It's good that SELWG now seems back in its accustomed spot and its accustomed venue. Good, this year, too, we had a quick trip down (I followed the AA route this time, and for once, it was good*). Also, this year the stand was being done by the A team - so all we (middling) Northerners had to do was turn up as the relief column and bring some current issues of Slingshot.
(Lost Battles masterclass: always a crowd in attendance while the game was being run)
The display part of the pitch was the Battle of Bibracte (Caesar against the Helvetii) done on the Professor's compact battlefield (though with 28mm figures, not 15s as I had originally suspected ... )
(Phil and Eric's layout for the compact battle of Bibracte)
Bibracte was a brutal affair with a lot of grim face-to-face combat as Caesar's legions punched through the centre of an initially aggressive barbarian army. There was little in the way of manoeuvre in the original battle, and the armies seem to have comprised mostly of 'heavy' infantry battleline troops. A good choice to try out the Lost Battles combat mechanisms!
The Society was very fortunate also to be allocated a pitch next to the Tunbridge Wells club's Hail Caesar Outremer game (set around in the period of the Third Crusade).
(Hail Caesar on the parched plains of the Holy Land)
I hope the pictures capture the easy eye-appeal of this game. I thought the sandy terrain tiles set off the figures (15s, mostly Essex that I saw) very nicely.
I'll indulge a few more shots ...
I have seen Hail Caesar games at many of this year's shows since it's launch at the Society of Ancients BattleDay earlier in the year (and subsequently at Salute, of course) ... but mostly they have been with 28mm Romans and Brits on improbably large (often mostly empty) tables - so this was a refreshing change to the formula and really caught people's attention.
Still sprawling, of course (such is the Black Powder ethic), but much more manageable ... Bless 'em, the chaps also played quite a lot of the game during the course of the day, and it was possible to watch and see the mechanisms in action. OK - I give in ... it was 15mm crusades game with nice figures and simple but effective terrain (and regulars will know that ticks a good number of my boxes). Great stuff.
Otherwise, SELWG is the victim of its own success in a way. The show's team try to collect the best of everything, and although they usually succeed, it can mean that a lot of the wargames on show have been seen before.
Some things, of course, do merit a good look. Herne Bay's 'Crush the Kaiser' was a bit swamped in the huge (and artificially lit) cavern of Salute, but was a lot more engaging (for me at least) in Crystal Palace's more intimate and bright surroundings - well that and SELWG allowed me to pay more attention to fewer games.
(Herne Bay's crush the Kaiser fascinates a youngster)
The other nice thing with SELWG is they make a bit of a fuss with their awards, and usually make some good choices. Well, they gave my 'Greyhounds in the Slips' a runners up prize last year, so they can't always be relied upon ... And there were some spectacular winners.
(SELWG: the Prize Givers' progress)
(Budapest again - but looking a little snowier this time)
(the Hun but not yet in the sun)
But I can't fail to mention Arbuthnot's whatnots ... A truly spectacular table meshing the war in the Pacific with aeronef nonsense (is that what it is?) ...
Now I'm sure it won't upset anyone if I come over a little confused (I've never been shy about being a historical wargamer who simply does not get the joys of made up stuff) ...
Give or take more transparent acrylic cluttering the table than a picnic Pimms party, the scenery was truly spectacular and drew attention away from many a nearby table. I'm sure there was a fantastic historical game in there somewhere, struggling to get out.
If this sort of stuff does float your boat (no pun intended) there's loads of pictures all over the net after SELWG. But here's some from source (close ups)
Ah well. I would really love to see these guys tackle something like Salamis. With Triremes.
(some nice post war 20th century stuff)
A really good day out. We tried the Sat Nav thing on the way home ... it promised to avoid the traffic and wove us into West London seeking the North Circular - a truly bizarre route to the East Midlands that actually did get us to the M1 within an hour (way quicker than my previous trips home from Crystal Palace) ... Hmmm ... does this indicate that the technology works?
Next time out will be the UK DBA League's final round ...
The DBA English Open in Portsmouth.
Yes, you can come. See you there!
*I'll put it in small writing as a footnote, but in this instance, I may have been wrong about the AA's route, and it's not far off what Chris C used to recommend. Hmmm.
(flashback! Welcome to Jerusalem from 2008 ... those were the days!)