The Roaring Northerners are Dave Stewart, John Hill and Iain Robertson; a loose affiliation of tabletop wargamers and figure painters who inhabit the frozen and somewhat soggy wastelands of west central Scotland. Shadowy and secretive, they stoically quest to reduce the scale of the lead mountain that threatens to engulf them all, and perhaps even find the time for the occasional game...
....This is their story

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Show Report- Albanich 2014, Dumfries

Saturday saw Dave and I brave the elements and the inevitable horrors of a wet M74, and head down to Albanich, Dumfries’ annual wargames show, held in the Cairndale Hotel in the town centre. Ably hosted by Solway Crafts and Miniatures, the show packs a great deal of top class traders and games into a relatively small venue.

Broadly divided into two halls, one containing traders and the other the display games (and refreshments!), both lead of the main foyer, where the weary travellers were relieved of their meagre entry fee, and had it replaced by…free zombies! A frame of two of Studio Miniatures wonderfully executed (no pun intended!) 28mm plastic Nazi Zombies was given on entry, already this was shaping up to be A Good Day, free zombies are never to be sniffed at!

A good selection of traders in hall 1, included some big names like Solway Crafts and Miniatures themselves, Foundry and Figures in Comfort

The League of Augsburg were on hand with a wonderfully original “Darrien” board to promote Barry Hilton’s latest work “Donnybrook”, a 28mm skirmish ruleset incorporating RPG elements, pitched ideally at the age of Horse and Musket. Intrigued by this as it seemed to offer an ideal set of rules for using my own, currently somewhat moribund, Front Rank Jacobites, I managed to have a chat with Barry (whom I've not seen years) regarding the rules, and the thoughts behind them; so inevitably a copy (which is a predictably beautifully presented piece of work) made it's way into the rucksack…

Palm trees and a Saltire, how often do you see that combination? It could only be one thing…

Beautiful minis on display as always

The man himself

Moving through to Hall 2, there were a number of cracking looking games on display from a variety of clubs from around the country

West Coast Gamers of Cumbria had followed the old Reivers’ trails to bring us this wonderful re-fight of Sword Beach and Pegasus Bridge in 15mm, using Flames of War. A truly epic table, the photos don’t quite do the sheer length of it justice!

The table featured the lovely new 15mm Pegasus Bridge (the original prototype no less!) by Warbases. I’d spotted this on their stand in the other hall, and was sorely tempted to just bodge it for 20mm…

Sadly, I was unable to get the name of the group responsible for this impressive Muskets & Tomahawks set-up. Featuring a blockhouse and fully rigged sloop, it certainly showed what could be done with this period, a little imagination and some effort!

The Tradeston Wargames Club, from Glasgow, a new offshoot of the Phoenix group put on this colourful demo of the battle of Pea Ridge from the American Civil War. An incredible amount of time and effort had clearly gone into producing this spectacle. ACW isn’t one of my consuming passions, but you couldn’t help but be impressed by this!

Falkirk & District Wargames Club were in attendance with this brilliant display of WWI aerial combat, using the Too Fat Lardies “Algernon Pulls A Fast One!”  Rules.  At first glance, I’d thought it was Wings of War on a massive scale, but having played and enjoyed those rules before, I was chuffed to see that there was something else on offer a wee bit different on the subject.  As ever, the guys were very friendly and extremely knowledgeable on the subject, and got tore into their game with every sign of enjoyment!

Plenty of source material and background on show as well!

Tucked up in the far corner were South EastScotland Wargames Club, with a simply wonderful Korean War game, using the Bolt Action rules system. A very well laid out board, showing a load of reference material and even some artefacts from one of the members’ father’s service on HMS Ocean during the conflict in addition to some very pretty toys on the table. This ranked as one of my favourite things on show, since I’ve also got a bit of a thing for the Korean War, and was a very welcome sight to see, since it’s otherwise very much “The Forgotten War” in gaming terms as well as historical!


Overall, a very friendly and convivial atmosphere prevailed throughout the day, (doubtless helped by the opening of the hotel bar in the afternoon…) with many an old face caught up with and new traders discovered noted for future projects.  There was also a painting competition to be entered (of which your humble correspondent failed miserably to get any usable pictures of…) in addition to the plentiful opportunities to have a go at the games on show.

Sadly, I was unable to make it for both days, with Sunday featuring a large “Hail Caesar!” participation game, and all too soon, it was time to load up my trusty steed with plunder and booty, and head back north, out of the West March, to the fertile (if still defiantly soggy) plains of the central lowlands…

Thanks and congratulations to be extended once again for the guys and gals at SC&M for putting on a magnificent show as usual, and one I’ll be sure to return to whenever I can!



  1. 100 hits in one day and 2 new blog members!
    Superb write up Iain!

  2. Great write up Iain and looks like a good show too.Annoyed I had to miss it this year.A big hello to the new members as well.

  3. Greate AAR, very nice pictures, thaks for sharing !

    Best regards Michael

  4. Cheers guys, glad it was of interest!