks a great game with some splendid toys and scenery. One of the benefits of Team Yankee (OK, the only one...) is that it kick started manufacturers to produce more kit in 20mm. When I started I had to use lots of proxy models; now I can get most of what I want. Except an AMX VCi.

  4. Here is the link to the full game report:

  5. Andy, the name of your club is rather juvenile and puerile but if you enjoy the titters and snickers that it probably generates in your mind, then knock yourself out and keep the name. In fact, why not go whole hog and print the club name on a banner and put it on your trade booth. Just know though that if people are laughing, they are laughing at you rather than with you. Having followed your blog for a number of years, I know that you don't care what anyone thinks, but there you have it.

    1. You are right but I'd rather be thought juvenile- when it comes to the actual game than stuffy and giving our little group some portentous and overly serious sounding name does not suit any of the blokes involved. The name is simply our own juvenile in- joke about ourselves-(it's a British thing) which is why we don't advertise it . Indeed the only place it has appeared is here on this blog as we- as a group of any kind- have no official existence at all.

    2. Oh where to begin? At the beginning, I suppose...
      So you don't like the name, but it's a good name: factual and descriptive. We predominantly game in the former mining village of Tantobie (in a pub, huzzah!), we play games relating to warfare and tactics and we are a group. That it forms TWATS is a joke that works for us. Just like my blog spells TIT. Maybe you would prefer something different? What about Many Individuals Normally Gaming Every Saturday??? Or Seriously Historically Informed Tabletop Specialists??? Or Co-operative Union of Northern... OK, I'll stop there, but maybe there is a blog name in there...
      Is this childish? Hell yes! But if I want po-faced semi-dictatorship, I'll go to work. As this is a hobby, it should be fun, having a laugh with your friends and being that little bit silly. It's my spare time here, not yours. If you have read enough of Andy's blogs, you'll know we strive for historical accuracy as much as possible whilst remembering that being a game will impose certain limits on that. Never, though, have we been a sombre group.
      I do question your views though. You say that instead of being laughed with, we will be laughed at. How do you know this? Surveys? Questionnaires? Or just an imposition of your own narrow views on the wargaming community in general? And so what if we get laughed at? There are far more important things in life and surely your life is too short to be bothered about this anyway. If we had mangled the demo game, fair enough, but come on, it's just a play of words and not worth being the sole topic of your comment, unless you had nothing else to say other than we do not meet your social expectations? (On a side note, are there social expectations for wargamers?)
      We agree to disagree on the name, we like it, you don't. We will continue to use it, you are free to ignore it. I just think it says more about you that you feel the need to comment upon it than us for picking an accurate and factual (though childishly juvenile) acronym.