Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Battlegroup Blitzkrieg at The Tank Musuem, Bovington

A generous invite from Battlegroup South to South Somerset Wargames Club meant that I attended both days as part of the display game we put on. More in another post. It also allowed me to have a look at the other displays people were showing, and as always, the effort that people put in showed through. Some lovely painting and models.

Piers, top centre, in black tee-shirt, explaining rules and game mechanics.

One that caught my attention - especially as a confirmed 20mm WW2 enthusiast, was the Early WW2 display from Piers Brand and Warwick Kinrade, as part of the push on Battlegroup Blitzkrieg. I loved the display, especially the industrial complex next to the river, but had also seen some of the figures and models being painted on the work in progress page. A bit of a painting tease, but not the same as seeing it in real life.

 Piers as well as having a young family, full time job, active on the Guild - answering rules queries for instance - as does Warwick too, is also one of the best painters I have seen. He is not the best, but his standard of work and the sheer volume, speed and consistency, make him so. All the work was done by Piers, made available for set piece photography for the new rule book. I hope my photo's do Piers work justice.

One of the problems with the Battlegroup rules is the lack of mainstream penetration regarding publicity. Its such a simple set of rules - more guidelines really, that allows for tabletop gaming with 20mm figures. They are not solely for 20mm, as many wargamers use 15mm figures, some 28mm and a few 6mm ( 1/300 th ). They adapt well to any scale, or what you have in the box.

The days when there was just WRG have long gone. Thank goodness, but a plethora of other sets, some specific to certain scales have meant that the process of getting Battlegroup noticed has been a choice between sharp elbows, or a painstaking commitment to show the game. Piers and Warwick are the type of people who have chosen the latter, building on a love of gaming, a desire to share, and an approachability bordering on sainthood. This hard work is starting to pay off, with some of the rulesets nearing the end of their print run.

More are on the way. The next book will be the Desert campaign, This is a project of particular interest to Warwick. I am waiting for all those dodgy British armoured cars to appear to make up a recce patrol, as well as Men in Shorts! However, there is some major pestering going on for a Cold War book. I don't think its got to issuing injunctions yet!, but some preliminary work has been done, and it is firmly on the distant horizon. Hopefully drawing nearer, time and commitments permiting.

There were of course other games on display at the weekend, different scales and periods, all interspersed between Traders and the Museum exhibits. And thats the thing for Battlegroup, getting noticed.