Pyrkon 2023: A Multigenre Convention with a Strong Wargaming Presence


Pyrkon 2023, held at the Poznań International Fair, proved once again why it’s one of the premier pop culture conventions in Europe. This year’s event was a vibrant celebration of fantasy, science fiction, and gaming, attracting thousands of fans from all over the continent. With a wide array of panels, workshops, and attractions, Pyrkon successfully catered to the interests of its audience, once again.

Pyrkon Orc the convention’s lively mascot

The venue, Poznań International Fair, provided ample space to accommodate the large number of attendees. The organization was efficient, with clear signage and a well-structured layout that minimized congestion, even during peak hours – which is especially important, given that the venue is huge and covers a dozen halls.

While Pyrkon 2023 boasted an extensive range of events spanning anime, manga, roleplaying games, and various aspects of pop culture, including gigs, larps, and more, it’s the wargaming component that truly stood out.

With several hundred events in total, each offering its own unique appeal, it’s no small feat to highlight the most captivating aspects. There were several hundred events in total, and all worthy of interest, but I will focus on wargaming part.

Pyrkon 2023 was a huge even and you really had to pick how you want to spend your three wonderful days at the con

Pyrkon 2023 from a Wargamer Standpoint – Is it Worth It?

If you are primarily interested in the wargaming aspect of the convention, Pyrkon 2023 did not disappoint with its noteworthy events. The convention featured an array of tournaments, individual matches, and game presentations. For any wargamer, Pyrkon is an essential destination. The event catered to fans of well-known games like Warhammer 40,000 and Battletech, as well as showcasing many lesser-known but equally enjoyable games, including my personal favorite skirmish system, One Page Rules.

Among the rather extensive guest roster, Pyrkon 2023 featured some significant personas, including Jervis Johnson. Johnson is renowned for his contributions to the wargaming world, having authored rules for Warhammer 40,000, Horus Heresy, and the classic Warhammer Fantasy Battles, as well as his work on historical wargaming with Osprey’s Fields of Glory. Unsurprisingly, his talks were packed to full capacity, reflecting his esteemed status in the wargaming community.

Jervis Johnson

Jervis Johnson is one of the most important people in wargaming’s history and he had two interesting talks where he presented some interesting stories from the time he worked at Games Workshop, as he recently retired. He also talked about his philosophy of writing good rules.

Black Seas demo

Warlord Games, the second-largest wargame manufacturer after Games Workshop, regularly promotes their games at Pyrkon and conducts demos. This year, their focus was on naval action in the 18th and 19th centuries with their popular game Black Seas. Their engaging demos and detailed miniatures drew significant attention, allowing attendees to experience thrilling maritime battles and learn about the game’s mechanics directly from the experts.

Battletech game: you can see the huge drop pod in the center!

Battletech games and demos were also a prominent feature at Pyrkon. Fans of big stompy mechs had the opportunity to participate in friendly and casual games set in the far future.

One Page Rules Firefight table

Smaller games were also well-represented at Pyrkon 2023, including the fantastic One Page Rules wargame, specifically its Firefight skirmish variant. This game is easy to pick up and play, making it ideal for convention settings. With its straightforward rules and the ability to play with just a dozen or so miniatures, Firefight is perfect for conventions.

Apocalypse Warhammer 40k Game

Of course, no wargaming convention would be complete without Warhammer 40,000. This year, Pyrkon 2023 hosted a massive Apocalypse battle, featuring a clash between Space Marines and Tyranids

Expertly painted Custodes…

…and a whole Brettonia warhost in an epic 6mm scale

The painting competition is always a highlight of Pyrkon. You can easily spend hours admiring the stunningly painted miniatures on display. There were certainly some Golden Daemon contenders out there.

Bolt action table: Japanese against US Marines in deep jungle somewhere in the Pacific

Historicals were also covered, with games as such as previously mentioned Black Seas, napoleonic game Black Powder from Warlord Games, and the Bolt Action.

In summary, Pyrkon 2023 was a fantastic opportunity for gamers. While it offered a variety of attractions like anime, RPG, and even popular scienc events, it was the wargaming section that really shined. With tournaments, demos, painting competitions, and epic battles, Pyrkon provided an exciting experience for the fans of fighting with plastic (or resin) soldiers. I eagerly anticipate the next Pyrkon, to dive back into the world of tabletop warfare!

See you at the Pyrkon 2024, held at 14.06 – 16.06!

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About Battle Leader

A Wargaming portal focusing on historical wargames and military history. A place to record projects and to hopefully inspire others to pick up their brushes as much as possible, scratch-built some terrain and read a book. Focused on ancients, World War II, WH40K and FWW. Do leave a comment anytime!

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