It’s fair to say that Fighting 15s has not been at a wargames show in any capacity since the pandemic started. And in short, that’s not going to change.
I intend to attend Warfare this year as a punter, in which case feel free to stop me and say hello. But I am increasingly aware that a number of vendors who I would usually call on are not going to be there because they have shut up shop or have simply given up on two-day wargames shows as being uneconomic, something that I decided well before the world shut down. Colonel Bill’s, the one vendor I’ve worked in partnership with before to get Fighting 15s products to market, has stopped doing two-day shows.
Shows are very useful at getting a business’s name known in the early years of trading, and I’ve done that. Online business is more than enough to keep me occupied, and as I’ve headed towards a better work-life balance, the idea of giving up weekends and instead having a long journey and expensive stop-over (hotels, ferries and fuel) loses its appeal. I’d rather be outdoors playing tennis, gardening, or enjoying the countryside.
Shows require separate stock, and having removed that extra storage element from my workshop and repurposed the stock boxes, there is no going back.
In addition, as a number of you are aware, I suffer quite badly at times from eczema. That always seemed to strike worst just before Colours each year, to the extent I had to wear gloves. It’s taken a while to work out most of the causes, but they are pretty well all food related and include all the major food groups typical of show venues and British cuisine. The short of it is that I can’t eat citrus fruit, dairy, eggs, tomatoes, peppers, chillis, potatoes or onions (the actual list is much longer) without suffering a major flare-up four days later and weeks of itching and discomfort afterwards. If my hands crack, I can’t work. Eating out has become hellishly difficult as a result, and is a major reason why I won’t be doing any more shows, because I basically have to take a packed lunch and dinner.
So that’s it. I have at most seven years before I retire at the age of 70. It’s going to be spent getting the remainder of the website into shape with regards pictures, and developing projects I’m interested in with a view to making Fighting 15s and Gladiator Miniatures an attractive enough business for someone else to take on. That will almost certainly be as someone’s retirement project: Fighting 15s produces a pension level income, but it’s not too big to be unaffordable as a business purchase.