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Dienstag, 20. März 2018

Show Report: Austrian Salute 2018

March 17th saw the 2018 installment of Austrian Salute, our little show celebrating all that is wargaming. Ironically it took place in Germany this year.

Austrian Salute's geographical situation has always been an interesting one. The past years it took place directly at the Salzburgian-Bavarian border; this year the move to a new location (Gasthaus Leobendorf) led to a general pilgrimage a few kilometers into Bavaria. One of the cool thing about the new location is that we are allowed to set up the evening before.

In the far back in the right you can see the sheen of the painting lamps of
my setup.

The Tabletop Wien West guys were some of the first on the scene to set up
their American Civil War table (this time including a balloon!) and discuss the
scenario. Surely the most active and passionate demo'ers out there, spreading
the gospel of the Kugelhagel rules.

Right at the centre of the room the Lexxmen set up their massive Operation Squad table. (right) setting up demo tables and merchandise.
In the right you can see the early stages of Helm's Deep being set up.

The room we got to use was very GEMUTLICHKEIT-themed as you can see.
After a slightly stressful pre-departure day and the drive setting up the whole table, showcase, miniatures, painting stuff and so on was tiring, but so much better than stressing out with the setup in the early morning of the event itself.

A few impressions of what I brought along:

These lads I bring to all the shows.

Had to bring the finally finished Big Guy of course.
French Line Infantry for theme and a little Jagdpanther because...
err... tanks.

28mm British Paras, Malifaux Crossroads Seven

Large scale gladiator, Guildball Farmers, Harlequins
and Malifaux Dragon, oh my!

To top it all off I also brought the Nurgle figures from the new
40k starter box. Just so I got enough eye candy on site. 

So things were somewhat relaxed when I arrived the next morning. I was basically able to show up and go right on to chatting to peeps, familiar faces and new ones alike.

El Cid, organizer, head of COMITATUS club and Silent Night Games, and
tooter of the horn.

El Cid and Andreas Hofer discussing the intricacies of
 modelling wheat fields.

9am, and things were pretty crowded already.
American Civil War (Kugelhagel rules), presented by Alter Dragoner and Gand-Alf:

This wasn't even the only Kugelhagel table on the day. Andreas Hofer, El Cid, Ic3m4n and MThomas also brought a very, very pretty collection of 15mm Seven Years War figures.

In case you're wondering - yes, it's a card driven system.

I still haven't gotten to play Kugelhagel, but more and more people seem to be very taken with it and the guys who write it are very active promoting the rules and writing supplements. Which is commendable, especially considering that it's the only commercially published set of wargames rules from Germany I'm aware of. Well, aside from Kriegsspiel. :-P

It's good and highly important that, along with a few small miniature manufacturers popping up again in Germany we also see at least one set of rules emerging again as well.

Another set of rules which gets a big influx of new players over the past two years or so (mainly due to discontent about the latest incarnation of the Flames of War rules) - Battlegroup. At Austrian Salute we had even two tables - one Ardennes table....

...and an Italy table, presented by Maniac-Eye, Silv3rterror and Da Moiti.

Unfortunately I didn't catch any action on either table, but I didn't have much time taking pictures on the day at all in general as I was busy talking to people, painting, answering questions and so on.

As always along for the ride at Austrian Salute is Mr.Grumpy Old Tin (and son). Do have a look at what this man is up to. Constantly working on ideas, taking notes, developing new product and all. 

...and he brings nice tables as well. Always slightly different in style, but very pleasant looking. This year (in collaboration with Hahnc of the Tabletop Knights) - a Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago table.

Now for the big one - Helm's Deep (GW's Lord of the Rings rules), by Astatres, EPP, Lord Ragnar and Thorshammer:

Unsurprisingly this one won 'best Table'.

Just a vast table. Really good stuff; would have loved to hear more about the details of the scenario. This looks like a diorama, but all day Team Isengard and Team Goodies (I presume) battled for the keep.

Roll the Dice got a full stage for merchandise (Plastcraft, Test of Honour, the Batman miniatures game, Vallejo paints, etc. - he brought a LOT of goodies) and two demo tables in front which drew extremely well all day - Star Wars Legion (just a preview copy of course) and Test of Honour, Warlord's Samurai skirmish game.

Right in front of all of this Constable, Arcsho and their entourage ran a really nice Malifaux table:

Bless their resolve for driving up from Carinthia on the day, run the show, and drive back home the same evening. I certainly couldn't do it. 

From the above you can already see that as always the variety of games shown is great. Keeping with this this theme, here's the Team Yankee table, by Mario and Teager40K:

...and the Schlendrians from Vienna once more showed off their amazing collection and research on the Thirty Years War (Father Tilly rules):

A very interesting scenario based on a battle which took place in 1620. As you may know the Thirty Years War is my 'pet project' period. Of course I didn't have time to really witness the game as I was busy at my end of things, but just the look of the table is really cool. 

Especially the little details made the table come to life, such as a bunch of wolves chasing some boars through a small forest, a battlefield surgery scene, and many other little vignettes.

Last but not least the Lexxmen's Operation Squad table:

Look, I painted these chaps a while ago!

Now there's a rare sight - British paras and German Grenadiers
fighting across a leftover T34.

Once more a table which comes to life via small details.

 I wrote quite a bit about Operation Squad before. In my opinion the set of rules solves the challenges of squad-level shooty combat really, really well by being granular while not getting bogged down in unnecessary details. Very good stuff, highly recommended.

For some reason I didn't take any pictures of the By Fire and Sword table (presented by Andrit and Erion10)! As I said, I was really busy with stuff other than taking pictures this year unfortunately.

This basically closes my photo report of Austrian Salute 2018. The new location is really good. Of course it gets a bit loud, but I'd rather have that than have the whole thing split up over several separate rooms.

The overly eager (but quickly silenced) smoke detector aside I can't think of anything that didn't go really well on the day. So, thanks to El Cid for organizing the whole affair once more, thanks to Walter, Moar and Arcshao for helping me hauling stuff around, thanks to Grumpy Old Tin (and son) for keeping me busy at the painting table and some product samples, thanks to Alaska13 who dropped by with painting questions again, thanks to the young ladies who had to cope with waiting on the whole event throughout the day, thanks to everybody who presented games and thanks to everybody who attended!

Photo by takk

Okay, travelling back home was a bit of an adventure as by nightfall I got stuck in a snowstorm with a knackered windscreen wiper on the motorway, but I got home eventually. 

I definitely will attend Austrian Salute 2019 (March 16th 2019, save the date!) again. Good times indeed. 

edit: Oh, I almost forgot to add the loot I hauled home from the event.

I may set a bad example here, but during the move over the past months I realized that I just have so. much. stuff. So I restrained myself this year and got me the Pickett's Charge rules (because they're said to be really good and in our gaming group there is a high likeliness that we'll play it at some point) and geese, chicken, cows and pigs in 15mm to throw onto gaming tables for added detail.

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