Today I spent a fair amount of time travelling too and from The English Institute of Sport in Sheffield, and in between had an excellent time at the annual Tripples wargaming convention. Its over 2 years since I last went to one, and that was in York where I spent most of my time playing FOW instead, and this time round was no disappointment. Truly a joy for anyone into historical wargaming, and not half bad for those into fantasy either! Hoping into a car with Michael at 7:30am we headed for Frodsham to pick Aidan up, sadly lacking Red – MIA due to work commitments, and we arrived back in Cheshire/North Wales around 7pm.
The traders list was a very complete one, with plenty in all shapes and sizes, Flames of War, Warlord games stuff and GW bits all represented, plus all manner of other manufacturers including Essex, Dixon, Plastic Soldier Company, 1st Corp, Kalistra, Fieldworks and the Wargames Emporium. Even spotted one of the Perrys and Paul Sawyer at the Perrys stand. There was even 2 Darleks (life-sized and active) and several Doctor Who’s at the entrance.
There was also a fair number of demo and participation games, covering a wide range of scales and periods, with some fantasy (a Gothic style one was one of the best looking). Spotting a Kursk-based 28mm game early on I did something I haven’t before and joined in. It was a massive battlefield, and looked ace, the T-34’s and SU85s from 1st Corp were particularly nice, and the overall aim was to reach the far end with some of your troops by turn 10. The rules were based on Blitzkrieg Commander, and it ran very smoothly and I enjoyed myself enough to be thinking of buying tanks, men and rules by the end! Plus two of my three T34’s made it past 2 PaK40’s and a dug in 88 to reach the end and gain me a prize of a blister of 8 28mm Germans. Good stuff.
In the afternoon Aidan involved us in a large Doctor Who game, which lasted a fair bit longer. It was good, but a bit tedious for me because my characters spent most of their time doing not a lot until a big melee in the end, and to be honest I’ve still little idea how it ended or what happened apart from lots of aliens turning up and Aidan winning by default.
On to purchases, and with so much on offer I could have spent a fortune, especially on scenery, some amazing resin city bits which would have made a great 15mm Stalingrad! In the end I was exceptionally restrained, and only the below list made it back to the car:
- 5 x Vallejo paints
- 1 x Army Painter Spray
- A box of Perrys Wars of the Roses infantry
- A couple of packs of Gabions (ironworks I think)
- A load of stamina and disorder markers for Hail Caesar and Blackpowder
- A couple of extra figures in comfort foam trays for my FOW infantry and tanks
Added to the cost of getting into the show (£5 this time)and petrol costs (far too generous Michael!) a total cost of £67.35 for the day, less than my two companions who both picked up various bits and pieces and bargains.
Other than that general comments would note we took food rather than buy, we watched Doctor Who win a 50 metre sprint against 2 Darleks, and had a very good time. Reds observations that it is lacking something in atmosphere compared to the previous University venue is right I feel, although not disastrously so. The reason for the change would appear to be forced by the University no longer allowing external groups to book its space. The bring and buy (apart from Aidans star purchase of musketeers) was a bit quiet, and the competition space was shoved off to one side and didn’t look a fun place to be, but the rest was excellent. I took a few pictures, but their on my phone so I’ll put them up on here when I get chance another day.