GAMES - almost all were of "wargames standard" rather than professionally-produced trophy magnets, which is not a bad thing, especially in this age of one size fits all and especially if you want to grab some new blood and not deter them, but there were some nice tables. My usual gripe, and one very much in evidence again today, is the guys who turn up to play and turn their backs on everyone around. If your are demonstrating something, then DEMONSTRATE IT!!! Too many games are used as excuses to put on something a bit bigger than the home table allows for, with no thought or desire to actually interest anyone else in what is actually a public event and an ideal showground for the hobby. (OK, I will climb down now, put the rant-a-phone away and carry on....)
Special mentions go, firstly, to the Crosby club for their Very British Civil War game, masses of mainly Metcalfe card kits forming a Coronation Street like vista on a 6 x 4 table, with Anarchists and other ne'er do wells trawling the streets or cowering behind barricades. As the writer of the Freikorps article that appeared in Battlegames issue 14 (my one and only article to date, thereby showing how lazy I have become...), this was a set up almost bound to catch my eye.
Secondly, the Victorian set up for the new rules from Westwind looked the picture too. Daft lad that I am, I did not get the name of the guy running this. The Critical Mass people also had a couple of tables showing off their sci-fi rules, one a sort of Ancient Egypt/ Stargate affair, the other a floral haven with multi-coloured trees. Simple yet very pretty.
TRADERS - special mention number 1 goes to Early War Miniatures, whose Mark V male tank and illuminated display certainly tempted my wallet - but I was on a mission not to buy what I did not intend to, so not this time. Special mention Number 2 to AW Miniatures, a name I had not encountered before, but their Indian Mutiny figures looked the part. Special mention Number 3 to Dave Thomas, who sold me much of what I bought, yet put in a discount I neither asked for nor expected. There was probably enough to interest most visitors, but one or two notable absentees who normally frequent bigger affairs. I think a "normal guy" could get most of his needs at Phalanx, though I did not notice any plastic kit suppliers anywhere that I recall.
VENUE - big enough (just!) for the show, but parking tight due to other commitments on the site - it is a sports and social facility. Lighting in these places also appears to be uniformly poor unless you like yellow.......
ACCESS - I thought the weather might make the journey interesting, but, those startled rabbit car drivers who lose the plot whenever it rains/ snows/ threatens to either rain or snow/ blows greater than force 1 on the Beaufort scale, aside, the journey was pretty uneventful. And then there is the daily outing of the National Stunt Drivers' Association, aka anyone in a lorry........
Actually, the venue is dead easy to find, being just a mile or so off the M62.
WILL I GO AGAIN??? - Oh yes!!!!!
|Anarchist road block on the VBCW games by the Crosby club of Liverpool|
|The entire VBCW table|
|A varitable oodle of VBCW reinforcements (what is the collective noun for reinforcements?)|
|Those rabble-rousing Anarchists again|
|I always had a thing for steam lorries, ever since I saw one on the film "One of our dinosaurs is missing", with Peter Ustinov|
|The Ravenna game by the Lance and Longbow team|
|I like early cannon too|
|The game put on by Warlord games tos how off thier new World War 2 rules - more of the higher end game table|
|The other side of the Warlord Games demo|
|Some Indian Mutiny action, which looked rather interesting, but I cannot remember who was staging it.....Bally Badmashes to the flank look set to kill off a few kilties|
|Is this really worth fighting over? Mudbrick metropolis laced with Johnny Foreigner types who don't like good Queen Vic, Gawd bless her!|