Monday 4 October 2021

Cotswold Wargaming Day 2021

Yesterday was the 3rd Cotswold Wargaming Day, held in Northleach, Gloucestershire. Normally this takes place in early September and has come to mark the start of the wargaming season for me, but for obvious reasons, it was pushed back about a month or so. Dave and I had planned to put on a game as normal, but at the last minute, family matters meant that he could not make it, which was a shame, as it was the first chance to meet up for nearly two years.

Games wise we had settled upon using 'Rebels & Patriots' rules for an Imagi-Nations game in 19thC Europe in 10mm, as we had not had chance to give the Shadow of the Eagles rules a run out FtF. Not having enough 10mm figures for both sides meant a change of plans was called for. So I dug out my trusty Commission Figurines mdf figures and quickly looked for a scenario that could work solo or for anyone wishing to join in the game. Rules wise I went for 'Shadow of the Eagles' as they give a nice game that could last for a while, rather than repeated quick skirmish level games. 

As always this excellent scenario book provided me with the inspiration I needed for the game. It also seemed appropriate given that the show was the last one Stuart Asquith attended before he sadly passed away.

With everything set it was a pleasant trip through the Cotswold countryside and I arrived at the venue just after 8.00am. Keith Flint, who organised the show, was already there with his son Sam and the tables were all set up, which was good as it meant a leisurely set up could commence. It was great seeing Keith after two years and after much catching, up I got the game onto the table and I was ready to.

The Game
Luckily for me Sam was happy to join in the game and also Adam Jacques, who I have played with many time before showed up, so again a pleasant surprise to see him and to cross swords once again. Adam had never played the rules before and Sam once, with myself being a bit rusty as I had been concentrating on 'R&P'. So we kept things simple throughout, but we all picked up the rules quickly and so could concentrate on the game, rather than the rules themselves. I let the photos give an idea of how things played out and will give some post game thoughts later.

I chose Scenario 25, 'Chance Encounter' for the basis for the game, as I had played it before and had enjoyed it very much. I bumped up the figure count so that there were a couple of infantry brigades per side plus some cavalry. Nice and simple and not too much terrain. It was set sort of 1809'ish Danube Campaign and Austrian vs French. The Austrians (me) are to the South of the river, the French the North.

Adam (left) and Sam (right) confer as they plan my demise! Both sides have pushed towards the river, with the French cavalry crossing at the ford (extreme right).

The Austrian cavalry keep out of sight of the French grand battery and the enemy cavalry. The Austrian artillery are taking hits from counter battery fire.

The action hots up by the central bridge as both sides close.

The French push towards the wooden bridge as the Austrian's struggle to deploy to meet them.

The cavalry clash into each other. Over two cinematic turns, both sides traded identical die rolls which led to mutually assured destruction! With no cavalry left it now became a titanic infantry battle to see who would win. the French certainly looked to have the edge as their grand battery destroyed the Austrian artillery on the hill (red die).

With the loss of the Austrian artillery, things looked rather bleak, until in a sudden turn of vents, superior Austrian marksmanship (ie lucky die rolls) saw the French weakened and pushed back. The fighting raged on with neither side able to land a decisive blow, until the Austrians were finally worn down to the point they were unable to achieve any offensive action.

The French were able to slowly overcome the Austrians, who had to keep retreating to maintain what resembled a cohesive defensive line.

In the end we called it a hard won but fair French victory, with both sides somewhat bloodied but the Austrians certainly beaten. A few thoughts:
  • We had lots of fun and laughter, with the game played in the right spirit it was great to play against Adam and Sam again. Who won was irrelevant to be honest and after nearly two years of solo games, it was so nice to play against and opponent/s!
  • The rules gave a nice game and we had little recourse to the rulebook, with the QRS sufficing. If we weren't sure we either asked Keith, the author, or just went with what seemed logical.
  • The MAD cavalry clash was brilliant and we couldn't believe what happened, but certainly one of those game moments that will stick in the mind for many years to come.
  • The game attracted a lot of attention and I spent a lot of the day chatting with others gamers, which again after so long was lovely.
  • The Commission Figurines figures like the game, attracted attention, with many people not having seen them before or realising that they were 2d shapes. Once on the table you really can't tell at arms length. I received some nice comments (more on this later) which is always nice to have.

Other Games
As we spent most of the day on the game, I had little chance to walk and chat with as many people as I would have liked, but I did get to whizz round and take some photos.

The Battle of Sentinum, 295 BC, put on by Farnborough Wargames Society, using club rules which IIRC, are based upon Neil Thomas' excellent 'Ancient & Medieval Warfare' rules.

The figures were a joy to behold and very well painted.

Ottoman's versus Polish Imperial by the Cirencester Wargames Club. they'd just reset the game for an afternoon session. Again, a lovely game to behold.

You've just got to love the Ottoman army and their huge cannons!

Cavalry, lots of cavalry and winged hussars make a wonderful spectacle but put the fear of God into me in terms of painting so many horses!

French versus Prussian at the Battle of Dollitz during the 1813 Leipzig campaign. this was put on by JP and his young son Charlie (great to see young blood at the show) using General d'Armee rules. I gave Charlie a free book of Napoleonic skirmish rules as he loved the period and is apparently rather good at the game!

The game was certainly spectacular. The chap top right was from Spain and I spent some time chatting with him about our game. I must have made an impression as he bought a copy of SotE rules at the show. Commission Keith😉?

A fictional ACW game set in 1863, put on by some friends. I would have loved to have spent more time chatting about this and looking at the game, as there was so much to see.

