Wargamers are a distinctive looking bunch.
The moment I stepped out at Canning Town en route to the Excel Centre, I knew I was on the right platform. Beards, bellys and and the odd leather trenchcoat. We compared unfavourably with those svelt athletic types coincidentally registering for the London Marathon at the same venue. But whilst we may not have had the same grace or poise, we did have The Force and this was to tide us over as we wound our way more or less patiently into Hall 10. I’d arrived at Salute 2011!
Cluching my goodie bag (which incidentally contained a free waterproof cover for my KR multicases – very generous!), camera bag and map, I negotiated my way through the throng to embark upon a 5 hour wargaming odyssey - here are my edited highlights.
I’ll start with a particpation game. Naturally enough, I shyed away from Flames of War , preferring instead to make my way over to the Warlord Games stand. Warlord Games were running a participation game of Operation Squad – a 28mm WW2 skirmish game and I wanted to see what all the alleged fuss was about:
A few minutes later and I was down in the trenches, a squad leader in the 101st Airborne outflanking some SS and regular Whermacht whilst, incongrously, some early War French lounged around in the opposite corner edge waiting for orders. I had great fun and really enjoyed skirmishing with individual figures rather than whole platoons. A noteworthy enhancement to the already impressive tablewas the flickering Firepower lights on the burnt out AFVs, a wonderful touch. I was sorely tempted by Operation Squad, but at £18 for a 46 page soft-bound book and with an untried copy of NUTS at home, I saved my pennies for the silfor tufts over at Antenociti’s Workshop which were shifting like hot cakes.
Making my way past the incredible 1/35th scale (1/35th!) Oosterbeek Cauldron game, I came across the mindblowing Fall of Budapest demo game by Loughton Strike Force. My photos can only give you a glimpse of how inspirational this 20mm game looked:
The attention to detail was superb. If you want see see more, check out this chap’s better photos of the same game at the Cavalier Show.
Suitably impressed, I moved off to my next participation game, Combat 48 by Baueda…