Monday, 18 April 2011

Salute 2011 road trip....

Well its that time of year again to don the boots of walking and wander around a hall full of various weirdo's giving money to random people and getting plastic & metal crack in return!

Normally there a quite a few of us tend to go down, but this year was a poor turn out for the local guys and only four of us braved the daylight as we headed down at stupid o'clock in the morning all arranging to meet at Bank underground so that we could jump on the DLR and ride on in.. we did manage to get the wrong one though so some faffing about and we was back on track ;)

So as we wandered into the excell centre the final day of registration for the London marathon was in the same place and as usual the superfit people mingling in with the supergeek people did make for some interesting people watching!

As we got closer to the hall where it was last year I made the comment of "doesn't seem to be that much of a queue?" until I realised that the show was at the other end and as we loomed closed the sea of people was the queue!

So looking down towards the entrance,

and the other end that went round the corner and back down! 

Lee commented at this point how he didn't think we'd be getting the free mini this year and the chances of me getting my hands on a force on force bag was slim to none!

But after a while and being chatted up by Dr Who's assistant the queue started moving and we wandered in, This years theme was the American civil war, something that I've never been that fussed about but with my recent movement into "historical" gaming I was going to keep an eye out for and see if anything took my fancy,

Lee being the super organised person that he is had already mapped out my plan of attack to get to the osprey stand and I wandered over to the chaps and asked if they had any bags left? Low and behold they did!! I also decided to grab a copy of Force on Force at the same time,

Then it was over to warlord to get my pre-order of hail cesaer and spotted a celtic army starter box, now according to Lee these are rare as, so I grabbed one of those and the job was a good un, only my pre-order from raiden miniatures to get and I was good as done,

So with Nick eager to have a butch at the bring and buy I donned the elbows held my breath and went in... 

I spotted a few bits and bobs but nothing that I was desperate to get my hands on, some of the prices for stuff was stupid as always but that's always been the case.

So I decided to get some snaps of the various tables as most of the games were in full swing I wasn't able to get in too close but most of the pictures are really for inspiration for anyone who wants to do there own table and with a some time effort and raiding the local post office with a shotgun this could be easily achieved!

Dr Who Game

American civil war game

Close up of the lines, the renedra picket fencing was making alot of appearances on some of the tables!

Infinity game

Malifaux Game

Another Malifaux game

And yet another!

No idea but it was super sexy!! something to do with warlord games? 

Close ups

at this point I was just snapping away with no idea... 

Operation Squad

Hail Caesar

Another view of the same game

a view from the celt's lines

Really nice sci-fi board, which was for sale with "make us an offer" but I would have offered a couple of hundred quid and properly got laughed at ;) 

Another sci-fi game with some nice mech looking things?

Close up of one of the models, no idea on the manufacturer but very nice

Another American civil war table, but didn't spot any others after this one? 

Close up, interesting use of "smoke"

6mm epic scale that could be easily used for GW epic, 

a spaceship game by the same guys

Nice looking fleet, models are great would be a bugger to store though!

Close up of the ground forces

Snap happy again! 

plastic door mats being used as corn fields, which is quite a novel idea, I've seen straw ones used before but not these... 

I liked the bold contrast of the corn fields compared to the lush green

Wings of war raid on a airfield, the smoke plumes add that little extra

Just snapping away... 

Warlands, I've been scratching my chin over this system for a while it looks good but the table made it look too industrial rather than mad max style? 

Now this is the table that myself and the rest of the guys spent the most time chatting to the guy, really nicely done and the actual factual history of the game based on a special forces raid in Serra Leone against the westside boys, 

getting back on the "bus"

Getting off the "bus"

sweeping the village

A Napoleonic game with some really nicely painted models

close up of my Nemesis a British rifle line

and some nicely painted cannons

some kind of middle ages game? 

nice looking command stands

and a huge cannon unit!

 a modern game

at the other end

Italians beating up the Ethiopians 

another view, quite a pleasing table to look at

WW2 Russians up against Hungarian's so much details on the table its untrue!

you've gotta love tank riders!

superb use of pipe cleaners!

FJ coming in

Snapping away once more!

Two fat lardies game, lots of hidden units which was a nice twist!

huge infantry & tanks!

on a equally huge board!

quite a barren but nice board

precut mdf terrain very nice stuff

secrets of the third reich, westwind miniatures

warhammer with lots of samurai

the infamous heresy dragon, its nice but is it £200+ nice?

So I ended up wandering over to the forgeworld stand and gawping at the new shiney eldar titan that they had just released,

now thats a flame thrower!

some chaos dwarves that they are doing

A nurgle looking chap on his mount

Chaos giant?

chaos dwarf gun carriage? 

Chris & Lee leading the way with bartering with black scorpion miniatures.. 

and these chaps ended up doing circuits, was this the ACW theme....

and the final haul of goodies!

Over all it was a good show plenty of people there compared to the previous year and quite a few show releases, the privateer press stand was a tad weak with none of the new war engines being on show or any copies of wraith being available to have a look at?

I did my usual think of picking up a system and this year Lee wanted a pirate game, we'd got legends of the high seas a few years back and it was ok, but this time it was a choice between freebooters fate and cutlass after looking at the two we decided on cutlass more on the value for money on the models and what you an actually use, ok so the freebooter models are superb but very pricey!

So at some point when I've read the books and tried some games I'll post up some more first looks and see what I think of the new systems that we've picked up,