Monday, 3 September 2018

Cotswold Wargaming Day - the start of my campaigning season

My mind tends to wander more towards wargaming as the evenings begin to shorten and the prospect of a visit to Colours beckons. However this year my campaigning season started earlier than normal with a visit to the picturesque town of North Leach in the Cotswolds for the inaugural Cotswolds Wargaming Day. This had originally been planned for an early Spring campaign, but some snow put pay to that. 

North Leach happens to be where my friend Keith Flint, author of 'Honours of War' and organiser of the show lives and, by happy chance, also the reside of one Stuart Asquith. Luckily the town (more like a village in size) happens to have a wonderful village community centre that was the venue for the show. So an early start saw us all set up and ready to start before the 'official' kick-off time of 10.00am. I will try and let the captions tell the story of the various games where applicable, as well as giving an impression of the day itself.

The Battle for Nord Auslaugen
I volunteered to put on a game of 'Honours of War' with Paul, one of Keith's friends. After some thought Keith and I chose a scenario from the HoW forum that was created by Forum member Damnitz. We tweaked it slightly for the day, but in essence it was the same scenario. In short the British and Austrians where striving to take control of the approaches to a vital crossing that was guarding the main Austrian Army's flank.

The view from the Austrian lines, looking towards the redoubt and the village.

Fellow player Karl's British arrived in line of march and damned fine they looked too.

The Austrian centre and right flank.

Another view of the British arriving for battle.

A view from the orchard towards the objectives of the village, the redoubt and the bridge.

Karl is in the foreground, with in the background from the left; Paul, Nigel and Dave Fielder, the latter my Nemesis on many an occasion on the wargames table.

Karl moving his troops.

A good die roll by Nigel saw the Austrians steal a march on the British, allowing them to occupy the vital redoubt. 

A view of the British left flank moving towards the woods and the orchard, with other troops moving into the village.

The Austrian cavalry on the right flank move forwards to counter the British move.

The British ready to defend the village at all costs.

A 'Mexican stand off' developed by the orchard.

The British attempt to shoot the Austrians out of the redoubt.

The Austrian Hussars, rated as Inferior, were the heroes of the day and saviours of the Austrian position, as in several combats they saw off the Superior British Cuirassiers and Standard Dragoons, sacrificing themselves in the process.

The 'thin red line'.

Despite valiant attempts, the British simply could not make head way against the Austrians. With the British controlling one objective and the Austrians two, we decided to call it a minor Austrian victory.

Somewhere in Normandy 1944
John, another of Keith's friends, put on a game of Battlegroup Panzergrenadier, set somewhere in NWE in 1944, the exact details of which I have forgotten I'm afraid. The game looked good with lots of unknowns as to where the enemy where, so much so in fact that I bought a copy off ebay today to have a gander.

Keith's son attempts to get his British Paras moving.

Some Shermans gang up on a PzIV.

The Battle of Britain
Bruce brought along his own set of rules for the Battle of Britain and, from what I saw, they looked to be pretty good. Hopefully next time I will get to give them a go. Bruce also had the distinction of raising the bar on the catering front by having some caviar for lunch! 

257 squadron ready to fly out over the channel looking for the enemy. It is hard to believe that these are 1:600 scale planes as the painting is simply staggering.

The enemy in the form of the Italian Airforce. Again the painting had to be seen to be believed.

Waves of Italian bombers and their fighter escorts are being intercepted by our brave chaps.

Frankly, how could you not like these planes?

The Seven Years War
Will put on a game using Der Alte Fritz's own rules, with Hinton Hunt figures IIRC. Whatever they were, they looked fabulous and were wonderfully painted.

An overview of the game.

Marching off to war.

The Faller railway buildings complemented the figures.

The flags simply added to the overall visual appeal of the game.

There were some nice bits of scenery too that I was impressed by.

Talavera 1809
I have to admit I can't remember who put on this game, but it looked fantastic and won the 'Stuart Asquith Trophy'. 

A view down the long table that really made it feel like a large battle.

The town looked great.

The defenders in position.

Each command was identified which, if you know the battle, would help make sense of what was going on.

The advance begins.

Show Thoughts
For a first show, I thought it all went remarkable well. Hats off to Keith for organising this as we all appreciated it. It was a really nice day out, very relaxed with some lovely games on show and in a wonderful setting. So my highlights of the show were, in no particular order:

  • Meeting Stuart Asquith again and having a really good chat about wargaming. Thoroughly enjoyable and something I will remember for many a long year.
  • Seeing Bruce's 1:600 scale aircraft. I never really been attracted to air battles, but his rules and planes certainly piqued my interest.
  • Catching up with my friend and wargames Nemesis Dave Fielder. Nice to take part in a game with him again and just shoot the breeze for a bit once the game had finished.
  • Seeing Will's lovely, lovely 'Old School' figures that I have heard about, but never seen in the flesh before.
  • Karls' British were a joy to behold and I'm really tempted to get some Pendraken 10mm ones for my SYW Armies.
  • The Bring'n'Buy became more like a free give away for books and I came away with some nice stuff, so was very happy. Also some of my surplus books found a good home which was great.

So all-in-all a success I feel and I think the consensus was that we all hope Keith is able to organise another get together for next year. 


  1. Looks like a great day, had I known about it, I would have come along for a look.

    1. Well Will, it will be on next year, so hope to see you there:)

  2. Thanks for a good post with some excellent photos Steve. CWD 2019 will definitely happen.

    1. Thanks Keith and great news that it will happen again next year:)

  3. Thank you Steve for your excellent post and very kind comments on my Spencer Smith figures. I was having so much fun gaming I forgot to take pictures of the other games.
    What a pleasure it was to meet Stuart Asquith an iconic wargamer who helped to nurture my wargaming interest in the 70 - 80's we were spoilt on Sunday. A big thank you to Keith Flint for his idea to run this day, roll on next year.
    A grand day out in the Cotswold's, Sunday was wargaming at its best.

    I have posted a link to your blog over on Jim Purky's Fife and drum Forum.

    Happy Gaming,
    Willz Harley.

    1. Thanks Will and I realise that I misnamed your figures! Mea culpa. Still they were lovely and if I went down the 25mm/28mm route again, these would be my figures of choice. Thanks for posting a link over on Jim's forum ,that I will check out later. Look forward to seeing you next year.

  4. A great post and really good photos (not like mine!) and I learned a lot about the other games as I had no time to absorb them on the day (that's me in the blue shirt at Talavera). Thankyou. If anyone is interested this is my blog post on the day

    1. Thanks Chris and I enjoyed your Blog report too:). Looking forward to next year already.

  5. looks like a really good time was had by all - quality time, good on Keith for getting behind it and making it happen.

  6. Steve
    Great report sorry I missed it, wonderful looking games put me down for next year.
    Best wishes

    1. Hi Stu,
      glad you liked the report and I'll put your name down for next year:)