Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Wargamer 2012 - My Final Word

Birmingham, England.

The second biggest city in the UK.

A million and more souls with dodgy accents and too many football teams in the area for any of them to be any good........

So why only about a couple of hundred of them showed up last Sunday is a little perplexing. Just where do Brummies go for their wargames fun? Do Brummies even wargame?

Wargamer is only a small show, but the venue is easily accessible, clean, not double-booked (Phalanx, WMMMS, .....) and there is enough room to move, unlike some shows I am sure we have all been to. I can even ignore the horrid yellow lighting after an hour or two's exposure to it! Yet, it seems to suffer from that paradox of being too small to get a sizeable trade presence but needs a bigger trade presence to get Joe Public in in greater numbers.

Now, I like this show. Several games on show of various persuasions, from the enormous 28mm 1812 Russia game, through the beauty of Shrewsbury's offering (FIW? If they ever spoke to anyone, I would know the answer...), through our humble offering to more simple affairs. All the gamers seemed to have fun, but I am not sure that most traders did (although I reckon I probably covered Dave Ryan of Caliver Books' costs on my own). I did not get away from our table much, but I doubt some traders took much judging by how often they were shopper free when I did look up. All of this is a great shame. How will the show develop if it is not supported by either traders or public? Why do some of the traders who frequent WMMMS at Wolverhampton every March not come here, just 10 miles or so away? Yes, the Aldersley Leisure Centre is probably 50% larger, but Wargamer could grow too given the chance.

Still, a personal thanks from me to Caliver Books, Stafford Games, Ainsty, Lesley's Bits Box, Dave Lanchester, the SoA, Black Pyramid and those I have inadvertently missed off for making the effort.

All kudos and gratitude also to Paul Broadhurst (and his team, if he has one), for keeping the flame alight in the seemingly wargames-shy second city. I aim to be back next year at any rate.

So, what did I buy?

  1. Two boxes of Fireforge Games' Foot Sergeants.
  2. One box of Wargames Factory's WoSS Artillery - 2 guns (optional types), 8 crew and 2 mounted officers!
  3. Warlord Games' Earl of Essex (who will become Hans von Arnim or some other TYW character).
  4. Some Gallic Chieftains from the same source.
  5. TYW Infantry command, again Warlord.
  6. A copy of the Dux Bellorum rules.
  7. A copy of the A World Aflame (I think???) rules.
  8. The 2013 Wargamers' Annual.....
  9. ....and a copy of the latest Wargames Illustrated.
That should keep me happy for a while into the New Year.


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