Salute 2018: A selective photo-report

Rather than try to cover everything in this photo-report, I decided to try to give people who were unable to visit ExCel yesterday a flavour of what the show was like and the wargames that I thought were interesting.


Getting there
I am very lucky in that I live near the top of Shooters Hill in south east London. In fact, I can actually see ExCel from the driveway of my house, and getting there by public transport is relatively quick and easy. A short ‘bus ride took me to Woolwich Arsenal Station, where I could catch one of the regular Docklands Light Railway (DLR) trains to Canning Town, where I could change onto the line that goes to Customs House, the nearest DLR station to Excel. Yesterday the whole journey door-to-door took just under an hour.


Getting in
I walked along the concourse from the station towards …

… the entrance into ExCel.

Once inside I walked past the numerous exhibition halls and fast-food outlets until I reached N9, the entrance to SALUTE.

I showed my ticket at the door, and then joined the queue to get in.

At 10.00am the waiting crowd was allowed into …

… the exhibition hall.


The games that I thought were particularly interesting
Battles for Lake Tanganyika (Peterborough Wargames Society)
This was three wargames on one table. In the first a British force was raiding a German outpost …

… whilst in the second the two British motor gunboats Mimi and Toutou were trying to sink or capture the German gunboat Kingane.

The third game saw the African Queen trying to negotiate her way along the Ulanga River in order to reach the open lake so that she could sink the German gunboat Königin Luise.

The Biscotti War (League of Gentlemen Anti-Alchemists)

Twisting the Dragon’s Tail (Maidstone Wargames Society)
The first of the two wargames about the Zeebrugge Raid.

Ipsus – A Macedonian game of thrones (Newbury & Reading Wargames Society)

Battle of Kawanakajima 1561 (Loughton Strike Force)

Sink the Hornet (Warlord Games)

Battle of the Bulge (Warlord Games)

Operation Taifun – The Battle for Leros 1943 (A Few Brits and the Hobby)

The Battle of Tewksbury 1471 (Oxford Wargames Society)

Battle of Freeman’s Farm (Essex Warriors)

1918 Zero Hour – The Big Push (Scarab Pals)

Blood & Bridges (Berks and Bucks Occasionals)

The Fight at Altenhof (Continental Wars Society)

In God’s Name (South London Warlords)

Battle of Soggy Bottom 1643 (Simon Miller & Friends)

War in America – AWI (Bill Gaskin & Friends)

Battle of Aspern-Essling 1809 (The Old Guard)

The Zeebrugge Raid 1918 (The Naval Wagames Society)
The second wargame about the Zeebrugge Raid covered the entire operation, and used some detailed models of the ships and the harbour.

Seagull Day: The First Battle of Britain 1938 (Gentlemens Wargames Parlour)

Glory! From the Halls of Montezuma (Ian Smith & Friends)

Baggenstaket 1719 (Dalauppror)

1914 (Great Escape Games)

Mortem & Glorium (Ancient and Modern/Donnington Miniatures)

Invasion of Copenhagen (Chelmsford Bunker)

Mission Command (Abbey Wood Irregulars/SSG Wargames)

Battle of Paraitacene (Society of Ancients)
Professor Phil Sabin and the other stalwarts of the SOA staged yet another of their large demonstration games.

Battle of Varna 1444 (Wyvern Wargames Club)


Other displays that I thought were particularly interesting
Andy Callan and Peter Dennis’s Paper Soldiers
I’ve know Andy Callan since 1980, and have met Peter Dennis before. I wanted to see what their paper soldiers looked like in the flesh … and mighty impressed I was!

The First World War tank

Since yesterday I have discovered that this ‘replica’ (it isn’t full size but look impressive nonetheless) is made of wood and is capable of powered movement.

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Just back from Salute!

