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Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Muster on the Parade Ground 2016.

  There has been a bit in the wargaming press, and on the internet about wargames shows, not drawing the interest needed for some traders to make a living.
 Additionally Neil Shuck in his page in the Miniature Wargames, expressly makes mention of our American colleagues thinking that our shows are boring. [This is Britain by the way]
 Now on the face of it, I hear the cry, Bollocks, but perhaps the American observer has a point, and everyone is entitled to an opinion [ unless your Tyson Fury of course ]
 I've banged on about this in the past, regarding how our shows tend to follow a tried and tested format, copying the original shows from the late 1960's and early 1970's.
 Anyway, David Clemmet and Tom Davidson intend to do something about this, and have bravely decided to re enter the wargaming show business.
 David and Tom, organised the Stockton on Tees Show for many years, and I for one always attended and loved them. We also tried to put a game on every year at their shows, and only missed one of their shows, due to work.
  Anyway, the pair hope to stage a show, using only participation wargames, with prizes to encourage people to play in the games and generally get new people involved.
 A pipe dream? maybe, but its worth a punt, and the pair are brave enough to try to make it work.

   The venue is a good one, the road access is also very good, and hopefully they will be able to draw some traders that will encourage more wargamers to attend, and of course this is the rub, popular traders that wargamers want to buy from.
 I think wargamers want to think very carefully about what it would be like to have fewer and fewer shows. I know in an earlier post I have advocated less shows, but that idea, was to have less shows, but a bigger trade aspect, ie bigger regional shows.
  The concern is fewer shows with even fewer trade attendance. I know its easier to buy off the internet figures etc that you want, and using the model of the high street, less people can be arsed to go into the town to physically buy goods, but wargaming shows should be different.
 They should be a place to meet other wargamers, a place to pick up new ideas, and also a place to physically see what is on offer.
 So on that slight rant, I wish the gents the best of luck, and more importantly a lot of support.
 I hope we will be there once I have figured out what we can do.








11 comments:

  1. Yes good luck to David and Tom, I was a regular attender at the old Stockton shows and chatted with them on occasion, nice chaps, wish them luck.

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  2. Given the results of the great Wargaming survey - where something ove 70% of respondents prefer one on one games I wonder if wargamers WANT to meet each other any longer?.
    Equally there seems to be a body of opinion which says that the Trade should pay for shows but Punters somehow shouldn'tsand that aside from paying the trade are superflous to the dice rolling.- See Controversial Moi on my blog


    Now I've known Tom and especially David for years and enjoyed the old Stockton shows- back in the days when the NE was not always bottom of the leader board show wise.So I wish them luck but I won't be there its in July which for me is traditionally a show free month but also I'm not convinced another middle-sixed NE show will fly. There simply isn't the customer base to support 5 or 6 shows in the NE. Durham, Shildon, Border Reiver, Battle ground and this one - not to mention the possible Sci-fant event staged by Waugh Games. Since there is the same customer base for all 6 the butter is spread pretty thin and as for Jam - forget it.
    Whilst I'm willing to be proved wrong experience says that is unlikely- though for some of the part-timers maybe 50 quid above the stand fee is a payday. Obviously I can't speak for others but times have changed since the Old Days of the origonal Parade Ground.

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    Replies
    1. Andy,
      I dont think it would be a good idea for trade to pay and punters not to. In fact given that a lot of wargamers check which trade is attending before they decide to attend, it would pay to encourage trade,by not having them pay for a trade space, but perhaps get them to make a contribution to costs after the show has finished. Probably not too practical, but at least the traders would have less costs to worry about.

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  3. There is a huge difference between shows in the UK & the US. Over her in the UK we have many and more between and can attend a show almost every weekend between February & September. In the US they are more of an occasion and are a chance for gamers to get together and game.
    Personally whether a show is participation only or demonstration only or a mix of the two makes not a jot of difference. Time is the key factor - travelling time, time on site and the allocated time to be able to get the wants and needs and play or game. A very different scenario to the States where time is all about the gaming.
    Good luck to the two gentleman but I'm with Andy on this - too many shows in too small an area I feel.

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    Replies
    1. Paul- I've been to several US showsand yes they are more of an occaison because there are far fewer of them. Old Glory US for instance do 4 per year I think other US companies do fewer. There is also more of a split(or was in the 90s and noughties) with big games events like Gencon being not really appropriate for an outfit like Old Glory but right up Ral Partha or TSR's alley.
      I sometimes think that we forget how small a part actual proper wargaming is now of the whole "miniatures gaming hobby"- again check out WSS survey- and ask if the two most popular periods in it are actually wargaming as we know it ...

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    2. Paul/Andy,
      As Ive been banging on about, the wargames shows should feature more than just a trade event, but perhaps take a leaf from the wargames magazines and have a themed set of shows. Ancient, World War Two etc, because as you say Andy, trends are changing. But saying that a participation event could work, because it means short sharp games, with simple entry level rules etc.

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  4. Robbie- Nice idea but I'm afraid that would increase fragmentation- Historical wargaming is now very much the minority interest within the miniatures gaming hobby. I'm afraid that is unaviodable in a world where movies and images and yes shazam- kapow are more important in the mind than actual knowledge of anything at all.
    As for paying now I don't mind paying my whack but lack of show attendance seem -to me at least mainly a NE problem as its only NE shows that overall seem to suffer almost year on year. Perhaps the local bar is too low - or too high ? but from my Traders perspective Durham is too small- I actaully couldn't get my gear in which is why I'll do a game there if asked- in theory we'll be doing 10mm SYW this coming year- Border Reiver is - tradewise- the better of my other 2 NE events by as much as 50% over Battleground.
    As for games at show again who will do them? If its commercial outfits then we get the continued narrowing of access and approach that we have now. Is this a bad thing? Probably as it limits choice and knowledge but that may be the way of the world.
    I don't have any answers here do we go "fewer larger" or "more specialised smaller" or even "Games first traders second " - which I seen at some Role playing and games events- but the players stumped up 10 quid a heard for some of the games and tournaments.... the choice as they say is yours ....

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  5. Andy,
    You're right, there is no easy answers. Im hoping that we can put on something at this new venture, especially as the lads are trying to do something for wargaming, and deserve support. I read an article somewhere about a shop in Newcastle that opened a board playing club, that has become mega popular with young and older people. So maybe participation games could grab some peoples imagination. Hopefully from little acorns.

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  6. Hi Robbie,very interesting arguments from both sides of the fence,however,I am with you on this one,and will support Tom and Dave(or Chas and Dave as we call them!)by putting on a simple,fun and effective game involving Kamikaze fighters attacking an American Aircraft Carrier,in the Pacific-see you there.
    johnc(william)

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  7. Hi Robbie,very interesting arguments from both sides of the fence,however,I am with you on this one,and will support Tom and Dave(or Chas and Dave as we call them!)by putting on a simple,fun and effective game involving Kamikaze fighters attacking an American Aircraft Carrier,in the Pacific-see you there.
    johnc(william)

    ReplyDelete

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.
Austria 1809.

Austrian Hussars

Austrian Hussars
Hinchliffe figures

Austrian Grenzer

Austrian Grenzer
Austrian Grenzer

Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2013
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Smoggycon 2012

Smoggycon 2012
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Smoogycon 2009

Smoogycon 2009
My French getting another beating