After establishing that the organisers of the show, Stafford Wargames were nothing to do with the nazi who runs a similarly named wargaming shop I was very happy to attend.
James and Scrivs have been hard at work since November assembling the forces needed to play a small campaign that takes place as part of the Verdun campaign in 1916. This particular part is an assault in an area known as le Bois de Caures. The rules used were the World War One adaptation of Chain of Command by Two Fat Lardies and the campaign supplement At the Sharp End.
Having won the previous battle Scrivs' Huns would be launching a flank attack on the French cornered in a bunker.
The set up was very simple but exteremely effective - lots of vac formed scenery, James' woods made from actual twigs, Scrivs homemade barbed wire, a simple caulk and tarpaulin battlemat and a very lovely backdrop James had painted. The whole lot was then sprinkled with scenic snow and it was ready for soldiers.
These models were placed before the game and played no part, just adding to the impression of the advancing forces and chaos going on around this area of the battlefield.
James got a little confused during the pre-battle jump-off phase and the French ended up a bit less than ideally placed. I decided my place was alongside James (Scrivs doesn't need a hand with games generally) and we were off.
The dastardly Germans then bought up their new wonder weapon - flamethrowers (this was the first battle these were used in) and duly hosed the French from their bunker ensuring Driant's papers were well and truly torched.
With that James and I raised the white flag and left the field to the Germans.
The heoric German leader was awarded the Iron Cross for his succesful leadership
There is a far more detailed and analytical guide to the events over on Scrivs blog.
I should just reinforce the fact that I did none of the painting or collecting of these spectacular soldiers. It was all Scrivs' and James' work. My sole contribution was to make the explosions that were used at Salute last year and have been rebased to match the landscape of World War One.
Barrage itself was a really nice little show. We played and chatted in a very leisurely fashion. Unfortunately I heard a few grumbles from traders about the lack of visitors and sales. In the internet age small shows like this one and Cannon can struggle to attract large numbers of visitors to buy things. I hope the show continues, it was a nice venue and we had a great day.
However I must mention one thing. I finally encountered my first ever proper button counter. And here's a free piece of advice for him, or anyone else thinking that wandering around trying to find mistakes people may have made so you can gleefully point them out is a gainful activity for an adult member of the human race:
Pointing out in a rude and pompous manner things that you perceive to be "wrong" doesn't make you some sort of free speaking, pulls no punches, tells-it-like-it-is warrior for truth and accuracy.
It makes you an obnoxious twunt.
Oh, and no-one likes you you fat bell-end (we checked).