You can't beat a railroad in a game, especially an American one.

A few close up shots would have been in order, but I didn't want to disrupt their game.

Sinai 1967 put on by Paul, using 'Cold War Commander' rules. With the updated rules due soon, this game has got me to a thinking again!

The 10mm figures worked well as I've mainly seen CWC played in 6mm. 

As with other years, there were some prizes to be given out, kindly supplied by Osprey Publishing and Partizan Press. Tom Asquith was to be the judge, which was nice, keeping Stuart's memory and involvement in the show alive. Tom made a nice speech about his father and his time in our wonderful hobby, which was touching.

Best Game Overall. This went to the Battle of Sentinum.
Best Terrain. This went to the Battle of Dollitz.
Best Figures. This went to my game and Tom told us about how Stuart would have enjoyed seeing these figures, that could have been used across multiple periods, something that he was keen on himself. I was very honoured to have won, given the quality to be seen right across the boards and something I will treasure for many years to come.

All the winners got to chose a prize as well as all those who put on game, which was nice. My choice can be seen below.

Thoughts on the Show
After so long it was great to be able to meet up and chat with friends and fellow gamers!  I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed it and frankly needed it. The atmosphere was nice and relaxed and felt more like a bunch of friends getting together for some games, rather than a show. Like a club day in fact. So many people commented on how friendly it was and we all spent as much time as we could wondering around chatting about life and gaming in general and the games in particular.

It was great to meet Norm Smith who made a surprise visit whilst on holiday in Oxfod with his very understanding partner. We didn't have time to chat as much as i would have liked but it was great to be able to put a face to a fellow Blogger. He has a nice review of the show on his Blog for another view of the show.

As with Norm, seeing Adam again was a pleasant surprise and we had a good chat on and off through out the day. As always he's a great chap to play with or against and kindly gifted me these 3D printed buildings at the end of the day. Thanks mate!

He thinks they are meant to be from Carentan in Normandy. Wherever they are meant to be from, they will be put to good use.

In the end I was there for 8 hours and I can honestly say the time flew by. I had a wonderful day out as I'm sure we all did and met many new gamers and of course some old friends and familiar faces. Let's hope it can go ahead next year and be as much fun as this one was.

So it only remains to thank Keith for organising this for Same helping to set things up and for playing in my game. Last but by no means least thankyou to Stuart Asquith for first nudging Keith into getting this wonderful show off the ground. He may be sadly gone but he will not be forgotten.


  1. Nice review Steve and I would echo the sentiment that this was a nice friendly show with a great atmosphere. Nice to meet you in person, even though my timetable kept things brief, a face to a name is always welcome. The awards were well chosen by Tom, a nice touch to have Stuart’s son there.

    1. Thanks Norm. Back to the SCW campaign tomorrow!

  2. Splendid the show looks great we could do with a few more like that up here. The games show the wonderful variety this hobby can produce. Whilst I love exquisite terrain and wonderfully painted figures it shows this isn’t always necessary. If you are off to partizan then two shows in two weeks !

    1. We have a local show to us in Bristol, but with not the same atmosphere that this one generates, as there some retailers and a B'n'B as well. so I think many visitors see it as a shopping trip with some games attached.

      The tables were all very nice, but to a standard and size (for the most part) that you could easily achieve at home or the club. I think that this is important to new entrants to the hobby, so they don't feel they have to have the big show type table for all games etc.

      Yep, off to Partizan on Sunday, which will be a long day, as I need to be on the road by 5.00am at the latest. Two shows in two weeks is rather indulgent I know;)

  3. Hello Steve, sounds like you had a great time. Two years without seeing gaming mates is a long time!

    1. I had a lovely time Shaun and two years is a damned long time without seeing your mates, or other people for that matter. Tired by the end but felt really happy having had a 'normal' day after, so, so long.

  4. Having attended the last to shows I was disappointed not being able to attend this years show. Your excellent report on the show is greatly appreciated.

    Willz Harley.

    1. Sorry you couldn't make it, as it would have been good to see you, your table and figures again. Fingers crossed for next year and glad you enjoyed the show report.

  5. What a splendid day out - very envious as the gaming scene here in Cannuckshire is still mostly on hold.
    The fellow in the yellow jumper having a cup of tea has my vote!

    1. We're lucky that things are maybe getting back to something akin to normal here, but we still have to be careful. At least the booster jabs have started:). The chap deserved his cuppa at half-time as they were putting on a lovely game!

  6. It sounds like you had a great day out Steve. That’s always a good measure of things.
    I’m hoping Partizan on Sunday will be another good day - buying books and figures and taking in a few games too.
    Your MDF figures are so, so impressive. Great stuff.
    All the best,

    1. I had a wonderful day Geoff:). Glad you like the mdf figures and they did garner a nice amount of interest, given most games were 28mm. Swing by our stand and say hello if you have the time. We are opposite Caliver Books and will be playing Shadow of the Eagles with Keith, the author.

  7. Caliver Books are already high on my list (a fair few books from my “wants list”).
    I’m sure we’ll get chance to pop across to see your game too. See you Sunday.

  8. Hi Steve...Hard to believe your figures are MDF, they look fantastic. Glad you had such a good day. Regards.

    1. Thanks Tony. When on the table they look like normal figures:)

  9. Great to see you out and about and its nice that the mdf figures attracted so much positive comment Steve

    1. It was lovely to have a 'normal' day out after 18+ months of virtually zero social life:)