Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Salute 2012: Part 2


So the first part of the show had gone OK. We'd made it to London in one piece and managed to survive the keep fit lunatics on the Tube! I'd bagged myself some decent swag from Freebooter Miniatures and talked with some really cool people, and seen some even cooler product. However, I was getting a little bit physically tired and the lack of any meaningful breakfast was starting to take it's toll, not just on me but also Dr Brainiac... but we pushed on.

Sarissa Precision

Part 2 of my day I guess began at another company regular readers of my Blog should be more than aware of, Sarissa Precision. Yes the purveyors of exceedingly well priced laser cut wargames scenery were also in attendance... and their store was absolutely rammed! I'd like to claim it's all down to my reviews of their product, but I know it isn't. Nope, it's simply because they make absolutely cracking wargames scenery at very affordable prices and their range just keeps on growing. Even though they were snowed under I was able to have a brief chat with the chaps and see some of their new stuff, some of which will be reviewed next week... but I know they're holding even more back! They really seemed to be enjoying the day, this despite Steve needing the toilet quite badly apparently and being unable to extricate himself from the store. It was at this point I lost Dr Brainiac to the hunger. She was starting to flag and clearly was suffering for not having received her mandatory cup of morning tea. She set off to sit at the side of the show floor and have a drink and something to eat. This was bad for a number of reasons:

  1. I felt like I was dragging her round a show she didn't want to be at and wasting one of her precious Saturday's.
  2. But more importantly it meant I was taking the pictures from now on.

This second point is vitally important, because I didn't have a swanky camera. Mainly because I wouldn't know how to use it and quite frankly it would have been wasted on me. My pictures from this point onwards are quite frankly unusable for the most part. However, Dr Brainiac did re-join me at points. So many of my pictures in part two are either from other sources or aren't so great!

Ainsty Castings

I came for the boats, which were actually painted up for Salute. They looked rather spiffing too. Ainsty Castings actually produce some really good pieces of resin scenery and do so for a very reasonable price too. I've seen Ainsty Castings stuff at a few conventions and places before, and I've actually been relatively impressed with their product line. I'm not going to lie to you though, I was here to ogle the pirate ships some more, I mean I'm really getting into Freebooter's Fate so I need a pirate ship... right? Any way the store was crammed with people and I have to say it wasn't at all pleasant to try and get around it. So I didn't really bother as it was probably more hassle than it was worth. I'll just buy the stuff I want off their webstore when I have the cash.

Maelstrom Games

So next up was Maelstrom Games and more importantly another chance to take a look at their glorious BaneLegions. I have to say that the Maelstrom Games stand was absolutely packed every time I looked at it, and everyone who was there was ogling the BaneLegions miniatures. As was I. I also had the chance to have a look at some of the new miniatures in the range that have yet to be released and also to have another good long chat with Rob Lane, who was kind enough to give me a Kraan mini for my troubles. He also spilled a few more beans on his plans for his game... and I can't talk to you about what those are right now... because he'd tear my arms off and beat me to death with the wet ends! Suffice to say when I'm able to give you guys more info I will, in the meantime here's some pictures.

One of the BaneLegion display cabinets.

Honestly this miniature is utterly splendid... I want 2 of them!!!

So we meet again Mr Krull...

They had folders with with pictures and concept art to hand.

They also had the miniatures out on display for punters to look at.

This stand was another personal highlight for me, not just because I enjoyed chatting to Rob and seeing their new stuff. Nope, it was just really good to see and hear the buzz there was around BaneLegions range of mini's. It's gathering pace as a product range and I for one am happy that it is, can't wait to see what the game looks like now!

I did spend a little bit of time at the Black Library stand but there wasn't really much there in all honesty to interest me, so I rapidly moved on.

