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Archive for April, 2012

There were a lot of twentieth century games at Salute this year, a diversity of styles and content and some good ones.   Contrary to what some forums and magazines would have you believe, it isn’t all Flames of War (though there was plenty of that splendid hokum).

(London’s Royal Victoria Dock – once part of the world’s  busiest trading hub, now the home of Britain’s biggest wargame trade fair)

I was on duty with the Society of Ancients show team as usual, at Salute, this year (link).   In addition to meeting up with all manner of friends and contacts from Slough Barbarians and Tin Soldiers to WDers and to Warlords of all types, I was able to take my camera for a walk.

This is a selection of things I liked.  It has no pretension to be a balanced or complete survey (there was a lot, including a number of ’28mm’ games bullying for attention but which had no particular merit I could see – apologies if I missed them) …

Deal Wargames – Invasion of Denmark (20mm)

There was quite a lot of attention given to the earlier period of the war (invasion of France, invasion of Belgium, invasion of Denmark … Stukas and Henschels flying ahead of not quite mechanised Kradschutzen and Aufklarungs detachments …)

Crawley ‘Brave Little Belgium’ (15mm)

It is good to see these tactical engagements getting such lavish attention … splendid they looked, and such a great alternative to the those implausible monster tank duel games (which, authentically, would more often have taken place at the extremes of the visible range rather than in the gladiatorial proximities of the tabletop arena).

A quick survey shows that of the 25 most identifiably historical 20th Century games, 2 were  ‘bigger’ (including the radio controlled tanks), 5 were 28mm, 3 were 20mm, 6 were 15mm, and 9 were ‘smaller’.

Smaller is a wide category as it takes in Air and Naval as well as micro tanks/6mm …

Climb Mount Niitaka

I was very pleased to catch Peter Barham playing the Pearl Harbour game … I have great memories of his Midway ‘megagame’ years ago in which I got to command a Japanese fleet (and though some of my subordinates got to see the enemy, I never saw anything other than the inside of my bridge and an increasingly misleading map table!) …

Crossfire Participation Game (15mm)

Great to see, amongst the very catholic range of games being used, a 15mm participation table using Arty Conliffe’s Crossfire.   Something I’ve found fascinating but not played nearly enough.

Flames of War demo game (15mm)

The free kriegspiel 1940 scouting encounter was enthusiastically manned and explained all day …

Warse 1940 … Taktische Aufklarung (20mm)

The game was based on an authentic incident during the invasion of France, and in addition to plenty of historical detail, included a display of archaeological exhibits connected to the action.  A great example of historical wargaming … and, as such, busy all day with clusters of enthusiasts fascinated by the detail and its translation into miniature …

Also amongst the smaller scale offerings …

Maidstone’s Operation deadstick (6mm)

A splendid presentation of the coup de main on Pegasus Bridge in 6mm and winner of Salute’s coveted ‘Best Demonstration Game’ award.   Proving you don’t need to be 28mm to get attention – you need to do the job well in a scale that suits the game.

I thought all these games were excellent.  Salute is a great place to go game watching every year – and a great place to top up reserves, too.

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Zvezda Zis-5

Zvezda's 1/100 Zis-5 truck

In the final look at Zvezda’s cheap basic 15mm truck, I’ve delivered on my promise to detail the windows and plank the cargo bed to make a worthy little model for the wargames table.

See the article on the updated Modelling Page

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No – not my holiday snaps but another go at Graham’s Send Not to Know … (‘for Whom the Bell Tolls’ …) – which was our weekly wargame this time.

Doubtless Treb will update you on the technical details (and I believe a publishable version is coming soon) so keep an eye on Wargaming for Grownups …  But here are the pictures:

(of course, mostly it is an infantry game: Regulares from Peter Pig swarm forwards)

(look out for tanks)

(Oh, yes! … these will prove very useful, thanks …)

(attempting to blow the Condors to bits …)

(got one with the second barrage)

(the donkey work was done by the infantry – and casualty rings were back to show who’d been hit)

The T26s were very good.   The Red Army must have felt confident in its advanced tank designs as war cast its shadow over central Europe.

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Gaz TK (SPK) 6-wheeler with experimental 76mm recoiless rifle.     This time a Zvezda Katyusha kit that disappeared under the knife.

See the modelling page for more …

Prototypes went to Finland for combat evaluation in the Winter War …

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This Zis fuel truck is based on the Zvezda snap together kit and a QRF Soviet fuel tank.  More details on the modelling page

Edit for Will:

Not the exact same vehicle, but I’m happy to add a picture of refuelling armour by tanker rather than by drum lest anyone think you’d only find these things on airfields.   There are more pictures of tankers refuelling on airfields because – apart from anything else – there are loads more photos of refuelling on airfields (it being a safe place to take pictures).   There are very few pictures of refuelling armour (any theatre) as it happens closer to the enemy and often under cover of darkness.

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