Monday, 29 June 2015

Cold January night in Sunny Berwick

Way back in January I came up with the idea for an attack on Berwick by the forces of the Scottish republic.This was an idea bouncing round my head since I read the first VBCW source book back in 2009.A point was made about keeping the railway open between the north of England and Berwick and since my working life sees me going up and down this line very frequently(I work on the railway)I thought it sounded like a good idea to stage an attack not from the obvious North but sweeping around with mobile forces and also landing naval forces in the port of Tweedmouth to link up with the Scots army and cut Berwick off from the south.Once again the best laid plans of mice and men.
                     My plan was for my own forces to attack Berwick from the west,Colin's forces to sweep round and attack two of the bridges from the south whilst Bart would land troops and take the smallest bridge nearest the sea.I think it went to plan for a whole thirty seconds.
                       My forces met with defending royalists in Berwick castle and with a well placed mmg decimated my artillery.Colin's forces were ambushed by an antitank rifle team supported by local police.Bart landed okay,took the harbour but found crossing the bridge to be slightly more difficult.
I finally took the castle only to be met with heavy fire from Berwick railway station which caused my forces to abscond towards Coldstream leaving the local Buf to just walk back into the castle.Colin cleared the ambushers eventually but at some cost.Bart had sent his recce motorbike up to the bridge to draw fire-which he did,eventually losing the bike.

                    Bart came up with a plan for one of his sailors to swim the river and bring back a boat(Hugh didn't bother to put any rowboats in the harbour-as you do) and since I was umpire-what the heck.
                       Due to the constraints of Bolt Action and only having twelve dice per side(therefore only a possibility of twelve units moving)our reinforcements took its time to move up in order to cross the bridges.
                        Bart finally got a squad across the river and established a bridgehead.All going to plan until he charged his cavalry over his bridge,albeit destroying a gun in the process,only to be met by some skulking fascist women with sub machine guns(just another normal night in Berwick).The cavalry were no more.
                                          Colin brought up his heavy armour and began to clear the town which was good as my forces which eventually took Berwick railway station were coming under intense pressure.
  Berwick was taken but we expected a counterattack from forces heading up from Alnwick and Newcastle.That story will be told another day.

 Scenario and umpiring-Tim Watson
Figures-Colin Jack,Tim Watson and Hugh Wilson
Scenery-Hugh Wilson
Photos-Bart Zynda

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Lundy Island(or just Puffin crazy)

Wednesday 24th June

Tonight was the culmination of the V.B.C.W double header.Guns that had been put on board a submarine heading for somewhere in Britain finally arrived at Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel prior to being shipped out to some needy customer or so that was the plan.

Participants this evening were-

Colin Jack- Buf
Dave o'Brien- Buf

Bart Zynda- Polish Anglican league
Mr Ray Neal- Connecticut Anglican league

Hugh Wilson-Nelson Colmon Harris-owner and dictator of Lundy
Donald Adamson-Submarine and landing party(all round scurvy knave).

