I attended my first Claymore in the old Chambers St. Edinburgh University venue back in the early '80's. I have missed several since then, but the annual Claymore bash has always been the highlight of my Scottish gaming calendar. This year's convention was the familiar package: scads of trade stands groaning under the weight of goodies too numerous to mention; dozens of demo and participation games modelled and painted to the usual high standards; and the bring-and-buy where lucky finds and bargains lurk. Traders which particularly caught my eye this year were: i-Kore- but they didn't have the new Syntha and Fomorian stuff I wanted; 2nd Chance Games- where I finally gave into temptation and bought myself the 2nd ed. Advanced Squad Leader rules, and also a GREAT new game called Ivanhoe; and Foundry- whose racks yielded various lovely WW2 25's for skirmish games and some really neat preview minis for the upcoming 2000AD range.
Amongst the many great looking tables two which particularly caught my notice were: the large-scale WW2 'Saving Private Ryan' skirmish, and the US/Britain v. the Germans 'Last Days of the Reich' battle featuring superheroes alongside the regular grunts, tanks and so on. The 54mm terrain on the former was particularly lovely and (so I hear) won a well-deserved prize. I have yet to hear who were the other winners, so can only hope that my personal favourite on the day (the WW2 superheroes natch) featured on the prize list.
I also took the chance to chat to as many people as possible. So Baz explained to me that GW's Conflict Regional- Edinburgh 2003 will just have to go ahead at Inglistone as this year. No other suitable venue is affordable apparently and, looking around Claymore's Meadowbank venue as we chatted, I could easily agree that the venue wasn't suited to Conflict.
And from John Robertson at i-Kore I learned that this dynamic little Scottish company will continue to make the most of the asset that is Kev White's ability to sculpt the best buns in the industry. John also confirmed that i-Kore will indeed be redoing the Prosthene's for their Void Syntha range. Good news all round for i-Kore fans then.
Finally: Claymore was stowed out on Saturday. Even without any seating set aside for the canteen, there wasn't enough room for all the confirmed demo-teams. All accessways were overcrowded and going was awkward, especially when pushchairs and gamers' bags were added to the mix. I also heard comments made about the cramped layout of the bring-and-buy. Being crammed-in like this won't have seriously ruined any days I reckon, though it surely must have led to some con-goers leaving earlier than they might have anticipated. Claymore has simply outgrown its venue. SESWC deserve all our applause for all their efforts down the years which have seen their event go from strength to strength. I, for one, look forward to seeing where in the future they will take their premiere event on the Scottish convention circuit.
That's it for today. Nornal service will be resumed asap. ;)