Another change for the better though was no queuing! I had bought a ticket but on arriving I managed to snag a trader/press wristband so after collecting my goodie bag for the free mini at 8 o'clock I just waltzed straight on in. Awesome a whole two extra hours to buy and pick up all my goodies on the shopping list and catch up with friends on trader stands and games tables.
This year Salute was also hosting the theme of WW1 and the standout for me was the replica WW1 British Tank. A cracking addition to the show and great to see. Also back as usual were the Stormtroopers from 501st. These guys are great (I love Stormtroopers) and seeing them all round the massive Star Wars Legion table at 4Ground was brilliant.
On the downside though, the lighting. This year it was abysmal. Also I personally thought the number of club games was found lacking but more companies were putting on their own demo games. That's not to say that the effort that went into some of the games was lacking. There were some amazing tables with miniatures and terrain that some of us gamers can only look on in awe and dream of emulating.
With all this extra time I would have, seeing as I had completed my purchases, I would be able to enjoy a multitude of games - this never seems to happen though. Time just seems to vanish at Salute. I managed maybe half dozen games, the best being What a Tanker participation game run by TooFatLardies. Great moment of one shot one kill with my Panther Tank on a Churchill. Also the RAF Wargames Association ran a great Tank Game using Lego type tanks battling over a toy strune playmat.
The annual Bloggers meet took place at 12:30 this year and again it's great to meet everyone, especially stalwarts like Ray, Big Lee, Postie and Tamsin. A big bonus was a nice meeting with Bob Cordery who has written a book on the Spanish Civil War. This is a period I'm interested in and Bob was incredibly kind in offering a copy of his book. Now these were 1st print runs with a few page issues but never the less a nice gesture.
A few extra games and the occasional shiny purchase rounded out the afternoon before 5 o'clock came too quickly.
Apart from the bad lighting, incredible hard floor which doesn't usually bother me but this year left me aching and a few minor issues about people with massive backpacks it's nice to see Salute growing every year. It's the biggest show in the UK and as another blogger has stated seems more like an Expo than a Wargames show like some of the smaller shows, more women and children seem to attend as well and that can only be a good thing for our hobby in my opinion.
I for one am looking forward to next year.