Last Sunday was what usually marks the first signs of Spring in the show season [for me anyway] with Cavalier in Tonbridge, Kent.
I've always had a soft spot for this show... not too big but usually a decent spread of traders and games and a fairly good bring and buy. It's also not too far away... only a short hop round the M25.
There's a fair amount of chatter on assorted blogs about the show [I think just about everyone that attended must have written a blog entry by now] with a lot focusing on the theft of stuff from the Bring and Buy but generally pretty much all positive about the show itself.
I have to confess I came away feeling a bit disappointed with the show but I'm struggling to put my finger on why. The show seemed quieter than usual... the TWWS website reports over 500 people attending but I'm not sure how that compares with previous years. There certainly seemed to be fewer traders. The Bring and Buy had little to tempt me and I guess this may be a sign of the ease of selling via Ebay etc.
I'd set off with a plan not to buy any more figures and managed to stick to this without any great difficulty. I did pick up a copy of Warlord Games' Pike and Shotte rules and a few pieces of terrain from The Scene. My son has been nagging me for ages to get some better hills so I purchased 3 of these and also got some of their 15mm skips...
... and shipping containers.
I want to build a more industrial setting for some of the Force on Force games we've played and these seemed to add to the general clutter.
Other than that I didn't find anything to tempt me... I spent some time looking at the Ironclads Miniatures VSF range and may well come back to these at some point as there were some very nice pieces, especially their steam tunnelling machine... I'm not sure what I'd do with it but I think I want one!
The games at the show were good but many seemed to suffer from one of 2 problems... either they were visually very impressive but were overloaded with vehicles, troops etc to the point where it became hard to see what was going on [some resembled a WW2 car park] and others were very much a club day out with the players having a nice game but not actually engaging with the public at all. This is one of my real bugbears... if you're going to make the effort to put on a really good game, why not talk to people about it!
A couple of exceptions to this were the Staines Wargamers Pickett's Charge game where they seemed to be making a real effort to talk to people, and the West Kent Wargamers Medieval siege game.
Of course it could be that I was just in a bad mood! Everyone else seems to be reporting a very positive day out and have been very complimentary about the show.