Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Day Five: The Geese Take Wing

Kenilworth 2018 - The Wild Geese

On Sunday June 25th, the Wild Geese convened for the final gaming session in the morning, playing until about noon when we gathered for lunch and the awarding of "best" categories and awards. Members had the opportunity to vote for categories, such as Best Game Host, Best General, Worst General, Best Gentleman, Worst Gentleman, Best Game etc. , and then writing the name of the person on a slip of paper, which was then placed in a jar. The winner of each category had his name drawn from the respective jar. I can't recall who won what, but I don't think that anyone really cared who won. We were all winners!

For my last game on Sunday I wanted to try Willz Harley's "Battle of Kenilworth" game feature hundreds of nicely painted Spencer Smith figures that cavorted around the table top using my own "Der Alte Fritz Rules for 18th Century Warfare". You can download a free copy of the rules from the Fife & Drum Miniatures webstore:

Free Rules Download Here

Click on the above link to the F&D webstore and then click on the pull down menu tab labeled "more" and then select "Rules and Articles". There you will see a list of various PDFs that you can download by clicking on the icon for each item.

The Battle of Kenilworth Game on Sunday

The game table was very attractive with its Old School style buildings and terrain and with the Spencer Smith figures, you could almost imagine that these photographs came out of an edition of Charles Grant's "The Wargame" book.

Douglas and I commanded the Sardinians (I think, but I'm not sure), which bore some resemblence to Prussians. Facing off against us on the other side of the table were Stuart, Michael and Tim. This Michael fellow seemed to be everywhere throughout the game sessions - it was almost as if there were two of him or something like that.

Spencer Smith Prussians advance in the center towards more Spencer Smith French.
Those buildings were really nifty too, giving the game look and feel of "The Wargame" book by Charles Grant.

My battalions start to deploy into line, but I find that I can't get both the artillery 
and a third battalion of infantry into the front of the battle line. 
In the background you can see the first of many cavalry melees on my right flank.

Michael and Tim advance forward to contest my attack in the center. Michael wheels his French onto my left flank and I have to swing the left most battalion in the picture above back a bit or else get shot in the flank.

Most of my units ended up in the Morgue by the end of the game.
The Dice Gods were not looking on me with good favor, as most of my infantry battalions took turns routing and then recovering and then going back into the battle once more, only to rout again. LOL.

We gave the rules a good workout and I was pleased to see that the players picked up on the mechanics very quickly and took it from there themselves. I got to see how the new cavalry melee rules worked in situ and really liked the back and forth action that the melee rules created - and they kept the melees from being too long - which was the whole point of the change.

At one point during the game, Michael Perry asked me how the rules handled charging into built up areas. My respone, "gee, I've never tried it before. Let's give it a try and see how it works." It seemed to work out very well, thank you very much.

Two regiments of Sardinian and Tiburian cavalry pitch into melee.

Meanwhile one the other flank, it was a Scotish civil war of sorts as Douglas and Stuart, both from Scotland coincidentally, were having a go of it on the left flank. My team mate Douglas, was having more success than was I. At one point during the game, the Tiburian command sent a messenger to Douglas inviting him to surrender, and I think that the response was the same one heard at Waterloo a few decades later.

Douglas' Sardinians (my allies) cover the left flank of the table and bash it up with Stuart's French brigade.
By the end of the day, it was obvious that the French had earned a major victory, but I didn't care because it was one of the most fun games that I have played in awhile and I had the opportunity to cross dice against that Perry fellow (I swear he must have a twin or something).

Here is a brief recap of the four games hosted at the show. I've placed them in the order in which I played in them.

Great Northern War, Swedish Convey Attacked (host - Paul Robinson)

The Grimsby Wargamer himself, Paul Robinson, hosted this Great Northern War ("GNW") scenario in which the Swedes are trying to get a long supply convoy to the main army so that they will have provisions for the coming campaign. However, the Russians got wind of the convoy and they have other plans for how this might all turn out.

