We set off early and arrived about half an hour after the doors opened. The venue is a fair size, but the show didn't seem all that busy. There were the usual demo and participation games, although the majority were fairly sub-standard (if I may say so myself). Considering they were supposed to be demonstration games, there didn't seem to be a lot of demonstrating actually going on - whenever we (Stafford Games) have run a game in the past (although that admittedly isn't all that many times), we've always made a point of having someone just standing around the table ready to talk to spectators, explain what's going on, what the game is, how it's played etc. Today, out of all the games there (the entry leaflet said there were 25+ Display and Participation games...), only one person noticed that he had spectators and came up to tell me about the game and what was going on (and invite me to join in). All of the other games were engrossed in their own game, and seemed to have simply turned up to play in an "exotic" venue. Now, I'll bring this rant to a close shortly and get to the good stuff, but surely the point of a demonstration game is to demonstrate what the game is, how it's played and what's going on, and surely the point of a participation game is to invite people to participate in the game? Maybe it's just me, but that was my biggest bugbear of the show and really a bit of a let-down, considering that the display games are usually my favourite part of wargames shows.
With the rather disappointing array of games on display (excuse the pun...), I didn't bother taking any pictures as I'd planned. But I was soon cheered up by the prospect of spending some hard-earned pennies and getting myself some new toys. And in that respect, Derby didn't disappoint.
You can see the shopping list I wrote in the previous post, and surprisingly I actually managed to get most of the stuff I wanted!
First up, a visit to Heresy Miniatures yielded the long-coveted Doctor Who figures. In order of excitement, we have:
|"Not-K9" The D-06 (read it carefully...) General Duty Robot|
Who fans among you will hopefully forgive me for rating Amy Pond (sorry, I mean "Emily Lake"...) above David Tennant in the excitement stakes!
Of course, no Doctor would be complete without his constant companion:
|The "Constabulary Communication Cabinet"|
I did pick up one other thing from Heresy:
Van Halfling! Mucho potential for the next campaign character I think!!
Moving on then, the next port of call was the Steampunk/Victoriana stuff. After a bit of discussion with Gary, my partner-in-crime in this particular venture, we decided to take the plunge into a sort of Deepest Darkest Africa setting rather than start off in the traditional Victorian London environs. We'll get to that eventually, but we're both quite keen to experiment with Lost World scenarios, complete with angry natives and dinosaurs, to get us going. With that in mind, Gary now has a varied selection of potential savage natives in the form of Wargames Factory Zulus and Perry Miniatures Mahdists, plus a box of Wargames Factory Zulu Wars British Infantry. I, meanwhile, have these:
|Desert Guides - quite handy when wandering around the Sahara|
|'Renegade Legionaries' - to be supplemented with more French Foreign Legion types...|
|Technically, a British Tank Commander in overseas dress...|
And the crowning glory:
Yes, a Steam Tank! I can't wait to get this baby painted up and onto the table...
But the real crowning glory of today's purchases is the only one I can't show pictures of - because I don't have it yet. The one thing I wanted to come away with today was a pirate ship, and boy did I get one! Ainsty Castings were quite near the entrance and as soon as I saw the stand, I saw the pirate ships sitting there. Thankfully, Ainsty had managed to get them cast and ready for Derby and I wasted no time in ordering the biggest and best of them - the Man-o-war. To be honest, the Merchantman would probably have done the job perfectly well, but the Man-o-war was absolutely bristling with cannons and covered in detail, and it was too good to resist. The downside is that I have to wait roughly two weeks before I'll get the ship - Ainsty only just managed to get the first casts done in time, and spent the few hours before the show actually gluing everything together! But it will definitely be worth the wait, and I will have pictures up the minute it arrives...
So all in all, a very successful day of spending! You'll notice of course that I didn't actually end up with that many figures; hopefully this means I'll actually get this lot painted!