Sunday, 17 April 2016

Salute 2016

I'm a bit late with my Salute report...several other bloggers somehow managed to post theirs yesterday evening...notably Eric the Shed who appears to have photographed every game on the day.  I'm afraid last night involved resting my aching feet and self-medicating with wine.  Today has been spent walking the dogs, snoozing and watching The Princess Bride on TV.

As always I've seen a few complaints online about Salute and Excel, the docklands venue it's been at for quite some time now.  I've always quite liked Excel...easy to get to, plenty of space, nice salt beef bagels for lunch.  I know it has its critics but generally I haven't shared the grumbles.  I remember Kensington and Olympia and this seems a better location.

This year, apart from the pretty unforgiving floor which left me with aching feet, I thought it was well laid out and smoothly organised (can't really blame the Warlords for the state of my ageing joints!).  I arrived at Excel at 11 and walked straight in with no sign of a queue...speaking to people who were there before opening it sounds like the wait was pretty minimal this year...I guess the pre-ordering of tickets and smooth organisation has helped a lot with this.

The show itself seemed pretty busy as always.  I was struck by the number of games being run by companies as opposed to clubs this year, all plugging their latest offering.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing, after all it gives us a chance to try before we buy, but it tends to mean the games are smaller and does, I think, take away some of that community feel. There were still the traditional large scale games but these seemed to be in the minority.  While I enjoy playing smaller games it's nice to see the grand scale versions at shows.

I was also struck by the amount of SF games on show...I've no idea on the stats but I'd guess there was a clear majority in this genre.  Given that the theme was Steampunk, there was very little of this actually on display.

I had a wander, bought a couple of packs of figures (I'll post about my loot in another post) and then got roped into playing the Warlords big Star Trek game...good fun although I wasn't quite sure what the objective was.  As I was playing the Klingons I decided to concentrate on killing Spock and trying to avoid being killed in turn by the Gorn.  Eventually the Enterprise blew up or something.  A good game but a bit fuzzy around the edges (although that might just have been me).

I had a chat with guys who are producing the forthcoming Congo game (Studio Tomahawk I think).  Their display game looked excellent and they described it as being pitched somewhere between Saga and Muskets & Tomahawks in complexity.  The rules are complete and are due for an English Language release in June...looking forward to these

I also had an interesting chat with Russ Charles from Clockwork Goblin miniatures who was doing a demo of 3d be fair I'd no idea what he was talking about once he started getting technical but it was fascinating to watch him at work and see the stages the model went through on the computer.

As this technology becomes more accessible it's going to be interesting to see how it affects the hobby

I briefly said hello to Annie at Bad Squiddo Games and saw her latest release, a range of  female ogres which looked really good.  I nearly bought some of her female soviets which would be good for VBCW troops but resisted (for now).

Looking at other people's photos has highlighted just how much I missed.  This happens every year and I shouldn't be surprised...there's just too much to take in... but I was annoyed I missed the  the modern air war demo and the 19th century Afghan game, both of which appealed.

I managed to finish the Star Trek game just in time to make the Bloggers meet...and was able to catch up with Stephen and George (who I'd never actually met previously in the flesh, so to speak!), amongst others.

The Bloggers (photo from Tamsin's blog)

And now some assorted photos, with captions if I can remember where they came from.  I didn't take loads this year as I was too busy chatting which is a sign of a good show!!!  As always, a grand day out.

Impressive Vietnam game


Greek Myth game from (I think) Skirmish Wargames

Huge fantasy game...don't know who put this on but it was very large...

Nato vs Warsaw Pact game in 6mm using Sabre
Squadron rules...must look out my armies for this period

Interesting looking WW1 Belgian game by (I think) the Tin Soldiers of Antwerp...looked fun and different

SF game which combined rules from Infinity and Muskets & Tomahawks

Not sure but I'd guess Hastings?

Impressive Napoleonic game...O'er the Hills

'Tanks' Skirmish game from Batlefront...essentially World of Tanks
on the tabletop which could be fun


  1. Good report, pleased to put a face to the name. My report is going to be one of the last at this rate.

  2. Good news about Congo. That will be a must buy for me!

  3. Thanks very much for the pictures!
    That WWI game was indeed by Arno and Dirk of the Tin Soldiers of Antwerp.
    While not the most eye-catching game ever put on by TSA it was definitely a success as a participation game. Arno and Dirk did 10 gaming sessions of approx 35 minutes each. Poor guys were exhausted and hungry by the time Salute closed...

    1. Glad I got the credit right! It's interesting that the memorable games aren't always the biggest ones. I thought it looked really good and was certainly always busy.

  4. Nice report. Don't think I got to meet you at the bloggers meet up. Will rectify that next year.

    1. I think we all need badges to work out who has which blog! Hopefully we'll say hello next year.