Sunday, 23 April 2017

Salute 2017

Safely home after what felt like a very long day, it is time to reflect, albeit briefly, on the mighty hobby jamboree that is 'Salute'.  I have to confess that I very nearly didn't go this year, even having already bought the tickets, which incidentally I realised that I had left at home half an hour into the journey - thank goodness for smart phones!  The truth of the matter is that I have been feeling a little under the weather having picked up a summer cold, nothing too serious, but it is conspiring to make me even more grumpy than usual.  However, buoyed by the irrepressible enthusiasm of my good friend the 'Provost Marshal' we set off on what was to prove a relatively stress free, if somewhat tedious, journey.

We arrived at the venue just after eleven, in time for a goody bag, but avoiding the queueing system and set about gorging ourselves on all the wondrous hobby eye candy.  Although I didn't have a shopping list per se, I did bring my pocket money and it wasn't long before I was doing my bit for the economy.  On the crude subject of money, I did spend a lot, especially when I consider the areas of 'Awdry Towers' that have fallen into a dilapidated state and are in desperate need of decoration and here was I spending money on toy soldiers!  I have managed to square this away by restricting my outlay to the money saved in my piggy bank over the course of a year.  From one Salute to the next any pound coins not snaffled by the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry' are squirrelled away and then cashed up ahead of the great event; simple but effective.  That said the cost of Salute has been troubling me of late and there had been a number of conversations before the event about whether or not it was worth it?  I have to confess that I was starting to think the same as just my entry ticket and train fare meant that I was over £50 down before I walked into the venue, add a couple of foaming ales and a pasty into the mix and it really is starting to make my wallet wince!  Just out of curiosity, I totted up the potential savings in not having to pay postage and packing this morning and even when with over estimating from the seven different companies that I had bought from that total only came to £28 - something isn't right here.

I have no doubt that I will continue to go to 'Salute', but I need to stop thinking about it as a shopping trip, that is clearly nonsense.  What 'Salute' does if feed my creativity just by seeing all the wonderful tables, painting and sheer enthusiasm that there is for this most wholesome of hobbies gives me such a boost.  A very important part of that boost is meeting up with the fellow bloggers and once again I was delighted to catch up with some old friends and just as importantly put faces to names of new ones.  So to finish the now compulsory swag photograph, although I have just realised that a couple (or four!) packs from 'Sarissa Precision' have missed the photo-call.
I did take my camera and managed to take a couple of shot of things that caught my attention, but as the day went on and I became more weary the camera was put away.  Two wonderful ideas for Bushido boards, one a snowy demo board by 'GCT Studios' themselves and the other a superb showpiece by '4 Ground', both outstanding! 
A couple of examples of the some wonderful demo boards that caught my eye, Frostgrave still interests me, especially when the table looks this good. 
 I don't think anyone could fail to be impressed by the 'Renedra' Castle, it is a thing of beauty, but who can afford to buy it?  The one at the show is bigger than the catalogued large castle so I'm guessing somewhere in the region of £300?
This 'Crooked Dice' demo game really made me smile, especially seeing the 'Ironsides' docked by the rig, certainly something to aspire to.






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80 comments:

  1. Some great looking games. I did think about going but too expensive from up by the wall, partizan is coming. Nice haul

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    1. It would certainly be nice to catch up one day Martin, but yours is definitely a bit more of a trek, enjoy Partizan though.

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  2. Some good looking games. Like you I appreciate the "Bushido" boards and the "Crooked Dice Board"

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    1. Thank you Clint, both great boards, very creative.

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  3. A splendid report and a couple of tremendous games. Thanks a lot for sharing you're impressions.

    It's funny to see CONGO as part of your loot. Yours truly fell for it just two days ago when we played it at our club night. :-)

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    1. Excellent, looks like we will both be venturing into the Congo!

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    2. I've been pondering to set up an expedition to a forgotten island with dinosaurs instead of gorillas as well... ;-)

      But for now I have to keep waiting for my copy of the rules to arrive and then I have to form an expeditionary force from my British colonial soldiers...

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    3. A forgotten island, dinosaurs and a great ape perhaps? :)

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  4. Interesting report, Michael. From this side of the world I am always penny conscious as postage is such a factor, so the idea of spending 50 quid ($95 NZD) just to get to a show should be a major consideration - but then it would cost me a couple of thousand dollars to go just to soak up the atmosphere. And oddly enough, if I could afford to do that once a decade - I would. So factor that into your cost calculations, and it might not seem such a bad investment!

