“Warfare" Showcase 2023
Updated: Nov 14
Having rather enjoyed my trip to the Farnborough International Exhibition Centre last year, it seemed rude not to make the hour-long journey back to the venue for "Warfare" 2023 - especially as for once I had actually made something of a mental list as to what I specifically wanted to purchase. In addition, I took the time to read the Wargames Association of Reading's entry information beforehand, so quite easily found myself approaching Farnborough airport's Gate F without too much hassle from my iPhone's sometimes senile satellite navigation service.
One thing which did perplex me though was the sudden trend by my local wargaming shows to charge a tenner for entry to their events. I suppose many will argue this is a perfectly reasonable price considering the current financial climate. However, I always compare the increasing costs of a show (including petrol, time and food/drinks) with postage costs, and couldn't help but give a slight frown as I handed over my dosh. Having quibbled about the toll though, I must say that entry was very smooth, even if I was somewhat disorientated by the club's decision to push all foot traffic straight through to the Main Hall, as opposed to last year where I'm pretty sure direct access to the Discover Hall was also permitted.
After a short(ish) stop in the refreshment's area, where I was able to exchange a few pleasantries with the always amiable Karl Perrotton of "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio", I quite methodically starting making my way along the different vendors - starting with "Tiger Miniatures" and the aforementioned co-creator of "7TV" - who had fortuitously managed to relocate his incredible range of film/telly inspired figures into the space set aside for the sadly absent "Plastic Soldier Company" at the very last minute. I was also able to quickly visit the "Warlord Games" stall, which frankly was far too cramped for my liking, and had little room for more than a couple of potential punters to peruse their wares.
Quite frustratingly, I had made a particular beeline for this booth as online the Nottingham-based manufacturer had a 50% off sale on their entire "Mythic Americas" range and I was planning to pick up some reinforcements for my Aztecs force. However, the pricing on the boxes was set at their normal full price, and it was only after I had left the show that I discovered "Warlord Games" were matching all their offer prices on the web. At the time I had contemplated asking whether this the case with the company's staff at their till. But due to my impatience at the queue I decided to leave it until later, and then, like a complete muppet, I never managed to make my way back to raise the question - an unsuccessful return trip which also caused me to forget to pick up some additions to my Epic Battles: American Civil War project too.
One of the benefits of scoping out the vendors in the Main Hall first though was that once finished, I was immediately confronted by a number of truly inspirational demonstration and participation games. Several of these caught my attention, such as the South London Warlords' "Cloudships of Mars Revisited", Bread & Beef's "Battle of Domstadtl (which used flat miniatures) and an Operation Barbarossa pitched battle. Such projects really got me enthused for all sorts of future scales/genres/campaigns, and doubtless encouraged me to spend a tad more than I had anticipated at "Pendraken Miniatures" - having decided to branch out my collection of 10mm World War Two models into British and Soviet Modern War (1980's) too.
Quite possibly my favourite purchase of the day however, was a bargain find on the Bring and Buy stall, which consisted of a complete Rural Fields and Fences boxed set by "Gale Force Nine" for "Flames Of War". I already own one such pre-painted kit and can now double the amount of farming terrain on my Epic Scale American Civil War battlefield. There were a few other train-related pieces from this scenic range avaliable on the giant gathering of second-hand tables. But none seemed to offer the value for money I thought this particular sale did.
My final buy came with "Culverin Models", who sell some cracking 3D prints of armoured vehicles, fortifications and giant robots. I'm particularly indebted to their owner, who in the past has very kindly supplied me with a few free STL (Standard Triangle Language) files to see whether they can be readily produced using "Elegoo" Water Washable Resin on a Mars 3 Pro 3D Printer rather than PLA (Polylactic Acid) filament. I couldn't help but notice a wonderful looking Iron Pig Utility Tractor on his stall, so scooped one up to go with another variation of the Boar Troop Carrier model I'm currently painting up for a Weird War One project.