Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Salute 2016 - Part 1 - thoughts and first photo dump...

I'm a bit late to the party as most of the Bloggerati have already put finger to keyboard with their thoughts and photos, but with a brand new camera this year (my trusty Olympus couldn't quite manage being dropped on it's extended lens from the top of my tripod!) I had slightly more pictures than normal to sort out, but I also wanted time to marshal my thoughts....

So thoughts first.... and DG and I have attended loads of Salutes - I think we first start attending when the event was in the Town Hall in Chelsea (perhaps the last year it was there which makes our first visit 1998 or 1999), but certainly through all the years it was at Olympia and Excel - difficult to believe but this is the tenth year the show has been at Excel... either way, we have some history and we've paid our dues with the show and the Warlords..

I would say that over the years the pair of us have noticed the same changes that others have noticed, specifically the increasing ratio of fantasy/science fiction as opposed to historical, but I would say that this year in particular was the first time that I have specifically thought I was attending a fantasy/science fiction based game show where the historical side of the hobby have been invited along, where in previous years I would have said it was more the other way (though getting close).. don't get me wrong, I love to look at little metal men in whatever they're wearing but clearly my interests are historical and if there's not so much of that then the wisdom of :
  • driving for 5 hours - two and a half hours each way 
  • spending twenty or twenty five quid on petrol
  • spending £15 on parking
  • and spending £10 on a ticket each
...is questioned...  DG and I split the bill down the middle, but basically we are each spending the better part of £30 just to attend, never mind the time we are also giving up when we could be doing something else, so it does become a bit of a talking point...

So this year - did it live up to £30? For me yeeeeeeeeeeesss, just about... I love the buzz, the enthusiasm, the sheer size of the show..  I wonder if Charles Grant (Snr)/Don Featherstone/Peter Young and the others knew what they'd started all those years ago! I thought the standard of the games and demo's were good (if not outstanding in some cases), I was disappointed not to see more historical traders (the one thing I am in the market for is a few more TSS terrain tiles but they have made it impossible for me to buy from them - postal charges are ludicrous and they don't attend shows!). I thought the use of space was poor - stands crammed together in some cases, but surrounded by large open spaces,  I also thought the attendance was up this year which made it difficult to get to a lot of the stands...

For DG? No, he thinks he'll give it one more year and then perhaps decide not to bother...  for him the situation is a no brainer, he had money to spend and couldn't find anything to spend it on, and it wasn't as if he was looking for anything unusual - just terrain items ...

Anyway - onwards and upwards - the Warlords should be congratulated on running such a huge show seemingly effortlessly and efficiently - whether DG or I found anything to interest is immaterial compared to the behemoth task that is running Salute - well done to them..!

So on to the loot - none for me - not a sausage, nada, nuffink...  I didn't have a shopping list, but I also didn't see anything that made me think "ooh, shiny" and make me reach for my wallet...

So games, and first off a collection that I thought were brilliant enough to take pictures of, but not in my top five for the day...  so without further ado...

Almost opposite the entrance - impossible to miss - and put me in mind of all those Uhtred books by Cornwell - I'm a sucker for a boat and these Viking long ships were exquisite....

Put on by blogger Delauppror [clicky] using big battle "Lion Rampant" rules - "Battle at Foteviken 1134" - click the link for more details...




...and just to show I'm not a total xenophobe where it comes to fantasy gaming - I thought this was amazing.... completely and totally mad (as in a bucketful of frogs) but so much to look at and so much skill...  Chesterfield Gaming Society I believe...


..from the desert in the foreground, across green fields, to an ice landscape in the distance...


...and lots of woolly mammoths..  and a giant..  superb modelling whether you are interested in Fantasy or not!


More super scenery - the figures were kind of secondary! Demo game by Oshiro Model Terrain ''The Adventures of Paul Darke'' a smuggling game...


Look at the detail in those cliffs - amazing!



Back to the boats...  MDF 18th Century warships - astonishing! Marketed by Capitan [clicky]in support of their "Squadron Commander" rules..  I thought the masts were a little tall, but that's easily fixable..  what amazed was what you can do these days with MDF and a laser cutter!


