Picture Report on 2012 show.
As the day broke on Sheffield, we set off for the Workstation trying to get our eyes used to the unfamiliar Sunshine radiating from the Heavens. It was as if the weather had decided to join in with all of us working to make the Baccus Gaming Day 2012 a big success.
We arrived at the venue at 8.00am and by an hour later had the Baccus stand set up and running and so could have the luxury of seeing the arrival of the others who were aiming to entertain the Great British Wargaming Public. Pretty soon, both the main room and the Reception where we were based were veritable hives of honest toil as a series of cars turned up and disgorged their contents. Walking round with Nick Johnson, (the organiser of the Sheffield Irregular's side of things), we were both gratified to see the range and the quality of the displays that were slowly being assembled in front of our eyes. As it happened, the day turned out very well indeed, and here is a totally unbiased and very objective view of the whole affair..
I suppose that I ought to start with the venue. The Workstation is a great place to hold an event like ours. It is a recently refurbished building in Sheffield's Cultural Quarter. It is a light and airy building with a good range of nearby on-street parking. In terms of public transport it could be be better, being very close to the Railway and Bus stations. Food and drink was available at the associated cafe just down the road, and you could even order food from the reception desk to be delivered directly to your table. I can heartily recommend the Lamb burger - a huge leap in quality over some of the rubbish you get at other shows.
However, enough on my ramblings. Here's some pretty pics of the great games on show...
And we'll start at the very beginning. Visitors to the show were greeted by the magnificent sight of the Very Large Towton Project
It was the last outing for this magnificent spectacle with Ruarigh and Steve doing a valiant job of marshalling and moving some 17,000 figures...
Here's a view along the lines.
So having had a spectacular start, the main room held some real 6mm gems, and we'll start with Chris Grice's Speyerbach game, which he was using to demonstrate his Polemos WSS 2nd edtion rules.
The close neighbour to this was Mike Salwey's epic Trebbia presentation. All troops were wonderfully painted and presented as one would expect and the whole thing enhanced by a deceptively simple but very effective game board.
Next to this was a stunningly handsome looking game in the form of the Bert Fegg Group's Vimiero. A wonderful demonstration of terrain building, well thought out scenics and beautifully painted and presented armies. One of the best games you will see in any scale.
And in complete contrast to this verdant scenery, next door Peter Riley was demonstrating the forthcoming Polemos Colonial Rules by putting on a scenario based on the battle of Abu Klea.
And with yet further contrast the final game on display was the outstanding if very wintery Fraustadt presented by Per Broden and which was used by himself and Nick Dorrel to play through using Polemos GNW rules.
All in all an outstanding set of games which showcased the flexibility of small scale figures and lots of different approaches to presenting and playing through games.
One of the main concepts of the day was to give people more to do than just look at eye candy. Fraustadt, Abu Klea, Speyerbach and Towton were all open for people to join and take a command - as the first three were run by the writers of the rules being used this offered a great opportunity for players to get to know the people behind the names on the covers.
This hands-on approach was also applied to the non-gaming highlight of the day in the form of Dr Mike's Painting Clinic. Basically, Mike Salwey and Ian Porter set up four painting workstations, fully equipped with lighting, paints, brushes, basing materials and primed figures.
They then opened for business, offering advice, tips, hints and help to all who fancied having a go. There were lots of people trying to paint 6mm for the first time and getting a very pleasant surprise to see just how easy it was. There were also experienced painters just looking for help in improving their techniques. It is no exaggeration to say that this was the busiest area in the whole show, and Mike and Ian the hardest working of all the participants!
In between all of this two seminars were run during the day. The first was on the process of designing and manufacturing the metal miniatures and toy soldiers that are so dear to all of our hearts. The second was more a case of Christians thrown to the Lions as four Polemos rules authors met their public to answer questions about games design, points systems and why Polemos rules will never be seen in a competitive tournament.
With so many things to do and see, the show maintained its buzz well into the later afternoon, thus bucking the trend seen in many of the larger shows nowadays. By the time we were finally winding down and packing away, reflections were being made on what had been a cracking day and plans were already being made for making next year's event bigger and better. Watch this space...