The Joy of Six 2017 part 1
Sunday 16th July saw the annual gathering of 6mm gamers from all over the country (and the world) to make their pilgrimage to the Joy of Six 2017. I would like to thank Nick Johnson for doing sterling work in taking the photographs that makes this report possible.
Once again we were able to make use of the wonderful Heartspace atrium giving the whole event a light and spacious feel while offering great opportunities for panoramic photographs and top-down shots of some of the wonderful wargames tables in evidence.
The show itself is very friendly, helped by the relaxed atmosphere, cheap and good quality food and ample provision for visitors to sit down and chill out when required. No overcrowded aisles and risk of injury from swinging rucksacks at the Joy of Six!
For a show devoted to just one scale, it may come as a surprise to those outside the 6mm community as to just how varied and diverse the games on offer were. Most were there to be played rather than just offer a pretty spectacle and as a result, there was no lack of things for the visitors to do to keep themselves occupied. Let’s have a look and see what there was on offer:
The first games to greet the visitor to the show were both staged by the irrepressible Per Broden. Per has achieved legendary status at the JOS with his beautifully staged games featuring battles from the Great Northern War. His presentation skills are second to none in the hobby and repeating his feat from last year, he produced not one, but two spanking good games.
Firstly, there was the Battle of Lesnaya which was run by Nick Dorrell and his mates from the Wyre forest club
Per himself, ably aided by his son, Max staged the skirmish game ‘Lechnaga 708’, which can only be described as a GNW themed fantasy bash.
Next door to his extravaganza, Andrew Brentnall produced his own alternative take on history with and Archers-themed (I kid you not!) ECW game using a ‘To the Strongest’ period variant. A lovely looking small game that was busy all day.
Just round the corner, Walter from Commission Figurines staged a two dimensional, but incredibly effective Napoleonic game using his range of mdf figures and scenics. You really have to see it in person to realise how good it looks.
Nice as these games were, moving from them into the main hall, you came across the first of the showstoppers in the form of Robert Dunlop’s Messines WW1 epic. Robert is another stalwart of the show and never fails to disappoint.
Another group of regulars is the very active Cold War Commanders. Their Landjut 1989 offering was the centrepiece game for this year and lived up to its billing. This was the table that had everything!
Moving out of the main hall into the first side rooms there were four very varied games on offer. First up was the Deeside Defenders’ 1st Bull Run. This group always stage lovely games each year on a very different era and subject. Their 2017 was, as usual, of a very high standard and was a credit to what 6mm gaming is all about.
By complete contrast in terms of subject was Operation Crusader from Swindon and District Gamers. Newcomers to the show, their participation game seemed to be active whenever I was able to get off my trade stand and pop my head around the corner!
Staying in period but with a very different subject was Grantham Strategy and Gaming Club’s spectacular WW2 8th Air Force game. Another set of newcomers to the JOS, they were telling me of their plans for 2018, which, if they come off, should be magical…
The final game in this room retained the WW2 theme. Staged by Daniel Shaw, this was Montelimar 1944 using his Brigadier General Commands rules. Daniel and his wife flew over from Texas to attend this event, which, along with the overseas visitors attending the JOS underlines just how much of a draw the show is becoming to the 6mm wargaming community.
For the final two games in this half of the report, we return to main hall to two small, but nonetheless impressive games. Wyre Forest Gamers staged this wonderful little battle of Issus using the Command and Colours system. To me, it exemplifies just how flexible and useful 6mm figures can be. The board was less than two feet square, yet there enough figures in use for it to look like a large action - something that simply could not be achieved with larger castings.
Finally for this half we have the Baccus offering, presented by Derek Pitman and Ed Wilson, ably aided by Paul Cramer. The subject was an ECW scenario based around the siege of Manchester. Salford 1642 had a board based upon a period map. Paul had made and painted the hundreds of period buildings that gave this game a unique and incredibly atmospheric appearance.
In the first half of this show report, we’ve gone from the conquests of Alexander to the Fall of the third Reich via various stops on the way including an alternative Scandinavian fantasia. But that’s only half of the show. Lots more to follow in part 2!