RogerBW's Blog

Overlord 2014 at Abingdon 04 March 2014

Last Sunday I visited Overlord, a one-day wargames show in Abingdon. It was a small show but an impressive one, with some sixteen demo tables and a good few traders.

Maybe I've just got terribly old-fashioned, but there seemed to be a huge focus on infantry. Apart from a 1:35(!) scale armour skirmish game (ranges of course very short and cinematic, with lots of hard cover on the table), every game I saw was basically blokes in the mud (with periods including Dark Ages Europe, American Civil War and modern zombie apocalypse, though mostly focused on the World Wars). This was reflected in the trade stands too, with lots of models of foot soldiers, buildings for them to fight over, and vehicles for them to fight from, but not much in the way of armour, aircraft or ships.

This was a slight disappointment as I'd been vaguely hoping to pick up some small-scale WWII and modern ships, and the closest I could find were Mongoose's Victory at Sea series at 1:1800. My preferred naval range scales start at 1:36000 and get smaller, so really the smaller the figure scale I can find the better; I'd been hoping for 1:3000 but I might well go with 1:6000. At that scale the small ships that I favour end up being about half an inch long, which is perhaps a bit too tiny, and they're not all that much cheaper than 1:3000. In any case 1:1800 is just too big and expensive, not to mention too demanding on my poor to non-existent painting skills. Guess I'll mail-order from Magister Militum, Skytrex or Navwar instead.

Anyway, I got a chance to watch a Bolt Action game in progress. With apologies to the guys who were putting it on, this was really useful, because now I know I don't need to look into the system further; it really does seem to play like a re-skinned Warhammer 40K, all the way down to the emphasis on close combat and the value of vehicles. Fine for them as likes it, but I think I'll stick with Chain of Command.

And talking of that, there were two Chain of Command demo games running, making it the only rules system to be so honoured: one was Rich Clarke's standard (and very impressive) demo setup, while the other was put on by the Tring Wargames Club. This is my current favourite system for the period and size (WWII, single platoon plus support elements), and I'm glad to see it being popular.

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