I used this year to clear some collecting space. Games were sent off if they were large and not especially collectable. I must have succeeded as I needed to use the car to get the goods to Romiley. It took 2 trips to fill the car with games. When I came back I still had quite a pile of bought items but I could get it out of the car and into the house in 1 trip. A typical sale of mine was Warhammer from 2 editions ago with numerous expansions. I was only selling the rules but could barely lift it. This went for a princely £1; it appears virtually unsaleable on eBay. Most common game appeared to be Russian Front. I resold my copy from last year at a loss having found several counters missing and having photo-shopped replacements. I propose an auction bingo. We will have bingo cards made up and sell them at 50p a pop. Prize will be £5 or more if enough cards are sold. Instead of numbers the cards will have game names. Russian Front, Omaha Beachead, Flight Leader, Air Force are all de rigeur. Some wild cards will fill up the cards such as any Bulge game or a GMT game published in the last year. You check off the card as games are auctioned and call house when you get a line. Tim Cockitt did a spreadsheet of selling totals for the 2007. It seems that there were 475 lots at an average price of £8.39. Reasonably desirable games went for about £18 a shot. Thankfully there seemed to be fewer Euro games this year and more real wargames. Nothing massively rare, a West Wall quad fetched £26. The GMT games Here I Stand and Pax Romana (2 copies of this) both breached £30. I like Here I Stand but am still holding out on Pax Romana. In a break with tradition I bought and have already played Combat Commander. This was a game that I would probably have bought anyway, honest hAndy Dagleish had mint copies and was offering a modest discount. Most of the games that I bought were of a type that should be playable without massive rules to digest. This does not completely explain why I bought DAK.Auction 2006
No surprise that I went to the 2006 MBG auction at Romiley. Heavy snow the day before and still a fair sprinkling of snow about. The roads were clear but I took the train anyway. The games I sold did not go for a lot but cleared some space. Many of my games were German types; I am moving out of this and sticking to real games with hexes, Berlin, Moscow and such. All in all it was much of a German games day. Hosts of the brutes with few real collectable hex games. The auction is divided into sections of up to 2 hours with a brief break for viewing and coffee between the sets. There was an entire section where no game of interest came up; mostly German or stuff that I own or had previously owned. Still I struggled through and bought a few items; doubtless some will be going back next year. I am uncertain whether I have played any of the games that I bought at the auction last year. To my credit I have played several other board wargames between auctions, oddly many of them by GMT. I paid no attention to the prices of the German games. There were few collectable wargames of note and only a handful pushed the £30 barrier. SPI’s Wacht am Rhein (no surprise) plus GMT’s Alesia, Fire in the Sky by MMP and Columbia’s Hammer of the Scots. Top price went to the Art of Seige at £50. There were certainly more lots than last year and it was nearly 18.00 by the time that I got clear. We have been known to finish an hour earlier than that. For my part there were no must-buy games present (perhaps that kept the prices down). I like to look out for the big-ticket SPI games but Wacht am Rhein is a Bulge game too far. The Bulge is not my top period although I have picked up a few games on the subject including yet another one this year (in the Avalanche Panzer Grenadier series). I have played 1 game that I bought this year, Flying Colours (shrink wrapped, £25) although we used another copy for the maps and counters, my copy was a 2nd rules reference. Initial impressions are OK but if this is supposed to be a quick playing game then why doesn’t it play more quickly? I liked the way that the ships moved but did not feel that the firing and combat system was any more rapid than Wooden Ships and Iron Men. My overall feeling for the auction is to split off the German and military games. This could be done by issuing lot numbers in blocks of like selling types. I could then have taken a break through the woolly stuff, I sensed a few others in the same boat. The German gamers might then be able to relax when the real games came out.2005 Auction
A few brief comments on the 2005 auction. The usual crew were there, same games, same faces. More lots than usual but possibly a few less in the audience meant some serious buying and selling. There appeared to be fewer German games than in previous years. The older SPI type games went for relatively low (compared to eBay) prices. I would explain this by stating that most of the people there had already owned or even got shot of said games. Someone might make some money from the top seller (War in Europe at £50). Like many others I am not into dealing for a few pounds and did not need the hassle. Good prices were paid for relatively recent games, I paid £47 for GRD's War in the Desert. Some of these games went for close to their new price (£27 for Phalanx's A House Divided). Tim was a little worried by the number of lots and has suggested pegging next year's intake at 12 a shot instead of 15. I would argue against this as it will lead to bundling of games in a single lot. We had some of that this year, usually one goody with a close relation. Of course all the bids were for 1 of the pair. This is not much fun for the buyer and you can bet that the odd games will be back next year.2004 Auction
