So, the pilgrimage has passed and we`re back from the Salute show in London. What we did there was play on my Playstation, attend a Magic event and rummaged through mountains of miniatures. Who ever said you can`t keep on with your normal life when abroad?
Now, people often wonder why I don`t take heaps of tourist shots, well guess why, I`m not a tourist by heart, but just so they can see that I actually was in London, here is one picture:
The FNM event was a cozy affair, 34 attendants and they just act like your own of the boys, even though your a foreigner crashing their party one-time. It`s handy to have that sort of hobbies around to literally drop in and play instead of wandering aimlessly around and sitting in a hotel room. Though the `5 minutes walk` turned out to be a 1.5 hour walk along the borders of the Thames in the pouring rain...
But, let`s get to the main thing... it`s time for SALUTE.
This year, I learned from mistakes of the past. I didn`t buy a quebuster card, as the mass is just to large to be effective, and went to have a seat at one of the many coffeestands with my Playstation Vita. Doors opened at 10.00, and I got up there at 10.15, walked straight in with the ques well in motion now, and still have my goodie bag and all.
Lesson learned? I didn`t have to just stand there, well, standing for 1.5 hours like many others. And managed to score two more trophees for Disgrea 3 in the process...
Now, people I talk to have at times problems imagining the sheer size of the Excel complex, so here is a shot of it`s central hallway. I`m standing at the western terrace, in the far, far distance you see the eastern entrance and on each side are about 10 halls the size of the `Sportpaleis`, Belgiums biggest event hall... it`s in other words BIG
Just like the show itself, I had the impression attendance numbers where about the same as last year, but business was running a lot better this edition from hearing some traders like `JimBibbly` of Oshiro talking at the LAF meet up. Mostly Gripping Beast (SAGA must have been the best selling single item of the show I think) and Forge World seemed to have the biggest crowds all days at their stalls.
The picture right above is the actual Bring and Buy at around 12.30... it`s insane, I`m not even bothering to go and take a peek there, even if this could mean I missed some great opportunities. Life before limbs and the likes you see...
So, let`s start with the real eye-candy, a tour along the various tables. I *think* I might have gotten them all, sorry if I missed out one. Not good with names and clubs though, never have, never will with my swiss cheese for brain, but I`ll throw in soem quirky comments here and there just to break up the monogamy. If you see yourself or your game, feel free to post about it below though!
The small scale 15mm ACW catched my fancy early on, it`s a period thing, but in the end compared to last year there wasn`t that much American Civil War on show. I expect this to be different in the next edition with the 150 years Gettysburg (and last year 150 years of the start of the war) though.
Critical Mass`s 15mm range in full swing over three different demo tables. A trend I spotted this year was more and more smaller scale games on tables of about 48 by 48 inch with a slightly above skirmish scale level of engagement. Which I think is a good thing, as huge battles tend to wind down at cons to a static display in the end.
Marie-rose de Flandres went for world war 1 trench warfare, as always I loved their quality of the game.
The naval and land combined game was just awesome to behold!
Gruntz 15mm was luverly. I follow the blog, don`t had a chat though, I`m not someone in the process of disrupting people during shows.
I did have some chats with a lot of blogger collegues and fellow LAF members during both the Rejects and the LAF meet ups. It`s nice to see people like Angry Lurker, Wargamer Girl, Captain Blood, Elysium64 and other nicknames actually getting a face now - though in some cases, it was scary. They probably thought the same thing, as I stood in front of them with one huge hang-over and a Pikachu hat, you`ll probably see those popping over the blog-o-sphere in the comming time, but heck, people instantly DID know who their beloved Il Directore was now. Also made the first steps for Ray`s love babies.
"Bit short for a Storm Trooper"
This had a neat little addittion. The smoke contained little flashing lights, looking as if it where actual gunlines firing.
The Ginger-bread man, one of the coolest concepts on the blogosphere I`ve been watching in the build up to Salute, and now finally got to see in real life.
SAGA, the goldmine of this years show. I did manage NOT to buy it though, as you`ll see on my loot list later on, I didn`t do ANY impulse buys and am very proud of myself for it to boot!
Our very own TSA demo / participation game, more on this one a bit later on.
