A trip to Vapnartak in the days when I was married meant that my wife would drop me off at the racecourse and drive into York with the kids and the au pair of the moment. After an hour or so looking around I would walk in to the city centre and meet them for lunch. For those who don't know York, it's a good couple of miles and, given the time of year it was always perishing. You basically walk along the river towpath and the wind comes whistling along. I was reminded of all that this morning because it was once again several degrees below zero as we arrived at the Knavesmire.
The reason an hour is sufficient to look round the show is that despite the excellent, well lit location, there isn't ever that much to see. I took a camera this year and couldn't be bothered to get it out of my bag because most games looked exactly like they did last year, notwithstanding the fact that the displays claim they are different scenarios. And if one has an idea what one wants regarding purchases then they can be completed swiftly, always assuming that three fat blokes haven't chosen the front of that particular traders' stand to have a chat. However, it's always a pleasure to bump into people one knows and there were a few things of interest.
There was a Cruel Seas participation game and I spent some time listening to the explanation of the mechanics. Peter is keen on this, indeed so keen that he mumbled something about having a game before he had painted the boats; that would be radical. Apparently Warlord Games didn't have much by the way of stock on hand, which is perhaps surprising. Then there was a Lion Rampant game featuring Romans vs Celts of some sort (including chariots). What interested me was the fact that the figures were grouped on stands rather than being individually based, showing that it can be done. I enjoyed our couple of goes at Lion Rampant, and perhaps when I have finished with the Great War we'll have another play. I also looked at a demo of a forthcoming game from Peter Pig about pirate era ship to ship battles. It was on a hexed mat, but I couldn't work out whether it needed to be. I suppose I could have asked, but that's not very British is it.
I picked up a small Kallistra order: slopes and some forest base hexes to replace the green felt that I have been using on a fairly long lasting temporary basis. In addition I bought a British WWI howitzer, really just to give a bit of variety to the field guns on the table. While I was at the Early War Miniatures stall I also bought a German anti-tank rifle team. There don't appear to be any rules for them in Square Bashing, and they weren't very effective anyway, so I thought that was pretty good value for money. For the first time at a wargames show for many years I didn't buy any trees from the tree man. I have to reluctantly admit to probably having enough already.