Victrix Limited

I've been starting to look at Napoleonic wargames over the last few months. It's actually a period of European history that holds a lot of interest for me. Thing is I've always had a bit of an issue with the whole historic reenactment thing with toy soldiers, it's always made me feel a little bit hinky. This was one of the companies though I wanted to make a beeline for along with Perry Miniatures and Warlord Games, because I've started to think that perhaps doing a Napoleonic army or two might actually be a fun challenge for the painting side of my hobby. Plus I guess I'd like to do some more historic based gaming and face some of the sorts of challenges that such generals faced themselves... in short I'm getting old. Any way, what did I think of their plastic miniatures? Well actually I think they're really, really good. The prices are also really quite reasonable too, the guys on the stand were also really helpful. They also told me to go look at Perry Miniatures too and see what they had to offer as well. So I did, and unsurprisingly I was impressed with their product too. I think I might have to do a Napoleonic army at some point.

Mantic Games

Honestly, I don't think this store was as well run as I thought it was going to be. There were demo games of Warpath, Pandora and Dwarf Kings Hold going on, and people seemed to be enjoying themselves. But when I passed by there wasn't much attempt to come and speak to me or to engaged with me. It seemed to me that the staff were taking a bit of a break, which is understandable but I felt like I was getting in the way while I was at their store. Wasn't really the best of impressions again, however I know more than enough about Mantic's product as I own a lot of it so decided to shoot off elsewhere and to leave them to their mothers meeting. The Corporation and Veer-Myn did look really, really good though.

This was really frustrating as I was really keen to talk to Renedra Limited about their work in the industry, and see if someone would be willing to talk to me about what they do, and maybe get an interview for you guys. It's something I'm going to have to pursue after the event because I just didn't have time to see and do everything I wanted to. It was at this point I went and had a look around the Battlefoam, Feld Herr and KR Multicase stands. I'll give you my thoughts on them all in part 3 of my Salute round up.

Grand Manner was another stall I didn't get to spend much time at. It probably got only a cursory glance. While much of their scenery looked well made and detailed enough, none of it actually grabbed me personally, which isn't a massive surprise given my gaming habits. Looked nice enough if that's your thing though.

Antenocitis Workshop

Now I've already brought a damn good chunk of scenery from Antenocitis Workshop, and much of it is actually waiting to be reviewed or is actually going up for review shortly. However, I've been slowly building a list of scenery that I'd like to pick up from Jed to go with some Sarissa Precision buildings I'm hoping to get to do an Infinity board with. I've got enough of their product to know I can be sure of the quality but I just wanted to get a sense of scale and size for some of the pieces they produce. Jed was kind enough to talk me through the stuff and actually made some useful suggestions. So I now feel confident in placing an order in the near future. I also wanted to take a nice long look at his vehicles, as again I think they'll make great scatter terrain for an Infinity board... I have to say I was very impressed with what I saw and I think his resin vehicles are splendid. Here have a picture.

Antenocitis Workshops display cabinet.

Mongoose Publishing

Now I like me some spaceships. In fact I think my first ever love was the Star Destroyer from Star Wars. I had toys, posters, Lego and even model kits of the Star Destroyer... now obviously when I saw the Super Star Destroyer it blew my mind... but that's another story! So yeah I'm a bit of nerd for spaceships, I simply love them no matter what shape or size they come in. Be it Battlestar Galatica, Space Above and Beyond, Firefly, Babylon 5 or Star Trek, I love spaceships. So Mongoose Publishing's A Call to Arms games, Noble Armada and Star Fleet, should be totally up my alley. So I popped over to have a look at the stand. True I already play Firestorm Armada from Spartan Games, but as fun as that can be at times, it does often leave me wanting way more depth and tactical scope. So is what Mongoose Publishing are producing for me? Given the cost of the starter fleets and in my humble opinion the low standard of the mini's on offer... my answer is no. The game itself might be really good but I just can't see myself spending £75 on a starter fleet when the miniatures just don't appeal to me. Does that make me a shallow visual whore? Probably, but I honestly couldn't care less. Wish them well as they seemed like nice chaps, but it looked a bit naff.

Critical Mass Games were another store I had to breeze past. I was getting hungry at this stage and my grumbling stomach seemed intent on telling everyone who stood within 10 feet of me. I had to get back to Dr Brainiac and make plans for acquiring lunch! So the fact that there was a bit of a queue at their store made me less inclined to stick around to see what I could find out. I made a note in my book to email them after the show to find out more.

