Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Les Miserables or the Battle for Gamblesby : VBCW

Gamblesby is a small village to the East side of the Eden valley tucked in under the brooding Pennines. A wild place it sits in 1938 outside the direct control of the North Cumberland and Border Royalist Forces, but comes dangerously close to the influence of the Worker's Brigade of the Alston Communist Alliance. These are a rag-tag armed Brigade of farmers, ex mineworkers and other disaffected working class folk who live in the valleys which cut through the Northern Pennines.

When supplies are short they will venture out of their protected valleys to gather provisions or to persuade others to join their revolutionary cause. On this occasion they have targeted the village of Gamblesby and set up a road block to deter Royalist forces, this is a clear land grab with the Workers Brigade looking to expand their area of influence. The Royalists will have none of this and send out a strong force to teach them a lesson ......

The Battle for Gamblesby 1938
We set up another simple encounter scenario with the Workers Brigade on the defensive and the Royalists looking to break through the workers baracade, hence the link to Les Mis.

Workers Brigade in force on the North of the village
The Royalist forces, regular troops and heavy Tank support enter the village from the south, they need to get beyond the baracade in force to win the battle. The Workers brigade are each mixed units (I jumbled up all my non-regular troops) of miners, farmers and others.

Workers Brigade make for the village and to man the baracade
With quite a wide baseline to hold the workers are thinly spread out and they hold a couple of units in reserve just in case. Luckily the Workers do have some limited heavy support in the form of an old anti-tank gun and a small infantry tank.

Over confident Royalist regulars head straight down the road
You'll see i have been experimenting with the filters again !

Workers Brigade digging in 
The village itself causes a restriction and the Workers dug in in the centre this immediately caused the Royalist forces to drift to the left flank. Where they had already placed their tank support, a Vickers Light and a A9 in support. Together with a 25lb Gun. (I should mention at this stage that the 25lb Guns are well over 45 years old so it was great to get one on the table).

Strong Royalist left flank
The push on the left flank started to look over powering but the open ground meant the Workers were able to pin down some of the advancing troops holding them at least for the time being back.

Workers Infantry tank pushing into the village
With the Royalist Right flank exposed the Workers Brigade ordered their only tank to try to outlfank the troops on the road. This worked to an extent pushing the Royalists off the road and yet further to the left.
Vicious fighting around the barn
The Workers were now starting to struggled and brought further reserves across to the right to plug the gaps. You can just see the only Workers armoured car smouldering by the barn where it had been hit and destroyed first turn !

But the workers could only hold on so long and  in the face of the Royalist Tanks they are gradually pushed back. Eventually a break by a unit of fascists sealed the day and they were through for a minor victory. The workers would now have to pull back or face being cut off.
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As always though there was a final twist to the story. Only two of the workers Brigade units had been armed with anti-tank bombs, but seeing the Workers start to turn and run the Royalists rather over confidently charged forward with their tanks. The surprisingly well trained workers jumped out of the way  to let the monsters pass. Then rushed in from behind, you can just see the Workers Leader encouraging his comrades to attack the rear of the Tank which they did blowing the fuel pipe which then spread to the tanks remaining ammo.....there is only one outcome when this happens BOOM.

If you look closely you'll also see the explosion has frightened the goats who have escaped ! At this point the residue of the Workers Brigade fled back into the hills satisfied that they had given the Royalists a bloody nose.


  1. Really enjoying your VBCW campaign!

    1. Thanks Gordon it feels like a project which has the potential to grow and develop in lots of directions, which is what I really like, I am still a couple of battles behind, we have also played a very enjoyable IHMN version which I will catch up with soon, after all, these are not faceless soldiers they are hero's and villains with names.

    2. Indeed! That is what makes it so much fun...the characters, the armies even the localities all have their on-going and developing story! Great stuff!