Saturday, 25 June 2016

Phoenix Show, Rheged Centre

It was a beautiful morning when I set off to Penrith and the Rheged Centre for the first show organised by the West Coast Gamers of Cumbria, I went for three reasons, I had nothing better to do this morning, I thought I would support the endeavour and I wanted to pick up some casualty/pin markers from Warbases and see what else was available.

The centre is forty minutes from me and as I approached it I began to wonder whether leaving the top of the car down was a mistake, it was cool and the horizon was covered in very dark clouds, a bit like Mordor. The centre is like a huge Hobbit house in that it is underground for the most part and you could easily walk past and not realise it is there, the parking is confusing due to all the greenery and I was never sure I was in the right lane or not. I met fellow club member Rob in the car park and we proceeded to try and enter by the wrong door, it really is confusing.

Anyway we made it in and were given a nice map, despite being underground it was very light with plenty of room and being a local show you never quite felt crushed or had to fight to get to a trader, it was well attended by traders for such a small show, many of them local or North of England business's, sadly Warbases did not turn up. There were quite a few games in evidence and they were all well done, and for a change I got to talk to some of the guys at the tables and was actually offered a game of Bolt Action, I respectfully declined but nonetheless had a nice chat with the organisers.

This was a lovely 'To The Strongest' game of Romans vs Greeks, it also shows what a difference a simple game mat can make, I am all for this and think it is money well spent, why spend a fortune on a nice army and plonk it down on a bit of old cloth with the odd bright green tree which looks like a reject from a kids toy box.

The big bridge with the small one in the background.

Medium sized bridge.
 This was the Z1 Design team's lovely Bolt Action table, it also showcased some of their MDF scenery, the bridges in fact, these were very tempting, I may still get the smaller one at some stage, these blokes were very friendly and willing to answer any questions.

Next up was a Fire and Fury brigade game with some lovely troops and terrain. Our newest member at the club, Julian, had got a table and like a lot of wargamers was getting rid of stuff to get more stuff. Rob had played a game of Lord of the Rings and I believe managed to rescue some Hobbits, that too was well done with nice terrain and figures. I didn't want to leave empty handed so went to Warlord to treat myself to a command car, but they did not have what I wanted and the guy was so eager to please I held back telling him he had sold me a duff M10 the week before. As I did a final sweep I saw an MDF paint holder and decided that's for me Tommy. I caught up with Rob again and told him I was off, I had been there about an hour, I might have stuck around longer if the X-Wing tournament had begun but the tables were still empty when I left. Luckily I left the roof up this time as it rained all the way home and is still raining heavily.

My paint rack is great, it does not hold all my pots but the others are mainly doublers or washes so they are in a separate box under the table, but the main thing is now I don't have to hold up half a dozen to find the right one. Oh, and I got my hull hatches from Warlord in the post, so I am good to go on the next two vehicles. You can also see a little palette there, after all these years 'the tray' is being retired only to be used now for spraying, there are so many paint layers on it its weight must have quadrupled at worst.


  1. George,
    Glad it was a good show. The lighting looked to be good. Also pleased that the demo gamers were keen to chat about the hobby - you already know that I have strident views on that subject ;o)
    That bridge has got me thinking "Market Garden" :-S
    Why on earth didn't you take up the offer of some BA?!?
    My Germans very narrowly avoided a win against some lovely (First Corps) Russians today :-D

    1. In hindsight I should have, perhaps next year our club will be a presence.

  2. I went today as well and enjoyed myself. Not at all bad for a first event but keeping the public happy is only part of the equation - some of the traders were rather scathing about the organisation and publicity. Good luck to West Coast Gamers - I hope the show runs again next year.

    1. The publicity was bad, I only found out through a mate on Facebook two weeks beforehand. I also hope it runs next year, might put a game on. Drop me a line if you are going and I'll say hello.

    2. Will do. It might be a little too close to a new show up in Aberdeen on 1st July that I will probably go to

    3. Haven't been to Aberdeen since I gave up offshore, I like the place but too far for a show. I have no plans for the rest of the year but we will see.