Sunday, 29 March 2009

Salute 2009 – A short report

In spite of having a very heavy cold I managed to make it to Salute 2009 to help run the Wargame Developments game SOLFERINO IN THIRTY MINUTES. I was kept very busy helping to run the numerous games the members of WD put on during the day; however, I did manage to walk around the show and take a few pictures of the games that really took my eye.

The Battle of Wagram (Newark Irregulars)

This 6mm re-fight of one of the largest battles of the Napoleonic Wars looked spectacular. I was particularly impressed with the terrain, which combined simplicity with effectiveness, and the figures. There is nothing to beat 6mm figures en masse to give the impression of the sheer numbers of men who fought in these huge battles.

It was also nice to meet Steve of Newark Irregulars (seen below in the green T-shirt), who follows this blog and who went out of his way to come over to the Wargame Developments table to introduce himself.

The Battle of Jarama (Nick Eyre)

The Spanish Civil War is one of my ‘pet’ periods, and any game that recreates battles from that conflict always catches my eye. This was no exception. Yet again, the terrain was simple but effective, and the 28mm figures looked superb. Unfortunately I did not have enough time to stop and talk to Nick, who was in deep discussion with an onlooker when I made my visit.

The Battle of Novara (Continental Wars Society)

As any regular visitor to my blog would have gathered, games that use a gridded playing surface always get my attention, and this game certainly managed that!

The playing surface appeared to be some sort of printed patchwork (probably curtain or blind material) and the figures were 40mm ‘toy’ soldiers.

The whole thing looked like it had been brought by time machine from the late nineteenth century. I loved the ‘look’ of the whole thing … and furthermore, the people playing the game seemed to be having FUN! This was something that was missing on one or two other games that I passed on my walk round the hall.

The Great War in Italy - The Battle of the Piave (Scarab Miniatures)

As I use Kallistra Hexon II terrain in many of my games, the sight of its use here drew me over to look.

Unfortunately I was not able to track down which group was running the game, but the new 28mm trenches that Kallistra are now making looked very impressive, as did the figures.

Other highlights

Steve the Wargamer – another blog follower – introduced himself towards the end of the day and we managed to have a nice chat before we went out separate ways. I also saw and talked to a lot of old wargaming friends, particularly the members of the South East Essex Military Society who were running their World War I air combat game and to Duncan Macfarlane. Now that Duncan has given up editing wargames magazines after doing it for over 25 years, he told me that he would be taking a sabbatical for a year before beginning work on expanding his range of figures. I wish him well, and hope that his next venture is as successful and long lasting as his magazines have been.

General impressions

  • There was a lot more space than in previous years, which made it feel less claustrophobic in the hall;
  • I find the lighting in the venue – along with the ventilation – very oppressive, and the flooring is very tiring on the feet if you have to stand for too long;
  • The guide – which was produced by Wargames Soldiers & Strategy – was excellent;
  • There were a lot of traders who seemed to be doing a reasonable trade BUT there were one or two ‘regulars’ – Irregular Miniatures – who seemed to be ‘missing’. With so many wargames manufactures and suppliers based in the Midlands and Northern England it is perhaps not surprising that they may have preferred to go to Triples rather than to make the journey to London.


  1. Hi Bob

    Good to meet you and I'm glad you liked Wagram.

    The WW1 in Italy game was the Battle of the Piave and was put on by Rob Broom of Scarab Miniatures (formerly of Warhammer Historical)

    Hope the cold is improving.

    Best wishes


  2. Steve,

    Wagram was very impressive - as the photographs that accompany my blog entry illustrate - and unlike some nearby 'games' (no names; no pack-drill), something was happening on the tabletop all day.

    Many thanks for the information about the WWI Italian Campaign game; I will update my blog entry accordingly.

    As to the cold … well I still have it and it shows little sign of getting better. However, it is not slopping me from blogging, and I intend to do some more later today.

    All the best,


  3. Bob,
    Thanks for the really interesting report, I'm a bit isolated over here in the states and it's always great to see new gaming ideas from across the pond.


  4. Littlejohn,

    I am glad that you enjoyed reading my report.

    I suspect that Salute is rather different from similar events in the US. There tend to be far fewer participation games at UK events, and the 'demonstration' games often seem to be nothing more than an excuse for wargamers to show off their 'toys'. There were some very notable exceptions to this at Salute – Wagram, for example – but I saw two other games near the one put on by Wargame Developments where very little (or in one case absolutely nothing) seemed to happen all day.



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