The event is more of a chance to get shot of games and clear some space than an opportunity to pick up bargains. Possibly due to the ease of buying and selling on eBay dirt cheap games were thin on the ground. The general prices were a little lower than might be expected on eBay for common items; certainly cheaper considering there is no postage hike. There has been an increase in German type games over the years and now they are in the majority. I have a few of these games but am not into collecting hordes of them so parts of the auction passed me by. The big advantage of buying and selling with the MBG is that you can get shot of anything if you are not bothered about the price. Consider those eBay listing fees and the slight chance that someone might buy your copy of Dreadnought; 2 went to good homes this year. The highest price game was about £55 for “Home Before The Leaves Fall”. I missed that one but probably paid the highest average prices for my games going for a strategy of buying the good stuff for a little below market value. I have given up on buying just because it is cheap. A healthy crop of S&Ts turned up all fetching fair prices; usually £10 or more for recent issues; some years ago you could not get shot of these.Auction 2000
Auction time again, so looked forward to and over in a flash. I went by train again and arrived well early a sunny morning this year unlike the snow last time. The Sea Scouts have been replaced by some of the land variety who are putting some work into the Romiley hut making a more pleasant atmosphere for gaining and the auction. There were not so many punters as in previous years although the number of lots were not greatly reduced. The bidding started promptly at 12.00 and was over at 16.50. This is the quickest MBG auction that I have been to. The place was cleared up and punters paid off by 17.20. Tim will not be running the show as Mrs Cockitt is expecting another little Cockitt. Geoff Brown is to take over but the usual supporting clerks and auctioneers will remain. The auction pretty much goes on auto pilot but it does need someone to shove it along. The only change this year was to impose a starting price of £1 for all magazine games. I spent more time auctioneering this year and as a result less time taking track of what was going on. Each seller was limited to 15 lots forcing some combination of games. This was quickly sorted by a single buyer getting shot of the unwanted game very quickly. I very briefly had a copy of Europa Universalis to go with the one that I had at home. I had to get this to buy la foi & la glave. The most expensive game was The Longest Day (mint) at about £56. Three copies of Dune all reached good prices in the £15 area. Very few games could be described as recent although Paths of Glory fetched over £30 and the Eylau area Napoleonic game (gamers USA) reached close to £20. Unusual in that the last auction copy went for £7 and you can get the game and modules (in French, with translation) off the shelf. The Kursk Command and Mediaeval Battles S&T made good prices (£10 ish) but most magazines failed to make more than £3. Multiple showers included 4 copies of Kreig - no surprise with the new edition out now. 3 copies of War and Peace, one of those good games that just about everybody has got. Several sellers including myself had bundled Generals, Moves and the like as single lots. In my case these magazines are taking up space and mostly contain reviews of games I own or will never buy. The grognard site contains most of the useful variants that can be printed and shoved in the appropriate boxes. None of these auctioned magazines attracted much interest, roughly 50p a pop. Still less attractive were roleplaying modules. Geoff Brown was probably the only person who bought any. It quickly became clear that there was no point in making more than a minimal effort to auction them. German games appear to be gaining in importance each year, with the loss of TAHGC there are less new games to satisfy us. You have to be careful when bidding for these games as they usually go for £15 to £20 but 'onest hAndy Daglish imports and sells them off at about £18 a pop. It is not hard to bid more for a used games than it costs new. The German games usually have English rules on the net but the card are still in the original tongue. I splashed out on El Grande and am in 2 minds to make a new set of English cards. I go for 19th Century or earlier games together with certain SPI games that I could not afford 1st time around. From my perspective there was nothing that I really had to buy although I had to let some items go because they were nice but I did not really want them. If I had the price would not have been an obstacle. On checking the spoils I found half the rules of 8th Air Force missing. I have Rise of the Luftfaffe and managed to fill in the gaps but this shows the problems of buying by auction, bring and buys have the same problem. There is not space to check all the components before you bid. With some of the older games in poorer condition you have to trust that everything is complete. Even if you have to make or buy an extra bit it is still cheaper than buying from a dealer.
