Monday, 7 February 2011

Vapnartak 2011

I went to Vapnartak in York yesterday. It's only 45 minutes from my house, which makes it a nice easy show to get to and the venue is pretty good. I really liked the Merchant Adventurers' Hall when it was there because of the atmosphere of the place, but the racecourse is much better in terms of lighting, space and parking. So, how was the show?

Socially it was brilliant. I met up with Andy (Another Slight Diversion), Meic (an old friend from my digging days in Wrexham), Mike with his newly sculpted Ottomans (very nice and can't wait to see them come into production: for a preview check the Baccus forum) and many others. I had a great chat with Peter Berry on the Baccus stand and Tony at East Riding Miniatures. All in all, the social side of things was really good and it was a great pleasure to meet up with people that I only see occasionally.

The down side to the show was that it was very busy in the morning and seemed rather overcrowded, which made looking at things difficult with people barging past all the time. The crowds thinned out greatly in the afternoon, which made it much better.

As far as demo games went, the show was rather disappointing. None of the games particularly inspired me. I found the wall-to-wall nature of the predominantly 28m games rather tedious and not particularly evocative of the periods being represented. Looking for the positive, The Lance and Longbow Society game did not suffer from this. I think it was Mortimer's Cross this time around and it did look like a game that one might wish to play. There was a demo of the forthcoming Viking Age rules from Gripping Beast that looked interesting. Again, it was not wall-to-wall figures and the table dressing of pigs and sheep was nice to see. The League of Extraordinary Kriegspielers had an interesting looking game going too with a nice town layout. The problem with this game though was that I found it hard to see what was going on for the backs of the players. Another major gripe of mine was that no one at any of the games even greeted me when I approached the table to have a look. A simple hello would have sufficed and might have given me the opportunity to ask questions without interrupting the game play. Instead, the players kept playing and the onlookers were ignored. As such I wonder why the players actually bothered bringing their games away from the clubs into a public arena.

On the buying front, I limited my purchases significantly due to lack of money. I bought some Figures in Comfort foam trays for my troops. You have to keep the troops happy or they will not fight well for you! I also bought a packet of each of the new Vikings packs from Baccus. They are beautiful little pillagers and I am looking forward to getting paint onto them so that I can field them en masse. Lovely stuff.


  1. That is something also I have found by demo games, you can hang around the table for a few minutes and nobody will talk to you maybe they use the day for a game that they cannot get at home, I saw on another blog that the new bring and buy idea wasn't to their liking...what did you think?

  2. It's not just that no one will talk to you, but that they are all too busy playing their game or chatting with their mates for you to interrupt too. That sort of thing irks me slightly.

    I did not bother with the new-style bring-and-buy when I realised that I would have to queue to get in for something that usually is only a matter of idle curiosity to me. It is rare that a bring-and-buy has something that I want at a price I can afford, so I could not be bothered to queue. I like the concept but it probably needs a group of you to get in there and book a table for half a day for it to really work. The idea of the crowd control and managing the number of people in the area at any one time seems good to me, although from the reports I have read, I suspect it needed some fine-tuning.

  3. Sorry I missed you on the Lance & Longbow stand, overall I seemed to have spent more of the day talking rather than playing. We did offer a number of interested players the chance to join in, but none had the time.


  4. Hi Will,

    There were actually very few people staffing the LALS stand when I went by and they were dealing with customers, so not talking to me was excusable. I do like Poleaxed though and it would have been fun to have a shot at Mortimers Cross. I shall have to sort that one out using my 6mm figures at some point.