Once upon a time - Partizan show report
Once upon a time there was an editor of a magazine. His name was Guy-de-locks, on account of his long golden locks of hair (ok it’s more white these days). As bears don’t live in houses (nor are they known for cooking decent porridge), he didn’t break into their houses to steal their breakfast cereals. Instead, he used to frequent wargames shows (a much better pastime). Now Guy-de-locks went to many shows. very many shows, both big and small!
Some shows Guy-de-locks had been to could be seen top to bottom fairly quickly. He’d walk around, take some pictures and basically be finished in an hour or two. Then there were the big shows, where you couldn’t possibly see everything in a day, never mind a few hours. There was simply too much and it was hard to take it all in. But there there was one show which was ‘just right’. This show took a reasonable time to go round and offered many inspiring games. You could see everything which needed to be seen and still have time to chat to people without feeling rushed. That show was called Partizan held in the fairy-tale venue of Kelham Hall.
Ok, time to leave the whole fairy-tale narrative… I blame the mixture of cold meds which were keeping me going! Suffice to say I like Partizan as a wargames event. Not too big, not too small, for me it is like that ‘just right’ bowl of porridge from the Goldilocks story. The games are all of a very good quality, in fact they rival bigger shows such as Salute for quality and quantity of good games. It may be the reputation that Partizan has built or its location in Newark, close to the ‘lead belt’ of Nottingham. either way, it attracts great games. The likes of the Perrys and other personalities have been know to visit the show and put on the occasional game. The list of traders was impressive too.
For me, Partizan was also an opportunity to catch up with old friends. I know the Irregulars pretty well and am honored to call a few of them my friends. The free figure this year was General Baudwin, who fought and died at Hougoumont in 1815. The model is sculpted by Bill Thornhill. Games which stood out for me was the Military Gentleman Forum playing Ligny and Quatre Bras with 18th century armies (Jim Purky of Fife and Drum was playing), the 10mm Agincourt game by Kallistra and the WW1 Chain of Command game by James Morris, Scrivs and friends. These were however only three out of over a dozen great games on the day.
The show however isn’t quite fairy-tale perfect by any means, some of the rooms are quite dark - which makes photography tricky and not ideal as wargaming is very much a visual hobby. The access can be tricky as you move from room to room and hall to hall. Kelham hall was run by the local council - it is now been given a management team who don’t seem quite as inviting as previous managers (that’s my own personal opinion based on some 15 plus years experience of going to the show). Last year’s Partizan in the Park for example was held in the grounds due to the main building being triple booked for events, leading the Newark Irregulars to have to hire and erect a series of large marquees to hold the show in. That must have been expensive for the Irregulars, but better to have a show than none at all.
While Kelham hall is a very pretty venue, I can’t help but think perhaps Partizan has outgrown it’s stay there. The Newark Irregulars do their utmost to run an excellent show and for me it is ‘just right’. I for one will continue to go to Partizan wherever it is held. The show is not a building, the show is the people who shape it and the people who come along to it (traders, gamers and the general public). Long live Partizan!