Opening the curtains on Saturday 7th March revealed snow on the ground and more coming down. Some serious rethinking was in order resulting in a rushed breakfast, wrapping my box of wares to sell in a bin bag and heading for the railway station. The car was having to stay at home. This was the 1st and last decent snow of the year and I happen to like sledging and building snowmen but I had games to buy and made an executive decision. Luckily the trains were moving as usual and apart from having to change stations in Manchester with an armful of games the journey was uneventful. I could have jogged faster between Manchester Victoria and Piccadilly stations but took the tram to save the box my games were in slicing off my fingers through its handles. I arrived at 9.30 having been beaten by Alan Warren who had come up from Wales. We got in soon after and apart from some slight snow damage to World In Flames Annual 1993, no injuries. My plans did not include getting back home again but the snow turned to sleet by lunchtime and had gone by the auction end at 5.30. The weather did have an effect on attendance as we only have so many chairs to put out and they were not all in use. Lots were down as well from nearly 500 to 400 odd this year. Tim Cockitt declared the total takings as £1876, under a £5 a lot which seems about right. Keith provided an added attraction with a van full of games that he was selling off outside. I had to limit myself to what I could carry back but took advantage of Across 5 Aprils (£10) and SPI's 1812 (£5). He had Highway to the Reich, Campaign for North Africa and all sorts at way below dealer's prices with an offer of 10% of sales to the MBG. Back to the action inside, game of the auction was Thunder at Cassino with 4 copies, la Bataille de Albuera came a surprising 2nd with 3 shows. Tim Cockitt and Steve Owen did sterling work as auctioneers and I joined in as 3rd man. Chris Cutts delivered the games to the punters as in previous years. Some games attracted very little interest 50p to £2 was common for the magazine games. There were about as many Vae Victis as Command games illustrating the lack of new Commands and the take up of Vae Victis. I was talking to a seller who had bought all his on subscription from Caliver Books. Don't! It is cheaper to buy from France and quicker too, I had Kharkov '43 for a fortnight and he had not long ago received La Matz 1918. France '44 showed up 3 times but could only be sold twice and SPIs Dallas failed to be given away. Oddly the Yaquinto Dallas fetched £6.50. Seeing it both copies at the same time I note that exactly the same picture of JR is on both covers (little known trivia slot). This year's top price was Home Before The Leaves Fall (£37), it is well over double that new but the bidding was too rich for me. 3,080 counters on 2 maps (I checked) spells counter density no matter how many off-map boxes you are allowed. Allegedly the original seller picked up this copy for £40 because of a damaged box although it looked fine to me. Nuts (shrinkwrapped) fetched £28 for both sets, there are good rumours about this game. Caesar (Alesia) took a well-deserved £25, Valley of the 4 Winds (GW) an unusual £19 and War of the Ring went cheaply at £10. The underlying trend was of increased German games with high quality components fetching £15 to £20, abstract games failed to attract much interest and some of these were withdrawn. Series games always get a mixed showing as the initial games are bought and sold but the later games are only bough by the converted and are held on to. So the auctions turn up many early serial games but few of the later ones, which would probably attract better bidding. ASL + Paratrooper sold (probably as spares for someone) but Beyond Valour and Yanks were withdrawn, we either have them or don't want them. Crescendo of Doom was also withdrawn. I sold World In Flames 5th for £6.50 but got another £3.50 for the annual, everyone has got the game who wants it but there is still a market for the expansions. Gossip and rumour is that Avalon Hill games are no longer being made by Hasbro although this failed to push up the prices of those TAHGC games on offer. The Avalon Hill web site was still on line last time that I checked with vague promises for the future. The MBG are to move as they are based at a Scouts Hut and the host branch has folded. There will be an auction next year but it is ears to the ground time to find out where.
