Sunday 15 April 2018

Salute and Sa-Loot

Well I have finally done it. I have been to Salute at the Excel.

The theme of Salute 2018 was WW1 and smack in the centre of things was this rather nice not quite full sized tank

By virtue of the fact I was helping Dave Lanchester set up his stall (although most of the work had been done of Friday afternoon) I arrived at the Excel a little after 7am. I was carrying two heavy bags full of books and so Daves’ book stall seemed to be miles away from the car park - not only that I did not have a map of the venue (I must have been the only person in the Western Hemisphere that did not!) so it was hugely fortunate that Dave and Lynne arrived at the entrance at the same moment I did. Our transaction was speedily concluded (more of which later) and the final touches to the setting up was completed fairly quickly and so I was free to have a wander around before the fun started.

I would like to say that I took loads of pictures and spoke with many gamers, traders and friends old and new but taking each part in turn I would say a few, a few again, quite a few and a few more. If I am honest I was overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of the event. The lighting for the place did not seem very conducive to taking pictures (I managed a few though) and it felt rather warm inside as well. The floor caused a few of us older types some problems - my old ankle injury which has impacted on the rest of my leg over the last 30 years - being covered concrete and so with little ‘give’and by the time I left at a little after 1pm I was delighted to sit down in the car for the drive home. In fact as I writing this my left leg still feels like it has run a marathon and my ankle has adopted its customary level of swollen malevolence....

I was able to take part in the annual bloggers meet up - my first - and so it was great fun talking to Bob Cordery, Tamsin Piper, Big Lee, One Lover Ray and Posty (of reject fame) not to mention Dave from Suffolk and Carl from Hitting on a Double 1 (and I now know why he used that title for his blog!). Apologies to any I may have missed out.

Andy Callan with some of the paper armies set up for battle

A closer view of the action and a very nice looking set of 18th century types deployed for battle

I had a chat with Andy Callan about bargain wargames - using Jenga blocks (a subject dear to my heart) and Axis and Allies miniatures, not to mention Risk figures and assorted odds and ends. It was nice to talk about using items other than models with a kindred spirit. Peter Dennis arrived and so the conversation turned to the quite outstanding paper soldiers being used and featuring in a number of publications. They are something I may well investigate.

Dan Mersey demonstrating Red Alert - the next PSC/Richard Borg collaboration featuring deep space battles using the Command and Colours system

A closer view of the action. The game will be coming to a kick starter near you soon....

I also had a long chat with Dan Mersey (of Lion/Dragon Rampant, The Men Who Would be Kings and others) who was demonstrating a forthcoming Richard Borg Command and Colours deep space combat game called Red Alert. The Plastic Soldier Company will be launching this on kickstarter soon and it looks a cracker.

I also had a quick chat with Ron Weaver of the Continental Wars Society and he was telling me how he had managed to get his set of rules for the game they were hosting down to a single side of A5 card. I was very impressed by this so I challenged him to see if he could go to a standard index card next time....

I mentioned that I did not take many pictures of games so hear is a selection of those that I did. 

An action set in Italy featuring a convent and rampaging Garibaldists. Chris Hardman and Messrs. Francis and Weston set this one up and very nice it looked as well.

Part of the Lake Tanganyika/African Queen game with the African Queen featuring above....

...and Mimi and Tou Tou going forth against the Kingani

Plastic Soldier Company put on the above game to coincide with the launch of Battlegroup Torch - the latest supplement in the Battlegroup series covering North Africa up to the fall of Tunisia.

Wings of War WW1 aerial - and a very impressive collection of models. Look closely and you can see Snoopy in his Red Baron guise...

I did not get he chance to credit the clubs in question for the games above for which I apologise but anyone that has a show guide could probably find out!

As far as the Salute loot was concerned (the Sa-loot of the title) I was able get that which I wanted, that which I had been after for some time and finally, something that I had half a hankering for that appeared, as if by magic and at a great price.

From the top Battles and Leaders, The War in East Africa, some Tumbling Dice 1/600th figures and a single City gunboat from Peter Pig. 

The books were from Dave Lanchester and I have been after a set of Battles and Leaders for an age. I am a great fan of reading contemporary or near contemporary accounts of battles and this is a great set covering the war between the states. The War in East Africa is the fourth volume in the series covering the Mediterranean and Middle East and is a compilation of official reports covering the area mentioned. As a ‘sideshow’ naturally it is something I would be interested in....

Battlegroup Torch with a complementary 1/72nd scale Stuart/Honey (this was part of the shopping plan) and finally a copy of Congo - skirmishes set in the Heart of Africa or rather as we would imagine them to be so suitable for anything along the lines of King Soloman’s Mines or similar.

I am planning something ‘Battlegroup’ related at some point and the desert will be my first choice in a larger scale. I would be able to make use of the infantry from my Axis and Allies collections. Throw in a few kits and we are good to go.

Congo is something I have been pondering for a while as it is something a little different and not too figure intensive. The rules feature some stunning Foundry figures in use (actually that is where I got them from) but I am thinking again about 20mm. Having said that I reckon that the sets  available from Foundry would also make good forces for The Men Who Would be Kings. Something to think about for the future anyway.

Summing it all up then I would say I had a great day. For sure it was tiring and I hurt in places I forgot I had but meeting up with friends old and new as well as the chance to see some quite stunning games and to tackle the all important retail therapy Salute certainly ticked all the boxes. 

Would I go again? 



legatus hedlius said...

its amazing how people photograph games I missed completely. Some great shots of these!

BigLee said...

Good to see you yesterday. Some great photos here, glad to see you highlighting some of my favourites.

David Crook said...

Hi Legatus,

I am sorry we did not meet - I reckon I must have missed you by minutes! It’s funny as there are some games on other blogs that I had missed as well! I must confess to being a little overwhelmed by it all but it was a great day all the same.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Lee,

And you old chap! I did not take many photos as my camera got left in the car (and it was a long walk back to it!) so everything was on my phone. I liked the Battlegroup Torch game and the close up shots you took were really good.

All the best,


alastair said...

Excellent photos...mine are still to be uploaded. Nice to meet you yesterday

Carl said...

Good to see you and have a chat. Great pics.

David Crook said...

Hi Carl,

The pleasure was all mine old chap. As mentioned the pictures were all taken on my phone and I am quite pleased with how they come out considering the lighting etc.

I hope your retail therapy went well!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Alastair,

And you old chap! I would have liked to have taken some more but was not sure how well the phone would cope. I know now that the answer is very well!

All the best,


Simon Quinton said...

Nice loot Post! Some cool looking games there again this year.

David Crook said...

Hi Simon,

It was enormous fun but an exhausting experience! I did rather well on the retail therapy side and it was great to catch up with friends old and new.

All the best,


david in suffolk said...

Looks like you had a pretty successful day - hope the ankle is OK now!
Good pics too - the Peter Dennis/Andy Callan paper soldiers are quite impressive, aren't they? food for thought.. ( I believe there may be an ACW version ? )
Very nice to meet you, too!

David Crook said...

Hi David in Suffolk,

Luckily the ankle recovers quickly and I have the appropriate treatment down to a fine art these days! I really liked the paper soldiers although the ships they produce in the Trafalgar and Armada books really caught my eye.

It was a pleasure meeting you - as a 'Swampie' meeting anyone from dry land is always a good thing!

All the best,