The guns arrived off the north coast of the island but whilst they were being put ashore onto waiting carts the peace was shattered by a double invasion by factions also interested in some extra firepower.
               The south of the island was invaded by two platoons of Buf infantry supported by a Beaverette armoured car whilst two platoons from the Anglican faction were landed on the east of the island.Both factions were hoping for easy pickings.It is true when they say that any battleplan only lasts until the first bullet.
             Both Buf platoons stormed ashore only to be met by gunfire from a garrison squad located in the south lighthouse.This was overcome with difficulty before the advance continued albeit very slowly.
                                                   Meanwhile the Anglicans came ashore and immediately Bart came into contact with some more of Hugh's garrison.Meanwhile his partner in crime Mr Ray moved towards the northern lighthouse only to be met with accurate fire from the submarine's gun which had a spotter on top of the northern lighthouse.This wiped out his mmg beore easily moving its fire towards one of the infantry sections.
                                                    Down in the south the Buf were at last getting to grips with the garrison in the village,finally clearing them from all the buildings stopping for lamb pasties and a few ales in the local tavern.
                                 Donald happily spent the first half of the game shelling Mr Ray  from the comfort of his submarine ignoring the fact that his victory condition was to deliver the guns to Hugh at his mansion halfway down the island.Mr Ray feeling the pressure decided to call for airsupport which duly arrived and proceeded to attack the Buf in the south of the island-not his intended target.The Buf lost a few casualties which prompted their advance to stall even more.
                               The garrison by now was being whittled down as it was being attacked by the other two factions and made its last stand in the middle lighthouse waiting on support from the submarine which never arrived as they were to busy shelling Mr Ray.Eventually Mr Ray's recrewed mmg got their act together and began to to pepper the spotters in the lighthouse giving them time to advance and wipe out one of Donald's sailor squads.
                                                               After a while Donald thought that retreating back to the sub with all the guns was going to be the better act of valour,obviously going to transport the guns elsewhere.This seemed to be going to plan until the last desperate acts of the other factions were to call in airstrikes.
                       The Anglican plane was delayed but the Buf plane attacked and promptly sank the submarine consigning all the crates to be dumped on the bottom of the Bristol Channel.

                                           An enjoyable game enjoyed by all participants with a brilliant ending.
                                            Rules used were Bolt Action with some tinkering done by myself to accommodate six players.

Scenery-Hugh Wilson
All figures-Colin Jack
Boats-Hugh Wilson,Colin Jack and myself
Scratchbuilt submarine-Hugh Wilson(from model railway platforms and various food containers)
                                             Apologies as I used a bit of poetic license with Lundy Island but my wargaming philosophy is that Hollywood takes precedent over history.
                                            And of course the evening was made more enjoyable by a very nice curry before the game started provided once again by Lady Suzanne of Comiston.

More pictures will be added when I receive them from other participants as mine were taken from my iphone and it shows.Good photos courtesy of Dave o'Brien.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Just to say that the guns from the Florida game of three weeks ago are on their way and should arrive in Lundy Island in time for next Wednesday's game.Here are

some preliminary pics.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Thursday evening at Soggy Bottom

Thurs 4th June

This evening I toddled along to my club SESWC to see what was on offer gamewise and after thinking that I was going to be umpiring a Bolt Action Normandy game found myself being pressganged into a Seven Year War engagement between Austro Hungarians and French and their allies using Black Powder rules.
                                     I took charge of a Hungarian infantry brigade with heavy cavalry and hussars in support.My partner in crime was Dave Imrie who between us had only actually played a handful of Black Powder games.
                                     My plan was to work my infantry round the enemy's left flank whilst engaging the enemy's cavalry.Why do things always look better on paper!
                                      Our opponents consisted of Angus Konstam and Michael Schau who were in charge of the insidious French and Reichsarmee.
                                        After a glorious charge by both sets of my cavalry which resulted in the pushing back of Angus's cavalry, I then followed up my charge causing their artillery to bolt for the nearest exit(who's this guy Prince Rupert?).The down side of his and complemented by some dodgy dice rolls meant my cavalry force was left to the mercy of enemy musket fire which left my cavalry torn to shreds.Dave brought his infantry up to support but by the time he had arrived he was left facing a few infantry regiments without any support from me as my infantry were to busy washing their feet in the local river as I couldn't roll any dice to move them and then to add insult to injury I rolled a double six which caused my infantry to blunder and head of the table.They eventually returned after a mouthful of abuse from their commanding officer.They arrived back in timefor the game to be brought to a halt at closing time.

                                            The tide of battle turned against us after our initial successes and turned into a slugging match to see who would bottle first.It ended up with the Austrians having to concede to the French(never the favourite option).C'est la guerre!

Pictures and French figures compliments of Angus Konstam and our glorious Austrians courtesy of Dave Imrie.