So Salute has been done and dusted again for another year and I’ve finally recovered. This year I have been on the committee of the South London Warlords and can tell you that the work done by people in their spare time to put this show on is quite fantastic, the planning taking all year and a hell of a lot of effort. If you add to this the efforts of all the members of the club, and the chaps from the Reading club who help too, that pitch in on the day and the day before (most taking time off work to do so) to get the traders and games in and set up on time, running the doors and info stand etc. I think we as a club can be very proud of our efforts.
So this year I was helping Phil judge the games and making sure that all the gamers had everything they needed before we started. This was great to do, as someone who has put games on at other shows I enjoyed going round speaking to the gamers and checking out the games (well 95% of them anyway, there’s always one or two) but it did mean that I was constantly walking round the show – I had done 26,748 steps by the end of the day! – and didn’t take too many photos.
Judging the games was a great thing to do, especially when we went round to hand out the prizes as it was fantastic seeing peoples reactions to receiving them. I won’t put a list up yet of who won what as I don’t think the club has posted it yet but will add a link once it has happened, there will be a shedload of pictures too so will make up for my paltry efforts. I can absolutely scotch one of the common misconceptions of the show as well after judging the games – 95% of all games put on by clubs or individuals are NOT sci-fi/fantasy, indeed we found it hard to come up with more than 4 for that category. Most of those types of games are the small demo games from the larger traders, it might just seem like there are more of them but, sorry, not true.
As for the standard of games this year, we thought (and it is a sentiment seemingly shared by a lot of people going by the blogosphere) that it was very good with a couple of real stand out, show-stoppers – Bill Gaskin’s AWI game and Ian Smith’s ACW fort game in particular – and some nice innovative ones – the RAF lads Toy Box fight, and the Salute Zombie ones for example – and on the whole you could tell that a lot of time and effort had been invested in putting the games on and we thank all involved for their work as frankly it wouldn’t be a wargames show without you! The spread of periods was nice too with everything from Ancients to Cold War on display, although strangely the WWI games were outnumbered by the Pirate themed games which was weird given the theme of this years show.
Before the pics a quick couple of things to answer comments on other posts.
Lighting: Yes it is murky, we all agree but it is beyond the control of the club and to try and put a stop to a growing internet rumour there is definitely no different lighting brightness depending on what you pay, if there was we’d pay for it to be brighter.
Why can’t it be 2 days?: I’ll refer you to the first paragraph for one. Also I think people forget that we are just a Wargames Club. The show is a mammoth task for a bunch of blokes that play with toy soldiers, none of us are professional events organisers and it is absolutely knackering and time consuming putting it on for one day let alone two. Add to that the costs to hire the venue for another day, and probably more importantly the costs for the traders and those putting on the games for a 2 day show and it is just not viable.
Anyway some pics of my favourite games at the show – sorry that I didn’t take pics of all of the I was completely done in and was finding it hard to concentrate on taking photos and some of the ones I took of the others were rubbish, as indeed were some of these ones!
First of all the venue on Friday afternoon, if you think it is big with everyone in it you should be there when it’s empty!
Next up, ‘Twisting the Dragon’s Tail’ by Maidstone Wargames Society. Raid on Zeebrugge, 1918. Just cracking and a participation game to boot.
The Battle of Kawanakajima 1561 – Loughton Strike Force. For that miniature Kurosawa fix.
Berks and Bucks Occasionals – ‘Blood and Bridges’, brilliantly executed transference of the Cold War gone Hot boardgame ‘Eisenbach Gap’ board game to the tabletop in 1/200th-o-rama.
And last, but definitely not least, Ian Smith & Friends truly fantastic ‘Glory! from the Halls of Montezuma’. The details in the fort was remarkable and the rest of the table wasn’t shoddy either. Oh, and in 40mm too. There were people taking pics of this all day.