Saturday, April 12, 2014

Salute 2014






I've been going to Salute as often as I can manage since 1999; the last year the event was held in Kensington Town Hall,  I haven't been every year as I have missed several because of international travel but I suppose I have been to at least a dozen now.  It is now a huge event in the ExCeL centre in London's docklands and is, in fact, so large now that it is quite gruelling walking around it.




Talking of gruelling I usually aim to arrive at about 11.00am when there is no queue.  Today I wanted to get there earlier so arrived forty minutes before my usual time.  I might as well have not bothered because I just stood in the queue all that time.  They used this empty part of the building for the queue.  This is exactly the same size as the Salute area further down the building, which gives you an idea of how big it is.  The teeny, tiny people in the far distance are the ones who were organised and ordered their tickets in advance.  I didn't, because I thought I might be in Medellin, so had to queue with all the other disorganised people along the right hand wall.




ExCeL is a vast building (about 100 acres) and they also had a property exhibition on and the registration for tomorrow's London Marathon as well.  People always note the amusing contrast between skinny marathon runners and not so skinny wargamers.  Of course some evolve from one into the other.  I ran the London Marathon twice, in 1987 and 1990.  I was a 400 meter runner at school so the marathon is almost exactly 26 miles further than I can run in comfort.  In 1990 I was part of a Lloyd's of London team organised by our then chairman, who was one of Roger Bannister's pacemakers at Oxford.  He hired Zola Budd's coach for the team and he got me down to 3 hours 40 minutes.  Never again.  I reckon it took me two years to recover.  Some people are born distance runners and some are born to paint soldiers.  No doubt there are some who can do both!  Anyway, I thought ExCeL was the busiest I'd seen it today.




I also thought Salute was the busiest I'd seen it.  Nearly every stand had a pack of people in front of it.  This was the Empress stand (I bought some more of the superb new Paul Hicks WW1 British) and it was two or three deep all the time I was there.




I will leave others to display photographs of the games but I was very taken by this Albuera Peninsula game put on by Capitan Games of Spain.  A really fantastic piece of terrain that actually looked like a real landscape.




Of course, my favourite game had to be Big Red Bat's invasion of Britain one; put on in conjunction with Wargaming, Soldiers and Strategy magazine.  Not only did it have one of the nicest beach layouts I have seen but, lurking in the corner was my dreaded Roman Galley which Mr Miller (the Bat himself) has been encouraging me to finish since last summer and without whom it would still be up in my resin pile in the loft.  I must also thank Mr Mark Backhouse who provided the second Grand Manner galley for the game and lent me some of his figures to populate my decks.  More importantly, he helped me solve a number of engineering problems during construction over the last couple of weeks.


The Legatus' galley (foreground) provides cover for the disembarking elephant


He had built a proper base for his galley but his real stroke of genius was including a barge with an elephant as well.  I wish I'd put some slave girls on mine now!  He'd also done some excellent bases of troops wading ashore.  This is the first time anything I had painted has been in a game at a show.  I am now keen to get on with my Grand Manner Argo which should be a piece of baklava in comparison.  Not least because it has a moulded furled sail whereas I had to jury-rig a sail at ten o'clock last night.  Fortunately, my wife came to the rescue and flaked it properly for me so it looked much better than my original effort.  I just need to rig mine properly to finish it.  I couldn't do this because I had to transport it in pieces on public transport.






One thing that Salute is good for is spotting future items of interest.  The Perry's had some three ups of their plastic men-at-arms, which I will get for my Wars of the Roses forces.  These I knew about but I hadn't heard about the plastic Agincourt to Orleans figures.  This is a range I have been trying to resist since it first came out.  Plastic figures might drive me over the edge!  There was also  an 88 and crew for the Western Desert (trying to resist those too!)






On the Warlord stand they had draft copies of new Black Powder supplements for the American Revolution and the Sudan.  Their Zulu wars supplement was excellent so the Sudan one will be a must buy.




4Ground had a huge stand with lots of tables showing their excellent laser-cut kits.  It reeked of smoked fish, of course.  Coming soon from them are these medieval fantasy buildings.  It strikes me that these would be perfect for Transylvanian-set games of Empire of the Dead.  The roof shapes are very Romanian.




I picked up one of their Japanese buildings to go with my Ronin figures which I still intend to get on with this year.    It will be interesting to see how I get on with the dreaded teddy bear fur.




Something I hadn't seen before, and which would be perfect for In Her Majesty's Name, was a series of models by Sarissa which make up a railway viaduct. I bought one of their Japanese bridges, which is very much at the other end of their scale.




As regards purchases it must be a record for me in that I only bought seven figures: Four Paul Hicks Mutton Chop WW1 British and three Warfare Miniatures Great Northern War Swedish Cavalry.  The other figures I wanted (Lucid Eye Neanderthals and Artizan North West Frontier) had sold out.  However, I did buy a box of Empire of the Dead carriages and coaches and the new Warlord/Italaeri Sherman; although I'm not quite sure what the latter will be used for!




