Battle boffins all set to lock horns at Graeme High School

Expertly painted Jacobites from Crann Tara Miniatures - these figures are just over one inch tall
Expertly painted Jacobites from Crann Tara Miniatures - these figures are just over one inch tall

Once upon a time wargaming was all about toy soldiers (or “miniature figurines” if you prefer), and imaginary battles pitting ancient Greeks against Persians, or Napoleon against virtually everybody.

These and other “usual suspects” are still to be found at Carronade, Falkirk Wargames Club’s landmark annual show, but the stricken field of mock-combat is infinitely more diverse than some of the older members will remember from their youth.

Mayhem on the beaches as Operation Overlord swings into action in June 1944

Mayhem on the beaches as Operation Overlord swings into action in June 1944

Expect a very heavy dash of Game of Thrones-type sword and sorcery antics at this hugely popular event in Graeme High School - not to mention a galaxy of sci-fi endeavours, from X-wing fighters to Daleks.

The show on Saturday next week (10am to 4pm) boasts an amazing selection of displays covering all of these themes and many more, and also an impressive collection of traders from all over the UK.

There are specialist books, all the materials needed for model scenery, wargame figures and vehicles galore (in a plethora of different scales) - and an inexhaustible supply of instant experts on anything from flintlock musket drill to the finer points of the War of the Spanish Succession.

There are also books beyond number detailing wargaming rules covering every conceivable era of history - from the easily-learned medieval skirmish games outlined in “Lion Rampant” to newly-published “Le Tondu”, covering the Napoleonic Wars.

Space combat - not as 'instant' as a computer game, but (we're assured) infinitely more fun

Space combat - not as 'instant' as a computer game, but (we're assured) infinitely more fun

Alongside the Falkirk team’s own display efforts are those from clubs from all over Scotland, at a show that is clearly established as one of just two major events of its kind north of the border - the other is Claymore in Edinburgh (Saturday, August 3, Edinburgh College’s Granton Campus).

For anyone even remotely interested in military history (or, for that matter, fantasy or sci-fi battle themes) this has long earned its reputation as an unmissable event - and worth a trip to see the painting competition alone.