Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Salute 2012 - Games

So in the time honoured manner... and in reverse order... here we have my favourite games of the show... now baring in mind that Salute is almost exclusively a trade show, I thought the demonstration/presentation games were very good.... there are far more participation games, and some of those were very worthy, and came close to being included in this list... there was a WWII Crossfire participation game that I thought was particularly good.. As ever these are my selection.. some will almost certainly disagree... I have an aversion to hexes, so a few quite pretty games were immediately ruled out that would otherwise immediately have made it into the list... hey... it's my blog... 

So.. in third place.... Wolverhampton University present "Clad in Iron: Britain Intervenes in the American Civil War", a 1:1200 Naval game featuring shed loads of ironclads on what I thought was a very effective looking table despite the hexes..

The scenario is that Britain has intervened in the American Civil War (not such a far fetched idea given our reliance on southern cotton to feed the mills of the industrial revolution in Britain), and they (we..) have unleashed a massive Ironclad Fleet & Coastal Assault Flotilla against the Union's combined Land and Naval defences of New York City, circa 1854.



...  very effective, and they're not proper hexes anyway - I think they're octagons...  besides anyone who can use that many ship models just to represent the quays in the town has to be doing well...

The game was put on by the University of Wolverhampton's Department of War studies (wouldn't you love to study there?), and was run by Dr. Howard J. Fuller, who wrote “Clad in Iron: The American Civil War and the Challenge of British Naval Power [2008]”.



...and moving on, and in second place for me this year was this beautiful game - very simple, elegant, layout, but lovely figures, and a brilliant premise for a scenario - "Brave Little Belgium 1940" put on by Crawley Wargames Club...


The game represents a fictional Belgian setting, showing some of the many natural barriers that they used to slow down the German advance before they were eventually overrun....

I had a chat with the guys on the stand and they said that they planned to play the game twice, first using Flames of War rules, and then Panzer Grenadier - all figures are 15mm.


I was much taken with the village - one for the detail, and the beautiful buildings, but two because the lights actually worked!

Biplanes, tankettes, artillery ...

...and canals..
..versus armoured infantry...

...tanks and combat engineers...

...supported by heavy elements of the Luftwaffe...

..superb game...  so much detail....

...and so in first place and probably no surprise if you've seen the pictures on other blogs - "Corunna 1809" represents the retreat to Corunna, and was put on by the Essex Gamesters.. absolutely no contest that this was going to be no. 1 - there was nothing to match it...  simply superb



Happily, this time the organisers of the show agreed with me, and presented them with the Salute Challenge Shield for this game... very much deserved....  this game was just gobsmacking.... it put me in mind of that superb Blenheim game at the 2010 show (which they didn't agree with me about on that occasion)

Frigates in 28mm!

Yes, plural - not one, but three of them and all superbly detailed..


...support vessels and the quay....

..just the town and quay would have been enough to win this for me, but then the guys went on to the real tour de force, depicting the land battle and the retreat, and it just got better and better....




3000+ troops on the table.. and it stretched away into the distance....



Superb detail...

The rear guard holding back the pursuing French on the right.. I did wonder if that regiment in the foreground with the orange standard was the 35th Foot - the Orange Lillies but they didn't serve at Corunna..

Ordre mixte in the centre..  amazing...

Superb.. I was talking to the guys who presented the game, and it really is a game - this is not a diorama.. they weren't playing it on the day but they have played it to completion four times, each time with a historical result though it was close on one occasion apparently...!





...hope you enjoyed those..

...if you want more pictures of the games, the organisers (South London Warlords) have their own facebook page with a load on, I'd also recommend a look at Big Lee's blog as he took over 600 photo's on the day (!) before whittling them down to the fine selection he shows...

8 comments:

  1. Great photos of great games. Thanks Steve.

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  2. I somehow missed the Ironclad game, but it does look pretty awesome, as does the Crawley game and like you said, The Corunna game was simply awe-inspiring!!!

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  3. Nice to see your photos - good amount of detail. My only criticism on your choice would be that, for me a demo game should be played otherwise it is just a diagrams.

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  4. Grimsby - I know what you mean - and to be honest I'm not sure that they weren't as some of the pictures on other blogs shows subtly different position for some of the troops.... it was huge though..... and fantastic!

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  5. I agree with your choices, Steve - what did you think of the Loughton club's Aspern-Essling game? Also agree with Paul, that "demonstration games" that are basically just dioramas are a bit of a turn-off, so Corunna gets a black mark from me for that. Stunning set up, though.

    Best wishes

    Giles

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  6. Hi Giles... nice to hear from you.. good avatar! :o)

    I saw Aspern-Essling but it fell foul of my totally unreasonable personal foibles.... I felt it was too crowded, I couldn't see what was going on (troops seemed to be facing in all directions), and I thought the big pointy sticks with labels on top were a bit too prominent.. in the end it came close but just didn't tick my boxes...

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  7. A feast for the hungry gamer's eyes! Thanks for the pictures.

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  8. Great pics there, thanks for posting them. The Corunna game pics are incredible.

    Cheers,
    Lee.

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