And so Sunday 1st September dawned clear and sunny. A propitious start for what was destined to be a fine day's wargaming at the 2019 Cotswold Wargaming Day.
Yes, behind the innocent facade of a typical English country village hall...
...there gathered an assorted bunch of gentlemen nutters playing at toy soldiers.
I was lucky enough to have 8 games offered this year (thanks so much guys), which filled the hall nicely. Each game got a side table (an important detail IMHO) which still left plenty of room to move around and access all the tables.
Apologies to those concerned if some games are under-represented in the following photos. No preferential treatment is intended, it's just that I need to be more professional and organised when using the camera!
Shaun, Roger and Allan with 'Liberdy', their Wild West Gunfight game.
Guys, I'm sorry I didn't get over to the table to enjoy a few turns with you.
Steve (out of shot) and Dave presented their Bloody Big Battles Crimean game.
Stuart was particularly enthused by the concepts of the BBB rules.
'Mr. 30mm' moving into 6mm? Surely not. Hold the front page!
Bruce brought his air wargame over again this year, changing the scenario to 'Battle Over Berlin'.
Massive B-17 formation about to be engaged by German fighters (top left).
Jon brought along a 'Merville Battery' scenario, using the under-rated Battlegroup Panzergrenadier rules.
Typical of the day. Bruce and Colin move over from their air game
to enjoy some ground-based WW2 action with Jon (centre).
Roy and Matt put on a 'Mexico 1862' game, a very original choice of period including some intriguing figures.
Ouch! Those 28mm metal figures can be heavy, but this hero struggled on with a badly sprained wrist.
What a pro!
Forget consulting the rules gentlemen. What's all this perching of sabot bases on rooftops?
You'll never win the 'Most Gentlemanly Wargamer' prize with that faux pas.
Stuart (2nd from right) led a hearty group of gamers in a 1791 'Haitian Revolution' game.
Excellent pointing action that man!
Nice terrain, interesting scenario.
And some lovely figures as well.
Phil Olley and Steve Gill with their 'Wars of the Vaubarian Succession' game.
I was lucky enough to get a game in on this table. Here my commanding general oversees the action.
Predictably, I trounced Steve even though he was using his own rules.
But what a poignant moment when the big guy burst into tears of shame.
Chin up man!
Being an 18th century nerd myself, the interior of Phil's town was a joy to behold.
Posing. Left to right, Phil, me, Steve.
Willz returned again this year with his lovely Spencer Smiths.
Once again, note the first class pointing taking place here. Bravo!
Aaah, Spencer Smiths, in real plastic. Look at that limbered battery in all its glory.
Sorry everyone, still drooling.
A fine sight for any 18th century nut like myself.
And The Winner Is...
My heartfelt thanks to everyone who took the trouble to turn up. I counted 31 gamers when the hall was at its busiest, which pleased me mightily. However, as a thank you to those who went the extra mile and brought along games for the rest of us to enjoy, I like to have a light-hearted prize giving as an extra 'thank you'. And thanks to Stuart for doing the judging.
Despite my failure to take some decent photos, the 'Liberdy' table was most impressive.
Nutters! But in a nice way.
Steve and Phil got this one. I understand Phil is the painting guru!
They were real beauties my friend.
|'Most Gentlemanly Gamers'|
This pair of reprobates? What was Stuart thinking?
A grudging congratulations to Steve and Dave.
Not everyone can win a category, but thank you (L to R) Steve, Willz, Matt, Jon
and Bruce (not pictured) for helping to make the day so memorable.
|'Best Game Overall'|
And so the Stuart Asquith Trophy went to the other Stuart's Haitian game, with its mixture
of all the elements that make a fine wargame. Well done!
|I bask in the glory with the winners of the top award.|
Choke back the tears guys.
Intense, But Satisfying
That's what my day felt like. You may have noticed that the photos in this blog feature rather more actual wargamers than the average blog post. This is very deliberate. The atmosphere and spirit of the day was all I could have wished for - light hearted, friendly and relaxed, with plenty of banter and the occasional bit of serious chat about the hobby. Thank you so much to everyone who was there for your attitude, enthusiasm and creativity.
Very noticeable was the number of games using little-known or self-written rules. Was it just a coincidence that the big commercial and competition rule sets were largely absent? I don't think so. Also noticeable was the variety of unusual periods and creative scenarios on offer.
A final photo, relaxing at the bar before packing up. Steve and Willz were, I believe, the gamers who travelled farthest to be there. Alright, it's not a bar. It's the kitchen hatch. But the vibe was the same.
Lastly, the generosity of attendees this year resulted in a cash surplus of £55. My wife and I decided to send the money to the 'Many Tears' dog rescue charity.
So, next year? I certainly hope so. I reckon it will be Sunday 30th August in 2020. Maybe I'll see you there!