Pulp City

I owe the guys on this stand a bit of an apology... well two maybe. The first apology is that these guys were amazingly friendly and were willing to chat with me, but my time was so pressed that I was unable to really give them more of my time than I did. Plus I needed food. I did however give a commitment to contact them at a later date to do a follow up article on this Blog for you all. The second apology is that my pictures of their product were utterly hopeless. I guess the surprise to me was how popular the Pulp City stand appeared to be while I was there. I've looked at this game in the past but the miniatures didn't grab me. However, I'd be lying if I said a game about superheroes wasn't of interest to me. I was just surprised it was of interest to as many people as it was, I've not seen much evidence of the game locally. My own personal issues though are that if I'm playing a superhero game I want to play as Batman or Deadpool, not Wombatman and Deathpond. They did though convince me to give the game a second look, and it certainly sounds interesting enough for me to take a much closer look at it in the future. I'm very pleased I took the time to learn more about game and you'll all be getting to read one of my games that intrigue me articles soon enough. Time for food!

To be brutally honest this part of the day didn't go as well as I hoped it would. It was around 12:00ish when I started on this section of the day, and I honestly began to notice how crowded the show was becoming and how little patience many people were starting to have with each other. I saw a few displays of reprehensible behaviour unbecoming civilised tea drinkers such as us Brits. On the whole though people remained fairly well behaved, but I guess leaving Dr Brainiac behind to eat her banana and drink some orange juice made me more inclined to rush a bit, so as to get back to her sooner. Also me trying to cram things in at this stage made this portion of the day a bit more stressful than I'd have liked. It also left me feeling a little bit unsatisfied with proceedings. Had I known my photography was also crap during this part of the day I might have given up and headed home right here. I wasn't a happy bunny at this stage of the day as I was a bit hungry and had witnessed some crass idiots in action... not to mention I was still a little narked about earlier treatment at some stands, my note book has this scrawled in it "still too pissed to go back to Black Scorpion". Peace out!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Picking a fight again Drew where there is none. lol.

      Sorry but some of the Pulp City heroes and Villains do appear unoriginal. The guys at the stands themselves said they were inspired by famous superheroes and villains. The point about wanting to play with famous superheroes though still stands for me. However, as I said the game looks interesting and I agreed to take a further look at it. Sometimes I wish you'd learn to winfd your chin in a bit mate.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Drew I get personal with you because I know you, and I see the way you pick fights on places like Facebook with people. Seriously you need check yourself sometimes.

      Plenty of people have disagreed with me on here and I've let them. I also respect their opinions, just as I do yours. But honestly you can be a bit of a dick at times, this is one of them.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. No Drew, I've never deleted a comment for somebody disagreeing with me and I won't. It's my opinion that if I'm going to play a superhero game I'd like to do it with real characters from comics. If you think that's spurious and unworthy good on you. But I still think your a dick for saying it.

  4. I looked at the pulp city stuff too and the rule book bing available for a free down load will let me try before I buy, and the models do look nice but I'd too like to run around as a well known toon, but the ninja's which were sold out by the time I'd found them were fantastic!

    and I'd steer clear of mongoose there previous history with miniture lines doesn;t bode well.

    1. Yeah Mongooses history is checkered at best isn't it? It's a shame because I think there are some good ideas amongst all the cock ups they make and it's a shame they haven't been able to make a product 'stick' as it were.

      I've already downloaded the Pulp City rules, I did so on Sunday and have been perusing them. It looks like fun to be honest with you and I'll certainly do an article on it as the guys at Salute were really friendly and helpful. Plus I promised them I'd give it a go and write about it and I don't back out of promises.

    2. My club has been gaming a LOT of Star Trek over the last couple of years and when Mongoose initially launched their models many were quite intrigued... until we all noticed the prices.

      Considering they are almost exact recasts of the very old and very OOP FASA models, the price at which they are asking is totally out of this galaxy (pardon the pun).

      No thank you, I can recast my own FASA models if I ever wanted to go back to original series gaming. It is not like they have cornered the market on Star Trek models from this era in any case. Just surf Shapeway's website and you will find at least two dozen stores selling models from this period in Star Trek lore...

