Sunday, 15 April 2018

Salute 2018

You will be mightily relieved to hear that this isn't going to be one of those 'oh so serious' reviews about the state of our hobby, using Salute as a barometer for the turning tide of interests in this most wholesome of hobbies - I shall leave that for those who actually know what they are talking about.  Instead the briefest of reflections from me this year, which rather mirrors my time spent at the show.

I was flying solo with my wingman, The Provost Marshal, unavoidably detained performing all manner of important duties at home.  This was, in no small part, down to my own inability to commit to the event.  A combination of it falling at the end of the holiday and not having very much pocket money to spend had me in a bit of a dither; if the sun had not shone on Saturday morning I probably wouldn't have gone!

Now whilst far from being a decrepit shell of my former self, the inevitable passing of years has taken its toll.  I certainly seem to get tired more quickly and with that more grumpy and so had decided that this was going to be a whistle stop affair.  The problem with that is that I forget that it takes me two and three quarter hours travelling just to cross the threshold of the event.  That said, I arrived just before eleven, in time to snaffle the rather disappointingly sparse goodie bag and walk straight in - I really don't think I could have coped with the queueing system!

My first thought was how gloomy it was and the ambient lighting did cause me difficulty when I wanted to buy or read anything.  I hadn't realised just how dependent I had become on my reading glasses.  If I wanted to stop and look at anything closely then I needed to swap glasses, an awful faff, particularly if you were were in one of those tight passages - a glasses string for next year perhaps?

That said, I felt comfortable for most of my time there.  The likes of 4Ground taking advantage of the cavernous space to allow customers to pass through their aisles more easily.  This has really annoyed me in the past, to the point where I would simply walk away.  Unfortunately it was the smaller companies, the ones that I would have been more interested in, that were were penned in together and subsequently made it difficult to see what they were actually about.  Still a minor quibble given the logistics of the show.

With no real shopping list as such, I spent much more time looking at the games.  These are always inspirational and this year was no different.  From the smaller demonstration games to the larger participation ones it was clear that a huge amount of effort had gone into them and quite frankly worth the entry fee alone.  That said, the rise of the undead and post apocalyptic popularity was undoubtedly to the detriment of the historical game, examples of which seemed to be down in number.  I perhaps, naively, expected to see more in the way of First World War games, given the theme of the show, but alas not to be.
The annual Bloggers' meet up was rescheduled to the earlier time of 12.30pm and to be honest, I had had enough by then so it was a lovely way to round off my day.  My incurable shyness got the better of me again and I really only managed to chat to those that I have known for a long time, but it was good to see some new faces so one can assume that the Blogging Community still has something to offer the hobby.

Having not bought very much at all, I then went and treated myself to some very expensive trees from 4Ground.  This rather loosened my grip on the wallet and before I knew what was happening yet another rule set was being purchased, this time Saga with the Age of Crusades supplement.  Who knows were this will lead?  
At one point during the day, I caught myself muttering that this might be my last Salute for a while.  On reflection this seems to have been a rash thought and certainly wasn't due to anything that the event itself had done.  Salute remains a spectacular show, which is constantly evolving to fulfil the needs of those that attend.  No, my issue was with my grumpy bag of old bones that just wanted to get home without having to sit on a train surrounded by objectionable children whose parents were seemingly oblivious to their offspring's decibel output, but that is another story!


63 comments:

  1. Sorry we didn't get to chat at Salute, but can now understand why with the troubles you had. Hopefully you will still be able to enjoy more shows

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    1. I was sorry to have missed you Dave, I must have walked past your stand several times trying to find you, clearly blind as a bat!

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  2. Lovely review of the day Michael, and thank you so much for sharing it in blog form with Stevie and myself x

    I love the trees by the way hehe.

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    1. Great to hear from you Hils and I'm glad you liked the shots. The trees were a bit of an extravagance, but I made some river sections over the winter and clearly every river needs to have a weeping willow along its banks.

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    1. Thank you Michael and I loved your table.

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  4. Lovely pictures Michael, sorry to hear that you were somewhat fatigued, I can well understand though, the last couple of times I'm been to Salute I am how can put it nicely "completely knackered!!" by the time we get home.

    I'm impressed that they got the WW1 tank in there, and the bloggers meet up looks interesting, did you all dress as Daleks this year?

