Last Sunday I popped along to the Wargamer Show (http://wargamershow.tripod.com/) to see what it was like. I have been going to the Guards Club for quite some time now and know the show organiser, but this was my first chance to go along and I would have missed it entirely had Paul not reminded me at the club last week...
The show was at the Great Barr Leisure Centre in north Birmingham, a location which unfortunately put the city exactly between me and it, so it was a fair drive over. On the plus side, parking was ample, spilling over from the Leisure Centre into a school playground. The show itself was in a large sports hall, which was filled with stalls without feeling too cramped, so points for that in my book. Food and refreshments were provided, although I did not sample them.
There were several traders as one might expect, along with a good sized bring and buy. It seemed that quite a few stalls were selling second hand figures and books, which worked out great for me as I was able to pick up several bargains. My favourite find, though, was a first edition hardback of Flashman at the Charge, in almost mint condition, for £1. Nice! During the morning I spent at the show, I made several circuits of the hall and picked up something each time. So the traders were pretty good as far as I was concerned!
There were several games in the centre of the hall and, pleasingly, the majority of the people running them were happy to stop for a chat, something I have not always experienced at shows.
My 'game of the show' award (for looks at least!) goes to the Shrewsbury Wargame Society's AWI game, which was shockingly impressive. The terrain took 18 months to prepare and included amazing details including a scarecrow, washing line, fish in the river and an owl in a tree. My pictures, alas, do not do it justice.
The Guards Club had a large game of Hail Caesar (28mm) and a WW2 North Africa (20mm) game on, both of which appeared to be jolly good fun. I find that, while it is good to have the opportunity to see impressive display games, the Guards' games were quite indicative of what one might see at a club night, and therefore what a 'regular' gamer might play. So kudos to them for that. In fact that is part of the reason why the WW2 game won the best game award at the show.
Bonus prize for 'most figures on the table goes to this Napoleonic game:
Finally, an unfortunately blurry group photo at the Bring and Buy. From left to right: Paul's daughter and photographer for the event, Paul - event organiser and a most decent chap, and Maurice - custodian of the Bring and Buy and a jolly good fellow too.
My only regret is that I didn't take more pictures! I got a bit carried away with all the fun of the show and didn't even take a decent one of the whole hall. I guess that just goes to show how good it was!
All in all, the Wargamer Show was a highly enjoyable event and I certainly recommend it. I suppose to fend of accusations of bias I should offer a couple of points of critique, but the only one I can think of is that the website could do with more than a little bit of work. But I guess as this is my blog, you'll just have to put up with my opinion. If any of you were there, I'd be interested to hear your point of view.
I look forward to going again next year.