Date: Saturday 20th April 2013, Location: London's Excel Centre, Event: SALUTE!!!
It was a glorious day, the sun beemed down from an clear azure blue sky, bathing all in its long forgotten warmth. The Thames surprising glistened like the Mediteranean whilst small craft drifted past.
Without any doubt this was the best day this year. Across the carpark numerous people could be seen, moving in line towards the imposing structure that is Excel. Bedecked in the obligitory black faded t-shirt and jeans, they shuffled into the building and away from the blinding light!
As per last year, I got to the venue bought about half 8 and with my pre-paid ticket in hand found the relevant queue. I was suiably surprised to find I was even closer to the front than last year and turning up earlier is a bonus as the queue went crazy just after 9am! (and even better, no hassles with the parking machines this year...crowbar not needed!) as expected the regular 501st Salute Stormtrooper and Vader were on display to keep the crowds in order as well.
Salute this year was themed towards the Greek Myth of Jason and the Argonauts, and this was highlighted in this years free figure, which was a multi-part plastic Jason figure.
The doors opened and the hordes descended. I actually got in about 09:50 so not bad at all. As usual Salute seems to be bigger than ever this year. The show guide listed 159 traders and 85 groups running games, I apologise if I didn’t see, participate in or buy from all of you but I just didn’t have time. I’d also like to say a great big thank you to all of you that I spoke to. I’d also like to thank the traders who were willing to take the time to talk to me and share some insight into what is coming soon, especially the guys at Pulp City and GCT Studios who produce the fantastic Fantasy Oriental Skirmish Game - Bushido.
The games again this year were of such a high quality and a few that blew me away were the Warlords 30 odd feet of table running Hammer Slammers and the awesome Battle of Waterloo game. Plus Frothers had put on a cracking looking Planet of the Apes game, and the board even had a rusty old subway train!
One of my favourite games 7TV by Crooked Dice did not put on a huge game this year but instead hosted a number of smaller games encompassing all their variants 7TV, 7ombie TV and the new 7th Voyage.
This year did not see me put anything on the bring and buy but I had enough of a budget due to some lucky sales of unwated stuff over the tinternet. Details of my purchases can be found in the Salute Part 2 Loot post.
I did check a variety of games out, first being Tenchu Assassins run by Wargames Soldiers and Strategy Magazine, where I won a Golden Ninja for being the best Ninja and completing my mission. As mentioned, Crooked Dice’s various games were next and I had a cracking game of the new 7th Voyage using King Aeetes and his Children of the Hydra skeletons against Jaso and the Argonauts (against mythology Aeetes won ;-) )
|Manta Prowl Tank|
A number of forthcoming releases caught my eye. Sarissa Precision had some cracking Oriental Buildings and Mongoose Publishing had one of their new resin Manta Prowl Tanks on display, that thig was weight and huge!
GCT Studios also had some really nice masters of forthcoming models and a lovely artwork folder with concepts for not only forthcoming models but a number of new factions.
One thing I did noticed this year was that the layout in the hall seemed easier to get round and games and traders were more accessible (except the bring and buy, which was a constant scrum of elbows and hightened aromas)
Also their seemed to be alot more families/partners/women/kids who were all getting involved and a distict lack of Games Workshop orientated games/traders. I for one this Games Workshop have had their day and are more derogatory for the hobby, but thats a rant/discussion for another time.
Overall a fantastic day out and great to meet up with other bloggers, see old friends again and talk, discuss all the things that make me excited and happy with like minded persons.
Enjoy the pics!!!
Tenchu Assassins Game
7TV Fiddlers Green
7TV Cops and Robots
7TV The Crab from the Deep
Gripping Beasts massive Viking Building
Napoleon at Waterloo
Victorian Fantasy Mars Steampunkishness
Seige of New Victoria - Red Planet Miniatures
On Her Majesties Name - Ospreys Victorian Steampunk
Dungeon and Dragons
Frothers Smits game - Bizarre
Hammer Slammers City
Salutes Fantastic Argonauts Game
1938 A Very British Civil war
Chelmsford Bunker - Warmachine
Antenociti - G.O.T Sci Fi Skirmish
Oshiro Terrain - Assault on Aki Kamei-Jo
Seige of Troy
Wayland Games - Relics Demo game (I love this)
Montgolfier Cops and Robbers