Sunday, December 06, 2015

Stuff Pretence, Just Play Games - Recon 2015

Pudsey Recon has come and gone, being very much my local show I do try and get there whenever I can.  It's fair to say though that it looked quiet compared to previous years, with the timing of the show always risking weather effects and probably too close to Xmas for many this is never a surprise.

Yet somehow it hangs on in there, and glad of this I am too, as it is a show really for the everyday gamer.  Not the display showoffs here with games that cost thousands of pounds, take hundreds of hours to prepare and never appear in day to day play.  Just the opposite really, everyday models on everyday layouts in all manner of scale and media.

The Four Musketeers: 10mm Franco-Prussian War

Neat models on a simple felt table

Kirklees Crusaders: ECW. True 25mm models

The Lance & Longbow Society: The Battle of Liverpool 1425

History Alive: Airfix Napoleonics

Sure their tired looking but are your regiments 72 figures strong?

These seem to have snuck out when I wasn't looking

Westwind's War & Empire game and fabulous 15mm miniatures

Harrogate Club: Ardennes 1944 in 20mm

Headingley Games Club representing for board gaming

Leeds Night Owls: Bolt Action Burma 

28mm of course

Baccus 6mm: 1914
In terms of game of the day, it's a hard call, for sheer scale Harrogate wins it, but in terms of individual charm I'm torn between the Airfix Napoleonics and the English Civil War game, the unifying feature certainly being nostalgia.

But as I say, the games at the show are accessible ones, the sort of thing you could set up on a normal evening at a club to play with friends.  Beautiful?  Not in general, and blessed are those of us who have the models to play games with greater visual appeal; but this is not to diminish the aspect of the hobby Recon really represents, gameplay.

Virtually all the games were playable demos, and the next generation of gamers were being introduced to gaming at pretty much every table; you can't ask more of a gaming show than that really.

Other than the usual opportunity for some retail therapy I guess.  Personally one element of this frustrated me, I don't expect a lot of big retailers at a show like this, but I at least figured there'd be a few ranges of paints around - including my favoured Vallejo.  Not so.  I only saw two ranges of paints on sale, and 9 out of 10 sellers had only Army Painter.  Ho hum.  In the end I came out with about £30 of stuff, including some half price Victrix Carthaginian light troops, some generic 15mm Napoleonic Limbers and some Reaper Bones releases.

All in all it's a great little show, but I do fear for its future, it is a very homespun event and feels like it is getting more and more provincial every year, can it really sustain itself?  It was notable that the advertising of the event was staggeringly low key and seemingly still pre-internet for the most part; and this may explain why neither of the advertised competitions appeared to run.  The Bring and Buy was still a feature however, and still showed some tempting pieces.

I hope the show can survive, but to do so maybe it needs to consider its position in the calendar and its marketing.

Still all being well I'll return next year.

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