The celebratory programme. Fifty years is a magnificent achievement and the Warlords are to be congratulated for this.
It was everything Salute should be - huge, packed, games of the highest quality, plenty of trade (with a couple of notable omissions), an opportunity to catch with friends old and new, spend some money and above all else, to be inspired. It succeeded on every level.
It was overwhelming, an assault on the senses that left the unprepared dazed at the sheer spectacle of all. Many of the games featured frankly outrageous numbers of figures and terrain of the highest order. I did not take many pictures - I only took my phone which - but to be honest getting good shots seemed to be challenge - at least for me anyway.
There will be far more pictures posted on various blogs so there will be no shortage of ‘eye candy’.
The highlights for me were of a more personal nature. The bloggers meet up was huge fun albeit quite brief and as mentioned it was an opportunity to meet in the flesh many of those ‘virtual friends’. It was a real pleasure to meet up with Ken, the ‘Yarkshire’ gamer and to discuss his current project - WW2 naval gaming in 1:600th. It was great catching up with Tamsin and her 3D printing adventures, Big Lee, David from Suffolk and of course Bob Cordery. David Manley was also at the show taking part in a Wings of Glory game so it was great meeting up with and the loan of the hand trolley was especially welcome!
I bumped into Mr Fox, Mr Roche, Mr Kightly and Mr Slater from SEEMS as well as Mr Hardman and Derek Oram who was taking part in an ‘O’ Group game, along with some other old Newham chaps - Graham Hill and Steve ‘Lance with assault breaker’ Mansfield - who I have not seen for some thirty five years!
On the subject of old friends I also met up with Jon Sutherland and his wife Diane. I knew John along with Dave Ryan and the late Joe Dever from their Games Centre Days back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Jon has recently acquired a selection of ACW ironclads and so is going to run a game using my rules and will also write it up for Miniature Wargames - I was really chuffed with this!
As is my usual modus operandi at these events I looked and occasionally questioned - probably more looking if truth be told - and so I managed to have a chat with a very nice American gentlemen from the University of Wolverhampton that was running grid 1:600th ACW naval game covering the Battle of Mobile Bay with a twist. The twist being the presence of Captain Nemo’s Nautilus. A further item of interest was the fact that the rules used an Octagonal grid…. I will be getting a copy of these.
I was really intrigued by the square grid - used on an octagonal basis.
I visited Warbases to give Martin a copy of the The Portable Ironclads Wargame - thanks Martin for all your help and support - and also stopped by at the Baccus stand to collect a preorder - the new edition of Pony Wars: B Troop ain’t coming back. We had a chat about the game and moves are afoot for a cunning plan….
Talking of which, I paid a visit to the Heroics and Ros stand and whilst I did not buy anything - only because they did not have what I wanted on the stall - I was able to identify the aircraft I acquired with the Mustangs board game. The current versions are still the same so I am getting an order together to round out the 1944 ‘Over the Reich’ collection AND they also sell the marvellous I-94 decals (as do Pendraken).
Is there a cunning plan? You may think that….I couldn’t possibly comment…
Aside from the aforementioned Pony Wars the only other thing I picked was the book you see above. No prizes for guessing where my thoughts have been flitting about…
So why mad, bad and dangerous to go? Well, it was a wonderful mad experience with games and traders selling just about everything you probably didn’t need but purchased anyway! Bad and dangerous because it could have very well been the catalyst for all manner of new and shiny projects - meaning that the wallet could potentially be hammered.
As for go? Well, If you go then you should be prepared for the smorgasbord of just about everything the gamer could look for - which is what Salute is all about and how fortunate we are it is still going strong!
The last part of the day was my customary helping Dave Lanchester pack up his stall. Forty plus 32 litre plastic storage boxes, two 64 litre boxes, a handful of 16 litre boxes, a dozen open topped plastic boxes, a dozen cardboard boxes, two tables, seven book cases, eight table covers and a fold up sign all laboriously packed and placed in the van.
No wonder everything aches today BUT, Salute was absolutely worth it.