Last Saturday annual SKELP wargames show was held in Forfar. I have a cold at the moment, but decided I really didn’t want to miss the show, so I set off with my eldest son for a fun day out.
The day didn’t start too well, as there had been an “incident” on the A90 (the only major road south out of Aberdeen), which meant we ended up taking a rather extended tour of Angus, before we finally found our way to Forfar.
Once we reach our destination the day went much better. I took down a box of rule books to put into the “Bring and Buy”, I didn’t sell as many as I would have liked but the sales did at least cover the cost of the days petrol.
When I first enter a show I usually like to have a quick wander round and then browse things a bit more in depth once I have the lay of the land. However, that didn’t really happen this year as, as we were making our initial wander around, we were accosted by the guys from the Glasgow Games Group who talked my son and I into having a go at their Empire of the Day. We took the parts of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, while one of the GWG members took on the part of Jack the Ripper. The objective of the game was to stop Jack the Ripper killing 4 victims (from the normal citizens wandering around the table). The game was up to 10 turns long.
It was a very close run thing with Jack taking 2 victims fairly quickly, while Holmes and Watson (and three local Bobbies) slowly closed in across the table. However, we had engaged Jack in hand to hand (2 Bobbies plus Holmes and Watson), we soon managed to bring down the scourge of the London nightlife…
Obviously the Empire of the Dead rules had been slimmed down for the demo game, but I was pretty impressed with the the feel of the rules and it has put the game back on my radar again. I was however put off by the high cost of the rule book and the figures. I may pick up the rules at some point in the future, but I have already got a selection of steampunk, and gothic horror style figures, so I doubt I will be buying many from West Wind.
Moving on, we had a good look around the show and I picked up a few of the new figures that Crooked Dice had on offer (as well as a couple of packs of their OOP minions that they had found in their show supplies). I caught up with several people that I haven’t had a chance to chat with for a good while, and also had a couple of interesting chats with people I had not met before (in particular Adam from the Aberdeen Wargames Club, who seemed to share my opinions on a lot of the sci-fi and fantasy figure ranges that are on the go at the moment).
As with previous shows, here is my photo gallery, including comments where applicable.
This was a nice Battletech table. I haven’t had much experience with Battletech, but this one does look very nice. I would have like to have a game on this table.
Urban Mammoth always put on a nice looking demo game!
I didn’t get much time to look at this table, but it was the best looking table that I could see…
I like this Dr. Who game, but that looks suspiciously like a Star Destroyer in the middle of the table, have the Daleks been making alliances with the Empire?
My son loved this Viking table (he made his own Viking ship for a school project last year)
The Aberdeen Wargames Club Dux Bellorum demo game was not the most exciting table to look at, but i pick up an appreciation of the rules that may well lead to my getting into another period…
While on the AWC table i couldn’t help but snap a photo of the Scheltrum Miniatures Dark Age fort (one of the guys running the demo is the proprietor of Scheltrum Miniatures).
I don’ think that this years SKELP was that impressive to look at. The games certainly lacked some of the flair of previous years. The show also felt quieter and simply smaller than previously (it was in the same hall, so that must just have been an impression). I enjoyed SKELP and I will certainly be back again next year, it just didn’t seem to have quite the energy of other years.
Next weekend I will going to the Aberdeen Model Railway Club Exhibition. Then in early November it is on to TARGE. Lets hope that those show have a little more of the WOW factor…