Sunday 8 September 2019

Border Reiver Gateshead 7 September

John the Red and I took ourselves (actually John took me)  up to Gateshead yesterday. It was the 25th anniversary of Border Reiver so it is a shame that the organisers of the Colours show in Reading decided to move their event from the Sunday of the first weekend in September to the Saturday, hence the clash. Allegedly this change was due to someone’s birthday and/or a beer festival. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. Whatever the truth the immediate impact was to draw many previously loyal traders away from Gateshead down to Reading where business would perhaps be brisker. However, Warbases, Pendragon and Warlord are to be commended for honouring their commitments and splitting their efforts in order to maintain their presence at both events.

So, the trade at Border Reiver wasn’t outstanding but it wasn’t too bad either, although there were several empty spaces where traders might have been seen in previous years. In fact the hall didn’t feel that full in terms of traders and games, but up until around 12 noon it did still somehow seem pretty busy and quite full of punters, so hopefully the traders were happy. The tabletop sale looked pretty busy too even if most of the stuff on sale seemed to be Warhammer related. Meh!

If I were to be completely frank, the games were generally ok but nothing special, and while none were particularly bad, and all contained some nicely painted minis (even the Barbarossa game in 6mm) none were jaw-droppingly good. There weren’t very many of them either. I know from years of personal experience just how much physical and mental effort goes into putting on even a half decent demo game, so those that continue to do so and support the show are to be commended, especially those from slightly further afield. The one show I put a game on at (Battleground in Stockton, 30 November) leaves me a complete wreck even though it’s barely 10 minutes from my front door.

As is usual these days the best bit about these events is the chance to speak to friends and
acquaintances and swap war stories, ideas, discuss the hobby in general and drink too much average but palatable coffee. I picked up a few odd and ends, such as some plastic Landsknecht shot for my next project, a commander figure off Warlord for my TYW Swedes, and a set of WW1 rules as they piques my interest. I was also kindly given some free figures from Rob of Reiver Castings/Northumbria Painting Services and sprees of plastic Russian Crimean infantry off Robbie and a John the Red so on balance not a bad trip out. Oh, and on an impulse I bought an assembled and nicely painted large ship in 28mm to add to the fleet. Here are some photos of the games on show this year.

Pirate mayhem from the very talented Capt. Jack.

Isandlewhana by the Westerhope lads.

Napoleonic I think by chaps from Scarborough. 

D'Erlons attack at Waterloo. Wall to wall figures!

Operation Barbarossa. All of it in 6mm.


  1. Last years show was on a Saturday, but a week later, which may have caused the split of traders etc. Shame when these clash:(

  2. Phil and I went to Colours. The games were none too special there either, but the trade presence was excellent.

  3. I am most intrigued by the Barbarossa set-up! Is there anywhere I can see more about that?

    1. If you look for a blog called Herkeybirds Nest there are more pictures I think. It was put on by the bloggers club. Or on TMP on the general boatfs/conventions there are some posts.

  4. By Gum it did look empty Glad I didn't bother