Salute 2017 – Sci-Fi

Sci-Fi games at Salute 2017 had a strong showing, but many of the demonstration tables were run by the respective game manufacturers for consecutive years now so I skipped photographing all of them (and spent more time buying shiny new things).

Since I am now collecting and painting Infinity, I was particularly excited about the following two tables. I hope I have the credits right for the first, but unfortunately I don’t know who created the second.

Brightly colour futuristic buildings and a maglev train

Infinity: Operation Free Nippon by Red Knight Wargames

Street view with cars, planters and advertising boards

Infinity: Operation Free Nippon by Red Knight Wargames

A small news kiosk

Infinity: Operation Free Nippon by Red Knight Wargames

A nice mixture of old and new on this smaller table, something I want to try with my own fledgling terrain collection for Infinity.

Cityscape of 19th century buildings with neon advertisement boards

Infinity

The South London Warlords piled several thousand pounds worth of lovingly painted Forgeworld resin onto this large table for Warhammer 30k, depicting a battle of the civil war on Mars. I didn’t get to see this display last year, so I was glad to catch it now, after it did an extensive round through the UK wargaming show circle – and even the V&A Museum!

Tanks and fliers in a shattered city

Warhammer 40k – Horus Heresy Civil War by Brotherhood of Mars

Tanks and robots in a red desert landscape

Warhammer 40k – Horus Heresy Civil War by Brotherhood of Mars

A titanic war walker amongst smaller walkers, infantry and tanks

Warhammer 40k – Horus Heresy Civil War by Brotherhood of Mars

Star Wars has a steady presence at Salute now, and there were several participation games of X-Wing in progress.

Fighter space craft on a star background

Star Wars X-Wing by Ilford Wargames Group

Large space ships against a stellar nebula

Star Wars X-Wing by Gravesend Gamers Guild

Dark Sphere went a step further and constructed a three tiered table with glass panes to refight the attack on Scarif from Rogue One.

A tower rising up from a small island, surrounded by space fighter craft

Star Wars X-Wing by Dark Sphere

The Drowned Earth made their first showing at Salute. Their Kickstarter is already well funded and I am looking forward to seeing more of this very original looking system.

Jungle terrain with a crashed space craft and large dinosaur

The Drowned Earth

A hunter with a bow on overgrown walkways

The Drowned Earth

Fenris Descending by the Maidstone Wargames Society and Germy was another very original looking game out of left field. All terrain and models for this game were scratch built from household materials, plastic and electronics parts.

Dozens of crab like robots advancing on a shantytown

Fenris Descending by Maidstone Wargames Society

As usual there were plenty more smaller tables and participation games to look and and get stuck in with, here just a sample of those I managed to catch.

Futuristic generators in a desert with infantry and drones

Beyond the Gates of Antares

Armed stock cars racing around a circuit

Devil’s Run: Route 666 by G3 Gamers

Interior of a tech facility within an industrial compound

XCom – Rise of the Resistance by Blockbuster Games

Gretchin Boarding Party

I’ve reached my target of 20 Gretchin for an old school Space Ork force. These can well be used as part of a clan list or as Gretchin Bandits. Since I also recently bought Rogue Stars, I could pick a pirate gang from them.

Group of twenty goblinoids with primitive firearms

Gretchin swarming through a derelict space craft

The final additions are one proper old lead figure and one 2nd edition plastic Gretchin. I had the box set and used these guys regularly since I didn’t own any metal sculpts in the day, but this is probably the first one I actually completely painted.

Two space goblins with guns

Flamboyant freebooters

Eye level view of a group of Gretchin

These diminutive pirates are the curse of merchant shipping across the sector

Next I’ll be painting a squad of da boyz and a retinue for the Warboss.

Unspeakable Rituals

After centuries of perfidious planning, the Cult of the Kraken Lord has finally gathered to conduct a ceremony that will spell the doom of humankind.

