Thursday, 1 April 2010

March Review

March has been quite an interesting month for me involving several enjoyable days out. First up was a trip to the east midlands. This started with a visit to an open day held to promote the new Black Powder rules at Maelstrom Games in Mansfield. The premises are still ‘work in progress’ with the shop under the main playing room. One of the two adjacent buildings are used as a stock room, the other appears as if it will be used it as an additional playing area.

The products on display are available with a decent discount of 10-15% although this isn’t immediately obvious as they do not have any prices on the items.

The distance to the shop, just over 55 miles away, means that I won’t be able to regularly visit though my friend recommends their mail order service after placing, and quickly receiving, a large order with a considerable discount.

I can’t comment of the new Black Powder rules as I didn’t manage to play but it’s always nice to be able to put names to faces regarding the Warlord Games staff. My accompanying friends are more into Warhammer Fantasy so we ventured south towards Warhammer World, the headquarters of Games Workshop (GW) in Nottingham. Located on an industrial estate, the showrooms and playing areas are based in a factory unit. The painted miniatures on display are definitely worth seeing. There is a shop on site where we were ‘mugged’ three times in ten minutes by the professionally over friendly staff,

“So what army are you working on?”

“Err.. exactly the same one I just told those two blokes about”.

I didn’t say this obviously as I’m far too polite. It’s apparent that there are stock phases taught to GW staff during their training. Another method seems to be placing the appropriate product in your hands - think of the opposite of when your mom used to remove sweets you sneakily placed in the shopping trolley hoping she wouldn’t notice until you arrived at the till. Clever Jedi mind tricks but a little tiresome after awhile.
I was a little surprised that the shop doesn’t have the complete range available on display; although they are available on request if you’re prepared to wait. A missed opportunity I would have thought from such a commercially focused operation like GW. After mentioning where we'd been earlier one staff member admitted that Maelstrom offer cheaper prices than normal but then quickly added that Maelstrom don't carry a full range of stock (just like their own shop then).

Also in March was the WMMS show organised by Alumwell Wargamers which is probably the biggest show of its type in the West Midlands. In attendance were my local club, Pensnett, which is a ‘proper’ old fashioned modelling club (in the sense of making plastic model kits, scratch building and painting large scale figures). With my limited finances I still managed to spend about £70, including renewed membership of the Lance & Longbow Society. Main purchases consisted of metal Perry miniatures from their EWC and new WotR ranges. A highlight of the show was a game put on by the Leamington Spa Wargamers group. This was an impressive Elizabethan game based on the film ‘Where Eagles Dare’. Trust me; it made sense when you saw it. They deservedly won the "Best Painted Army" at the show.

Managed to paint twenty figures and finish the star fort I made last year. I also did a lot of prep work on numerous other figures but I think I need to focus and paint more regularly. Another post about my ECW efforts will be posted shortly.