The Road to Salute 2016
I am at the stage of my life when work and family conspire to ensure that there are few chances to regularly attend gaming related events. In spite of this, the one constant in my hobby calendar for as long as I have been a gamer is South London Warlords club, Salute a one day annual gaming convention at the ExCel London. It is an eclectic mix of miniature wargaming demos (both old and new), trade fair and cosplay from panoply of genres from historical to fantasy and science fiction – all condensed into a single day. There is much to like about it largely because it covers such a broad spectrum of the hobby as it is organised by a club rather than a particular games company.
While in the internet age it is easy to take for granted that you will be able to find and order a product from any manufacturer regardless of where they are in the world, this is of course predicated on knowing what you are looking for in the first place. Real world events like Salute allow for the fun of discovery that comes from browsing, serendipity and direct face to face interaction with the creators of the gaming products which we love so much as well as fellow enthusiasts. Also I tend to find it can be hard to get a proper sense of scale for certain things in the miniature world unless you get to see them in the flesh (or plastic in this case). The kind of large scale hobby mash-ups on display at Salute can be a great source of inspiration to recharge the creative batteries for the year (with a subsequent lightening of the wallet often being the consequence).
Other than aimless wandering around, gaping at the new shiny toys on display, bargain hunting and unashamedly talking hobby bollocks to some old friends, high on my list of things to try to fit in at Salute this year include:
- Checking out Spartan Games’ Halo Ground Command miniatures, get a demo game it and maybe pre-order a copy if it lives up to the hype.
- Get some Forgeworld Event Only merchandise goodness. I can’t really call myself a ‘loyal’ Word Bearer’s player unless I have the T-shirt can I? Since Forgeworld normally do some interesting event only models there is that possibility too.
- I’d like to try to get a demo game of Frostgrave, as I keep on hearing good things about it and I’d like to see some of the plastic cultists up close to get an idea if they would be suitable to kitbash into my current 30k/40k warp cult horde.
- Ditto for Warlord’s Beyond the Gates of Antares. I have picked up a copy of the rules which look interesting in theory, but I haven’t had chance to play yet. I quite like the plastic Ghar, but haven’t been too taken with the aesthetics of any other particular faction as of yet.
- Finally, I will need some new foam and cases for my Warp Cult army in the hope that when it is finished I will actually have the chance to take it out to play in an event or two this year so last port of call will probably be to Battlefoam or KR Multicase.
One omission from my usual itinerary will be bothering with the bring & buy. In previous years I simply found this way too much of a bun fight to get to browse through in a relaxed manner. There are usually some good event only deals to be had with a new different manufactuers and if I really want other people’s cast offs then ebay is a much more pleasant bargain hunting experience then having to fight through the throng of sweaty gamers.
If anyone in the hobby blogosphere is heading to Salute this year then hit me up – would be good to put a name to a face and a free beer on me is the least I can offer for the inspiration I gleam from the work of others 🙂