Apart from the two Japanese scenic items I have already mentioned, I also got the new Renedra mud brick house (I really enjoyed making their barn last year) and the new Warlord stone walls which will be very useful.  I must get more scenery!




Finally, I picked up a few books including the new Perry picture book, a book on the Germans in the Peninsula (which will be very useful for my Confederation of the Rhine project), the Osprey on the Trojan War and the new WSS.

So, I have got lots of exciting things to make without having added too much to the lead pile.  Sort of.


I thought I was a wargamer but, apparently, I am a strategy gamer!


Sadly, I failed to meet up with Eric the Shed (who has some great photos here), Nick Futter of Boot Hill Miniatures and Craig Cartmell of IHMN but there were an awful lot of people there.  I also missed the bloggers meet up, if it happened.  I enjoyed Salute this year more than the last few I have attended.  Tomorrow, however, it's back to the paint table and the Mexicans!

36 comments:

  1. Looks like you had a nice day despite having to queue up to get in. Great haul of loot as well! Looking forward to see what you do with all those goodies especially the eotd carriages

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  2. Definitely need to get there spot on! We manage to have advanced tickets and queued up at 10am. Think only took us ten minutes to get in.

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  3. Nice selection of loot there Legatus

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    1. Good job I had to take a big shoulder bag to transport the galley so the wife didn't spot quite how much I bought!

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  4. The carriages do look very nice. The Troy book is great, I really enjoyed the illustrations!

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    1. Lots of pictures of lovely girls, surprisingly although not unwelcome!

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  5. Sorry to miss you to...see you on the 24th

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  6. Looks a very impressive event. I'd love to see how those EotD carriages go together...

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    1. Yes I need to get started on one soon...but they have no instructions!

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  7. Great write up of the day. I missed the whole thing (I was returning from holiday on Saturday so wasn't back in time to attend) so I guess I'll just have to live the show vicariously through all the bloggs I follow!

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  8. Nice photos. I was impressed by Sarissa and other mdf manufacturers - a lot of very nice stuff.

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    1. Yes, laser-cut buildings are a literal game changer!

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    1. It doesn't count towards the lead pile, of course!

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  10. I set myself a tight budget of £60 and almost broke on the new Agema Minatures Republican Romans :-o I did, however hold firm, but had a most enjoyable day (even though, as penance I ventured into Westfield on the way home to placate the little woman...such sacrifices must be made for the greater good ;)

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    1. My wife didn't question me about what I had bought for once and then I discovered she had spent a fortune on Italian wall tiles for the new bathroom while I was out!

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  11. What an impressive con - absolutely huge with wonderful games. I do like Simon's game as well as your war galley. Impressive to hear of your Marathon days - did you finish by saying, "Rejoice! We Conquer!"

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    1. I don't think I could speak at all. The last eight miles was agony and in those days the finish was on Westminster bridge which meant that the last quarter mile was uphill!

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  12. I was very impressed with your galley, LH, and the game in general. I thought the standard of games was generally superior this year. I didn't queue at all this year, probably because I didn't arrive until 12.45!

    Giles

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    1. Yes, back to 11.00 am arrival for me next year!

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  13. Very nice Haul, I am still recovering from the day

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  14. Your galley looked great in the game. You bought only 7 figures?! You must have a will of iron. Many people have had problems with putting the EtoD carriages together if you have trouble I can point you in the right direction.

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    1. That's very kind! I'll see how I go. Fortunately my father in law knows about carriages so he can probably help me on what goes where!

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  15. The Hail Caesar "C-Day" game with your galley was a really nice set-up and even better it was actually being played (unlike a lot of other games). It kept me entertained for a good half hour in the afternoon as the British Chariots on the flank kept failing their command roll to charge the Romans' flank while the Legions were routing the Warbands to their front. I was after a single pack of the West Wind Hansom Cab but they didn't have any left by the time I got round to looking. Missed the Sarissa Japanese bridge, but did pick up the 4Ground Japanese Fencing deal to go with their houses - amazing how easy it is to spend money at Salute! Cheers, Norman

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    1. Usually its figures that drive the need to buy scenery but with these Japanese buildings it was them that made me go out and get some appropriate figures!

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  16. Legatus - I made a point of stepping by the game just to see the galley inthe "resin", and I can say it was magnificent.. a very good looking game, and one I get my act together I'll be sure to put some pictures up... this year was a triumph for me... I didn't buy anything!!

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    1. I have come to realise that I am never, ever going to finish what I have already got!

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  17. Shame you missed the blogger meet up, but there's always next year!! And a nice looking haul as well!

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    1. Yes, I had to disappear to meet up with a friend outside the marathon registration just after one.

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  18. Looks like Salute was a great time. Well done on your restrained purchases.

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    1. It was still a couple of hundred pounds worth!

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