So having safely returned from the show and stashed the swag, whilst the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry' was out*, it is time to reflect on the biggest independent one-day wargaming show in the country.** Salute 2016 was very nearly a non event for me this year. I was scheduled to have some rather expensive, not to mention traumatic, dental work done yesterday and this coupled with the travel disruption that was widely broadcast rather took the appeal out of the day. That said, other than feeling a bit bruised and battered the Dentist wasn't as bad as I had feared and a revised treatment plan that left me with considerably more pocket money at my disposal than I had planned. Still not convinced that I was up to battling with rail replacement buses and with my wingman, the Provost Marshal otherwise disposed, I decided to sleep on it and see how I felt in the morning.
*That was quite a result!
**Their words not mine, Salute guide 2016
|Now I want to game the Vietnam War!|
A new day brought with it a renewed determination and having hastily gathered up camera and swag bag we decided to give it a go. As it happens the travel wasn't as bad as I had feared and with a combination of a little forward planning and the absence of the London Marathon competitors all heading in the same direction to register, I found myself at the venue just before eleven o'clock. Shunning the idea of a restorative coffee I joined the tail end of the queue that was just filing into the venue, with the marshals collapsing the queuing system around us - perfect timing, I thought.
|Frostgrave at its best - lots of LEDs this year too.|
So there I was, party bag in hand and suddenly aware that I hadn't a clue what I had come for, but this didn't seem to matter as a broad grin swept across my face. I popped across to see Michael 'Dalauppror' and their wonderful Battle at Foteviken 1134 game, which was a delight to see as I had been watching the progress on it over several blogs. Just as I walked away, I realised that I had't taken any photographs and really needed to have a better plan!
|Battle of Agincourt|
With no real shopping list to speak of, I was happy just to pootle from table to stand depending on what caught my eye. Whilst seemingly a less stressful approach to the day it does prove an expensive one as I found myself looking at all manner of wonderful shiny things. Rather than be lured in by recognised brands I was interested in the smaller stands and let's be honest they were easier to get to, not besieged by a throng of day-sack wielding consumers with a veritable blood lust to get to their 'precious' goal.
|My favourite game on the day- The siege of Brostol|
There were a couple of 'must haves' that included a box of the new Perry Miniatures plastic North West Frontier/Sudan British Infantry, although I couldn't, with my output, justify the three boxes required to claim the metal Ensign, and I picked up Colonel Snook's new book having had the man scribble in the front of it. I know I missed a huge amount and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone else's photographs in due course, but I did enjoy chatting to a few more of the traders including the chaps over at 'Battle Systems' who were able to show me samples of the Urban Apocalypse range that I had backed as a Kickstarter.
I also had a lovely chat with a gentlemen manning the 'Eureka' participation game using a skirmish ruleset called 'Tribal', which might be worth investigating a little more. On the subject of participation games, was it my imagination, but were there more smaller games backed by miniature companies than Club games? There were some of the usual stunning set ups and I think this is another reason for me to keep going back to Salute, just to see what an actual proper wargame looks like, although once again, I have not done them justice as taking photographs soon gave way to purchasing goodies!
The highlight for me, and indeed perhaps the reason for me changing my mind and attending this year, was the the now legendary Bloggers meet up at one o'clock. It is always good to put a face to the avatar and this year I managed a couple of new ones, Roger and Jez it was lovely to meet you both. That said, I don't do this part of the day justice as my crippling shyness saw me hiding at one end of the meet, but I am getting a little braver every year.
|Tribal - Honour is everything!|
I decided to leave shortly after the meet up as I was in danger of spending a lot of money that I didn't need to on the likes of '4Ground's' new Gothic City range. So another year gone and as I started the journey home, tired but ultimately glad that I had made the effort, I felt that there were still enough positives in the day that would see coming back time and again - I had better start saving now!
|Thank you Tamsin, for the photograph.|