Being a gamer, there is one thing that you always want to do; go to a gaming show. I’ve been lucky enough to attend many shows, I have even worked at what used to be Scotland’s biggest wargame show; Claymore.
Sadly with the demise of Claymore to a Historical Wargaming show; others have taken over the Gaming Show mantle. Carronade is to my mind, the best show in Scotland now. Catering to all forms of gaming, it has traders that bring a variety to a show. From terrain, to models, to books and manuals. Only thing missing, Warmachine and Hordes; but maybe that will be different next year. Anyway, it’s not just about the traders though. A gaming show wouldn’t be the same without the clubs and organisations that give up their spare time to demonstrate games, for the public to take part in. I’d like to thank those people, who work hard and can sometimes be extremely creative in their game.
A public participation game, is just that; a game that visitors to the show can take part in. It’s a delicate balance that has to be made, between making it quick and simple; yet not seem dumbed down. My award for Best PP game, goes to the guys at RAF Leuchars; with their ingenious The Great Escape game. Based on the original film, players had to escape the POW camp; slipping past the guards and making their way to various points on the board. Complete with huts, barbed wire fencing and train stations; it visually made an impression. Game mechanics were simple, with just a lollipop stick of movement (about 6 inches), D6 to make decisions. With guard patrolling, checkpoints and Gestapo hidden around the board; it kept players guessing and engaged throughout.
Before I finish up, I’d also like to mention Stirling Wargamers Club who ran an interesting twist on the Hobbit. Bilbo had the One Ring, while his 12 Dwarven friends try to escape the Spider Queen and her children. My only problem, being asked to take the role of the spiders; to beat up on a 7 year old. That said, he walked away happy; with Bilbo putting up a gallant fight near the end.
That to me is what these shows are about, getting the people engaged; youngsters especially. It’s people like RAF Leuchers, Stirling Wargamers and many others; that make that possible. Without their hard work, these shows would just be a sad bunch of old men; playing games for their own pleasure. That to me doesn’t display the game to it’s fullest; nor make me want to talk to them; to learn more about them or the game.
Maybe next year, Carronade will have a Privateer Press Demo team