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Sunday, 15 April 2018

Salute 2018: A selective photo-report

Rather than try to cover everything in this photo-report, I decided to try to give people who were unable to visit ExCel yesterday a flavour of what the show was like and the wargames that I thought were interesting.

Getting there

I am very lucky in that I live near the top of Shooters Hill in south east London. In fact, I can actually see ExCel from the driveway of my house, and getting there by public transport is relatively quick and easy. A short 'bus ride took me to Woolwich Arsenal Station, where I could catch one of the regular Docklands Light Railway (DLR) trains to Canning Town, where I could change onto the line that goes to Customs House, the nearest DLR station to Excel. Yesterday the whole journey door-to-door took just under an hour.

Getting in

I walked along the concourse from the station towards ...


... the entrance into ExCel.


Once inside I walked past the numerous exhibition halls and fast-food outlets until I reached N9, the entrance to SALUTE.


I showed my ticket at the door, and then joined the queue to get in.



At 10.00am the waiting crowd was allowed into ...



... the exhibition hall.



The games that I thought were particularly interesting

Battles for Lake Tanganyika (Peterborough Wargames Society)
This was three wargames on one table. In the first a British force was raiding a German outpost ...


... whilst in the second the two British motor gunboats Mimi and Toutou were trying to sink or capture the German gunboat Kingane.


The third game saw the African Queen trying to negotiate her way along the Ulanga River in order to reach the open lake so that she could sink the German gunboat K├Ânigin Luise.


The Biscotti War (League of Gentlemen Anti-Alchemists)


Twisting the Dragon's Tail (Maidstone Wargames Society)
The first of the two wargames about the Zeebrugge Raid.





Ipsus - A Macedonian game of thrones (Newbury & Reading Wargames Society)


Battle of Kawanakajima 1561 (Loughton Strike Force)


Sink the Hornet (Warlord Games)


Battle of the Bulge (Warlord Games)


Operation Taifun - The Battle for Leros 1943 (A Few Brits and the Hobby)



The Battle of Tewksbury 1471 (Oxford Wargames Society)


Battle of Freeman's Farm (Essex Warriors)


1918 Zero Hour - The Big Push (Scarab Pals)



Blood & Bridges (Berks and Bucks Occasionals)


The Fight at Altenhof (Continental Wars Society)









In God's Name (South London Warlords)



Battle of Soggy Bottom 1643 (Simon Miller & Friends)


War in America - AWI (Bill Gaskin & Friends)


Battle of Aspern-Essling 1809 (The Old Guard)


The Zeebrugge Raid 1918 (The Naval Wagames Society)
The second wargame about the Zeebrugge Raid covered the entire operation, and used some detailed models of the ships and the harbour.










Seagull Day: The First Battle of Britain 1938 (Gentlemens Wargames Parlour)



Glory! From the Halls of Montezuma (Ian Smith & Friends)




Baggenstaket 1719 (Dalauppror)



1914 (Great Escape Games)


Mortem & Glorium (Ancient and Modern/Donnington Miniatures)


Invasion of Copenhagen (Chelmsford Bunker)



Mission Command (Abbey Wood Irregulars/SSG Wargames)


Battle of Paraitacene (Society of Ancients)
Professor Phil Sabin and the other stalwarts of the SOA staged yet another of their large demonstration games.




Battle of Varna 1444 (Wyvern Wargames Club)



Other displays that I thought were particularly interesting

Andy Callan and Peter Dennis's Paper Soldiers
I've know Andy Callan since 1980, and have met Peter Dennis before. I wanted to see what their paper soldiers looked like in the flesh ... and mighty impressed I was!





The First World War tank

Since yesterday I have discovered that this 'replica' (it isn't full size but look impressive nonetheless) is made of wood and is capable of powered movement.


48 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Lee Hadley,

      Cheers! I am pleased that you enjoyed looking at it.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. So many beautiful games! Thanks for sharing your Salute experience.

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    Replies
    1. Jonathan Freitag,

      There was an impressive number of quality wargames at SALUTE ... and not a single game that wasn't being played! (In the past there have been some games that looked impressive, but where nothing happened all day.)

      All the best,

      Bob

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  3. Thank you Bob. I really miss these shows.

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    Replies
    1. Stephen Briddon,

      I'm glad that you enjoyed reading this show report ... and sorry that you cannot easily get over to a UK show.every so often.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  4. Excellent photos Bob. I'm always amazed at the number of games that I manage to miss each year! Nice to see you yesterday.

