Last Sunday saw me and Phil heading off to Wolverhampton for the West Midlands Military Show, now in its 41st year.
This was my first chance to take "Northampton 1460" to a show since we published in January.
We were representing the Northampton Battlefields Society, the Society if Ancients and the Battlefields Trust, so quite a tall order for just the two of us.
We thought we were there in good time but others were up before us. We were at the far end of the hall (someone has to be) wedged in between a Bolt Action game featuring aliens (I might have dreamt this as I'm a bit out of touch) and a WW2 memorabilia group who were doing their best to fill as much space as they could with their two jeeps and arsenal of weapons. It was a bit tight and by the time we'd got our tables sorted and our banners up we barely had room to breathe and the Warlords man behind us looked less than happy at his none too prominent pitch, which our banners seemed to be conspiring to conceal. Sorry.
The show was busy if not spectacular. It was good to catch up with Martin and Nigel at Peter Pig and sort through their stuff to find what I needed for my SCW game. Sometimes photos on the web just aren't good enough, or you just can't find what you need by browsing. A brief chat with Nigel outlining the sort of thing you want leads to him pulling a few packets out from the racks and you can eventually narrow things down to a suitable alternative. So, anyway I've got some AA MGs to go in the back if a few Zvezda trucks and some mortars and some Isabelino caps for head swaps.
Otherwise the retailers were a good mix, although no Dave Lanchester and no Ian Kay, both of whom I'd have liked to have given money to.
Most of the display games were big 28mm jobs, a 54mm game or two and some WW1 air war so nothing stunningly original although all well executed. I'd have liked to have tried Martin Goddard's new version of his Vietnam game "Men of Company B", but I never get enough time if I'm on a stand.
We ran the game half a dozen or so times and sold 4 copies to players. Everyone who played it enjoyed it, so that was positive. We also did a deal with Dave Ryan who took a number of copies, so you will be able to buy through Caliver Books at shows we can't get too.
The nice thing about doing a stand like the SoA is that eventually everyone you know who comes to the show will walk past and say hello. It was lovely to catch up with Jim, who I last met nearly three years ago when he came for a visit and gave me a load of plastic El Cid figures. Alas for me he had to move for work and he is the other side of Wolverhampton, so this was a half-way-between-us show. Then Tim Cockitt and other ex-WDers stopped by and one or two I met at the Guild of Battlefield Guides. The latter were really useful as it meant that Malcolm Wanklyn stopped by as well, so I was able to thank him for the pleasure I've got out of his ECW books.
The show started to wind down half an hour before official closing, so we were away at a reasonable time, only to be surprised by the M54/M6 traffic.I drove this road through rush hour for nearly six months and the traffic was very nearly as bad as then.
Then we got held up for nearly an hour on the M6 because someone had flipped their car over.
Apart from that a satisfactory day out.
Next up, Campaign at Milton Keynes 6th/7th May.