Salute 2016 – English Civil War to Mexican Revolution

The most strikingly colourful wargaming tables at Salute usually feature battles from the 16th to 19th centuries, with their massed ranks of brightly uniformed infantry waving massive banners. The hobbyists dedicated to those periods also seem to have a particularly obsessive dedication to their craft and come up with the most beautiful terrain and characterful diorama pieces as part of the raging battles which are a joy to discover.

In terms of categorising all of these I’m always struggling so this time I’m bundling everything from the First English Civil War through Napoleonic and Victorian up to the Mexican Revolution into a single post. My apologies if this upsets your historical sensibilities.

First up is the Bloody Siege of Bristol in 1643 during the First English Civil War by the Crewe & Nantwich Wargames Club.

View of a wargaming table with city walls on the left and an army advancing through the countryside from the right

The Bloody Siege of Bristol by Crewe & Nantwich Wargames Club

Close up of a commander on horse next to a baggage cart

The Bloody Siege of Bristol by Crewe & Nantwich Wargames Club

Earthen ramparts with cannon and regiments of pikemen in front

The Bloody Siege of Bristol by Crewe & Nantwich Wargames Club

A fortified city harbour with a ship at anchor

The Bloody Siege of Bristol by Crewe & Nantwich Wargames Club

Oshiro Model Terrain delighted us this year with the Adventures of Paul Drake, an 18th century smuggler trying to get his way against redcoats and revenue men.

View over a wargaming table with scattered buildings, hedgerows and pockets of civilians going about their business

The Adventures of Paul Drake by Oshiro Model Terrain

A harbour with houses and a small ship with troops on board

The Adventures of Paul Drake by Oshiro Model Terrain

A market square with groups of figures

The Adventures of Paul Drake by Oshiro Model Terrain

Bill Gaskin and friends staged the Battle of Wilhelmstadt during the Seven Years War on a stunning table stretching from open countryside to the city itself.

Troops on a battlefield with hedges and trees and a city in the background

The Battle of Wilhelmstadt by Bill Gaskin and friends

Several regiments of infantry with muskets lined up in battle against each other

The Battle of Wilhelmstadt by Bill Gaskin and friends

A column of troops marching through an 18th century city towards the battle raging outside

The Battle of Wilhelmstadt by Bill Gaskin and friends

Victrix used their 54mm Napoleonic range in a participation scenario entitled Spain 1800.

Napoleonic troops on a battlefield with a small river and countryside buildings

Spain 1800 by Victrix

Ian Smith and friends brought the 40mm scale Battle of Adrados based on the novel Sharpe’s Enemy.

Ranks of Napoleonic infantry advancing towards a fortress on a rocky hill

The Battle of Adrados by Ian Smith and friends

View of a mountain fortress through buildings of a small town

The Battle of Adrados by Ian Smith and friends

The Sons of Simon de Montfort created a table for The North West Frontier to play out a tale of high adventure involving mounted tribesmen, a steam train and a prince.

A railroad line and small station in a rocky landscape with scattered infantry and cavalry units

The North West Frontier by Sons of Simon de Montfort

Tribal infantry with colourful banners on foot and horseback charging over a ridge

The North West Frontier by Sons of Simon de Montfort

Wargames Foundry had set up a table for the Congo during colonial times.

A small wargames table with a river and steamboat in front and a jungle scene with waterfall and small huts

The Congo by Wargames Foundry

The Mexican Revolution in 20mm scale was the theme of this table. It wasn’t included in the show guide unfortunately, but according to knowledgeable sources it’s a participation game by GDWS which will also feature at Claymore.

An adobe building and compound with irregular troops and two lorries

The Mexican Revolution

A column of uniformed troops advancing along a train line through a desert with cacti

The Mexican Revolution

Salute 2016 – Ancients & Medieval

For the Ancient and Medieval eras less caught my eye at Salute 2016 than in previous years, but amongst those was my favourite of the show – The Battle of Foteviken 1134 by Dalauppror. A lot more photos on their own site, so I suggest you head over.