So good you don't even need to paint it...!


Lance and Longbow Society's take on Hastings - TSS terrain tiles used well...



Next, New Buckenham Historical Wargamers [clicky] have a go at Agincourt, and I think do a really good job of it....



Click to embigen - well worth it...


Last pictures for this post - these are 54mm Napoleonic’s by Victrix and part of their participation game set in Spain in 1800...  not my scale, but I love the period and the theatre....


..figures were beautifully painted..




Stay tuned for a top 5, pop pickers....

33 comments:

  1. Interesting thoughts and from you've said, as well as others, hardly seems worth going as a dyed in the wool historical gamer. I do like your photographs though. Best I've seen so far.

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    1. Paul, it's always been a fairly eclectic show but over the years the focus has definitely moved to the non historical ... but I think that reflects the hobby as a whole... we have an entire generation who were bought up on Warhammer/Bloodbowl etc. and I think the show is so huge it cannot help but reflect what the punters want... bear with though -- second post will have some right royal nuggets of pure gold..

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  2. Thanks for the pictures, yet again I missed Salute, maybe next year!

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    1. Will - how many years ago since you last came - was that the one DG and I met up with you?

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  3. Super photos!

    I hope this year was a blip WRT the reduction in historical games, hopefully a few more will make it through the Warlord's application process next year. A lot of clubs were thrown by the allocation of all the gaming space before the end of the application period.

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    1. Simon, we shall see... last year was one of my favourite Salute's, but the historical games they did have this year were pretty damn good.. see next post for my top 5

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    2. I look forward to seeing them- I completely missed some of the best games like the Finnish one.

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    1. Thanks Alastair, quietly chuffed with the new camera... :o)

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  5. Love the details about those MDF ships!

    The decline in historical games has been going on for a long time, eventually it will either be overtaken by the fantasy/sci-fi or an equilibrium will be found. In the past at the large(ish) Salute convention in Vancouver (put on by Trumpeter Games Club) there were more historical than fictional games; though not by a large margin.

    The local games event (I cannot call it a show) will have only 3 of the 20 or so games planned as historical based, and mine will be the only one with the 25mm-28mm scale minis in horse-foot-guns. All of the 12+ games are going to be 30K-40K or Fantasy Warhammer/Warmachine stuff which are organized in pre-paid tournaments. Where you must bring your own minis to the game event. How that is to attract new folks to play is beyond my understanding. The other historical games are in the air with WWI and WWII planes using Wings of Glory.

    I thank you again for the great images and your views of the UK Salute Show.

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    1. Thanks MurdocK.. you make some good points - noticeable at Salute were the historical guys trying to do it "Warhammer" style.. Bolt Action/Saga spring to mind.. glossy, shiny and BIG stands... but yeah, Wings of War would fit the same

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  6. Thanks for sharing, Steve. I'd love to attend Salute some day, but it being a bit more than a 5 hour drive, I'm not entirely sure if or when that might ever be... so I have to enjoy it vicariously through blogs like yours!

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    1. Tim - "see Naples (Salute) and die"...? :o) I'm lucky, but I have similar feelings about one day being able to attend Historicon!

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  7. Some excellent pictures and I agree with your comments. Its much easier for me to get there on public transport for about £14 but then I don't need the car as I never buy scenics at Salute. Warfare or Colours are where I get that. Interestingly, I didn't notice the large number of SF and fantasy games until others mentioned it. Maybe it was because I couldn't get anywhere near the games! I thought it was a lot more crowded this year!

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    1. Legatus - your attendance cost isn't much less than ours.. we must consider train next year... it was certainly crowded, which tells me they're doing something right!

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  8. Fantastic pics Steve - thanks for sharing your day out

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    1. Thanks Paul O'G.. bear with... more to come!

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  9. Fully agree about the steady decline in historical games/traders. No matter the considerable skill and effort that goes into some of the fantasy games, they just leave me cold. The fact that many of the games were glorified adverts for the adjacent traders is also a worry when you hear bona fide clubs were not offered a place. I still enjoy Salute as a spectacular (and very well-managed) event but I find less and less of direct interest and purchases have declined over recent years. As Eric the Shed commented in his Salute post, we all need a bit of inspiration occasionally.