I just got back from SALUTE 2018, having seen all I wanted to see and done all that I wanted to do before I left. I’ll be writing a fuller report later (probably tomorrow), but my first thoughts are:

Positives:

  • Everywhere I went the traders seemed to be doing quite good business;
  • The games that I stopped and looked all seemed to have been of a very high standard from the point of view of presentation;
  • The signage of games was generally better than is has been in the past;
  • More games had hand-outs and/or a ‘meeter-and-greeter’;
  • Participants seemed to be enjoying whatever they were doing … something that has not always been as obvious in the past.

Negatives:

  • The lighting, ventilation, and flooring at ExCel are not good. (The lighting is so dim in places that it was almost impossible to take photographs; the air inside was getting hotter and staler as the day went on; and the flooring is a rubber screed over concrete which is uncomfortable to walk or stand on for any length of time);
  • Too many backpacks! (The man in front of me in the queue to get in was wearing an enormous backpack that was suspended by one shoulder strap. Every time he took a step forward or turned to speak to the person next to him, I had to sway backwards to avoid being hit in the face. I did mention it to him … but he totally blanked me and ignored my request to take more care.)

Things that stood out:

  • Both the games that depicted the Zeebrugge Raid were outstanding;
  • The Continental Wars Society wargame ‘The fight at Altenhof’ attracted a lot of interest from those wargamers looking for something a bit different;
  • Peter Dennis’s and Andy Callan’s paper soldiers showed that it is possible to stage games involving large numbers of figures without having to spend a fortune buying them and a lifetime painting them;
  • The presence of a semi-scale reproduction of a World War I tank … and I am still trying work out whether it was capable of moving under its own power, and how they got it into the hall if it wasn’t;
  • Last, but by no means least, the annual blogger’s get-together … which took place at 12.30pm in the centre of the hall, and that was attended by quite a few well-known bloggers.

All-in-all it was a great way to spend a Saturday, and I seemed to manage to talk to loads of people that I know … and to miss some that I had hoped to see.

Will I be going to SALUTE 2018? Going on today’s experience, I certainly will!


Salute is on Saturday!

SALUTE 2018 is taking place on Saturday, and I am looking forward to going!

For once I don’t have a shopping list because I want to be able to spend time looking around and – more importantly – meeting and talking to people … especially my fellow bloggers!

I understand that there will be an unofficial get-together at 12.30pm in the centre of the exhibition hall, and as far as I can make out, it will be where the red spot is on the following map:

If I remember to take and wear it, I’ll have on my ‘official’ Wargame Developments identity badge. Otherwise look for the overweight bloke who looks like this:

(The overweight bit might not make me easy to identify in a room full of wargamers and the photo doesn’t show all the grey hairs that I seem to have acquired over the past few years … but at least it looks more like me than my most recent passport photograph!)


I understand that SALUTE 2018 is NOT sharing ExCel with the pre-race gathering for the participants in this year’s London Marathon; this year the other main event taking place there is the National Wedding Show.

I must make sure that I don’t wander into the wrong show by mistake!


Going to Salute 2018

After some prevarication, I have decided to go to SALUTE 2018, and have bought my ticket.

One of the reasons I am going is to see the latest Continental Wars Society game, the Battle of Altenhof. This took place on 21st April, 1848, during the First Schleswig War, and if past experience is anything to go by, it will be an excellent game. For more details, see below (click on the images to enlarge them):


A busy weekend

I am paying a flying visit to Bristol today to see an old friend (and fellow wargamer) Installed as the Worshipful Master of his Bristol-based Masonic Lodge. The meeting will be followed by what we Freemasons call a ‘White Table’, which is a celebratory meal where non-Masons (usually wives, other family members, and friends) are invited. My wife has accompanied me to Bristol, and whilst I am in the meeting, she will no doubt be undertaking some retail therapy. She will be joining me for the ‘White Table’, after which we will drive back to London.

We could have stayed overnight in Bristol, but as the weather forecast isn’t good (snow is predicted for Monday) and the CAVALIER wargame show is taking place in Tonbridge, Kent, tomorrow, we decided to drive back home to South East London tonight. With luck (and assuming that the weather is not too bad), I should be able to go to Tonbridge tomorrow … where I hope to meet up with some of my fellow wargame bloggers, buy one or two items for my current projects, and see my PORTABLE WARGAME rules in action!

