Saturday 13 April 2024

Salute 2024

 I'm still struggling to return to this blog; not sure why, but I will give it another go.  In the meantime, here is the annual Salute round up.  I took the boys again, having gone solo last time.  That makes for a very different experiences, as I can't just wander around chatting to the gamers and doing my own thing.  I knew that they would begin to lose it around 2.20pm (and in Monty's case he did actually manage to lose a stash of brightly-coloured dice he'd chosen for himself), and I barely got to chat with any of the demo people.  We'd wanted to try to find some participation games that they could join, and that was pretty hard as they all seemed to be very busy.  However, we did manage to have a go at "Gaslands" (a sort of Mad Max car racing game), which we play at home and I'd thought (correctly, as it turned out) that we weren't quite getting it right.    

Thoughts generally?  It was very hot and crowded this year.  There was pretty much no ventilation and cool air, which made being the hall really rather uncomfortable (I'm probably showing my age now, a little bit).  The recent trends of (i) lots more smaller games than impactful big ones, and (ii) a large fantasy, sci-fi presence were continued.  I thought that the large historical games of old had almost gone for good on my first walk around, until I found the row where they seemed to be "hiding"; they were universally fantastic.  Something new was a covered stage/auditorium area, which had a series of talks and discussions with hobby luminaries.  Shopping wasn't as good as I remembered - lots of fantasy/sci-fi systems being sold and the usual historical "big names" (although with some notable absentees, like Dixon and Gripping Beast), but I thought there were fewer terrain suppliers.  Luckily Wayland Games had their massive shop which allowed Hugo and Monty to spend their money on Batman Lego and Pokemon cards respectively.  My purchases were relatively modest: the latest Jon Sutherland 19th century scenario books from Caliver (for NZ and Australian battles); some Perry Ottomans from Dave Thomas (who no longer carries the other ranges I'm interested in); two packs of brushes from Artmaster (which I've realised is all I need for the 12 months between shows - they are superb); and a load of replacement Foundry paint packs. 

So many thanks to the Warlords and everyone else who contributed to the show.  As always, the photos are of things I just happened to see and have a chance to snap - apologies to those I've missed out.

Let's start with one of the biggies, To the Strongest's ECW game, the Relief of Norchester:


Sally 4th Games had a fantasy game set in the world of the Wizard of Ozz:

"Tigers of Tracy-Bogage", a Normandy 1944 games from Sheppey Models and Milton Hundred Wargames Club:

The Battle of Thapsus from Society of Ancients:

Duncan's Band of Brothers had a trio of games representing the post-D-Day attack on Carentan.  These looked terrific:

Another very good looking game was South East Scotland Wargames Club's fictional "Battle of Nivelle, 1815":

Maidstone Wargames Society had this impressive Battle of Britain game:

"The Assault on Fort Mulgrave, Toulon December 1793" by Caseshot Publishing: 

There were some medieval re-enactors, some of whom put on a fencing display:

This was one of the largest games at the show, which I think was Cornwall Wargames Association's "Gallants of Fowey, 1457" game:

Another massive game, Stalingrad 1944 from Too Fat Lardies:

Loughton Strike Force had this very impressive "Saigon '68" game:

"The American Civil War in Paper" from Peter's Paper Boys:

Retired Wargames Reloaded had this fantastic 1944 Pegasus Bridge game:

Now this was amazing: the 15th century Siege of Gradara with a replica of the castle town in 25mm:

Crawley Wargames Club had a "Darkest Africa" game with real African props:

London Wargames Guild's 1041 Viking attack on London - another stunning game:

Various fantasy, super-hero and sci-fi games:

Osprey Games were showcasing their "A World Transformed" (horror WW1 on a recovered Dogger Bank) and "The Silver Bayonet" (horror Napoleonics in Egypt):

Brecon Wargames Club's WW2 "DAK Attack":

A couple of other games the details of which I didn't catch: