Well today was a first for me as I took the trip south to Hammerhead at the Newark showground. Normally I would give this show a miss and wait for Partizan in a couple of weeks time, but family commitments meant I was missing Partizan. Needing a show wargames fix I opted to visit Hammerhead.
Hammerhead is clearly a different beast from 'normal' wargames shows in that all the games are participation games, which means smaller games with fewer figures. However there was a lot of trade expected at the show and the added bonus of a table top sale so I bit the bullet and tested the waters of a participation games show. I was very pleasantly surprised with the quantity of well produced and quality games spread over two halls.
One of my personal favourites even though I know nothing about fantasy stuff. A beautifully crafted temple and cellars produced by Mierce Figures [ I think] called Darklands. I do know this company sculpt wonderful figures and this game showed them off really well.
The recapture of Umbar by Sally 4th Wargamers. A Lord of the Rings scenario with top quality terrain and ships. The game used the GW rules and looked a great scenario.Really nice.
I caught this game between participation's. The whole terrain was of the highest quality and I particularly liked the wall decorations. A brilliant piece of modelling.
There were several western tables on show and two of them had steam trains.
I do like a good steam train and both tables that exhibited them were of the highest quality.
Dave Docherty exhibited a great looking western game with a very large number of cattle on show waiting to board a great looking train. The whole game was a terrific advert for the hobby in general.
I enjoyed the fact that there was a high percentage of historically based games on show and I was very impressed by this Napoleonic one based in Spain and using the brilliant Eagle Miniatures range. Ian from Eagle Miniatures should be applauded for producing some top quality figures. A really lovely game. I think it was a Sharp Practice one, but I am usually wrong on these things.
A large Sudan game , again with well painted and exhibited terrain.
Finally my personal favourite, The Dambuster Challenge, a simple idea which required skill from the public who had a go. I chickened out.The whole game was very well thought out and was not only fun but also very informative. I could see this being a great way to educate some children in a history project about just how brave and skilled our pilots were.
The actual controls to be used by the participant in conjunction with a great model of the original Dam Buster bomb sight.It really added to the whole game.
The bomber with great engine sound effects
The target with removalable dam sections should you actually hit the damn [see what I did there] thing.
So what was my verdict. Well I thoroughly enjoyed the day. It seemed to busy all the time I was there. There was a higher percentage of people under the age of 50 and also a large number of women who actually didnt look like they were glazing over with the boredom. Apart from the usual stalwarts from the wargaming trading fraternity there were several different traders which was nice to see. The food and parking are totally acceptable and of course the venue is easy to find.
I can only apologise for not mentioning more games that were there. What I can say is that there wasnt a duff game on show in the two halls. Did I mention the fact there was two halls?
One observation that I think Kallistra who organise the fine event should perhaps reconsider and amend was the tabletop sale.
One could book before hand in order to guarantee a table to sell your stuff but I found that the people who had booked the first spots managed to remain in position for more than the one hour slots and were still selling two hours+ later. So really like a cut price trader. Apart from the fact that once you had checked what they were selling, there didn't seem much point in returning if the same people were still there two hours later. I also noticed that some were in fact traders in all but name. I dont think I would be very pleased if I was a trader who had booked as such and then found that a so called wargamer was selling the same products. So I would suggest cutting the time slots to a maximum of 45 minutes and a clause where the same person couldnt return for say two hours or so. Just a suggestion.