So far I've read 2 reports on the Derby World Wargames show which I attended last weekend. - I sort of recognised the show from the reports .... sort of .....
Both Reports- Trebbians and Robbie Roddis' could have been reporting different shows though neither of them rated the show particularly highly for their own reasons. and mostly I agree with what they say. Though I try to avoid non-historical games at shows like the plague.
I could add a third report from me which would rate the event higher than both - probably for different reasons again. So here we see the basic problem which no-one seems to be able to answer clearly what dio you want from a show. Both of them have a little pop at the event but I can't see why - becasue neither of them got what they wanted from it ? I can't tell .
Put deliberately bluntly it seems to me that Robbie wants Bright lights shazam Kapow ! and Trebbian wants more speed and dice rolling ! - and yes that is deliberately provocative but it seems to me that the event provided plenty of both - if you knew where to look and you are that way inclined (whichever way) . Perhaps I don't expect as much from a show- my biggest personal bugbear was the almost complete lack of Talking heads to tell you what it was all about- Now on some games I didn't have a problem here Peter Bradfords MacPhersons Ridge allied with Martin Knights 1 to 1 example of a Brigade action from that battle- they'll talk your ears off if you give 'em a chance. Same with the Stonewall grouops Quatre Bras which like the ACW game looked pretty tasty too. But on many demo tables the players were PLAYING not DEMONTRATING.For intance I never saw the WW2 Scheldt game being played but perhaps I was working. There were a good few others I never saw being played- a sparse but well done WW2 desert game- Nice terrain and models but devoid of players. There were also several games on really small playing areas which I had no idea what they were as I never saw them being played- and on the couple that were it was "Introverts R Us" . Mind you having said that I've never viewed our hobby as a spectator sport. Watching others wargame is roughly equivelant to watching paint dry - only less interesting- but probably on the whole quite as smelly ! .Nevertheless- the aforementioned back problem did mean I had a bit more time to wander than normal as sitting down or standing still for any length of time was a bit of a pennance- so I wandered
None of this is the organisers fault-you can't force players/demontrators to act the way you'd like as always some do some don't.
In other ways the show was a bit weird. Saturady was pretty flat tradewise but Sunday -abnormally was better than Saturday which made my happiness index rise a good bit. Some at least of the other traders had a similar experience.. From a commercial viewpoint it was the best for a few years and I'd go further it was the best looking show there for a few years too.
Certainly better than last year which had even more unplayed "tiny-board-unwargames" than this year- mind you the nadir this year was a horrible board wargame of WW1 on printed paper with horrible little plastic men ... Why??? - Especially since I never saw it being played .
So overall I enjoyed the event- some good craic with some good blokes.; Some good looking games which the players were enjoying -and doubtless if I had played I would have enjoyed... If I had to score I'd give it an 8 but such things are largely pointless as you can't really compare shows anyhow. As a punter for instance I'd rate Derby above Salute simply because I can get about and see stuff BUT were I living in the Capital then Salute would be top dog all round as it is from a traders point of view it still is..
|Can't recall seeing any 15mm games at the show .These are of course 15mm WW2|
Continued on Wednesday..... Thinking about the above overnight I'd still say that Donnington is from several viewpoits a fine show. Always one of my favourites in a good year. Commercially Salute is better no doubt but leans more hevily of non- historical stuff and on commercial outfite running Non- historical games.. Donnington is more grounded in "proper" wargameing- even to the competitons which while I don't play I did give prizes for 2 of them . I know- because I asked that it was one of the organisers objective to give more prominence to clubs doing displays rather than traders running games to flog them. Now I heartily approve of this stance. That it didn't perhaps get the diversity it intended is a shame- no 15mm at all that I could see outside the competiton tables- yet I sold literally thousands of 15mm figures over the weekend. with just over 60% of my pre-orders being 15mm . I was of course not the only 15mm manufacturer there- I saw Essex and Donnington nd Lancashire too. So do 15mm players hide their light under a bushel ?? I can't answer that as personally my 15mm collection is pretty small. Also I can't run games and run the Trade stand- Though putting on a 15mm Modern game would be no big deal.