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    1. Jeremy - you echo my thoughts completely.. I probably wouldn't go as far as to say the non-historical side leaves me cold, but certainly I have little interest, or rather empathy.. we are all part of one big hobby so we do have some things in similar we can share.... there's only so many half naked little metal women mounted on dragons/unicorns/wolves/name your beast, you can look at though! :o)

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  10. Excellent post Steve and wonderful accompanying photographs. I always enjoy the Salute summaries from my favourite blogs and there does seem to be a recurring theme in terms of historical v fantasy ratio and crowding/ layout design.

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    1. Carlo, thanks.. bit of a relief really that I seem to be in similar company, or I would worry I was becoming a curmudgeonly old git! :o)

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  11. Interesting read Steve. We were going to make the trip, not quite so long for us, but decided against it as I had spent so heavily on Bolt Action already! I used to attend when at Greenwich in it's early days, then Chelsea Town Hall which was a venue I enjoyed attending. Did you see any BA games there Steve? Must say that 'Longship' game looks the business!

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    1. Hi Lee - Warlord Games were there, and there was indeed some Bolt Action going on - but they were all small'ish demo type setups (couple of square feet) - lots here.. http://www.warlordgames.com/show-report-salute-2016/

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  12. Great photos, thanks for sharing these.

    I have to agree there were more fantasy/sci-fi games than usual. I think some of this can be attributed to the Steampunk Theme which is why there were at least three War of the Worlds games that I recall. Also a lot of the trader run games were sci-fi inspired (i'm thinking Halo, Battlestar Galactica, X-Wing etc). For me the mix of games wasn't so much an issue as the lack of club games being played. There definitely felt as if there were more trader games than clubs this year, which may also have contributed to the slant away from historical demo's. I'm hoping this is a blip and not a trend.

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    1. Hi Lee - didn't see you this year, usually see you somewhere in the distance.. have to agree re. club games - I'm guessing the Warlords have a hall to pay for though and there's going to be more $'s from a trader than a club... there was loads of spare room though to squeeze some in, I wonder if they were running foul of fire regulations??

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  13. As a Trader Salute is my most expensive weekend- including stand fees and Hotels etc I can spend almost 2 grand BUT its worth it for me to go. Equally about 90 % of the stuff I sell is"historical" in the loosest sense so although I agree that historical wargaming is very much on the defensive overall and indeed may be gone in a generation or two. I still sell a lot of historical stuff- and not all by any means to crumblies of cardigan clad dotards as some would have themselves depicted as.
    Also this years theme at Salute was Steampunk- not really a historical genre yet Steves photos show plenty of historical games - and check out those on the indepedant Wargames group blog too- the Best in show was a historical game- which(pause for plug) has some of sour Sash and Saber 40mms on it ..... So as ever we will see what the future brings when it gets here .....
    Nice pics Steve- Other chaps pics are the only way I get to see the show - and I was there !

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    1. Andy - like you I'm fairly sanguine - wargame shows for me are a bit like politics, no one is giving me what I 100% want, so I go with the one that gives me most... For the future of the hobby, I'm far too old to start proselytizing to a whole load of spotty youth about historical wargaming - if they're intelligent then there's more than enough 'road maps'/hints/clues to get them to the historical side of the hobby, and as someone else said elsewhere, if they aren't, we won't miss them.. :o)

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  14. Steve, actually for once its quite nice being described as a minority and therefore I really do this we historical gamers should have some preferential treatment. Can I also repeat what is said above that you have taken some of the best photos I have seen so far of Salute and I am greatly looking forward (hopefully) to lots of photos of the Bill Gaskin SYW game and the 40mm Peninsula game.

    Guy

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    1. Guy - stay tuned, and thanks very much for the kind words about the photo's...

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  15. Outstandind tables and fantastic pictures, thanks for sharing!

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  16. Great pics Steve! I enjoyed the show, far far too much fantasy stuff for me though!!!

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    1. Cheers Ray - enjoyed yours as well...

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