I attended Partizan 2016 at the weekend. As you may have concluded from our Facebook feed, it was a grand show with an excellent new venue. The feedback I heard was immensely positive with many people saying it was the best show in years. From a photographer’s perspective it was excellent too, being well lit and spacious. The show is organised by Richard Tyndall (Tricks) and Lawrence Baldwin (Lau).
There was a new award system launced at Partizan 2016, consisting of three awards: best demonstration game, best participation game and an overall award for the best in show. The awards were to be judged by the editors of the three main international wargames magazines - Henry Hyde from Miniature Wargames, Dan Faulconbridge from Wargames Illustrated and me, from Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy, of course. A mad choice perhaps, but there you have it: the games were judged by a Triumvirate of editors.
The best demonstration game at Partizan was tricky. There were many excellent games! In the end, the selection came down to deciding which game was not only impressive, but also staffed by a crew who would actively engage the public. For the final selection, we had to choose between two games both presented by Grimsby Wargames. They were both huge, well-painted and run by club members who talked to the public and handed out fliers about the game. The Editors Award for the Best Demonstration Game at Partizan 2016 goes to the Grimsby Wargames Society for their 2nd Anglo-Dutch Wars naval game.
The Best Participation Game was awarded next. This was won by the RAF Wargaming Association represented by Pete Gill. Their ‘Formula Minion’ game, based on Formula De was busy all day, particulary with young players, a.k.a. the future of the hobby.
The final award was the Best of Show, or the Macfarlane Shield, so named after Duncan Macfarlane who started both ‘other’ magazines as well as the show 31 years ago and has supported it ever since. This award went to James Morris’ stunning World War 1 ‘Fort Vaux’ Verdun game, which combined the best qualities of participation and demonstration game, with all James’ research on display. The desperate fighting occurred in underground tunnels. James, with the aid of his friend Tom Webster-Deakin, played the game throughout the day. It was fitting that a participation game won best of show. You can see more pictures of the game here.