I probably spent longer than ever at Salute this year, leaving just after 4pm. I arrived early and stood in the queue gassing prior to entry as I wanted to get some of Annie's Female WW2 Soviets from Bad Squiddo Games before they sold out. Sure enough her stand was a veritable scrum of avid purchasers but I got what I wanted. I then spent the next two hours wandering around with no real intent simply looking at what was what.
It did seem busier than last year and the downside of this was that I encountered a few rude individuals, ignorant of the impact of their overly large rucksacks on others as they forced their way through to the front of the trade stands. If you are that desperate for something, why not just pre order?
On the upside I then took the opportunity to play the Royal Navy Field Gun competition based on that which was part of the Royal Tournament, organised by the SL Warlords. Whilst I was there, the elderly gentleman who moulded, cast and painted all the figures turned up and had a game. He (in the guise of The Fleet Air Arm) beat his grandson by a narrow margin of 4. The figures were excellent, especially the wheel men carrying the wheels across the Chasm.
The warlords said that they had already had ex Field Gunners announce themselves as well as an Instructor and one 'Referee'. I remember seeing this competition at Earls Court as a young boy. If this makes no sense to you then You Tube it. I doubt they would run it now for Health and Safety reasons but it is one of the things that defines the Royal Navy.
No photos of the game as it involves fast time dice rolling but the pre game set up and figures are below. Good simple fun.
As things quietened down I had a chance to spend my cash, picking up Bicorne ECW musketeers on a whim (like I need a new period !) and some cheap Foundry Crimean Russians from Colonel Bill so that I can add them to the already huge Crimean mountain.
I met an old friend for our yearly catch up over coffee and cake. This will be his last Salute as he has moved to Shrewsbury and will now go to shows closer to his new home. I know he is looking for a club in that area. I also had a long chat with Dave Brown who was trialing his new Pickets Charge rules in an Antietam game before picking up some paint, spray cans of anti shine varnish and the obligatory trip to Warbases.