Monday, 4 February 2013

Vapnartak 2013

Spent Sunday at York Racecourse enjoying Vapnartak 2013.

I arrived at about 10:30, had to queue to get in, and found it was absolutely heaving! It continued to get more and more crowded until about 13:00 when it started to thin out a bit. It felt much busier than last year, when heavy snow the night before impacted on both visitors and traders, and this was confirmed by a colleague who is a member of the club. Nearly 1400 people came through the doors! The organisers had gone out of their way to guide visitors coming by car into the drier sections of the carpark, which is notorious for ending up looking like Paschendale and being nearly as easy to get in and out of! Much appreciated.

Traders included the usual suspects (Gripping Beast, Caliver Books, Dave Thomas etc) and some new faces to me at least, such as Minibits, Warbases, Treemendus and Sarissa Precision.

 I was parted from my money for Gripping Beast Picts and Saxons, Crusader Scots spearmen, model trees from Minibits, terrain consumables (flock, texture and building bits) from Warbases and Treemendus, steel paper from Coritani and a copy of Dux Bellorum.

My only "fail" was trying to get a scale cattle or even buffalo skull to make up a Pictish standard, but while searching I found a set of cattle models from Irregular Miniatures (always worth a rummage around their stall!), which will be super-handy for raiding scenarios and were superb value for money.

One noticeable thing was the increase in companies making and selling laser cut MDF buildings, terrain and accessories. Obviously, as a dyed in the wool scratchbuilder of terrain I have to register a conflict of interest with this sort of thing. To my eye, the range and quality seems to be ever-increasing. There were buildings from all eras and genres, useful (and hard to make!) general accessories like ladders, and wonderful accent pieces like carts and sheds. To anyone lacking the time or confidence to make their own, there are some superb products around at, in most cases, quite reasonable prices.

The Impetus tournament was a treat to watch, with superb armies. I'm not qualified to comment on the WH40K stuff, but as usual it looks great and is a treat to the eye.

Something I hadn't seen before was the Malifaux tournament. I have been periferally aware of the game and the minis, but this was the first time I had seen it in the flesh. The players were having a high old time, so from that point of view it looks like a great success, and visually its a real attention grabber with the superb miniatures and bright pictures on the cards used to drive play. My impression had been that the production values for the game were very high and in the flesh this is confirmed.

The demonstration and participation games were of an extremely high standard I thought. I tried to get some photos with my phone but the pictures I got were so monumentally bloody awful I can't bring myself to post them.

The League of Extraordinary Kreigspielers' Back of Beyond game in Tibet was a real eye catcher, and all involved seemed to be having great fun, while North Hull Wargamers  early WW2 game came complete with heavy bombing by the Luftwaffe! The Lance and Longbow Society were putting on a fantastic, colourful battle with hordes of beautifully painted minis. York Wargames Society were of course represented. Their Pegasus Bridge participation game didn't seem to ever lack people wanting to have a go. A superb standard of figures and terrain here. Finally, Darren from Gripping Beast, guiding people through a 4 point Saga game played comfortably in an area 2 feet by four feet. After the way this was catching peoples' enthusiasm if they took any copies of Saga home with them I'd be surprised.

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