Sunday, 8 May 2011

Reflections on Carronade 2011

The Carronade Show yesterday was the first Show that I have been to, in many years, where I was not involved in running a Club Table. Normally, I would be busy helping with the setting up of the Club Table, and more often than not be one of the two or three people in the Club who actually knew the rules for the game we were running which meant that I spent much of the day of the Show at the Table, being on hand to help with rules queries, explain rules to the public in a participation game or answering questions about the game we were running and so on.

As such, it wasn't until yesterday that I realised how much of a Show I actually didn't see when running a Club Table. At best you would get maybe a quick run round the Traders and the Bring N Buy, probably little or no time to have a look at the other games and then maybe grab something to eat before getting back to the Table. So yesterday was a bit of a revelation and as a result I enjoyed the Show much more as I had time to appreciate what was going on.

So the first reflection is to say  big thank you to all of the people who manned their respective tables yesterday. Knowing what's it's like to be on a club table, a lot of effort goes into each and every table and without the commitment of each and every gamer that took part in their table there really wouldn't be a Show to go and see and enjoy.

And at Carronade yesterday there was a lot of good things going on. If you have seen my earlier posts with pictures of the majority of games going on  Carronade 2011 Pics Upload No. 1 and  Carronade 2011 Pics Upload No.2 hopefully this will have given you a fair idea of the wide variety of periods and scales of figures on display, from Fantasy and Sci Fi to Dark Ages and Modern Warfare, from 1/6000 scale to 28mm and it has to be said all of the games had something worthy of comment.

One of the enjoyable parts of my day was wandering round the tables and being able to speak to some of the gamers at their table and learning a bit about the particular display. I would make particular mention about the following tables:-

The guys at DWARF who put on an huge Warhammer Fantasy battle between Brettonians and Daemons of Chaos -

 Just a small scene from the massive Warhammer Battle

The two guys that I met were really friendly and were happy to chat about Warhammer and their views on 8th Edition. That coupled with a fantastic looking table (I'm still kicking myself for not taking a picture of the Castle) and terrain pieces and a very pretty, pink Brettonian army (Not that I would have said "pretty" in front of the Brettonian General!)

The guys at Buchan Wargames Club, always very friendly and approachable - we had them down to the Kirrie Club last year where they ran for us their Napoleonic game based on the 1812 French retreat from Moscow. Yesterday they were running a 1/72nd scale WW1 game based loosely on Wings of War but with some fantastic custom made templates and dashboards and a glorious looking Gotha Bomber.

And the lads of Gourock Wargames Club who I think had the largest table at the event but were using the smallest models on display with their "Forcing the Dardenelles" WW1 Naval game in 1/6000 scale. The chap that I spoke to there clearly knew his rules set  - General Quarters III and was very enthusiastic about them, so much so that I'm at the point of ordering a download myself as this is one of my favourite periods.

The Allied Fleet start their perilous journey through the Straits

I mentioned in my earlier post that I thought the display by The Iron Brigade was the highlight of the show for me. Fantastic looking scenery and as always exquisitely painted figures by Kevin and Peter. I think you were robbed boys in getting the runner up award. The "Affair at Elswick" was a good table, nicely done, but not a patch on the Iron Brigade's table -

 The Relief Column marching towards the Square

There were many participation games on offer, although, I didn't actually take part in any, I was content to snap some pics.

The guys at RAF Leuchars always put on a great participation game and this year proved no exception with them winning best Participation Game at Show with their "Great Escape" game.

I thought Kirrie club's game "A Norse! A Norse! My Kingdom for a Norse!" would have been a close contender but they were pipped by the Bathgate Wargames Club's Dr. Who game.
The Monks running for Sanctuary from the Norse Heathens

Presumably the temple in the middle holds the Paradox for Dr. Who?

All of the participation games seemed to have plenty of people at their tables, enjoying themselves and it was encouraging to see a number of young kids taking great delight at rolling the dice - gamers of the future hopefully.

The Flea Market at Carronade was the busiest I have seen it. I'm cursing missing out on a total bargain on some Wings of War models, but at the critical point I had no cash available, and by the time I had gone into town to get more cash (that's the one drawback about the venue, there is no nearby cash machine) the models and the seller had gone.

I have to be honest and admit that I never really spend much time looking at the entries in the painting competition in any Show (and that includes the Kirrie Show, "Targe"). Consequently, I wasn't sure if the number of entries that were on display yesterday for the Competitions were fewer than normal - there didn't seem that many, although the ones I saw were well done
Some of the entries into the Painting Competitions

Hopefully all of the Traders had a good day, although I'm aware that some of the Traders in the upper hall were not too happy at being stuck up there and away from the main trade areas in the 2 lower halls. Perhaps the Organising Committee need to look at perhaps putting all the traders in the same area, and perhaps putting more club tables in that upper hall? Only my tuppence worth.

As for purchases, while I saw much that was tempting alas, budget was tight, but I did pick up a box of Bolt Action 28mm plastic WW2 Germans for £10, a couple of 10mm resin buildings from Pendraken Miniatures along with a couple of Churchill tanks for my Brits and a tub of Basetex from Coritani and another Hexxon mountain range (this time an 8 hex piece) from Kallistra

The canteen produced some decent fare although, I should have gone earlier in the day to get one of their bacon rolls. As it was the cheeseburger roll with onions that I did have was very tasty and certainly not expensive.

The venue for the Show, Graham High School, is bright and spacious, although spread over 4 halls and 2 floors, you have a wee bit of a walk to see round it all but it's hardly going to be sore on the feet! I was never conscious of being bumped or having to squeeze past people to get to where I wanted to be. And the curse of the Wargames Show, sweaty armpit smell, was thankfully not prevalent!!

For some other pics of the event check out Midpoint's Blog

So all in all a very good show, made all the better for seeing it from the angle of a paying punter rather than as a participant. The Falkirk guys are great, friendly bunch and they are to be highly commended for putting on what, was in my opinion a very successful show.

Next stop Wappinshaw!!


  1. Never put on a game myself so do not realise the amount of time and effort it takes to run one and it's effect on your purchasing and browsing time.
    Good Summary of the show.

  2. Yip totally agree KP,
    We very much enjoyed the show, planty of space to move around and loads of top displays. I have pretty much everything I need at the moment so was only along for the crack. Picked up my bases from Warbases, a book on Cossacks and a load of Foundry paints at the bring and buy for a good price (my brother and nephew spent a lot more than me).

    I emailed Ian at fighting15's to see if he would be attending, unfortunately not so I'll pick up the odds and sods I need to finish off units at Claymore.

  3. Glad you had a good day and thanks for the all the great comments and a very thorough run through. As part of the Carronade crew it's always good to get constructive criticism. We'll take all comments on board when planning for next year and always hope to improve.

    Just so you know, the painting competition is only in it's third year and each year has grown with the number of entries up each year. The entries did come in all through the day so early on did look a bit scarce until the afternoon. Hopefully the trend will increase next year.