All the cool kids are gaming modern warfare right now and accordingly there were a number of choices at Salute 2019.
I was very tempted to pick up the rules for Spectre and some figures to recreate scenarios from Narcos but in the end decided to postpone such a project. Any wargame that can justify the use of a swimming pool and sun chairs is a winner for me however.
Another favourite of mine in terms of setting is Wild in the Streets, which I bought the Straight Edge crew for previously. The lack of terrain is holding me back but I might go for a less authentic approach and use the figures with my cyberpunk Infinity terrain.
A few years earlier in the same streets of downtown NYC, gangs clashed to disco beats courtesy of Funky Skull Games.
The more dusty and deadly setting of Helmand province was the scene for ‘The Panther’s Claw’ by Whitehall Warlords.
Scimitar Wargames Group recreated old town Jerusalem during the Six Day War, playing with the Fate of a Nation rules set.
The category of Modern Warfare at Salute 2018 featured rather fewer conventional theatres, and an unexpected surge of gangland conflicts. Also, zombies taking over the Salute exhibition hall and not-Lego tanks duking it out on a bedroom floor – can’t get more modern than those in my view.
Street fighting in contemporary urban environments ranged from youth gang bust ups to gangland shoot outs and zombie/monster invasions.
The most original and also perfectly executed participation game was ‘Dead Show’ by Bexley Reapers Wargaming Club. The Salute hall had been painstakingly recreated in 28mm scale, including trade stands and gaming tables.
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.
The Tet Offensive was the backdrop to the Essex Gamester’s Vietnam War mega game.
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.
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.
Jet Warfare of the 1980s was the theme for White Hart Wargamers’ Sidewinder game.
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.
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.
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?
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?
The most recent battle recreated at Salute 2014 was from the Five Day War between Georgian and Russian forces in South Ossetia. Leicester Phat Cats displayed Turmoil in Tskhinvali on an impressive board with mountains, cityscape and air support.
Whitehall Warlords staged a US combined operations attack on a North Vietnamese bunker complex in the 15mm scale Iron Butterflies in the Killer Jungle.
The Battle of Dien Bien Phu was the backdrop for Brussels based Chemins de Feu wargaming club. In this scenario set in 1953, French paratroopers were leading a raid to destroy a Viet Minh weapons cache.