Colours 2016 Show Review

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September 10, 2016 by Lee

So our planned start to the day was earlier than expected with a whatsapp from Richard docking in Southampton. It was a good job we got the text as we really needed to get moving on our way to Colours. After a quick cuppa, we got started.

Historical experience of Colours weekend is it is either very hot…..or very wet. Today it was wet, grey skies overhead didn’t inspire much confidence in a dry day. The drive wasn’t too bad with traffic, however when we got there, all had changed with the parking. We couldn’t get into our normal car park but instead had to park on the racecourse itself starting with a drive through a muddy trench. Nice start eh ??

We normally try to get there early to be front of the queue but definitely failed in that today. As you can see, the queue was already quite long by the time we got there. Luckily, the doors were opened about 10 minutes early. As normal our first stop was the bring and buy. Unfortunately this was already 3 deep so getting to see anything was a bit of a challenge.

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The show set up was a bit different to how we have seen it in the past with all of the demo and participation games being up with the Bring and Buy and the other 2 floors filled with traders. I would assume the decision to set up this way was to maximise trade and keep the games out of the space. To be honest, I’m not sure this was the best idea. It is good to see traders holding demo games by their trade stands so you can experience new games on the market before buying. This opportunity was lost.

Whilst on top floor, we spent time looking at the games. A few tables definitely caught our eye. The first table we spent some time looking at was an ACW game using Picketts Charge rules. The game was depicting ‘Action at Antietam’. The game was being set up but the terrain looked good. Next to this was a large snow based table of ‘The Russo-Finnish War’. This one was played using a homegrown set of rules. Both tables were run by Loughton Strike Force. It was very interesting talking to the guys about the tables, obviously many hours spent creating such a show stopper.

The next table we stopped at was ‘Caught at Kut’ done by Adrian Shepherd and friends. The rules used were Setting the East Ablaze. This table looked fantastic with its fort at one end and ship at the other.

After this we spent some time talking to the guys at Aftermath Gaming Club. They were showing a demo of Heroes of Normandie. This was good to see as it is not normally displayed at many shows. The guys seemed to be busy all day spreading the word about the product and allowing many people to participate in the game. It’s worth a look at their website www.aftermath-club.co.uk , they also have a HoN facebook page. We were particularly impressed with the game mats that were being used for their demo’s, something that Devil Pig Games should definitely consider selling on to the public.

The other really big table we spent time at was run by South London Warlords. They were displaying a 30k Horus Heresy table named Brotherhoods of Mars. This table was really impressive. It was displayed at Salute but has grown in length since then. Talking to the guys, they hope to increase it further for next years’ Salute. We can’t wait to see it. Well done guys.

After a spot of lunch, we went to see the traders and do some spending 🙂

We managed to pick up the new 2 player Warmachine set along with the Khador and Menoth battlegroups along with the new rulebook. Got a great ‘buy 3, get a 4th free’ deal from Simple Miniatures so thanks guys for that one (saving of £30 !!). With my saving, I picked up a Bolt Action Sherman Tank Troop.

Jamie picked up one of the Imperial Assault game mats which is of really high quality in print and material. It makes it easier for taking on holiday rather than all those terrain tiles. Both Mel and I picked up a Chaos Rhino each to go with our Battle of Calth sets. Jamie picked up a Cult Mechanicus Techpriest from Lesleys Bitz Box. Finally we went to Wargames Foundary to pick up our sets for Congo.

We had a chat with a couple of the Traders while we were there.

Annie, The Dice Bag Lady (Bad Squiddo Games) seemed really busy all day but managed to find a few minutes to talk about some new stuff released and even more on the horizon. New releases included some animals and Soviet female snipers. The range of female Soviet figures seems to be growing well. Hopefully soon to release is a range of Rennaissance female figures. Lastly, Annie talked about her consideration of releasing a range of Sci-Fi figures via a Kickstarter campaign. We are looking forward to seeing this one progress. Just one comment here to the gentleman who felt he had the right to throw verbal abuse at her during the show, please back off and let people do what they do best, the wargaming world is not owned by you alone !!!

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Always ready for a chat and a laugh was Stu from Colonel Bills. He showed us some of the ECW figures newly released. These were for dioramas, setting the scene for your tabletop. Mel really liked the picnic ones with figures and tables. He is considering many other figures which are one off comical pieces (we can’t really share the names or themes but keep an eye out on his website for the new stuff to come !!).

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Last but certainly not least, Mel had a chat with Lesley and Ian from Lesleys Bits Box. Really sorry to hear that Lesley had been ill over the last week but well done to her for still getting to the show. That just shows the commitment she has for us all especially as today is her birthday..

A MASSIVE HAPPY BIRTHDAY LESLEY 🙂

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Well, as a final sum up of the show. It seemed to be packed with many people there in the morning but thinned out after lunch. It’s really quite hard to be as pleased with this show compared to ‘the good old days’ of Colours. It doesn’t quite seem to have the same pull / atmosphere as it used to. Entry price at £6 per adult seems quite steep. The catering service seems very limited (having said that, most people like Pie, mash, peas and gravy, not that we had any at £7.50 each !!) The games on demo were good and the people running them were very friendly and accommodating, this isn’t always the case at other shows. Also, the lighting in the show was poor and quite dark in places. Hard for traders to really show off their goods.

It was good to see Guildball being played as a tournament, something different from the usual ones. So all in all, the show seemed okay but didn’t feel quite as inspiring as it has in previous years. Maybe the show coordinators could consider how to improve this for future years, I seriously think allowing the traders some room to show their demo games near their stands would be an improvement as very few traders could demo their games and run their stands.

My overall feeling for the show today would be 3 out of 5.

 

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