Sunday, May 1, 2016

16th April, London, ExCel

SALUTE 2016


Salute 2016 was its usual grand day out: though slim pickings for the Ancient and Medieval enthusiast - the theme was Steam Punk although you wouldn't know it from all the Science Fiction which seemed the dominant genre.

Although I know they turned some others away, the only big ancients game I could see was our own 28mm Magnesia played as a Lost Battle.  That's quite an amazing degree of under-representation given how many enthusiasts tick 'ancients' on surveys and how big the ExCell hall is.

(Salute 2016: the Society of Ancients stand and - behind - Magnesia game)

So this won't be the same as the other Salute reports from this year - and half a dozen different views of the Star Trek bridge ... I'll showcase the few historical games from before 1500AD ...

Without the Society of Ancients and Lance & Longbow there would have been fewer.  Always worth remembering if you were under the impression that the Society's mission in championing the historical wargame was done already.

(Championing the historical wargame ... without these volunteers, what next?)

The Society of Ancients presented the great Roman triumph of Magnesia ...


(Salute 2016: the Lost Battle of Magnesia)

Presented by Prof. Phil Sabin and the shows team.


(Salute 2016: Magnesia 190BC by The Society of Ancients - detail)

This was an live game played 3 time with visitors to the show joining in.

The Lance & Longbow Society had Rob Broom presenting an anniversary refight of Hastings using his popular War and Conquest rules ... again played with show goers throughout the day ...


(Salute 2016: details from the battle of Hastings by The Lance & Longbow Society)

Not quite historical ... the Skirmish Wargames folk put on this attractive myth game in 54mm ..


... and reprising last year's theme, there was an impressive battle of Agincourt ...


I also liked this 28mm medieval encounter in Eastern Europe ...


Snow just works so well for games at shows ...


More Dark Age/Medieval from Dalauppror ...


... and some Saga ...


So, actually not too bad if you are at the Dark Age/Medieval part of the spectrum but just the one historical ancient battle.  Hmmm ...

Very little also for the naval enthusiast - and this year was the 100th anniversary of the battle of Jutland.   A surprising absence, perhaps?

Elsewhere ...


... there was lots of everything else ...

Especially, I liked ...


... the train ... and I liked ...


... the ships in the docks ... This was a huge decorative side table to the historical 'what if' ECW Bristol scenario - actually a rather splendid game ...

(Redoubt (sconce) in the ECW game 'What if Essex had gone to Bristol')

And I always like the Continental Wars Society and their mix of wargaming presentations prints and flats ...

(Salute 2016: the Continental Wars Society display)

(more Salute 2016)

... and there was some splendid miniature architecture on show ...

(overlooking the battle of Moncontour, 1569)

(Wilhelmstadt, beside the battle by Bill Gaskin and friends) 

Of course these, like the port at Bristol, are not really part of the battle, just decorative add-ons.  Now, as a modeller, I love to see them and they help make my Salute - but I do understand why some question their relevance (especially when the organisers are turning away core subject historical wargames) ...

So ... I really enjoyed Salute 2016 - I always do: a special blend of wargame magic with shopping, meeting old friends and enjoying the spectacle.  This year, the dearth of historical games was a disappointment, especially to the ancients enthusiast.

It was a grand day out but a missed opportunity.  I hope next year's show has a better balance of wargame types and interests.

Come see us at Campaign, by the way ...

4 comments:

Drew Jarman said...

The even refused the Naval Wargames Society a place this year and we were planning a Jutland 100 game. Its why I didnt bother to go, wasnt going to pay £15 to look at a lot of Sci-fi and Steampunk after an hour not having actually bought anything.

SoA Shows North said...

Don't get me wrong, Drew, I enjoyed my day (part day out, part helping out on the stand) and the Warlords will doubtless say 'we do what we do and people come in droves' - just I did think (like a number of pundits) that the balance was a bit askew this year ... just the one big ancient battle, not much naval, no Jutland etc. etc. and we _know there were offers of that sort so it isn't a case of 'we can only include what we get'.

But what do we know?

Ah, well ...

Phil

Simon Miller said...

I suppose an early bid is required next year. :-)

I thought it was a shame that so many (admittedly impressive-looking) games were, in fact, static displays.

I enjoyed my year "off", I was home by 3pm.

SoA Shows North said...

SM: I thought it was a shame that so many (admittedly impressive-looking) games were, in fact, static displays.

Phil: Also my point about the big add-on scenery (Bristol Docks, Wilhelmstadt etc.) ... I remember a few years back Gripping Beast had a Saga game that had a whole fjord added on an extra table set - now, a huge Saga layout? Really? It is quite a small game, the rest is just big for bigness's sake - but I think it is symptomatic of a big chunk of Salutes these days: style over substance. There's a lot of good stuff, but a lot that is just trying to outbid the opposition.

OK - that's fine, but I'd still be happier if the whole experience reflected the balance of wargaming as we know it ...

Phil