Hello Ladies and Gents!
Whether it be morning, evening, other time of the day for you, lets have a wee chin wag on my thoughts about the Birthday Bash event run by Dave Weston, and kindly held by Wargames in Southport, UK. Also we'll have a few thoughts on how I performed (or didn't...) at the event, in another upcoming post.
So kicking things off to start, lets talk about Wargames! To start, I was highly impressed with the store the moment I first saw it. Having travelled from Liverpool up to Southport on the train, it was a pleasant surprise to find that the store could be found right in the middle of town, being a paltry 5 minute walk on foot from the local train station. This here was not an independent games store relegated to the musty dark corners, be it of town or city, that I am more used to. Right in the centre of town and easy to find was a great start to the day.
The store was immaculate. It was well presented, and the staff were kind, helpful, and really sold this as a new venue for me to travel to play 40k and Age of Sigmar, and all being well Ian will be happy to start going here too. The store had given the majority of its footplan to areas to game in, with well presented shelves displaying a whole gamut of wargaming awesomeness, not just Games Workshop or other wargames including warmachine, or bolt action for a few. Many board games were also present, and in a quieter moment, i would love to peruse all they have to offer. Other small but important aspects included, appropriate heating, which was comfortable, but not oppressive (especially when so many people congregate in a small space for an extended period of time). In fact I wouldn't be surprised if there was air-con present, as the gaming areas did not (and I mean this in a non-mean way), have the aroma of many people stuck in a small space. Another important aspect, was excellent lighting throughout the store, not too bright or too dim, which is important as this can exacerbate headaches for many people including myself.
There was also a second floor above!!!
Moving on to the gaming area, a lot of effort has been put into ensuring that each board is unique and game friendly. Each board also used a game map, which for long game sessions is always appreciated. Fighting to place a model on a moulded gaming board has driven me mad more than once... From a cursory glance these all appeared to be either Fat Mats or Games Workshops own gaming maps. I may have missed other variants, but lets just focus on the bonus of having a reasonable floor for your models to clamber over for mini-glory!
On the food front, a buffet was laid out for all the attendees, and arrived in what I felt was a good time (well a good time for me..., my first game had just ended), i can't pass judgment for other attendees where their games went longer. Though at the end tbere was still food left over, and I was tempted to go clear the rest of it away before my second game (I was hungry... I resisted... But I was hungry...). Drinks wise, there was plenty of tea and coffee on tap, and for the adults amongst you, a reasonable selection of beer, and I also believe spirits, but i didnt ask for any of these (and also the excellent staff could bring them directly to during the game, so no need to rush off to wet your whistle, as you shout your throat dry and you command you forces to victory!).
You can definitely tell that Wargames was a labour of love, and, I must say I wish it was here in Liverpool so it was even closer (yes I am that lazy that a 40min train ride is something I'd love to avoid). I probably should have taken a bit more time to get more images from around the store, and speak more to the owner (I forgot your name... Sorry!!!), I definitely will next time. It was a great choice to hold the event, and I really look forward to my next visit.
Until next time