There was a slight change of location this year - although it was in the same building we had moved out of the atrium (the "Heartspace") into a more conventional area, two long rooms connected by doors, with a canteen at the far end of one of them. Personally I htought this was an improvement - while the Heartspace looked spectacular, especially from three floors up, the layout was actually quite awkward, with games squeezed around the stairs, and some relegated to rather cut-off side rooms. Here everyone was in essentially one large space, and I don't think anyone will have felt they were out of the way.
The games were all good looking as usual - with the impression of large-scale battles given by this scale. For looks I would pick out the Manchester ECW board - it wasn't huge, but it was covered with buildings representing the city and the bridge to Salford during the siege. Most innovative I think was the Cold War Commanders (using the rules of the same name). They had a long table with three battles side by side. The terrain represented the same area on each (Wesel in Germany) but in different time periods - 1959, 1973 and 1989. They fought a Russian attack in each period simultaneously, using the appropriate troops and vehicles, but under the same CWC rules.
Purchasing was of course the most important aspect. I started off at H&R, just a chat really as I thought I had their latest stuff on my painting table already. But a casual question revealed that they had some brand new Fallschirmjager, not yet on the website, so I bought some of those. I went to the Baccus stand, but sadly the Panzer IV they had on display is not yet ready for sale - the gun barrel is true scale, which means it is too flimsy to be practical as a wargame model, so it will be out soon.
It wouldn't be JoS without a visit to the Leven stand, and despite not having a building project on the go at the moment, I had to pick up 4-5 assorted models. Down to the other end of the area to Wargames Emporium, where I got some of the new GHQ Lloyd Carriers (with and without 6lbdr guns) and some German Leichter Ladungstrager (essentially tracked quad bikes with trailers). I got a couple of Ospreys (Market Garden and the Valentine Tank) from Christopher Morris books, but my biggest purchase was a bunch of scenic items from GS Miniature Workshop. I got four of their "canopy woods" as well as an assortment of walls, hedges and palm trees.
All in all a very good day. I had lunch in the Head of Steam, though sadly they don't do rack of ribs any more. The trail to and fro over Snake Pass is tedious, especially with all the cyclists out int he sun, but worth it for a unique and very well run show.
|Manchester/Salford - ECW siege|
|Bag the Hun|
|Normandy 1944 (Iron Cross rules)|
|Zeebrugge Raid 1918|
|Weser Cubed - three battlees in one|
|Weser Cubed - 1989 foreground, 1973 middle, 1959 far end|
|Battle of Britain - Check Your Six.|