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Tuesday 5 February 2019

Vapnartak show report

Since the 2013 show the Falkirk club has sent a bus down to Vapnartak.  It is our only club day out of the year and it is paid for by club funds.  About 20+ normally make the trip - some are perhaps put off by the early start (5am from Falkirk).  I have gone down every year but one and have always enjoyed my day out.

The trade presence is fantastic with York being as far north as some traders venture.  The flea market style bring and buy has always been pretty poor with the sellers crammed into a very tight space.  There is a bar and a café with a reasonably sized seating area – not wonderful but as good if not better than most wargames shows.

Until 2019 I have also normally been pretty impressed by the number and variety of games.  This year I was very disappointed.  Few of big set piece games attracted my attention and in fact didn’t seem to have changed much since last year.  Quite a few people have commented on the lack of engagement with the public by those taking part.  The number of games in total and participation games in particular seemed well down.

My verdict on the show

Trade – very good but not what I go for - the purchases that I made could just as easily have been done online

Games – much poorer – I was disappointed by only being able to get in to 2 participation games and I was not engaged by the demonstration games

Venue – pretty good – a bit crowded in places but no real issues

Bring and Buy – the flea market format is good but the set up is appallingly bad and this year virtually nothing tempted me (£2.50 spent)

If it was not for the fact that it is a good day out with mates from the club I am not sure that I would go in 2020.  By the way I have been involved in running a number of wargames shows myself, absolutely recognise the hard work done by the York club in putting Vapnartak on and thank them for that.  I am sure that the main attraction for the majority of the attendees is the trade element.  However for myself and other less interested in that aspect the attraction was somewhat less in 2019 compared to previous years.