Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Salute 2015.. a triumph (part 2)!

So continuing with the gaming theme.... this really was the best Salute (for me) in some years..  I easily took 3 times more photo's this year than I did last year..

Zzap the Zzep

"Come and have a go at downing a WW1 Zeppelin! A rolling participation game to shoot down a 1/72nd Zeppelin, using CTK's new Kaisers Aces WW1 air rules".

Huge Zeppelin got my attention - this was a participation game - players took the role of the pilots trying to blow it up... I'll forgive them the hexes as they know not what they do....


The Zeppelin material was a slightly rough surface so when hits were scored cotton wall explosion markers could be stuck direct to it...  very effective...


Agincourt 1415

"Fought near modern day Agincourt in Northern France, this game is based on the famous English/French “St. Crispin's Day” clash (Field of Glory rules) - put on by www.ancient-modern.co.uk"

There were two Agincourt games, but I thought this was the nicer of the two... presented in 15mm...   I liked the backdrop behind the French (on the right)


The Battle of Luetzen 1632 

The last of the non-top 3 games, was this lovely effort...

"Full scale representation of Gustavus Adolpus's last battle against Wallenstein. Open to participation – quick play rules – can you alter the course of history? Will Gustavus survive?"

Presented by www.captaingeneral.co.uk


For a participation game I thought this was extraordinary.. a huge table, lots of lovely figures, only slightly let down by the mis-matched base cloth(s); on terrain boards this would have been stunning..


Fur, but not too much of it..  (there are probably specialist web sites for that...  )


It was those windmills that first got my attention... but then it was the blocks of pike and shot....


Nice game... but...  on to the top 3!

Third - The Battle of Guildford Courthouse, 15th March 1781 

 "Recreation of this well known battle at a 1:10 representation, using Black Powder Rules, and organised by the author of the “Rebellion” supplement for Black Powder".

Presented by the Newark Irregulars, and a fellow (but far more talented) blogger Steve of the PaintingShed 


Plenty to see and all of it very good looking, and it's one on my main periods of interest so it was always going to be a shoe-in...





Lovely - also a nice bunch of fellers happy to stop and have a chat...


Good effort - I've heard the game won the "Best Painting (Bill Brewer Memorial Prize)" award.... very well deserved..

2nd - Plastic Soldier Company / Battlegroup Blitzkrieg

Plastic Soldier Company had released their latest iteration of the Battlegroup Blitzkrieg rules at Salute, and this game ("End of the Line, Dunkirk, 1940") was put on to demonstrate them...


The set covers the Blitzkrieg in France and Poland so, not surprisingly, what got my attention after the stunning scenery, was the plethora of early war armour - always a favourite of mine...   give me Pz 38T's and Pz II's over Panther's and Tiger's any day....!


..words almost fail me as to how good the terrain was on this table...


...and all the little details.... ooh look....  38T's..  must be France then... 


British early war Cruiser's march out to take the 38T's on..  only a matter of time until the Stuka's turn up.



..simply superb....  in any other show that would have been my no.1 no contest, but then I saw this...

1st - Fort George Summer 1779

Presented by the Essex Gamesters mainly from the collection of a chap called Ron Ringrose, this game was based on the Penobscot Expedition of 1779 [clicky] during the American War of Independence


...words just escape me as to how good this was....  and before anyone comes up with the "yeah, but it's not really a game is it?" comment - yes it is...  the game had been played to completion a couple of times...


..all in 25/28mm...  the ships were from various sources including French flea markets, and an internet market trader in Singapore....


...such a level of detail....  Ron is clearly single minded....!




Assault on Nautilus Island, site of a British battery, by American marines under one Paul Revere..





Simply stunning...  well done guys...  I did hear that they had won the Best Game Scenery award and how justified is that...

...and that's it for another year....

Stay tuned...  got a post lined up for the 2015 John Corrigan Memorial game, which DG and I managed to fit in on the Friday evening before Salute.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Salute 2015.. a triumph!

Back now from Salute 2015 and just about recovered - the show is huge and seemingly getting bigger - two entire halls joined into one, and I'm sure they are about a half a mile square - your legs and feet know about it by the end of the day!

