Thursday 13 June 2024

Broadside Show, and Churchills in the Car Park

On Saturday I was able to get to Medway Park Sports Centre, Gillingham, for Broadside 2024, organised excellently as ever by Milton Hundred Wargames Club  ( a fine bunch of guys clearly, and they hail from my childhood home town ). It's always a good show, not one of the larger events but in a good spacious venue, which means it's always easy to see the games, and there are not too many games,  so you are not rushing around to catch them all, can take your time with each one.  A decent selection of traders,  and a nice feature is that a number of tables are available for a sort of wargaming 'flea market', of which more later.

Admittedly several of the games had been at SELWG, Cavalier or Salute so I had seen them before, but they were all good so worth seeing again! I took a few pictures, so here are some of them: 

Postie's Rejects: Ray's Haiti 1792 game

Postie's Rejects were there, of course - this is their local show - with a game organised by Ray Roussell,  The Battle of Croix-du-Bouquets 1792, from the Haitian slave revolution against the French (who of course were themselves 'Revolutionaries' - something of an irony there! ). A great-looking game, see Ray's Don't Throw a One blog for much more on this. 

Ray directing operations -  note 'pencil behind the ear' symbol of office 

Shepway wargamers' brought their 'Dornier Down'  game, set in a thankfully imaginary Nazi invasion of UK, 1940, and I think it won best in show. 

Shepway - 'Dornier Down'

 Medway Wargames Club put on a Mythical Greek period game, I think the rules were Dragon Rampant. A nice idea - use your Greek hoplite armies wih just a few additions of various gods, heroes and mythical beasts. Very colourful!

Medway - Greek Myths

South East Essex (SEEMS) always do a good setup, this was the  imaginary ACW Action at Bryson’s Crossroad - I think the location might have been inspired by the 1965 James Stewart film Shenandoah. Rules were Rebels and Patriots, I think.  Some really nicely-painted figures, as you can see in the second picture.

SEEMS : ACW 'Bryson's Crossroad'


Central London Wargames promoted the Emperor of the Battlefield Napoleonic rules produced by their member Ian Godwin :

Central London Wargamers: Emperor of the Battlefield

These chaps are always very friendly and happy to talk you through the rules, but I always have to admit that I don't do Napoleonics! However,  I gather the rules were developed from an earlier set for the Seven Years War, and those are hopefully going to be re-issued soon in an updated edition. I shall be interested to see them! 

Skirmish Wargames group brought their Boxer Rebellion game - complete with gunboat! the game used 54mm figures, beautifully and colorfully painted. 


Maidstone Wargames Society showed their 'Summer of 77'  Battle of Britain game, which I had seen at the Cavalier show - based on a free boardgame published in a Warlord comic in 1977.  

Hailsham Wargames club brought their '(Evading) The Devil’s Paintbrush' WW1game - and appropriate headwear. Sadly I didn't get a picture of the players in 'Picklehaube' helmets! 

Hailsham club: WW1

A nice 'Cold War Gone Hot'  (1980s) game - not in the program, but I think it was by the Milton Hundred club? 


Deal Wargamers showed their 1936 Palestine rebellion game : sadly, somewhat topical,  of course, But nice to see  'early war' British kit, including Gloster Gladiatiors


I liked this Peninsular War village setting for a skirmish participation game by  Big on Strategy - 'A Whiff of Grape'


And finally I spent some time with Retired Wargamers Reloaded and their splendid 'Hold Until Relieved' D-Day Pegasus Bridge game

 I had a good chat over coffee with my old buddy Tony who is a member of the 'RWR' group, and with luck some face-to-face gaming may result, in the near future! Great to meet Tony again and have a good talk, and of course get a close look at this amazing layout  ( I also thought it especially realistic as, look where you might, Prime Minister Sunak was nowhere to be seen...must have gone home early).


**UPDATE**: for even more, and  better, pictures, and of more games than I captured, see Ray's 'Don't Throw a 1' blog for his report on the show.   

There was a little shopping done, naturally - the 'flea market' stalls had lots of interesting stuff. I bought some books from one, which turned out to be run by the Whitehall Warlords Group, of which I was  once a member, for a few months in about 1988. I thought  those chaps looked familiar..

Issue 19, from 1966
The copy of 'Tradition' includes part of a series on 18th Century wargaming by Charles Grant, which five years later would be published in book form as - of course - 'The War Game'.  

I've been interested to see these rules in use recently by Postie's Rejects for FPW games - I have a bit of a yen for the '19th Century Europe' period, so these may be interesting.  

A couple of slim volumes of Colonel Horace St Paul's journals of life in the 7YW Austrian army - good to be able to try them before possibly buying the big, glossy (and expensive) recent Helion editions...  

