My apologies - I had meant to write this up last Sunday but foolishly left it to the next day and then work intervened. So I won't bother giving a detailed account of the show as plenty of others have done so in the meantime (see TMP passim), but set out a few thlughts below, and of course the obligatory "wot I bought" feature.
I thought it seemed quieter than in previous years and there was certainly a fair amount of empty space, but I gayher that the hall was larger than last year so this may have been the reason. Certainly a couple of traders told me that they were doing very well (and both said that internet sales were booming, recession notwithstanding). The Perries, Warlord, Victrix and lots of others seemed rushed off their feet. Smaller traders seemed to be doing well - part of the joy of shows like this is in stumbling across traders one hasn't seen before. The games were largely of a high standard - some had incredible hand-crafted scenery, whilst others made effective use of rugs and "battle mats". I noticed a large number of youngsters enjoying the participation games, which was good to see. Aerial combat games and WW1 seemed to be this years "in-periods". The show's obsession with WW2 German armour of whatever scale (the larger clearly being the better) manifested itself this year in remote controlled tanks buzzing around. As always, I missed out on several games despite being certain that I walked down each aisle at least 3 times - such is the vastness of Salute these days.
I left before they announced the painting competition winners, but I noted that the "wargames unit" categories still attract more plinth-mounted vignettes than anything you could actually use in a game. Call me old fashioned, but if you can't lift an entry from the display cabinets and plonk it straight on the wargames table then it doesn't belong in the "wargames unit" category (I had no entries so this is not sour grapes!).
Shopping was good, if a little down on last year due to the absence of a few people. Purchases were: two pre-ordered AWI farm buildings from Tablescape, plus a couple of Spanish 25mm houses; from the Perries a box of the new plastic Nap Brits, the plastic American farmhouse (despite having no idea how to paint it) and the Carlist Wars sourcebook; Carlist Wars figures from Dave Thomas; rules and scenarios books from Caliver for ACW and, er, the Carlist Wars; a ploughed wheat field from "Products for Wargamers"; and some other bits and bobs. I was quite restrained really, especially given the quality of products on display; there were about half a dozen periods I could willingly have started.
Some photos of the games are are below. The late arrival of this post will, I hope, be compensated for by half a dozen AWI posts that I have ready to go over the next couple of weeks. Oh, and the Carlist Wars stuff....The pic above is from Warlord Games' ECW affair - lots of juicy plastic new releases on the table.
The WW1 game from "Too Fat Lardies":
Best of Show: Japs v Russians in 1939:
The Perries' Quatre Bras game:
Loughton Strike Force's "Reichstag 1945" (note how the roads actually have kerbs - the attention to detail on this game was meticulous):
Two examples of Naps in 6mm:
Partisans in the Russian forests, WW2: