Is it that time already? Spring has rolled around and that means the South London Warlords have put on their annual mega-show Salute. So what cornucopia of wargaming goodness has been stuffed into the Excel centre this year? Here’s a sample:
Ah Salute, a heady mix of rampant commercialism, a massive range of lovely looking games, all those wargaming celebs you watch on Youtube, and that weird smattering of wargames cosplayers you always seem to get.
Obviously this isn’t a full review of absolutely everything that was there. You’d be reading this forever if I did. So instead you get a random grab-bag of stuff that caught my eye!
For many Salute is just a big noisy shopping trip, and the traders don’t disappoint. For me a trip to Last Valley is always on the agenda, if only because you’ve got to get there bloody early before the vultures pick the carcass completely bare:
Honestly, it’s like a feeding frenzy in there. However the winner of the longest queue in town has to go to the Steamforged Games stand.:
I don’t actually know a whole lot about Steamforged other than that they do the game Guild Ball, which seem pretty popular, so I can’t say why their queue was so long. Are they just super popular? Were they doing crazy deals? Did they have some kind of slowdown at the till? Who knows, but those people in the queue were in for a fair old wait.
Other traders that caught my eye were SHQ, who were carrying the Figures in Comfort foam trays. I’ve got a carry case and a load of their trays, but they were also showing new trays designed to fit into the ever-popular Really Useful boxes (4l and 9l size):
That’s a really great product, but doesn’t seem to be showing on their website. Hopefully that’ll be remedied shortly!
I also quite liked the look of these vac-formed modular trench sections in 15mm and 28mm from Kallistra. It can be expensive to get a full trench network, especially for something you might not put on the table often.
At about £3 per foot for 28mm and half that for 15mm these are a really affordable (and lightweight) way to represent a full tench line. They’re designed to match their Hexon terrain, but I think they’d look fine on a standard cloth table, especially after you’ve painted and flocked them to match your other terrain. Ok, this stuff has probably been around a while, but it was the first time I’d seen it!
One of my only real impulse buys at the show was on the Urban Construct stand. It turns out they have a great range of very cheap resin modern civilian vehicles, although they haven’t got them on their website.
I got a couple of vans and cars to dress tables for Black Ops. I guess if you want to order them you should contact them on their website?
As usual, there were some great looking games being played. While you do get the odd table that looks like a club night effort, most people step up their game for Salute. I particularly enjoy the oddball stuff. Such as:
Ok, so it’s not the first time Salute has seen a Stingray game, but that collection of weird undersea beasties and subs is obviously a labour of love.
This nice moonbase table, lovingly ripped off from the utterly bonkers 1970s Gerry Anderson TV show UFO.
There were in fact no aliens present for this one, the UFO miniatures had been re-imagined as a slugfest between two superpowers.
The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare were also there showing their new fantasy skirmish game Thud and Blunder.
I didn’t get to see this one in action, but their table for it was amazing.
One game I was a little nervous about was the Brexit-themed effort from the Frothers. Politics and wargames are a dangerous mix, after all there are plenty of historical forces whose politics you absolutely do not want to promote, and I was a little nervous that there might be some kind of agenda being pushed here, because let’s face it people tend to totally lose their sense of humour when the topic of Brexit comes up.
Or do they? This game looked like a load of fun. The queen was on-table weilding a shotgun, and there were loads of comedy special rules, such as Nigel Farage always coming back no matter how many times you killed him. The game looked great, it was light-hearted and absolutely not taking itself too seriously. Top marks!
The swag bag this year featured a couple of miniatures.
To go with the “post-apocalyptic” theme this year one was a post-apoc lady with her pet lizard, er, thing? The other was a promo figure for a new sci-fi 40Kish game called Starcide. So a good year if you’re a sci-fi gamer.