It's all been a bit "doom & gloom" at Chez Renko in relation to conventions recently. Derby was "sub optimal" and our local show "Battleground 2017" has been a bit "meh" - not actually bad but it felt lacking in both footfall and major traders. Combined with the fact this happens on the Black Friday \ Cyber Monday weekend I was not expecting much this year but...
I was pleasantly surprised. The venue and organisation are excellent - due no doubt to the diligence and hard work of Leon Pengilly (from Pendraken\Minibits) who does the organising and associated donkey work that goes on behind the scenes. The venue is at Queens Campus Stockton, which is certainly a bit "out of the way" but nothing as rural as Derby, and here there was plenty of free parking and entry was also free.
Obviously the show was much smaller than Derby too, and there weres no competition games, but there were plenty of traders including Dave T and Warlord, plus some of the more locals - particularly worth a mention was Cozzmic Cakes who do, well, cakes. OK not something you would normally expect at a games convention but they are very nice cakes and available with a geeky slant if required. There was also a busy "table sale" area. I tend to be not too keen on this idea, where punters hire a table for an hour to sell their wares, as I prefer a bring and buy where you can make one sweep and see everything on sale, whereas a table sale means you have to call over every hour or so just to check on the rotation, but this one seemed to be busy and popular so what do I know? One definite bonus was there was plenty of room to circulate with none of the crush we got at Derby.
Lastly there were a good number of demo games. None were what you would call Salute level showstoppers, but all were solid and interesting.
Crucially footfall seemed to be up this year - in fact most stalls seemed positively busy up to 2pm when I had to head off to another appointment, and in my usual round pressing the flesh and chatting most traders seemed upbeat on the whole.
So well done to Leon and his team. I'll finish up with some pics of just some of the demo games, including the popular Cozzmic Cakes "Imperial Knights vs Cup Cakes" (I kid you not). Looking forward to next year.