Sunday, 9 February 2014

To the Dark Sphere and Back: Circumnavigating the globe

To the Dark Sphere and back: In NZ again after 30 days circumnavigating the globe

Back to blogging: I am back at the keyboard after 30 days of travelling the world, many great experiences and more additions to the ever growing pile of un-built models.

 Luc and I are now working on our lists for the NZTC Warhammer  Tournament (NZ Team Champs) coming up in March. He plans on fielding an Ogre list, and I am working on my Dark Elves (No surprise that, eh, with the great new rules and models)

Our trip took us around the world, from NZ to the land of cheap electronics (Malaysia), beach paradise no 1 (Koh Lipe, Thailand) The land of affordable Warhammer models and Anglophile history (UK), the land of Guiness beer, whiskey in a jar, and folk music (Eire), the land of great cheese, foi gras, garlic and red wine (and things Napoleonic and Francophile history) - France, to Tinseltown (US), and finally to beach paradise no 2 (Moorea, Tahiti) before winging our way back to Aotearoa (NZ)

One of the highlights of our trip was a visit to Dark Sphere, London's biggest gaming store, now in Lambeth, London. They recently moved, and are now situated a stone's throw from the Imperial War Museum.

This shop just cannot be missed! We arrived at this gaming cornucopia after a visit to the Natural History Museum. (Trade-off with daughter Lisa, as she didn't want to go to the IWM, and they are renovating for the 100th Anniversary of WW1 anyhow.)

The bulging shelves of the right hand side of Dark Sphere's new home.

The purveyors of joy at Dark Sphere were still unpacking, having just moved into the new premises. Boxes of models were piled up to 3 metres high in places, and it took great discipline to stay within budget.

Needless to say, being free of the mark-up we have to endure in NZ made the experience all the sweeter. We had to unwillingly tear ourselves away, as it was getting late, and as usual when fellow gamers meet, we fell into taking about our hobby with the store staff and fellow afficionados.

Looking forward to the next year of gaming the two of us had to discipline ourselves severely to stick to the agreed budget. We ended up buying a DE cauldron/medusa, warlocks/dark riders, and scourge runner for me,an Ogre fire belly and a unit of ogre bulls, an iron blaster (Yes, Luc felt he needed more ogres and another blaster!), and Gor Rok, and a Carnosaur /Troglothingy,for his Lizard army and he also spied a board game that retails for $120 here,all  for the grand sum of 150 pounds ($300) Would have been even cheaper had we ordered it online beforehand, and collected from thye store!

I had to refrain from getting more Chaos Daemons and Empire stuff, as we still had 2 weeks of travel expenses ahead of us, and I resolutely looked past the racks and racks of Warmachine and other 28mm Privateer Press, and almost any other model maker and scale you could imagine. Ok, I looked. Just a little.

Yes, Battlefront was also there, but with price equity in NZ$ (Funny that). Only Plastic Soldier Co was absent from the racks, and some of the more obscure brands, such as Wargods of Hyperborea (Crocodile games, which I had hoped to find there)

I have just calculated the cost of our GW haul if we had bought it here - $563NZ! (Not counting the $120+ board game, which would have brought the cost to $680+ had we bought these here)  We are talking almost a 100% mark-up. Surely this cannot be justified on transport costs alone.

Anyhow, we got the expected scolding from mommy dearest when we arrived back at our accommodation with 4 bags bulging with models and games. We swiftly de-boxed the models and posted them back to NZ for the princely cost of 15 Euros when we got to Dublin. (26-28 NZ$).

Lots of building and painting to be done now!

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