Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Salute 2013.. a review..

My feet have just about recovered....  albeit it's three days later... 

Another superb show and I can only echo my fellow bloggeratti when I say that the Warlords [clicky] have again triumphed - every year this show seems to get better and better, and  it now fills the available space very nicely, but without it feeling claustrophobic - it's one of those things where those high ceilings work well...

Downsides?? Nothing major... I like the venue, I like the (geographic) location, I bring my own food  ()...  it does seem to me that over the years that the percentage difference between historical and fantasy is gradually going more and more fantasy, but it's such huge show there's still plenty of historical flavour,and while it may not be my cup of tea some of the fantasy based games are still fascinating...  happily the instance of historical re-enactors was lower this year as well...I don't mind the Star Wars guys, but why are the historical dudes always on the "large" side (and therefore totally a-historical)?

Another low key show on the purchasing front - Sean at Newline Designs [clicky] was doing a Salute sale (24 figure unit packs at 30% off), so I took the opportunity to re-stock my 20mm ACW painting piles with a pre-order of 3 packs of various combinations of marching infantry...   I wanted to get some rifled artillery as well but Sean doesn't have them (yet!), so I managed to get some Parrots from the SHQ [clicky] stand, along with some mounted command. I also bought myself a small razor saw to add to the modelling tool box, and that was it...   I find increasingly these days that the shows for me are a way of seeing things in the flesh that I then subsequently order via the web - the size of the ranges that manufacturers carry these days makes it impossible for them to bring everything and although I'm interested most of the new ranges are plastic (blechhhh....) or 28mm (not my scale) ...

...and so on to the games.....  very difficult this year for me to work out the winning order....  first place was easy (and having seen a few of the blogs I'm not alone in my choice), but deciding the places of those games lower down the order was very difficult simply because they were so good... as usual, and in my own curmudgeonly way they are the games that appealed to me....  the chances are if it involved fantasy, hexes, 6mm, or a period that didn't tickle my fancy (Dark Ages or Ancients unfortunately fall into this category) that's why they don't appear...  

I took a lot of pictures but as I dislike huge picture filled posts I may split this over a few parts....either way here goes....  drum roll....   and in seventh place (not "last") we have this little American Civil war set-to which appealed to me greatly, not the least because the guys were having a whale of a time playing it, and the umpire was throwing those cotton wool balls around the place like they were going out of I think this was the Newbury  & Reading guys doing "Chancellorsville  1863 - The Trap is Sprung" but my notes are unclear, so if it's not, let me know...  if it is, then I think this will feature in a future edition of Miniature Wargames...

"Look Dad, zouaves!"
The lead was certainly flying if the cotton wool balls are anything to go by!
In 6th place - and clear evidence that if the game appeals enough to me - and the terrain for this game was simply superb - then even Ancients stand a chance of getting into my top 10...   so in 6th place we have this oriental siege game put on by Oshiro Model Terrain - "Assault on Aki Kamei-jo"

I've mentioned the Oshiro guys before as one of their games was a favourite last year...  they specialise in Japanese/Samurai era and it shows....  this depicted what they saw as a typical Samurai period siege..

In 5th place,"Stalingrad 1942, The Rat War" from Arbuthnot's Terra Firma League of Gentlemen, the guy running this had just been presented with the Best Scenery award, and was absolutely gob smacked Very nice guy, totally overwhelmed, but stunning scenery...

The whole project started when he bought the two buildings below at last years show, and then wondered what he would do with them!

All the boards are interchangeable,and can be turned by 90 or 180 degees so that an infinite number of alternatives tables can be made...

In fourth place, and it's getting really difficult tosperate them now! This was "To Berlin" from the Chemins De Feu Club and it was stunning..  no other word for it.... the level of detail was amazing..

Armoured train - click - one vote straight away!
Look at the detail inside the buildings..  how much work has gone into this??

You just know that things are not going to go well for that Panther!

"Knock, knock, Avon calling..."

Brilliant...  stay with me for the top 3 in part 2...


  1. Steve I get more of a view of the show from the blogs- yours and Robbie Roddis' than I did on the day.. Mind you I'm not there to enjoy myself. Normally I might get to see a game or two on my way to the Gents- not this year . Most of the excess water came out as the sweat of the brow on the honest tradesman!!!

    1. Andy - I meant to stop and say hello but you were so busy I didn't want to interrupt!

  2. "but why are the historical dudes always on the "large" side (and therefore totally a-historical)?" you met me then?

    1. Fran - I did see you actually but only in passing... in your case I prefer the word "presence"or "gravitas".. :o))

  3. All the fit historical guys are registering for the London Marathon next door!
    I did see one guy with both a Virgin London Marathon goody bag AND the Salute bag but I rather suspect he had pinched the former as a joke

    1. Nige - it certainly added a (welcome I think) buzz to the whole day... the best bit was sitting outside the Salute hall to have a sandwich and watching the wargamers and marathon runners going past - you could hardly tell them apart..... :o))

  4. Some really excellent photos here. I found it so crowded that I actually couldn't see some of the games properly. Looking forward to your top 3!

  5. Legatus - many thanks - it was busier this year for sure. Part 2 now up...