Wargaming table showing a beach with Viking longships close to a village

The Battle of Foteviken 1134 by Dalauppror

Close-up view of two Viking longships manned by warriors with shields and spears

The Battle of Foteviken 1134 by Dalauppror

Several lines of infantry advancing past a camp of tents

The Battle of Foteviken 1134 by Dalauppror

Galloping cavalry emerging from between trees

The Battle of Foteviken 1134 by Dalauppror

Cavalry passing through a small settlement on the coastline with a longship under construction

The Battle of Foteviken 1134 by Dalauppror

View over huts across the bay onto longships in the distance

The Battle of Foteviken 1134 by Dalauppror

Standee explaining historical background and rules used for the game

The Battle of Foteviken 1134 by Dalauppror

The Battle of Magnesia 190 BC by the Society of Ancients was played out using the Lost Battle rules. Wonderful armies for my favourite period in history, unfortunately I didn’t manage to return to the table later to take more detail shots.

Wargaming table with battle lines of cavalry and infantry advancing towards each other over a wide open fields with scattered trees

Battle of Magnesia 190 BC by Society of Ancients

View of the Seleucid army with chariots, skirmishers, infantry and cavalry

Battle of Magnesia 190 BC by Society of Ancients

Overlooking the table from behind the Seleucid army including phalanxes and a war elephant

Battle of Magnesia 190 BC by Society of Ancients

Salute 2016 – World War 2 & Modern Warfare

Salute 2016 at the ExCeL organised by the South London Warlords brought its usual variety of wargaming across many eras and scales. Getting to see all the amazing tables in-between browsing and shopping is always a challenge. At the end of the day I managed to snap at least a selection to provide an overview of what was on display, starting off with the historical late modern era.

The Loughton Strike Force put on a battle during the Russo-Finnish War of 1940 over a frozen lake using the Chain of Command rules.

Background materials for Loughton Strike Force's Russo-Finnish War 1940 game

Loughton Strike Force – Russo-Finnish War 1940

Large World War 2 themed wargaming table with winter scenery in 28mm scale

Loughton Strike Force – Russo-Finnish War 1940

Small winter scene with a staff car, a field gun and crew standing by a barrel fire

Loughton Strike Force – Russo-Finnish War 1940

The Tet Offensive was the backdrop to the Essex Gamester’s Vietnam War mega game.

View of a large wargaming table in multiple sections with a river through jungle and military camp in the foreground

Essex Gamesters – The Tet Offensive

A helicopter hovering over jungle trees next to a river with several patrol boats

Essex Gamesters – The Tet Offensive

Two artillery emplacements on a river bank with a watchtower and parked APC

Essex Gamesters – The Tet Offensive

Cold War gone hot in 6mm scale was the topic for Heroic and Ros’ 1986 Gyros Teller Goes Small in a Large Way which saw Soviet forces assault across a river defended by NATO.

A large wargaming table in 6mm scale with a village and open countryside in the background

Heroics and Ros – 1986 Gyros Teller Goes Small in a Large Way

Leicester Phat Cats were gaming in the same era using Team Yankee rules and 15mm models. The setting saw a US Combat Team face off against a Russian Motor Rifle Regiment.

A wargaming table with fields, a crossroads with houses and tanks advancing from both ends

Leicester Phat Cats – Team Yankee: First Contact

Jet Warfare of the 1980s was the theme for White Hart Wargamers’ Sidewinder game.

Three fighter aircraft models over a terrain mat depicting a coastline

White Hart Wargamers – Sidewinder: Modern Jet Warfare

The Crawley Wargames Club hosted the D-Day: Operation Overlord participation game.

A boardgames style set up showing the Normandy coastline and army tokens occupying sections of the terrain

Crawley Wargames Club – D-Day: Operation Overlord

The Road to Homs was the title of an alternative scenario for the Invasion of Lebanon 1982. Maidstone Wargames Society created this epic conflict in 3mm scale.

Large wargaming table with mountainous desert terrain and mechanised armies in 3mm scale

Maidstone Wargames Society – The Road to Homs

Salute 2015 – Horse & Musket

Best of Show at Salute 2015 deservedly went to Ron Ringrose and the Essex Gamsters for “Fort George”, based on a Bernard Cornwell novel set during the American War of Independence. The custom built terrain including ships and the level of detail in all the miniatures made this the stand out spectacle of the show.

Gaming table for The Fort at Salute 2015

View through the rigging of a ship

Floats docking onto a cargo boat

Column of troops marching past a trade post

Ships in full sail around Fort George

Tin Soldiers of Antwerp brought another lovingly created table this year depicting the Napoleonic “Battle of Charleroi”.

Fighting across a bridge before a scenic backdrop

Attackers viewpoint across the bridge

Blockbuster Wargames staged “The Battle of Lützen” in 1632 along a massive frontline.

