So, after a rather long trip across the country from Wales I arrived at Kelham Hall near Newark to attend ‘Partizan in the Park’. Last year’s event was held in the glorious 19th century surroundings of the Hall itself. However this year, due to an unfortunate double-booking by the hall’s owners, Partizan was packed into three large marquees in the parkland in front of it.
As these were modern marquees, complete with floors, this was not too much of a problem, at least until the sun began to beat down and turned the place into a steam bath :). One advantage of the marquees was that the layout was much better. In the Hall in 2013 many of the traders and games were pressed into nooks and crannies.
I do like Partizan because it is a manageable size, unlike Salute where it can take you an entire day to get around the exhibition hall (during which you slowly go deaf because of the sheer noise).
Anyway, onto the event itself…
As before the organisers had managed to attract a nice balance of traders and games. Some of the games I had seen before at Salute, such as the stunning Battle for Keren, others were brand new. Although there was a WWI theme running though some of the games there was still a wide range from Romans all the way forwards to the far future. All the games were nicely put together and the game-organisers friendly and helpful.
Particular highlights for me included:
Seeing a new display game utilising my old mate Simon Miller’s Roman period rules. At Salute he put on the Roman Landings in Britain as a sort of D-Day tribute. This time it was a classic face-to-battle. The large number of well painted miniatures and excellent terrain attracted an admiring crowd.
Dave King and Karl Tebbutt were there with their ‘Sir Allan Quatermain and the Lost City’ IHMN game. As at Salute it was constantly being photographed because of the unusual and excellent terrain. Four chaps from the STAG Telford Wargamers engaged in an entertaining adventure between Sir Allan’s Hunting Party, the beastly Boers, sneaky Sons of the Desert and unlucky Legion Étrangère. I watched with some amusement as Sir Allan managed to persuade the local tribesmen to ‘delay’ the Legion while he forded the river.
Nick Eyre of Northstar Miniatures, one of our stalwart collaborators on the IHMN project, was doing a brisk trade and I picked up the Sōhei Buntai so I could field a force to playtest Daisho with. He also had an odds and ends box from which I managed to extract several Prince of Wales Privates and Sergeants, and some Thule Jagers to add to my companies. Twenty figures for under ten quid – bargain!
Nick also had a couple of advance models from ‘All Quiet on the Martian Front’. Although these are designed for the much smaller scale of that game the two tripods (measuring roughly 8″ and 10″ high) would do perfectly for our IHMN mini-supplement on the human resistance to the Martian Invasion. This shall be published in the September edition of Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy Magazine.
Talking of that excellent publication our good friend Guy Bowers was out and about, taking hundreds of photographs as usual. Good to see him again and catch up on things.
I also caught up with Wayne Bollands of Wargames Illustrated. We shall be submitting a piece to him in a little while, so hopefully both magazines will be richer for a little IHMN derring-do!
I finally got to meet Tony Yates, author of so many original and amusing AAR’s, along with his long-suffering opponent Alec. I can confirm that Tony is just as mad as he appears on his blog :), but he is another of our growing band of stalwart chaps. I gave him a birthday present of an advance copy of ‘Sleeping Dragon, Rising Sun’, so we should expect lots of AAR’s involving Chinese, Japanese and Indian companies in the near future.
At Salute I had been heartened to see the sheer number of traders selling IHMN and HVF, and Partizan was no different with at least five of the traders stocking it. All reported that it was still selling well.
One trader I was glad to make the acquaintance of was John Lowen of Ironclad Miniatures. Some of you will have seen one of his Armoured Steam Tanks featured in the IHMN book, painted up as Scotland Yard’s armoured steam carriage ‘Ophelia’. He had his full range of vehicles on display at the show, including a very fetching and Victorian-style Martian Tripod. He also had an excellent range of late Victorian figures for sale as well. Quite a few players have acquired and painted these and you will have seen them in many AAR’s on the IHMN blog and elsewhere.
Shaun McLaughlin of the Bunker was in attendance, and many people were playing a Zombie participation game across his impressive urban terrain. It was this terrain that he provided for IHMN’s first participation game at Salute 2013 and which drew so many people to the game.
I talked to a lot of people about the future of IHMN. Quite a few were concerned that ‘Sleeping Dragon, Rising Sun’ would be the last book for the game. So I was able to explain just how much good stuff is in the pipeline and assure them that the level of support it has had to date shall continue.
Several players told me how much they were enjoying IHMN Gothic and were looking forwards to future instalments. I know it is getting a lot of downloads but nothing is nicer than people telling you that they are enjoying it to your face.
So, overall a pretty decent day and I shall look forwards to going again in 2015 🙂