Tuesday 21 May 2024

A Partisan View - Part 2

Having posted all of the eye candy photos earlier, it's time to take look at what I thought of the show and my general experience of it. So in no particular order:

The Journey
I know this might not sound too linked to the show, but having spent the majority of my working life cycling to work and small local journeys, anything over an hour away seems a long distance to me! Fortunately Google maps showed me a variety of routes, all of which were just over 3 hours away, so not much different to when I take the rare trip to London. The A46 option was the shortest and setting off when I did, was a very quiet and leisurely journey, until the last few roundabouts which took some concentration! So now I know it is an easy show to get to and from, this has certainly become one I will attend on a regular basis, all being well.

The Venue
You can't fault the setting for the show, which has ample car park spaces and plenty of areas to take a break from the show. It reminds me somewhat of Colours in that regards, but nicer to be honest. The only downside I would say is that it got very hot and stuffy inside and they could have opened the doors at either end to let in some fresh air!

The Vibe
Well this has to be the friendliest show I've ever been to! The staff on the door were very cheerful, as were the Partizan staff in and around the hall. The whole atmosphere was very positive and everyone seemed to be having such a great time. Normally I come away from shows a bit tired, but not this one. Well done to all those involved for making it such a great experience.

The Senses
If there is a downer it is that the show is in some regards a victim of its own success, as there were so many people there (record numbers?), it did get very noisy very quickly, as well as rather hot and stuffy as mentioned before. I had planned on meeting up with Norm Smith (Battlefield & Warriors Blog) but due to said noise, neither of us could hear our phones ring, vibrate etc. First world problems and all that I know! Visually as well there is just so much to take in, so much so that it took me about 3 circuits of the show to make sure I hadn't missed any games, but even then I did miss a few that were tucked away in a corner, hidden by the visitors. I think if it had been a bit cooler, I would have stayed longer so that I could really appreciate all that was on offer. Maybe The Other Partizan in October might be better in that regards?

The Games
The show was always known for being a 28mm one, but nowadays they have a wider range of scales on offer, from the classic Kreigspiel board, through 6mm alll the way up to 54mm, so something for most tastes, which is what one wants from a show. The games ranged from one that you could easily put on at home and importantly if you're starting out, right through to the massive and spectacular ones, such as those by the Boondock Sayntes et al. 

The Inspiration
All of the games had something that piqued my interest, som emore so than others. So in this regards it works perfectly to give us gamers a often much needed shot of motivation and inspiration. I'm sure if time had permitted, I would have found more to inpsire me, but there was more than enough as it was.

The Demo vs Participation Offerings
A really good mix this year, but sadly for me I didn't have the time to try any out, which was a shame. All of the tables had someone willing to have a chat and nearly all had excellent signage as to what was being put on, so full marks for that!
variety of games and their standard, from entry level to the spectacular

The Societies
Again a good mix this year and with all of them ready and willing to have a chat. I enjoyed talking with the Northampton Battlefield Society about their exhibits of medieval weapons, expecially their arrows and hand weapons, all of which you were able to handle. Just holding a well balanced sword is quite enlightening and having used tools all of my life, you know how much impact this would have if it hit you, even if it didn't make a cut! The 21eme Regiment de Ligne were great chaps to talk to and a real laugh too, so this made it an engaging conversation, although I did feell for them wearing woolen uniform tops!

The Chats
As it was so busy I only managed to have a chat with Phil Olley about his game, which I'd been following the progress of on his Blog. Nice to have that chance and to talk about showing games that are accessible for newbies, but ones that can still look great and all on a 6' x 4' table.

The Traders
Well fingers crossed they had a good show, as with what appeared to be record numbers of visitors and the fact they seemed busy all day, it needs this to keep them attending shows. We all know some of the 'big players' have cut back or stopped attending, which is a shame but understandable, ditto some of the smaller players too. Pendraken have had to wait for years to get a spot and thankfully now they are a regular at this show, but they are the only 'small scale' trader that I could see. Now Baccus or H&R, which is a shame, as it would be nice to have a 6mm offering for us gamers to have a peruse of.
The Haul
I had no plans on anything I wanted to buy, so just went to see what was on offer and came up with the following purchase:

The ruined buildings are 6mm Battlescale ones that Pendraken also retail and I've been interested in for a while, so treated myself. Ditto the landing craft that are not always in stock on the Pendraken website, but seeing them in the flesh allowed my to choose the ones I liked. I'm not sure if my 10mm tanks will fit inside, but I have some 1:200 ones that should, just to give that look as they approach the beach. The Rapid Fire! scenario book ticked all the boxes for my France 1940 campaign, even though it doesn't come with a full OOB for each scenario, it is easy enough to convert it to BKCII or just use them as generic scenarios. Plenty of eye candy inside too.

