Thursday, 26 January 2017

Alnwick 2-The King and Empire strike back!

Wednesday 25th January.
Edward and Wallis enjoying their morning calisthenics.

    Forsaking Burn's night and having spent the afternoon babysitting my two youngest grandchildren and having endured Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol I thought it was right to go and do some adult stuff and play with toy soldiers.
Typical Americans and their big gangster type car.
                             Colin Jack had said that he had wanted to finish the VBCW game from last week and so I once again ventured out to the wilds of East Lothian.This time I was equipped with some of my own figures to reinforce the forces of the King who were getting ready for another assault on the town of Alnwick complete with its cinema.
The view from the hill
                                   Tonight's game was a mano e mano against Colin and when you are just thinking for yourself it makes it a lot easier to plan your attacks.
"Have no fear the press is here!"
                                   I renewed my efforts on the left flank supporting my beleaguered highlanders with my newly arrived company from the Duchy of Cornwall's light infantry ably supported by a machine gun and also a naval landing party.
My gallant lads
and their support.

A little run ashore.
 Up the right flank I threw my two light tanks into the fray hoping for them to blaze a trail towards the enemy rear and lay down supporting fire for Lord Stoate's company of inexperienced landworkers who were cautiously bringing up the rear.
Lord Stoate's weasels
This was going to plan until Colin opened up with an anti-tank rifle hidden by a hedge and getting a very lucky shot  reduced my tank company by 50%.It looked like it was going to be another long night


 On the other side my lads and of course Boudicca's babes decided that a course of cleansing of the local rat population  would go down very well.Firstly one of my French companies decided to storm the cinema and clear the last remaining remnants of the Berwick TA cyclist company which they did with suitable Gallic charm. Complementing this act was the sight of my Babes attacking and clearing a nest of Socialist vipers who were put to the sword or in the babes case-whips and chains.I'm afraid they decided to go one step too far for as  they tried to assault the police station which was situated  next to the cinema their numbers were sorely depleted by a machine gun that I had failed to notice.The remaining members of the squad headed back to cover with their whips between their legs.
The babes preparing themselves for a night out

The object of their desires.
One step too far.
 Colin had moved the George Washington volunteers out from behind cover in order to deal with my lads coming up the flank, right into the path of my newly arrived machine gun which dually proceeded to whittle the squad down till only three figures were left to who were finally despatched by my highlander squad.
My lads move up
                                            In the high street I still had an armoured car and a naval gun crewed steam lorry who true to true naval form couldn't hit a barn door to which King Edward stated that "There is terribly something wrong with our lorries today!"It was easy to see that Edward was desperate to cast caution to the wind and head for the drinks cabinet that the enemy kept on flaunting.
The king decides enough is enough.
Despite protests and salutes
Up on my right flank my second tank was in need of some retribution and proceeded to engage the anti tank rifle team only to just about fall into the trap of the hidden gun situated on a well hidden lorry.

My French team in the cinema were now in the process of being cut down one by one by the local police but their time would come as the second French squad rushed into the police station and cleared out the inhabitants losing a god few men in the process and after clearing the building were cowardly attacked in the back by the owners of the drinks cabinet.
The French challenge comes to an end.
               To solve this problem I sent Boudicca's babes in as enthusiastic as shoppers heading for Primarni on Boxing day.
Post Office rocket squad

and mortar No 2
                   Colin's only real success was the luck that his mortars' were having firstly damaging my brand new infantry squad(par for the course) and then moving his fire towards my machine gun which was wasted after about five minutes.He then changed the direction of his mortar fire and successfully hit my leading armoured car destroying it in the process.The only saving grace for me at that moment was the fact his gun mounted on the lorry couldn't hit a barn door.
A percolating armoured car
                            For all you people who know Colin's figures contain some unusual figures and I wasn't let down when lo and behold what should appear on the table but a squad of armed Morris dancers all the way from Hexham and it only took me a few minutes to realise they meant business.I tried to contain them with gunfire but they merrily danced theirway into combat with my new squad eventually chasing my squad from the field.Slightly diminished they held on for the remainder of the game laughing off the rifle fire from my newly appeared naval landing party who I don't think had ever seen a rifle before going by their shooting accuracy.
The Hexham Morris dancers dancing their way to the front.
                                      The game was going end to end and when I captured the drinks cabinet I thought victory was mine but no Colin had other ideas and threw in his Berwick fireman to get close and personal with the Babes ending their brief fling with success.
Girl's aloud
Not for long.

Boo Hoo!
 Before that skirmish I came up with the idea of sending King Edward into the fray complete with his bodyguard thinking that history was going to be made one way or another.Either Edward was going to be a national hero or the whole VBCW concept was going to come to a shuddering halt with his demise.As the evening was drawing to a close The king and his party moved up the street and eventually into hand to hand combat  with the present inhabitants of the cinema and lo and behold won the day.The king earned his gin & tonic from the cabinet before his erstwhile wife added it to her spoils.
Edward makes headway.

and reigns over them all.
                                A great ending to a wonderful game and I'm just happy that I didn't rewrite history albeit an alternate one.
"Is that it?I could've got a better one from Sam Burn's yard!"
                               Colin supplied most of the figures but I was glad to get some of my own on to the field albeit with the usual results.
                                     Thanks to Colin for quick repast due to my babysitting duties and also some excellent wedding cake courtesy of his nuptials the previous week.
                                See you when I see you.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

A Cinematic trip to Alnwick

Wednesday 18th January
Blackshirt companion paper to the NecroNews."If it's not fit for printing it will be printed"
Evening traffic jam in downtown Alnwick

                         Our first gametrip to Garvald of the year seen us heading back into the dark realms of 1938 Very British Civil War and a battle for Alnwick which seem to involve a few visits by other side to the local cinema.I have been at this cinema a couple of times as this was one of the spots visited a lot on scout camps.
Sleepy Alnwick before the matinee rush.