This year they also seemed to have use of an empty third hall which had a few tables and chairs in - that was definitely a good idea, but for next year can we have more chairs and tables??  It's a good place to stop, rest, recuperate, and get ready to re-enter the fray...

So what did I think of Salute this year - a definite nine out of ten for me, quite possibly one of the most enjoyable Salute's I've been to in some years almost totally because of some excellent games (participation and demo)...  crowds were huge, I heard at least half a dozen different languages so the cosmopolitan/international jet set were also in, and everyone was having a good time...  for the first time ever I saw a queue  to have a look at the latest releases on one stand (fantasy naturally), but I've never seen that before..  good to see people still get that excited about what are just little metal men at the end of the day....

Spends for the day (once you forget petrol for the 200 mile round trip, and the flat fee £15 to park) were less than £20 and I still consider it to be excellent value!

So what did I buy??

I have been following the blog (one of hundreds) of a chap who has been playing a linked series of scenario's from the "One Hour Wargames" book by Neil Thomas, and having seen a copy on the Paul Meekins stand reduced by £3 to £10 I thought I'd invest in a copy...  it has basic rules for a number of periods, but in the back there are 30 odd separate scenario's geared towards a small table top (he uses 3' x 3') and no more than 6 units/side, but often based on a historical battle or skirmish...  I look forward to trying them out and will report back once I have...  my thinking is that these will be perfect for a short pick up Skype games with DG...

The night before Salute DG and I had convened to play the 2015 John Corrigan Memorial game (watch out for a post on this) and during the game I had had pause to examine the basing on some of those venerable AWI figures which I must have based almost 20 to 25 years ago...  back then I'd use plastic card, but the weight of the figures, ongoing degradation in the plastic, and just general wear and tear was making them look a little sad - so second purchase of the day was on the Wargames Terrain stand where they were selling very reasonably priced MDF bases at £1 a pack, 6 for a fiver...  I bought 6 packs of the 3mm thick bases and will start re-basing just as soon as I decide whether I would like a change of design (name at the back of the stand, underneath, just a number, etcetc)...

Last stop was the Coritani stand for some Earth Brown paint, and that was the shopping done...  a mere three hours later...

So on to the meat of the show - the games!! In time honoured fashion here are they in reverse order.... just a reminder, that at the end of this, if you are wondering why some fascinating game doesn't feature, I am a 50+ historical war gamer who has gamed for more than 40 years and as a result comes with an amount of errrrmmm... "baggage"....  I've blogged on some of these "illogical" likes and dislikes before...  so if the missing game featured fantasy, 6mm figures (mere board game counters!) or hexes (work of the devil - I wargame, not boardgame), that's why they don't feature here... 

So first off a bunch of games that didn't make my top three, but were still of an eye catching nature enough to make me reach for the camera - in no order of merit....

"Cold War Gone Wet"

"It is 1982 and a conventional war has broken out between the Warsaw Pact and NATO. A force of SBS and Royal Marine Commandos have been tasked to carry out a raid on a Russian KRIVAK frigate in the Baltic Sea to capture the Russian communications code book".

The ship was the better part of 4 feet long...



The model was made for them by a radio control model ship enthusiast, and you can tell, because this is far more detailed than your average wargame terrain piece...  the model also is fully featured below decks...


I love those casualty markers..


They were using Cold War Gone Hot rules and it was some kind of tie in with one of the UK wargaming magazines (Wargames Illustrated I think)

Panzer Battles - St Vith

Presented by Blitzkrieg Miniatures - it was a hot old hall, but it felt cooler standing next to this table!



I loved the weathering on that Panther..


Napoleon - The Last Gamble

Difficult to escape from the fact that not only is it an Agincourt centenary year, it is also a centenary of Waterloo - and this was my choice...  I have to say I'm not overly enamoured of teddy bear fur but this was quite nice....


Game used General de Brigade rules and was present by the Loughton Strike Force club..


Being picky, but that's why I'm not overly enthused with the fur..  the basing style of the figures doesn't match what they're walking over..  (picky or what... )



Lovely - real old school type game...



...and I think I'll probably close it there - I'm not a fan of huge posts with hundreds of photo's so bear with, part 2 will be along in a mo'...