Monday, 11 May 2015

Carronade 2015



Carronade 2015, the annual wargaming show organised by Falkirk & District Wargames club, opened its doors promptly at 10am at the Graeme High school, Falkirk on Saturday. Being relatively local - its only a 30 minutes or so drive - it's become a permanent fixture on my wargaming calendar. Indeed, it was the very first show I ever attended. As always the organisers had done a fantastic job, with no less than 5 halls hosting 43 games and 44 traders.

Songs of Blades & Heroes public participation game

For me, my experience at Carronade was a bit different this year as Arabianknight had arranged to host one of those 43 precipitation games - Songs of Blades and Heroes - and I volunteered myself to help him out! So most of my time was spent in hall 5 ready to enthuse about the merits of SoBH to anyone that we caught surreptitiously eyeing up the table!

Arabinknight, with his able helper, Arabinsquire, had done a grand job, setting up two of his Dave Graffam terrain boards complete with four pre-configured 15mm warbands (Humans, Orcs, Undead and Dwarves) and accompanying roster and quick reference sheets.

We had quite a few people stopping and asking about the system throughout the day (10-4pm), with both myself and Arabianknight taking some players through a few games. All in all, I think it was a success and certainly helped raise the profile of Songs of Blades and Heroes.

On reconnaissance:  I did manage to slip away and have a recce around the various stalls and other demonstration games. I was relatively new to the hobby when I first attended Carronade a few years back, wide-eyed at all the various traders and the huge array of wargaming paraphernalia - and keen to spend all the available cash burning a hole in my pocket!

Now that I've been to numerous shows since then I come prepared with a list and an idea of what I want. Of course, it doesn't stop me with the odd impulse purchase. My regular gaming buddies often suggest I get a T-shirt printed with "I will not buy into another new system...!"  Being easily persuaded to buy into Hail Caesar last year is a case in point! In my defence, I do think I'm considerably more disciplined than I was back then. Plus I have a mountain of backlogged 'projects' and I was lucky enough to attend Vapnartak in York back in February. So the moths in my wallet are generally safe these days!

Usually, one of my favourite traders, Gripping Beast, are in attendance and I had a couple of their miniatures on my shopping list. Disappointingly, they weren't there this year though. I did manage to have a look at some of the impressive demonstration tables, regularly stopping to chat with familiar faces and bumping into some of my gaming friends from Livingston Battleground on the miniature hunt. This included our resident Star Trek Attack Wing aficionados, who I wasn't too surprised to see with a bulging bag of yet more Star Trek spoils!

New faces: One of the regular contributors to my Battleshed Carnage Facebook group, 'RB', was helping with the Wings of War participation game in Hall 1. Unfortunately, with my duties with SoBH upstairs I had to decline RB's offer to take command of a squadron on this occasion. Certainly, I'm interested in trying this aerial combat system some time, who knows - I might get into 'yet another system!' Anyway, RB, it was great to finally meet you and I look forward to meeting up for a game sometime!
Strangely, it was actually the first time we'd met face-to-face! We'd somehow managed to miss each other at other shows in Scotland and have attempted to meet up for a game in Edinburgh on a couple of occasions but arrangements thus far have fallen through for one reason or another.

It was also good to meet up with another cyber-space acquaintance of both myself and Arabaianknight, Jimboba at Warchest. We spent some time near the end of the day chatting over various wargaming subjects and Jimboba had brought a very impressive selection of his finely painted 15mm miniatures to show us. These were a superb array of random characters from SF to Fantasy. These certainly demonstrated that there is little or no compromise when it comes to detailing with the right 15mm designs. Thank you Jimbola for stopping by to say hello and bringing your miniatures!


The spoils: Finally, the tally. Did I easily crumble and allow myself to be lured by yet another system? Nah! Told you, the Force is getting stronger in this one! On my shopping list was;
  • the Macbeth warlord and Wandering Bard miniatures for my Scots Saga warband, whom I hoped to purchase from Gripping Beast
  • to possibly source a suitable Martian walker for IHMN
  • to find a 28mm Dwarf Runemaster/Mage (or any other suitable Dwarven additions) for my SoBH warband
  • possibly find a carry-case for my skirmish warbands, rather than the random shoe/sweet box containers I usually use.
So what did I actually get?

A 28mm metal  'Arthurian Priest, Druid, Bard and Magician' set (DAS06) from West Wind Productions, which covers the Bard for Saga and provides some useful miniatures for my other fantasy/Dark ages systems.


A pack of four 28mm metal Dwarven Mages from Midlam Miniatures. Delighted with these, I also couldn't resist 'The kings Court' (The King, Queen, Royal Advisor and Royal Executioner) also from Midlam. In my mind, no Dwarven purchases count as off-list!



A nice 'platoon figure' case from Figures in Comfort. Perfect for my regular trips down to Arabianknight's bunker or Livingston battleground with my skirmish warbands.

So, all in all, three of the four markers on my list ticked off. I didn't find anything suitable in 28mm scale for a Martian Walker, so I'll either try to source online or scratch build my own - I've already got an idea forming on that front! And definately no new systems! 

Another successful Carronade and my thanks goes to all the hard-working volunteers from Falkirk & District Wargames club for putting on yet another successful event. Well done all!