Tuesday, 6 December 2022
Wargames Shows, and how to suck eggs.
Im a close follower of the Yarkshire Wargamer, partially because Ken had the good taste to 'interview' me for his podcast.But I would like to think we both enjoy wargaming and want to see the hobby thrive. On his blog, yes he is that productive he was discussing wargames shows, their future etc.
Like so many things, the Covid restrictions damaged wargames shows and Ive no doubt that some will never see the light of day again for whatever reasons.
Certainly for example,Salute, the biggest UK wargames show suffered a setback as it climbed ever upwards. My personal view of this show is that it had become just too big and impersonal and perhaps the last two years offers up the hardworking team the chance to reset the show and look at its core values, ie what is the aim of Salute. Now I think it would be very cheeky to advise the organisers what they were doing wrong, because basically they were doing everything they could to make a success of things, just it was a victim of its own success and grew exponentially. For me the show penciled in for next year should perhaps consider finding a smaller venue and focusing on what made it successful, ie quality wargames, the exhibitors striving to win the coveted awards. A painting competition that was open to all and offering them a chance to win and perhaps introducing a class that previous winners would enter which would allow lesser mortals the chance of glory and not see the same brilliant painters winning year after year, and finally affordability, which in London is very difficult.It looks like Im telling the Warlords how to suck eggs and no doubt they will have looked at many things before they re-enter the maelstrom that is Salute, one thing they will no doubt be looking at is volunteers to help, because I know they were always battling that issue which must affect all wargames shows.
So is there a future for wargames shows? Absolutely. Do there need to be changes? Most likely as nothing ever stays the same. Will wargamers return to the shows in large numbers? Probably, especially if the show organisers can find a balance of a good venue, cheapish food, a wide range of trade stands and a mix of table attractions, ie similar to the mix Partizan have achieved.
So really more of what we already had pre-lockdown but focusing on quality not quantity. I admit Im biased, because Ive always enjoyed wargames shows, both big and small, and attended some pretty dire ones over the years, but they all allowed me to appreciate the hobby and receive a frisson of excitement as I paid the entrance fee and walked into some dingy room where toy soldiers were being exhibited and sold. And to emphasize the good bits of wargames shows Ive completed some of the figures I bought at the bring and but at Battleground;
I painted these archers using a recent purchase from E Bay. Yes they are dressed a tad early for the Burgundian War period but these are lovely sculpts from Foundry, so I had to paint them up. The one mistake, I based them on the wrong sized base, but its too late now.