Saturday, April 14, 2018

A quick visit to Salute 2018




Just back from a very short trip to Salute; I think I was in and out in just under two hours.  I arrived just after 11.00 am and the free giveaway figure had already run out, which was fine as I didn't want it.  Given  the theme this year was the centenary of the end of World War 1 I didn't see much in the way of WW 1 games (there were a couple of African set ones).  In fact the most Great War thing was this reproduction tank which, while being made from wood, can actually move under its own track power,  It has featured in a number of TV and film productions (including Wonder Woman, Eric the Shed informed me) but was a rather stunted, foreshortened thing; rather in the way that James Cameron sliced a big chunk out of the front of his Titanic reproduction. It's almost like an anime version of a tank. Still, it looked excellent from the front.




Compared with last year there were a number of games which caught my eye as regards scenery.  As ever the venue was stygian and you only had to look into the bridal show across the way to see the difference.  I liked this World War 2 Greek Island set game featuring the Battlegroup rules. They really caught the look of the scenery of the region. Extra marks for the seaplanes




More arid scenery was depicted in this big Crusades game by show organisers, the South London Warlords, using the Sword and Spear rules which I have never played but have heard good things about.




It was odd to see a Big Red Bat game which did not feature ancients but there were still plenty of pikes in this English Civil War game, witch was promoting his new For King and Parliament rules (shouldn't it be For King or Parliament).  Anyway, he was so busy I didn't get a chance to chat to him, this year.




I haven't given up on my American Civil War project but, again, ACW seemed thin on the ground this year.  Most impressive was this one featuring a fort and an ironclad.  Great water effect.






Another American set game but a different conflict was this one, featuring a fictitious battle in Florida in 1761, with the Spanish attacking a plantation.  A really nice board. this one.




Maybe I just go for boards with water on them as I also liked Dalauppror's Great Northern War clash, the Battle at Stäket, 1719, using The Pikeman's Lament.


Want


I have been lurking on the Gangs of Rome Facebook page and there are some nice figures by Footsore Miniatures, backed by a great range of Roman buildings by Sarissa Precision (except for the roofs - they really do need 3D Roman tiled finishes - buying tile effect plasticard for this is possible but always seems to be out of stock everywhere).  The Sarissa stand did have a Roman house with a proper roof and it looked fantastic.  I was most impressed by their Roman galley, however,  Some things work with laser cut MDF (like this) and some things don't (anything cylindrical).  In the end Gangs of Rome makes me feel a bit queasy as, basically, it is not a wargame but a murder game (I wouldn't play gangsters either).  I like my little soldiers to believe in a cause!  Even if they are French and therefore misled.




I was somewhat surprised to see the University of Wolverhampton trying to recruit students for their history courses.  I don't think I have seen such a thing before at a wargames show.  I do wonder if they hadn't quite done their research into the average age of wargamers properly.  They were probably expecting the place to be filled with the Warhammer generation.




The numbers were as high as ever, I think, the light was as bad and there were a lot of Fantasy and SF manufacturers with large and impressive stands.  For me the demonstration games were of a higher standard than last year.  The absence of the London Marathon registration (it is next week) made moving around Excel and getting something to eat and drink easier.  From my point of view, there were not many people selling scenics, other than the MDF giants,  Resin buildings seem to be dying out. There were still a fair number of small 3' x 3' type games, many of which looked like those little gardens you had to make at junior school using a roasting tin, moss, stones and a mirror for a pond.  My one, inevitably and somewhat controversially, had dinosaurs in it, when I think it was supposed to be an Easter garden.


I am sixth from left


I went to the bloggers meet up, which seemed smaller this year and met Eric the Shed, Alastair and Tamsin.  I also ran into another Shed regular, John, at Waterloo on the way back.  The picture is from Big Lee's blog.  He has some excellent photos here.






There was no Dave Thomas stand this year (rumoured he has stopped doing shows) so there was nowhere to get my metal Afghan cavalry as the Perry stand (which wasn't where it was supposed to be on the map) was just selling their plastics.  There were two sets of three-ups for new sets: Agincourt mounted knights and US WW 2 infantry, neither of which I am interested in, fortunately.  I resisted the new Napoleonic chasseurs as I had already bought some other figures.




I think I bought more figures than last year.  A set of Afghan foot from Empire, as they will go into an army I am painting at the moment.  Some LBM Carthaginian shield transfers, which were on my list. Two packs of Bicorne ECW firelock men to replace the historically inaccurate figures in my Tower Hamlets trained band,  What really wasn't on the list were a box of, and some command for, the Fireforge plastic Byzantine Infantry.  This is one of my earliest 28mm armies and I do, occasionally paint a few more for it. 




"You have things in your bag," cackled the Old Bat, accusingly, when I got home.  I showed her this picture of Eric the Shed's purchases.  "His poor wife!  Although he can buy as much as he wants as he can do DIY." she said.

39 comments:

  1. Many outstanding games Thanks for the quick whirl around Salute!

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    1. It was my quickest whirl ever and I enjoyed it more as a result. It's a bit like visiting the Louvre. Don't try to see everything and you will enjoy it more.

