Sunday 29 March 2009

Salute 2009

Went to Salute yesterday with Saul and am now considerably poorer (but happier!). A good show as ever at the ExCel, but it is a pain to get to. Two hours to London by car and then another two hours going through or around it (having tried north, south and through now I think the North Circular wins). We stayed at the Crowne Plaza at Docklands on the Friday night (using club card points) so Saul had a swim in the pool, I enjoyed the whirpool(!) and we only had a five minute walk to the venue on the Saturday.

For the first time in years I went with a purchase plan in mind and stuck to it (well, for the first hour!) picking up the new Black Scorpion fantasy pirates (for Strange Grogge), Empress Zulu War British (for service on Mars of course), Ironclad French (for more 28mm VSF goodness), Peter Pig AK47 (for Scudbusters - does no one do Gulf War 15mm SAS?) and 6mm SF armour and infantry off Brigade and GZG for Iron Cow.

By this stage Saul had wandered off so I perused the games and took lots of photos. One of the most eye-catching was Assault on Innsmouth with a gurt big (Bristolian term) Cthulhu advancing towards the seaside town which was being attached by US forces. The scenery was great with the buildings lit with ghostly green LEDs. The game was a rolling one with players joining throught the day, I didn't give it a go but got an answerphone message from Saul  saying he'd blown Cthulhu up with an anti-tank gun but unfortunately he'd come back to life! :-)

One I first saw at Warfare last year (but didn't have the camera) was a Russo-Japanese 1938/9 battle in 28mm on a massive table with excellent terrain, loads of beautifully painted miniatures, tanks, artillery, aircraft and a train. Got a bit carried away taking pics of this game so here's just one...

The Perry's had a wonderful looking Napoleonic game using tons of their new plastic 28mm French. Unfortunately I weakened and bought a box of each of the British and French off them. I'm not sure whether to go Peninsular or Waterloo. Peninsular is Sharpe and all that and the grubby campaign look is great, but to any Englishman Waterloo does stir the heart. Oh well, no rush as I need to find a set of rules I like.

On the subject of the Perry's they did unveil their new forthcoming plastic range with the 3 up masters in display. All the TMPers got it wrong and it is the Wars of the Roses which will please "She Who Must Be Obeyed" as she is a member of the Richard III Society (indeed we had to get married on 2nd October, Richard's birthday).

The most impressive looking game at the show (to my mind) was this wonderful 28mm Conquistador/Aztec game featuring a massive pyramid (complete with sacrifices ongoing) and an Aztec city with some fantastic detail including a huge skull rack.

The Conquistadors were advancing over this narrow causeway to the city. Overall quite stunning (and yes, there was a little part of me thinking umm... lizardmen!)

I also met up with a number of people throughout the day including Rob Alderman and Ross Bowrage to chew the fat over Panzerfäuste Legion - what's Panzerfäuste Legion I hear you ask? 

Basically it is a Panzerfäuste supplement for Battlefield Evolution that will be released under the Mongoose Open Gaming Licence. This should allow gamers with large Panzerfäuste collections to play larger games with more units and more armour. It was good to put faces to Rob and Ross who I'd only discussed stuff by email and get some ideas sorted (as well as more inspiration on the miniatures side). Hopefully this will be a jolt in the arm for Panzerfäuste...

Couple of other things caught my eye, including this WWII game purely for effective and eye-catching use of the plastic (Litko?) on fire markers. If you are wondering why the Shermans are all burning off camera there was two 88mm A/T guns, three 88mm armed JadgPanthers and a large number of Panthers all lined up behind hedges...
There were a number of WWI air wargames at the show, most in 1/72nd compete with bombers, however I was taken with this nicely produced mat for this game of Wings of War.

Games wise Saul wanted to try out Monsterpocalypse but there was no one around when he was so he tried AT-43 instead, the Karman miniatures having caught his eye (imagine Gorrillas in power armour, some with back mounted rail guns - cool eh?). Having tried it out he press ganged me into a scenario based game with him and another player. Saul had the alien Therians (including some things with electro-whips that are kick ass tough), the other player had a U.N.A. force and I had two Red Blok units. 

Not having played the game it was quite fun (to the extent I started yelling 'medic' to save wounds before my opponents had rolled their dice!). The scenario was quite good with the opfors having to reach a old tech container, which when the U.N.A, player did released a huge golem that attacked my Red Blok troops. However due to superior Communist tactics the cunning Red Blok commander managed to fulfil his mission parameters first (ie. see enemy units down to at least half strength) whilst the Therians just fulfilled theirs soon after (get two models off the board) and the U.N.A. were wiped out with one man left standing. Good game...

Of course this naturally resulted in an unplanned trip to the vendors and the purchase of the Operation Damocles Initiation Set and two boxes of Karmans (goriilas in power armour, who can resist them!). Luckilly there was a 3 for 2 offer on and the Initiation set was down to £25 so the damage to Saul's wallet and mine wasn't too bad, though "SWMBO" was less impressed when I got home - despite having bought her favourite dish at the Chinese on the way home to butter her up! (And for the record the Chinese takeaway almost cost as much as the starter set, there's no winning...)

All in all a good day, Saul and I both enjoyed ourselves (he slept most of the way home holding onto his new purchase!) and we now have another new game to play...


  1. Great pictures, thanks for sharing. Had a great time myself and have just posted my own pictures on my Blog
    Feel free to pop over and have a look.

  2. Sounds like a blast - I attended SALUTE 01 and 02 when I lived in Portsmouth and really enjoyed it. Its a little farther to go these days :-)

    And congrats on your AT-43 purchase. You wont look back.

    PS That Wings of War matt is just screaming for some Aeronef action!!!

  3. Hey Steve
    I can FINALLY post!

    Was excellent meeting and chatting about PZF. Colour me inspired. As you know, I have been writing until the early hours of the morning for PZF:L so I really hope it is good.
    Discussing future plans was also useful to know exactly what you want to do. Any more news on the Highland Orcs? What about those long waited Light Elves that people are pestering me for? Dark Elf re-release...

    Cheers again mate,

  4. I think it is great that you and your kid can enjoy the hobby together. My oldest daughter is very interested and already does some RPGs with me. We are working on a set of beginners miniatures rules together right now.