Saturday, 1 October 2016

Blast-Tastic 2016

In the seeming blink of an eye it was time once again for the 3rd Blast-Tastic Show. How time flies by. Last year I offered to put on a demo game of Angel Barracks free KR-16 rules, yet despite having had a whole year to prepare, I was painting right until the final evening! Some things never change and it would seem I need a deadline to focus my mind. So an early start saw me arrive at the venue with plenty of time to spare, to allow for a leisurely set up and for a chance to walk the show. I'll come on to how the show went later, but first some pictures of some of the demo games on offer. Apologies to games that I missed or ones that I have incorrectly labelled. Not all games were clearly marked and I must admit I was one of them!

I believe this was set in 1979 Britain and used 'Beyond the Gates of Antares' ruleset.
Lovely scenery but as one of the club members commented, "Not much room left for gaming".
A game of 'Infinity'?
'Martian Empires' which was my favourite table. Sadly not many people seemed interested in playing the game.
A nice steampunk/Victorian sci-fi walker.
Triceratops artillery haulage which I thought a nice touch.
More Imperial armoured units, this time anti-grav or hover units by the smoke emminating from underneath.
Some form of flying unit.
'Dropzone Commander' with their lovely printed card buildings.

The game seemed to be quite popular with the punters.
Not sure at all on what ruleset was being used.
No idea on the background fluff either.
A ovely looking game based upon the 'X-Com' computer game.
Apparently those who play computer games found this one interesting.
'Horizon Wars' by the author Robey Jenkins.
A good mix of display and a chance to play the game.
My 'KR-16' offering on a 2'x2' table
Robby the Robot who was the objective of the game.
Buildings by Angel Barracks and quickly painted by yours truly.

So how did the show go? Well to be honest a bit of a mixed bag. Some points below may help explain things:

  • It was very, very quiet, 50% down on last year in terms of footfall. As a result the atmosphere was quiet and the traders looked like they had hardly any trade at all.
  • Some 6 traders or demo games cancelled at the last minute for a variety of reasons.
  • I thought this year there was a good mix of games. Just a shame that there were not enough punters through the doors to have a look at them.
  • The X-Wing competition was interesting to look at but definitely not my kind of game. 
  • I had some good chats with a few of the punters, particulary Stu of Dust, Tears & Dice Blog  fame and another chap whom I'm sorry to say I didn't catch his name. A common theme was downsizing to a few rulesets that you really enjoy playing and playing games on smaller tables, typically 4' x 4' or smaller. Winning is nice but having a good game is what counts most of all.
  • I had a couple of good games of KR-16, with Stu as mentioned above and another chap called Craig. Both times the Crimson Alliance managed to get Robby the Robot off the table despite the best efforts of my newly painted RDF Force.
  • I had positive feedback on 6mm skirmish gaming and the KR-16 rules themselves, so hopefully that may lead to some more orders for Michael at Angel Barracks.

So there you have it. As it stands I think this will definitely be the last Blast-Tastic in its current format. Hats off to Michael and Same for putting on the show and for all their hard work and effort. I enjoyed myself and hope that it will continue on some for or other in the future.


  1. Cheers for the photo's Steve, it looked like a good wargaming day. Sadly due to work and family commitments I could not make it.

    William H

    1. I know the feeling William as I was unable to make Colours for similar reasons. Let's hope it's on next year and that you can make it.

  2. Steve Good to catch up and thanks for hosting the game. My first time to Blast-Tastic and it did suffer from a lack of punters, its a slippery slope as tradrs will drop off and in turn people will stop coming.
    It's tough for new shows on the curcuit, Hammerhead seems to have a good format where every game is participation and you collect tokens as you go to encourage you to try various systems. The winning ticket gets a voucher to spend on the trader of choice. Unfortunately for Blast-Tastic most of the games on offer were manned by people looking to play their own game rather than drawing people in which does not help the look and feel for people coming along for the first time.

    1. Nice to catch up and play a game, which was great fun, even though my shiny new models failed miserably. But then that's to be expected on their debut!

      A shame that not all the games on show seemed keen to explain the rules, offer a game etc to the punters. Personally that's what I go to shows for.