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21Apr/220

Throwback to Salute 2012 in London

Another throwback! 10 Years ago, I went for my first trip to Salute and it was not just any Salute, it was their 40th anniversary.

This was during my time as editor-in-chief for a large German wargaming portal, and to cover all (or at least most) of the novelties, we put it in our schedule to fly to London, take a lot of pictures, talk to a lot of people and arrange for some review material to cover in the upcoming months.

Most of the shows I participated until then where local conventions, held in community centres or similar and the largest was the Crisis 2011 in Antwerp or Action 2011 in Rheindahlen at the British Army HQ. And people already told me, wait until you see Salute, it's huge! I knew the South London Warlords from their elaborate participation tables on other shows and was eager to find out for myself.

South London Warlords - Salute 2012 South London Warlords - Salute 2012 South London Warlords - Salute 2012

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7Nov/200

Throwback to Crisis in Antwerp

Under different circumstances, I'd be psyched the whole week, with anticipation of driving to Antwerp, meeting with a lot of people that I wouldn't have seen since Salute (yeah, that didn't happen either). I had quite the plans for this year, as you can read in the Kick Off from back in January. And Antwerp would have been the guys weekend, the final show before a Brexit would make a lot of things in Wargaming a lot more difficult.

Tinsoldiers of Antwerp - CRISIS 2019

At the very first show I went to in 2011 I was driving in the early morning, but very soon we realized, Antwerpen is a city that offers that much, that you need more time. So our schedule for the weekend shifted towards an arrival on friday early afternoon, to have time for a proper tour of the flemish city.

2Nov/200

October 2020 review

October had a stronger non-wargaming focus for me than usual, as we're starting our large scale terrain project.

House Project 2021 House Project 2021

25Oct/200

spiel.digital and throwback to Spiel 2010

Like many other shows, the large toy and game fair SPIEL in Essen went digital this year to accomodate the needs of the current situation. A good reason to take a look on how they handled the transition from physical show into a digital one and a great invitation for a throwback!

In October 10 years ago, the I was quite busy, we just came back from our Nottingham tour (read about our throwback here), we went to one of the last DUZI shows and the Games Day Germany was just last week (throwback on that one is in preparation). So towards the end of the year and tour season for us, we went to the largest toy fair in Europe, SPIEL in Essen.

Back in the day, due to their size and to safe on marketing costs, Warlord Games and Mantic shared a booth (and Alessio joined in with Riverhorse as well to present Shuuro and support Kings of War), and the old set up of hall 6 at the show took not only a bit of preparation to avoid missing out on some wargaming or tabletop booths. It was great fun to drop by, as we met most of the lovely people just a few weeks ago on their home turf.

Throwback - Spiel 2010 Essen Throwback - Spiel 2010 Essen

18Sep/200

Throwback – Lead Belt Nottingham 2010 – Day 4

Last day of our trip to the lead belt and we headed to the outer area of the Nottinghamshire, to Mansfield to be exactly. Why head out there? Maelstrom Games had their facilities there, back in the day one of the largest wargaming stores, maybe only second to Wayland Games in the UK.

Maelstrom Games - Brick & Mortar Store

What made it interesting was not only the vast range, but the incredibly large gaming hall with 72 (!) tables, that hosted two tournaments at the same time. Epic 40.000 and Warhammer Ancient Battles on that day we were there. But not all, they even covered a bar, lounge and even more gaming tables. I think one of the things that impressed me the most, that even although the vast amount of tables and this not being club rooms, the amount of terrain was high and the quality of it more than just presentable.

17Sep/200

Throwback – Lead Belt Nottingham 2010 – Day 3

Friday started quite early, at 9 a.m. we went for a quick shopping at Mantic, as some of us wanted to buy some Kings of War armies. In my case, it were a few zombies (I really like the versatile use of the ghouls and zombies by Mantic) and the Dwarfen kings council. On top we got these Mantic messenger bags with personal dedication by Ronnie and Alessio.

