Enfilade 2013 Part 1

Museum of flightSome of you may recall that I was invited to the Enfilade Convention (in Olympia, Washington, USA) at the end of May 2013. I was saving a report on the show for a future issue of the magazine but as we don’t do show reports, I thought it best to cover my adventures on my blog. I will be covering Enfilade in a future issue to highlight the different aspects of wargames shows (or conventions) in the UK, Europe and the US.

The trip was LONG. I flew from Bristol via Schiphol – my logic being that a drive back from Bristol would be much quicker and easier than the longer one from Heathrow. I left at 2.30am to arrive at the airport for a 6.45am flight.  I arrived at 11.45am (Seattle time) some 13 hours later.

I was kindly picked up from Seattle Airport by Dean Motoyama, who proved an excellent host. As we had time to kill, he suggested we check out the ‘Museum of Flight’. A great idea, particularly considering it had an SR 71 Blackbird (!). My first model kit was a model of that airplane, which I’d obtained by an offer on a packet of breakfast cereal, so I was very keen to see the real thing. They also had a Concorde, plus Air Force One used by JF Kennedy and Lyndon B Johnson. We grabbed some dinner at ‘Genghis Khan’s’, a local Wok restaurant (for the uninitiated, you chose from a large selection of meats and vegetables which are fried with your choice of sauces). Being tired, I ignored the guidelines (use two or three ladles full of sauce only per dish) and put on about 9 or 10 ladles to my food, ending up with a very spicy but very tasty meal.

The best advice I’d been given to deal with jetlag was to try and go to bed at the local time, so I finally did at 9pm, having spent some 27 hours awake!

On the Friday, we travelled to the convention centre taking in some of the local sights I’d requested on the way. This included an American supermarket (where a number of the products looked like something out of ‘Land of the Giants’ compared with their European counterparts) and a hunting store (which included a rather comprehensive selection of rifles, handguns and shotguns), again quite a culture shock from the UK.

The convention itself was in the Red Lion Hotel in Olympia. There I met Mike Evans from Relic Miniatures, the guy who had made my trip possible, and who turned out really in real life as well! The rooms and beds were all ‘King size’, again a world apart from your average European travel inn! Enfilade itself was held in one of the convention halls on the lower floor. I introduced myself to the kind people at the Northwest Historical Gaming Society and then set about setting up my table with Dean’s help. In our rush, we’d left Dean’s Samurai behind so we had to improvise with what we had! The good news was that our Ninja game ‘Wrath of Heaven’ was the first to be fully booked.

Stay tuned for how it went… and my meeting with the mysterious Pat Lowinger.

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