Anyway, pictures speak a thousand words, so let's start off with the Spartan Games area during set up.
Spartan had double the area they had in 2015 at Salute this year, which was great
Not one but TWO Firestorm tables, one with the new reinforcement box ships, the other with the new Xelocians (we'll come back to them, don't worry!)
The Halo Fleet Battles table was showing off the new resin models, as well as the huge Covenant ship first shown at Gencon last year.
Dystopian Wars was not forgotten, demoed by Neil Parry and Andy.
The Planetfall table was actually put together not by Spartan, but by Ian Duff, who did an amazing job - the scenery was just gorgeous - I wish I'd not been too tired at the end of the day to remember to take a picture of the rooftop garden Ian had made - it was simply beautiful!
Of course Spartan were showcasing their Summer release of Halo Ground Combat, with some great 15mm renditions of the iconic Halo designs;
Though I'm not sure this tank is really doing a good job of hiding behind terrain!
The infantry will be immediately recognisable by anyone who's played the Halo games.
Master Chief hiding? Or trying to operate that big gun?
Rooftop sniper and spotter teams
There were also a couple of pre-order show giveaways - 54mm versions of either a Spartan or an Elite with preorders of HGC.
This one will be a bit of a surprise to many (if not all) - Spartan were showing another new game in the pipes...Project Gotterdamurang, a WWII 1946 1/300th tank action game.
Anyway, back to Firestorm....I promised you Xelocians, didn't I?
Dreadnought (probably my favourite ship int he release) with its gun escorts - these can also be taken as Corvettes, making them super-useful.
Battleship - I love the tri-hull design here
The Cruisers, taken from the rear flank, which shows their simple, clean lines. This could be a very dull ship, but it's not, it looks sleek and elegant, but also deadly. Deeply impressive.
Finally the Frigates, which are not a squadron to be ignored (trust me!)
Here's Oscar poring over hardpoints for the Xelocians...decisions, decisions...
Here he is towards the end of the day, helping the next generation of players (we hope), even without having had a break for 6 hours. Made me immensely proud as a father to see him interacting with adults, teens and children throughout the day in a pleasant, confident and helpful manner. Not a single grumble, and a smile to the end - tremendous!
Just over a couple of tables and Ian's conducting several Planetfall converts in the art of killing lizards with spiders - well done that man!
loads of interest throughout the day kept everyone busy at the Spartan stand, Staff and volunteers alike often outnumbered 4:1 or more!
Martin, Spartan's production manager, on the Halo Fleet Battles table..wait, who's that dodgy bloke behind him? You know who I mean Chris!!!
Oscar and I got little time to have a run around the rest of the hall, but did swing by Hawk to see the progress on Dropfleet Commander, where's Dave has been busy making more larger-scale spaceships it seems - this did look rather nice, even if I'm not that sold on the big turret cannon things
So in a whirlwind Salute came and went, but it was thoroughly enjoyable and great to see people so interested in throwing dice and moving plastic spaceships around. Exhausting, but very rewarding - go next year if you can, otherwise see you at Reading Warfare in November!