The MBG Auction 1998
Another year another auction although we had a little bit longer to wait this year with the last get together in February ’97 and this do in March ’98. I did some of the auctioning this time, which was a lot of fun but meant that I could not keep my usual record of sales. Thus I cannot provide the usual analysis of what went for what. I wasn’t too successful in monitoring what I bought for myself as the pile eventually made it hard to sit on my chair, games moved from underneath to in front to the side. I only managed to buy 1 game twice (Wilson’s Creek, I thought 1 copy was Pea Ridge). Also I only had a rough idea of what I had spent and on the final reckoning had quite a bit left over.
I do have some statistics to shower you with based on my memory and some input from Tim Cockit. The total lots were 510, equal to the record and £2,560 was taken, just under the record. The number of lots made the going pretty hectic I pushed the bidding as fast as I could and was then told off for going too fast, no pleasing some people. The system broke down at the beginning as 2 punters turned up just before the 12 kick off with loads of games. They were refused entry to sell and put these games on the tables as fixed price items after the show. Interest seemed pretty keen; I would have liked a look but was too busy elsewhere, a great shame there. Two lots were also combined items that caused some problems. First up was ASL up to and including Red Barricades, I managed to organise a cartel for this and having easily outbid the remaining opposition we split it all up three ways. All Europa except For Whom the Bell Tolls failed to sell at a steep reserve of £100, £90 was offered and refused. I believe that some of the items were later split and sold but I had to spend that time sorting out ASL. In both these cases buyers and sellers would have benefited from a little prior sorting. A good number of counters were mixed but Europa could be split into Eastfront, Desert, Balkans, Poland and the rest. ASL could have been sold as rules, Red Barricades, West of Alemain, each of the thin box modules and then the rest (some of which was hopelessly mixed). In a regular auction system it is best to bulk up small lots to decrease the overall number of lots, the buyers pay for the whole bundle and put the rest straight back into the next auction without leaving the building. With only 1 sale a year this is not going to happen and some of these unwanted bits are going to end up with dealers because we are not going to wait a whole year to flog them.
On average prices were strong with an increasing trend for certain items to become hard to sell. These are the ones that have been discounted by supermarkets or wholesalers in the past and those games that just about everyone seems to have got. It is now hardly worth selling Omaha Beachhead or FlashPoint Golan you will be lucky to cover the cost of the box. Notable prices include £40 for Wacht am Rhein (about the same as the last copy) and £60 for the ASL bundle (some maps missing and others triplicated, a trip to Mr Ashton is on the cards here). My feeling is that most respectable games went for around the £10 mark but plenty of all too common items sold for under £2, unfortunately I do not have the figures to prove it this year.
The level of attendance and lots worried Tim although we did finish for 5.30, last year finished at 5.20. The system is pretty labour intensive requiring a rota of auctioneers (4), 1 person to record sales and another for buying. There was also a "clerk" to carry games to the punter and a couple of other record keepers recording I know not what. Some and probably all of these people have much busier lives than I do making it hard to organise the auction even once a year. This is the problem because the obvious solution to an increase in lots is to have a second auction possibly about 6 months ahead around the old Northern Militaire slot and the almost definite proviso not to involve Tim Cockit (his wife would shoot him).