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    Replies
    1. Alastair,

      Thanks for the compliment regarding my photo-report. I think that I have covered about half the games at SALUTE as I concentrated on the 'historical' ones rather than the others.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  5. Replies
    1. Conrad Kinch,

      It was my pleasure.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  6. Thanks for including "The Biscotti War" - few of the other photo reports have covered it - for its size, I thought it was some of the best terrain in the entire show. The Grand Manner Busaco Convent is a mightily impressive centrepiece!

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    1. Jeremy Ramsey,

      I've known some if the members of the group who put on this game since the late 1970s, and they always come up with something that is a bit different. There's is also one of the few displays that doesn't suffer from clutter/litter on the actual playing surface.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  7. Thanks for sharing, another good write up and pics. How did I miss that second, smaller scale Zeebruge raid table. So much to see, so little time...

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    Replies
    1. Ruglud,

      I am pleased that you enjoyed reading my photo-report. Having read other blogger's SALUTE reports, it would appear that I missed a few things myself.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  8. Thanks for the photos Bob- some nice ones there. I'd be interested in seeing the Zeebrugge games in person. Salute is sadly too far and too expensive for me to visit for the forseable future so photo reports like this allow me to visit vicariously.

    Not sure on the tank though- the foreshortened proportions just look plain wrong to me.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pete.,

      I am very lucky in that being retired and living in London, all I had to pay to go to SALUTE was the ticket price to go in. For those coming from outside the M25, the cost of getting there by car (including petrol and parking) or public transport can take a big bite out of any wargamer's budget.

      I particularly wanted to see the two Zeebrugge games in action. The one that used the very impressive model of HMS Vindictive concerned itself with the fighting on the Mole, whereas the other was a recreation of the actual naval action, including the use of off-shore monitors.

      The tank looked more convincing in reality than it does in the photographs, and from what I can gather, it has been used for TV and film productions.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  9. Its good to see such a variety of game styles being displayed. Thanks for the report.

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    Replies
    1. Ross Mac,

      There were a lot of games that I did not manage to photograph, many of them featuring quite small playing areas. The general standard of games seemed higher this year than it has been in the past, and the range was wider.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  10. Bob,
    Thanks for posting about SALUTE. I'm amazed that all the games tables are up to a high standard of complete terrain- well done to the owners of the games played and displayed- great variety which is also good to see. Cheers. KEV.

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    Replies
    1. Kev Robertson,

      Cheers! I am glad that you enjoyed my photo-report.

      The participants take great pains to ensure that their games look good, and some spend a whole year preparing to put on a game at SALUTE.

      What interested me was the growing number of games that featured grids. This seems to be a trend that is gaining some momentum, perhaps because wargamers are beginning to see the advantages. That was certainly something that was said to me twice at the show.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. Bob,
      Yes- Grids seem to be growing in popularity - perhaps it is the convenience of setting up a modular styled terrain which is the draw card.
      I like the 'Battle of Varna 1444' - the geo-hex type terrain is certainly very interesting with the snow covered mountain sections looking just great...I could use something like this for my 15mm Dwarfs. Best Wishes. KEV.

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    3. Kev Robertson,

      The main reason for moving to grids that I was told was the increased tempo of the games as players no longer spent time agonising over measuring move and combat distances to the nearest millimetre.

      The terrain used in the Varna 1444 game was Hexon II, and the mountains are standard components that had been slightly modified.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  11. Thanks for sharing your photos. Looks like a great event (despite blokes with big backpacks).

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    Replies
    1. Maudlin Jack Tar,

      I am very pleased that you enjoyed reading my photo-report. As to backpacks ... well that is something that I am just going to have to live with!

      All the best,

      Bob

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  12. Interesting report Bob, the standard of the games was obviously very high. I always enjoy seeing something a bit different and innovative and Peter Dennis' 'Paperboys' are certainly that. I am very tempted to buy one of his books but might wait for the WSS book to come out as the quality of the artwork is simply stunning. Glad you had a nice day.

    PS: My daughter is on hols in Morocco this week, but has the Travel Battle sets at home and will contact you next week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'Lee,

      I am very glad that you enjoyed reading my photo-report. I understand that the WSS book will be out in the near future, and that the plan is to move over to just producing books of figures rather than books with figures and rules.

