Salute 2013

Thanks to Nick Hawkins for the photo - wide angle lens required, apparently!

Thanks to Nick Hawkins for the photo – wide angle lens required, apparently!

Well, Salute has been and gone for another year…was it any good?

First thing of note was the size of the ‘queue buster’ queue. I was late arriving, not getting to Excel until just after 10am – even so, I joined the queue before it had got into the show, 15 or so minutes later. This caused a few disgruntled comments, but since around 2,500 tickets were pre-sold for the event this year, it’s inevitable that simply getting into the show is going to be something of a logistical challenge.

Once inside the first thing I noted was the ‘buzz’. There seemed to be more energy and atmosphere about the place this year, which considering the size of the hall Salute was held in, is something of an achievement in itself. (It was also noticeable during the day that there seemed to be more women and families around this year – and not just those employed by certain traders for apparent eye-candy value!)

So, it was time for a ‘quick’ tour of the show…which ended up taking about 2 hours. This was partly due to the number of traders and games (although there did appear to be fewer games than last year) and partly due to the number of people who stopped to chat to me – in the last few years, wargames shows (at least for me) have become less about the games and traders, and more about the people. It’s a chance to meet and chat to podcast listeners, blog and article readers and catch up with people who I regularly correspond with over the interweb, but hardly ever get to meet. This year was no different – hence the time it took to tour the show!

The tour had two purposes – you hopefully get a feel of what is going on (although, this year more than ever before, I was concious of just how much I didn’t see – can’t wait for all the photo blogs to appear!)  but also it means that traders can deal with the usual pre-lunch rush and maybe have more time later in the day to chat. That’s the theory anyway. The practice is that it essentially gives you a 3 hour window to try and rush around and get as many interviews as you can – something of a challenge at the best of times and I this year I failed to get half as many interviews as I did last year – which was a shame.

So, whilst I did get a few interviews, there were more that I missed – although I am pleased to say that I have lined up future chats with the likes of 4Ground, Crooked Dice and Great Escape Games, to name a few.

As I’ve already said, this year was as much about meeting people – so thanks to the chaps from Bristol Big ‘Uns, Nick Hawkins, Robert Avery, Mike Whittaker, Phil Mackie, Sigur Squrrl, Whisperin Al’, Colin Hagreen, Dave from TMTTerrain and to everyone who simply stopped me to say ‘Hi’ and pass on encouragement about the podcast (apologies if I’ve missed anyone).

You may be surprised that I don’t actually get to see the people I record the shows with very often, so it was also great to chat to Mike Hobbs, Rich Jones and of course Henry Hyde.

Coming away from the show, the first half an hour was filled with forhead-slapping moments as I realised what I failed to do – like buy a minis case for X-Wing from K&R, or chat to the Berry’s on the Baccus stand…I suppose this is inevitable, but I’m more aware this year of what I failed to do rather than what I achieved during the day.

So, was Salute any good? It was hectic, massively tiring (not helped by son disappearing with all the water supplies!) and I felt at the end of the day that I had perhaps missed half of the show.

BUT it was also a huge amount of fun, filled with interesting goodies and some great new releases and simply wonderful to talk to people – however briefly in all too many cases.

I thoroughly enjoyed it. Well done Warlords, mission accomplished for another year!

5 Comments on Salute 2013

  1. One ‘t’, old bean 😀

    Likewise a pleasure to meet you. My forehead slapping moments were:
    a) foolishly paying Warlord in cash when I needn’t have, leaving me short of cash to pay a friend for some Perry’s WotR plastics
    b) the fact that Mantic of all people could afford two scantily dressed cheerleaders on their stand but not a credit card machine!

  2. At least they softened the blow with the cheerleaders, Britannia were just a blunt “we can’t take plastic” which took me aback somewhat. I know there’s a cash machine in the building but considering cash flow and all that sometimes a card is just more “convenient”!
    Sorry I didn’t bump into you Neil, and you Mike as I know you aren’t a million miles away from me (you’re in Peterborough and I’m in the last stop before Denmark….ie Norwich).
    I did get a glimpse at the Too Fat Lardies participation game of their forthcoming Chain of Command…that table was constantly surrounded by a crowd and was one of the busiest (and certainly most enthusiastic) tables at the show as far as I could tell. Another deserved winner on the cards for messrs Clarke and Skinner if I’m any judge….

  3. Just working on my own bloggy write-up of the show. It was much fun but also a lot of walking. I was one of the people with the advance tickets and I’m so glad about it. There still was a fair amount of queuing up involved but things went rather orderly. One funny thing was when the early ticketers were seperated in two groups of which one would go first and the other would get in second. As soon as the official who had made up the demarkation like turned around, a bunch of people trotted over to the group which would be let in first which led to a humorous inbalance.

    Still, it was much fun meeting up with Neil and Henry for a quick chat, witnessing the Chain of Command demo games and of course all the other stuff around it.

    Another demo table which drew lots of attention was the “cloudy city” one with the seemingly never tiring and very enthusiastic biker guy running the games. He was mighty impressive. Anybody know what game that was?

  4. It was good to have a chance to meet you in person Neil and thanks again for all the hard work on the podcast it is much appreciated!

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