I didn't seem to buy much, but what I did cost me £75!
I wasn't really searching for something new this year, so that controlled my spending somewhat, but I did weaken and buy Men of Company B from Martin Goddard (Peter Pig) after he did such an eloquent sales job on me! I have already US & VC armies in 10mm, based for BKCII, so with my 4" square Deep Cut mat I should be able to get straight into this.
Deep Cut Mats were present at the show and they were doing a very brisk trade with their mousemat material battlemats - very nice too. I treated myself to one of their little dice mat thingies (£3) - made from off-cut material - just what I always needed!
I had a very pleasant chat with Stuart McCorquodale from Great Escape Games about their 1914 rules. Sadly he's no plans to make a later war version. I think it's time I had a go at some house rules myself. To this end I've bought myself Iron Cross to see how they handle the AFVs, for inspiration. I bought myself a pack of WW1 12mm Cavalry while I was there, as this is the only troop type I'm short of for the game. Nice figures, a pack including the mounted elements, dismounted elements, MG Gunner and mdf bases for £10.
As a useful source for 1914 battle scenarios, I purchased the Battleground Europe book on I Corps' Retreat from Mons. Excellently written and full of sketch maps showing troop positions etc. Perfect research material.
Minibits/Pendraken were a one stop shop for mdf bases, dice frames and dice for my PSC Great War French army, a heavily discounted Warlord Hetzer (£12) also fell into my shopping bag and finally I bought 20 or so Black Tree Design Fallschirmjager in 28mm, that were being sold at a very fair price of £8 for 10 figures.
The bring and buy was a waste of time for me. The prices being asked were hardly in the "bargain" region....I saw one army priced up at £300! Though there appeared to be a lot of items for sale and lots of people were looking if not actually buying.
The demo/participation games were upstairs on the 2nd floor and I thought there seemed to be more on offer this year. There were several "Cold War gone hot" type games, which was interesting considering my first moves into wargaming all those years ago was doing the very same!
Most games were visually stunning, but many suffered the usual fate of not progressing fast enough for the viewer to see what was happening together with a reluctance from those taking part to engage with those people who had stopped by to watch.
Those that succeeded had a dedicated, outgoing games master who actively sought to communicate what was going on. All groups should take a look at themselves and try to emulate these individuals. Bravo to those that did...
Below are some pictures of what was there. I'll let them do most of the talking. Where I can remember I've credited the presenters. Where I've got it wrong or have forgotten I can only apologise.
|Modern 28mm skirmish (Spectre) - A Few Brits & the Hobby|
|Zeebrugge Raid 1918 - Naval Wargame Society|
|Battlefront Tanks in 28mm Crawley Wargames Club|
|What a Tanker! - probably the most popular participation game! - Newbury Wargames Club|
|War of the Roses 28mm - Penarth and District Wargames Club|
|The mole at Zebrugge 1/300th scale|
|Retreat from Moscow 40mm - Wessex Wargames|
|28mm SAS Raid in North Africa using cut-down Bolt Action mechanics. Another really popular participation game with a very engaging games master! - Maidenhead Reapers|
|WW1 Middle East - 28mm big battle! - Adrian Shepherd & friends|
|More of the same|
|More again - lovely details around the camp scene.|
|War in Chechnya in 28mm (I think) - Tiny Terrain|
|Operation Goodwood in 20mm - Friends who like Rapid Fire|
|The other end of the Rapid Fire Table|
|Blood & Bridges - Cold War in 1/200th. A board game brought to 3D with Kallistra terrain and miniatures - Chris Wykes & friends|
|Nice terrain - I particularly like the pylons|
|Market Garden in 6mm - the South London Warlords . Unfortunately the game didn't move very quickly as they did spend a lot of time talking to people about the game and terrain and the German defence was very good at bottling up their advance!|
|I think this was Romans vs. Sarmations in 28mm by Deeprose...but I could be very wrong|
|Another Cold War game this time in 20mm using Rapid Fire -- sadly by 2pm when I left the Warpac forces were still in the same position they'd been at 11:30 :-(|
|28mm Samauri Skirmish by the Liverpool War Games Association|
I had a good 4 hours of entertainment so cannot moan. I'm not certain, but I think the lighting may have improved from previous years, I certainly didn't seem to have as much difficulty examining stuff. Food and drink were still outrageously dear for a peasant like me, but there's a Tesco and Greggs not far away, and it was a lovely day to sit outside with a packed lunch.
Til next year.....