Another MBG auction has passed smoothly. The usual faces turn up year after year and it is becoming as much of a reunion as a buying and selling medium. The quality of games was up on last year. 1995 had a few very desirable games but the middle ground between them and the common and cheap games was pretty thin. This year there were a good number of games that are desirable either due to rarity or being published in the last couple of years. Highlights of the rares were 2 copies of 1914 (£21 and £19) with Bloody April (GBACW Shiloh) being most expensive sale (£30). Mint First World War Module - no maps - (£16) indicates that there are quite a few owners of War In Europe hiding out there either willing to draw on their maps or colour photocopy them (at about £10 a map). Many games had been bought at previous auctions and were back on the block. Tim would ask the owner if all the pieces were in place to be informed that the item had been bought at auction a year or 2 ago and not played. He rightly defined this as an exercise in renting games rather than buying and selling. MBG take their usual 10% but all other receipts from sales stay in the past owner’s kitty to be used for future purchases. You can’t get this sort of changeover even by taking old games to a dealer and exchanging them for credit. The only drawback of the system is that with no advance lists there is no way of guessing what will turn up and so no way to judge what to sell in order to raise enough loot to buy what you want without pruning the existing collection too severely. It is some compensation that any game will sell if the price is low enough. As usual the auction brought out a few incomplete games and low desirability folios and magazines. These items are bought for replacement parts, plastic SPI boxes being more valuable than some of the games inside. A copy of Panzer ‘44 with very few counters but a fine plastic box fetched £2.50, defining the going rate for boxes. Two events which could have influenced bidding were GDW going bottom up and the gradual but slow redoing of old games in snazzy graphics. Those GDW games that did show were pretty run of the mill and reached their usual prices. The re-releasing of games does not seem to be affecting the value of original editions. Thirty Years War Quad (SPI) fetched £20 some 2/3rds of the new Decision price. Original TSS (£15, more if I had the cash reserves to outbid Steve Owen).Games that have been around for a long time stay cheap regardless of the edition, Panzerkrieg (£4, £6, £2) is becoming an auction standard.
Generally prices were up on last year meaning that I got nearly twice as much as expected for the pile of gobblers I sold but had to dropout of the bidding for several very attractive games because fund would not permit. If I had known I would not just have sold off my" embarressed to be seen with" games but dragged out my "waiting until the price is right" stash. Recent games were fetching about 1/3 to1/2 the current selling price except in the case of known dogs and those which are being sold off cheap by the retailers. A lot of Flight Leaders were about (£6.50, £7, £7) possibly 1 of a bank of VG and Avalon Hill games being ramped down by the retailers. Central America (£6, £5) is definitely on this list but modern games have been taking very low prices in recent years regardless of quality. Flashpoint Golan (£6, £5, £3, ) is one fine game suffering from this low market interest.
I would estimate some 70 people attending, up on last year with 304 lots of total value £1,806 by my records which may differ a little from the official count. These figures do not show that the overall selection of titles was a considerable improvement on 1995. I missed the apres-auction pizza session partly because this forces me to cross Manchester to get to the restaurant then cross back again to get home and partly to save money which I spent on games. Thanks to the MBG for the event and a message to Lyn Cockitt, can Tim come out to play again next year?
The ZOCo discussion of the annual MBG games auction is becoming as traditional as the gathering itself. Note that the MBW are now the MBG or Manchester Board Gamers, hopefully they will not metamorphosise into the Manchester Collectable Card Gamers despite disturbing signs.