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Thank you Roger, I was glad I went in the end and no we were not dressed as Daleks although I wonder if that would have made it easier to get around?

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  5. Great to see you yesterday Michael, always one of the highlights of the show for me. Spookily, this was the first show where I too left because I was absolutely worn out - usually I'm there til post 1600 hours, but this time round it was just after 1430 hours that I realised I had to leave before I fell flat on my nose. Age is a funny thing...

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    1. Great to see you too Simon, but my good ness I was weary this morning - mind you that might have been down to the beers last night.

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  6. Saga eh? I must admit I didn't see that coming! I'll be following that with interest mate.

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    1. Well I like to keep you guessing. :) I really enjoyed the Congo rules, so was interested to see if Saga would have the same appeal.

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  7. Great pics Sir M and was great to have a quick chat too!

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    1. Great to see you too Ray, a;ways a pleasure Sir.

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  8. Wooooooooooow, great pictures, love the winter atmosphere, thanks for sharing these tables with us Michael!

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    1. My pleasure Phil and that winter game really was impressive.

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  9. How cool was that aircraft carrier. Might not be age, maybe your biorhythms were off. However I don't believe in biorhythms so maybe your are just old:). I may go one day but it's really far, and I have to go past Nottingham on the way

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    1. The aircraft carrier really was a show stopper and yes getting older isn't much fun. I now have visions of you veering off the motorway to spend all your Salute money at Warlord Games HQ. :)

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    2. or foundry, which is a trippy place.

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  10. I didn't make it this year, but those tables look amazing and you're making me regret not going ;)

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    1. Another great event, but the tables are always my favourite.

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  11. It was lovely to see you yesterday, even if only for a brief chat :)

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    1. Far too brief, but lovely nonetheless. :)

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  12. Amazing array of wonderful figures and terrain, Michael. Your photos came out great despite what I've been reading on yours and others' blog about the bad lighting in the hall. Thanks for posting them!

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    1. Thank you Dean, I think my camera did most of the hard work, but I was surprised at how well they came out despite the light.

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  13. I didn't speak to anyone at my first two blogger's meet ups. It was easier by the third one. I feel a bit of a fake as I'm not a real wargamer, just an increasingly occasional figure painter. I enjoyed this year precisely because I limited myself to two hours. Last year I spent more time there and the floor and the lighting made me very tired. I'm also lucky in that it only takes me just over an hour door to door to get there!

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    1. Like you, I often feel out of my depth at these things for very similar reasons. Very envious of how close you are to the event.

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  14. I didn't get down this year although I've managed 2 Salutes and 2 Crisis in the last six years more than the last twenty and I agree about the fact it is tiring but you just have to man up as they say nowadays. You paid all that money to get there and spent 2 1/2 hours in the show! It takes me that long to do two rows of stands.

    By mid afternoon I realise I can't remember where the figures, buildings, rules, chocolate mice were that I have now decided I must buy and then spend the rest of the time trying to find them, usually unsucessfully :)
    I enjoyed looking at your photos of the show and visiting it through your eyes, maybe not quite as good as being there but better than nothing. Thanks

    The bloggers meet sounds interesting, do you have name badges to recognise the various people?

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    1. Bloody cheek! :D It does seem ridiculous to go all that way for such a short period of time, but those precious hours have given me so many ideas. As for the Bloggers meet up, it is a strange thing. I eventually plucked up the courage to say hello after the first couple of times.

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  15. It looks like there was a good selection of games, all with excellent visual appeal. I can understand your grumbles. Tempus will keep Fuggiting. ;)

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    1. A splendid day out, but I was glad when I got my feet back in my slippers.

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  16. I can relate to the shyness and to not enjoying trainloads of unruly children. I skipped my local game event this year, partially because of shyness (and partially because of other stuff keeping me busy). It can be fun and inspiring, but big groups also wear me out and overwhelm me quickly.

    Looks like there was lots of cool stuff there from your pics.

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    1. It is a funny thing, but it gets me every time. Salute remains a highlight in many ways, just finding it more tiring.

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  17. I've never been but always enjoy seen the photos your like yourself post Michael so thanks for taken the time & effort to do so, as for the state of the hobby I think that always down to what we are selves are doing in our own part & the people we are interaction with, so from my point of view the state of the hobby is a good one :)

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    1. You are more than welcome Frank and I only managed to record a small amount of what was there. So yes, the state of the hobby is a good one in my eyes too.

