My main reason for going to the show was to collect some figures which my mate Barry from the Like a Stone Wall Group had painted for me and to give him another batch. Almost all Sikh Wars stuff, I was collecting 80 Sikh Gorchara cavalry and 40 Bengal Light Cavalry and depositing some camel gunners and a few artillerymen and command figures, as well as a unit of Perry Austrian Napoleonic uhlans destined to become yet another Emigre unit, the Uhlans Britanique.
I was deposited at the entrance around 10:30 and the queue had died down to a trickle (as in many things that is a consequence of getting older I guess). After a steady tour around the ground floor where I bumped into numerous acquaintances from among the great and the good there was a fire alarm and the building was evacuated, albeit briefly.
I only ever made it up to the first floor and the first mazanine. The table top sale was very very busy, in fact the entire building was jam packed with wargamers eager to spend their money. I’ve not seen the show as full in all the years I’ve been going. It was actually fartoo busy (oppressively so) for me as I had my my trundulator with me (walker) which whacked a few ankles and feet as I fought my way through the throng. Next year I am going to get scythes fitted to the wheel hubs! Either that or stick the front end of a WW2 Hobart’s Funnies flail tank to the front of my walker.
I didn’t take very many photos. I couldn’t get up to the higher floors where many of the games were located for various reasons which were nothing to do with the show organisers, but more to do with the physical crush, and a second fire alarm and (partial) evacuation? The best games were imho in second place the League of extraordinary Kreigspielers WW1 Middle East game and in first place by a mile the South London Warlords (my mates Martin and Des from AMG) Sands of the Sudan participation game. The other two big games on the ground floor were also pretty good visually even if one was fantasy, and I’ve pinched a few terrain and vignette ideas off them thank you.
The swag bag was relatively empty when it was time to depart. Some basing materials and more mdf bases, some draught bullocks to pull my Sikh Wars cannon and a pack of streams from Early War Miniatures. Oh, and three discounted boxes of Perry plastics. The best part of the show was of course speaking to lots of old friends and acquaintances during the course of the day. In fact the socialising was probably the major part of the show, and after a late lunch in the canteen (one of the best at wargames events I’ve come across) we departed and were home in time for tea. Not sure about next year. We will be much closer by then but the organisers need to do something about the crowds and arrangements for disabled visitors.