Miniatures go to war

GAMING DELIGHT: Mount Gambier Warhammer 40K enthusiast Liam Haddow showcases a unique hand-built and painted collection of miniatures which featured at the June competition.

Charlotte Varcoe

MINIATURE model enthusiasts from across Australia descended on Naracoorte recently to compete against each other in Terracon’s Warhammer 40K competition.

The miniature tabletop game showcases participants’ hand-painted and built miniature armies in a simulated war scenario using pre-determined rules and statistics.

Around 70 people from across the nation competed against each other at the competition, which was initially cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Limestone Coast was represented by 10 teams in the weekend-long event, which has been an annual competition for over two decades.

Terracon tournament organiser Ben Nikkerud said although it was the convention’s smallest gathering to date, it was still a successful weekend.

“We originally had 110 competitors on the list but because of the COVID-19 issues happening in Victoria we had a lot of people from over the border cancel at the last minute,” Mr Nikkerud said.

“But overall we were just happy we could host something this year after having to cancel last year.”

He said despite the cancellations from those in Victoria, there were competitors from other states including Western Australia, New South Wales and Canberra.

“There were also a few people who were in the cross-border bubble that were able to come over which was great and the rest were from Adelaide and other areas,” Mr Nikkerud said.

“Typically we get people from all across Australia and we were the biggest tournament in the nation overall but we lost that title when Canberra came into play but we still stay pretty close to the biggest competition.”

The avid gamer said he had noticed a significant increase in those participating in the hobby throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and said it was due to people needing to keep busy during lockdowns.

“Warhammer has really picked up over the COVID-19 period and during the pandemic a lot of people have brought new armies to keep them busy,” he said.

“The hobby has a lot of benefits in regards to mental health because it is all about getting groups of people together that would not normally socialise.

“Our yearly competition is a lot like a family getting together because we have built that whole sense of togetherness each year.”

Mr Nikkerud said under the circumstances with last month’s COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria, the weekend was a success.

“We had been doing it for a long time and it is an amazing event for a small country town,” he said.

“Not having it last year there were a lot of people upset and there were a lot of people from Victoria who were upset they couldn’t come over this year as well.

“It is an amazing event for the local community considering it is all about the community and local businesses coming together.”