Monday, 13 February 2017
Red on Blue in Nottingham
On Sunday I took a trip to Nottingham in order to visit the first of what will hopefully become an annual event called Red on Blue in Nottingham (or RoBiN for short). The tickets were only £5 per person and for that you got a lucky bag with a random Warlord Games sprue, another small model (a goblin archer in my case) via Macrocosm Miniatures, a key-ring courtesy of a new supplier of lasercut scenery and other accessories called Laser Cut Architect (more on them later) and if you advance ordered your ticket there was the exclusive mini pictured below. If you didn't advance order your ticket then the remaining minis were on a first come first served basis...
...therefore if you ended up with a sprue of something you wanted and you like things with bows you actually made a profit on your ticket price. There was also a decent sized free car-park which kept the price down as I've been to several events where the parking effectively doubled the price. I do have some constructive criticisms but I'll leave them till the end.
The usual suspects such as Warlord Games, Mantic Games, Sarissa Precision and the like were there as well as a number of smaller companies and several retailers. A full list of the traders can be found here should you want to know what you were missing. I'm sure you're all quite capable of searching through the various companies own sites so I'll limit this article to the stuff that interested me, lol. There were also several seminars hosted at various points during the afternoon.
Here's a few overview pictures so you can get some idea of the venue.
There were also a number of demo tables related to some of the various game suppliers own products as well as a number of demos being ran by a local gaming club.
Now onto the stuff that interested me specifically...
Word Forge Games - Devils Run
The gentlemen from Word Forge Games had a large selection of miniature vehicles from their Devils Run game as well as areas for demoing. There were also some vehicles from their recent Kickstarter...in a shameless attempt to build suspense they'll be the ones at the end...I also purchased a copy of a card game they publish called cheekZ involving hamsters...yes...I like hamsters...what of it...
White Dragon Miniatures - Shattered Void
I recently pledged to a Kickstarter by White Dragon Miniatures for a sci-fi dogfighting game called Shattered Void. There were several of the minis there (sorry but the lighting meant these pictures aren't brilliant)...
...and after a conversation with a gentlemen at the stand I also became interested in an upcoming game of there's involving mechanised combat in the same world. I bought one of the models and it will be getting it's own feature here.
Laser Cut Architect
This gentleman kindly provided the key-rings from the lucky bags so I figured his generosity was worth a plug at least...also his counter sets were well done and his scenery pieces were also particularly professional. Currently the scenery pieces are in a smaller scale than I normally utilise but he is planning on expanding the range into the 28mm scale. His Facebook page is here and his website here should you be interested.
Gav Thorpe's - Big Stompy Robots
I was fortunate to get one of the first demos of Gav Thorpes Big Stompy Robot game the details of the development of which can be found here. The game is obviously in it's early stages so some of what I'm about to talk about may change...
Each player controls a single mech represented on the table currently by a 10mm scale model and managed via a selection of cards making up the mechs body and weapons. A number of dice are allocated from the 'Reactor' section, with those in the head deciding the number of actions (1-4 currently) with the rest being divided between the weapons and legs (should you actually intend to move about).
Some weapons also have an ammo pool (also represented by dice) though some energy weapons do not, For each die allocated to the head you and your opponent(s) get a card put into a pile which is shuffled and then these are drawn one at a time to see who gets to act. I was involved in a three person game and somewhat unfortunately for me the other two were a father and son who seemed to be ganging up on me a little...also...avoid mechs with flamethrowers...
There were some other interesting game mechanics such as the ability to remove damage by shunting it to a body section and also by using the aforementioned reactor dice to attempt to remove accumulated damage.
I'm also sorry to say that I surrendered before I could be defeated...as you can see from the following picture one of my opponents was particularly fearsome and I didn't want to antagonise him...behold the look of evil on that face...
I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this game is it develops over time as I particularly liked the way the cards gave you the feel of a HUD and the fact that you control a single model rather than an army of them gives you the feel of actual piloting.
In conclusion the event was a promising start and other than a few minor niggles that were to be fair out of their control (The heating had packed in and the onsite cafe was woefully unprepared for several hundred people in need of coffee) it has the potential to be a significant event in the wargaming calendar. It could also have done with some way of better managing the queues outside such as a rope barrier and a few more helpers might have been useful as Annie White of Cosy Dice got roped in as door staff.
Thoughts and comments are (as usual) most welcome.