      The buildings and trees were interesting as they were also all printed paper/card. The trees are actually very impressive when seen close up as they seem to have depth due to the way that Peter Dennis has designed them. They are made from three pieces, and when seen from above they look 'Y'-shaped. This makes them stable as well as creating the illusion of depth.

      All the best,

      Bob

      PS. I will be around most days next week, and I am looking forward to receiving your very kind gift of the Travel Battle sets.

      Delete
  13. Bob,
    There were no rules in the recent Trafalgar book, but Helion put a set by Andy Callan for free download on their website.
    Personally, I think the combination of figures and rules in one book was good, as it was a complete package, and also because some wargamers might buy the book for Andy's rules alone, even if they had no intention of using the paper soldiers other than as a painting guide for lead or plastic armies.
    As for Salute, I enjoyed looking at your photos and reading your - and others' - reports, but feel no desire to go again. Very little, other than the gridded games, has much in common with what I'm doing these days.
    I do have some other thoughts about Salute, but will have to type them up later.
    Regards,
    Arthur

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    Replies
    1. Arthur Harman (Arthur),

      I was impressed by the Trafalgar ships, and it makes sense to have the rules available online, although I agree that including them in the book makes it a compete package.

      I go to SALUTE to meet people, chat, and to gauge what the trends are. I rarely buy anything these days, and as so many traders that I am likely to buy from seem to be offering good deals online, I don't think that is going to change in the foreseeable future.

      I did have an interesting chat with Ian Dury of the Continental Wars Society. He is a great fan of the PW, and has been extolling its virtues to likely converts.

      I look forward to reading your more detailed comments about SALUTE.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. Bob,
      Your report - and the others I've read on TMP - presents attractive photographs of many games which display a very high standard of modelling/painting and must have taken many man-hours to create. I suspect that these displays don't portray the typical weekly games at the clubs presenting them, but have been created specifically for Salute and the wargame show circuit. Many of those games also occupy far more space than would be used for an ordinary club game, and could not fit into most modern houses or flats. I feel that these wargames have been undertaken as club projects in the same spirit that amateur drama groups (of which I have had some experience) devote their energies to rehearsing and staging their regular productions.
      Nothing wrong with that, but I think we should recognise that the wargame show display game is really a separate species/genre that bears as much relation to ordinary hobby wargames as an amateur dramatic production bears to an after dinner game of charades, or as an haute couture fashion show does to what is worn by ordinary people.
      Wargaming is not a spectator sport: very few people are likely to stand watching a game long enough to see any significant developments on the battlefield. When I was involved in Channel Four's Game Of War it took several hours of playing/filming to generate the events that were then edited to create a fifty minute programme that an audience would actually be likely to watch. So the display wargame is going to be judged primarily on its visual appearance; military modelling trumps the rules as an indicator of quality. These displays are more dioramas than practical games; very few people are going to watch them, observe how the game is played or talk to the presenters about what rules they are using - instead, they'll look at the display, take a few photographs if it appeals to them and move on. So those display games should really be regarded as dioramas and judged on that basis.
      I have every respect for the craft, skill and effort put into these displays, but - since I neither want nor have the ability to produce troops and terrain of that style/standard - I'm not interested in travelling across London and paying to gawp at them. (And if I did want to see them, bloggers like yourself have saved me the trouble!)
      I did enjoy attending Salute when I was helping Bill Leeson run participation games of kriegsspiel or assisting with the Chestnut Lodge participation game. I was busy umpiring or explaining the games to people; saw several games reach their conclusions (each game was designed to last only an hour), and had a break to visit a few trade stands and talk to some friends.
      I have no desire to attend simply as a customer, it's rather dull wandering along, just observing all those displays and expensive new products, most of which are completely irrelevant to my own wargaming.
      Frankly, I enjoy teaching my Saturday pupils more!
      Best wishes,
      Arthur

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    3. Arthur Harman (Arthur),

      I suspect that most of your comments regarding the games put on at SALUTE are true, and your comparison with amateur dramatic productions is particularly apposite. There were some smaller scale games on show, but as they were mainly fantasy or sci-fi, they were not featured in my photo-report.

      Perhaps one answer would be for me to take along a couple of PW games to SALUTE 2019 to show attendees what it is possible to achieve with limited resources and space. Mind you, if I did I might not be invited back again!

