Last Saturday saw the re-vamped Salute 2020 at Ex-cel in London actually happened. Well when I say happened .......
I had decided beforehand that this would be my last Salute. After all I've done 28 as a trader and I've had enough of the travelling and all around faffing about. As I've said previously I'm pulling back a bit from shows so next year will only see me and the crew (that's you Jim) at 3 events as traders. Mail order will of course carry on as normal.
So back to the show. As usual the Warlords organisation was pretty flawless, despite extra Covid related faffing set up went like a dream. No problems.
Getting to the Hotel cost us an extra 30 quid in congestion charges for the weekend (Hope you enjoy the extra cash Sayid) but that is not the Warlord's fault.
Saturday dawns and again a bit of extra faff to enter the venue but this was not unexpected- though perhaps ex-cel could have made the info a bit clearer but again once inside, no problems.
However where the hell did Salute go?
Trader numbers were down . I was told 35 no shows by one of the Warlords. And as for the games , basically there seemed to be more blank empty tables than full ones. Wide acres of empty space that SHOULD have been a-bustle with games, greeted the wanderer in his spare moments. Again not the Warlords fault but the fault of the no-shows who didn't turn up. Obviously many had not bothered to inform the Warlords or the tables needn't have been set out- nice of those no-shows to be so well mannered.
One nice game stood out for me, a lovely Wellington in India affair put on by Martin Gane as his friends - who I think were all Warlords- the 6 pages (yes a mere 6 pages) of rules they used look interesting too.. once I get time to read them properly.
What amazed me was that I actually had time to see the show .... except that it wasn't there. Trade was pretty sluggish but again that was expected due to Brexit and Covid- almost no Europeans turned up.. There was no point this year where we were rushed off our feet - which in the past has been 'Salute Normal'.
Of course none of the particular problems of this years show can be laid at the door of the Warlords. But the combination of circumstances did rather take the shine off an event that is usually the showcase for the wargaming hobby . It wasn't Salute it was A.N.Other wargames show.
So the end of an era- for me at least and no it did not end with a bang.