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    1. You are absolutely right Nate, I need to stop worrying about it as a shopping excursion, the inspirational investment clearly out weighs any financial outlay.

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  5. I fear if you do simply look at "Salute" as a monetary exercise then simply sitting at home and ordering online is undoubtedly the cheaper option - especially as so many of the company's seemed to be running online "Salute" deals to compensate those who weren't attending.

    You are though entirely right that the day is best viewed as an inspirational tour through the minds/games of some of our hobby's finest, and for me the bloggers meet is undoubtedly one of the highlights. I've walked away with several projects I never thought I'd be doing, as well as a new rule system I swore blind I wouldn't be playing - such is the allure of seeing it being played in real life (rather than YouTube). Whether giving in to such temptation is, of course, another matter entirely ;-)

    A pleasure, as always, to see you, and I look forward to seeing those "Blake's Seven" minis we discussed, getting painted up :-)

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    1. Absolutely right Simon, just seeing what others do and what things actually look like is an invaluable exercise. Add into the mix the thrill of catching up with like minded souls and it really is a great day out.

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  6. Thank you Michael for the photos and the report! I don't know if this can help, but next time you have doubts about visiting or not Salute, try to remember some others like me, who cannot afford such a trip (airplane tickets, hotels, etc.)

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    1. Yes you are right, I mustn't grumble and just enjoy the day for what it is.

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  7. Hi Michael, great report on Salute and lovely photo's. I believe you were asking after me at the bloggers meet up. I can confirm I am still alive, and Forgotten Heroes will be going ahead (even if I don't take part I will still re-post everyone else's entries on the FH site.

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Lovely to hear from you Roger, I had been worried as you had gone a bit quiet. Good to hear that you are still with us and that Forgotten Heroes is a go. I have to confess that I was thinking of giving it a miss this year, but then I have been struck by an idea - an itch that needs to be scratched.

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  8. One day I'll make it to Salute but apart from the effort of getting there I know what I'm like when it comes to spending money...I have no willpower whatsoever!

    Some great tables, as always...I really love the Greek ruins!

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    1. It really is a wonderful event and it would be lovely to see you there one day Gordon.

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  9. Exellent AAR and glad you had a look at out Fort Mosquito game :)

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    1. It looked marvellous Michael, I looked for you to say hello, but you must have disappeared for a couple of minutes just at that very time.

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    2. Probably, i had one lunch walkabout, long food ques.

      Glad you liked the game:)

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  10. Great pics and write-up Michael and it was good to see you and Provost Marshall again :)

    Being a Londoner with a travelcard, I do actually end up making savings on my purchases but can well imagine that from anyone from outside London the costs of attending would outweigh the postage savings they might make. I think that as with all shows the benefits are being able to actually see figures/models from a whole host of companies in the "flesh" and also the inspiration from the various games and displays.

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    1. ps - feel free to grab the blogger meet pics from my blog :)

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    2. Lovely to see you too Tamsin and you are absolutely right, the inspirational aspect of such an event clearly outweighs any financial implication.

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  11. Great Report Michael Cheers, I too find the main reason to go to Salute if to get inspiration and see friends. Some how I seem to pick up some bits along the way. I look at is as a good fun day out!

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    1. You are absolutely right Jerry, a great fun day out.

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  12. You are indeed right , Salute never costs in economically for me ., my costs can be 4-6 of yours getting to and from. But... I do agree that it it can be a real spur on the creative side , and of course it's good to top up the social side too.

    Love the way your u forgot "four" lots of swag for the photo!

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    1. And every time I went to a stall all I could think of was your email! :D

      As for the 'missing' items, I was trying to be clever this morning and get the picture taken before the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry' got up to see just how much I had actually come home with - oops!

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  13. Thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures, I would have loved to be there!

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  14. Thanks for sharing the photos. Looks like a great variety of games and displays. I have mixed feelings about Salute. My sole experience there was not a good one.

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    1. It is certainly a major event and I do look forward to it every year.

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  15. Hi, and thank you for a thoroughly enjoyable review of Salute. I`m sure you will meet the Emerald Isle Musketeers next year, or Jez (the 4th Musketeer) will cry I think hehe. I love the Frostgrave photos in especial, and am sad I missed that display.. did they put on a game too?

    Lovely blog by the way, and I`m so glad I have discovered it.

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    1. Thank you and welcome aboard Hils, you are more than welcome. There were a couple of Frostgrave demo boards and a couple display boards all absolutely stunning. There is something magical about a snow covered gaming board.

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    2. It would certainly be lovely to meet up one day, do you have a blog that I can follow?

