Tuesday, 6 October 2015

The Pleasure and the Pain

 Normally I don't give personal health reports on this as nobody gives a toss anyway so why bother. However I did my back in loading up so any of you wondering why I was hobbling around the show like a man with 2 wooden legs now knows Nuff said. Its only pain - keep taking the tablets and carry on ....

 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.

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