- 3 Zvezda Opel Blitz 3-Ton Trucks (along with a Panzer III that came as part of the deal)
- 11 Smoke Markers for games against Pete's tanks
- 6 US Riflemen - I always pick up something for a War of 1812 project I've never started
- 'The Kid' from Crossover Miniatures - bears a striking similarity to the Boy Wonder
- Roof tile sheets from Warbases - to cover the roofs of my warehouse
I'm certainly not unhappy with any of my purchases.
However, I returned from the show somewhat perturbed. Each year I'm finding Triples less and less inspiring. It's a feeling that seems to come from a range of sources:
- The move to the E.I.S. from the Octagon a few years ago. I find the big open spaces distinctly 'un-wargamey'. I remember the Octagon from when I attended the Northern Militaire there and all the nooks and crannies made attending a wargames show exciting and full of discovery (I get a similar feeling at Vapantak in York). The sterile atmosphere of the E.I.S. just doesn't work.
- The lack of traders. Key traders for me like Peter Pig, Gripping Beast and Sarissa Precision simply don't attend Triples. I know that there are other traders, but for the specific genres I'm interested in, I actually find it tricky to spend money at Triples.
- The demo and display games. This isn't just Triples, but I'm just not inspired by the games on show. I think it's a combination of the lack of ancients (which seems to be a growing issue) and the lack of inventiveness on display. I'm just not seeing anything that grabs me. Even a Mad Max game with blaring speakers and outrageous costumes was remarkably similar to a demo game I played as a kid 25 years ago, just with more fanfare.
- The ever more corporate nature of the industry. More and more of the stalls are carrying the same stock and it's entirely possible to plan your purchases online before you go (and then get disappointed that the company hasn't brought them). There used to be a veritable cornucopia of small traders which took an age to discover. It's just less fun.
It seems to me that Triples is just not as exciting as it used to be. It may just be me, but it feels that some of the quirky spark has disappeared. I'm going to go to a wider range of shows this year to see whether smaller shows still have the oddball quirkyness I remember.