I am fortunate to have two good wargames shows almost on my doorstep, Legionary and PAW. I’d missed PAW this year, as I’d been attending PolderCon, which was a shame as it’s a great show (and so was PolderCon). Having missed PAW, I was determined to attend at least one local show this year! Legionary itself has been going for quite a few years and I recall going to it when it started in Exmouth (in the 1990s?). It then moved to Exeter and has been at several venues about the city including the University. It has been for the past few years at the Matford Centre on the outskirts of Exeter, (which also doubles as the city’s cattle market), where it was held last Saturday, May 2nd. I have to thank my long-suffering girlfriend Emma for coming around the show with me.
I went along on Saturday to cover the show for WS&S magazine, something we do exclusively online and direct to Facebook. I personally do not like show reports in magazines - they tell you about shows months old - which isn’t much good then… Using technology however, it is possible to report live (or near live) from a show. This is more immediate and also means people can possibly see the show and still attend that day if they are in the area.
As I’d recently been to Salute the week before, I think it’d be interesting to make a comparison between the two shows. Salute is HECTIC, an amazing show - there was no way I could see half of the show in the time I had available. Legionary (and other local shows like it) have a much more relaxed pace. I was able to take my time and wander round chatting with people, quite a few of whom I know. Sure, it has nowhere near as many traders or games, but each has its own pace.
My local club, the Brixham Berzerkers, sadly didn’t have a game this year but there were plenty of others there, such as the Devon Wargamers. I’ve known Jason, Nathan and Pingu for a good number of years, so it was great to catch up with them and hear about their Cold War adaptation of Chain of Command (Hmm possible WS&S article?). They game once a month on a Saturday - I’m now very busy at the weekends so unfortunately cannot attend their games.
Legionary overall had a good selection of games covering a large number of genres, from medieval to modern and beyond. I had an interesting chat with the Star Wars Armada gamers and leant how the game plays. The 1/600 Tsushima game was particularly impressive, although to be fair all the games were very good.There was an excellent Bring-and-Buy which always brings its temptations…
Good local shows are a testament to the fact that the smaller wargames shows are still alive and well. They will remain so as long as wargamers choose to attend. Support your local show: attend! If you can, run a game and put a little bit back into the hobby.