The auction was a larger version of that held last year, more lots and more gamers. The Sea Scouts Hut cannot cope with many more people, seating was not a problem but the lots were crammed together without the space or time for a really good rummage. Withington Methodist Church Hall was a better venue on the display front. The 1st I saw of some lots was when the auctioneer held them up. I got to Romiley at 9.30, after the hall was opened (snow and fog slowed me up) but many sellers did not show until shortly before the 12.00 start of bidding. This was bad for the buyers because these games would not be neatly arranged on tables and bad for the sellers whose late arrival translated to high lot numbers and low prices compared to earlier lots. Those of us in the know had booked selling numbers with Tim weeks in advance to avoid turning up early, hell we turned up early anyway.
Tim had produced a pre-auction list and advertised in the hobby press both changes from last year. The pre-auction list on its own would have put me off coming, too short and a decided lack of "must buy" games. Advertising was MBG's big mistake leading to the arrival of TRADERS, my suggestions that we throw Andy Ashton out were overturned and I at least lost a number of games to him. True, traders do push up the selling price which is good for sellers but they also outbid genuine gamers who will either play or at least lovingly shelve their purchases. Most people at the auction were buying and selling, true addicts doing more of the selling, my particular weakness which explains the prejudice.
I counted 393 lots with a total sale value of œ2,151.95, still well off the magic œ3,000 mark but the number of lots was impressive. Even I was beginning to tire by the end mistakenly buying South Africa (œ1, I forgot that those nice Dutch chaps had lost the elections). Many punters started to pack up and leave when the lots were starting to run out and nothing to their interest was left to come, this did not help the old concentration towards the end. The auctioneers went at a fair old rate to get through the lots by 5.00, they failed but came close. Highlight of the show were monster games from Chris Cutts, Wacht Am Rhein (œ40), Atlantic Wall (œ27.50), Highway To The Reich (œ52), Camapaign For North Africa (œ47.50), Next War (œ25) and Objective Moscow (œ20). None of the above were in too hot condition, counters loose in the bottom of boxes and well thumbed rulesbooks in some cases, Highway seemed in best nick. Later a mint Descent On Crete fetched œ18.
At the other end of the scale were games that had difficulty fetching 25p to 50p selling prices. Many of these were family games that have sunk without trace from the toy shop shelves. A hint to speeding up the auction next year would be to bundle slow selling lots in 3s and 4s. The MBG cannot auction lots any faster because they have to keep track of games sold for the seller and items bought by each buyer at the end of the day for the great settling up afterwards. Reducing the number of lots while keeping the number of games constant should help everyone, generally it does not take any longer to sell Christopher Columbus (final price 20p, starting price -25p) than Fire In The East (œ15). Some family games fetch good prices (anything which starts 18XX) but it is pretty clear what will not attract interest, books and more common magazines are also better off bundled rather then singly or on the fixed price stall.
An unusual category were part games and game kits, either a sign of refreshing honesty in Manchester (implying they may have sold part games as the whole thing in previous years) or of gamers willing to buy anything. Interesting examples were Arnhem (mounted map no counters, œ2.50), Anzio (missing counters, œ1.50), Napoleon's Last Battles Quad (well 3 of the 4, 50p). Naturally some of this stuff and also the cheaper whole games are bought for the components, a good SPI flat plastic box is worth œ1.50 any day (mine came with a free copy of Dreadnought). A number of unusual games and game kits turned up, amateur designs that were never around for long and never made it to classic status. These are products of the SPI boom in the early 80's when it was thought that games might just become big but the money finally went into RPGs.. Many of the amateur games were bordering on the gamekit standard, decent maps or rules or counters but not all 3, this type of game tended to go for under œ5 reflecting our new found fetish for graphics. Traders showed an interest here as long as the price stayed low realising that sooner or later someone will want then and be prepared to pay 3X the auction price. I am now stuck with assembling Landships (œ4.50) and King's War (œ5).
