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saga

Salute 2021

A little later in the year than the normal spring date, Salute is at last here in November. Salute is Britains big war games show of the year held at the massive excel centre in London’s docklands and is run by South London Warlords. A place where good from all over the globe once arrived into the country. You can still see the various named buildings showing the maritime past.

The 6:30 am train to London.

Sadly covid still raises its ugly head to haunt every aspect of life and the grim reminders of the pandemic still appear on this otherwise great day. In order to be allowed into excel you need a covid pass or a recent negative test result. Fortunately I had both so no issue there. The show was however a little smaller than normal where every inch of the immense hall is filled with tables for shops, demonstration games or participation games. This year I noticed a lot of free space and absent names.

The first board that caught my eye and would probably be of interest to my dear readers was called SAGA at sea. This was being run by two gentlemen from the Naval War-games Society. The game is set following the Battle of Hastings and involves a raid on a church which turned out to be well defended.

A simple game that does add a new aspect to SAGA

The teams are split into Christian factions such as Welsh, Anglo-Saxons Normans etc versus Pagans, such as vikings and so on. A small band will defend the church and the others take to the sea for some ship to ship shield-wall action. Games last 8 turns and is at the end in points. There are two competitions within the game with players seeking both the highest team score and the highest individual score. Would this allow some backstabbing perhaps. Players gain 5 points per Longship controlled. 1 point per treasure horde possessed. 4 points per enemy warlord killed and 8 points for a capture.

I noticed there was a multitude of navy games on show which I have to say is nice. From Midway in “Blood red skies” to pirate adventures in “Blood and plunder“ and “On the seven seas”

As well as the Demonstration Games, there was also shops of every kind to explore. From brushes, battle mats and cases to models and terrain.

Sadly there was one group missing. Gripping Beast had to pull out of the event days before. No stand and no demo games. They were not the only ones.

There were many empty tables and open spaces. Something regular salute attendees would not be used to. A sign of the covid times.

Maloric Digital are creating an app for warlord games. They showed me how it worked and I have to say I was impressed and a big fan of this. Scan the QR code to have a look for yourself.

There are many systems that have apps to support the game. Warlord games is soon to be added to the list thanks to Maloric Digital who are designing one for them. It is in Beta testing at the moment and thus free to use. Any feedback would also be welcome in order to improve the app to be the best it can. Although watching how it worked I was already very impressed. At the moment they have one for Bolt action and Black seas. This allows both list construction and in game use for marking vital information type such as shots etc for black seas.

When the app is finished there will be a small subscription fee which I would say was worth it for what you gain in return. This is certainly a product I am looking forward to.

Honoured to meet Jason Salkey (took Mask off for photo only)

A true chosen man, Jason was absent as I walked past as he was busy tracking down a gentleman who had misplaced a credit card. We had a nice chat upon his return. Jason has recently been on the history hack podcast which I’m a fan of with the rest of the cast from Sharpe. He signed his book for me and a photo too. Many of us are fans of the show and the books, he particularly enjoyed Sharpe’s siege for those interested.

No More Damsels

A final note before I just post pics of the event. I noticed one stall I would like to draw attention to. I enjoy all things pro wargaming community and this is very helpful. No More Damsels are as about bringing more people to the gaming table and have advice for those wishing to find or start a club. This is not focused on the type of games but on the gamers themselves. They are easily accessible if you wish to know more or if this sounds like something that could help. @nmdlondon on twitter or nomoredamselsrpg.org

I may have brought some Skyrim stuff

After the show it was off into Greenwich for dinner and a look round and then back to London, quick raid on Waterstones Piccadilly for some books and then off home. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to send in the game reports for the saga world event. Had a few so far and they look great.

These looked amazing and covered some of the spare space well.

By Jim

I spent most of my days on building sites involved in and around brickwork. I've recently been following my passion for history and decided to jump in fully by starting university in my 30's.

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