I've just returned from a grand day out at the Blast-Tastic sci fi wargames show in Bristol. This is the first time the show has been run and I do hope it isn't the last. Starting small for an event like this is always a good thing and Mike from Angel barracks did a great job in organising a starter event that felt just right. There were eight games and demonstrations, including Ashley Pollard demonstrating OGRE, Lincombe Barn with Alien Squad Leader and our own Berkeley Vale club with Shaun's Star Wars Pod Racer game. I've managed to miss this at the club so far so it was great to be able to play - its a real blast, loads of fun and has the feel of the "original". we scoped out a few ideas on how to adapt the rules to other settings, maybe more on this in future posts. The game I played was going fine up until I suffered a fuel leak which then caused my pod to explode, but not before i'd sideswiped Alan's pod into the ground. Shaun went on to a well earned victory. The next game was a real close affarir with two brothers and their three friends duking it out, and victory only decided on the last corner. Great stuff.
The traders, of whom there were thirteen, seemed to be doing OK. I added to their OKness with a few purchases. Brigade Models were there so I took the opportunity to pick up some 1/1200 Napoleonic naval forts (not what you'd expect to get at a sci fi show, but they are lovely models and I've been toying with the idea of getting some for ages). I played a quick game of "Engage" from Red Wyvern; a quick play sci fi set with a very obvious Star Trek vibe. I enjoyed the game, the extras over and above the basic rules looked good and so I bought a copy. I think we'll be seeing this plus my old Micro Machines down the club in the next few weeks. Next stop - The Scene, where i got a few packs of not-terminators for my 15mm SF collection, and then over to Armies Army to pick up a couple of their lovely near-future Russian BTR APCs. Finally Craig Austin had a box crammed with sci fi terrain pieces for a tenner and as I'd been looking for stuff like this for a while that was a no-brainer.
The show itself was fine. Not too big, not too small and a perfect start to what I hope will be a regular event. Sci fi wargaming in the UK used to be fairly well served with the SFSFW's Ragnarok show but that stopped some time ago and so Blast-Tastic seems like a natural successor. I hope the show has done well. Certainly the traders and players I spoke to on the day thought so.
Finally, it was good to see that the "friction" that exists between Angel Barracks and The Miniatures Page didn't dampen the show. In fact, far from it. A number of people I spoke to were there as a result of hearing about the fracas, thus proving once again that any publicity is good publicity. Anyway, I do hope that the rift sorts itself out soon because, to be quite frank, the regular deletion of threads about the show on TMP has been nothing short of disgraceful. I have no dog in this fight, I just think it reflects badly on the hobby as a whole. That is all.
Anyway, a fun day out - oh, and the food was good and reasonably priced, thus thckinga nother important wargamers box :)