Well the day arrived and so did my lift. Well the lift arrived before I did as I had gone off to fetch the other two who were traveling the 20 odd miles to the Con. It's great having three good wargaming conventions more or less within 30 odd miles of home, Partizan, Triples and World. A great thing about Derby is that there is lots and lots of parking, much better than the old days at The Assembly Rooms and Triples when held at The Hexagon. One thing is no different at the University than the Assembly Rooms is that the reenactment societies are stuck out in front of the paying area so your attention on walking through the door is really taken up with getting past them, paying and getting into the con itself. I am sure the reinactors would do better for being placed within the convention itself.
A view from one of the many balconies. Whilst the con takes up a large footprint you can see from the photo above that it is all mixed together in a rather chaotic manner and goes a long way to explain why the reinactors are shoved out of the way. I think it has spread out in the time since my last visit to the con and whilst this is great it really could do with space similar to that of the good old days. I found late in the day a whole section of the con that was in a different building, two rooms of display games including a really good display called The Block-Irish Civil War by The Boarder Reivers which to be honest could well have done with being better placed as it was a great looking and large display but by default seemed to have to be sent to an out of the way space for it's size. A real pity as the guys running it were helpful interesting and dare I say it playing the game in question. Not knocking the other games in these rooms as most of them looked very good. One room looked surprised that anyone even found them (it was gone 2pm by this point). The wargame competition room was even more tucked away (in the gym) and I was very surprised at how small the WORLD Championships had become. OK one other building had more of the competitive games going on for another three periods but I very much doubt it filled up the vacuum of years past. I would venture to say any of the three ASL competitions ran in the UK would run it close for contestants and would thrash any of the periods for numbers 1 on 1. A real shame really as it used to be the fabric of the shows. Other traders were flung to the four corners and I hope they pay less for their pitches than those in the main hall as they have to take less that the prime spots. The bring and buy looked fairly rough and what a surprise someone was standing with ticket in hand whilst it was explained that they did not have the item the guy left nor the money and ticket for the said item. I had the same thing happen to me at a past con, turned out in my case the ticket was "LOST" and finally "FOUND" when I pointed out I knew it had been sold as I was there at the point of sale and even could ID the guy who "SOLD" it. Hope this was not the case this time and it was sorted out but I know no way will I use the Bring and Buy for selling my gear unless I can stand and watch.
I did not take many pics but I did get a couple of this great display game using the Impetus rules in 6mm. This is the Battle of Trebia 218BC and hosted by The Bunburyests. Again a fun group who were playing through the game as they chattered with us and helped Barry with the burning question of what rules to buy for his 20mm Romans and just after that his feelings on DBM (etc) V Impetus. He even put the elephant base back on the board for me to photograph since it had just been destroyed about 30 mins before. Oh and yes this really is 6mm.
Long shot of the same game, Elephants removed.
Another 6mm game and great chaps (is it related?) was this game that truly has 1000's of figures in the mix. If I remember correctly that's over 12,000 figures! Again visually it was spectacular though the effect of having two long lines clash in the middle of the board gave the impression that it's just a dice game once contact is made. Possibly day two of the show would have more maneuver as it breaks down but with it being so closely packed it is hard to see how.
Late in day one, some units on both sides have pushed back others opening gaps for possible maneuver. Many units are off the battlefield by this point (3pm).
I just did not get round to taking many photo's which is a pity as many of the display games were of a very high standard and would have made cracking pics for the blog.
I major part of the con for me was reaching out to my old wargame opponents (assuming they were there) and had arranged to meet Andy from up north. Rather disappointing I saw no sign of
the old gang though again I saw Richard who I already have contact with via Facebook and bumped into at The Other Partizan a few months ago. The good news is that I met Andy as planned and sat down for a chat. We kept bumping into each other (not hard he is rather tall) and pleasant it was too.
So what did I spend my money on? Most of it was pre-planned. 11 packs of foot and 3 of horse in 15mm from Magister Militum. That is 6 packs of Pike, 5 of Peltasts and 3 of Companions for my part started project. I am clearing the decks of old 15mm Chariot Miniatures ready to start these later.
Next stop was at the Baccus stand to buy my 6mm Naps. This is a French Army Pack with Grenadiers added as an extra. This is to flesh out my French to about the size of the Prussian force I have (about 40 foot and 30 cav). I plan to expand these still further for the advanced rules but that can wait till we have a clear understanding of the rules. If they paint up much better than my Irregular 6mm then I will steadily replace.
Warbases were one of the companies hidden away and again had an order ready for me, these being mostly bases for my re-basing project for the Persian Army and the new army that I have started but also included more command and artillery bases for my Naps. These guys have class as they give discounts to show orders and I discussed the fact that they charge less for postage than it costs but he just smiled and said something about that's how it works out. A bigger smile came over his face when I handed over a Scottish note and I knew exactly what he said then, "It's coming home", yep they are based in Scotland! Much better reaction than another trader who was surprised an English Man had such coinage.
After that I was not really in the buying mode as I had really got all I was needing but came across Lancaster Games who sell S&A Scenics where I bought a couple of hill packs that will work well with the 6mm and do for the 15mm. I expect I will but a few more next year at the next con. I really don't have a clue what happened to my last lot of hills from way back but such is gaming.
Overall it was a good day out, still ran out of time before I managed to spend time watching a few games for a number of turns, to do this I would have had to drive over or go a 2nd day which was not possible as we had plans, not that I am complaining. Now all I have to do is start work on the new figures.