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Author Topic: Crisis Show Report!  (Read 10888 times)
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« on: 08 November 2011, 06:15:14 AM »

After a great time last year, we were really looking forward to heading over to Antwerp again for the Crisis show.  As with last year, the prices for the ferries out of Hull and Newcastle were pretty pricey, so we decided to head down to Harwich again, for the short ferry journey over to the Hook of Holland.  The ferry leaves late Thursday night, so we set off around 2pm, picking up Cliff at the services on the M11 near Stansted airport, and finishing the last stretch across to the ferry port.

We were travelling with a few other traders, and Erik and Kev from Figures In Comfort, along with Martin from Warbases, arrived shortly after us, and we both soon got onto the boat, and straight to the bar!  Pete and Chris from Baccus, and Paul and Sally from Kallistra soon joined us on board.

The crossing was fine, (despite getting no sleep), and we arrived bright and early in Holland.

The journey down to Antwerp takes just over an hour, and once we'd arrived at the hotel, the Pendraken/Baccus/Kallistra party went for a wander into the city to kill some time.  Setting up for the show can be done at various times during the day, so we headed over just after 3 and got most of the stand done and dusted, leaving half an hours work for Saturday morning.  Friday night was spent mainly in the hotel bar, with a short trip over to the leisure park near the venue for some food, with Craig and Dale from Critical Mass Games.

From the hotel balcony, looking over at the venue:

And looking into Antwerp:

Saturday morning we were up early, and got to the venue before 8, to find a hive of activity.  The Tin Soldiers are a fantastically helpful bunch, and there were a huge number of club members whipping about with trolley's loaded with all kinds of goodies.  

Minibits had a stand as well:

And thanks to the Forum members who helped out with the translations!

With the stand all set up by 9am, I went for a look about the show.  The main hall houses most of the action, with the majority of both traders and games.

In a small room off to the side of the entrance way, there are another few traders, and an extra couple of games.  There is also a Bring & Buy, but space in the walkway is limited, and once in, you kind of get carried round the room by the throng of people!  I didn't venture right in, but it was very busy in there.

The show opened promptly at 10am, and there had been a decent queue outside for some time.  The visitors got straight into things, and trade started reasonably briskly.  One thing which is quite different on the continent, and I would assume is down to the language difference, is that you have to work harder to engage people and get them chatting.  As with last year though, the actual language barrier was virtually non-existant, as everyone who came to the stand spoke excellent English, and left me feeling quite ashamed at my lack of multi-lingual skills!

Numbers through the door seemed good, and I later spoke with one of the organisers, who said that they'd had over 1500 through the door.  This is the last year in this venue, as they're moving to a bigger space next year, so hopefully that will mean even more people coming along to this great show.

Another difference at this one, is that the trade doesn't trail off as the afternoon goes on.  Usually in the UK, by 3pm, most shows are pretty quiet, and traders are starting to pack away, but at Crisis, the numbers are still there, and they are still buying.  

Unfortunately, at the end of the day, the total for the day was slightly down from last year.  The obvious culprit for this is the overall European economy, combined with the slightly lowered exchange rates.  Last year, we were changing things over at 1.2 Euro's to the £, but this year we had to increase that to 1.3 to the £.  I don't know if this put off many people, as we didn't have any comments about the rates from the customers.  1.3 seemed to be the common rate across most of the UK traders, and was also the price quoted by the Post Office to buy the Euro's back on our return.

Speaking with other traders after the show, most of them had seen decreased sales on last year, but the thing is, no one seemed to mind too much.  I think that's down to the enjoyment of coming to this show, and being able to relax for a weekend away from home.  The Tin Soldiers make the entire experience so hassle-free that it's easier to come to this than to some of the UK shows, so as long as you have a few extra cents in your pocket when you get home, it's all good.

On the Saturday night, we went along to the traditional buffet held in the Tin Soldiers clubhouse, with the grub on offer of a very high standard, and four different desserts for each person, each one in a little sample style cup.  Dave decided to go back for a second set, and in pure comedy gold, the minute he sat down at the table with them, three hands simultaneously reached over the table and stole the lot.  Awesome synchronisation skills from Craig, Dale and Erik there!   Cheesy

Cheers to Craig from CMG for these pics.  As you can see, it's great fun being on the road with Dave...  Tongue

After the do, we retired to the hotel, where we stayed until the early hours with Pete and Chris from Baccus.

