Befreiungskriege 1813-14

Painting and modelling 28mm Napoleonic wargaming miniatures

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.

14 Responses to “Let the countdown begin”

  1. Snap – my train tickets arrived today as well.

    I’m really looking forward to Salute. I’m anticipating walking around with my jaw hanging open in wonder. So much and so many people to see. I wonder how strong the urge to spend will be … and if Natalie would notice big bags on the return trip that weren’t there on the way in?

    Thanks for providing the escort service. By way of remuneration the bad news is that we aim to be around for more than six months. Six months is the initial rental period for our apartment. We’ll see how life in Bristol progresses.

    You could always get some British. As you are no doubt aware there were a few (a very few!) British and KGL units that operated around the Army of the North in 1813. Was the 73rd Foot one of them? My reference books are all in storage on the far side of the world.

    von Peter himself

  2. Sparker said

    Dear von Peter,

    Interested to hear that you are in Bristol. I am here on a management course 23rd to the 27th. I would be very keen to meet up if you are in the city centre at all next week, I am staying at the Grand Hotel/Thistle near Corn Street. I would be very keen to pick your brains about the australasian wargaming scene as I am off down under in July…

    Kind Regards,


  3. Martin said

    Von Peter, Sparker: would you like me to put you in touch with each other via PM given I have both your e-mail addresses?

  4. Giles said

    I’d be delighted to say “hi” to you, Von Peter and Simon again. Seems bizarre that Mr H and his family are coming to the UK just as I head off to NZ…


  5. Simon Boulton said

    Von Peter is right, the 73rd did operate in Germany in 1813 as well as a unit of the KGL and several Hanoverian regiments who wore British style uniforms. The Perry’s are going to do some specific Hanoverian figures too.
    There is a post about it on TMP called Wallmodens corps. I’m using it as an excuse to add some plastic Brits to my Russians and Prussians. Best wishes, Simon

  6. Martin said

    Yes, this corps operated in Northern Germany and were quite a hodge-podge. First pic. of Perry Hanoverians is on their site now.

  7. Hello Sparker – it would be an honour and a privilege to meet up and discuss the world. We are currently living in High Kingsdown, just off St. Michael’s Hill Road, so meeting up with you wont be a major issue at all. If Martin ‘connects’ us (thanks Martin) then I’m sure we can arrange a mutually acceptable time and place.

    Hello Giles – i would be delighted to meet you again. I half thought that you would be over in NZ signing your life away to a higher being during Salute but am delighted to hear that I am wrong. You’ve obviously kept careful track of events on your calendar. Another reason to look forward to the 28th March.

    von Peter himself

  8. Alan said

    Will the Calpe Saxons be ready for Salute and will anyone carry the Calpe range there?

    • Martin said

      I expect Peter F. will have released the Saxons by 28th March but I doubt there will be anybody carrying them at Salute. I’ll ask just in case though.

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