Saturday, 30 May 2015
We interrupt your regular programming to present the results of some internet trawling to find evidence of the various games the Newark Irregulars have staged at Salute. It was an interesting and challenging exercise and thanks go to the internet waybackmachine for tracking down websites that are no longer live.
2000: The Barbarian Conspiracy
This was our first trip to Salute, the first time the show had been held at Olympia and we took a minibus full of wargamers to Big London. I recall that I travelled down separately with Stu Reville.
The game included most of the Arthurian and Late Roman figures from James's and my collections. These were mostly Gripping Beast figures. James produced most of the scenery. The hill fort was a Scheltrum model and the villa was scratch-built by James. There was also a shoreline with James's pictish curraghs. Rules, if I remember correctly, were Warhammer Ancients, probably using the dark age lists produced by Phil Yates. Below is the only photo I could find - digital photography still being quite a "new" thing back then...
2001: Henry VIII invades France
When plans for a large Caesarian Roman game fell through, James and I put this on at short notice. I cobbled together a "cheap & nasty" set of rules based on WAB but with a lot of the luck element evened out. They played quite well and reduced the number of dice rolls needed. Figures were from James'a and my collections. These were mostly Foundry landsknechts and gendarmes, Redoubt and whatever else James had collected at the time. The scenario was very, very fictional but we had a good time. I remember this being hard work as James and I were there largely on our own, but did receive welcome help from ex-Irregular Mike Harker who had moved from the midlands to London not long before. I have no photos of the game (Mike might if he is reading this) but below is a shot of my landsknecht pike plock, which is long-since sold. I expect I took this with my Kodak 1MP camera, back when 1MP was quite standard and 5MP was for professionals only!
2002: Camden 1780
The first outing for my AWI collection. The figures at the time were all from Foundry, with the exception of the highlanders from the newly formed "Perry Miniatures". These figures are all still in my collection but have since been re-based, added to, and generally mucked about.
Back in those days it was unusual to see a "proper" horse & musket game at a show and I think this helped swing the judges around to awarding a prize. In this case the "Bill Brewer" award for the best painted troops.
2003: El Cid
James's obsession with medieval Spain is well known. He even wrote a book!
This game was all his work and featured his now-familiar terrain boards as well as loads of city wall sections (Ian Weekly urethane castings). James painted the armies and the rules were WAB using James's El Cid supplement. A really colourful game, which kept us busy all day answering questions.
The "El Cid" era is now quite popular and now you know who to blame!
James picked up two awards for this, one for sceneary and one for troops I think. All thoroughly deserved.
2004: Lords of Battle
Our one and only attempt at a participation game. Sadly no one seemed to want to play!
I can't find many on-line pictures of this but we again featured James's villa and a host of our Arthurian troops.
Arthurians again, this time back to a demo game with two large armies facing-off against each other. The figures below are mostly from my own collection and I suspect the bases were still a bit damp as they had been through a massive rebasing session just 24 hours beforehand. We won a "Most Impressive Troops" prize for this one.
2006: The Strife of Camlaan
Another Arthurian bash, tying in with the WAB supplement we were writing. We had put plenty of "heroes" on individual 40mm bases, some of which you can see below. The collection at this stage features heavily in the WAB "Age of Arthur" book.
James built a number of river sections to create the central feature of the battlefield.
2007: The Back of Beyond
Years before James developed any interest in the 20th Century I forced him to participate in this extravaganza. The scenario was a mixed-up piece of fiction that allowed me to put Turks and Austrain POWs on one side with Bolsheviks and British on the other. We had artillery, aircraft and even a train on the table (being a Hornby model it even moves under its own stea...electricity)
I still have the collection tucked away in boxes.
This was the game that started this blog, so we are really getting in to the "modern" era.
It was James's turn to decide on the game so he went for this historical clash of the heptarchy. My dark ages interest really finishes at around 600AD but this was still lots of fun. We staged a big battle, but on one flank we also laid out an impressive dark age village complete with gardens, livestock and a market. A picture of the settlement can be found in Henry Hyde's "Wargames Compendium".
My turn this time. This was all my own work and is the complete battle of Wagram in 6mm. The rules were my older ones (with measurement) rather than the subsequent gridded "squares" rules.
I really will get this collection back on the table some time, but the planned Waterloo has never really come off. Never say never though.
2010: Punic Wars
I missed this Salute so can't say much about this game. I think it was played using the "Crusader Ancients Rules"
2011: Abyssinia (The Christmas Offensive?)
I missed this show but James kept the flag proudly flying.
Another James Morris spectacular. James had visited Ethiopia and after decades of seeing warfare in terms of pointy sticks, he woke up to the concept of gunpowder.
Impressive armies of Italians and Abbysinians were collected and the El Cid terrain given a make-over. Rules were "Triumph and Tragedy".
James picked up an award - can't remember which one, to add to the collection.
There are more pictures of the game from its Partizan outing here.
2012: We took this year off (James had an addition to the family and was having a bad time generally). We did put on a spectacular game for the 300th edition of Wargames Illustrated however, based on the battle of Catraeth.
2013: Dux Bellorum
Back with a bang we put on two games on one big table, both using the Dux Bellorum rules published by Osprey and written by our chum Dan Mersey. One battle was a regular-size clash between Arthur and the Saxons. The second was a double-sized Late Roman fight.
The first game featured the hill fort I scratchbuilt and blogged about here.
We picked up the Bill Brewer prize again, the photo shows me and brushmeister Andy Hawes, who provided some lovely Arthurians.
James goes mad again! This time he built a BBM (bloody big mountain) including magnetic trees.
Essentially this is a forgotten corner of WW2 in which British and Empire troops seek to knock Italians and their allies out of the fort atop the mountain.
This was just a small portion of a much larger battle in reality, but this was probably enough.
Despite James's hard work and not a little innovation in scenery construction, no prize was forthcoming other than a moral one. Nicely though, James did meet an Italian chap who had a relative on top of the mountain during the real battle.
Rules were "I Ain't Been Shot Mum" but we had also tried "Bolt Action".
2015: Guilford Courthouse
Up to date now, and this year we put on "Guilford Courthouse" as I brought my AWI armies back to Salute after a 13 year hiatus. There's plenty of blog articles on the making of this game.
It was great to pick up the Bill Brewer prize again, meaning that some of these figures have won the award twice - some in the same uniforms (British Legion), some with some brightening up (Highlanders and Fusiliers) and some in repainted uniforms (Virginia Line), along with lots of newly painted units.
2016 will see a WW1 Verdun bash courtesy of James and Scrivs...so I get a year off to wander around the show and do some shopping...
I hope you have enjoyed this trip down memory lane. I have quite enjoyed putting it together.