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Hammerhead 2017

Just a brief report on the latest Hammerhead show held at the Newark showground on Saturday 4th of March. Hammerhead is just one of three shows that are held in Newark, the other two being Partizan 1 and 2. So why a third show? Originally, I think that the idea was to have a show that was dedicated to the Fantasy and Sci-Fi elements of the hobby. Over the years, this  emphasis has diminished and as you will see, there is plenty to occupy war gamers what ever their taste. What distinguishes Hammerhead from other shows is the games are all participation games so if you so wish you can join in with the fun and try out some of the superb games on offer.

The event has expanded this year and now occupied both the large George Stephenson exhibition hall as well as the Cedric Ford Pavilion. The two locations are just a short walk away from each other and this was certainly no hardship on the day. The weather was kind and it was nice to grab a breath of fresh air and take a break from looking at all the goodies on offer. Both locations had catering facilities, which meant that queuing for refreshments was in my experience, non existent. Even better, the food on offer was better than many shows that I’ve attended and not too expensive.

The Bunker game

The Bunker game close up.

I wont cover the traders that were at the show – the usual suspects were in attendance, so there was plenty to tempt you to part with your money! I gamely resisted opening my wallet but eventually was tempted into buying some flags and a set of ladders – they will appear in a future blog project no doubt. The real stars of the show were the games on offer and here are just some that caught my eye. Perhaps the biggest, with the most figures on a table was the display from Shaun and Terry of the Bunker fame. Shaun is a master at creating scenery and always manages to pack the table with figures so there was plenty to look at!

Just one of the castles on the table!

Just one of the castles on the table!

Just as impressive, was the game by Reveille, the battle of Pellenor Fields. How many Oliphaunts were there?

Attack of the Oliphaunts

Attack of the Oliphaunts

Another ‘wow!’ moment for me was the Bolt Action game. I’m afraid that I would fail as a reporter. I was too busy admiring the 1/56th (?) scale U boat that formed just part of the action to write down who was running the game…

Plenty going on here! Look at that U Boat!

Plenty going on here! Look at that U Boat!

I also liked the V1 that was incidental to the game.

It's a V1!

It’s a V1!

And so, senses overloaded with the gaming goodness on display, I ventured across to the other pavilion where I joined Andy Callan, Ian Callan and Peter Dennis to play the latest ‘Paper Soldiers’ game ‘The Spanish Armada’. Ian and I were the British. Peter Dennis the dastardly Spanish.  As with all Andy Callans rules, they are straight forward and simple to pick up, so within a turn I was immersed in the Game. Although Andy was giving his brother Ian a bit of stick for losing the Admiral and his flag ship, Ian and I continued to chip away at the Armada, reducing many of the Spanish transports to drifting hulks. It was all part of a cunning plan, as with the Admiral out of the way, the British would have more prize money!

2017-03-04 12.26.00As you can see, the game looks great and the book, which contains all you need, other than a pair of scissors, some PVA and access to a photocopier, retails at just £12.50 – amazing value and great fun. Having seen off the Spanish, it was back to the main hall for another look at the games.

Sands of the Sudan

Sands of the Sudan

Sands of the Sudan caught my eye, again, plenty of figures on the table and great scenery. Perhaps I will have a go at this period.

Beautifully painted Naval detatchment.

Beautifully painted Naval detachment.

By now, it was a case of sensory overload and constantly being distracted. Ooh look Daleks!!

Daleks and then Wow! Tripods!! With A10’s!!!

Tripods You get the idea, there was plenty to admire and my short blog post has barely scratched the surface. In fact I have missed many of the super games that were on offer. I’ll leave you with a look at another very well designed game. Who built it escapes me (bad reporter!) but what a temptation to start gaming this period.

Aces High!

Aces High!

So, plenty to see. Plenty to inspire. Plenty to motivate. All in all, a very good show , very well executed. I look forward to next years show. In the meantime, if you do fancy going to Partizan in May, I will be there with Arcane Scenery, so come along and say hello.



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