Although prices were roughly in line with the last 2 years, the appearance of certain desirable games led to price polarisation. The big guns were keeping their money for certain lots resulting in common games fetching little interest. This was the year to start a collection of magazine games, 33 being œ2.50 or less, some of which (Forward to Richmond, Balkan Wars, 7 Years War in Europe) were well worth the dosh, others obviously weren't.. Of the historical(ish) wargames 173 went for œ5 or less, some being much better buys than others. At the other end of the scale attractive games came up for more than I was prepared to pay Gunslinger (œ18), Fall Of Rome (œ7), Suez '73 (œ12), I consoled myself with loads of cheap games and Next War. Plenty of good games went for most reasonable prices, alas, games that I covet I already own (with the notable exception of Russian Civil War). Someone did too well to get Flaspoint Golan at œ3, Korea '95 œ6, both fine games.
Most gamers shot off as soon as or before the auction closed up, only about a dozen came early and stayed late (we finally left the Pizza place at 9.00). Apres Auction discussion had Tim suggesting that the MBG charge for entry next year, thankfully this was voted down, it is well known that gamers will only spend money on games.
The Manchester auction drew about 40 gamers to Withington. The exact number being hard to tell due to some gamers coming late or leaving early and odd (1 very odd) natives wandering in and out. The auction gave the rare chance to see how much games actually sell for, as opposed to lists and adverts that state what the buyer hopes to get. The total sales were £2540, 10% of this going to MBW and 10% of that to a local old soldiers charity. This was a buyer's market, to the extent that Tim Cockitt has no plans to run another auction next year because of the low prices paid. Top payment was £35 for Battle for Stalingrad (SPI), a game that having played, I would rate as nothing special. On the other hand I counted 151 games that sold for £5 or less compared to only 6 selling for £20 or more. Service to the hobby prize goes to the nameless gamer who paid £2 for a used Campaigns of the Civil War (3W). Some games were withdrawn because of low or non-existent bidding, if a seller was in the hall he could usually be brought down to 3/4rs of the reserve price.
As expected very few rare or highly desirable games turned up nor did there seem much demand for those (mostly 3rd world designs) that did show, only Battle for Stalingrad and Atlantic Wall (SPI), (ú25) inspired serious bidding. Winter War (SPI) and Battles and Leaders (Yaq) were amongst those withdrawn through lack of interest. Games that had been released very recently generated the most excitement, considering that MBW did not guarantee completeness of punched games, I found some of these prices too high. War for the Union (CoA), £18, Hornet Leader (GMT), £12, and SPQR (GMT), £20 all went for more than I was prepared to bid . Games more than 2 or 3 years old had settled into the average £5 to £10 price range. The obvious lesson must be, if you buy a new game and don't want it, sell it quick! It will lose value as everyone gets to know the game and could take years to acquire any rarity factor. To those on the lookout for games this was a good chance to buy older games that had been missed 1st time around or to replace games that had been sold off when prices were higher. Just about any game could be sold if the seller was not bothered about the price, remember that some games generate absolutely zero interest from dealers. MBW literally hid (behind the stage curtain) all multiple copies of games to enable the same game titles to sell more than once. With the exception of Civilisation (ú6.20 followed by ú8.50) all games realised less on the 2nd copy. Some of the cheaper games generated as much interest for the box and counter tray as the game itself. Consider that a counter tray costs ú2 and SPI plastic boxes are quickly perishing away, any boxed game bidding for less than £2 was to be considered as much for the quality of its components as for potential playability.
The low prices paid could be explained by the low ratio of buyers to games on sale, a few gamers were selling large numbers of games and spending the loot on different games, a nameless auctioneer estimated £180 sold and £150 bought by him. Most of the bidders would have been more restricted in the money available, with less cash than estimated values of games on sale there must be either fewer games sold or a drop in average game values. The large number of games on offer are to be blamed for the drop in prices, with especial blame on the hordes of WW2 subjects. Naturally with most wargames being WW2 based, any sale will tend to be weighted to the beasts, many of which had few redeeming features to appeal to the bidder except exceptionally low prices.