Der Alte Fritz (left) in Paul Robinson's GNW game.
(I hardly ever have pictures of myself, so here goes...)
Zulu War Skirmish Game (host - Gary Phillips):

The players all command British groups of three elements and their objective is to attack and burn down the Zulu kraal and then get out of Dodge City as fast as they can. The game judge ran all of the Zulu units, which appeared at random via dice rolls.

Gary Phillips' Zulu skirmish game.

The Battle of Kenilworth Game (host - Willz Harley): 

18th Century Imaginations game with the Tiburians and Sardinians having a go at it. The Spencer Smith figures and the style of the buildings gave this game a nice Old School look, straight out of The Wargame.

Willz Harley's Battle of Kenilworth game.

The Versailles Game (host - Colin Ashton)

I did not get the chance to play in this game this year. I had played in Colin's fine Leuthen game last year and I wanted to give some of the other game judges' games a try this year. The game featured the Dutch against the French and featured a lot of role playing and rivalry between the commands. I believe that the players all had French commands and that the game judge operated all of the Dutch figures in the game.

Colin Ashton's Versailles Game

Some Other Blog Accounts of the Wild Geese Weekend

You can read some more detailed accounts of the weekend from Paul Robinson, Colin Ashton and Chris Gregg, respectively, by clicking on the links below:

Grimsby Wargaming Blog

Carryings On Up The Dale Blog

Not Just Old School Wargaming Blog

Back to the Barracks

The weekend passed by all too fast, as it usually does each year, and I headed back to London on Sunday afternoon and an eventual return home to the States on Monday.

I found a stowaway in my suitcase. How'd he get there?

Graham Cummings gave me a ride back to the Coventry train station, which is but a few short miles from the Chesford Grange Hotel, and I only had to wait about an hour for the next train to arrive. I passed the time watching England trounce Panama in the World Cup game that day. I have always had a good experience riding British Rail trains in the UK and I only wish that we had similar train service in the United States. I would opt for train travel over airline travel any time!

Return to Euston Station in London
Back in London around 5PM, I checked into my hotel near Marble Arch and had a light snack and a short nap before going on a walk through Hyde Park for one last view of London.

Last Words

I will be posting some more detailed reports on the various games that I played in over the weekend, but I have lots and lots of pictures and I didn't want to put them all into one very longgggggg post.

Plans are already afoot to have another Wild Geese Weekend next year and I look forward to returning once again. The Wild Geese are an incredibly friendly and sociable group of gamers and I always look forward to picking up the conversations where they left off the previous year, as well as the chance to makes new friends.

Thank yous go out to Colin Ashton for organizing the weekend and to the game judges (Paul, Gary, Willz and Colin) for hosting such fun and entertaining games.


  1. An excellent AAR and fantastic selection of photo's Jim, thank you for you kind comments.
    Your one page rules were brilliant and worked very well, ideally suited for a fast fun game. It was nice to catch up with you again, roll on 2019.

    Happy gaming,
    Will Harley

    1. I might have some some supporting printed text available by next year's event.

  2. Ashton please 😉 Ashford is some place darn sarf. Great report.

  3. Great report Jim, hopefully I will cross swords with you next year.

  4. Fixed it. I blame autocorrect.😳

  5. Nice reporting on this and your whole trip Jim, I enjoyed reading them and meeting you again. Hope you got your paintings home safely. Roll on next year. Chris

    1. The paintings made it home safely. The pen and ink miniatures remind me of Bob Marrion's work - I like the style that you used on those.

  6. Great coverage of your trip. It's really nice to have such experiences both as a gamer and also as a person who simply enjoys travelling. Nice pictures and, as always, exemplary narrative.

  7. Looked like a good get-together! Lovely looking games too!

    Change your dice!!!!

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.


  9. This looks like grand fun. I have been reading you blog for years, and finally clicked the follow button. Please drop by my blog and, if you like it, become a follower.