    3. Are they really the FASA sculpts? If so charging that much for them is a bit of a joke!!!

      You also make a valid point about picking alternatives up from other manufacturers. I guess the other problem I have is past performance. I'm just not sure I trust Mongoose not to pull the rug on something.

    4. Some are FASA recasts from the looks of things, some are original sculpts. A few of them look like they took apart some of the old sculpts and updated / regiged them slightly to look a little more modern.

      I don't have a huge amount of FASA models to compair with and I'm not going to be ordering any of Mongoose's minis any time soon.

      From comparing pictures to miniatures the following look like copies of the FASA masters:


      The models would be still interesting if they were not priced to rival GW in terms of outrageousness.

      A couple of my club mates have had some trouble when dealing with Mongoose. They ordered some Noble Armada miniatures and took almost two months to arrive...

  5. Thanks for part 2 of what is a really excellent review of the show. Although I didn't get around many of the trade stands, I did pay a visit to the Antenociti's Workshop stand. It had been slightly "picked over" by eager gamers by 2.30pm (which is the sign of a great product), but still had some good stuff there. I bought some ground scatter - I've always been very happy with what I've bought from them at shows, and mail-order, in the past. I very much agree with you that there quite a few trade stands I just couldn't get near when I visited - Mutineer Miniatures and the Pig Iron Miniatures supplier being two of them. All part of the frantic Salute experience! :)

    1. I must have been at Antenocitis Workshops stall around the same time as you were then. I'd have been there around 2:30ish and you're right, many of the shelves had been picked clean when I visited the stand, which is great as it means Jed got some money for his excellent product. I quite like seeing stands I'm interested being packed and busy though, it means stuff I like is doing well. I'm not one of these weird gamers who only likes playing things that are totally abscure and makes a big point about it. I want the things I like to be successful because it means I get more of them!!! Win win in my mind!

  6. Do give Pulp City a second look. After trying lots of superhero games over the years, I think the rules are great, and the models have a lot of character. The 'big things are coming this year' trope is pretty common in gaming, but, big things are coming this year.

    1. I will be giving it a go that's for certain. First up though will be Dark Age, followed by Dust Warfare and then probably Pulp City in that order for the next 3 'intrigues me' articles. I'll give the game it's fair dues and give it a go.

  7. A great review of the traders (I like many others focused on the games and neglected to talk about the traders). I also bought a load of stuff from Antenocitis Workshop. I usually buy from them online but who can resist saving a few penny's on P&P? Besides they were a nice bunch and friendly despite looking worn out (this was just before 5pm).

    1. Good God at 5:00 Jed and co must have been utterly knackered by that time. I think the guys at Salute who were running their games deserve a massive pat on the back for what they do. They put on games to for those of us who haven't seen things and devote a good chunk of their time to helping us discover games we didn't know about.

      Having said that some store holders at Salute deserve medals for dealing with as many customers as they had to. :P

  8. If you want a closer look at the Ainsty ships, I will be doing reviews on the medium and large ones very soon.

    As you know already, Im a big Pulp City fan.
    PC 'not' having Marvel/DC supers in was a big draw for me.
    Although if thats the things you want to play there is a couple of options,
    1- Paint the PC minis as your favouite Heros and Villains. (I doing just that with a couple of teams)
    2- Check out Super System to create the popular ones with those rules
    3- Heroclix!

    I think the PC Supremes are some of the most original Super mins I have seen. I know they may be 'like' Marvel or DC Supers but you can say the same for any game on the market. Nothing is 100% original anymore.
    Check out some of the PC fluff though and you will start to see HUGE differences.
    Hell, I bought the Bane Legions Talos and thats a total 'Jason and the Argonauts' rip off. But its still an awesome mini and that was one of the main draws of it.

    Totally off topic and just a '1 blogger to another' comment, after talking alot about the community on here and people leaving comments and you replying to them, calling someone that has done what you ask a 'dick' doesnt read too well from an outsiders point of view.