Looks like I am in for a busy (and hopefully very enjoyable) weekend!


SALUTE2017: A photo report

On Saturday I made my first visit to SALUTE for five years. I had no great expectations as to what I would find when I got there, having been somewhat disappointed on my last two visits. In fact it turned out to be much better than I had hoped it would be, as I think the following photo report will show.


The closure of the Custom House station on the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) did not cause any problems for those of us attending SALUTE. In fact the alternative station we had to use (Prince Regent) was actually more convenient as it was less far to walk from the station to the venue inside the ExCel Centre. The only downside to the journey was the fact that it was raining as we arrived at Prince Regent.

The entrance to SALUTE was easy to find and marshals from the South London Warlords were on hand to check you in …

… and direct you to the queue to go in.

This looks far more horrendous than it actually was, and the queue moved forward at a slow but steady pace. Considering how long it was when I joined it at 9.55am, the fact that it only took thirty minutes for me to get in seemed not too unreasonable.

Starting in the corner to the left of the entrance, I made my way around each of the games that was on show. (Please note that not all of the games shown in following photographs were easy to identify from their description in the Show Guide, and therefore may not have a club, society, group, or company attribution or a caption. These are indicated by a ‘?‘, and if I do manage to identify them at a later date, I will add an attribution.)

Simple Miniature Games: Maulifaux

?

Simple Miniature Games: Batman

Gentlemens Wargames Parlour: Left hand down a bit (or Sink HMS Eagle)
This game (set during the Very British Civil War period) featured some interesting conversions of model battleships …

… and a rather neat model of an aircraft carrier.

Warlord Wargamers: English Civil War

Dalauppror: Fort Mosquito 1654
This was a battle between Swedish and Dutch colonial troops in mid-17th century Delaware …

… and featured as its centrepiece a very nice model fort.

Wargames Illustrated: Celebrity Deathmatch!
Individual combat between historical and fictional characters.

Society of Ancients: The Battle of Kadesh

Gatehouse Wargames: Pearson’s Farm
An American Civil War battle.

Legion Wargames Club: Mythos Demonstration Game
A skirmish/horror themed game set in a small townscape.

Modiphius Entertainment: Achtung! Cthulhu
An attack on the Nazi Black Sun base.

Modiphius Entertainment: Airfix Battles
A 54mm/1:35th-scale version of this popular game.

?

?

Hornchurch Wargames Club: Wars of the Roses
A demonstration game using 10cm hexes and home-grown rules.

Kampfgruppe Kegworth: The Curse of Deadman’s Hand
An Old West game set in what appears to be a ghost town.

Little Wars of Australia: Tribal Primeval
A prehistoric skirmish game.

Essex Warriors: The Battle of Prague, 1757
A re-fight of one of Frederick the Great’s victories.

The Old Guard: Command and Colours: Napoleonic
Napoleonic warfare using a tried and trusted game system.

Runewars

Dark Sphere Gaming Club: X-Wing
Empire vs. Rebel fighters dogfight above the planet Scarif.

Too Fat Lardies: Sharp Practice

Micro Art Studio: Wolsung Steampunk Skirmish Game
Extraordinary groups of men and women fighting shadowy organisations and foreign powers that are hell-bent on world power.

Weymouth Levellers: Search and Destroy! Vietnam, 1966
Buckle up and dust off … and look out Charlie!

White Dragon Miniatures: Shattered Void: Hunting Bigger Prey
A deadly space dogfights between capital ships.

Crooked Dice Games Design Studio: 7TV: Wargaming in the World of Cult TV
A cinematic 7TV quick-play game set in a ruined version of London.

Crooked Dice Games Design Studio: 7TV: Wargaming in the World of Cult TV
A cinematic 7TV quick-play game set on an oil rig somewhere in the North Sea.

