It was good to visit a wargames show again today. I understand that Salute won't return to its usual April slot until 2023, and I wonder if the November date affected the attendance and numbers of games and traders who were there. It did feel down on those compared to Salutes of the past. The Excel hall seemed more cavernous this time, with large open, unfilled areas - I don't know whether that was due to continuing social distancing requirements or because some games and traders had dropped out (I heard that 3 traders cancelled at the last minute). A couple of the people I spoke to who were hosting games drew attention to the costs of Covid-tests and increased hotel prices, and I think those of us who attended the show should perhaps appreciate more than usual the effort that the clubs put into attending Salute and giving us games to enjoy.
This year I had both the boys in tow - Hugo's third trip and Monty's first. We arrived just after 11am, early enough to receive bags with the free figure of a 1940s boy playing with a toy Spitfire (life-size models of which were in the hall). We had lunch at midday, returned to the hall just after 1pm, and within 5 minutes Hugo was complaining of not feeling well and we'd left by 2pm. So it was a pretty short trip, which explains the lack of photos. That said, the show did feel quite "game-lite" - there were some stunners, as the photos show, but otherwise I thought the games were mainly very small, skirmish-type ones (often plugging particular systems and ranges). Looking through the show guide, it looks as if a few games were no-shows or otherwise cancelled. All that said, looking through the photos I took I see that all the major game types were well-represented and the show gave a good idea of where wargaming is at these days.
As for shopping, my main intended purchase was a total non-starter as Dave Thomas's Perry Miniatures stock didn't have any Carlist or Paraguayan Wars figures. So tonight I'll have to put in an order at PM for the figures I need to finish various units I've been working on recently. But I was pleased with various jungle terrain items from a new trader whose name I can't recall, some lakes from Kallistra and some more Last Valley trees - all to be seen in some Paraguayan action soon.
And so to the games. As always, apologies to those I missed (which this year were many).
The Warlords had "Wellington in India", using figures from Stuart Asquith's collection. This was very much "In the Grand Manner" and one of the best-looking games in the show, I thought. It also made me wonder why the period isn't covered by more figure ranges (yes, Alan Perry, I mean you):