Unfortunately, due to illness, I missed this year’s Salute show. As compensation I decided to attend Partizan in Newark, a show I have never visited before. Elaine decided to come with me and have an extended w/e by exploring Newark itself, and visiting friends in Nottingham. We drove up on Saturday and wandered around the small, but interesting, town centre. We visited the English Civil War museum (which was OK) and castle area. In the late afternoon we discovered a boardgame cafe (Letsxcape2together) and decided to spend a couple of hours playing games before finding a restaurant for dinner. The cafe has a reasonable range of games available and provided a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere. We spend much time chatting to the owner about games in general and wargaming activity in the area. I recommend others to call in if they are in Newark.
On the Sunday we went to the Partizan show at the Newark showground. Parking was free and extensive, and the hall was large, well laid out, with good natural light and room to move around. As well as the usual traders, there were large numbers of well presented participation and demonstration games covering a wide range of genres and historical periods. It was interesting that Elaine came to the show because I could get an opinion of a non-wargaming participant rather than just seeing things with my own perspective. She was very impressed by the modelling skills presented, both in terms of the beauty of the figures and the scenic terrain they were situated on. She also praised the friendly enthusiasm of many organisers who were happy to discuss what they were doing to a complete novice like Elaine. I actually think she enjoyed the couple of hours she spent at the show, but not enough to take up the hobby!
There were many games that took my eye. WW2 was well represented (as usual) and the game that stood out for me was a ‘Malaya, 1942’ Chain of Command game by TooFatLardies – lovely! I was also most impressed by the GNW game by the Grimsby Wargamer Society. Other notable games included a Turk v Moldovan game; a large Indian Mutiny battle; a Boxer Rebellion skirmish game; a Napoleonic Egypt battle, plus some Sharp Practice skirmishes (sorry, I did not note who put these games on). Overall I think the standard of games was very high, far better than a lot of shows I have attended, where I think the quality levels have dropped recently. Interestingly, there was no ‘new’ wargame period, genre, rules or feature that stood out as the must see or must buy item. May be Partizan is too close to Salute for this to be the case? I did manage to get most of the paints, bases and figures that I wanted to buy plus, of course, a few unplanned purchases (e.g. orange trees for a small orchard). These will feature in future posts on this blog.
To conclude, I really enjoyed and was impressed by Partizan. I can see myself attending future Partizan shows (The Other Partizan in August?), and would recommend the show to wargamers wherever you are based in the UK.