Sunday morning, a rather tired and somewhat hungover group of people bundled themselvs into their vans, and slowly trundled back up the motorway to the Hook of Holland.  We boarded quickly, checked into the guest lounge, and eagerly grasped the opportunity to relax!  On the down side, the crossing was quite choppy, and I certainly didn't enjoy the experience at all.  The motion of the ocean stayed with me for nearly twelve hours after we got off the boat, which was lovely!

All in all, despite the decreased sales, the awful return crossing, and not getting back to Boro until 1:30am, we really enjoyed ourselves in Belgium again.  It makes such a nice change to be able to spend a bit of time away from the hustle of the business, and chat with some of the other traders, and we'll certainly be booking up again for next year, in a bigger venue!

So, after all that blather, he's the pics of the games!

Firstly, here's the layout plan, as my notes got a bit wonky!  I worked across the top row from left to right, then came back along the second from right to left, etc. all the way down the hall.

Alde Garde



Critical Mass Games

Fury in the Peach Orchard 1863 - Dortmund Amateur Gamers

Ayachucho 1824

Musket and Tomahawks

ODIT - Checkpoint Charlie


French Indian Wars


Black Powder

Les Nerviens - Vietnam

Crush The Kaiser

Get Offa My Tankette

Warfare Miniatures - Retreat from the Boyne 1690

Muddy River?!




Fantasy with card terrain

Militia Brabantia Club


Pruneau's club's game, in 10mm!!!

Punic Wars

Interesting card model game


Too Fat Lardies (I couldn't get anywhere close to this one, it was packed!)


« Last Edit: 08 November 2011, 06:26:25 AM by Leon » Logged - Home to over 4200 products of shiny 10mm goodness! - MDF bases, Vallejo paints, I-94 decals, Red Vectors MDF buildings, Raiden Miniatures, Militia Miniatures and more!
Posts: 17011

« Reply #1 on: 08 November 2011, 06:34:14 AM »

And one more recruit for the Pendraken Auxiliaries, Willie!

Logged - Home to over 4200 products of shiny 10mm goodness! - MDF bases, Vallejo paints, I-94 decals, Red Vectors MDF buildings, Raiden Miniatures, Militia Miniatures and more!
Steve J
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« Reply #2 on: 08 November 2011, 07:50:33 AM »

Some very high quality games on show there, much better than a lot of the UK shows IMHO Cool.

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« Reply #3 on: 08 November 2011, 09:21:22 AM »

Indeed they do put a lot of work into the games asnd the show is a good one Leon it must be your northern accent I had no problems translating in fact it was easier than at some of the uk shows.

Tom H
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« Reply #4 on: 08 November 2011, 10:32:55 AM »

just wait till you get to Smoggycon then  Wink

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« Reply #5 on: 08 November 2011, 12:04:57 PM »

One day, I will put this helmet on my head!^^

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« Reply #6 on: 08 November 2011, 03:01:42 PM »

Nice pics, Leon!  With the demo we were so busy most of the  day, hardly  had time to hve a decent walk around, hardly  spent any  money, and hardly saw all of  those great games.  The downside  of setting up a game yourself I guess.  But we had a lot of interest as  a  club there, and expect quite a few new members as well.  We  also had  a nice long discussion  on 6 vs 10 mm, with 6 mm being used  by several peple in our club already, and me  as the new  guy promoting  10mm.  A lot of  the club folks we asked agreed  that with  10mm there still  is 'something to see', and a  lot  of people were pleasantly  surprised  with the level of detail on the pendraken figs, even with my shitty paintjob.

I must say the day  simply flew by, it was 5pm before I knew it, and the only thing I bought was some plastic  SciFi and a set of 10 mm trenches (actually 15, but  I'm not bothered Smiley)

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Aart Brouwer
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« Reply #7 on: 08 November 2011, 03:49:33 PM »

Great pics, Leon. Including Indians in a cano, lol. Oh, and good for you, Pruneau - nice table as well!

Judging by the after action reps on various websites, you, the Tin Soldiers, the Lardies and just about everyone else had a great time.

Aart (jealous)
« Last Edit: 08 November 2011, 03:51:44 PM by Aart Brouwer » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: 08 November 2011, 10:44:13 PM »

Top-notch report & pics Leon - this is one I've got in the long-term plan to attend...after all, Pruneau did make it to Nikfest last year - so I need to return the favour - hopefully next year  Cool

Good to know you had some good interest in 10mm too Rudy  Thumbs up

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« Reply #9 on: 09 November 2011, 07:13:24 PM »

Great report as always Smiley


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« Reply #10 on: 09 November 2011, 08:00:54 PM »

Excellent report, Leon. The old withdrawal symptoms are clawing again...  Cry

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