I thoroughly enjoyed Salute this year. Below are some random snaps I took as I wandered around and thoughts:
Halo Ground Command
Spartan did a great with the figures – the production prototypes for the starter set looked great and there was even an early to scale Pelican. The demo of the system looked quite fun, but there didn’t seem to be a final ship date beyond ‘summer’, so I decided against pre-ordering in the end. I’ll probably end up picking up a copy when it goes full into retail. There was a nice 3 up spartan or elite figure (looked to be around 54mm scale) which you could snag if you pre-ordered, but I’ve never been interested in pieces which are purely ornamental/for collector.
Doesn’t seem to matter how early I get to Salute, there is always someone keen to get there earlier in order to queue for Forgeworld. In fact there were two queues this year: one to order and one to pay and it did take over an hour! I managed to get a Word Bearer t-shirt and order a more generic ‘Eye of the Traitor’ one for delivery as they were out of stock. Mission accomplished! No new event only models sadly – just the old Heresy one which while very nice, I had already purchased in previous years.
I didn’t get chance to play a demo game in the end, but there were was amazing demo tables on display. I did pick-up a pack of the Frostgrave Cultists which are pretty neat – I’ll probably build a half dozen as generic cultists for Call of Cthulhu, generic roleplaying, or maybe even Frostgrave if I find someone I can tempt to do a few games with. The rest though will be a sacrifice to the kit bashing gods as I spice them in with other spares from my bits box to bulk out my WH30k Warp Cult Milita/WH40k Chaos Space Marine forces – more on those in a later post.
I did also pick up some of Renedra’s new hard plastic ruins which should be great for Frostgrave. Not necessarily an exciting or ‘sexy’ hobby choice to be sure, but one that is generically useful for many fantasy wargames or WH30/40k. Some reviewers & commenters have been a bit snotty about them as they are pretty generic (or ‘bland’ if you re being less kind and doubtless there are cheaper options if you want to completely scratch build, go with moulds such as Hirst Arts, or repainted resin options like Galeforce 9’s battlefield in a box, etc. However, I personally really like hard plastic as for me it is usually the best balance between affordability, durability and importantly light weight for easy storage & transport.
Beyond the Gates of Antares
Some really nice display boards from Warlord Games – as much as I like to see grim-dark gothic sci-fi, it is nice to see something more colourful on occasion and the clean high tech look of the Antares demo boards was both bright and retro-chic at the same time.
I really wish Warlord Games and Rick Priestly well with the GoA endeavour as from a system design POV there is much to appreciate. That said, I also wish more of the GoA line appealed a bit more to me aesthetically and the more was available in hard plastic for, but the community and miniature range does seem to be building organically at a good pace, so while I haven’t jumped onto this band waggon yet, I am still interested enough that I will read through the rules again and keep an eye on progress over the next year. Warlord should also be commended for believing in the line enough to self fund rather than kickstart and to run with a very different aesthetic to 40k/grimdark or the ‘me too’ elves/orcs/dwarves in space feel which Mantic started with its Warpath Universe. Ironically, I think the most interesting bits of the Warpath Universe are those which push furthest away from the most established tropes, but that is a discussion for another day.