Let the countdown begin
Posted by Martin on February 19, 2009
Salute 2009 is on Saturday 28th March and my advance booked train tickets for the journey up to London arrived in the post yesterday. As I think I said around this time last year, you can get some genuine VFM by booking train tickets in advance as long as you’re prepared to commit to travelling on specific trains. The other tip is that two singles are often cheaper than one return for these sorts of advance bookings.
This year, I won’t be travelling up to town alone. Kiwi “Von Peter” and his family have come to stay in the UK for about six months as a sort of family adventure and so I’ll be sharing my day trip with him and his son Simon. This’ll be a fascinating observational experience for me. Von Peter tells me they only have small wargames shows in New Zealand and this will be his first time at one of the UK’s biggest days. I’ll be watching closely to see if it lives up to Von Peter’s expectations.
I’m much more optimistic about this year’s Salute than I have been for several years – especially since the change of venue to ExCel. I’ve previously found the atmosphere at ExCel to be lacking and the need for good company to compensate for that. This year, good company aside, other factors promise to restore Salute’s excitement of yore. In particular, a run down of the display games for once offers plenty for Napoleonics fans to sink their teeth into.
The Perry Twins will have a stand again this year where I hope to inspect their Napoleonic plastics in detail for the first time. Moreover, they’ll also be putting on a Quatre Bras demo game. I think I’ll also take some time to look at the Victrix plastics for the first time too. Obviously, their range is of little direct interest to me at present, being mainly focussed on the Peninsular War but I do want to scope out the quality of their work for potential future reference.
By some sort of strange coincidence there are two 6mm scale 1809 display games – Aspern-Essling and Wagram. I’m not a fan of this scale but I will look to see if the claims for it as a way to capture the spectacle of large battles is justified. There’s a 28mm retreat from Moscow game that has the potential to be spectacular if done the right way. But, best of all, Barry Hilton will be leading the League of Augsburg on a raid South of the border to put on two (!) games: one demonstration and one participation (oi! I was in the queue first!). I’m hoping that at least one of these games will feature Barry’s new Republic to Empire ruleset so that I can get a good assessment of them in action.
Throw in all the usual opportunities to catch up on gossip, bump into people I haven’t seen for ages and oggle the entries in the painting competition and I think there’s the makings of a grand day out.