Monday, 23 April 2012


Well, with the camera fully charged and the Tesco bags for life packed with the wargaming chaff I have built up over the years ready to be flung on the Bring and Buy I left for Salute, excited as a kid at christmas as always.  i arrived at Excel at 8.25am, and the day was nearly ruined by the useless parking machines.  Paid £15 to park all day and only got a ticket for £5 hour's worth of parking! I had purchased a pre-paid ticket again this yea and just hoped we didn't have the same farce that happened last year, with the paying queue gettting in before the pre-paids.  The pre-paid queue was already snaking its way along the mezzanine of ExCel and I think I got there at the right time as half an hour later and the queue went crazy.  We also finally got in to the hall at 9.40am bonus!!

The ExCel as a venue is really just a big metal box but it does give you loads of space. Once through the door it was remarkably spacious, (but this might have been due to a few notable companies not being present this year, Wargames Foundry for example) Although with over 100 odd traders and numerous games, easy access was available.

Battle of Corunna 1809
Battle of Corunna 1809
The games were of a consistently high quality and it is probably a bit unjust to select some over others but the ones that especially caught my eye were an amazing land and sea Battle of Corunna 1809 and the Crooked Dice, On Her MajestiesCrooked Service game.

Spending wise I had a set budget and this would be bolstered by any of the books and miniatures I had on the Bring and Buy. I can say that I did not waver and stuck to my pre-determined shopping list. A full run down on my Salute 2012 haul, posted up next.

Gurus Control Room
Cable Car and Mountaineers
On He Majesties Crooked Service
I did check a variety of games out, first being as mentioned, Crooked Dice’s On Her Majesties Crooked Service. Set on a wonderful created snow covered mountain retreat, very reminiscent of the James Bond influence, this was a six player participation game and I took control of a squad of Villainous snow troopers with attack dogs and was matched against the heroic machine gun toting Olympians. The poor bloke running the Olympians hardly had a chance as I took out his whole group with well aimed shots and a couple of Huskiset missiles (Husky attack dogs).
The Dark Age skirmish game Saga that Gripping Beast are publishing in the UK got a look in next with various purchases made and a quick demo using the new limited edition Skraelings that I picked up.

A number of forthcoming releases caught my eye. The Warlord Pike and Shotte rules looked great but after hocking all my English Civil War years ago I resisted the urge just to pick the rules up. Warbases and Sarissa had some new wonderful laser cut buildings, but again as much as I was tempted these will have to wait for the Christmas list. 

Scarlet Thunder
One of the main games I wanted to try out was the South Londons Warlords Scarlet Thunder game. This was a 28mm adaptation of the old Rolling -Thunder boardgame and was set in the Captain Scarlet Universe, with the concept of various Spectrum Agents protecting Col White in his MSV. As a huge Capt Scarlet fan I was looking forward to this, unfortunately my enthusiasm was dented by having to wait nearly half an hour for various members of the Warlords to decide if they were actually going to help run the game. The game ran really slowly and the guy running it more or less told us - the players where to move our vehicles – not much free reign for us, we basically just rolled a dice. The rules and stats they had worked out seemed very one sided as well. The MSV was the toughest vehicle on the board and you needed 3 hits to take it out. Well I only played 4 turns and the MSV had not been hit once and was ¾ of the way towards being safe!! Disappointed in that game but maybe others had a better experience with it.

Cutlass by Black Scorpion
Freebooters Fate
Pirates seemed to be in good attendance with two very nice boards for Cutlass and Freebooters Fate.

Fiddlers Green
Mists from Mars
A few more games of the Crooked Dice 7TV short Episode demos were in order as I really love the concept of this game. Fiddlers Green was set in a quaint English Village where the two heroic agents had to make a phone call from the phone box near the shops, for extraction. Mists from Mars pitted Time Lift Security and the Man from 2000 against scary zombie Astronauts and the Canning Town Caper had the Boys in Blue trying to arrest the Duchess and her cronies in the East End docks.

Canning Town Caper

The only thing I didn’t manage was a demo of the cracking Empire of the Dead game published by Westwind Productions. Andy and Wendy who run Westwind are a lovely couple and I have been involved with their Secrets of the Third Reich game for a few years and ran demos of MERCS for them at Newbury. Empire of the Dead was pretty much packed out every time I went over, but if that means it sold well and I missed a demo, never mind.

Empire of the Dead
Overall Salute 2012 40th anniversary show was excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed the day, bought some great new toys, sold old unwanted stuff and played some great games. The following pictures below of some of the tables that caught my eye throughout the day.

Carnivale by Vesper-On Games
Infinity Table with Sarissa Terrain

Fantastic japanese samurai table by Oshiro
Bushido by GCT Studios

1 comment: