Copyright © 2011-2024, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2011-2024, 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

Sa-Loot 2015

On my previous two trips to Salute I was very restrained, this year I broke the mould and had a proper big spend.

As I was part of a game I was able to get in early and picked up a load of stuff before the show even opened.

The first item of the day was a pre-order from the lovely chaps at Gripping Beast a whole £165.00 of Woodbine WW1 French for myself and Dave as part of the on-going Verdun project.

Here is the grand un-boxing:

Plenty enough for a reinforced platoon of poilu each, although I doubt I will get them all painted in time for Partizan but watch this space as they appear in games over this year. I am currently cleaning these up and sticking them together.

I then went to say hello to Simon and Mike at Curteys and picked up a lovely pack of Romano-British casualties. Usually when you see resin figures you expect to pay through the nose, these beauties were only £5.00 for four singles and a triple. Great figures, great value.

Here they are out of the pack.

The next pick-up was a couple of packs of 7mm dice frames from Minibits for £2.00.

Then over to Warbases to pick up my pre-order of 20mm skirmish trays £18.02 with the pre-order discount.

However I decided to get some 25mm skirmish trays for the Verdun troops so blew another £17.60 on those

 So, by 0930 I had already spent £207.62 and the show was not open yet. I went back to the game and we played through to the early afternoon when I took a break.

Over at Empress Miniatures I purchased a couple of packs of Guardia Civil for the Spanish Civil War forces that seem to be ever growing, another £14.00 gone.

Back to my top chums at Gripping Beast to grab some 20mm and 25mm Renedra bases £12.50

Last gaming purchase of the day was £30.00 at Kallistra  for some trench sections to use in our Verdun games.

 Total spend £264.12, probably a Salute personal best.

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.

Sunday 19 April 2015

Recapture the Village

Another game of Chain of Command WWI. James has had some time to paint additional Frenchmen over the Easter break so was able to field a full strength platoon rather than the brittle reduces strength platoon he has been using.

We would play the Attack and Defend scenario and randomising the roles, I would be the defender with my German platoon. Mark would assist James in the attack.

Rolling for Force Morale, the French were only on an eight while my Germans were slightly better on a nine. We then played out the patrol phase and the resultant start positions are on the right, German in black, French in blue.

James had painted up a collection of ruins for us to use and they certainly added to the effect.

James then had a whopping 16 points to spend on Force Support, he chose:

  • Pre-game bombardment
  • Upgrade to Feurwaltz 
  • Four phases of in-game barrage
  • Off-table 58mm mortar
  • Adjutant
  • Off-table machine-gun (shown as blue cross on right)
  • Hotchkiss M1914 MMG with five crew
  • Add two trench-broom to a section

I only had four points to spend, so I added:

  • Sniper
  • Captured Lewis gun to one LMG Gruppe
  • Adjutant

I took the first turn and as I had rolled pretty poorly I decided to pass as the front two jump-off points were covered by the in-game barrage and the rear one was covered by the off-table machine-gun. Utilising the cover of the in-game barrage and my lack of activity the French deployed all their force on table ready for an assault once the barrage lifted, apart from their second Grenadier-Voltigeur section held in reserve.

The initial German troops to reveal themselves was the sniper and he was soon taking pot-shots at the support sections, indeed the first Frenchman to be hit was one of their Sergeants.

The in-game barrage lifted and the French soon moved off, mainly unopposed due to the continued effects of the Feurwaltz on my positions. The Germans deployed a Gruppe of Riflemen in my central left position, but they were soon badly affected by the concentrated fire of the Hotchkiss and both Support squads.   

The first Grenadier-Voltigeur section captured the empty trenches on my left and were threatening the already beleaguered Rifle Gruppe so I deployed my enhanced Light Machine-gun Gruppe and started pouring a heavy fire on to the support section in front of them with the continued support of the sniper. Soon the shock was piling up on them.

However, the concentrated fire on my Rifle Gruppe meant that they fled with 13 points of shock on just six men. I had to cover that position by deploying my second Light Machine-gun Gruppe in that position.

By now the French had deployed their second Grenadier-Voltigeur section and they were rushing, with the Lieutenant to join the Grenadier-Voltigeur section in the trench on my left. I had to use a Chain of Command dice to end the turn and hence the Feurwaltz else I would be in big trouble.

The support teams and Hotchkiss continued to fire on the trench now holding my second Light Machine-gun Gruppe, having broken the Rifle Gruppe in that position they fancied their chances of taking out them too, however, the fire from my other Light Machine-gun Gruppe and the sniper was having a telling effect on the Support section killing the Sergeant and forcing the section to break for the rear, this had a severe effect on the French Force Morale and they could sense the end was near.

The brave French Lieutenant rallied his two Grenadier-Voltigeur sections and headed for my central trench. Unfortunately for the poor chap I now 'double-sixed' and retained the initiative, turning the Light Machine-gun Gruppe to face the threat from the rear the lead began to fly. 

The Lieutenant gritted his teeth and led the remainder of his troops in to the charge, in a vicious fight the Lieutenant and the remainder of his Grenadier-Voltigeurs were wiped out and the two remaining Germans broke and ran.

This caused the French Force Morale to collapse and it was a German victory, made all the sweeter in that my Lieutenant and second Rifle Gruppe were still in the reinforcements box waiting for a chance to get into the action.

Another great game, and I reckon it would have been a lot closer had the French not started on Force Morale 8!

More images from the game.

Wednesday 15 April 2015

Another six Germans plus upgraded barbed wire

It's been quite slow progress this week but I have managed to finish off another six of the Great War Miniatures German infantry from Northstar.

These are painted using my standard method but this time I painted the assault packs in Neutral Grey and some of the bread bags in German Camo Beige.

It seems to take a bit more time to paint them using the magnifier, but I am happier with the results.

Here are some close-ups.

I have also taken some advice on the barbed wire entanglements and have souped them up a little, adding some short posts at the rear of the bases and then threading more wire in-between them.  I am quite happy with the results.