Crooked Dice Games Design Studio: 7TV: Wargaming in the World of Cult TV
A cinematic 7TV quick-play game set in a complex of old warehouses and workshops.

Maidstone Wargames Society: Fenris Descending
Human defenders vs. hundreds of deadly robots! Can they survive the onslaught?

The Naval Wargames Society: Gunboats of the Dvina
British and Soviet forces vie for control of this vital waterway during the summer of 1919.

G3 Wargamers: Devil’s Run, Route 666
A post-apocalyptic free-for-all, no-holds-barred combat race game.

Pike and Shot Society: King Phillip’s War
Can the local Indian tribes drive off the unwanted settlers?

The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare: Werewolves vs. Vampires
A fight between werewolves and vampires in a gaveyard.

The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare: Van Helsing vs. von Frankenstein
The arch vampire hunter vs. the creator of a monster. Who can possibly win this titanic struggle?

Herts Volunteers: Sword Beach, 1944
A re-fight of the British landings on Sword Beach on 6th June. 1944.

The game featured some very nice model landing craft and vehicles …

… as well as some excellent terrain, which included …

… a heavily-fortified urban area.

Tanks!

Flames of War demonstration game

Scarab Pals: Great War: Zero Hour: Italy, 1917
A monumental battle in Italy between the Allies and the Great Powers.

K-Kraft Miniatures: Relay 26
Opposing forces attempt to knock out a major communications link.

Crewe and Nantwich Wargaming Society: The Japanese Invasion of the Philippines.
This game featured some wonderful models …

… and terrain.

Gaslands: Vehicle Mayhem!
A post-apocalypse vehicle combat game.

Tunbridge Wells Wargaming Society: Russian counter-attack near Rogochev
A re-fight of the 1942 Russian attack on a German defensive position.

Oxford Wargames Society: The Battle of Ashdown, 871
A re-fight of the battle to save Wessex from the invading Danes.

Wyre Forest Wargames Club: Battle of Kalisz, 1706

?

Games in Thanet Society: Papers Please!
Can the escaping British POWs make it?

The Drowned Earth

The Drowned Earth

Battle for Neustadt
The Cold War goes hot in 1984.

Ilford Wargames Group: Star Wars X-Wing Mega Battle

Continental Wars Society: Meet me at the Trocadero

A re-fight of the 1823 Siege of Cadiz …

… when the French captured the fort on the island of Trocadero …

… in support of the Spanish Bourbon monarchy.

Whitehall Warlords: Russian Civil War

Wigmore Warriors: Spaghetti Western
A game that used real spaghetti in one of its game mechanisms!

Simon Miller and the Wargames Holiday Centre: The Battle of Raphia, 217 BCE
The armies of Ptolemy IV and Antiochus the Great face each other in a re-fight of this epic battle.

Skirmish Wargames: Save the Tsar!
A 54mm-scale battle to rescue the Tsar.

?

Southbourne Tabletop and Boardgamers: The Red Navy in the Second Great Patriotic War of 1984
Naval warfare between a NATO task force and Soviet naval forces.

Lance and Longbow Society: Wars of the Roses
A skirmish game using a simplified version of the Lion Rampant rules.

Pedion Modular Battlefields

Freebooter Miniatures: Freebooter’s Fate
A fantasy pirate game.

Real Time Wargames: The Art of War: Battles and Campaigns in 15th century Italy
Warfare in the age of the Condottieri.

Bexley Reapers Wargaming Club: Cretaceous Camp
Can you survive in a dinosaur-rich environment … where you might be dinner?

Scimitar Games Club: Muskets and Tomahawks
A French and Indian Wars skirmish.

4TK Gaming: Science Fiction Battles

4TK Gaming: Science Fiction Battles

4Ground Limited: Fabled Realms battles

4Ground Limited: Fabled Realms battles

4Ground Limited: Fabled Realms battles


The Walking Dead

?