Group of ten humanoid creatures in red robes and with green tentacles for faces

The cult is gathered

Wielding the Staff of Many Eyes and reciting from the Cursed Tome of Conjuration, the cultists seek to raise their master from the depth of the sea to enslave our world.

Two robed figures with a staff and grimoire

Priests are invoking a sinister spell

Flanked by monstrous guardians, the High Priest observes his diabolical plans being enacted.

Figure on a throne in the shape of a kraken, flanked by two large robed guards

The ancient throne was carved by alien hands

This Kickstarter funded new range from Midlam Miniatures was entertaining to paint and will hopefully make for a colourful and challenging threat in a Cthulhu themed adventure at some point.

Since I have backed quite a few campaigns last year that have now mostly been delivered, I am trying to be disciplined with getting them finished also. Next up in the Kickstarter painting queue are some post-apocalyptic types, while for my Lovecraftian horror it is probably time to find a few fearless investigators who might save us from the predations of ancient gods.

Cultists of the Kraken Lord

I took part in Midlam Miniatures’ Kickstarter for the Cultists of the Kraken Lord since they were the perfect fit for my casual collection of Lovecraftian grotesques. Are they humans wearing masks, mutants, crossbreeds, an ancient race from the deep or travellers from a plane beyond consciousness? Nobody knows for sure, and if they did, such forbidden knowledge would probably have come at the cost of their sanity.

Three humanoid figures in red robes with tentacles in place of faces

The ritual begins

I completed the first half of the cult, going for a classic combination of dark red robes with contrasting green tentacles. The figures are fun to paint, and quick to achieve effective results with.

Two figures with tentacles for faces and wearing red robes in front of a stone wall

The cultists don’t look kindly on intruders

Troops of Tomorrow

I’ve been expanding the Gretchin mob for my Blood Axes with two ‘proper’ Rogue Trader miniatures and one 2nd edition sculpt. That brings me up to 18, looking to pick up two more for an even 100 points under the ‘Ere We Go army list. Not that it matters gaming wise, I am using army lists more as collecting/painting goals these days.

The two older figures are amongst my favourites so far. They are perfect as freebooterz, so I’ll always have the option of fielding the mob in different contexts.

Goblin with sword, shotgun and pink mohawk haircut

His playlist exclusively consists of Disorder by The Exploited

Goblin with sword, shotgun and steel helmet

Geared up for a fight

Goblin with automatic rifle and spiked helmet

New kid with fancy shooter

From the back the differences in sculpting are most noticeable. To fit in with the plastic mono-pause Gretchin from the 2nd edition box set, the design of the whole range was streamlined and simplified. Only with the arrival of Gorkamorka Gretchin design experienced a bit of a renaissance and some individual character was reintroduced.

Back view of three Gretchin behind a crumbled wall

Lurking to take pot shots at the enemy

Every Warboss Starts Out Small

The Orcs were a major force in Warhammer 40k when I started out, with several large volumes of background and army lists complementing the Rogue Trader rule set. I had a force consisting of Goffs, Bad Moons and Freebooterz cobbled together, which got lost on one too many warp jumps.

For the last couple of years I gradually built up a new collection mostly through impulse buys, and after having re-read ‘Ere We Go, Waaargh the Orks and Freebooterz, I recently decided on raising a small force of Blood Axes.

Space Ork with heavy grey coat and power axe, flanked by two Gretchin with shotguns

The Warboss and his entourage, poised for greater things

I’ll loosely base the force on the army list in ‘Ere We Go, with some licence regarding weapon choices and unit sizes. To start me off, I painted the Blood Axes Warboss, and finished some more Gretchin which had languished in painting limbo for over a decade. There are a few more of them to come, and I might form them up into a mob of Gretchin Bandits together with a unit of 13 I already have.

Back view of Ork with crossed golden axes on white backplate

The Warboss stems from the Golden Axe household

Back view of two Gretchin

The Gretchin have equipped themselves with looted armour