So the annual Manchester board game auction has been and gone, well, when I say Manchester, it is nearer to Stockport, but if I keep splitting hairs I’ll lose even more of them!
I have been helping out run the auction for the last 7 years or so. Just doing what needs doing.
We were one of the first ones there to help set up. I was slightly concerned as there was the biggest dumping of snow of the winter, even though we are in spring now – more hair splitting – but luckily it had cleared up sufficiently to not be a problem getting around.
The Scout Hut
There is only a small car park at the scout hut, where we hold the auction and it is amusing when we get there the car park is empty, but when the auction starts, it is chaos! We get blocked in, but as we are some of the last to leave, it is not an issue.
Car park is fairly empty – won’t stay that way!
As the scout hut fills, the games start arriving. The auction has a pre-registration for the sellers to register their games and they are allocated slots in the running order. Each seller is allowed a maximum of 10 lots, but each lot can be several games, not just one. Looking at the games coming in is always interesting. I get a good idea on what will turn up as I am on the admin team and see peoples sellers lists when they are emailed in, but it is always better to see the games in person. Plus the lists often change at the last minute, just to keep us on our toes.
Everyone (and the games) start to arrive
People turn up from all over the country. I saw registration sheets from Scotland and Dorset and a whole load of other places in-between. It started at 11.30am and as usual we start off with the Charity lots. This is stuff that has been donated by various people to be sold off for charity where the proceeds go to Broughton House in Salford, which is a care home for ex servicemen. This is usually stuff with novelty value, but this year there was some good games in there, I picked up a copy of Uptown for a fiver, one of the many steals of the day. However there was a signed photo of Reiner Knizia which eventually managed to go for a quid.
Told you so! The car park, a fair bit more full now the auction is in progress
We advertise a finish time of 5.30pm, but this is more of a guide and is rarely met, but this year we were close, 5.45pm. We did limit the auction to 360 lots this year and this did help a little. There was a couple of breaks during the day, to give the finance desk a well deserved break, as concentration is essential or mistakes may well happen.
The auction has been going for years and years. I have been into the hobby for a decade and it has been going for far longer than I have been into the hobby. When I first started going I would say that it was a 2/3 war games 1/3 euro games split, now it is the other way round with what felt a 2/3 euro games to 1/3 war games. But that is just a sign of the way the hobby is going, moving from war games to euros.
Auction in full swing
It is a fantastic event. There was about 55 attendees on the day. About 12 of these were helping out during the Auction in one way or another. There was some new faces and a lot of the regular ones. There was some steals to be had and some games that went for big money. It sometimes surprises me what some games go for. I made a list of some of the games that caught my attention for one reason or another.
Arkham Horror with loads of expansions went for £50. A base set went for £14.
Sekigahara went for £52
Upfront base game went for £31 (an absolute steal) with the rare expansion going for £41 (an even bigger steal)
Some of the bargains were Batavia for £7, Ming Dynasty for a quid, Historia for £10, Ninja went for £7. Mysterium went for £9.
La Isla, by Stefan Feld went for £8. Some people say that this is a steal. I say they were robbed. But that might have something to do with my dislike of Feld games.
I came home with a little haul myself. But I was more restrained this year. In previous years I have come home with far more than I go with.
My haul. Look who ended up with the bargain copy of Mysterium (or Tajemnicze Domostwo).