Jersey Privateers Gaming Club: The raid on Fanning Head, San Carlos, 21st May, 1982
Falklands War skirmish action.

Wild West Exodus

?

?

?

?

?

?

Royal Air Force Wargaming Association: Short Bill’s Treasure Quest
Pirates competing again each other in a hunt for hidden for treasure.

Loughton Strike Force: Battle of Dresden, 1813

Red Knights Wargames: Infinity

Ancient and Modern/Donnington Miniatures: The Battle of Hastings

Warploque Miniatures: Arcworlds Fantasy skirmish

Mierce Models: Darklands demonstration game

Gripping Beast Limited: SAGA demonstration game

Gripping Beast Limited: SAGA participation session

Gripping Beast Limited: Swordpoint Demonstration game

Spartan Games: Game demonstration

Planetfall

Chesterfield Open Gaming Society: Frostgrave

GCT Studios Limited: Bushido demonstration

City of Henfield Squadron, RAF Fight Command: The Battle of Britain

Ironfist Publishing: Battlegroup Tobruk
The game featured some excellent terrain and models …

… that my photographs do not do justice to.

Ard Hamma: The Sino-Japanese War
Sino-Japanese action.

Wings of Glory Aerodrome UK: Wings of Glory demonstration game

Wings of Glory Aerodrome UK: Wings of Glory demonstration game

Second Thunder: Open Combat Battlepit

Gravesend Gamers Guild: Star Wars Epic game

Ad Hoc Games Group: Nick the Tsar II
A fun free-for-all attempt attempt to rescue the Tsar and his family from the clutches of the darstadly Soviets!

?

?

The Sons of Simon de Montford: Animal Farm
Four Legs Good! Two Legs Bad!

Oshiro Modelterrain: Shiro O Kogeki (Attack the Castle)

School of History, University of Edinburgh: Crusades against Fellow Christians:
The Battle of Lodi Vecchio, 1239

Tin Soldiers of Antwerp: A Not So Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Beautiful models and figures, as well as a gamesmaster in a toga!

South London Warlords: Vietnam

Wyvern Wargamers: Battle of Cambrai, 1917

?

Grantham Strategy and Gaming Club: Discworld Witch Racing
This featured a complete model of the Unknown University …

… of Ankh-Morpork.

As you may gather, there were a LOT of games on at SALUTE this year … and if the number of attendees was anything to go by, the hobby seems to be in a reasonably healthy state!


SALUTE2017: First reactions

I sat down this morning to write a detailed blog entry about my first visit to SALUTE in five years … but when I realised that I had over one hundred photographs to add to it I decided to take my time and to write a short ‘first reactions’ blog entry first.

My overall impression was good. It has improved considerably since the last time I went, both in terms of organisation and content. I still had to queue to get in … but this took place in an area right next to the hall and was properly marshalled. Once inside I was struck by the sheer number and variety of games that were being staged and the fact that there were far more participation games available.

The trade stands seemed to be doing good business, and there was lots of room to walk around between the stands and the games. I particularly wanted to visit the Perry brothers stand to look at their new TRAVEL BATTLE game and the Continental Wars Society stand to chat to Ian Dury and company. I managed both … and walked away with a review copy of the game and a box full of plastic and diecast military vehicle.

I will be writing a review of the TRAVEL BATTLE game as soon as I can. It seems to have had a mixed reception, with some wargamers being very enthusiastic about it whilst others have expressed views that it is too expensive and rather limited. I am going to reserve my judgement until I have properly reviewed the game.

I managed to meet quite a few people whilst I was at SALUTE, including several other bloggers (Legatus Hedlius, Alastair, TamsinP, Ray Rousell, Postie et al), a few old friends, and some of my regular blog readers. This social side to the hobby is one aspect of wargaming that is often overlooked, but informal meetings at shows like SALUTE really do cement the online friendships that have developed over the past few years.

Will I go to SALUTE2018? Well based on yesterday’s show, the answer is a resounding ‘YES’ … assuming, of course, that I am in the UK at the time!