Wednesday, April 16, 2014

12th April, London, ExCel


I should subtitle this 'An Ancient and Medieval Salute' or some such: there are endless blogs with photo collections from Salute, but none quite like this.   Most bloggers seem to focus on shopping or goblins or power armour and panzers.  Scarcely one gives you any sort of coverage of the early historical content.

But to kick off, the Society of Ancients presented another Lost Battle, this time Macedonians and Romans contesting the Dogs' Heads hills in Thessaly ...

(Salute 2014: BC197 - Cynoscephalae ... a Lost Battle from the Society of Ancients)

This is the battle that evolves from a reinforced encounter in the fog ... and the one where Roman legionaries are able to beat the Macedonian phalanx because, in part, they can cope better with the rolling terrain ...

Professor Sabin is away broadening the world's understanding of warfare at the moment so the game was run by Eric et al ( ;) ...) ...

(Cynoscephalae: the Macedonian phalanx in the hills)

(Cynoscephalae: the Roman battle line ...)

This was run twice (with a break for lunch) and involved a number of visitors and plentiful break for explanation and demos.  Sometime players get engrossed in the game, but always remember, the Society welcomes interruptions if you have any questions (and, occasionally, we might not have spotted that).

Ancient and Medieval Salute ...

Regular readers might recall my noting that there haven't been many ancients games at this year's shows (and a more Medieval theme to the early history games there have been) ... Well, Salute 2014 had a good number of core ancients exhibits.

Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy were flagshipping with Simon Miller's 'C-Day' - a cross channel beach landing (but in this case from France and under the direction of Julius Caesar ...) ..

(C-Day: legionaries wade ashore under the hostile gaze of native British warriors)

You will know I love the detail that makes up these historical tableaux, so I'm sure you will indulge some extra shots ...

(C-Day: Roman warship ... elephant on tow ... wading legionaries)

(C-Day: British cavalry and chariots thunder to the cliffs - click on the picture to enlarge)

(C-Day: more Roman ships close up to the shore ...)

Gripping Beast seemed to be respinning my game 'Welcome to Jerusalem' with this Saga based display (it wasn't being played, so hard to work out how all the components meshed - but its looks drew a lot of attention ...)...

Committee member Rob Broom was there with his War & Conquest Thermopylae game ...

(Thermopylae: the pass is denied)

The game featured a number of splendidly turned out Greek battle groups (Rob really is getting the hang of this, you know ...) 

(Themopylae: some of the many Greek prepared to block the Persians' advance)

So, we've had Greeks, Macedonians, Romans and Crusaders ... there was jousting, Chariot racing and Viking raiders ... and it was a nice surprise to see Hannibal's army turn up for the Trebia ... and in glorious 54mm!  This was a splendid game from John (that's it apparently - but he did give a nice explanation of the game).

(John's impressive Trebia in 54m)

The game itself was DBA and John reckons he has a good 6 DBA armies in the big game (so they can play a 6 contingent campaign version)

(Hannibal at the Trebia: cavalry and elephants in 54mm!)

There was some talk about the elephants but these look good to me ... relatively small, big ears etc. etc. (the towers might be a bit hefty but, really, we don't know enough ...) ..

A great advert for the standard ancients game - and geared to play, not just for display ..

(HaT 54mm Romans ... working in this scale need not cost a fortune)

The Warlord team were also there with a game ...

And Best Participation Game went to Crawley for their well thought out Chariot Racing

(Salute 2014: Ad Spatium Accedis .. Best Participation Game)

This was a card driven multiplayer game with Ben Hur style hats and lots of crashes and deliberate interference.  Great choice ... a nice take on an ancients perennial.  Insiders will know I am looking at this theme myself ...

(Ad Spatium Accedis: the Chariots line up for the start )

Apologies to those ancients games I missed, this was my best of Salute.  Overall, I was pleased to see our part of the historical spectrum putting its best foot forward and good to see all the core ancients attractions on display.

Good also to see awards going to ancients games and to historical presentations.

Of course, there was much much more ... here is a quick guide to the Best of the Rest ...

(Salute 2014 ... a big space ship ... stuff for kids ... historical societies ... Most Innovative Game for Megagame Makers with guns ...) ...

I also liked ...

(10mm ECW: Wow! a real feast for the eyes ... beautiful figures - from Pendraken I believe)

... and with the centenary coming up, there was plenty on the WWI theme ...

... and some Not Quite Napoleonics (doing what Napoleonics do best ...) ...

(Salute 2014: 1837 - the Battle of Barbastro)

... and uncharacteristically, I very much liked Duncan MacFarlane's chunky 28mm Battle of Arklow ... Not Quite Napoleonics - in this case the Irish Rebellion ..

(Salute 2014: 1798 - the Battle of Arklow)

There has been a bit of moaning on some chat pages about Salute this year ... I think mostly by people whose day got off on the wrong foot due to a long queue, some unfriendly managing of the queue by ExCel staff ... and some inconsistencies.

I don't want to argue with those people: I think every enthusiast wants everyone else to have a good day out and if it gets spoiled that is annoying for all of us.


For Salute, ExCel has a number of embedded problems ... fatiguing and visually ugly floor, poor lighting, weird acoustics etc. (and the room is so big you need to be clever with your camera).  Honestly (an ignoring the horrible year where it took half the morning to get in) I preferred Olympia ...

 ... but I thought this was a good Salute and I had a mix of meets and discussions that are unlikely to happen anywhere else.

A great selection of games and eye-candy ... and if anything, possibly less of a corporate feel this time around .. 

I think Salute is still a must, but I remind everyone of what I said before ... wear forgiving shoes, don't turn up before 11 as you will just get caught in a queue ... try to avoid big ruck sack syndrome and do games and Society stands first, shopping second (again avoiding scrums - few items will sell out and traders can be very generous in the afternoon, I find) ...

Terrible queue for coffee but not too expensive (and they do a very nice mocha ...) ...

Back to Montaperti galleries shortly and look out for Triples next month (and the DBA Northern Cup)

1 comment:

Strider said...

Great blog, as usual, Phil and I look forward to catching up with you once more at Triples ;-)