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

Salute 2015 – Sci-Fi

Dropzone Commander and Star Wars dominated visions of the future (or respectively the past, but far, far away) at Salute 2015.

Beasts of War ran a participation game recreating the Battle of Hoth with custom rules and pre-made models.

Squadrons of snowspeeders attack the Imperial walkers

Squadrons of snowspeeders are trying to stop the Imperial walkers

AT-AT walkers are advancing towards the rebel base

AT-ATs advancing onto the rebel base

The Millennium Falcon in the hangar bay

Carlos Spicywiener’s ride sitting in the hangar

Meanwhile, Chelmsford Bunker ran a game of X-Wing to blow up the Death Star.

X-Wings and Tie Fighters battle above the surface of the Death Star

Explosions pockmark the surface of the Death Star as the fighters dive into the trench

Hawk Wargames brought the now finished UCMS Avenger to their sales stand and had created one of the biggest battle dioramas of the day.

Model of an orbital dropship for Dropzone Commander

Orbital dropship in 10mm scale

Lighting effects in the dropship's propulsion drives

Propulsion is throttled before releasing the attack craft

Schematics showing technical details of the UCMS Avenger

The display included schematics showing technical details of the UCMS Avenger

A large battle diorama for Dropzone Commander set in a grey ash wasteland

Leaving the city behind for a good scrap in the ash wastes

A bomber aircraft emerges from an underground hangar amidst infantry forces

A bomber emerges from an underground hangar

Terrain for Dropzone Commander by 4Ground

4Ground has added terrain for the game to their range

Matlock Wargames Club hosted Rick Priestley and his Beyond the Gates of Antares project.

Gaming board for beyond the Gates of Antares

A skirmish is about to break out

Miniatures and dice making up one of the factions in the game

A small force with command dice

Prodos Games ran some participation games for their upcoming Alien v Predator.

An Alien horde rushing towards a group of Predators on a jungle pyramid

A horde of Aliens rushes towards the Predators

Colonials fighting Aliens in an outpost

Colonials are desperately fighting off an Alien ambush

Spartan Games offered demonstrations of Halo Fleet Battles and Firestorm Planetfall.

Halo Fleet Battles by Spartan Games

Halo Fleet Battles by Spartan Games

Firestorm Planetfall by Spartan Games

Firestorm Planetfall by Spartan Games

There were a range of other games on display showcasing the variety of sci-fi themes.

Custom built Battlestar Galactica models in battle

Custom built Battlestar Galactica models by Mechworld Development Group using Full Thrust rules

Underwater base and submarines from the Stingray universe

1960s torpedo-fest Stingray by South London Warlords

Futuristic soldiers fighting in a jungle environment

Possibly a game of Warzone Resurrection, but I’m not an expert

A futuristic multi-storey building

Utopian architecture in Anvil Industry’s Afterlife

Soldiers fighting over a base at a dam

The Afterlife is more gritty outside at the hydro dam

A skirmish amongst a ruined cityscape

Humvees, black vans and armoured giants with swords in this alarming vision of our future

A damaged church building and roaming monsters on the streets

An appealing looking skirmish game with monsters in the modern era, but there are too many TBAs in this year’s Salute show guide to figure out what this was

An urban setting for a zombie apocalypse game

Zombies attack in Bullets and Brains by East Street Games

The Arkham Asylum compound

Arkham Asylum is requesting a house call from Batman

Salute 2015 – Fantasy

Fantasy wasn’t a strong category at Salute 2015 this year, with most tables being small demonstration games run by publishers. “The Relief of Nordheim” by ‘Ardhamma however proved a noteworthy exception – an Empire town defended by an alliance of Humans and Elves was under attack by the forces of Chaos, Orcs & Goblins and Barbarians, played out using Warhammer 3rd Edition rules.

The defence of the town of Nordheim

Many valiant hedges stand in the way of the forces of evil

The defenders of Nordheim line up outside the ramparts

Colourful mercenary pikemen form the backbone of Nordheim’s defence

Winged lancers crossing a bridge

Winged lancers are crossing the last bridge

Large units of Goblins march in support of the Chaos forces

Hordes of Goblins swarm across the countryside

Midlam Miniatures presented the 2nd edition of their board game Stalagbite! with custom built 3D terrain and the miniatures from their range.

The God Stalagmite at Salute 2015

Don’t touch the God Stalagbite!

Dwarfs exploring the caverns underneath the Lost Mountains

The dwarfs are cornered by angry stalagbites and creeping jeepers

Another game that caught my eye for its scenery was Frostgrave, in which wizards and their henchmen battle over lost artefacts in an ancient frozen city. Its release date is set for July.

A game of Frostgrave at Salute 2015

Frostgrave by Osprey Games and North Star Figures

Something a bit special once more from Frothers Unite who built a castle and dungeon to purge of filthy creatures while discovering hidden treasures.

A three level dungeon by Frothers Unite in Return to Castle Frötherheim

Three levels of fantasy dungeon goodness in Return to Castle Frötherheim