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"A short visit to Salute 2018" Topic

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1,386 hits since 13 Apr 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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legatushedlius14 Apr 2018 8:44 a.m. PST

Just went for a couple of hours today.
As busy and murky as ever!


Jimlad4814 Apr 2018 9:08 a.m. PST

My thoughts would be far too dark, the lighting is just to gloomy for the space – there were a number of people I heard complaining about it too.

There was a lot of space on the floor, it felt more than previous years, yet the stands were pushed into the same tiny spaces – it felt extremely cramped on stand and often as cramped and difficult to move in as the show over at Reading (Warfare) – which is a great show, but often feels too crowded in the space it has available.

Generally I felt a bit 'meh' about this years event- not much of interest release wise, the lighting just made it feel gloomy and dark, and to be honest it felt like there were fewer traders and less 'glamour' than some years. For instance the Battlefront stand used to be very high profile, but felt cut back, while the old Hawk stand (now TT) was just a mess. Also notable was the absence of Mantic and some other stands I've seen in previous years.

I've got mixed feelings about Salute – its an impressive venue, and when it goes well, it gets it right. This year though just felt like something was missing – a lot of empty space where stands could have been and a sense that it was too big a venue for the show that they were having for a change.

Perhaps part of the problem is that many wargaming companies are small and don't have the time and resource to do 'trade show' stands well – which is fundamentally what Excel exists to do. Therefore you have a massive exhibition space filled with the same stands that you can see at most events with little 'special' about it.

I left about barely 2 hours and spent a lot less than expected – some years I've cleared £400.00 GBP a day, this year I didnt even hit £100.00 GBP – which is very telling.

Cornelius Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2018 10:10 a.m. PST

The fraction of SF and Fantasy vendors seemed greater this year and there were fewer knock-out games. A couple of medium-sized historical traders, Adler and EWM, did not seem to be there which was a shame but kept the spending down.

Sadly missing was the adjoining London Marathon event but there was a wedding show, which made for some noticeable contrasts in the general areas.

jurgenation Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2018 11:21 a.m. PST

Great pictures ..thanx for sharing ..some very impressive games.

Vigilant14 Apr 2018 11:37 a.m. PST

Each to their own. I spent just under 5 hours there and far too much money. There were lots of traders that I had not seen before at shows and a few I had not heard of. Yes there were no major new releases but that is outside the show's control. There was a lack of stand out games, although the 40mm ACW gamer was pretty impressive. Also interesting to see were 2 games of the WW1 Zeebruge attack in different scales. For me well worth the almost 8 hours round trip from the wilds of Yorkshire dodging the usual lunatics on the road who think that speed limits and lane discipline don't apply to them.

Ruglud14 Apr 2018 12:38 p.m. PST

I'm with Vigilant – Excel is excellent for the sheer variety of traders and games each year. Some of it's not for me, but that's fine – the hobby is looking in reasonable health given the financial climate in and outside he UK. What is great is to see all the families and youngsters in attendance and not just that, but to see them actively involved in participation games…

Yes, Excel lighting is awful, even i noticed the dinginess this year, especially on the Wayland stand- they seriously need some LED strip lights under the shelves – I couldn't make out some of the products hidden in the shadows and just gave up.

Hats off though to the South London Warlords, for a non-profit organisation to successfully organise this event year in, year out, is no mean feat. I for one, will be back in the queue for 2019 (please arrange it so that it doesn't clash with the London Marathon, was so nice not having the concourse heaving with humanity at lunchtime…)

londoncalling14 Apr 2018 1:02 p.m. PST

After having promised myself after last year not to visit this year..I did.

Agree with many comments above, walking into the hall it was like something was wrong with my eyes !! Ridiculously dark for a hobby where we are eyeballing tiny figures and fancy scenics (same problem as last year)

A lot of empty space, yet many traders cramped into a couple square metres ? I know kensington was far too cramped and yet Excel lacks atmosphere, a tough one to solve..

Appeared very well organised by the warlords and clearly major efforts put into the many games on show. Got there about 10.45ish and no queuing.

Impulse purchase of the day ? Gringo 40s, really tasty figures in the flesh :)

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2018 1:24 p.m. PST

I spent what seemed like a long time looking at Peter Pig's 1/600th ACW ships asking myself (not for the first time)

"does a man who has two vast fleets of ACW Ironclads and associated vessels in 1/1200th really need to duplicate them in 1/600th just because the model boats are beautiful?".

And once again I found the sensible answer. Unfortunately.

wrgmr114 Apr 2018 1:26 p.m. PST

Thanks legatushedlius!
Nice report and good photos. Still on my bucket list.

foxweasel14 Apr 2018 1:44 p.m. PST

I had a really good time, chatting to people I hadn't met before, looking at games I have no interest in but that look absolutely gorgeous. The only issue is that my wallet is now empty and the kids are on compo for the next month.

Greg G114 Apr 2018 3:18 p.m. PST

I got to Salute about 11.45, having spent some time at Stratford station trying to work out how to get to Excel, as no trains seemed to be heading in that direction, had to go to Canning Town and then change. On previous years I could get a DLR train direct from Stratford. On arriving in Salute the first thing I noticed was how dark it was, not great when you are buying 1/300th scale … luckily I had pre-ordered the bulk of my buys from Heroics & Ros and Timecast. I got the bulk of what I wanted, however on previous years there has been a trader selling Litko Game Accessories, this year being the year I wanted some, no one selling them. Ordered a game mat from the nice people at Tinywargames, and had a impulse buy from Caliver Books a set of Battlegroup rules and the Market Garden supplement for £29.00 GBP.All in all I had a good day out though, even if my pocket was a lot lighter, and my backpack a lot heavier. Thanks South London Warlords for organising the show.

clifblkskull Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2018 8:05 p.m. PST

Nice AAR and pics
Thanks for taking the time

gunnerphil15 Apr 2018 12:10 a.m. PST

I noticed it was much darker this year. Wanted to buy some paints and could not read the labels. Perhaps Excel management have changed to some super energy saving bulbs.

That apart thanks to Warlords for organising the event.

Cornelius Supporting Member of TMP15 Apr 2018 12:11 a.m. PST

One thing to add – they got the queueing sorted this year – arrived at 10am and was in by 10:12. Well done Warlords.

Jimlad4815 Apr 2018 9:41 a.m. PST

Came across the enclosed links on another forum – all interesting reviews and worth a read. General theme in all of them was summed up as 'great show, good day, awful lighting and painful floors and my wallet needs CPR'…






Trajanus15 Apr 2018 3:42 p.m. PST

The lighting thing is odd. Has it really gone backwards? The last two or three years have been noticeably brighter. I never pay any real attention to which numbered hall space the show takes place in, year on year. Was it the same space?

As I've generally been running a game, you rock up from the service side of the building, which is under a different system, so don't need to know the entrance number.

Could it be the Warlords were allocated a different area this year which has not been upgraded?

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