Friday 23 February 2024

Sheffield Wargames Society Xmas games day

 I popped along to the SWS Xmas games day back in December. This has been an annual event for many years, as an alternative to the usual club evening meeting on Wednesdays in the period between Christmas and New Year.

Now that my regular group almost exclusively game remotely on Tuesday and Wednesdays and get our f2f fix on monthly Fridays, I don't get down to the club much, so it was nice to go along and see some old faces. 

Andrew, Bish, Lloyd, Graham and Jerry were all taking part in this huge air combat game. Unfortunately it was one of those 'one squadron activates at a time' type of games, so as far as I could tell, most of the players didn't have anything to do most of the time. I've seen the most of the others at Tapton on a number of occasions, but it was nice to see Jerry again.

There was a huge 6mm Cold War game going on. The club had rented the big hall at the Social Club for this day, so a lot of the games were bigger than usual.

Russian armour lurking among the hedgerows. I really liked the buildings being used for this.

And another big microarmour game. Also modern. Lots of nice game ng mats in use too, they look so much better than the plain cloths we all used to use. 

Lots of toys lined up. Maybe this is a big year for 6mm?

There was also this big Horse and Musket game - Napoleonic, SYW? I couldn't really tell as it was quite small scale, although I did see some Austrian flags. 

The massed units looked pretty good.

John and I met up to try something a bit less ambitious, another playtest of my One Hour Napoleonic variant. Wavre again as it is  a manageable scenario, with quite a lot going on.

As before, the French (John) got over the Dyle at Limale and flanked the main Prussian rearguard in Wavre. The Prussian cavalry are poised to launch a desperate counterattack against Vandammes hordes. Grouchy is watching from the hill to the right. We were done in a couple of hours, including setup takedown chatting and a bit of light browsing of the Bring and Buy.

A very enjoyable afternoon, and even if I don't go to the weekday sessions anymore, I'll at least try and keep going to this once a year.


  1. Looks like a great day, Martin. It's amazing (at least to me) what a day surrounded by wargamers and packed tables will do for a wargamer's soul. I find after attending a convention or "game day" I get a big burst of motivation to complete projects and play more games. If I'm in a funk, these kinds of events tend to lift me out!

    1. PS will you be publishing your Napoleonic rules on your blog? Definitely keen to give them a go!

    2. Yes, it is definately motivating to play with other people and even just to float around watching other games. I will publish the Napoleonic rules at some point. tbh, although they do work, they still aren't really what I'm looking for. I want to manouvre Corps comprising division sized stands, and including the Corps artillery and cavalry as separate units. Anyway, I've got a couple more game reports to publish which will show where these ones have got to.

  2. Hi Martin, thanks for another interesting post. I'll be interested to see how your rules work out too. In the meantime your comment back to Steve that "I want to manouvre Corps comprising division sized stands" got me wondering whether you'd considered the rules Absolute Emperor from Osprey? They're pitched at exactly that level. They're effectively agnostic when it comes to figure size and basing. They assume free measurement but could probably be converted to hexes. And they give a pretty reasonable game. I bought them a year or so back, played them a couple of times and enjoyed the experience. The only reason they haven't had another outing is the usual one given by any wargaming butterfly, vis I got distracted. You can find a helpful, balanced review of them over in Norm's blog, here Regards, Chris

    1. Thanks Chris. Norm reviews so many rules I must have missed those. I seem to have a real problem with Napoleonic rules, I can never find a set which suits. They all work for some situations, some of the time. I've obviously got some wierd idea in my head about how things should be that I'm unable to satisfy.

    2. "I've obviously got some wierd idea in my head about how things should be that I'm unable to satisfy". Isn't this just a snapshot of the inside of every wargamer's head? Game design is always a trade off. Your blog illustrates that perfectly along with many others. :-)