I spent Saturday at the World Wargames show in Castle Donington. There will be a full report in MW in due course, but here’s my quick take:
Getting There. 30 mins from home and no problem finding it with sat nav. Get there early if you don’t want a walk from the car park.
New Venue. This is a large open ‘hangar’, a bit like Excel for those who know Salute. Great for having everything under one roof and easy to walk around. Probably not popular with those who like ‘atmosphere’ (a code word for cramped and pokey old buildings) but it seemed a popular choice with the traders and gamers I spoke to.
Some drawbacks: was cold first thing but warmed up as the crowds came in; noise from the adjacent race track was intrusive but I tuned it out after a while. Terrible lighting for photography. Good range of food and drink – but at ‘captive market’ prices!
Games. A good selection, although I’ve seen many at previous shows. Had fun playing Black Pyramid‘s Zulu zombie game using the playtest version of their VSF The Tea Wars rules (again, more on this in a forthcoming MW). The Stonewall group’s Carlist War one using loads of lovely Perry figures was another highlight as was the Boondock Saints’ 6mm 18th century one and the Leicester Phat Cats’ Normandy presentation.
Traders. A very wide selection including some new faces. A mixed bag of sales reports but one household name had doubled their entire take from last year’s show by lunchtime alone!
Bring & Buy. Well organised. All my unwanteds sold at the asking price so I actually made a profit on the day!
It’s a risk to change from a popular venue, and there wasn’t much wrong with Derby Uni, but the organisers seemed to have pulled it off and attendance was reportedly on a par with last year. Overall, I declare it a success.