So, after a long time away (having not been since 2018, as in 2019 my son’s due date was the same time as Salute, so I skipped it, and then a global pandemic made it tricky to attend large gatherings) this year we were back to our annual pilgrimage to Salute, this time with an additional party member, my oft-alluded to friend that derails all my projects by showing me cool stuff (see Rangers of Shadow Deep, Inquisitor…)
Said friend drove us up to Canary Wharf, so this year was a much less bleary eyed trip than our usual break of dawn coach!
After spending almost no time at all queueing, we paired off and started our preliminary tour of the stands. I wanted to run straight to Mantic to make sure I was able to secure the show exclusive Hellboy release, and then signed up to play a game of Silver Bayonet, as it’s on the project list:
I ended up taking the Russian unit, by dint of them being closest to me when it was time for our slot to begin at 10:30:
(This is before I’d annotated the sheet with brief descriptions of each model so I knew who was who, and also what colour we were using for the skill and power dice)
After we’d had the rules and scenario (troll bridge, with a hint of zombie villagers) explained to us (as three of us had never played before), it was time to begin! Everyone else made cautious advances on the objectives, hugging cover, but I figured it was the time for guts and glory and threw everyone bar my rifleman forward (who hung back and managed to land a fairly telling hit on my friend’s officer - I felt kind of bad about that, but he was the only figure he could see!)
My poor Light Cavalryman (who had so far mostly been tasked with standing in front of my Officer as a human shield, as he was the only one of my pistol armed troops that didn’t also have oil and torches, which I suspected might be handy against a troll) was then tasked with grabbing the clue marker, which of course brought the troll into play:
From this point on my only objective was to take down that troll. My rifleman popped out to snipe it, and everyone else cocked their pistols menacingly. My Officer had originally planned to shoot it before charging in heroically to slay it in hand to hand, but then I remembered that the icy river was difficult terrain so he’d have to forego his shot to have any chance of reaching it, so instead rather sheepishly moved behind the Light Cavalryman to prepare for a slightly less courageous but slightly more tactically sound counterattack next turn. Which was probably for the best, as the troll hurled a rock at the Light Cavalryman which (thanks to my opponents on the other side of the board spending Monster Dice) absolutely exploded him (cue ‘Team Rocket blasting off againnnnn’ quote as I remove him from the board).
While all this was going on, the players on the other side of the board controlling the French and Austrian units were cautiously closing on each other, with an Occultist doing their spooky thing whilst a Dhampir charged in to fight the opposing officer only to bounce off. My friend (controlling the Prussian unit), was much more tactical than I was, using cover and tactics to try and swoop in and steal my kill:
As the guy running the game explained, it’s not who does the most damage to the troll that gets the XP…
At this point, with my counterattack poised and ready to take down the troll, our slot came to and end, and I found out I’d have only needed to do 4 more damage to have finished it off!
I thoroughly enjoyed the game, and so Silver Bayonet might see a little bump up in priority up the Project list… one brief highlight was looking up during the game to see the designer Joseph McCullough watching us play, so I gave him an excited thumbs up! Also, that troll was quite a nice looking miniature…
They also had a copy of the first expansion on hand, despite it not being out until next month, but I only managed to have the briefest of flicks through it after chatting with one of the other players before we had to head off to make space for the next batch of players.
Once we’d finished our game, it was time to do the rounds! The original plan was to do a lap first of all to scope things out, before swinging back to select stalls, but in the end we’d only seen about half of them by the time we stopped for lunch, and then rest took us pretty much to the end of the day! I was apparently also bad at taking pictures throughout the day, having a chum to chat to as I went round rather than my usual lone wolf approach, so what follows is only a tiny fraction of the goodies on offer at Salute.
There was a glorious Mordheim table, complete with glowing comet crater, and a ton of cool looking warbands:
Not bad for a game that’s been out of print for two decades!
Brief aside: every year, the tradition is that we have a picnic lunch sat on the grassy area just outside the Excel centre. Alas, this year we discovered that it was now a building site:
Bad Squiddo released a giant squid that is frankly impressive that it all fits in the blister:
I took a picture of this Batman game, as we were reminiscing about a previous Salute where I and another friend got overly excited and made a number of elaborate plans (and purchases!) for the Batman Miniatures Game. There have been multiple editions of that game since, and we’ve still not managed to play a game of it…
Giant barrel of dice:
The guy at the stand cut me a great deal on the fistful of dice I had at the end of the show!
Other things of note were thinking that I’d somehow missed the Hasslefree stand, only upon hunting it down after lunch to discover that they weren’t at the show (which outs a dampener on my plans for May the Fourth!) , and having a nice chat with Karl at Crooked Dice about plans for filling in gaps in their range, and the Doctor Who Miniatures Game (must remember to email him about that Preachers pdf!)
And so, to the meat of any Salute post, the loot:
I took out a chunk of cash in the morning, to avoid having to deal with the terrible signal at the show and also for budgeting, which I only went slightly over.
The Limited Edition Lobster Johnson for the Hellboy game
A variety of scenery bits from Renedra, including an old barn and some fencing that I thought would work nicely as Mordheim walkways without their fence posts,
A sprue of Napoleonic Brits to round out my Silver Bayonet unit
A Frostgrave ruler, offered in consolation when I asked if there were Wizard Sheets for Second Edition and there weren’t
Some new clippers from TTCombat, as my GW ones have vanished and replacing them is insanely priced, as well as a pot of reasonably priced superglue
Plenty of Crooked Dice minis to fill gaps in my Who collection
A blister of Penangalan miniatures, as they’ll do nicely for my Ronin of Shadow Deep project
A 3d printed greenhouse to go with the set of gardening supplies that I’d picked up from Bad Squiddo
The same troll miniature that had been used in the Silver Bayonet game that I played in,
Some dice, including one with a rubber duck in,
Some bases, because I seem to have run down my stash of those,
A selection of minis from Tritex Games for my son to paint,
A not-who set from Tangent Miniatures that came with a song,
A selection of Burrows and Badgers miniatures to see if my daughter is ready to take the step up to metal miniatures and maybe play some games,
Amongst a number of other odds and ends!
Adding it all up, the Tally now stands at:
11 vs 41 = -30
Also noteworthy was grabbing Pat from the YouTube channel The Painting Phase as he was minding his own business doing some shopping to tell him how great I think the channel is, me being offered a peg:
Which got me a querying look from my wife when I posted on Instagram that I’d been pegged…
So, what does the future hold? Fortunately, due to the excitement of having miniatures that are explicitly his my son demanded that we do some painting today, so I was able to prep a couple of miniatures for painting at the same time…