I’ve spent the better part of 15 years being involved in various aspects of the gaming/geek hobby. Video games, novels, movies, comics, boardgames, RPGs, and other related paraphernalia from action figures to trading cards have been my almost daily bread for over half my life now, and I’m very happy I’ve “wasted” my money on it all because it’s been more than worth it. You know that old adage, “teach your kids about gaming and they’ll never have money for drugs and alcohol”?
Oh, it’s true.
It’s damn true.
Years ago, we had our first proper (mostly) Comic Con over here in way-too-close-to-Russia land, in the guise of the East European Comic Con that is still going strong, and is currently in its fifth edition. So you could say that things have been looking up for us on the geeky side, but while the EECC featured celebrity panels, video games, and comics, the boardgaming and wargaming side of things was somewhat neglected, with few stores making the effort to be present and taking advantage of the platform to further that niche of the hobby. And with regular events focusing mostly on the perennial Catan, Carcassonne, MtG & Co. (which we’re up to the bloody ears with…) across many of the local FLGSs, it’s safe to say being a “specialty” store or gamer in current year Romania is a bit of a sucky situation.
Enter the first-ever (of what we hope are many) Bucharest Wargames Open, a by the wargamers, for the wargamers event, featuring Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40K, FFG’s Star Wars X-Wing and Destiny, and Battlefront Miniatures’ Flames of War, in a 2-day endeavour that took place at a local high school in Bucharest a few weeks back. As you do.
I was there as part of the fledgling local Star Wars Destiny community, and although our numbers were tiny compared to the rest of the field, our enthusiasm was high, we had a couple people drop by, and may even have gotten a convert out of the whole endeavour.
I’m going to use this opportunity as more of a photo dump than anything as my time there was limited to just one day, sadly, and my mingling was also cut short due to that. However, here are some of the numbers behind the event:
The shindig went down famously, with several people from different cities around Romania (Servus, Cluj!) and even foreign countries (Serbia, Bulgaria) braving the snow and shitty Romanian roads to be there alongside the locals (/wave) and have a bit of fun. Or a lot, in my case.
I ended up winning the small Destiny tournament (more on that in a future entry), and am definitely looking forward to the game growing over the following years, along with the Open and the store themselves - they’re good people and they deserve it for all they’re putting in for the community!
I hear the guys have big plans for the future, and I’m definitely appreciative of having a wargames con so close to home, even one as small as this is. I’d actually go as far as saying this sort of smaller event is not only vital for building a larger community (obviously) but also preferable to larger endeavours. It’s easier to mingle and not feel like you’re missing out on things, it’s easier to connect with most of the people there and sample a bit of everything on display, and definitely less tiring than walking to and fro across an expo hall for the entire day.
Not that I don’t want those expo hall days to come eventually, but this is more than adequate and enjoyable for the time being.
Feast your eyes on the snaps below (more pics and streams of the event, and even painting tips and other info can be found on the War Games Store Facebook page) as we look forward to covering and taking part in the 2019 Bucharest Wargames Open!