As usual (and believe that if you will) I didn't have a shopping list as such, just a list of pre-ordered and largely pre-paid stuff, including, from Last Valley (hedges for the Vendee and a nulla for the Punjab), Caliver (a couple of their pre painted Indian village huts) and Old Glory (Sikh Wars odds and ends, including some more Bengal Horse Artillery limber teams, Skinners Horse, Gurkhas and a few more Sikh gunners).
As usual the show lived up to my expectations. It was very busy (record numbers I believe) but there wasn’t a crush of unwashed back pack wielding punters anywhere to be seen. Here are the highs and lows of the day:
- The participation games were mostly very pretty if not my thing really; most were being played on teeny tiny tables. Some looked really weird. But they were being played so full marks there.
- The centre of the hall was as usual given over to various historical societies and the like, e.g. the Pike and Shot Society. It was great having all this ‘resource’ all in one place. I avoided the Pike and Shot Society like the plague to avoid being tempted into buying another Robert Hall uniform guide of the late 17thC/early 18thC.
- The demo games were generally very good. One or two outstanding looking games, such as Grimsby’s Great Northern War battle and the Battle of Assaye ( I want a red fort). Cran Tara’s Sugar Islands game was beautiful, being played over terrain boards made by my mate Stuart who is an artist par excellence with this kind of stuff. There is always some debate concerning purpose built terrain vs terrain cloths. Both have their champions. I have no issue with the latter (I use them myself) but they have to be 'dressed' properly to make a good visual impression. Likewise, purpose built terrain can sometimes look a little tired, especially when its not the first time the game has been put on. There were examples of both.
- It seemed like several games were not 'new' and had been seen at earlier Partizans. Move over guys to make room for fresh ideas or do a different game. Its getting a bit 'samey' if you get my meaning.
- The trade was excellent, and there was lots of it catering for all tastes and scales.
- As usual I was worn out from talking to dozens of friends and acquaintances from the four corners of the country (I still missed a couple). But that’s one of the best things about attending shows for me these days.
- It was warm. I doubt aircon would have been very effective as it’s such a big space. Thankfully and as alluded to earlier, the place wasn’t too smelly.
- There was a definite absence of ‘casual’ seating. I have my own seat attached to my roller but apart from the feeding area there didn’t appear to be chairs for the punters to use.
- I didn’t partake but the food looked edible and plentiful if not very healthy, and there was beer.