Sunday 17 February 2019

ROBIN 2019 Games Expo and Trade Fair

So I (LB) popped down to the ROBIN show today (Sunday 17th February) to see how it was going to be different from the previous incarnation. For its first two years it was run by Donna Simmerson who put in a lot of energy and experience to pull off a great little show which had a lot of potential. It's always difficult to start something from scratch, but Nottingham, at the centre of the fabled Leadbelt, has struggled to develop its own show, probably because of more established offerings in nearby Newark, Derby and the late lamented Cannon in Retford. The new experience has been relabelled as a Games Expo and Trade Fair so I was expecting an expansion of the card and boardgame part of the hobby, and looking forward to seeing what was on offer, given that Nottingham also has a thriving industry in this sector.

Arriving a few minutes after opening I parked easily, and found that their first innovation as to make the entry through the Tennis Centre, which means no door opening straight to the outside, which was a definite improvement. The weather was much milder this year too, so a much more comfortable temperature in the hall. There were a lot of unfamiliar traders which was refreshing, but meant some of the big names were missing. I think Tactica was on in Germany this weekend, so it looks like Foundry and Wargames Illustrated, for example, were there instead of nearer to home. Surprisingly the fresh faces didn't really represent an expansion into the boardgame and card game sector, but it as good to see some of the smaller names from the wargames field - and it is probably wise at this point for us to apologise again to those of you who are on the Partizan waiting list - we know it is frustrating to have to wait to get into the more established shows, sorry! 

For those of you who like to hear the personal side of things I managed to get two out of three things on my shopping list - a ne can of Strong Tone varnish, and Wayne Bollands new Cold war rules 'The Zone', which look very good, and will persuade me to get out my Sloppy Jalopy vehicles and those old Mongrel figures! I saw Wayne in the distance and s going to get him to sign it for me but he diappeared whilst I was chatting! I was looking for some Vallejo sepia wash, but couldn't find any, but got some decal softener instead! All in all quite restrained I thought.

Of the games again there were  couple of board game and card game offerings, but more traditional wargames. Standout amongst those were the Lenton Gamers Chain of Command game and James Morris'  Red Book of the Elf King games, and the Leicester Phat Cats Blood and Thunder pirate game with some very impressive ship models.

I had been hoping to find time for a quick game of Mortal Gods and/or Cruel Sea, but seemed to spend a lot of time chatting with folks instead. The legend that is Duncan Macfarlane seemed in fine form, and we talked nostalgically with Dave Bickley about the days when painting was done with Humbrol enamels, Plaka paints, or even oils, before I realised that I'm actually not old enough to remember those days...

ROBIN has only been going three years, and this is the first year 'under new management'. I've often said that a show needs to have a reason for being, a niche that makes it stand out and gives people a reason for going. Over the years I hope Partizan has done that, and I had high hopes that the move to expand this show to include more diverse sectors of the gaming world would be the making of it. On the face of it much remains to be done to achieve this goal, but if and when it succeeds then ROBIN will be a great addition to the circuit - and it's also very handy for me, living as I do in Nottingham now..

Friday 1 February 2019

Plans and stratagems

The New Year has been and gone and the last excuse for avoiding preparations for this year's shows has been blown away in the blizzards.

So we have buckled down and started sending out invites and drawing up floorplans. If you were hoping to bring a game to the first show in May and have not yet received an invite then please do let us know. If you were hoping to trade then, as always, we are very over subscribed but will do our best to fit traders in as space becomes available. Again, let us know if you are interested and we can add you to the waiting list. Finally if you represent a wargaming society and wish to promote your particular aspect of the hobby then let us know and we will try and fit you in to the History Zone where we provide stands free of charge.

Meanwhile we have been making some changes to future shows. If you put on games or trade at the show you should already have received a letter about this but, for wider consumption, we are making some permanent changes to the date of the second show of the year.

 Since the Partizan show moved to the new venue we have had to compromise on the dates of the shows, particularly the second of the year, which has been pushed forward into mid-August from its traditional slot in early September. Whilst we think that everyone would agree that generally the move to the showground has been very successful, the need for the second show to move to mid-August does, we believe, impact on numbers and also makes it far more difficult to tempt games as so many people are away at that time. In addition the relatively short period of time between the first and second Partizan shows makes organisation rather difficult.

We have recently been asked by the showground to make a further date change as they have a large client who wishes to take the whole venue for a weekend. We have used this opportunity to ask for a more radical change to the date in light of the demise of the Derby World's show.

Therefore we would like to announce that, whilst this year's show dates remain unchanged from those advertised, from 2020 The Other Partizan will have a new date in early October.

A reminder that the dates for 2019 are:

Partizan: 19th May
The Other Partizan: 18th August

The new dates for 2020 are:

Partizan: 17th May (please note the letter that went out to games and traders had an incorrect date for this show) 
The Other Partizan: 11th October

The dates for 2021 are:

Partizan: 23rd May
The Other Partizan: 10th October