This Saturday it was off to Salute 2019 at the Excel centre in Docklands.
Salute is one of the cornerstone shows in the UK wargames calendar, and it’s easy to see why.
Firstly, the Excel centre is a great venue: easy access by car, parking right underneath (even if it is £20 for the day), huge amounts of space, and plentiful food and drink outlets. My only complaint would be that sometimes I find the lighting in the hall a bit dim, but that might just be my fading eyesight!
The queue to get in used to be an extreme annoyance - one could wait an hour - but for the last few years its been so under control that, for example, this year I arrived at Excel at 9.50, had a baguette and coffee for breakfast, and then walked straight in to the show without queuing at all. Amazing! The only question is why couldn’t they have organised it like this before!
The show itself was full of traders and demo games. There are loads of blogs carrying loads of reports on the show, so suffice to say that it took me all morning and some of the afternoon to get round everything.
The Lardies were running a stunning game of Chain of Command set in Malaya in 1942, a period near and dear to my heart (Fall of the Liongate and all that). I didn’t play, but enjoyed watching the action.
Also Larding away was Mike Whitaker with his Bloody Omaha game. Now I played this game a few years ago at one of the Evesham games days…and its a cracker. Mike had 486 figures on 144 bases on an 8x6 table on display and managed two complete play-throughs of the scenario. And people say my games are big!
Click on the picture below to see all the photos:
As per usual, I did spend a bit too much money, but it was all on absolute bargains, honest! I bought a bag of fifty brushes for £20, which should keep even an established ‘brushbane’ like me going for a bit; and then I also bought one of the “all you can see for £100” mdf sci-fi industrial set-ups from Troll Trader that I just cannot wait to get built and painted up.
The show was nicely crowded all through the day, except perhaps at lunchtime. I hear a lot of people saying that their mates didn’t go because they couldn’t be bothered, or it wasn’t their thing any more or something rubbish like that. All I can say is that they are wrong: Salute is still a cornerstone show and a must-visit for any wargamer in reach in the UK.
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.