Phil and I went to Partizan at the Newark Showground on Sunday. I always have enjoyed the Partizan shows, in all of the different venues they have been held, and I’m pleased to be able to say this one was well up to expectations. The venue would be hard to top for an event in our hobby: ample free parking right on site; a large hall giving loads of space for traders, games and the paying public to easily circulate; bright and airy so the games can be properly appreciated and goods on sale easily viewed and assessed. Only two quibbles on my part really: it gets over warm I found so air conditioning would be nice, though I don’t know if the venue boasts such a facility; but more importantly, at least for this senior citizen, the layout lacks any seating beside the cafeteria area. I find the floor very hard on my knees and if it wasn’t for the kindness of friends like Duncan and Dan, who let me sit a while at their stands, or Barrie, who let me sit at his game, I would really struggle. I’m just one punter here, but I guess I’m not alone in that respect. It would be nice if for The Other Partizan this might be addressed by the organisers in some way.
One really pleasing aspect of the show is that it attracts attendees from a wide geographical area. This means the games on show are always up to a very high standard, both for Participation and Display Games, which in turn serve to boost attendance. Indeed Lawrence tells me that the show reached and then surpassed its record attendance. For historical wargamers the trade show surpasses Salute in my opinion also. When you consider its other advantages I’ve already outlined I really don’t think I’ll ever bother with Salute again.
Besides the traders and games on show the other advantage the Partizan shows enjoy is the opportunity to chat with old friends and even to make new acquaintances. I was able to meet up with good friends in our hobby and in fact the reason I took no pictures at all is that I was just too engrossed in chatting. Kevin was down from Aberdeen and Dave from East Berwick, two long time chums who I had missed when I wasn’t able to go to Carronade the week before. Colin was down from Middlesbrough, and although we kept missing each other it was good to see him and Kathryn again briefly. Probably though my long chat with Aly was the most interesting, ranging far and wide on hobby and life event matters, and compelling me to acknowledge that perhaps I am more of a wargaming magpie than I had admitted to in the past!
As I’ve already mentioned the wealth of traders in attendance I ought to mention the spoils of war so as to speak. Andy at The Last Valley had made me four more canal sections which I’d preordered and in addition I purchased a dozen sections of split rail fencing for games set in North America. Chatting with him I have ordered more of these for the second show and also commissioned a tunnel entrance for the canal to go into on a table edge. From Dave Thomas I bought a pack of Perry AWI Militia Mounted Colonels and from Dave Ryan at Caliver the last copy of Rebels and Patriots, as I just can’t warm to Sharp Practice for our occasional F&IW games. From Battlefront I bought another BMP1/2 in plastic for next years WWIII game I plan and from Coritani some new brushes. I also collected from Colin my part of our joint Eureka order, collected by a third party at Salute. This comprises: some of the new Renaissance civilians; some French Heavy Cavalry, Battalion guns and crew and some Austrian Grenzers; an AWI American gun crew and some ragged Continental Dragoons. I’ve cleaned some up already this morning for spray undercoating before I pop over to Phil’s for our regular Monday game.
I’m already looking forward to The Other Partizan in August and all the opportunities it will bring for hobby and personal enrichment. Both Partizan shows are excellent experiences and if you’ve never been then I do highly recommend that you try to make it to one. You’d be hard to please I think if you didn’t enjoy it I’m sure! It is worth the effort just to see the wonderful games.