So yesterday was Salute 2013 - My second ever Salute and this time I went alone without my darling fiancé to stop me from spending all my hard earned cash. Which was ultimately pretty dangerous considering i'd only just got paid the day before. Oops! However, I managed to behave and only spent £30.
Well, no. Thats actually not true in any way, shape or form. I spent just as much on Amy as I did on myself. So £60.
Annddd thats not including the money I was given by one of my gaming buddies to pick up his order and buy him a cool mini. So £85.
Ok, so I may have spent a lot of money. But at least some of it wasnt mine and the other was a gift for my darling partner in crime. It still wasnt as much as The Responsible One spent. But then again I'm not sure anyone spent as much as he spent. He bought a god-damned TABLE.
This post isn't going to have any pictures in it. I HAVE pictures, but I'm also supporting my buddy Chris "The" Chapman at the London Marathon today so i'm a little pressed for time this morning (And was exhausted yesterday!). So much in the style of how my various Larp societies give their impressions of events, lets go for the very simple HOT or NOT (Followed by '... What?')
- I was very much left feeling like a little bit more effort could have gone into the participation games and what was on offer. Frothers Unite UK is an exception to this and I will get back to it later in the HOT section. Whilst i'm sure that the selection of historic wargames was good fun for the people playing, none of them especially reached out and grabbed me. They just seemed very bland and many of the tables looked like the same battle was being played in multiple places. It wasnt - I checked.
- Waiting Times to get in. There was a LOT more people wanting to get in this year, as was shown to me by the 5 minute walk to get past the pre-booked ticket holders and then the 10 minute walk to get to the end of the line for Pay on the Door tickets, followed by the 45 minute wait after the doors had opened just to get in.
- The sheer amount of people. I don't know about you, but I find that gamers often (Don't bite my head off! I know its not 100% accurate, but its a fairly common theme i've noticed) don't pay much attention to whats going on in the rest of the world when they are doing something they want to do. Such as looking at models when a short guy is allready in the way. Or leaving their massive backpacks on and turning constantly so said short guy gets smacked in the face. It made shopping hard - Really what I should have done was let the crowds thin out a bit and play a game of Snit's Revenge or something.
- Hearing one of the chaps at Ground Zero Games tell someone that the reason their website didn't have many photos in the catalogue is that they never have the time to get pictures done of all the models. That was slightly aggravating, since i'd offered over email.
- I mentioned Frother's Unite UK earlier. They managed to make two participation games that looked amazing fun and just straight up cool. The first was a 3D Cross section of a Bolotomus. Oh, wait? You don't know what a Bolotomus is? Check out Snit's Revenge on Wikipedia, I'll wait. Its one of those old TSR style chit-and-paper-map games where one player controls a giant creature called a Bolotomus and its internal organs while the other player/s control a small tribe of beasties called Snits that are invading the Bolotomus with intent to kick its internal organs until the Bolotomus dies of massive system shock and organ failure. I'm really not kidding. They made everything out of polystyrene and modelling clay and it looked absolutely brilliant. They also made a dice bidding WWF wrestling game that also looked great fun which I know i'd have been dragged into playing if Amy had been there but she wasnt, so I got to wallflower which is fine by me! The game used WWF Action figures! ACTION FIGURES. Amazing.
- They had a Trebuchet set up at the door. Hee!
- The absolutely amazing Underdark display model that someone had made up with the Dungeons and Dragons collector models. It was all cavernous and had purple crystals everywhere which were LED light sources! Stunning.
- Finding a £10 box labelled 'Flames of War Bits Box'. Had about 40 models inside it, LOADS of tank turrets and cannons for the front of them, bundles of loose small arms (... as in guns, not severed limbs) and other bits and peices im sure I can use. Bargain!
- Seeing The Responsible One and Sim Lauren. Two very lovely people who treated me to lunch at an absolutely fantastic cafe/restaurant called Fede. Seriously you guys, this place was utterly amazing. The chap we spoke to, Giovanni was charismatic and personable, didn't even require writing down our orders because he didn't need to because his memory is great and he's one of us. You know. A gamer.
- Booth Bunnies. Now, we're not talking about gamer girls dressed up pretty in an attempt to lure gamers in. No no no. I'm fairly certain that these girls had no experience of gamers what so ever. They did not seem able to comprehend WHY no-one was paying a blind bit of attention to their skimpy cheerleader outfits. They occasionally looked downright dissapointed when they realised that people were more interested in toy models then pretty ladies. I might be wrong here, but thats definately the vibe I got. Several other stalls then the one I have in mind here ALSO had booth bunnies, but those girls actually seemed interested in gaming and where there for more then just looking pretty. I am amused.