                            This visit tonight was no laughing matter as it was a struggle between the forces of the Royalist  supporters of King Edward VIII and local defence forces with added local and national celebrities thrown into the boiling pot.
Wallis having a wee puff and a G&T before the evening's festivities.
                           Bill Gilchrist,Dave O'Brien and myself took on the role of the bad guys(according to Colin  since it his dojo)whilst Mr Ray,the skulking Donald Adamson and the newly married groom took the part of the hard done to defenders.
Whilst Edward polishes his crown.
Dave's straight in.
 As usual straight from the off Dave headed straight up the main street of Alnwick hoping to take some ground and be first in the queue for the cinema but alas he was brought to a halt just as he turned into the street.My plan was to go up the left side as Colin had neglected to put any house windows facing my side so I moved my Grenadier guards up hoping to sweep away any resistance and head for the enemy rear,game over.How many times in the past few years have I said that.I was confronted by a local lord's estate workers and was made to cower down behind a wall.My lads tried to go head to head with them but they picked my lads off one by one until the only man left standing was my n.c.o who had no intention of sticking his busby clad head above the wall.I eventually moved up a machine gun and dealt with these pests.
                                Bill was to head up the right flank and hopefully head into the cinema
Left,right left,right.
through the back door therefore not needing to purchase tickets.The  nemesis facing him was the skulking Donald aided and abetted by a company of schoolkids from nearby Coal Hill school all armed with Lee-Enfields led by some lad called Mr Chips.After a while and good shooting from Bill it was goodbye Mr Chips.
"What do you mean I'm getting schoolboys and landgirls?"
Every schoolboy's dream-a rifle.
Meanwhile Dave had drove up the main street and deposited,under fire,a squad of BUF fascists who proceeded to head into the cinema just in time for the serial with the intention of digging in and hopefully seeing Flash Gordon in the process.
Could do with some double yellow lines.
                    The local Alnwick police force had other ideas and proceeded to fire at Dave's squad and pinned them so that they couldn't do anything for a few turns except cower.This police squad was controlled by Colin and at the same time was attempting to utilise his Post Office rocket team to do a first class delivery on my advancing squads.Initially he couldn't hit a barn door but eventually his team succeeded in delivering the mail much to my discontent.
Post Office rocket company delivering the mail.
                           Mr Ray was given charge of the George Washington volunteers(that's Washington D.C and not Washington Tyne and Wear) and moved them forward to occupy some of the buildings on the corner main street but once again due to the lack of windows on the rear of the building he had to contend with shooting at Dave's immobilized squad-lucky for me.
Imposing American values.
                           Colin meanwhile also drove  his armoured car up the main street but after a few useless shots was brought to a shuddering halt and remained there for the remainder of the game his crew ignoring every order.Colin followed up this advance with another foray with his armoured bus which drew fire from both sides of the street making it also come to a shuddering halt.
"Hoy-move that bus"
                 Donald after losing his schoolboy squad decided to see if his company of Landgirls could do any better(remember this is a Colin Jack game).They were supported by a machine gun team also crewed by women-scary.They headed for the cinema hoping to dislodge the defenders and hopefully catch a nice romantic film in the process.They also tried to get in the back door but were fired on by Bill's French allies and forced to take cover in an adjoining building whereupon they were set upon by the French and made to head for the hills sans their reputation.
Donald's girls being refused entry
My girls heading for a night on the town.
                        Colin in this ultimate wisdom decided that if one side has a company of woman so should the other and this came in the form of Boudicca's babes who had last seen action fighting Belgian's exactly 52 weeks ago.They were under my wing so I had them moving up and occupying a front row seat on the main street opposite the cinema waiting for some targets of oppurtunity which came in the form of the Berwick TA cyclist company who had just evicted Dave from the cinema but there aim was definitely off probably due to rogue eyelashes or something.
Bill charging up the table
                   Bill decided to charge up his flank wit two small tanks but really to no avail apart from hoping to fire at the advancing members of the Berwick fire brigade -all armed.
"Tis to glory we steer"
                  Dave's squads were dwindling but his armoured car and a Royal Naval mounted gun armed lorry were making sure the streets of Alnwick were safe from marauding enemy armour albeit in the form of armoured buses.
"Hurry up and blow the final whistle as we are getting wasted here"
                     The evening once again came to a close again ever so quickly and the winning points were counted up using the novel method of a pack of cards giving the local defenders a very slight victory.
"I have a cunning plan sir!"
                A great game once again and especially as it's my favourite period.Just a pity I couldn't get my own figures into the fray but I don't think that you would have got many Cornwallians fighting in Northumberland.
Mr Ray's big phallic symbol.
                Mr Ray Neal,Donald Adamson and our host played the part of the local defence/government forces.
                    Bill Gilchrist,Dave O'Brien and myself played the part of the Royalist incursionists.
                 The struggle was preceeded by another excellent fare provided by chef Colin who provided all figures,scenery and scenario.