Saturday, March 12th, it was that time of the year again. The biggest event in the Austrian wargaming calendar - Austrian Salute!
Thanks to the excellent strategic positioning right at the Austro-German border and the organizer (El Cid of Silent Night Games) being well connected there were not only a bunch of Austrians, but also the usual visitors from Germany, plus guests from Switzerland and even Poland.
|The big flag our Polish chaps ran up in front of the venue.|
|In the morning: Everybody's busy setting up and chatting.|
As usual I had all the painting stuff with me, big glass showcase and some smaller ones, figures to display, all the good stuff to run the painting table. One of the many cool things about Austrian Salute is that I got a really nice table there. Enough space, great spot, reasonably lit. All of the show is in one room too, and the room is spacious and tall. Great location.
Apart from that I had all my American Civil War (28mm) stuff with me, as I was to contribute to the headlining Battle at Perryville / Chaplin Hills 1862 table.
|The masterminds behind the Main Event of the show standing behind the Main Event of the show.|
|Gahddamn, that's mah wheel!|
Sadly I couldn't pay much attention to the game as I had to run my own table, but I caught up on occasional bits of info. To my knowledge it went down like this: Little action on the left flank, lots of action on the right flank, rifled muskets are ungentlemanly, reinforcements are too slow, the North wins. Anyway, a great game to behold and towards the end of the day the 'Best Table' award was won fair and square.
This year the overall number of guests and demo tables was staggering. 18 tables of mostly games and a few traders, 44 people exhibiting games, services and merchandise. Amongst them Grumpy Old Tin, Friends from Poland, Casual Painting and Templates and Widgets.
Above all, I found the variety of games which were on display the most pleasing aspect. World War 2 was covered properly with a very cool game of Chain of Command:
WW2 of course always draws people. Good thing that Chain of Command is a set of rules which also manages to carry the topic properly.
There also was a rather nice table of Command&Colors Ancients on Kallistra hexes played with 15mm figures which I unfortunately missed. Command&Colors Ancients: Excellent game. Would love to see it with minis. Maybe I'll be able to nick a photo of that game from someone else. After that game was done around noon they switched the table to a John Carter of Mars game with home-brewn rules as far as I heard. really, really intriguing, but I didn't get to see anything of that game either unfortunately.
There even was some 40k stuff this year, which is good. Especially as it was something rather interesting - a full Zone Mortalis table, featuring a ton of crazy FW figures.
|I really like this guy, stomping merrily around. 'Hey, big stompy robot! You're off table!'|
'I don't care. Stompy-stomp-stomp~'
Vodnik, one of the foremost authorities on DBA in middle Europe, was present as well. With him he had brought his great collection of 15mm armies and a DBA board:
The Polish chaps had brought a full sales room, some displays and actually two very efficient demoing boards for By Fire and Sword.
It's kind of a shame I do 17th century stuff in 10mm. Not that I regret it, because I know what 15mm stuff costs if you want to set up proper large armies, and how much work it is to paint it nicely, but the minis look rather nice and the rules went over well too. To be honest, I don't even own the rulebook. The artwork kinda leaves me cold and I find it to be a bit pricey and not quite covering the period I prefer (Thirty Years War). That's just me though. The rules seem to be really over with people and anything that popularizes 17th century wargaming is a good thing in my book.
It's early 2016, so there's got to be a Frostgrave demo table as well. Fun little game, and as I mentioned elsewhere it's very high on my to-do list for 2016:
Really liked that table with those multiple levels and ladders connecting the towering ruins. That well also looks great.
There certainly are enough occasions to make use of that 'pushing people down things' Frostgrave has built in, so it's a very cleverly designed gaming table that.
One of my Favourites was this fine game here:
Napoleonics using the Kugelhagel rules, a rather new (2014-ish?) set of rules from Germany(!). While I'm not 100% sold on the rules themselves, I really like the presentation of the table. Very understated, sober and classy. A very gentlemanly table.
...and on top of that it was all done and run by the guy who runs by Andreas Hofer in forums and he paints the best 6mm figures I have ever seen. Seriously good stuff.
The terrain elements are all mounted on needles which are just stuck into the base plate.
In between a customer dropped by to pick up the SAGA Franks army I'd done for him. So I took a last shapshot of the fellas before I had to send them off home:
The Infinity table was a curious thing. Sure, lots of bought stuff, but there's also quite some work in there (and the minis looked nice. But then Infinity minis always do ;) ). However, have you ever seen that many AT-43 containters in one spot? These plastic containers are the only thing AT-43 will be remembered for. But all the more fondly for it. They are great and still the only good, sturdy AND affordable shipping containers.
|... okay, that vehicle looks pretty cool.|
|Infinity special rules.|
|...Infinity special rules!|
Of course Team Yankee is a huge success for Battlefront and at Austrian Salute we had a demo table present:
Rather pretty, isn't it? On-table artillery and all. I hear good things about the rules though. Very much a streamlined FoW, isn't it? And a very active community.
Back to the niches and another one of my particular favourites on the day: A pulpy Triumph and Tradegy table with a lot of really promising bits.
|A British Mk.IV!|
|Foreboding ancient ruins!|
|A foreboding all black tape measure!|
The painting contest was set up a bit differently this year. There's some potential to improve there, but the entries were very nice as always.
Especially the latter half of the show I was completely tied up painting with some bright young gentlemen, so I didn't get to run around much. Time flew, all of a sudden, the big organizational horn was tooted and award were given out to the winners of the painting competition, best table (see above) and the winner of the prize draw.
Out of tradition, and because I found other stuff more interesting, there are no further pictures of my table. Maybe I can add some later on once I manage to nick them off other people to took pictures.
Like this one. (thanks to Grumpy Old Tin)
Having some youngsters actually sit down and paint minis from start to finish actually was a first this show. Usually it's people my age, slightly below or slightly to not slightly above. We chat about painting a bit, they ask certain things, I try to help with some hints, maybe show some painting, some of them try out other kinds or brands of paints I got with me which they hadn't tried yet, but that's it. This time though there were three young chaps sitting down and proving a ton of patience and persistence in getting those minis painted. Pretty cool.
I had the Deathwatch:Overkill box with me for which I had quickly built a few Hybrids. Quite a few people were eager to take a look into the box, what the quality of the contents was like and so on. I'll see that I write up a review of the game as soon as possible, but spoiler: the quality is bloody good.
I attended Austrian Salute for the third time this year and it's always a good weekend out. Chatting with customers, friends and fellow wargamers, seeing all these great games set up and being enjoyed. VIVAT in fall is a great event, but Austrian Salute has the advantage of being pretty much equally far away from everyone, so travelling is a chore to all rather than just to a smaller group, so they don't come over. ;-)
Anyway, great day out, thanks to everybody who participated and organized, thanks to all the visitors who stopped by and I'm very much looking forward to next year!