Monday, 9 February 2015

York Show - Vapnartak 2015

 The venue is spectacular (Vapnartak means 'spectacular' in Norse) and being a yokel this was the busiest show I've ever attended. Brilliant daylight streamed into the halls leaving the normally troglodyte gamers nowhere to hide and illuminated the fabulous work of gamer and manufacturer alike. No one could go home from this place saying "It didn't look like this on the stand!"
'Vapnartak?' as everyone knows, is Klingon for 'Is this my white van?' The confusion could be forgiven as the traders at this show were legion in their attendance. Fifty shades of traders made the choices for parting with your cash exquisitely painful (do I really need 6mm resin bactrian camels?)
 There were some truly sublime displays set up, full of scenes and details...
 ...it wouldn't be fair to rate one over another as they all brought something to the party (Vapnartak being the Lithuanian for 'cool stuff')
 The trouble folk take is amazing...
 ...as are the details
 I hope this lot were heavily insured (Vapnartak is, as you well know, 'Collections Insurance' in Sanskrit)
 28mm bullock carts approach the wall.
 On to the Suez Canal circa WW1, again in 28mm....
 Don't know where they got all the kits from but it was all done to an exacting quality.

 Of course 'Vapnartak' does mean 'Quality' in Phoenician...

 Smack bang up to date with a game of MP's on a night out after an all night sitting in the House...or an apocalyptic zombie game ( never trust a zombie! I went to the loo in a pub in Leeds and a zombie stole my chair. True story.)
 Stunning street scenes and full of details ('Vapnartak' being old Etonian for 'Expenses Claim')
 Rorke's Drift, you've got to have a Zulu game..."Look! Zulu's...fazen's of 'em!"


 A staggering display of 28mm 18th C raiders
 I went off to peruse the bring and buy....
 ...was surprised at the amount of stuff on offer in this internet age...
 ..queued packed in rather snugly with the rich aroma of au d'geek (familiar to all, I'm sure)
 ...then came back to take more pics of the pirates....lovely.
 Hey! That's what a windmill looks like....?
 Perhaps a little too much detail here?...ooh...er...missus!
 There were probably over a thousand folk through the doors before noon
 It was certainly more of a cross section of society than I've seen at venues before.
 Lots of families ('Vapnartak' means 'day out' in Gaelic) earth mother types in kaftan's, the occasional cowboy, assorted Romans......
...and, of course, significant numbers of 'us' (as you'd expect) overweight baldies with ponytails and glasses in camouflage and stained 'hilarious' T-shirts...the students at the competition games brought the average age down to around 60.

 It took me a while to realise that the tower in the background was indeed a flask...('Vapnartak is Russian for 'Flask Game')

 Traditional gaming was represented....
 ...as was the more RPG type scenario...
 None were so traditional as this classic set-up worthy of 'Little Wars'
 Big games sat easily by smaller...

 ...periods coexisted contentedly...

 ...some games were even besieged by rules commanded by drinks! ('Vapnartak' is Han Chinese for 'It's your round')

  ...ever a popular participation game...


 Over £800 was raised for 'Help for Heroes' through the sale of VE Day dice. Well done York!

 Some spectacular scenery from a previous Afghan war... Hey, HM Gov, surely four sequels is enough?
 Another beautifully detailed game.

 I'm always amazed at the research that must go into these games...
 ...and again, where does all the gear come from?

 'Vapnartak' is really Elvish for 'Skint after project'....would I lie?

 Some games...
 ...had straight forward objectives...
 ...and looked great fun.
 Others took some working out...
 ...clearly took a lot of work...
 ...and weren't so traditional. 'Vapnartak' means 'Quick Reference Sheet' in Swahili...a fact know the world over.
 This was based on a Hollywood film featuring that famous Thespian Mr Arnold Schwarzenegger
 This was an innovative game

 ...and this one, a whole war later, was very well sculpted...
 ...and had the benefit of letting the makers wife get the kitchen table back.

 The competition games were suitably sworn and cursed over...nerds day out
 ...was taken very seriously.

 But the traditional end-of-game hand shake says it all 'Vapnartak' means 'Vengeance will be mine!' in teen mumble.
 Some views of the venue...
 ...Big


 This I liked and was tempted
 Interesting Roman gear at the entrance
 Shop lifters find it hard to run with a bolt through the neck....
It was a really great day, packed with incident and fun. My thanks to Dave and his missus for putting Ferdy and me up for the weekend, we enjoyed York immensely...and special mention should be made of the tannoy announcer who summed up perfectly how the hobby enchants and enthrals us into forgetting all else when he announced "Will Mr F. Bloggs please come to reception...your wife and child are waiting for you!" ...there, but for the Grace of God, go us all.