Des and I made the journey up to York last Saturday on the train, the plan being to meet fellow SLW’ers Ian and Martin there. After dumping our bags at the hotel (we couldn’t book in until 3) we repaired to the pub where we had agreed to rendezvous with the others. Unfortunately it was closed due to suffering damage in the floods, however, just across the road was a ‘proper’ model shop – planes and military kits and figures down one side, railway stuff down the other and packed full of goodies. I emerged with an Italeri box of PAK-40’s for my Late War German CoC force and could cross them off my shopping list for the weekend, although Des agreed that by buying them on the Saturday it didn’t affect my budget for the show. After a quick rearrangement of meeting place and a quick bite to eat it was off to the racecourse to set up the table for the next day.
The set up went very smoothly with just a few minor repairs to the lancers to do, in fact the only trouble we had was getting the sodding banner things to stand upright!, and we were done quite quickly. We then had a quick mooch around the venue which I thought was cracking, nice large windows for light (even though it was a miserable day outside) and the multiple levels actually made it a bit more interesting to go round. We had a look at some of the stalls that had already been set up/were being set up and had a chat with the chaps from Early War Miniatures then went back into town. After settling in at the hotel, Des and Martin watching the rugby, me listening to West Ham getting beaten on the radio (arse!) it was off for a couple of beers in a lovely little pub round the corner.
The Sunday was a cracking day weather wise and after some proper brekkie at the Weatherspoons next door to the TraveLodge – do NOT get their breakfast basket thing, complete waste of money, it was actually cheaper to buy a full English in the pub – we were off to the show. It was busy from the off with lots of people milling about when we arrived and so we quickly had a quick squint round the other games on and got the obligatory team photo out of the way before the rush started!
The day went really well, there was a lot of interest in the game particularly in the green teddy bear fur that Des used for the mat, which the light coming in from the windows made even more effective, and also the figures too – they are all 20mm plastics with many conversions and some custom made. It was the first time I had taken part in a demo game like this and it was really nice chatting to people about the game and wargaming in general. It was also quite cool seeing young lads asking about the game – some even wondered if it was a Napoleonic battle which was brilliant, good to see that they aren’t all about killer robots/space marines/zombies etc.
I did get a chance to go round the other games on show but my phone was rapidly running out of battery so I couldn’t take many snaps although my favourites were the Alamo game and the Back of Beyond game which both looked stunning and good fun – every game should have hats for the players I reckon!
I managed to get a few bits and pieces although nothing too exciting: some kit from Warbases to make up some more markers for Chain of Command, some stowage bits and pieces from Early Wars Miniatures, some grey primer and some more Germans from Shell Hole Scenic’s Friend or Foe range – a 50mm Mortar team, a MG42 team and some assault engineers, nice figures which I hadn’t come across before (we were all fans of their Romanians and Hungarians, can see these being bought in the not too distant future). I also managed to pick up the Empire Campaign System in the B&B sale for £4 which was worth it for the map of Saxony alone, however, the bloke selling it to me offered to do a deal on it and I said no as it was a fair price gave him a fiver and he wasn’t going to give me any change – I had to ask him for it! Pilchard.
Overall I had a cracking time, we did get a few surprised comments about us coming up ‘all the way up from London’ for the show but overall we had a good response to the game (one of us did get some stick for being a southerner from a certain trader who shall remain nameless, mind you he was probably trying to divert attention away from where he was from as we were in Yorkshire – hint, hint). It was a really busy show – apparently roughly 1,600 people came through the doors – which was great for the York lads and I’d definitely come again as a punter if possible in the future.
Apart from having the chance to get to the show to ‘get my nerd on’, it was a right pleasure having the chance to spend a weekend chatting about the joys of the hobby (and footy) with the chaps. Des, Ian and Martin many thanks for a great time and thanks for inviting me along, I’m definitely up for the next trip in 2017!