Saturday 3 August 2013

My Day at Claymore 2013

Claymore is Scotlands Premier Wargames show and is run by my club SESWC.

I toddled along, as befits a veteran wargamer to the show but unusually (most unusually) with a plan in mind. I wanted to leave the show with more money in my pocket than I went in with but also with a collection of goodies to further my wargaming enjoyment.

Difficult? Yes it will be, but with a good plan quite achievable.

The show is held in Telford College, Edinburgh although I see by the signs that they are called Edinburgh College now. I think there have been several college mergers recently.

It's a smart, fairly new building and a very pleasant change from Meadowbank Stadium of a few shows ago. On arrival I was greeted by a couple of the club kids (joking) who marshalled me to the car park.

Once inside I surveyed the main hall.

Then the Bring & Buy. It was very busy!

And then the second, sports hall.

I had my camera with me, obviously, but my plan was not to photograph everything, there's just too much with 40 traders and 30 visiting clubs. Instead I snapped a few things which caught my eye.

Kirriemuir Wargames Club caught my eye very quickly since I thought there was a completely bare table.

A closer inspection revealed the truth, Russian gun batteries lined the table and at the far end there was huge brigade of British light cavalry.

Yes, it was the Charge of the Light Brigade. "Onward, onward rode the Six Hundred, 5,4,3,2,1", the pop tune rattled through my brain until the six page handout promptly dispatched the 1964 song to whence it came from. The game itself was a little beauty, the Light Brigade was ordered by a collection of 5 players, a D10, and handfuls of 3 cards. Each of cards themselves was a line from the famous Tennyson poem and indicated a game action.

The rules themselves were authored by:

I bumped into a few acquaintances, nice lads but I wouldn't want to bump into them down a dark alley :)

I spoke to a good few of the traders who are all very friendly. Here's Paul and Sally of Kallistra. I have a bucket load of Pauls figures as well as a shedload of his Hexon II terrain.

The League of Augsburg put on a fantastic display. The Battle of Aughrim, 1691.

Again, some nice lads. I shudder to think how many pairs of trousers young Dave on the left here has worn since I introduced him into the hobby many moons ago. He had a full head of hair then but probably was still in short trousers!

Nice figures.

The Bathgate Wargames Club had yet another interesting game. "THEM". The town of Morvalant is in danger from giant ants, someone has to stop them. The driving forces in the Bathgate club are Slim Mumford, a veteran wargamer indeed (curiously absent when I came around with the camera) and Alan Hamilton MBE TD. Here's Alan centre stage with giant ants in the foreground.

One real surprise I had on the day was to bump into an old friend, Paul Henni, whom I hadn't seen for many years. Here he is with his lovely wife Lynn.

Paul is one these people with an unfettered imagination and he and Lynn have come up with a fantastic game, Magic Maelstrom.

My head hurt just looking at the game board so it probably is great fun to play!

The final game which caught my eye was "Divine Wind" by the RAF Leuchars club.

These guys always put on great games, this one was a bunch of kamikaze pilots having a go at US carrier.

As you can see appropriate head gear was worn.

And there were an appropriate amount of toys on the table.

Now, back to the plan, remember the PLAN.

I swiftly purchased the GOODIES I was after.

A box of Gripping Beast plastic Saxon Thegns.

A box of Gripping Beast Dark Age Warriors.

These will form the bulk (hopefully all of it) of a Saxon force to be used with Dux Britanniarum.

A box of Wargames Factory Celtic Cavalry which will supply a small cavalry unit for my Dux Britons and leave a few bits for the spares box.

Some Dark Ages shield transfers as my eyes cannot cope with fine detail these days.

Some Howard Hues paints from Magister Militum. You can never have too much paint!

Many of you will know that I scratch build most of my bases and many of those have magnetic features so I got some additional supplies from Trevor Holland.

I received a surprise FREEBIE from an old club friend. A shoe box.

The contents were interesting.

These will appear in a future post, trust me.

