Day Two started rather quiet. This was a mixed blessing because we were again late, after dynamiting Baldric out of bed and feeding him coffee for his hangover. It also meant that for the first time, I was able to take a bit of a look around the hall. The trader stands were impressive. Almost anything you could want for Gaming or Wargaming could be found on one stall or another. There were plenty of happy smiles, too (as can be seen in the photographs), so I presume the trade stalls had all done well the previous day and had expectations it would be a good weekend.
I had to chuckle on seeing the Eureka stand. Nic Robson, known to wargamers all over the world, was sitting on one side of his counter talking intently to a wargames customer on the other side. All sorts of appropriate 'captions' whizzed through my head at the sight. I am not sure if Nic was telling the customer's future, advising him on what to buy for a new army, or giving advice on the meaning of life. Next time, I'll suggest Nic put on an 'Oracle' outfit, because after that I saw several wargamers intently seeking his advice, and of course, who better to ask if you want the best figures!
I combined my trip around the top end of the hall with a visit to the canteen, and I have to admit that….errrr…the….ahhhhh….coffee stand was great. As to the food, well…the coffee stand was great! In fact, the coffee stand was essential to help wash down an overcooked bacon-and-egg roll. I cannot understand why the catering is always so poor. The Canberra Games Society has no control over it. They have to accept the caterer provided by the hall management. Nevertheless, one would think that at least the management would make an effort. What sort of caterer of an event that big, runs out of iced coffee on the first day of an event in high summer? No sandwiches and a rather run-of-the-mill choice of hot foods showed pretty bad planning. No wonder there were so many gamers who went out, or sent out, for other foods. There were also certainly a lot of drinks - not available from the caterers - visible about the place. Perhaps the CGS can challenge the management of the hall to come along next year and live off the canteen for three long days. I reckon they too would quickly discover how essential that coffee stand is.
Near the canteen was an excellent terrain layout depicting the Battle for Gallipoli. The players had obviously gone to a lot of trouble making their display, painting it up, and providing even the odds and ends such as steam towboats for launches, etc. The troops were also neatly painted, which made the whole thing visually pleasing. The number of flags to identify the Turkish and Australian troops was perhaps a little overdone from a scenic viewpoint, but was logical as an aid to spectators who would otherwise have had trouble telling who was who on such a large tabletop, and hidden in such nice scenery. Well done!