RogerBW's Blog

Salute 2015 27 April 2015

Salute is the UK's biggest wargaming show of the year. I didn't buy anything this year, but still had a good time. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

Step one: make sure you're in the right hall. (There was also an Adobe marketing thing and something medical, as well as the traditional registration for the London Marathon, due to happen the next day.) The organisers hadn't bothered to say which hall they'd be in, so I ended up walking the length of ExCel.

However, they had sorted out the infamous queues. I got there a little before 10.30, as last year, and while there was a queue it was moving at something like a normal walking pace. (Pre-booked tickets were noticeably cheaper than on-the-door, but there wasn't a queue even for the latter.)

South London Warlords were putting on Lake of Death, the Battle of Araure (though their poster spelled it Aruare) during the Venezuelan War of Independence.

Newark Irregulars were showing off Guilford Courthouse, an American War of Independence battle.

But compared with previous years there seemed to be slightly less of an emphasis on generic infantry battles (whether big or small) and more on vehicular warfare. Here's South London Warlords again, setting up a Stingray game.

This looked rather interesting. Using the Force on Force rules from Ambush Alley, this alternate history game sees a Soviet naval attack in 1982 while Britain's distracted by the Falklands. A Krivak frigate suffers engine failure and falls behind; a force of Royal Marines and SBS goes aboard to try to retrieve codebooks and other interesting materials.

The whole thing comes apart, often in multiple levels, for a very nasty fight in confined terrain.

Too Fat Lardies were showing off a preview of Fighting Season, the modern supplement for Chain of Command. There's a Public Opinion track, just to make things harder: if you level that village with artillery fire rather than going house to house, opinion at home is not going to look kindly on you.

Some more hand-to-hand fighting aboard ship, with "Attack on the Eagress": Arcworlde, from Warploque, which may mean something to someone. I think it's connected to the Flintloque fantasy-Napoleonic rules.

Shattered Void, by White Dragon Miniatures: a starship combat game. With some very nifty ship status displays with pegs for values that changed.

One of the vendors. Terrain! Vehicles! Aeroplanes!

Some new shinies from Ground Zero Games.

There's a Terminator: Genisys miniatures game. Already. Of course there is.

Real Time Wargamers, "Home Before the Leaves Fall", an early Great War battle. I was particularly impressed by what appeared to be a powered Lilienthal glider.

Peterborough Wargames (including my mate Mike) were being really sensible, and running a short participation game, covering the final stages of the CHASTISE raids. A player at one end of the table had to choose speed and altitude for his aircraft, and decide when to drop the bomb based on a crude sight. (They did plan to have lights under the aircraft, but this wasn't yet working.) There was even a suitable reward if the bomb hit.

Jersey Privateers were running Dystopian Wars: steampunk sea and air battles!

A demo for the Crush the Kaiser rules (I think): Zzapp the Zzepp. had a Battlestar Galactica game (using modified Full Thrust rules).

Maidstone Wargames Society had Snowfall, a James Bond-style ski chase.

Star Wars Armada. If you click for the full image, you'll see that the ships' bases are raised from the table, and they have either blue tabs that move round the bases (fighter swarms) or multiple dials under the bases (bigger ships), rather than the stacks of counters you can get with X-Wing. Even so, this isn't a game I feel myself wanting to get into. (Not to mention the expense.)

Dropzone Commander. This wasn't as far as I could see a demo game, just an example of what happens when you cover your terrain with miniatures.

Oshiro Model Terrain had this feudal Japanese demo game.

Great War naval battles.

Spirit of the Game put on Scurvy Scum, a huge-scale (40mm figures) pirate battle.

Napoleon: The Last Gamble. With strangely furry terrain.

Halo: Fleet Battles. Um, OK. I guess? I thought the point of Halo was ground fighting, but…

Didn't see many costumes this time, but this was impressive.

Another naval game; didn't get details.

Love the name. Rick Priestly's name on the cover probably means it's another Warhammer-derived system, though.

And there were even demos of Firefly. Not exactly a wargame, but…

As I left, I spotted the hall at the end being set up for a concert. Last seen at the Worldcon, filled with tents.

Tags: wargaming

  1. Posted by Ashley R Pollard at 06:01pm on 29 April 2015

    There was a bit of abuzz this year or at least it felt that way to me. The games were packed out with people watching to see how the rules worked. Trade stands were heaving too.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 09:33am on 30 April 2015

    Yup, and fewer middle-aged men with beards and beer guts (guilty) as a proportion of the gaming population. I don't know what these new wargamers are playing, but I'm glad they exist; getting people into the hobby at all has always felt like the hard bit.

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