Bordegarde goes to … Warfare ’08, UK

Nov 27th, 2008 | By | Category: Conventions and Shows
Bordegarde - Barking up trees
“Trees don’t bark back”

Warfare is one of my personal favourite shows of the year, and you can view this report in light of that.  Apart from the fact that it is relatively close to me (a couple of hours easy drive ), I have built up a comfortable routine for the weekend that makes it all very pleasant.

If trading, or more often, being involved with a demo game, the first job on arrival is to unload and set up whatever it is we are doing … but stuff that!  The first real job is to drag everyone to the wonderful little cafe on the corner for a “gutbuster” of a fry-up to set everyone up until elevenses.  Then its down to business.

This year I had the extra duty of writing a report for LRL, so it was a case of visiting various traders to see what was on offer.  Warfare always has a good selection of traders and even with the current financial crisis, there were traders large and small waiting with various degrees of anticipation to see what level of public attendance they would see.

Some I spoke to echoed a feeling of my own that many smaller shows would have to go to the wall for the show circuit to survive.  Many traders are becoming more reluctant to travel up and down the country to make a small profit, or indeed a loss, so are becoming more choosy about which shows they attend. But even so, I don’t think Warfare will be a show that falls by the wayside.

I am not a fan of competitive gaming, but I am sure, seeing the healthy numbers attending the various competitions, that its one of the reasons the show will survive and even grow.  Whether it will stay at Rivermead is another matter.  Personally I hope it does, but there are whispers of issues with the car parking in particular, and a few other niggles that may become reasons to move if the show wants to grow.

Among many of the highlights from the traders, for me anyway, were Flashing Blades lovely new 40mm Portugese Napoleonics (which I think reflects a significant move toward skirmish gaming with larger figures, worse eyesight, and less gaming time, amongst wargamers, perhaps?).  Some lovely 28mm WW1 releases from several manufacturers. Musketeer Miniatures‘ Russians particularly caught my eye, along with the Woodbine Companies work from Gripping Beast.

Warfare, for me always provides a friendly atmosphere, and that was evident this year with people chatting over the various demo and participation games, as well as around their favourite traders’ stands.  Some nice looking demo-games included a 1930’s Russo-Japanese game with terrain made from teddy bear fur.  That looked so cosy I was tempted to jump on the table and roll around on it – the players may not have been impressed so I didn’t bother.  An excellent terrain idea though, and one I will no doubt try with a future game.

A nice fast play Napoleonic naval game attracted many people through the weekend, and inspired me to purchase a couple of sets of their home-grown rules to try, in my efforts to find a naval game that fits my philosophy of fast play, fun, and looking like what I imagine it should look like (if that makes sense?). (Vendor details needed Bordegarde – let’s support the home-grown-rules fraternity – Garry)

An old friend, Sam Crabbe, was there with his club doing a game with Romans and some very nice terrain that was helped by displaying some Roman Armour.  I had to try the helmet, and now pictures of “Biggus Twattus” are doing the rounds of my mates.

Saturday evening is “Toby time” with a lovely carvery in pleasant surroundings, just a short walk from the venue, then its off to the hotel to look at the days purchases, chat about the show and generally catch up, then a quick kip before Sunday and a long awaited return to the cafe.

Sunday always seems a little more relaxed.  Maybe its just me, perhaps for competition gamers that can never be the case, but I don’t care about them.  So Sunday is a little more relaxed. More of the same.  A few new faces, who didn’t make Saturday, to chat with.  Then a last run round the traders to pick up those things you saw yesterday, but had to wrestle overnight with your conscience to decide to purchase (the missus can do without the private operation, you wont be able to hear the screams of pain, because you will be working on your new purchase in the shed!).

All in all a great weekend and a show any Southern or Midland hobbyist should have on their “definite list”

See you next year


(Photos to follow)

[wordbay](40mm Napoleonic, 28mm WW1, Musketeer, Gripping Beast, Napoleonic Naval, 15mm WW2 Japanese, 25mm WW2 Japanese, 15mm Roman, Tavern Wench)[/wordbay]

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