Tuesday, 12 June 2012
A TALE OF TWO WARGAMES SHOWS 
I attended Durham's show last Saturday.
I have known some members of the club for a lot of years,and John and I used to pop in from time to time to have a game.In return members from the club have played in my big games over the years.
Durham is an old club which has been around since the late 1960's,and has had a show for well over 30 years. The last twenty or so have been at their base,with the show in the two main halls.
This year changed,in that the Bring and Buy was in the bowls pavilion with one club game.
In the two halls only two games were on show. The rest of the halls was taken up with tradestands.
This is a departure from what was normal,when there would be a number of invited games,usually about eight or so and about 15 traders,including Irregular Miniatures and Dave Thomas,both normally do well trade wise.
Firstly the games.Two were from the club,and the third was a small game to show the Two Fat Lardies, latest rules off, presented by Richard from that company. [ A bit of a coup I believe]
The two club games were a WW1 game,on nice terrain,but with only a small number of figures,the second, was an ACW using Black Powder rules presented by Paul Stevenson.
Paul always puts on a nice game,and this was no exception,a shame it was in the bowls hut though.
As regards the idea of extra trade at the expense of more games. Well you couldn't swing a cat in one of the rooms,which caused a few problems for the disabled attenders,of which there was a few. The couple with a wheel chair were having a rum time of it.
In the second hall where the two games were placed, it was also crowded with trade stands,but at least you could wander a bit.
Food was provided in a small annex which is now a cafe.
John and I differed on the show. He was able to buy the figures he needed from Museum Miniatures,and was also able to sell off a few odds and ends so he thought the show was alright.
But as I pointed out Museum Miniatures always attend the show, and his stuff always sells, so that was no different.
Me I spent more than I did at Sheffield but then Dave Thomas was selling off some buildings,but apart from that,no eye candy to admire,no ideas to steal,and the extra trade was of no real interest to me.
So really a bit of a let down.
So what did the Open Day achieve,well if it was to make extra revenue,then it was probably a success,if it was to drill up more members,it probably failed if it was to showcase wargaming then it definitely failed.
Will the extra traders attend next year,that has to be debatable as the place started to empty by about 1.00pm and I cant believe that they will have made much,but I could be wrong. I have been known to be. 4 out of ten, and that's down to Paul Stevenson and Dave Thomas.
Sorry for the negativity.