A huge Warhammer 40k Apocalypse game, nice paintjobs to boot!
The Warlords`s Scarlet Thunder care chase game. I like their ideas each year, not very run of the mill.
The Russian HIND. I always loved sleek lines...
Okay, so this game I LOVED, didn`t get a chance to play it, but it is right down my Otaku alley. Giant monsters battling it out in a cityscape Godzilla style!
Super Dungeon Explooooooooooore
When Warrior meets Virginia...
Mini-Blocks (it`s a kind of Lego) Doctor Who game
Yarr me mateys, shivver me timbers and walk the plank!
Crooked Dice put on another great show this year, this little company is a serious event runner if you ask me, very neatly taken care of games and delicious bootbabes to errrm boot. All in the typical 70s style.
Oshiro`s splendid japanese game and terrain.
And then the memory card of my camera spelled the words of doom... Memory Card Full!
So luckily, onwards now with the smartphone equipped camera, it always pays to have a back up ready x-D
World of Twilight, I keep liking the style of models of the range, it`s the ones I did the wildlife with for this years LPL.
A very lovelly and impressive VSF game
Frothers Babylon 5 game, very nicely done and brought me back to memory lane, we played that setting to the bone for years.
Hail Hashut!!! Not a gaming table, but deserving an honourable mention is this fellow Chaos Dwarf Online member. I have his range, it is a great set of models with very characterful models. You must buy them now if you didn`t yesterday, the Father of Darkness commands it!
For some reason, I kept looking for a girl in a blue robe with a peppermill gun, a cat and a Queen with a uniform of hearts in this one. The paperbuildings and style so remind me of the Alice: Madness Returns video game.
Mammoth hunting, a nice little game and a `period` not often see
Now how is this for effective use of LED lights and sheer eye candy?
And that`s the tour I have of the gaming tables of this years edition of Salute. I must say, I really enjoyed the day and the stuff to see, but it seemed to my own opinion a bit `undecided` this year, as there was no real theme running through the convention. On one hand, that is a good thing, lots of different things to see, but on the other hand makes it harder to compare games and stuff and say `I loved that above all else` and such.
But remember I had something more to say about our TSA game (our being the rest of the team, I`m just the tag-along picture bitch). This was the fourth year we put on a game at Salute, and the third trophee we`re taking home, this time for Best Scenery.
As our club president has the honors of posing with it next to the table, still in action. Definitly not marathon material though. Well, perhaps the Battle of Marathon...
So then, the one million dollar question... the LOOT
As I proudly stated, I didn`t do impulse buys, so there`ll be nothing to be thrown out in the future. I sticked to the list and... then some... lots some... hehehehe oops, it was stronger then myself...
I got my Blood Bowl Minotaur from Heresy Miniatures (8 pounds discount, almost all their models where between -40 and -60% on show it seemed), some suitable 15mm models for HoTT Chaos Dwarfs (no handguns found though) from both Magister Militum and 15mm.co.uk and then...
... it went downhill big time.
I went to the Forge World stand for the new warhammer Forge book. That was already sold out, but this was the only downside of my decision not to que for hours. I can live with that, they invented Mail Order for those things.
But 320 pounds later I walked away with four of the Chaos Dwarf war machines and 30 Infernal Guards and a command group.
Off to Mantic Games to see for some small sets of their `Abysmal` Dwarfs... and went off with the large army deal.
Only thing I bought not on the list was from a books trader 5 novels of Magic the Gathering I still lacked. Besically as they where 2.5 each, I got one for free as I needed to lay down only a 10er. Nice find, as I would pay a lot more on postage alone if I scoured the net.
This all amounts to about 500 pounds spend on the day, so leaves me with a LOT of GBP left over to change back for euros and go bonanza on Myth Cloths and the likes in two weeks at the Antwerp Convention for comics and anime. No impulse buys, no exurbirant spending... first convention ever I can label as a budgetary success!!
Downside though is that this means my `bought` counter is going up with a spectacular... 196 models.
What I didn`t find, and as such will have to order one of these days: some handgunners and full plated 15mm dwarves to serve as blunderbusses, I`ll sort to Irregular for those and some (large, 40-50 man) movement trays.
That`s it, now I`m gonna put that yellow rat back in it`s cage, cheerios all!