This seemed like the biggest and most well-attended Salute to date. We arrived about 11.30 in the morning, expecting to go straight in, and there was still a queue. Not only that, but it still seemed busy at 4.00 in the afternoon; punters obviously stayed on longer. And I can see why. I'm not sure we got to see everything there was to see. Going with my son means I've got to compromise and allow time for him to look at things he enjoys, which included the replica trebuchet, medieval arms and armour display, and the MDF models from the likes of Sarissa Precision Engineering.
|A Japanese Sengoku era battles using Warhammer.|
Manufacturers are obviously taking the opportunity to demo games and miniature ranges, including timing new product launches for the event, and this seems a wise move. The absence of Games Workshop was noticeable, although you could still buy GW figures at many stands, including Wayland Games, which seems to be emerging as the dominant retailer of the fantasy and sci fi rules stepping up to take on GW.
In terms of the games on offer, I lingered by the Space 1889 battle, which always makes for a good convention game. Although starting out as an RPG setting, it seems to lend itself to flights of the imagination when it comes to war gaming. We also enjoyed the sheer spectacle of a feudal Japanese battle which included a large number of 28mm buildings. This looked simply awesome, although it was also serenely quiet, with the players all pondering their hefty Warhammer Ancient Battles tomes. [Zzzzz] I don't game feudal Japan at the moment, although I did study it at university, but a table like this might persuade me otherwise!
|Space 1889 battle|
I think my overall impression of the hobby from this outing is that it is in rude health. It is difficult to say to what degree the miniatures gaming industry still relies on GW as its recruiter, but I'm sure this is significant. At a time when the country is still in economic straits and where table top gaming faces increased competition from online / video gaming (including in my own household), it is pleasing to see so many people, including large numbers of kids, having a good time. It was tough to give up a rare sunny day to spend it in an artificially lighted hangar, but this is likely to be one of maybe only two cons I attend in 2013, so worth the price.