Sunday, 26 April 2015

Guilford Courthouse at Salute 2015

This report has a few photos from the end of the game taken on my 'phone. I'll try to download more photos from my camera later.

My Salute began on Friday. With the day off work thanks to lieu time I was able to pack the car in a leisurely manner before heading off to collect James Morris. 

I arrived at James's just as he sped around the corner on his bike after a busy week at work. A refreshing cuppa later and we stashed James's stuff and the all-important cool box of pasties and drinks.

The M1 and M25 were fairly free running, slowed only by a long stretch of 50mph roadworks and we pulled up at the hotel at around 7pm. After quickly checking in we settled into our first drinks at the pub with John Grant and Steve Metheringham while Scrivs went to fetch Tom Webster-Deakin from the station rather than make him walk the mere 3 miles.

A convivial evening was then spent over some good food and drinks, chewing the wargames cud and relaxing from the working (or retiring in some cases) week.

Then it was off to get some sleep before the big day.

As usual away from home I had a poor nights sleep but a shower revived me and we all rendezvoused in the car park at 7am to head off to ExCel via a swift pit-stop for a McDonalds breakfast.

We reached the venue by 8ish and proceeded to unload. The crew kindly did lots of fetching and carrying while I set up the table and I continued with the troops and the others looked around the show, picked up preorders and planned later spending.

The set-up took me, surprisingly, until 9:50 so there was time for the briefest of briefings and we were ready to go.

We waited for the first surge of humanity to sweep through the doors like a stampede of small berucksacked elephants. As we were completing the initial British advance a veritable tsunami of gamers poured through the door after the barriers were stormed. But the wave soon passed and we proceeded.

As is often the case, the Crown forces rolled lots of 1s and 2s while Steve M's militia seemed to find the die with a 6 on every side. The first line proved quite resilient as a result until they were flanked to the north but the Guards light company who proceeded to wrap-up Eaton's brigade. The rest of the line soon fell back and Crown forces paused to rally and reorganise while some shopping was done.

We the commenced phase two. Cornwallis led his army against the second line, Virginia militia, who proved tough in the woodland. The northern (left) flank of redcoats pushed on with greater success but perhaps did too well, reaching the edge of the woodland while their compatriots to the south were stuck some 400 yards further back. This allowed a counterattack by Virginia militia into a disrupted line and the 71st highlanders were soon tumbling back towards the baseline. Scenting an opportunity Light Horse Harry Lee sent in his legion cavalry in support and despite the trees they were able to cause further damage. The Crown right wing was able to reform with Tarleton bringing his troopers up in support; but was not in a fit state to attack again.

Over to the north the Crown also reached a standstill. Lacking support to the south it was impossible to push on and the artillery was still someway down the road having not dared risk pushing on so close to Steven's Virginians. Eventually the matter was decided when Captain Kirkwood manoeuvred his Delaware company around the flank of the Royal Welch Fusiliers and routed them. 

I declared a rebel victory at this point. Cornwallis had sufficient strength to retreat in relative safety and his cavalry were still fresh. Pushing on against the continentals would have been an impossible task.

It was a great game and my thanks are offered to the crew, especially Scrivs, who helped umpire the game. The rules I had penned worked well and I think victory came down to few lucky rolls and the Crown allowing that gap to open up in the woods.

It was wonderful to chat to friends old and new about the game and the hobby. 

Hi to Giles Allison and to Brendan Morissey for kindly stopping by and saying nice things.

Highlight of the day was the very polite young man with his friend and his dad who are just beginning the period and who took a keen interest. I hope that this is the start of some enjoyable times.

Close second highlight was snagging the best painting award. This is the third time I have had this luck, as well as winning "Most Impressive Troops" in combo with James one other year. It really did put the icing on a rich an fruity cake of a day.

I didn't actually see much of have show. Set up and playing kept me at the table until about 14:30 and I really only had about two quick dashes around. I bought a grand total of nothing but do have plans for some upcoming projects.

The show closed at 17:00 and we were packed up and heading off by about 18:20. The roads were not too bad; still the roadworks on the M1. I dropped James off at around 20:30 and then completed the journey home listening to the end of the test match.

A good day all round. Great game with great mates, saw lots of lovely people, won an award, England won the cricket and Northampton a Saints came from behind to beat Saracens and stay top of the Premiership.

I leave you with those snaps of the end-game.

The last of the Carolina militia still in the field:

The rebel third line of continentals provides a rallying point for surviving units of the first and second lines:

The 33rd foot and Guard grenadier company reach the tree-line but lack the support to push-on:
Preston's Virginia militia shelter at the foot of the hill while the 1st Maryland stands ready:



Mike A said...

Congrats :)
Superb achievement!

Neil Scott said...

looks great

Laurence Baldwin said...

Well done, sounds like a great day, and having seen the troops develop over the years, a well deserved painting award!

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

..the award was well deserved, and your game was one of my top three at the whole show... superb....