    1. Hendy I think you like Drew might have missed the point. I'm not bothered about whether or not the superheroes are original or not. I just want to play with the superheroes I like. That's it, no issue with anyone riffing on anything. See my reviews for HGB stuff as proof of that. I point out where DP9 got their inspiration from and why I like what they've done with it. But superheroes are superheroes to me and the cool ones remain cool and that's why I love them. It's the reason that Batman Arkham Asylum and City were so popular as games, despite the fact that much of what they have done is rehashed other games... admittedly very well and Rocksteady deserve credit for that.

      As for my comment re-DrWarlock or Drew, I know him in person and I'm sorry he's an adversarial curmudgeon at times. To be honest with you I'm tired of him picking fights with people and choosing to have arguments on terms that weren't even there in the first place. He thinks he's better than people, he deliberately goes out of his way to belittle people and their opinions. Most of the time people just zone out and ignore him, which is a shame because often he has some valid points to make. But the way he chooses to make them annoys people. So I'm not sorry one bit for calling him on it.

    2. I get where your coming from.
      I was just mentioning things you may like to check out. Like the fluff or way to use your favourites.
      If you like Supers no matter what, then imo Pulp City is the way to go!
      (I do love Arkham Asylum)
      I think the one thing in PC better than the Supers is the game play. Where else can you batter one person with a VW and then get battered back with a portaloo?

      As I said on my blog, feel free to contact me with ANY questions you have about PC and the article you want to do.

      Re- DrWarlock, I was just saying how it looked. And it looked abit off for you. Dont want to get involved in anything personnal.

    3. No and neither would I want to get others involved. Drew has a short fuse and a history of going off on one at people who he thinks are 'wrong'. Rather than listening to them or hearing what was actually said he tends to read into things that aren't there and I'm sick of it to be honest with you.

      As I said in the article I intend to give the game a go for three main reasons:

      1) I like superheroes a lot.
      2) The game looks like it could be fun.
      3) And this ones the most important one for me, I really enjoyed talking to the chaps on the stand and I thought they were really friendly and helpful.

      They had a passion for their product and knew it well. They took the time to answer my questions and to just ave a chat about stuff and I appreciated it. To be honest with you I'd like to have had a sit down in a pub with them and chat some more, just like I wanted to with the guys from Freeboter Miniatures and a few other places.

    4. 1) Who doesnt?
      2) It is! Very!
      3) They were 2 of the nicest chaps I met that day. Was talking to Maciej for ages over the course on the day. But then I was at the stand about 8 times.

    5. Yeah I was a little bit sorry I couldn't spend longer chatting to them as they appeared to be really good peeps. They also did a good job of selling their product.

  9. I feel kind of bad for Pulp City, before last years Salute a friend of mine introduced me to the game, when we got to Salute I had a look at the stand, chatted to the guy there and thought to myself that I might go back and pick up some minis but by the end of the day I'd bought loads of stuff and so gave Pulp City a miss. Before this years Salute I'd had a good look over the Pulp City website and thought I'd check them out again this year, however, by the time I'd rushed around loads of the stuff that I wanted to see I found myself lacking in cash and still hadn't picked up any of their minis. Maybe next year will be third time lucky for them and I'll finally make a purchase.

    Pulp City is definitely one of those games that interest me but there's always something else that bit more appealling which seems to get the nod just ahead of them, this year it was Heavy Gear Blitz and I'm blaming Fromntline Gamer for it! There you go, it's nothing to do with me, it's all your fault!!1!

    I see that this article made reference to Sarissa Precision, mentions that you'll be reviewing some stuff soon and hinted at some new stuff; I saw a landing pad but that was the only new thing I saw although Steve did tell me a bit about some of the other new bits in the pipeline, some of which sounded really exciting, and I got the impression were fairly imminent. Do you have any articles planned on the new stuff and/or can you provide any more details?! having got hold of some of the stuff I'm really keen to get an order in but don't want to do that and find that there are a load of new releases right after I've bankrupt myself.

