Copyright © 2017, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2017, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Guilford Court House at Salute 2015


After our Battle of Keren game at Salute last year, Steve Jones said he would like to put on a re-fight of Guilford Court House at Salute 2015 and was keen to do the whole lot himself.

Steve already has a huge collection of beautiful American War of Independence figures, but if you check out his blog posts over the past year you will see that he has been adding more and more troops to this stunning collection.

Set up and ready to advance on the Carolina Militias

Well, Friday night it was time to set off, John Grant and Steve Metheringham met me at the office and we loaded up the Flying Satsuma and it was off down to the Premier Inn at Waltham Abbey a quite easy journey for a Friday evening and we were there at about 1800, checked in and were in to the Bakers Arms for a swift half before picking up Tom Webster-Deakin from the train station.

By the time we were back at the Bakers Arms Steve Jones and James Morris had arrived to complete the team for the game. After a few beers and a rather good dinner it was off to bed at about 2300 with the alarms set for 0630.

Clearing the first line the British advance on the Virginia Militias
I had quite a good nights sleep and was up before the alarm went off and by 0700 we were all showered and assembled in the car park. Four of us are wearing our rather natty shirts that Mog had done a cracking job on the design, unfortunately, due to starting a new job Martin was unable to join us this year. It was then time  for the short hop on to the Excel centre stopping for a McDonalds breakfast on the way, this is about the only time every year I eat anything from McDonalds and I think one a year is about enough.

Parking up at Salute we pay the eye-watering £15.00 for each car to park at for the day and carry up or first armfuls of terrain, figures and other goodies. We leave Steve at the table and continue the relay down to the car and back a couple of times each, cursing that we parked a bit too far from the entrance to the venue.
Having cleared the Virginia militia on the left the 23rd push on

With all the figures, terrain and what-not at the table, Steve insists that he set up the terrain and figures while we bugger off and take a look around the show. I pop to Gripping Beast to pick up a pre-order of some more WWI French for myself and Dave for the ongoing Verdun project, I then go to Warbases to pick up my pre-order of 20mm skirmish trays and decide to splurge on a load more on some 25mm skirmish trays for the aforementioned Verdun game.

Steve is with me and we both say hi to the Curteys, Steve picks up some Macedonian commanders and I get some lovely resin casualty markers for those Late Romans that will get painted one day. On to Minibits I pick up some dice frames and then it is back to the game where everything is set up and ready to go.

Continentals line the other side of the valley
Steve J gives us a briefing, Steve M and John will play the Rebels, Tom and James will play the Loyalists while myself and Steve J will keep the game going.

We are very near the entrance and can see the huge queue forming outside, at 1000 the flood gates are unleashed and a tide of humanity sweeps into the hall.

The team, L-R Tom, John, Steve J, James, myself, Steve M
After waiting for the initial wave to pass, while the table is really busy with viewers, we start the game. The British advance and despite a setback on their left, the first line of Carolina Militias do a sterling job, being much more resilient than their historical counterparts. The Von Bose regiment is even driven off in disorder while the 33rd Foot suffer excessive casualties.

However, exploiting the breakthrough on their left the flank companies of the 23rd Foot roll up the rebel line and after rallying and regrouping the British press on to the second line of Virginia militiamen.

Steve Jones with his best-painted award
In much the same way, these troops perform much better than their historical counterparts and the casualties are increasing on the British line that starts to become fragmented. The dice deities are really favouring the 'Tea-chuckers' while a rain cloud hangs over the Loyalist lines damping their powder.

On the British left the 23rd Foot press on through the woods to the fence line supported by the now rallied 33rd Foot, but on the right it is a catastrophe. The 71st Highlanders charge home into the Virginia Militia but are stopped by a crashing volley. The militia commander in an act if temporary insanity cries for his brave boys to follow him and with a whoops and a wait throws them on to the Scots. In the ensuing combat the dice favour the Rebels and the 71st Highlanders are broken.

The 71st Highlanders and 1st Foot Guards are pushed back to their start lines
In another poor show for the British the 1st Guards are badly disrupted by musketry and rifle fire and are then broken by a charge of Lee’s legion Light Dragoons. A terrible day for the British with only the 23rd and 33rd Foot making it through the woods and having to withdraw unsupported.

We were all very pleased for Steve Jones when the game was awarded the Best Painted award from the dozens of games at the show and the public feedback was very positive.

The Rebels for an unassailable position on the ridge

I met and chatted with loads of old friends and also got to do much more spending than usual for a Salute. As well as the stuff I picked up before the doors opened I also managed to get a couple of packs of Guardia Civil from Empress a good sized section of trench from Kallistra  (I don't like the hexes though so will be doing something about that) and went back to Gripping Beast to pick up some Renedra bases in the main for those WWI French.

I really enjoyed Salute again and meeting up with old friends. My only comment is, please people take a shower and ensure you use some deodorant, the vast majority of gamers were very good but we did have one stinkie attach himself to the table for 15 minutes - phew.

The British retreat to their start lines
Anyway to finish on a positive, Steve put on a great game and the rules that he wrote, based upon Fire and Fury, flowed really, really well. He heartily deserved the Best Painted award.

Some more images from the game, I only had my phone camera but am happy with how they came out.