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.