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  2. Great post and entertaining as usual sir!
    Good to see the pics early so that I can beat myself up about not going (again).
    I think the 'For King and Parliament' title is based on a contemporary quote, whereby a Parliamentarian was recognising the ongoing requirement for a King of England, while also yearning for the checks and balances of a Parliament to be in plae (oh the irony of the time). I guess Cromwell didn't agree.

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    1. Ah, thanks for the historical explanation. I enjoyed the game so much I went and bought some firelock men!

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  3. I also did the full circuit inside 2 hours. As my main interest is Napoleonic, I'm now a rather endangered species and there was less of direct interest - and less to empty my wallet. I thought there was a really good selection of traders including quite a few from overseas but some of the stalls were too close together given the swathes of open space available. Definitely some very attractive games and terrain. Hard to decide whether it was as busy this year - the advance queue certainly seemed shorter (but they were packing them in more efficiently)- it was still easy to get to most traders even during the initial rush. You have to admire the Warlords - it's all very slickly done these days. Excel is a great location, especially when the dates are deconflicted with the Marathon, but my failing eyesight really struggles with the ambient light.

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    1. The lack of annoyingly skinny people was a bonus!

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  4. Replies
    1. Shorter visit was definitely better - but then I can do door to door in just over an hour

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  5. "I didn't see much in the way of WW 1 games (there were a couple of African set ones). "

    Didn't you notice the two Zeebrugge games?

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    1. No, I have an amazing ability to miss games!

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  6. Thanks Legatus - great laugh at the end...

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    1. As a result I had to help the Old Bat take down, clean and replace a curtain rail.

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  7. Thanks for sharing. I spent a few hours at last year's show and was a bit disappointed. Your report makes me think that I may have picked the wrong year to go.

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    1. It was better this year. Easier to move around because of better spacing, for one.

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  8. It was good to meet up with you again, even though we only chatted briefly.

    I think it must have been my annoyance at my camera battery almost running out early on (I had put it on to charge last night and it did seem to have charged - perhaps time for a new battery?), but I ended up not really looking at most of the game tables this year although the overall quality of the ones I did see seemed to be a bit higher than the past couple of years.

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    1. A thought on the pantiles for Roman buildings - 4D Modelshop at the South end of Leman Street do sheets of it in 1:43 scale.

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    2. Ah yes, I know that. Just around the corner from H Division. I will have a look next time I am in the City.

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  9. Thanks Legatus for your excellent report. Makes me feel bad I didnt go - but I know if I had gone would have bought too much and then felt bad AND also considerably poorer. Great tank but what were the University of Wolverhampton thinking??!

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    1. I asked them that and same as when I did my degree and PGCE in my late 30's some 30 years ago, when it was but a Poly, they still take a lot of mature students. Masters course are available for part timers, as well.

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  10. More like Norman the Shed looking at that bag picture! Big national show for 2 hours? personally I find it all to overwhelming to enjoy, I went to Hannants model shop warehouse in Lowestoft once and it was too vast to contemplate Salute seems the same. Useful and enjoyable briefing as ever. Professional Careers advisor bit here, many people do degrees later in life as well especially retired people and those of our vintage will do them as distance learning courses. Soon you will be able to take a degree apprenticeship in your 50's as well....if so inclined!

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    1. The thought of ever doing any exam ever again fills me with dread! I hate studying!

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  11. Thanks for posting the great review of Salute 2018. The pictures of all the battle makes one inspired to build some nice tables...

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    1. Yes, it is the scenery that always inspires me the most.

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  12. Thanks for the report; some great-looking games there. The most amazing thing for me is learning that Wolverhampton has a university. And they have a Premier League team to support again after this weekend.

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    1. I don't think I even know where Wolverhampton actually is.

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    2. I came down for the show. £170 hotel, £35 First Class return rail tickets plus taxi fares. I bought £27.50 worth of goods was done for 1300 and went to the National Army Museum for the Special Forces exhibition. That was also a waste of time.
      I won't bother again. I much prefer smaller shows.

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  13. Thanks for sharing with us these wonderful tables...and this impressive Eric the Shed's purchases!

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    1. I joked that he would probably have them all painted by June. "No, it will take me six months!" he replied. Shakes head in disbelief

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  14. I must admit, I found the whole thing a little tiring, that's not to say that I didn't enjoy myself though. The meet up was a very rushed affair for me this year as I had one eye on the train times home, but I certainly nodded in your general direction, my incurable shyness getting the better of me again.

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    1. I spent very little time at the bloggers meet this year. Next time!

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  15. I managed to nab most things on my list - loot post to follow. But I cheated and preordered the things I really wanted. Spent much of my time being a tanker with the lardies - great fun. The poor lighting was a shame and seemed worse this year, although that may just be age...

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    1. No, it was definitely worse. I didn't get better than 1/30th of a second on my camera without flash and I seem to recall that you need 1/60th to get a shake free shot.

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  16. Excellent Salute AAR !

    Glad you liked our game ”Battle at Stäket 1719” :)

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    1. It looked really fantastic. One of my favourites.

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  17. Good to see you at the meetup, even if it was brief.

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    1. I wan't there long. I decided to leave while I still felt good!

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  18. Thanks for the pics and a decent amount of loot was brought home. Good work that man!

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