Monday, April 27, 2015

Salute 2015.. a triumph!

Back now from Salute 2015 and just about recovered - the show is huge and seemingly getting bigger - two entire halls joined into one, and I'm sure they are about a half a mile square - your legs and feet know about it by the end of the day!

This year they also seemed to have use of an empty third hall which had a few tables and chairs in - that was definitely a good idea, but for next year can we have more chairs and tables??  It's a good place to stop, rest, recuperate, and get ready to re-enter the fray...

So what did I think of Salute this year - a definite nine out of ten for me, quite possibly one of the most enjoyable Salute's I've been to in some years almost totally because of some excellent games (participation and demo)...  crowds were huge, I heard at least half a dozen different languages so the cosmopolitan/international jet set were also in, and everyone was having a good time...  for the first time ever I saw a queue  to have a look at the latest releases on one stand (fantasy naturally), but I've never seen that before..  good to see people still get that excited about what are just little metal men at the end of the day....

Spends for the day (once you forget petrol for the 200 mile round trip, and the flat fee £15 to park) were less than £20 and I still consider it to be excellent value!

So what did I buy??

I have been following the blog (one of hundreds) of a chap who has been playing a linked series of scenario's from the "One Hour Wargames" book by Neil Thomas, and having seen a copy on the Paul Meekins stand reduced by £3 to £10 I thought I'd invest in a copy...  it has basic rules for a number of periods, but in the back there are 30 odd separate scenario's geared towards a small table top (he uses 3' x 3') and no more than 6 units/side, but often based on a historical battle or skirmish...  I look forward to trying them out and will report back once I have...  my thinking is that these will be perfect for a short pick up Skype games with DG...

The night before Salute DG and I had convened to play the 2015 John Corrigan Memorial game (watch out for a post on this) and during the game I had had pause to examine the basing on some of those venerable AWI figures which I must have based almost 20 to 25 years ago...  back then I'd use plastic card, but the weight of the figures, ongoing degradation in the plastic, and just general wear and tear was making them look a little sad - so second purchase of the day was on the Wargames Terrain stand where they were selling very reasonably priced MDF bases at £1 a pack, 6 for a fiver...  I bought 6 packs of the 3mm thick bases and will start re-basing just as soon as I decide whether I would like a change of design (name at the back of the stand, underneath, just a number, etcetc)...

Last stop was the Coritani stand for some Earth Brown paint, and that was the shopping done...  a mere three hours later...

So on to the meat of the show - the games!! In time honoured fashion here are they in reverse order.... just a reminder, that at the end of this, if you are wondering why some fascinating game doesn't feature, I am a 50+ historical war gamer who has gamed for more than 40 years and as a result comes with an amount of errrrmmm... "baggage"....  I've blogged on some of these "illogical" likes and dislikes before...  so if the missing game featured fantasy, 6mm figures (mere board game counters!) or hexes (work of the devil - I wargame, not boardgame), that's why they don't feature here... 

So first off a bunch of games that didn't make my top three, but were still of an eye catching nature enough to make me reach for the camera - in no order of merit....

"Cold War Gone Wet"

"It is 1982 and a conventional war has broken out between the Warsaw Pact and NATO. A force of SBS and Royal Marine Commandos have been tasked to carry out a raid on a Russian KRIVAK frigate in the Baltic Sea to capture the Russian communications code book".

The ship was the better part of 4 feet long...

The model was made for them by a radio control model ship enthusiast, and you can tell, because this is far more detailed than your average wargame terrain piece...  the model also is fully featured below decks...

I love those casualty markers..

They were using Cold War Gone Hot rules and it was some kind of tie in with one of the UK wargaming magazines (Wargames Illustrated I think)

Panzer Battles - St Vith

Presented by Blitzkrieg Miniatures - it was a hot old hall, but it felt cooler standing next to this table!

I loved the weathering on that Panther..

Napoleon - The Last Gamble

Difficult to escape from the fact that not only is it an Agincourt centenary year, it is also a centenary of Waterloo - and this was my choice...  I have to say I'm not overly enamoured of teddy bear fur but this was quite nice....

Game used General de Brigade rules and was present by the Loughton Strike Force club..

Being picky, but that's why I'm not overly enthused with the fur..  the basing style of the figures doesn't match what they're walking over..  (picky or what... )

Lovely - real old school type game...

...and I think I'll probably close it there - I'm not a fan of huge posts with hundreds of photo's so bear with, part 2 will be along in a mo'... 


  1. Great photos Steve, shame you missed the blogger meet-up??

    1. Hi Ray, I did see you all, and even recognised some of you(Tamsin/Legatus/Big Lee, you) but I am at heart believe it or not, a retiring sort of fellow happy in his anonymity... :o)

      PS. Thanks!

  2. Great review Steve. Teddy Bear fur is starting to look "been there, done that" to me these days. That St. Vith game looked really nice with realistic terrain.

    1. Alte - I think in small patches, and shaded well, it can look extremely good.. but you're right, it does seem to be everywhere at the moment. For me it never matches the basing on the actual figures so it can look slightly strange.. it was a good show though, and I finally got to see some of your figures on your dealers stand - very nice!

  3. Nice pics Steve. The scenario's are easily the best part of the Neil Thomas book, very useful.

    1. Pendragon - I'm definitely looking forward to trying them - they seem well thought out and presented

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Tamsin - from reading your blog it sounds like you had a good Salute too

  5. Great photos, Steve. I didn't spend as much time as I'd have liked examining the Loughton game so really appreciated those pics.

    Best wishes


    1. Giles - if I hadn't limited myself to a top three that would have been top 5 for sure... it looked very nice...

  6. Steve- noce pics of loads of stuff I never saw- as for more chairs and tables- I hardly got to sit down.