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    3. They've got a cracking one mate

      http://thegamerscupbard.blogspot.co.uk/

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    4. Thank you for that Andy, duly followed. :)

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    5. awwww you`re so sweet Andy xxx

      and I totally agree Michael, snow really is so atmospheric isn't it, especially on a table top.

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  16. Thank you for a lovely report of what looked like a great day. Hope the cold gets better soon.

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    1. Thank you, despite my whinging it really was a great day and always lovely to meet up with friends. Cold is slowly abating.

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    2. You will meet Tarot and me and Stevie next Salute for sure I believe Michael.

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    3. I shall look forward to it.

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  17. Sounds like being a once a year event, the cost isn't too much of a big deal. (300 pounds for a castle aside)
    One year I hope to coincide a trip back to see my parents with Salute's commencement. No idea when that will be tho.

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    1. Yes time to stop moaning about the moaning and start embracing the day for the sheer delight of it.

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  18. for us, we have to get up middle of the night, travel for 2 hours to get to the airport, book in and wait in the airport area for an hour, then an hour and a half flight over, negotiates Heathrow Airport, bus/underground through London, finally a taxi to the show: queue for ages at the doors into Salute itself, and THEN try and stay awake all day, then a hotel for the night, before repeating the process in reverse to get home to Ireland again. Definitely not cost effective for us, but we do it for the sheer fun of it, because we are passionate about the hobby :)

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    1. Now that's dedication! What was I whinging about? :D

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  19. You definitely need to come back next year mate, I didn't save money really, in fact spent a bit more than planned :-)

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    1. I think I am over my grumpy phase and so looking forward to next year already!

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  20. Thank you for posting these pictures! It was interesting to read about your Salute`s adventures.

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  21. Looks like a fine haul Michael. Like you I feel the same about Tactica. The trip, the hotel and the investment on site outweighs the postage savings by far... but as I couldn't attend this year I know only too well how much inspiration and friendly chatter I missed out on.

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    1. I must admit just a day or two on and I am still buzzing with ideas, it really is such a good experience.

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  22. Great photo's and haul. Looks like some good games.

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  23. Nice stuff you got and great photos!

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  24. Not too bad a day then...have been to salute three years in a row and didn't go this year we are planning to go to Partizan instead. I agree on the shopping front it doesn't make any sense I think a break might give me more enthusiasm for salute next year, some great looking games..but there is a sense of the same each time which could be good or bad ? On the swag I am interested by the barge/boat you picked up....any more details 🙂

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    1. It is certainly true that a break can be as good as rest, but I really do enjoy catching up with everyone, albeit briefly. The barge is actually an container ship, and quite a big one. A bit of an impulse buy, think North Sea Hijack, I even have a couple of packs of Frogmen!

      For a closer look at the boat have a look here:
      https://ttcombat.com/collections/city-scenics?page=3

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  25. Marvellous and very inspiring photos :) Thanks for sharing! Cheers!

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  26. Great report Michael and nice to see some of the games on display. One day I'll attend the show (and take lots of out-of-focus photos).

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  27. Thanks for the Salute tour Michael, it's likely all I will ever get to see of this pocket emptying venue. The pond is wide!

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    1. I am happy to provide a service Terry. ;)

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  28. Not think of it as a shopping trip?!?! Are you mad sir? :-)

    Great looking haul. I'm surprised you've only just picked up Congo. I would have thought you'd have been into that from day one.

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    1. I was trying to show restraint, what was I thinking of? :D

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  29. Looks like a nice haul of loot and some really inspiring pictures. Thanks! I'd love to go just once, but that plane flight would be expensive!!

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    1. It is certainly a very special show.

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  30. I would have really liked to have attended Salute, but the costs involved are really prohibitive.

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  31. Great report Michael and as mentioned on my blog, next year we will stop and get a good chat. Appreciate the Bushido and Japanese terrain purchases.

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  32. Excellent report and pics, Michael. On the subject of "savings", I was irritated to discover that a book I'd bought from a vendor was £2.50 more expensive than as advertised on the vendor's website. I assume that the price was bumped up to catch what would have been added as p&p.

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  33. Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos of the hobby jamboree you attended. It truly looks inspiring. As for grumpiness arising from a cold ... imagine me - a grumpy old guy whose sinus problems are set off by a mere speck of dust! I am slowly turning into the Mr.Wilson (of the US version of Denise the Menace) of my neighborhood XD

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  34. Thanks a lot for your report and the wonderful pictures! Cheers, Karl

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