    1. Most of the Sarissa Precision stuff I'll be reviewing next week has probably already been seen much of it. There are some nifty little add ons but nothing that would fundamentally change the range and how I personally view it. They've still to release the big centerpiece building that I showed concept art for a while back and I've seen that in the flesh and it's really swanky... one of the other pieces I've seen and made comments and feedback on I really can't talk about... but I know its something that gamers really, really want! So I expect some exploding heads when they release it. :)

      As for blaming me for HGB... OK I confess it was me what done it. But don't you bloody blame me for not buying Pulp City product in 2011 you swine. I wasn't even blogging then so I refuse to be held responsible for that... or WWII. :P

    2. After chatting to the guys at Sarissa I remembered the concept art that you'd shown and was kicking myself for not asking them about it. I was chatting to them for a while but I'd been wandering around for some time by then and my head was swimming so I can only remember three of the new things I was told about one of which sounded really impressive, although perhaps not head explodingly impressive so you've got me even more intrigued now...

      Do you have any ideas of an intended relesase schedule? Even a rough guesstimate? Even if its just whether we're talking weeks or months? Need... More... Info.... :)

    3. Heya Hendie, if I knew I'd tell you. But the guys at Sarissa have so much on their plate at the moment I'm not so sure they're in a position to give firm dates right now. I'll ask them for you though if you want.

  10. Also picked up some of Sarissa stuff for my Infinity board once it takes shape. I'm thinking the Jungles of Paradiso with a small clearing for a science station/colony in it.

    Shame you're not into Noble Armada. I enjoy the game, and I think the models are nice enough. Though in terms of spaceships the find for me was the presentation table next to Antenociti's workshop, with the Higaaran ships from Homeworld 2 that Antenocit were also selling. Quite nice, so ended up going a bit over budget to buy some.

    1. I didn't see those spaceships, who sells them? Bugger it I knew I'd miss something. Do you have a link to them? It's not that I don't like A Call to Arms the game, but the miniatures didn't really grab me at all.

    2. I'm gonna toss it out there and say it was ether Ground Zero Games or Brigade Games.

      Both made some rather nice spaceship miniatures for a very, very nice price point.

    3. None of the above

      check this out

      just sorting out the cart system for the site but the ships are available in the 3 fleet box's shown.

  11. Denying Dr. Brainiac her morning tea seem to be a cruel and unusual punishment.
    Yer a bad man, you are....

    1. I didn't mean to deprive her of her morning tea... it just sort of happened that way. It wasn't a plan or anything!!!

      Plus don't you worry buddy, she's made me pay big time since...

  12. Great second part.. big names like the Sarissa and Antenocitis Workshop reviews are great. Looking forward to seeing the new things from Sarissa personally.. and see what ranges they are looking to expand ( am hoping City 28 personally ).

    Also why are you teasing us by showing us just how good the Krull model is in the flesh once more.. I think your photo does it better justice than the professional one.. as it shows the real scope and size of it, and how the colors look under real conditions..


    1. Yeah the plan is to produce some smaller reviews more quickly to do a weeks worth of scenery reviews and just get them out of the way. I know some people like the scenery reviews but others aren't so keen on them.

  13. Sigh....Dust Warfare is here, and I gotta go to BoLS and read about it....
    Somebody is to busy with Heavy Gears, or whatever.

    1. I sodding wrote about Dust Warfare months ago!!!

      To be honest with you though its not just HGB getting in the way it's other games as well... that and real life. I'll be writing something about it soon enough I promise you.

  14. Really enjoyed these posts thanks mate, though you've got me green with envy - oh to attend Salute! I need to find out whether there is anything at all similar in New Zealand, though I very much doubt it. I'll now be reading through your posts again to see if there's anything I missed!

    As an aside, I've been reading on other blogs about "Dropzone Commander" from Hawk Wargames, being 10mm sci fi with a ruleset to come. The miniatures look pretty cool so I think it could be one to watch.

    1. Thanks Mikey for the compliment. I have a bit of a confession to make as well... I totally missed Dropzone Commander at the show because I was so busy trying to see what I was trying to see. I almost certainly walked past there stand because I had someone stop and chat to me next to their stand and ask me what I thought of it. I had a quick look but it was crowded so didn't see much. The note in my book:

      "Hawk Games / Dropzone thingy = google search"

      So yeah I didn't make many notes!!! D'oh!!!

  15. Interview here withDave from Hawk wargames. And a few very nice pics.

    1. Cheers for the link Pancake, much appreciated. I was going to contact them via their Facebook page to see if I could get more info on the game.