Back to the future at South London Warlords

22 October 2018

Peter Riley reports

As we entered the hall we were greeted by Mac Cross, a great and informative representative of the South London Warlords Club. He told us about where would could get some free tea and biscuits, about the games that were on and all about the Club itself.

The SLW has been going since late 1971. I joined the Club in 1974 just after the second branch in Eltham had opened and just before the club moved from Bermondsey to Dulwich. It was all going on in those early days. 

The Eltham club split off in 1985 to become SELWG the South East London Wargames Club and I eventually left a few years after that in 1986/7 after being a member for 11 years. With about 47 years under their belts the club still meets on a Monday night 7-11pm all through the year.

Details of how to get involved can be found here on their site at and of course they are most famous for their popular, massive and really enjoyable yearly Salute show. Details for Salute 2019 on April 6, 2019 are to found here 

Participation Game run through

The venerable John Treadway (left), who I have known for a long while, on and off, was playing his fantastic demo game based on the TV series UFO. John informed me that UFO was based on a vision of the future set in 1980. How time has flown. We still have no aliens in sight and its 2018 already. The series itself ran from 1970 to 1973 with 26 episodes to its name, with the planned second series finally turning into Space 1999.

Here we see SID (Space Intruder Detector) being attacked by two enemy UFO’s. John and his trusty assistant are getting the Interceptors ready for launch from the SHADO’s (Supreme Headquarters, Alien Defence Organisation) Moonbase to intercept them.

The interceptors of SHADO won the day and saved SID from destruction, the UFO’s were controlled by a deck of special cards. This gave the UFO’s a really alien feel to them, with the unpredictability of the alien craft and the Interceptors doing their best to try and chase them down was a true homage to the series.

Fast Play Space Battle

We were also intrigued by the look and feel of Mac’s game of space warfare, it was on top of a great looking board, plenty of alien craft and lots space debris which had drawn in. He explained to us that these were rules he had written himself, he went on to tell us that he had tried a lot of rules over the years. Finally deciding he would write his own, fast play rules.

As Mac was talking to the two us, Harry Hallgren (left) and his game playing companion, launched a series of attacks on his big ships, dealing out plenty of damage and they also scored five critical hits on top rolling 18, 18, 19 20 and 20. With lots of critical damage on the big ships, Mac returned to his game as the play speeded up.

SHAKO2 Napoleonic War in the Peninsular 

After our adventures in Space we moved to another game that caught our eye. It was a fictional peninsular war battle that was a run through in preparation for a demo game. The game is set at the divisional level and looked really great. Of the players involved one was new to the rules, so the game was progressing slowly but surely.

The demo game would be about twice the size of this and involves a lot of painting. Due mainly to the forces being doubled up on the board, so in this picture the bases would double what you see here and of course will be played on a larger board. 

The real game will be based on the Battle of Albuera, 16th May 1811 and set the British, Spanish and Portuguese against the French. The battle was indecisive with lots of casualties on both sides. The French eventually withdrew two days later with the allies too battered to pursue.

The game sounds like it will be a treat for the eyes, as well as being a good opportunity to catch up with the players at Salute 2019.

Summing up our night 

The South London Warlords is a large club with lots going on. I must say that visiting the club took me back years - back to when I was an active member in the 70’s and 80’s.

It still has that community feel, the committee tend to be behind the scenes but are the powerhouse of the club itself. David wondered how they manage to put on such a large show as Salute every year. That's mainly down to the committee with the support of their ultra-willing membership.

They still have the snack bar for chocolates, crisps and soft drinks, which made me smile with the memories. And they also provide tea and coffee making facilities. It's a brilliant club with lots of choice, lots of terrain and different game boards to use at the venue. This is another club where all were welcome, they play different games and some choose to be at the evening and just join in.