Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Rogue goes to Vapnartak

Vapnartak is a convention that sounds kind of Viking like.  And so it should as this show takes place in York, England.

Andrew Kinnear, Mr Rogue Miniatures himself attended the show in February and gave us a little account of his time there.

We think he enjoyed his time there. :)

Vapnartak.  The York wargame show road trip, a gamers odyssey and musings……. 

York, the southern tip of the northern wastes, frontier town full of Japanese tourists with expensive cameras and home to the first big show of the year, early February every year, well attended by traders and gamers alike, a veritable highlight in the gamers calendar. 

Plans were hatched to set off at 8.30 from Newcastle to be there for doors opening and beat the Vikings to the bargains. Checked the night before if my eldest son wanted to come along, having been to a few shows with me before and still only six years old, he imparted his youthful reasoning for not wanting to come with me…’no thanks dad it will be full of fat, smelly wierdos’….I simply couldn't argue!

Picked one of our gaming group up, opening line upon getting into the car was to inform me he had a nasty curry the night before, quick check the electric windows are working and we are off. 

We duly arrive at the show for opening at ten but a long queue had already formed.  It is a popular show and the queue wasn't a surprise. A £4 admission fee is not bad considering the venue is the racecourse main concourse, one of the better settings for a war-games show, plenty of room, good lighting and good facilities on hand, bar, canteen, cash point, toilets etc. all well provisioned. Now I don’t normally have a shopping list for these shows but this was an exception, French Indian Wars was on my hit list, this was in a vain attempt to cut back on ‘random’ purchases which is my norm at shows, hard to resist shiny goodness when it’s right there in front of you rather than on a pc screen! So, off we go into the main concourse ground floor, the show is on four levels in all covering traders, display games, competition games and a bring and buy area….plenty to browse.

First eye candy was a participation game run by the hosts of the death star trench run from the original star wars movie, large scale on a table some 24 foot long, this was well played all day and was busy every time we went past it, looked cool too. First purchase followed, so much for browsing first, three old citadel ogres for the bargain sum of £6,yes a massive £2 each, result and only been here five minutes. There then followed a good walk round the whole show, well laid out with traders aplenty and display games on show for all to ogle at their pleasure. Two games of note were a very snazzy looking Victorian steampunk game with a great looking coach with mechanised spider legs, Holmes and Watson were represented on what was a great looking board/table. The other game of note was a very large table covering the siege of Newcastle, covered in lots of nice scenery and minis it was great gamers eye candy, and a nice little idea for the kids was a small quiz to spot a list of animals which were on the table somewhere or other. 

Studio Mcvey were in attendance trading with Mr McVey attracting quite a bit of fanboy attention at his stand, didn't see many purchases and at £11 for the cheapest mini in resin I ‘resisted’. Then followed a pre-arranged meet with a mate of mine to collect some painted minis he had done for me and to deliver the next batch for him to sort, his brush skills are far superior to mine so I like to get him to paint some of the minis I couldn't do justice to with a brush, gave him some freebies that I knew he was after as well, had a chat and a catch up, took the mickey out of each other for a bit and then went our separate ways! 

 A new take on the bring and buy idea was being implemented at the show, rather than sticking your goods on a big communal stall/table run by the show organisers you hired a table for a half hour slot and sold your wares yourself, this allows potential buyers to actually haggle with the seller direct for their goods, at face value this looked to work well, and this was reinforced when I bumped into a forum buddy of mine who was thrilled to have haggled a big box of old citadel lead for thirty quid, bargain! 

Now most shows end up with some sort of a ‘theme’ on the trade stalls, something that quite a few people are flogging at the same time because it’s in vogue, there's a word you don’t hear in gaming circles very often…vogue! This show it appeared to be two items, laser cut MDF buildings, which were evident in abundance on a number of stands and Dreadball which was being pushed heavily by quite a few traders with some good deals for the show on offer, which I managed to resist after some deliberation I may add. Laser cut buildings, personally they don’t float my boat and I don’t think they are particularly good value when you consider they aren't a finished item when bought, however I could see some brisk sales going on so there must be a market for them out there. 

Quick check of the watch and it was purchase time, browsing over, time to get serious before heading back to the northern homeland.  I spotted a set of 21 metal imperial guard for twenty quid, private sale from one of the blokes hosting a demo game, a bargain not to be missed. Time to hit the Mongoose stand and make some purchases, who can resist an orang-utan with a sniper rifle? Not me at any rate, but they didn't have any in stock, strike out, left with a couple of their goodies anyway but didn't go mad, a modest two minis,which is restraint on my part as I really like their stuff. 

Picked up Muskets and Tomahawks rules with three box sets of figures at a combined discount of £40 off list price and obviously no postage to pay, well happy with that! 

One final walk round to say our goodbyes to various faces and friends before heading home, which consisted of me driving whilst my pal sat and fondled all the goodies in the passenger seat….git! Pictures of all my goodies are here for all to see! All in all another great York show which will be in the diary for next year again!



Andrew Kinnear is the brains behind Rogue Miniatures and a lovely guy to boot.  Check out his site and drool over what he produces!

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