Sunday, July 13, 2014

Trip to France June-July 2014

Hey folks,

Long time no post from me. As always, the summer months mean field work season for me as an archaeologist. For most of June and the first bit of July I once again had the pleasure to work in the lovely Auvergne of France and take a week of vacation in Paris. One of the many great things I get to do outside of work is take some time to scope out the gaming scene both in Paris and in the city of Clermont-Ferrand. I am happy to report that GW as well as Warmahordes, Infinity, and various historical systems are all alive and well. So allow me to give some of my observations about the miniatures gaming scene in Paris and the Auvergne based on the slice of it I saw.

Couldn't turn a corner without seeing this.

Games Workshop: Let me start off by giving a huge shout out to the folks at Games Workshop: Clermont-Ferrand and manager Simon especially. On the one day off from work that I had I popped over to the Games Workshop while I was in Clermont. I had visited last year and I was pleasantly surprised that the manager remembered me! We talked for over an hour about the hobby and how his store has been doing in the year since my last visit. I was very pleased to hear that he has developed a fairly large regular crowd that comes in to his shop. I have to also mention that these were some of the nicest folks I have met hanging out at a Game shop in the middle of the day. I walked in and was greeted by the large group in the store who were working on a large city fight table. When they found out I was from out of the country they were very surprised to see me in the shop, but very welcoming. My spoken French is passable, but not developed enough to hold a very in depth conversation about the hobby, but luckily Simon speaks very good English. With the release of the new Ork Codex he was organizing a narrative campaign based on an Ork invaison of a Imperial world. This would feature the work in progress city table as well as several Ork themed components. All of the scenery game from GW itself at the request of the store.

Basis for their new board. Photo from Facebook page of the store

 The campaign itself sounded pretty awesome and well thought out with each game having a definite impact on the overall narrative as well as future games. Simon as well a few of the player offered to loan me an army if I would like to get a game in, but alas my schedule would not permit. Maybe next year I can get a few games in.

The GW in Clermont-Ferrand as well as the Paris 6e are slightly larger than the ones I have been to in the U.S., but not by much. Table space was limited. In talking with Simon he said that the typical games in his shop are 750 to 1000 points in order to get more people playing. The independent shops I visited in Paris, Starplayer and Night Drop, had slightly more space and no space at all. Starplayer has a very nice selection of GW products as well as board games and other miniature systems like Warmahordes, Infinity, etc. Prices at these shops seemed to be retail or slightly under. Starplayer had a selection of individual models and units, both painted and not, available for purchase at very good prices compared to the new boxes.

I of course ended up making a few purchases. On the GW side of things I purchased a box of the new Ogrys, a Space Marine Master of Relics, a new Ork Mek for my Dad, a box of the new Chaos Marine Raptors, and a metal Prince Althran on foot for the High Elves.  I also picked up a box of Conquest Games plastic Norman Knights. The Ogryns will be featured in a upcoming article or two I plan to do about the Guard in the near future and the Normans will be in a long overdue article on historical miniatures gaming in the near future.

Until next time, folks! Happy Gaming!

I will leave you with a few photos from my archaeological work at a medieval house in France.

The view from the remains of a medieval hilltop fort I hope to one day excavate.

The residue from a possible hearth and a fragment of metal.

Medieval spindle whorl

Expanded excavations. Seen here is the collapsed wall of a possible barn in the foreground and a corridor and room in the background

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