Sunday, 13 April 2014

Salute 2014

This blog hasn't died; I've just had another protracted episode of "real life".  Painting has progressed in the meantime, and in a couple of days I'll have pics of a completed unit of the new-ish King's Mountain Miniatures "Over Mountain Men" figures.  In the meantime, here's my offering about yesterday's Salute show in London.

My impressions were:
- the venue was darker than usual;
- the quality of the games was much higher than in recent years;
- terrain modelling is getting better and better;
- "eau de wargamer" is being replaced by "eau de MDF buildings" as the defining smell of wargames shows;
- Dark Ages Skirmish must now be an official period in its own right (with a sub-set of all those rules systems that have "Dux" in their name somewhere);
- I really don't see the point of the re-enactors, particularly the sci-fi ones (someone on TMP's got all agitated about them pointing guns at people; I can kind of see his point);
- lots more "foreign" voices heard than before - LT said he'd spoken to a bloke from Finland;
- it's clearly obligatory for any 1914 game to have lots and lots of bicycles;
- Alan Perry didn't have much in the way of forthcoming AWI releases, other than the large cart previously previewed...but his new book is very nice;
- I didn't ever really think they'd actually run out of freebie bags at any stage...but if you arrive after midday apparently they do (I'd had to take Hugo to rugby practice in Chelmsford, so didn't arrive until after lunch).

I managed to met up with most of the people I'd arranged to meet.  Many thanks to Malcolm "Little Armies" Rose for gifting me his freebie figure.

Here are some random pics. As always, there were some games I missed and no doubt I've mis-attributed those I did see.

Newark Irregulars' Battle of Keren 1941; amazing terrain:

Not sure what these games were, but the terrain again was very good:

Loughton Strike Force had a Kursk 1943 game, which really evoked the space of the Russian steppe:

Capitan Games had an excellent Talavera game, with terrain that really evoked Spain and had undulating hills:


Newbury & Reading Wargames Society had a Normans v Byzantines game, which had very impressive shield walls:

Oshiro Model Terrain presented their usual advertorial, with beautiful buildings for the Samurai era:

4-Ground had various displays of their MDF buildings.  There was one 25mm WW2 display which shows what properly-in-scale buildings look like - I wonder if this is a sign of the future..

 Gripping Beast's "SAGA The Crescent and the Cross" Crusades game:

I'm a big fan of neglected 19th century period, and the Continental Wars Society had this intriguing siege of Rome 1849 game - Garibaldi's red shirts v the French. Innovative use of Perry plastic ACW and other figures:

A personal favourite - the battle of Barbastro during the First Carlist War.  Lots of conversions and attention to detail here:


Lots of 1914 games.  This one was by the The Tin Soldiers of Antwerp.  Lots of bicycles:


Wargames Illustrated's Arklow 1798 games was a sort of 18th century "Zulu" - thousands of Irish rebels against a few dozen British:

Dien Bien Phu: I didn't catch who was responsible for this game, but the terrain and painting was excellent:

This was a WW2 Paras game, but I didn't catch who was responsible:

Tannenberg 1914:

WSS magazine and Simon Miller's Caesar's invasion of Britain game - fantastic boats:


I think this was Whitehall Warlords' 15mm Vietnam game:

Finally, an enormous D-Day game (if actually played, I couldn't really tell); there were so many D-Day games I'm not sure who did this one:

  And just in case you've read this far, here's a shot of the AWI unit I'll post about in a couple of days:


LittleArmies said...

Hi Giles,
I don't remember the Tin Soldiers of Antwerp game at all (although it looks great and not a high density of troops, had the little men hopped on the first freight train out of town, or were they between games?). The Dien Bien Phu game was by another Belgian outfit, Chemins de Feu.

As for the free figure, you are more than welcome - 28mm WWII isn't ever likely to appeal. The uniforms are much too dull.

David said...

Some fine pictures there Giles! The games were very hard to appreciate in the poor lighting ~ it was very dull we thought this year too!

Richard said...

Hello Giles,

The WW2 Paras game was run by the Jersey Privateers Gaming Club, of which I am a member. It was called "a pressing engagement". We ran the game using Flames of War. Thanks for the mention.

All the best Richard

Sire Godefroy said...

In fact, I'm most excited by your preview of upcoming AWI troops. :-)

Salute seems to be one of these "at least once in a lifetime" events for wargamers. Judging from the pictures I've seen so far, well, maybe I'm not a proper wargamer. Looks way too busy.

However, thanks for sharing your impressions!

Cheers, SG

Achilles said...

Thank you for the great report Giles! It really helps, especially for people like me who couldn't be there this year! Hopefuly next year...

oh, and don't worry about not updating your blog. Last time I updated mine was almost two years ago so... ;)

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Best pictures so far of the event. Looks like a lot of great games, but I have reservations as I don't like big crowds and bad lighting so I'm not sure I'll ever make a pilgrimage to the event. Perhaps if that's improved. Looking forward to seeing your AWI efforts and too bad Alan wouldn't give you any hints.


Dalauppror said...

Splendid pictures ! Thanks for sharing !

Best regards Michael

legatus hedlius said...

Excellent pictures Giles, despite the Stygian lighting!

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Giles - couldn't agree more w.r.t the Barbastro game - that was my no. 1, with Keren my no.2.. the big D Day game was put on by the Honiton Club and they were playing it (amazingly!) using I think, Flames of War rules...

Willie Anderson said...

Thanks for posting this Giles hopefully get down there some day!

Vinnie said...

Ah I wish I was there...thank you for the images and report


AJ (Allan) Wright said...

That Tanneburg game and the D-Day game both had breathtaking terrain. Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

Excellent pictures!. The D-Day game was by the Honington Wargamers