Tom and myself had our annual pilgrimage to Salute yesterday and as usual I got carried away and forgot to take many photographs and even less that were in focus, but here are the better ones with some re-collections of the day. The first game we looked at was a 28mm WW2 game which was awesome I’m not sure if they were using the old “Kampfgruppe Normandy” rules or the new “Battlegroup Normandy” rules, but the table looked great. I did toy with getting the “Battlegroup Normandy” supplement, but I think it was £30 for the supplement & £30 for the rules which are in the Kursk book, and that put me off in the end, especially if the Lardies WW2 platoon set is as good as it looks (see below)
As I said, the Lardies were demoing their “Chain of Command” rules and they look really interesting. We arrived during the first game of British v Germans after the Patrol phase had ended, but came back for the second game of Americans v Germans so as we could this this really innovative mechanic in action. I won’t go through the details here as Rich has explained it all perfectly well on YouTube, but the importance of the phase became clear as the Yanks were completely outplayed in Patrol phase ended up with their deployment zones pinned in a corner of the board. The Germans on the other hand controlled the town and the main roads so could bring units on when and where they were needed. I don’t think there is a need to use the mechanic with any particular set of rules – we were talking of replacing the hidden mechanic in “Bolt Action” with it. The rules are due out in July and if the 2-deep crowds around the table all day are anything to go by, they are going to be a great success. (crowds=photos not great :-)).
I had pre-ordered some “In Her Majesty’s Name” figures from North Star and was surprised when I got a set of rules as well (they weren’t meant to be out until May). There was a demo of the game being run, but I couldn’t really get a flavour of what was going on as the people running it were too intent on playing – a good sign I suppose, but unlike the Lardies game, there wasn’t any explanation to the masses of what was going on. The figures do look grand painted up though.
Like everyone else, I was taken by the huge display game of Waterloo, but I’d like to have seen it being played.
As this year is the 150th anniversary of Gettysburg, a few ACW games were in evidence. This period is a favourite of mine, and when I picked up the latest edition of “Wargames Illustrated” at the show I was pleasantly surprised to find it contained not one, but two accounts of ACW actions. The first was run by Dave Bickley using his “Bull Run to Gettysburg” rules which I use, and the second written by Barry Hilton who seems to have an ACW adaption of his Napoleonic rules in the works – can’t wait to try them out. I only got photos of the Little Round Top demo, but it did look great.
Other games which I was too busy looking at to photograph included “Musket & Tomahawks” with Samurai and “Dead Man’s Hand” Wild West rules from Great Escape games (which I had pre-ordered and look interesting if you like card-driven chaos – I do luckily :-)). I must also mention the two “Dux Bellorum” games which were side-by-side. I have the rules and have tried them out, but the standard of painting on the table and the sabot bases gave me lots of ideas, so I will need to re-visit the rules in the near-future.
Our haul of shiny new stuff was quite restrained this year – apart from the pre-ordered rules and figures mentioned above, I only picked some SCW militia from Empress, the new “Bolt Action” Russian supplement from Warlord and some bases from Warbases. The show itself didn’t disappoint and we’ll be back next year, not least because I didn’t get a go on the cable car across the Thames to North Greenwich and my son did 🙂