Monday 24 June 2019

The Wild Geese Weekend, Kenilworth 2109

Last weekend saw 24 venerable wargamers  (and two wives) gather together for their fourth annual wargames weekend. The origins of the group lies with John Ray's A Military Gentleman forum but the group has evolved into a much broader church of wargaming enthusiasts, renamed The Wild Geese for reasons that now escape me, a couple of years ago. Several previous attendees were sadly unable to come this year so we had a number of new faces among us, all of whom have said they want to come back next time!

Friday late afternoon saw the five games set up ready for the next day. After a very nice dinner we had the now traditional quiz, hosted by Tony Dillon, with assistance from me in the shape of a few movie/picture rounds and some apparently really hard questions. I didn't think they were but hey ho.

Saturday and the games commenced. There were five, each timed to last about 3 hours, thus enabling them to be run twice on Saturday and at least once on Sunday. That meant that we had the opportunity to play in three of the five games on offer, and one of the hardest decisions was which games to chose.  All I can say is that despite loosing all my games and dying in one I had a great time playing rather than organising a game as I'd done in the past.

Paul Robinson of the Grimsby Wargames Society again put on an enormous Great Northern War game, Danes v Swedes at Helsingeborg. Tony Dillon laid on a 28mm Peninsular War game, Steve Metheringham a splendid 40mm Seven Years War game using his gorgeous home cast figures and the new A Gentleman's War rules, and Willz Harley put on a splendid homage to the past with a beautiful 30mm SYW game using Spencer Smith figures. Lastly, stepping into the breach at the last minute the Perry Twins put on a really tough AWI game using Black Powder. The photos that follow are either mine, Chris Gregg's or Tony Dillon's. I can't remember who's is who's except that mine are the crap ones and they're all jumbled up in any case.

The Quiz Results.

After a splendid 'Curry Night' on Saturday there was the opportunity to return to the games or hit the bar. Pleasingly quite a few people chose to play after dinner games, I think for the first time in the life of the event. Seen below is Gavin and Leigh's Blood and Plunder pirate game.

After a morning of gaming and a large lunch we had our annual awards ceremony, where votes were cast for "Luckiest" (Lee Brewster), "Unluckiest"(Aly Morrison) and "Most Gentlemanly" player (Martin Gane), the "Best Looking Game" and "Best of Show" (both Tony Dillon).

To my knowledge everyone is safely home. The hotel excelled themselves this year and were very switched on to our needs. The food, both at lunchtimes and dinners, was excellent and there was lots of it. The hotel is maybe a little tired but its ok and good value for money. This year we shared the place with several hundred Rotarians, which is an improvement on a very raucous wedding and an even more raucous glittering hoard of ballroom dancers! A date has been pencilled in for 2020 (19-21 June I think) and I've been asked to organise the event again which is an honour. We will also be upping the numbers to a max of 30 so that this year's newbies and the absentees from last year are in theory all able to attend.

Finally a big thanks to everyone who asked after my health throughout the weekend and their support and kind words, and a very big thanks to my wife Katherine as without her support I wouldn't have been able to get through the bad times when my chronic pain was at its worse, and for her willingness to drive me down to the Midlands for a weekend with 24 wargamers.

Roll on next year.


  1. As always the weekend is the highlight of my wargaming year. A very big thanks to the Ashton clan for making this one an exceptional event.

  2. Certainly a splendid weekend...
    And what a wonderful collection of ‘vintage’ gamers....

    Thank you one again for all your hard work and I hope that you are starting to feel a bit better...

    All the best. Aly

  3. A great looking weekend .....perhaps this is how all gaming should be managed 😀

  4. A lovely account Colin and so glad you got to "enjoy" some playing for a change. I've said it elsewhere, but once again thanks so much to you both, and the game organisers, for such amazing efforts. My account on my blog very soon hopefully. Chris

  5. Some wonderful games on offer.

  6. This looks to have been a splendid weekend! Thanks for the game photos.

  7. My second time and even more fun than the first. Cracking!

  8. My second appearance as a wild Goose and even better fun than the first time. Thanks all for an excellent weekend.

  9. At the risk of adding further superlatives to the above comments I would also like to add my thanks to Colin for pulling off another excellent gaming weekend and for the woman behind the throne the lovely Katherine. It can't have been easy for you over recent weeks but your commitment to ensuring that the event ran smoothly is much appreciated.
    I hope that your health improves now that you no longer have to worry about entertaining the rest of us geese.

  10. You worked hard to pull off a weekend which everyone seemed to enjoy, so well done! Perhaps next year?