Salute 2015 Report – Spectre, Empress and more!

Ah London
Ah London

Salute is one of the largest (if not THE largest) wargaming conventions in the UK. Taking place in the EXcel Centre in London, it takes a huge area filled with the best and brightest of Britian’s wargaming community. As a newbie to the entire scene, the idea of going to Salute came up as a way to see everything out there. After getting the train to London and then jumping on the tube out to the convention centre (being the same weekend as the London Marathon meant transportation was packed) I finally encountered the biggest room full of wargamers I’d ever seen.

One of my main reasons for going to Salute was to meet up with the guys behind Spectre who I have been talking to/bothering over twitter and facebook. Chatting to them was really cool. They seem to have a handle on their releases, with lots coming up from a whole selection of theatres and forces (they mentioned they were looking into Russians or Chinese as another national faction). They also have been hearing the reports from everyone playing the rules and are looking at taking the feedback on board. Apparently the air support rules were missing from the first release thanks to a corrupted upload, so we should be seeing new rules soon. They were also talking about looking at the bleedout – their idea was to make it realistic and rapid but seeing as it pops up a lot in comments they were looking into making some minor tweaks. Overall, I am excited to be getting in on the ground floor with this range of models and rules – the team behind it seemed very excited about their future plans and I wish them all the best.

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The WIP models from Spectre. Models of note include the breacher with rifle and shotgun, the new set of US SOF and the two models at the front – the criminal element (a new faction) and an indigenous force with AK and PASGAT helmet

But of course there were tons of other companies and games filling the hall. Empress has a busy stall that was packed all day as were Hasslefree who took up an entire corner of the convention hall. Old favourites like Warlord were packed while smaller stall still seemed to be super busy. This is great – with so many people, every stall is just packed with plenty of eyes on everything. There was so much to see but I thought it was best to just show the best I grabbed pictures of:

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Didn’t see the rules for this (or much play going on) but a lovely board set in the Cold War. Brits on one end of a highway deploying with an oncoming Russian force. Lots of tanks and a sight to behold
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Blurry cam but here is an American Revolution board. I love these boards – so many tiny details to catch and see. Almost too nice to play on.
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Battlegroup Blitzkrieg is a cool looking alternative to Bolt Action. Their board was Dunkirk with some cool details from the oncoming Germans in the distance. the skirmishes in the middle to the rear support units recovering tanks and manning AA guns
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I didn’t catch the rules for this one, but they made mention of being focused on armour and supporting infantry in WW2. Lovely little scene, the field in the foreground look perfect. As for the gameplay, everyone seemed to be having fun.
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ZEPPELINS! Not something you see at every games session but this was one that stood out. Cool models, massive props. Spot on!
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Bolt Action. British paras and Germans clash over Peagsus Bridge. This board was packed all day.
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I managed to spot this on the way out and was so happy not to miss it. Ambush Alley rules, cold war got hot scenario, NATO special forces fighting aboard a Russian ship. Two levels of interior to fight through. You would never see this board down the club on a Monday night but damn is it not impressive

So what did I end up buying? Well, as you would expect, the moment Spectre said they had an exclusive model I was ready to pick that model and stick into my collection. The model is a pretty unique looking female merc with an MP7. Spectre also had a brand new set of UKSF guys with MP7s that were just asking to join the assault team and to go grab some HVTs. From Empress I picked up a deal of British moderns to get my platoon well on its way. After a little bit of calculation I am two boxes sets away from having a complete platoon comprised of three sections, one HQ sections, a few weapons teams and a group of combat engineers with barming tools. And then I bought a Warrior IFV to help them out. I was intending to get a Scimitar but sadly they were out of stock when I went back. The Warrior is a lovely kit although I need to get hold of a drill in order to attach the turret. The Warrior should allow for some interesting scenarios be it up and moving or as an objective needing rescuing. It will also be a new challenge to paint as I have never done an AFV at this scale. I’ll be getting my airbrush fixed so I can speed up painting the huge expanse of hull. Just need to decide on the green/tan shade to colour it.

There will be more details on the Brits coming soon (hopefully once I’ve painted most of them) along with a complete army list and how I intend to run them. Also more games coming soon!