The show had moved this year from the usual venue for the past few years of the university, to out of derby, at the Donnington Race Track and Exhibition centre.
So up bright and early.. 6am to be precise.. dressed, lunch packed and off to pick up Paul, and rendevous with Dave, Mick and Nathan at the gaming club. Alas one of our others was not feeling too well and was not able to make it. (Next time Steve, hopefully).
So off we sped.. five of us in Micks rather comfy scoda postman pat mobile. (Thanks for driving Mick).
A quick stop at the McDonalds on the A50 for a bite to eat. Having seen the warning that breakfast at the site was £7.. we chose to grab food before getting there.
Parking was busy, as we arrived about 10am. Thankfully due to having Nathan with us, and his Blue Badge we were able to park close up the entrance, but to be honest there was lot of parking fairly close.
The new venue was a bit of a surprise. I was expecting some modern high class conference/exhibition centre!. It was a breeze block shed with a black roof, that made it bloody dark in side.
Having paid our £5 we proceeded into the hanger, or so it felt like. One giant hall, with competitions at one end and traders at the other. The queue was moving steadily and so not a major wait.
Inside, it was freezing. Like a fridge! The hall for some odd reason has a black roof as the photos will show and the lighting was terrible. Which made it very hard to check colours on paints etc.
So off around the show we went on a wonder.. one big loop to see what was where and what was on.
So here are some photo.. with more write up at the end.
|Great Escape Games - Dead mans hand! Coming soon!|
But, please GEG do some more WW2.. (Mark and Stu... you know you want too!)
|General shot of part of the hall. Note the black roof and dusty floor!|
|Lovely demo table by GEG.|
|Nicely painted figures.|
|Some nice work on show.|
|A long shot of the hall. Note the dark roof again. :(|
|Felt more like a cattle market than an International Exhibition Centre!|
|A game with no players or organisers.. I rather fancied this, but least they left a nice note!|
|Last Valley scnery.. I didn't pick any up this time but it is very nice stuff.|
|A lovely game. I liked the bastions.|
|Lovely painted figures.|
|Nice none obvious unit markers.|
|15mm sci-fi game.|
|A 28mm pirate battle. Great ships and figures.|
|I loved the ships.|
|My favourite table of the show.|
|Great table. Best in my view. Loved the simple yet effective layout and figures were lovely.|
|Bring and buy. A mix. Ranged from total crap to stupidly priced! With the odd rare bargain in there somewhere!|
I didn't put anything up for sale this year. And so cannot judge if it was doing roaring trader or not. But, its long length did mean it was generally ok to get to look at things as you didn't have to wait long for someone to move away and a gap granted you access to browse the particular section of interest. Books and DVD and PC games content was certainly up on previous years experience.
I got some book and spotted some cheap GW/Black Library Audio books that a friend wanted and bought. So the bring and buy was a sucess for us i would say.
|Tournaments in full flow.|
|More of the tournaments. Very popular. But the hall was a bit noisey.|
|Nice sign boards.|
|Long shot down the hall. The floor was very dirty and dusty in places.|
|Kamfhpgrupe Normandy game.|
|Pony wars in 10mm.|
|I was intruiged by this game.|
|Critical Mass games, demo table.|
|Armour fast had some new products.. including new plastic buildings.|
|20mm moderns game. Looked interesting,|
|Hmm sorry forgot what this one was about.|
|Good clear info board.|
|Nice table. Not got a chance to play the rules so will have to try then at another show.|
|Really nice feel to the board.|
|Some nice figures from interesting periods.|
|Errr.. hmmm.. forgot again. Sorry.|
|ohhhh arnhiem bridge.. arhhhh memory returns. :)|
|Lovely long table with a good info board at the end. Nice figures and great painting.|
|I think this was a good way of helping give a sense of atmosphere to the game.|
|Terrain and figures were stunning.|
|Like this alot.|
|Small touches make all the difference.|
|SAGA - not played it yet, but it seems to be popular.|
|SAGA demo game. Nice setup.|
|Victorian steam punk.|
|Triffids.. I want some!|
|Figures in Comfort.. best storage out there!|
|Eric (on the right) looking cheesy..|
|Tried to get a photo of dave but he ran off before i could get one.. muttering something about oweing people money and internet!|
|The one good thing.. seating!|
|Lovely nile game.|
|Lovely gun boat.|
|Darwin the dodo and e-Collectica games, Fist full of Penguines! Great guys from Shrewsbury.|
|New paper terrain kits.. and this is what you can make.|
|A simple demo vid of the paper construction.|
|You can buy a CD and a paper pack all in one.|
|More last valley stuff.|
|My bring and buy bargains. £6 per book.|
|Yes two copies of The old west.|
|And my splurge for the day. I have a front rank Wolfe's army in a box on a shelf. That needs paitning so as a club mate has this rule set already a second copy is always handy.|
|Bought for steve as he couldn't make it. Not for me, but for him. Will have to try saga out sometime.|
£8 for a burger! Supposedly a special burger, but I spotted the McKeinnes packaging.. so not that special.
The parking was ok. We were in the dissabled bit. The rest were part on gravel part on grass. Given heavy rain, be a quagmire quickly.
The signposting to the event was utter crap (Sorry organisers, but it was!). But also the venues sign posting is also practically non existant.
And despite the email from Warlord games that said you got free access to the museum.. you didn't. You only got £2 off the normal price.
So over all 5/10. Will i go again next year.. Hmmmm.. probably not. The longer distance, the higher entrance fee and the venue, and catering issues mean its not as attractive an offer for me.
I don't know how the tournament players found it, but frankly being sat in those cold temps for much fo the morning.. hmmm not much fun!
The day was saved by the excellent company and friends who I went with and had a good laugh with.
Next year i will definitely be thinking twice before going, if it is still at that venue. Not saying for definite I wouldn't go again, but I think I would really need to be out to buy something in particular or see something in particular and be going with friends. I certainly wouldn't bother if I was on my own.
I should also add that the loos were.. well, more like those in a conference league football stadium after a local cup! The smell nearly knocked you out as you went in.
All that aside, I think the layout had room for improvement but it did have space to walk about in and the crowds remained even till about 2pm.. where at the university, usually by 12pm the numbers were severely thining.
One thing I did note was a major drop in younger people at the show. There were some, just not as many youngsters to teens, far more of us grumpy old sods!
I am not sure why the sat tickets were higher than sundays. There was no difference in show content and I don't buy the "you get two days entry".. either, as frankly most of us cannot afford more than a signle day away. But I know some one will disagree with me no doudt.
Well.. next show will endevour to take more photos and maybe actually note down some of the facts and figures on the demo / participation games, to give the organisers of them the credit they are due.
Alas my bad memory means I cannot recall them all.
A quick note on photos. If anyone spots them selves in my photos and wishes to "borrow" a copy for their own uses etc feel free. Though a reference to the source is always appreciated. Thanks.