And finally this vintage 1970s  'Knights Battles for Wargamers' book on Dettingen. This has some heritage, as it has an inscription inside from its previous owner  Seamus Bradley,  who was  chair of the Whitehall Warlords when I was a member. I remember him as a really nice, friendly and enocouraging chap;  sadly it seems he is in a care home now, suffering from dementia. I think more than one of the above came from his collection. I am quite pleased to become a custodian of them, and hopefully get some enjoyment and use out of them, in a sort of small tribute - thanks, Seamus.

One slight 'downside' of the venue is that parking there was  a nightmare - especially as there was also a large athletics event going on there!  But I had realised that just over the road is the Royal Engineers Museum,  where the car park was (a) nice and quiet and (b)  contained quite a few vintage armoured vehicles! In the week of D-Day, it was interesting to park next to a couple of Churchills: 

Churchill AVRE (post-war Mk VIII version)

.. and AVLB Bridge-Layer

I had time enough to spend an hour or so in the museum - luckily the ticket lasts a year, and I hope to be able to return for the 'Replay' gaming show there in October, at least.  One notable treasure they have is the 'Waterloo Map' , which it seems was used by Wellington during the 1815 campaign, and bears pencil marks made by the Duke when planning to take up his position at Mont St Jean. Quite a piece of history! 

Wellington's Waterloo Map

..with positions marked by himself !

So all in all, a pretty good day - I enjoyed it very much, and I hope you have enjoyed seeing my impressions of  it. Many thanks, of course, to all who organised the show, put on games etc. 

This week I have been painting - but mainly '1:1 scale', interior and exterior of my house! But I hope to get some more hobby time soon, time for my 'D-Day Dodgers' to test out the  Rapid Fire Reloaded rules, so hopeully that will be the subject of my next post. Until then  keep well, everyone.


  1. Excellent show report-out, David! SYW and WAS seem to have caught your eye at the moment. I may have to bring out the "19th Century Europe" to scratch that itch.

    1. Thanks Jon. I was pleased to pick up some WAS/SYW items, probably time I got back to a game or two in that period. It would be interesting to try a bit of mid-19thC too, if you were thinking of putting that on!

  2. A most enjoyable post. Thanks for taking us through the event, most interesting. Combined with the museum it was certainly a grand day out.
    Alan Tradgardland

    1. Thanks Alan, glad you enjoyed that. Indeed, a good day out!

  3. Nice pictures David, thanks for sharing these. Amazing looking games: The Pegasus Bridge game is very impressive.

    1. Thanks MJT, and yes that Pegasus Bridge game is a beauty, I believe the buildings are all 3D-printed to match the real thing. I wonder what they are planing next...?

  4. Terrific post - thanks for all your hard work. It occurs to me that you can probably park a Churchill wherever you wish.

    1. Thanks Tony, glad you enjoyed that. Maybe the Churchill driver would defer to the nice German visitor who wants to park his Tiger tank...?

    2. It would be a tricky thing to clamp?

  5. I will confine myself to C18th comments ☺
    The Dettingen book is a cracker! I was after a copy for years before I got hold of it and the Minden book. Dettingen is much better written.
    Horace St Paul - can be a bit dry as it's a diary. Does give an insight into the day to day operations of an C18th army. Anyways, I'm biased as he's a fellow Northumbrian....
    The cover of the Tradition magazine shows the Black Watch storming the abatis and fortifications before Fort Ticonderoga. You can just see the flag of La Reine in the background.....

    1. Thanks Neil, I was pleased to pick up the '18th Century' books, especially Dettingen as I know very little about the battle. Your review sounds encouraging! On Horace St. Paul, I will give it a go, and if it's hard going then at least I didn't spend much. But I hope it will be interesting. You are of course right about the 'Tradition' cover, the first article is about the Black Watch at Ticonderoga ( by J.B.R. Nicholson ) and there are a couple of nice colour plates of British and French regiments present there, including La Reine.. so full marks to you!

  6. Nice report on the show David, with a nice mix of games in display. Even though some have been seen at other shows, not everyone can get to them, so good to see them getting a good airing so to speak. Nice to be next to that museum and like the Tank Museum and others, the ticket lasts for a year, which is excellent value IMHO.

    1. Thanks Steve, glad to be useful - though you need to look at Ray's blog for a really comprehensive survey! The RE museum ws a bit of an added bonus and v. useful for the parking(!) - not a cheap ticket but I will go back there and see more, and there is a gaming show there too in October which has good reviews, so I can do that as well! The 'annual pass' idea is a good one, and I'm sure drives more visits to places that do it.

  7. Excellent show report David, and it looks like a good return for your money.

    1. Thanks Richard, glad you enjoyed that, and yes I got some very good bargains! Nice to bump into you and chat, too.

  8. Looks like you had a great day out David. The museum was a bonus.
    Maybe I’ll get along next year.
    Your purchases inspired me to order a copy of the Dettingen book. Now I’ve got reasonable numbers of Anglo-Hanoverians and French I might have a go at it.

    1. Thanks Chris, sorry you couldn't make it - as you say, maybe next year. I'm making a start on the Dettingen book, it looks interesting, and clearly right up your street - I look forward to your battle report!