Mantic Games - Studio Nottingham

But that was just a brief stay at Mantics, as we had the second part of our meeting with Warlord Games. I had the chance to meet John Stallard, who was tied the day before (he participated in the Games Workshop shareholder meeting). It was really great to meet another former high ranking manager. John participated in the same battle report, we mentioned yesterday with Ronnie.

16Sep/200

Throwback – Lead Belt Nottingham 2010 – Day 2

For the first full day in Nottingham we had the two newcomers on the miniature market on our schedule, Warlord Games and Mantic Games.

Warlord was already in the Lenton Business Centre where they sit until today. But back in the day, as a young and small company, they only rented single offices that were spread across the centre and not the whole wing and own brick & mortar store like today.

Warlord Games - Studio Nottingham

The range was already quite broad in terms of historical coverage, but far from the variety of plastic kits as today. The Early Imperial Romans and some Black Powder kits were already available and the first German soldiers for Bolt Action.

Warlord Games - Studio Nottingham Warlord Games - Studio Nottingham Warlord Games - Studio Nottingham

15Sep/200

Throwback – Lead Belt Nottingham 2010 – Day 1

In August I have written about my anniversary in "professional" wargaming, and during my time as editor-in-chief I visited a lot of shows and convention, and we did some tours to meet with some of the manufacturers. Our first large tour of that kind was exactly 10 years ago (well in the night from the 14th to the 15th), towards the lead belt.

For those of you not familiar with that term, the lead belt describes the greater Nottingham area / Midlands, as due to Games Workshop sitting there, a lot of other tabletop companies were founded in the surrounding area - many by former Games Workshop employees.

Lead Belt Nottingham
OpenStreetMap

As we were already in touch with the bigger companies for coverage, news and such, we arranged a couple of meetings in and around Nottingham and booked our stay in a hotel in Nottingham (Jury's Inn, proper stay, can only recommend). When I say we, it was Christian/Darkover (my former second-in-command), his wife Sarah, and two friends of mine from the local wargaming club; Andre (the albanian national coach, more on that later) and Lukas (my flatmate from my student days).

24Aug/200

A trip down memory lane … my first Games Day

Games Days (the predecessors of the Warhammer Fest) were a format of an event, organized by Games Workshop for the first time in 1975, originally in London, and covered the broader range of products that the company imported and distributed, like role playing games or miniature boardgames. Later the event was moved to Birmingham, to the NEC and the focus changed according to the company's range towards tabletop wargames.

With Games Workshop growing internationally, the Games Days were not only held annualy in the UK, but in many European countries like Germany, France and Italy, and on other continents, like Australia (Sydney) and North America (Atlanta, Baltimore and Chicago) as well. The first German Games Day was hosted in 1999, with many of the international events joining in the early 2000's.

Games Workshop - Golden Demon Games Day 2003 Ticket

I went to my first Games Day exactly 17 years ago on August 24th 2003. But why do I write about a Games Day that was so long ago? The same day I found the tickets from my first trip to Warhammer World, I came across my ticket from the 2003 Games Day in Cologne.

Back in the day, the German one was held in Cologne, at the Gürzenich. Quite an impressive location for such an event, as the Gürzenich is a representational building in the heart of the city, which was first opened in 1447 and has a classic late Gothic façade. And is it used as a festival theatre, it easily covers enough space for a wargaming events.

10Aug/200

12 years of “professional” wargaming

Due to the lack of conventions and events this year, I had a look through my archives to see if there would be content that would be interesting for a throwback. While looking through the documents and pictures, I noticed that I have my 12th anniversary of "professional" wargaming this year.

Games Workshop Warhammer Store Darmstadt Salute 2012 with Mike McVey RPC 2011 Huddle

(Left: 1999 Warhammer Store Opening in Party in Darmstadt, Germany,
Middle: Mike McVey at Salute 2012 London, UK
Right: RPC 2012 Kick-Off in Cologne, Germany)

What do I mean by that? I am wargaming since 1996, but in 2008 I got a trade licence to run a blog. A trade licence for a blog? Seems a bit oversized, don't you think? Well, it depends on what you're going to do.