The Best Show ?
Of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that, but I think it safe to say that this is the best show on the circuit, or certainly one that is within relatively easy reach and accessible to me. Looking at the attendance I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this view! I know it will become a regular show for me and possibly The Other Partizan too. It does make you realise how lucky we are on our small island to have so many good shows to go to and some that are simply outstanding like this one!



  1. Glad you had a good day out but too bad you missed catching up with Norm. Modest haul of goodies.

    1. A shame to miss out on catching up with Norm, but the show was sooo busy, I thinnk many other gamers passed each other by in the general hullaballoo. A modest haul but then I have plenty of stuff waiting in the wings!

  2. I didn't go this time but did both events last year ( first time for me ) and I'd agree with your analysis, a great show if rather noisy and hot! I am hoping to get there in October. Over on 'Eastern Garrison' blog, Rob was thinking of suggesting a 'blogger meet-up' as occurs at Salute, I think that could be a good idea, I might finally get to meet the great Norm Smith! Clearly you had a great day, glad you enjoyed it.

    1. The October one falls on our daughter's birthday, so might be tricky to wangle that visit, but you never know. A Blogger meet up would be good, although I think there would be a big turn out compared to Salute! Always good to meet those who Blogs one follows and generally just to chat with like minded gamers.

  3. Interesting review Steve. Thank you.
    Makes it very tempting for next year. 3 hours each way is a bit of a schlep in one day. I might have to book in at my sisters and pop down from Lincoln. Also on the A46/Ermine Street*


    * If you ever plan to go to Baff
    Travel my way
    Take the highway that’s a laff
    Get your kicks on A46.

    1. I'm glad it was of interest Chris. The 3 hours each way was a trek, but not as bad as I thought it would be. I'm sure some make a weekend away of it and I know some stayed overnight locally so as not to have to get up at the crack of dawn. Hopefully you can make it next year and combine it with a visit to Lincoln...

  4. Glad your caregiver duties allowed you to mail the trip and it was so rewarding and relaxing for you. Too bad about Norm, but I’ve done the same thing. Gotta keep you phone in your hand and on vibrate. That’s the trick. 😀

    1. I could only really plan after the Thursday before the show, just in case there were any 'issues' that needed dealing with, which luckily for me there weren't! I did carry my phone after the missed calls, but Norm was already leaving the show. Lesson learnt...

  5. Your intro on the journey made me smile Steve....reminiscent of Bill Brysons Notes from a Small Island where he describes how English people will discuss the merits of five different routes to drive a 60 to 90 minute trip....and where the best places to stop for a cuppa along the way are!
    The show sounds great and we'll worth the trip 😀

    1. When I lived in London, on the radio a regular topic was the best way to avoid major roadworks and the ensuing gridlock, with London cabbies coming on and offering the options one could take. Now Google maps etc will do it automatically!

      The show was great and certainly worth the trip, I just wish it hadn't been so stuffy so I could have spent a bit longer there enjoying all that was on offer.

  6. I don’t know why the doors weren’t opened to let air circulate. I’ve been to Newark on previous occasions when it’s been really hot and they’ve usually opened to doors to alleviate the stuffiness.
    I’ve already metaphorically pencilled in The Other Partisan to my diary.
    I usually have an ongoing list of various wants, so I can email traders ahead of time to bring the items along to shows (saving P&P costs, ensuring the trader knows they have a “confirmed sale” and making sure my order will be fulfilled). I do like a decent haul of goodies 😉
    Fortunately, before The Other Partisan in October we have The Joy of Six (Sunday 14 July). My local Sheffield show, organised by Baccus and H&R will be attending too. 😊 More 6mm toys to add to my mountain of unpainted minis.

    1. I too thought they had opened the doors a tad when we did a demo game a few years ago. I would normally pre-order from Pendraken, but real life and the last minute nature of the visit meant it just didn't happen this year. It's not like I've not got enough stuff as it is!

  7. I thought it was a great show, looking at the posts I missed a couple of games but the quality was excellent, two hours door to door for me which is fine, funnily enough I didn't find it too stuffy, a bloggers meet would be good, just saw Ray from anything but a one and Andy from Friends of general Haig glad you managed to have some time away!
    Best Iain caveadsum1471

    1. I think everyone has said what a great show it was and hard not to agree with that sentiment! Nice to have time away but some fresh air in the venue would have been nice, as my asthma didn't like it at all. A Blogger meet up would be great:).

  8. Good thoughts Steve, the show scene has really started to pick up again and the Partisan team do a great job of running things smoothly. Next up Warfare.. Let's see if it's got better than last year ;-)

    1. Thanks Stu and the show scene does seem to be in full swing post-pandemic. Warfare just doesn't grab me as a venue, nor the time of year, plus there have been issues from what I've read...

  9. Great report. I feel I was almost there. I hope that someday I can get a Ross the pond and attend a convention in Great Britain. That would be excellent.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Mark! I'm sure you would enjoy the whole experience, but the shows might seem compact and quick compared to the weekend long US style conventions.