On Sunday 7th I left best beloved in charge of bugglesnuff and went to Vapnartak, a wargames convention at the York race ground. It's far from the biggest con in the country, with less than two thousand visitors and only lasting a day, but situated in the five story race track building with vast glass windows overlooking the expanse of grassy track (turned by recent weather into a flat of glassy ponds) it is perhaps the most opulent.
Though I would ordinarily spend a convention leisurely drifting from stall to stall abusing the plastic in my wallet, I was taking part in a wargames tournament. I'll save the details except to observe - if you are a UK Warmachine player, Vapnartak is a one day event well worth travelling for, brilliantly organised and judged, with great tables and a broad standard of competition for players new and experienced. I lost three games, won one, enjoyed them all immensely, and to Greg from Newcastle - that last game was a blast. A well deserved win to you.
(Of further note for UK Warmachine players - Guildball, the English designed skirmish minis game made by former Warmachine tournament veterans, had at least as many players, maybe twice as many, and I would be very interested to know whether this pattern is repeated across the country).
Shopping wise, I picked up some new airbrush paints, cleaning fluid, cleaning pot, and some tiny wee flowers to make my models' bases all pretty. Only the very best for my metal dollies. The trade halls burgeoned with demonstration, participation and show games on a huge scale. Recreations of the battle of the Alamo, Stewart pacification of the Scots, a French foreign legion siege, dozens more, all on tables 10 feet or longer lovingly layered with miniatures and terrain. The sort of thing that would have a formative impact on a child.
Two weeks from now I'll be in London for the epic Smogcon tournament. Thank Christ for grandparents. Best beloved, you're a star.