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  18. Thanks for the pictures.

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  19. Thanks for the AAR Michael - the worst part had to be the rowdy kids (though I blame the parents).
    Great set of photo's giving us a 'virtual visit' to the show, and who supplies the 1:1 tank kit? I could do with one of those to reserve my parking slot outside the house ;-)

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    1. The tank was an interesting thing, part wood in construction and had been the star of a couple of TV documentaries, I believe. It appeared oddly foreshortened, but great from the front!

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  20. Nice photos of the event. It's always nice to get a look at events and places I'll never get to visit.

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  21. A fine and honest review Michael, you have covered the reasons why I have not been the last few years. Maybe next year for me .. I am tempted to put a game on . .You really must try to get to a Partizan show you know .. it won’t take much longer when travelling , and i think I surpasses Salute for eye candy!

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    1. I would definitely go if you were putting a game on Dave! I was thinking about Partizan and it would be lovely to try a few different venues, but not been able to drive rather slows me down a bit.

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  22. I appreciate the photos but dislike the show. Maybe I should take up Dave Doc's idea and head to partisan.

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    1. I know it is not your favourite Clint, but it is always lovely to see you there, especially if you have some of your delicious fudge with you. Dave certainly has a point, perhaps a road trip is in order!

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  23. Thank you, Michael. As I was 'tied' to the WTW stall and demo table for the mahority of the day, I did miss out on seeing some of these tables and failed mightily to take any decent photos. And it was a shame that I not only missed the bloggers meet, but also that you didn't feel up to popping over to say hello. I did try and kerp my eyes peeled for you, but when ypu're yrying to explain the game rules to small children, it does take concentration...and patience.

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    1. I was sorry not to have seen you and met Dave. I must have walked passed the stall several times without realising it; so silly.

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  24. A brilliant post even if you didn't enjoy the show as much as you could.
    Hopefully bump into you at a show this year or Salute next time?

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    1. Absolutely Mike, it is always nice to catch up and hear what you are planning, it gives me an insight in what I may end up spending my pocket money on. ;)

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  25. Great shots! Definitely some amazing games on show once again!

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    1. The games really were impressive again this year.

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  26. Hi Michael, it was great to see you at Salute. I definitely enjoyed the day, but I was slightly deaf by the end. My eyesight was fine, but after 6 or so hours at a participation game in the concrete/metal box which is the beloved Excel Hanger 11, I could hardly hear. All we need to do for next year is combine my eyesight and your ears and we're sorted! ;)

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    1. Always lovely to see you too and reflection I had a better day than I realised. I was much happier not having to jostle my way through the healthy looking Marathon runners for one thing. I have to confess, I wasn't particularly aware of it being noisy, so some hideous Frankenstein's creation might be the way forward. :D

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  27. Thanks for the review with photo's Michael. I must say it sounds like your becoming quite a curmudgeon...but then aren't all of us long in the tooth gamers! Starting chatting with my buddy about maybe making a long weekend across the pond to take in this event, just once in my life! We shall see & if it does occur, we must have a beer!

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    1. I'm afraid that you might be right Terry, I am noticing more and more curmudgeonly tendencies as I get older! That said if you do make it across, I promise to be on my best behaviour, particularly if beer is involved.

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    2. Oh surely you saw my mischievous grin as I typed that! I am still baffled that all this effort goes in for a single day of gaming. Even the conventions I do get to attend are usually Friday afternoon & the entire weekend...pure gaming bliss!

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  28. I do love seeing the photographs of the various games on show and rarely does anyone get all the games in, but more importantly I want to hear the views of people re their experience at any show they attend.
    I've been to Salute only once (back in the 70's) and it doesn't seem to have changed that much and like you now (rather than when I were a lad, I don't know whether I could survive it with a smile on my face at the end.
    So, one for the bucket list or not? - Still undecided.

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  29. Thanks for sharing Michael I had other plans which meant the LONG trek south didn’t happen this year. Interested to see what you do with those saga rules 🙂

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  30. There are some beautiful setups in some of those pictures. Makes me wish I could have attended, but attending Salute is a major travel decision involving overnight stays &c for me, not just a whim on the day :-) .

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