      In reply to your comment about wargaming not being a spectator sport, I suspect that in the main that is very true, and your experience with regard to the making of GAME OF WAR gives you a much greater insight to that than I have. However, I do know that people will stand and watch a fast-moving Matrix Game with lots of player interaction, and comments from Chris Engle that I have read about the games he has run bears this out. The same is not - however - true of the slow-moving diorama games that groups tend to put on for shows.

      As I have stated elsewhere, I went to SALUTE mainly to meet and talk to people, and to see what the current trends are. In the past I have also enjoyed putting on demonstration games, but what put me off continuing to do so at SALUTE was the negative attitude of some of the organisers (re. your comment about the games not being like the ones put on at club nights, one of the organisers criticised the last game WD put on at SALUTE for being exactly like a club night game!) and the sheer effort involved in getting the game to and from ExCel. (I seemed to spend hours sitting and waiting to unload my car, then having to find somewhere to park it, and doing the reverse when the show was over.)

      May you long continue to enjoy your Saturday teaching.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    4. Bob,
      Your comment about "fast moving" games "with lots of player interaction" attracting an audience hits the nail on the head. Such games are woth watching, and also practicable to watch - provided they don't last too long, leaving people time to visit other games/tradestands &c. Bill's one hour kriegsspiels and the CLWG participation games were examples; sadly, the Excel venue doesn't suit map games in the way the annexe at Kensington did...
      That the comment about a WD presentation being "like a club night game" was a criticism, not a compliment, encapsulates my point: that wargame shows have become too concerned to have spectacular diorama displays, rather than examples of the sorts of games most people play in reality, and that the visual appearance is given more significance than the realism and/or playability of the rules/game system.
      Portable Wargames should be ideal participation games: small area; easy to learn/play in short time, and practicable to play at home. The painting/modelling can be as simple or elaborate as the players wish. John T commented favourably on one in the current MW, but -alas! - didn't publish a picture of it.
      Best wishes,
      Arthur

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    5. Arthur Harman (Arthur),

      I think that we are very much in agreement about what a good participation/demonstration game should be like, and this is exactly the sort of game that Tim Gow, John Armatys, Jerry Elsmore etc., from the Sheffield 'branch' of WD do at shows. Their games are always well received and regularly win awards ... outside London.

      SALUTE has always been rather too biased towards the big, showy games (this was true back in the days when it was at Kensington Town Hall) and I think that because it regards itself as an international showcase for wargaming, that attitude is never going to change. I think that is not a very sensible point of view, and I feel sure that you see things in a similar way.

      I missed the John Treadaway's reference to PW in the latest issue of MW; I will go and look for it forthwith!

      All the best,

      Bob

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  14. Excellent photos. Some really nice ship models this year, I thought.

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    1. Legatus Hedlius,

      Thanks for your kind comment.

      It was great to see more than one or two naval wargames at the show, and the quality of the models was very high indeed.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  15. Thank you for the vicarious visit! How did you find the lighting? Others mentioned that it was less than optimal.

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    1. William Stewart,

      I'm glad that you enjoyed reading my photo-report.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  16. Oops, I missed your previous post where you comment on the lighting, etc.

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    1. William Stewart,

      The flooring was also unpleasant to walk or stand on for any length of time, and I came away with back pain as well as sore and swollen feet.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  17. As always, it was great to see you - love the pictures and many thanks for your kind words about our Continental Wars Society game

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    1. Ian Dury,

      It was great to see you again as well.

      Credit where credit is due. I always find the CWS stand to be one of the better ones as it is very informative and welcoming, with someone always on hand to talk to anyone who shows an interest.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  18. So many beautiful tables...and photos, thanks for sharing, Salute is far from here!

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    1. Phil,

      I am pleased that you enjoyed reading my photo-report about SALUTE.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  19. I was impressed by the larger scale Zeebrugge game when I saw it at Cavalier. Did you hear the explanation as to how the ship model was constructed? Something to consider when next making a Bolognese.

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    1. Nigel Drury,

      The model of HMS Vindictive was impressive, and I did ask about its construction. Unfortunately the model's builder wasn't available to give me any information, but I expect that one of the wargame magazines will probably have an article about it.

      All the best,

      Bob

      PS. I'm a bit confused about the Bolognese reference.

      Delete
  20. Bob,
    According to MW, the armour plating was made from the tin foil of tomato puree tubes!
    Arthur

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    1. Arthur Haman (Arthur),

      That is a lot of tomato puree! They must have been on an Italian food diet for years!

      All the best,

      Bob

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