Regiments fighting under windmills

Armies facing off

“Napoleon: The Last Gamble” was presented by Loughton Strike Force using the General de Brigade set of rules.

Cannons firing at advancing infantry

“Lake of Death – The Battle of Aruara” during the South American Wars of Independence was created by the South London Warlords.

Armies fighting over broken ground next to a lake

Black Powder rules were in play for “The Battle of Guilford Courthouse” during the American War of Independence by Newark Irregulars.

Troops advancing over fields and through woods

Salute 2015 – Modern Warfare

Wargames Illustrated hosted “Cold War Gone Hot”, the largest modern era participation game at Salute 2015. It made use of Nick Ayres’ 3rd Generation Warfare rules and featured models from the Leicester Phat Cats on winter terrain built by Nick Ayres and Philip Lewis.

It’s the 1980s and the Cold War has turned into World War 3! Take charge of a unit of Warsaw Pact or NATO troops and battle for one of the main autobahns into West Germany.

Military cargo plane has landed on a motorway

Armoured vehicles deploying from a cargo plane

Battle tanks in a winter forest

Columns of trucks and light tanks passing by a bridge

Another scenario based on the Cold War erupting into open conflict was MDK’s “Operation Broadsword – The Cold War Went Wet”. A force of SBS and Royal Marine Commandos have been tasked to carry out a raid on a Russian frigate in the Baltic Sea to capture the Russian Communications code book.

Model of a Russian frigate

Interior detail of a Russian frigate

Wargames Soldiers & Strategy Magazine ran a game to preview Osprey’s upcoming rules “Black Ops”. The assignment is to control a team of trained operatives and undertake espionage missions against the clock. Will your fellow players help or hinder you?

Rural terrain with a river, bridge and industrial building in the background

Two agents on the roof of a building

One of the most iconic chase scenes in James Bond’s history was reimagined by the Maidstone Wargames Society in “Spy to a Kill: Snowfalls”. Can Bond and Dr Snow Falls evade capture in an Alaskan ski chase?

Terrain depicting a snow covered mountain slope

Miniatures and game tokens during the scenario

Salute 2015 – Ancients & Medieval

I haven’t done any historical wargaming for years now since there are just too many projects to keep juggling at the same time. I have been eyeing up Saga however since I am more likely to finish a skirmishing force, or in some cases already have enough to field one. The original Dark Ages setting wasn’t an era I had much interest in, but with The Crescent and the Cross we are getting closer, at least geographically. I might be able to adjust some of the rules for my Sassanids for example. More likely, I’ll hang in long enough for a new expansion that covers a period I already have forces for.

In the meantime, I used the opportunity to ogle the many Saga tables at Salute 2015.

Games table for Saga: The Crescent and the Cross at Salute 2015

Games table for Saga at Salute 2015

Games table for Saga at Salute 2015

Dark Age warriors for Saga at Salute 2015

Dark Age skirmish in a town at Salute 2015

Games table for Saga: The Crescent and the Cross at Salute 2015

4Ground had a large sales stand and impressive new ranges on show. The table below tempted me to get some of their products, but the whole setup will set you back a couple hundred quid. Also, I have nowhere to store them.

Medieval harbour town terrain by 4Ground at Salute 2015

Medieval inn and market square by 4Ground at Salute 2015

Antiquity was represented by a large participation game created by Simon Miller, depicting a Roman civil war battle at Cremona in 69 AD and using the “To the Strongest!” set of rules.

Roman legionnaires in formation at Cremona

The battlefield at Cremona in 69 AD

Gladiators disembarking from river barges

The theme of this year’s Salute was Agincourt as it is the 600th anniversary of the battle. While there were several games with different takes on the recreation of the event, unfortunately there was no large display. The nicest presentation in my opinion was the below board by Ancient & Modern/Donnington Miniatures.

Battle of Agincourt being played using Field of Glory rules

Another medieval setting in “De Montfort Must Die”, a participation game by Wargames Illustrated. Here the players had to hunt down a rebel leader near Evesham in 1265.

Bands of knights are roaming across the landscape

A micro-board using larger scale knights set in the siege works at Harfleur provided the battleground in the below game for Anno Domini.

Knights trying to take a castle breach

Stockholm 1392 was the setting for Dalauppror’s “God’s Friends and the Whole World’s Enemies” in which the Swedish populace tried to fend off plundering German mercenaries and pirates.

Stockholm harbour and outer wall