Friday, 17 January 2014

Broadside 2014

Even given my annoying habit of irregular posting, I am very miffed at this most recent delay. It has not exactly been my fault this time.

December was stupidly busy and the new year was spent trying to catch up with things that became delayed. I still had time to start as I meant to go on and post soooo many things but, I really needed to look at the Broadside admin first; and it was a damn good job I did!

First things first and, as it was the easier of the main jobs, I contacted the clubs asking who was looking to return and reminding them that we would have a maximum size of table available this year to keep down costs and maintain space, a big issue when running a show believe me. I even managed to email those traders that didn't fit into the regular trader space mould, the trickier ones to fit in at the best of times, or that would be affected by the creation of the new Wargamers Flea Market location at the top of the smaller of our two halls. All was going well. Then that darn email arrived from the venue management.

It transpired that the new management team at the Swallows Leisure Centre and their over lords have decided that the small hall should be redesigned and refitted as a new gym. This means that all bookings for that hall would be cancelled, no matter how long that booking had been in for. I was the first of the hirer's to be told...the day after I had sent everything off to the clubs and tricky traders! This did cause some panic.

The MHWC game of 2012, big but not the biggest...

...can the spectacular be so easily replaced with the small and innovative...even for a cash prize?

A flurry of new emails and phone calls followed in an attempt to gain some control back and, I am pleased to say, that whilst we have not yet solved everything things are looking brighter. We are lucky that so many of those we deal with are genuinely nice people who are prepared to help and understand our problem. Essentially, we now have some 30% less space to play with than previous Broadside shows. We have to try and fit those traders and clubs that usually go into the small hall into the already very busy sports hall. We could have simply cut our losses and set those clubs and traders adrift, that is not the MHWC way; although the Wargamers Flea Market will have to go :(

The solution we are currently working on is to dramatically reduce the size of the tables we allocate to clubs, even though we are aware that most of them build special exhibition games that get taken from show to show throughout the season. Instead, we are asking them to join in with a new competition and provide a game that can fit on a 6x4 table, such as most of us would be able to use at home. Their Will be the usual prize donated by Pen & Sword Books and judged by Henry Hyde (TBC) for best game in show of course, always will be. But now there will also be a cash prize for the club who can be seen to have made the best, most innovate and most imaginative use of that game space as they can. The competition will be very democratic in that the winner will be voted for by the other clubs using a special token system we are also working on. So far, those clubs that have responded have all been very positive and understanding; it all bodes well. But what do you think, dear reader?

The reduced table size means that we can fit in as many clubs as we can whilst leaving room to re arrange things and fit in the other traders. It may be that we have to restrict the space we usually provide traders too and I am sure they too will understand, but that is next weeks problem. We will visit the venue next week  to make exact measurements so we can set out the hall as efficiently as possible. Of course all of this does have a knock on effect for Broadside 2015, can the new systems work well enough that they can be adopted as the new norm or, will they simply tide us over and we have to find a new venue?

It is a series of problems we could well have done without but we are on the case! Who needs sleep anyway?


  1. There are some rough looking chaps in the first photo!

    1. Forgive my ignorance but how many Broadsides have there been now?

      Also I've never been to a Wargames show before so don't know what to expect, will there be biscuits?

    2. Hi Drew,
      This year will be our fourth I believe, it has all been rather a blur.
      What can you expect from your first show.......hmmm. locally, that is in the Kent/SE London area, there are some four shows that may tempt you; not including Broadside. Some are quite small and one the biggst around. You will find a lot of clubs running games you can join in with or watch as a demonstration and a lot of trades, selling everything from the figures they manufacture or general wargame stuff traders...and a lot in between. Why not come along with one of us to one of them? I think it is cavalier first....or possibly skirmish..

  2. Hmmm, sounds interesting. I've just had a look at the Cavalier website, looks good (just like being in a massive toy shop) will discuss at the next meeting. It sounds like there's problems with people tea leafing models though. I know 99.9% of people are decent but I'd be distraught if some of my models were taken.

    1. Hi Drew,
      Massive toy shop....that pretty much covers it! The theft stuff is from the Bring & Buy stand rather than the games or club games, still bloody annoying and this is why many clubs are not having them at their shows these days; and why we decided on the flea market style.