Crusade 2017 - The new venue

My trip to Penarth to visit the Crusade Wargames show has become something of an annual pilgrimage. It has become, for me, the mark of the start of the wargaming ‘show season’ and gaming year.

The new venue for Crusade.

I have been to Crusade more times than I can remember; I’ve probably been to almost every one since the Millennium. It has always been a great show with a good selection of traders. The guys who run the show are really great, welcoming and friendly. The show was, however, becoming a victim of its own success, and had outgrown the previous venue of the Cogan Leisure Centre.

What a Tanker at Crusade 2015.

The Penarth & District Wargames Society were fortunate enough to be able to get permission to hold the show at a local secondary school, St Cyres School, Penarth (I’m sure having the headmaster as a fellow wargamer helped). What a change it made! Unlike the old leisure centre site, the school has ample parking. This above all things made the move a very good one. The next bonus (for reporters like myself) was the free Wi-Fi. The venue was clean and had ample toilets. There were a few ‘choke points’ moving around but I expect the Penarth guys will sort these and other niggles out for next year.

UK Starship Bridge Simulator at Crusade 2017.

The old venue had everything squeezed into a single hall. In the school, everything was more spread out, with games and traders being in individual classrooms or in the main hall. This did mean that some things required a bit of finding (Richard Clarke was concerned as to whether anyone would find his demo game, but then when the people arrived, he was busy all day). Other shows (like Devizes) manage this sort of venue pretty well. I think Crusade managed it well too. At first it may have seemed to be a little disorientating, but the Penarth guys even had a map projected onto several television screens as you walked around, so you could work out where you were and where everything else was.

Battle of Bach Mai by the Major Brothers. At Crusade 2017.

Crusade 2017 was a great start to my wargaming year. The new venue worked for me and leaves room for further expansion for the show. The Penarth wargamers are a great bunch of guys and it’ll be the first stop on my wargames calendar for 2018 also. In future blogs I’ll talk about what I got up to at the show, including the Goldsworthy and Jones lectures – another must for me.

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