Well, SELWG has come and gone and as a result of a short holiday it has taken me longer to get this report together than I had hoped, but I trust that “better late than never” will apply.
We ran two games during the day, I must admit that I over the years our game format has changed a bit. When we first did Salute back in 2005 we ran five short games to allow the maximum number of people to get a taste of the game, however over the years we have gone more for a free-style approach, where we run a complete game for a couple of hours and people can just jump in for as long as they fancy. In fact the net result has been that most pe0ple stay for the full game and get a better feel for what the rules can do. This worked well at SELWG and we were pretty well mobbed with players and watchers throughout the day.
Let’s take a look at the terrain we used. The picture below shows the table for both games although the scenarios varied in detail if not in overall purpose. Followers of Lard Island News will be familiar with Miss Angel Delight, a lady of uncertain principles and a reputation for spying for the Confederacy. On both counts this is a woman who Union Major Preston Prentice, the Prayin’ Preacher, despises. Here the Major has been tasked with searching the area near the Harrision Plantation to see if he can capture Miss Delight before she can be whisked to safety by Captain Jebediah Butplug’s Confederate forces.
In the first game Miss Delight was ensconced in Mr Knott’s hovel on the very edge of the swamp. The Confederates kept their main body of men in the edges of the swamp, but with a few men in the Riverside Tavern and in the Plantation House to attempt to draw the Union forces apart so that the smaller Confederate main body could then defeat them in detail.
This first game produced a very balanced battle, where Major Prentice did indeed divide his force of 70 men into two bodies. The force that advanced on the plantation house was first held up by the men inside and then badly shot up when Jebediah’s men emerged on their flank and routed them. However Lieutenant Nate Bouldermeir had moved his men round onto the flank of the rebel line and was able to deploy and drive it off before the rebel formation could wheel round to face this fresh threat. We can see the height of the battle below.
The second game saw the Union forces advance from the direction of the Ford with no idea where Miss Delight could be. The rebels this time began the game in column in the woods to the south of the Riverside Tavern and were on their way to escort said lady from the Harrision Plantation to safety. As such the Union forces, if they moved quickly, could get to Miss Delight before the rebels could do anything about it, however withdrawing via the ford may then have proved problematic.
As it was the rebel forces were very quickly spotted by the Union forces who deployed rapidly into line to face off this threat. Indeed nearly all of the rebel force was caught deploying from column into line when the first rebel volley hit them and within moments all formation had been lost and the rebels were fleeing back into the woods. Incredibly Jebediah Butplug was not perturbed, and ruhsing through the edges of the swamp he moved a small group of his best shots round to cover the track to the plantation. Lieutenant Justice T Lovetrain brought what remained of the rebel main body round to the field to cover Jebediah’s rush to the plantation house in an heroic attempt to snatch Miss Delight from under the Yankee noses. Meanwhile Sergeant Enos Beckwith wwas attempting to rally the routing infantry in the woods, not a rapid process with troops so badly handled.
As it was a rip-roaring game saw the rebels neraly get away with a tremendously audacious plan, however the Union forces calmly manoeuvred themselves into a position where they could call Check-mate and win the day.
In both games the Union forces had eight Groups of men plus four Big Men. The rebels had five Groups of eight men in the first and in the second game we added a Group of eight crackshots to assist. Hopefully much fun was had by all. We certainly had a jolly and completely exhausting time. It was great to see old friends there – we have a loyal following who always try to join with us for a game and it’s always nice to see them – and to meet new friends.
Commander Ly Chi looked down from the veranda of the Pagoda towards the river. Several members of the local community were working to get the river water through to the new rice beds that would soon be feeding his men. Chi was commanding the advanced guard of the 37th Main Force battalion of the Viet