Sunday, 17 April 2016

My first Salute

I have been told several times over the years, "everyone should go to Salute at least once".  Well this year the stars aligned and (with Steve's computer skills and ability to spot a bargain on the train ticket site), it came to pass.  A very early start enabled us to catch the 5.55 train and three hours later we was in the Excel venue.  On the way Steve and I experienced one of those "I don't believe it" moments.  TfL (Transport for London) had closed the Circle Line on the London Underground, meaning we had to make a detour via the Northern and Jubilee lines.  As we completed our trek through the connecting corridors at Waterloo a train was standing at the Jubilee line platform and an open carriage door was facing us.  We jumped on and before we bagged the last couple of seats the doors had closed and we were off.  It was then that I noticed who I was at next to, Phil Olley who I had known for a good number of years!  Not only had we caught the same carriage on the same train, bur it was his first Salute too.  Talk about coincidences!  The journey flew by as we chatted and fortunately we also managed to chat during the day at the show.

Steve and I were helping out on the Lance & Longbow stand, but both of us managed to find time to look around the games on offer.  My particular favourites, (in no particular order), were
Bill Gaskin's Seven Years War display game

The town was stunning with masses of detail, but it formed only part of an extensive display.  The figures also provided plenty of opportunities for inspiration.

Next this was a Peninsular War demonstration game by Ian Smith, using 40mm figures.  Again stunning to look at.

French artillery fire on the Spanish infantry

British infantry preparing for enemy cavalry 

Major Sharpe attempting to hold back the French cavalry
A third large scale game was that put on by the Crewe and Nantwich Club, "The Bloody siege of Bristol".  It had the town, port and earthworks.  The game was so extensive I couldn't get an overall shot, so here is a selection of views.

There were a lot of games on a smaller scale, first Mansfield Wargames Club with Gorodetschna from the 1812 campaign, a particular interest of mine.  They were demonstrating a new set of rules which they are developing and they were very friendly and happy to chat about the mechanisms they are using.

Loughton Strike Force had a participation game based on the Russo-Finnish war 1940.

 From Scandanavia, Dalauppror with Foteviken 1134

Essex Gamestar had a demonstration game based on the Tet Offensive which had masses of detail

The Lance & Longbow Society game was Hastings and was put on by Rob Broom

Gripping Beast had a medieval game based on the struggles between the Teutonic Knights and Rus

Well, what were my thoughts on Salute?  First, it is huge, far larger than any other show I have attended.  There were lots of games on view and in spite of making a 'hit list' before I travelled, there were several I didn't get around to seeing.  What I did see gave me plenty of inspiration for future projects.  There were plenty of traders and I should imagine that almost anything a wargamer wanted would be available somewhere.  The organisation seemed very efficient  and there was plenty of room for the crowds who attended.

On the down side the venue is very hard on the feet and noisy, but given the location that is inevitable.  Would I go again? well, not every year, but I like to think I will attend again at some stage.  Many thanks to Dave, Lynne, Rollo, John, Neil and Steve for their company on the day.


  1. Glad to see you survived. Will quiz you on the Bill Gaskin game when I next see you.

  2. Some great photos! Loved the 7YW game!

  3. Nice review and photos. I only went was a bit too big for me!