So, back to the PLAN.

The above goodies cost the best part of £100, par for the course at a wargames show for me these days. I still left with more money in my pocket than I arrived with!

Remember the Bring & Buy.

I put in a few painted figures I will never use and a considerable number of boxed games which I will probably never play again. I got around £300 back less 10% to my club.

Apart from a smile on my face and a bundle of goodies to be getting on with I also have a bit of spare space in my cupboards and sense of well being as a few others will be thinking (knowing) they got a bargain today too. Well done the lads behind the tables in the Bring & Buy, good marketing!

The best bit was seeing and speaking to the many many friends I met at Claymore today. What a great hobby!

Am now somewhat in a modicum of discomfort. My feet are literally killing me. A long day on my feet has done something to them.


  1. Thanks for this, I havent got to Claymore for several years due to family, so its nice to see this excellent show is still going strong!

    1. Yes, there is plenty of life left in the Claymore dog!!

  2. Jim
    Good report. I was still on my way back home from Spain and missed the show. The Leuchars game looks great. Long time since I saw Paul Henni.

    Not as hot as last year I hope?

    Can I use some of your photos on my blog?

    1. Sorry you missed the show Bill, it was pretty good.

      Your absence was noted!

      It was warmer at the far end of the atrium than nearer the door end but not excessively so.

      I did notice that Dax was down to his vest at one point but at least he wasn't in shorts!!

      Yes, you can use any of my photos as long as you acknowledge the blogsource!

  3. Yes Telford is gone - now just the Granton Campus of the recently merged mega Edinburgh college.

    1. I wonder whether one day they will try to form a single University of Edinburgh.

      Moray House was absorbed without too much difficulty and they say that upsizing education is cost effective.

      I don't care anymore as I'm long out of that game!

    2. Nice one Jim.
      The names you mentioned are a "blast from the past"
      I just wonder if my name would ring a bell

      Changed days from the "Assembly Rooms" gigs way back when!

    3. Thanks William, I wonder which 'William' you are!

      Yes, I have known a lot of the guys I met at Claymore for 30+ years and in some cases 40+ years.

      Having said that several guys, mostly younger ones spoke to me using my name and I have no idea who they were, some of them were from my club though.

  4. Hi Jim
    Nice pictures of our Divine Wind game, thanks for the feature.
    Just one note for the script though .... you are using a very old link to our club, which is no longer recruiting!

    1. Thanks Jed

      It is a shame that your clubs future will be (has been) determined by Westminister.

      I'm sure that as wargamers you will find a working solution wherever you go!

  5. Replies
    1. My pleasure.

      Your display was a cracker, right on the button and I would have marked it highly myself had I been one of the judges.

  6. Jim
    You are correct, we shall indeed continue after the idiot politicians complete the installation of the army at Leuchars.
    We will just drop the "RAF" part of the name (there has been a suggestion that we should add "Veterans" to it though!).

    1. As long as you maintain your fantastic comittment to the hobby then it doesn't matter what you call yourselves.

  7. Great pics, Jim... Might I use one of your pics of the LoA game for our blog? I will be sure to credit you and direct folks here for more pics...

    1. Yes, a simple credit and a link to my blog will be just fine!

    2. Thanks! Will probably post tomorrow or Thursday...

  8. Great report and good to see you at the show.
    I still remember how your Peter Laing Crimean game in Charlotte Square helped to bring me into the hobby.What year was that again?
    best wishes

    1. Good to see you too at the show Alan.

      The Crimean game is well back in the mists of time so it was probably 1973 or 1974. I would need to have a good think about that to be more sure.


    2. Twas 1974 - I'd moved back from England and had been a member of the wargames club for a couple of months when they put on the game to support a display of photographs all about the Crimean War

    3. Thanks Iolanthi, I guess you are correct!

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Paul was at the club about a month ago; nice to see him after so long!

    1. I'm rarely at the club myself, I tend to see most members at shows up and down the country, or indeed, other countries.