25 April 2013

Salute 2013 part 3 of 3 (Wargamer.pl)

Beside West Wind my other "must go to" stand was the Wargamer.pl stand where the By Fire & Sword pre-release rules were being sold in a very limited number. I was eager to meet Konrad and Rafal, the two writers and creators of By Fire & Sword, as well as to meet Michal "Kadrinazi" who has a great blog on this historical period in which the game takes place.

It was great to see the enthusiasm of the guys as well as the customers. The rulebook itself was just amazing, I had been having waited for this day for over a year and my friends Christian and Andreas were equally enthusiastic. We also bought a copy for our friend Thomas back home (Patrik at the club wants to wait until Brandenburg is released, and David was strapped for cash at the moment so will buy it later).

Konrad, the Wargamer.pl manager was dressed for the occasion as a Polish renaissance noble, while fellow writer Rafal was dressed in a musketeer uniform running one of the two demo tables. Rest of the Wargamer crew sported By Fire & Sword T-shirts.

I asked Konrad how business was going and he said it had been going really good, 70 of their 100 books had already been sold and he was confident the rest would sell as well since there had been a fair share of people by the stand who wanted to wait until closing time before picking up the heavy 400page thick tome. I had with me a list of questions and suggestions, but at this point my mind was fried and I just ended up talking about random things and By Fire & Sword products with Konrad.

I picked up a box of Cossack style light cavalry and a box of Pancerni with spears for my Polish-Lithuanian army. I wanted a unit with spears but had to ask Konrad which he thought would be most historical, ended up being the Pancerni. I was planning on picking up another box of Pike & Shot for my Polish Royal guard regiment but completely forgot about it as I was so overwhelmed with joy about everything else haha.

I also picked up the new Wooden Church resin terrain piece and look forward to adding that to our games. Andreas stocked up on additional Ottoman Empire boxed sets and Christian bought more Cossacks - we all look forward to play our  first skirmish level game this weekend as I introduce them both to the rules now that we all have a rulebook in English so everyone understands everything.

The two demo tables were both running skirmish level games, one with Poland-Lithuania vs Swedes and another with P-L vs Cossacks. Both skirmish games were played at 4x4' tables which is just about the common size for those kinds of games. Larger, division, games are playe don 6x4 tables but can be increased in size, all deployment zones in the game and scenarios scale with the size of the table.

At the Wargamer stand I also met fellow gamer and blog follower Leigh Jackson and his friend with whom I talked about the game. I also took some time to explain the design philosophy and factions to Leigh's friend, how the special rules were designed to reflect historical quirks, how the lists are made and such. He seemed very interested, and Leigh himself couldn't resist and picked up a copy of the rules for himself.

It was great to meet the Wargamer.pl guys since I've been in touch with them over the last year and even got to make a tiny bit of proof reading on the first half of the translation earlier this year (you can find me credited among the proof readers, even though I think my part in it was very modest).

I wish I could have chatted a bit more with the guys, but they were really super busy with the constant stream of customers and I didn't want to intrude in the sales.

Finally, last batch of photos showing the remainder of the games I saw at Salute:

An awesome looking demo game of Samurai battle with "Oshiro" manufactured Japanese buildings
The new Victorian era buildings from 4Ground, which while looking really good I found to be too expensive for my budget.These went for £80 according to a price tag I saw. So it looks like me and Thomas will stick with Sarissa and Micro Art Studios buildings for our Empire of the Dead games.
A very civil british war game in progress:

A very cool and realistic looking Stalingrad battle. I really liked the "empty spaces" between the buildings, which were in fact covered in rubble and obstacles to offer enough cover for gamers:

Back at our hotel (Hotel Novotel 100 meters from the Excel and Salute). Have to say that the staff were really friendly and helpful, they also helped us book a cab for the Sunday return trip which was just marginally more expensive than the train tickets from Gatwick to London, and we could sleep an hour longer and avoid the whole London Marathon situation.
Dinner at a nearby Chinese (real Chinese) restaurant, which was a weird experience for those of us used to the "westernized" Chinese food back home in Sweden. This place had a menu which was very hard to pick from, I ended up going for fried squid which wasn't nearly as good and tasty as back home, Andreas nearly ordered Pig stomach LMFAO!! Christian had the best luck as he ordered some kind of Pork slices (which tasted like the ribs Andreas had ordered for appetizer. We also went to the local pub which was noisy as hell due to some football game going on, the locals were apparently mesmerized by the drinking habits of my two friends.
Andreas ordered a shot of clean Vodka and Christian 8cl of pure Whisky. For some reason that was exotic, I ordered a Whisky + Cola drink. I also managed to get hold of some Heineken beer (not a big fan of beer but Heineken is quite OK).

Some more pics from the airport where we had a fantastic breakfeast Sunday morning. I also snapped a few pictures from the airplane, got me thinking about the German "Operation Sealion" plans of invading England during WW2. I think the Germans would have had worse hell in England than the Allies had with the Normandy landscape. Just look at all those tiny pastures, fields and clusters of trees everywhere!

The most funny part of our trip came when we arrived at the Swedish customs check at the Öresund bridge and the customs officer asked if we had anything to declare for the customs office - and where we had been and what we had been doing there. Telling him about Salute, and then explaining what wargaming was almost made him explode with laughter (he barely controlled himself) as he waved us along LOL!.

I had a fantastic time at Salute, and just being able to meet and talk to everyone was well worth the trip. I spent a medium amount of cash but ended up with "less to show" than I thought. May have been because all my purchases were planned and I got pretty much everything I needed and little else. As I wrote in an earlier post I forgot to check out the Bring and Buy where I was hoping to find some rules or books cheap.

My Salute hobby loot:

1 By Fire & Sword English rulebook
2 boxed of Polish cavalry for By Fire & Sword
1 Wooden church for By Fire & Sword
Muskets & Tomahawks rulebook
2 Blisters of Polish dismounted cavalry from Forged in Battle
3x R35 tanks from Peter Pig for my Polish EW army
Issue 66 of the Wargames Soldiers & Magazine picked up early
A complete Confederate ACW army in 6mm from Baccus (picked up one Union army for my friend Thomas as well), we are going to start playing "Longstreet" by Sam Mustafa once those rules get released.
I also picked up several bags of laser cut and sawed MDF bases for By Fire & Sword and Longstreet over at the Warbases.co.uk stand..


  1. Great report. Longstreet is on my to by-list as well, and Salute is on the to do-list. Last trip was 2008, it's been faaaar to long.

  2. Very good AAR´s all 3 of them.

    Nice haul of wargaming stuff!

    best regards Michael

  3. Great report, and I loved the little anecdote about Swedish Customs.

    1. Andreas said to him "Yeah it's a bit nerdy..." and the guy just nodded and said "yeah..." barely restraining his laughter and waved us along haha


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