Wednesday 7 August 2019

And so the end is near...

So the floorplan is done, the confirmations have all been sent out, the programme is off with our good friends at Wargames Illustrated for printing and the very last August Partizan is ready to roll out.

And I shall be very glad to see the back of it. Good riddance.

Don't get me wrong, I love the Partizan shows. I have been helping to run them since the very first one back at the Grove Sports Hall in 1986. I have been doing the invites and floorplans for them since the year I got married in 1993. I know this because the floorplans were based on the brochure my wife-to-be and I were given to plan our wedding at Kelham Hall that year. Like any good wargamer I never let anything go to waste.

At one time Laurence and I were such gluttons for punishment we even agreed when someone had the bright idea of running three Partizans a year, with the February slot reserved for Science fiction and Fantasy gaming. It didn't take us too many years to realise this was not a good plan and 'Fantizan' was consigned to history - at least until it was resurrected the following year by another club as Hammerhead.

So the pattern for the last couple of decades has been for two Partizans a year, one in May and one towards the end of the summer. The timing of the second show has been dictated by the need to maintain a gap between The Other Partizan and the collection of long standing, major shows that made up the autumn season. Three big shows - Colours, Derby and SELWG dominated the autumn months and we had always been aware that it would be both counter productive and unfair to put The Other Partizan too close to any of them. That meant the latest we could really run the second show was the beginning of September.

The problem with this was it left a very limited amount of time between the first and second shows. As soon as the May show was over we needed to get the planning sorted out for The Other Partizan. With traders this was not usually a big problem although we lost a few to summer holidays. With games it was a bigger problem - again because of the holidays but also because putting on two games in quick succession is, for many people, simply too much to ask. These problems were only exacerbated by the move to the Show Ground which necessitated pulling the second show back into mid August as well as finding twice as many games for each show.

In short, it takes twice as much work to organise the second show as it does the first. And I think it is widely recognised that The Other Partizan is generally the poor relation to the original version.

But now two events in quick succession have produced a solution to this problem and marked the end of the late summer Partizan.

The first was the implosion of the Derby Worlds show. I won't go into detail about this, partly because the loss of such a long standing show is not something to celebrate, but mainly because I simply don't know all the details. Needless to say the show, after moving venues over the last few years, is now no more. This opens up a very nice gap in the calendar in early to mid October.

Following quickly on this opportunity came the news that the Showground were very keen for us to move the second Partizan away from the current mid August slot. I believe this is because Newark is due to be overrun with vegans on an annual basis - a sort of reverse zombie apocalypse.

When a number of alternative dates - all still scattered around late summer and none of them really ideal - were offered, Laurence took the opportunity to suggest a more radical move; to the October slot recently vacated by Derby.

This is a much better slot for us all round. It is away from the purse-tightening weeks of 'back to school'. It is away from the summer holidays so the full compliment of traders and game are more likely to be available. It gives the games more time to regroup and prepare after the first show. It ensures that the previously profitable Derby slot is maintained for traders.

And, most importantly of all, it gives me an extra two months to get the show organised.

So personally I will be very glad to see the back of the August Partizan. But I am also very much looking forward to its new incarnation next October.