I thought it was a rather good Salute this year: certainly better than the last few.
Why was it so good? Well, here's a few fairly random thoughts:
No queue at all
By the time I arrived, 10.45 am, the queue had completely died down, and after a coffee and a sandwich I was able to walk straight in.
I understand from some people that the pre-opening-queue hall was just about full as the doors actually opened, meaning their current way of doing things is now strained to the limit, but for this year, as last, it worked. Well done the organisers: makes a big difference!
Sharp Practice demo game in full swing
I thought that this year's show was the busiest I had been at for years. This gave the show, even in the afternoon, a real buzz...and because the show is in such a large venue, even with the busy-ness, there was plenty of room to move around.
Usually I come away from Salute thinking that I've been trapped in a dungeon for a few hours. I don't know what they've done differently, or whether it's just me, but this year I thought that it was considerably lighter than last year.
Traders & Bargains
Now there are always lots of traders at Salute, which is good, but nothing particularly exciting. I keep myself fairly well abreast of what's available, so rarely do I get the pleasant surprise of a new discovery.
Not so this year: not only did GZG have some fantastic hover disks for the Xar (see previous post on the need for vehicles for the little Critters!) but an outfit called Troll Trader had loads of the more obscure Battlefront box sets (i.e. the sort of thing that is usually priced highly because people only ever buy one) for dirt cheap prices. I picked up the Amtrack box set at seven vehicles for £40; more US landing craft at £5 each; and ten Japanese tanks at £2.40 each.
Lead mountain now fully replenished!
Again it may just be me, but I thought here were a ton more demo games than usual. Combined with the traders, this meant that it took me until well into the afternoon to think that I had actually at least glanced at everything there was to see.
I left at about 3pm, but felt that I could have stayed longer. It was the wallet that made me leave: it's piteous cries of "no more, no more"...
And finally, what made the show really buzz for me was the huge number of Lardies that it was good to chat with. I won't name check everybody, but nice to see Ralph and Matt, Kev, Sid, Big Rich, Panda and all the other Lard Island regulars.
Roll on next year!
Vis Lardica is a website devoted to wargaming and military history, with a special emphasis on the company-sized rulesets produced by the TooFatLardies: I Ain't Been Shot Mum (WW2); Charlie Don't Surf (Vietnam); and Quadrant 13 (science fiction)
Welcome to Vis Lardica, a not-for-profit website mostly dedicated to the company-sized wargaming rules produced by the TooFatLardies, but encompassing my other gaming interests as well.