Sunday 5 August 2018

Claymore 2018

Accompanied by my wife Katherine, and friend and Wargames Foe John the Red I took a much delayed (40 mins) train up to Edinburgh on Saturday. I didn’t have a shopping list but did feel the need for the opportunity for a bit of ‘crack’ with friends who I knew or expected to be there. ‘Crack’ aplenty I did have, with Rob Anderson of Reiver Castings, David Bickley, and the lads from the Durham club to name but a few. Rob has great plans for the Reiver late 17th century range that will no doubt cost me lots of money (e.g. the Scanian War), and David and I needed to discuss the logistics of the 2018 Bic-Ash Bash, which will probably take place in the Burrow later in the year. It was also good to chat briefly with some of the chaps from the old AMG forum and the current Wild Geese Kenilworth crew, (Charles, Angus, Graham x 2, Stuart and Dave). I made a point of speaking to Jack Granville, one of the organisers of the Waterloo Uncovered mega world record attempt war game planned for next June as although I’d originally put myself forward to take part common sense intervened when I looked at the logistics of getting to a three-day game in Glasgow, the cost of buying the figures and my unpredictable health/mobility problems, and I wanted to explain my withdrawal in person.

I had a trundle round the show and took a few photos of the games. The show itself seemed quieter than I remembered from the last couple of years, although the catering area was heaving as evidenced by an endless stream of health conscious war gamers carrying trays laden with chips, burgers, more chips and scotch pies. The bring and buy room was heaving for different reasons. Without mincing my words it absolutely honked! It was as if the accumulated BO of everyone in Edinburgh had been decanted into one small dimly lit and unventilated room. How those traders unlucky enough to have their stands in that room made it through the day I have no idea. Ten minutes was enough for me. Try as I might I didn’t make any impulse purchases and my swag was limited to a pack of Reiver late 17th C siege engineers and a can of blue spray primer so I can get my last half a dozen battalions of French and Batavians for the FRW kicked off (and anything else that might benefit from a coat of dark blue primer). I would have bought some more poplar tress from The Last Valley but he didn't have any with him.

The games were, with a couple of exceptions, rather disappointing. Conrad and Durham club put on a rather splended 42mm Cossack v Ottomans game. Conrad had even dressed up as a Cossack, but as he’d not shaved his head leaving just a top knot,  was more Tony Curtis than Yul Bryner. Conrad was his usual infectiously enthusiastic self and had Irregular Miniatures been there I might have gone straight over and bought some 42mm Jannissaries, but they weren’t, so I couldn’t, which is a good thing. (Stage whisper: I shall wait for Warfare Miniatures’ release of 18th C Ottomans in a couple of months instead!) 

A few photos of some of the games:

The only other games that really caught my eye were the League of Augsburg’s 28mm Napoleonic and a massive and good looking WW2 game set in Berlin in 1945. There was an interesting looking refight of Zorndorf, moved forward in time 50-odd years to the Napoleonic Wars, but unless I’m mistaken it was more of a static display than a game.  As for the rest of the demonstration games, I believe they were not of the standard one might expect at a wargames event such as Claymore, but as readers of this blog will know, I am very fussy when it comes to presenting games at shows. The participation games were a mixed bag and I did like the Game of Thrones, Carry on up the Khyber and the Ancient Greek galley games.

I for one was actually ready to leave a good hour before it was time to get our cab back to the station, even allowing for arriving later than planned. As I said earlier the show didn't seem particularly busy, and it felt a bit flat if you know what I mean. Nonetheless those eager gamers who were there (of all shapes and ages), were clearly having a good day out spending money and/or playing their games. I know John came back laden with figures and books so was pleased with his haul.

The most refreshing thing about the show was not the games or the traders but the incredibly positive (and very brave) attitude of Jim Duncan, who is continuing his long battle with 'the big one' as if nothing was wrong. I wish him well. 


  1. Great photos! Don't mention the Warfare Ottomans! I'm trying to forget about ever seeing them!

  2. Some nice looking games here - I particularly like the Middle East WW2 and the Late War Berlin. Quite nostalgic as Claymore was one of the two wargames shows I attended from the NE of Scotland as a spotty youth of 14-16 about 40 years ago - the other was in Glasgow, whatever it may be called. Been in NZ since 1988 so have never been to another show....

  3. Gosh... I remember going to Claymore when it was at Adam House...when we all had hair and narrow waists... and sadly flairs
    You found some nice looking games though...
    I particularly liked Conrad’s...that kind of thing ticks all the wargames boxes for me.

    All the best. Aly

  4. Good to meet up again and natter, not to mention meeting John the Red! I think you understate the stench in the B&B though!

  5. Looks like a good show ....with a few reservations ?

  6. Sorry I missed you and the show. I had planned to go but then had the better idea of visiting the Netherlands for a week visiting my daughter. Should see you at Border Reiver though.

  7. I was working in the BnB. At least you could leave. learning point for next year - more ventilation!