Thursday, 4 February 2016

The Battle for Crofton Hall : VBCW

Sitting between Carlisle and Wigton, Crofton Hall the home of Lord Brisco lies currently in 'no mans land' between the Albertine and Royalist forces. However, with close links to the Royal family he has made it clear where his loyalties lie. It is no surprise therefore that Colonel Lonsdale has chosen this route as his principle point of attack in the first stages of the 'Spring Offensive'. Having moved forward along the A595 his force has pushed due west from Thursby avoiding the railway knowing that this crossing will be carefully watched.

The start of the spring offensive
What Lonsdale doesn't know is the West Cumberland Army of Prince Albert has recently taken delivery of a small squadron of the Prince Albert Air Corp PAAC for short, these are currently operating from bases close to Silloth and they have seen the advancing column of Border Regiment Regulars. Alerted to the danger the Albertine command have rushed troops into the Area and they are intent on challenging the Royalist advance. They have never been overly happy with Brisco a known Royalist being so close to their control zone.

Crofton Hall with one of the estate farms
We played a standard Bolt Action engagement scenario, I have made some special rules for the PAAC, the only other tweek being that Lord Brisco is allowed to set up in his Hall.

Albertine forces come on from the west (left)
 The two forces are equal in points although the Royalist forces are predominantly regulars  with supporting Armour, the Albertines a more rag-tag force supported by the PAAC.

Inexperienced but well meaning ! Albertine forces
By the time the Albertines had reached the Battlefield Lord Brisco had already barracaded the Hall itself, rather than attack headlong into a clearly well defended stronghold the Albertines have spread out along the road only to be met by the oncoming 1st Armoured Battalion of the Border Regiment.

The PAAC circle overhead looking for a suitable target
To ensure they are not outflanked the Albertine force have pushed the Maryport Fire Reserve Unit in their newly painted truck towards the Hall hoping this will tie down forces on their left flank. They immediately come under heavy fire from the upstairs windows and are pinned down on the drive.

A first success for the PAAC
Overhead the PAAC have finally found a target and after a couple of attempts manage a direct hit on the light Vickers Tank. In the distance the Fire engine is now burning but the remaining firemen despite their training push on away from the fire to assault an enemy machine gun dug in in the gardens. Although brave it is a fruitless effort and they are cut to pieces.

The West Cumberland (Naval) Artillery in Action
The West Cumberland Horse Artillery (aka Maryport Fishermens Guild) have managed to drag their artillery piece, an old WW1 13pdr onto the battlefield but their inexperience shows as they are pinned down for several turns before they get to fire and all their shots fly wide of the target.

Royalist A9 tank pins down Silloth Militia
To the south the Silloth Militia a newly formed unit draws fire from the advancing Royalist A9 Tank which is highly effective having two front facing heavy machine guns. It is not clear whether the militia will hold although the Allonby Miners who are made of sterner stuff have taken up a defensive position further down the road.

The PAAC continues to hunt for targets on the ground
At this stage in the battle the greater experience and training of the regular troops starts to have an impact. With both armies reluctant to rush in the the open their better shooting skills the Regulars start to whittle down the less experienced Albertine forces. Only the Wigton LDF are able to give as good as they get exchanging long range shots with regular troops in the woods to the east.

Wigton Local Defence force dug in in the farm garden
At the far end if the battlefield the Royalists flank is held by the Carlisle Constabulary Reservists. These are hopeful military recruits from the constabulary but who are still in their police uniforms. They come under heavy fire from the miners who use their Lewis gun to good effect. Unfortunately this is pretty much the only place where Albert's supporters are having much success.

Constabulary Reservists pinned down behind the far hedge
At this point it was clear that the Regular Royalist Forces were too strong for the Albertines who start to pull back before they are overwhelmed, much to the relief of Lord Brisco and his household. They are leaving behind the wreckage of a burnt out fire engine and a number of dead and wounded men. But the Royalists had paid for the ground they had taken, the Vickers Tank would not be back in action for some time and they now know one thing the West Cumberland Army of Prince Albert has air support. they will have to be more careful in future advances.

Albertine forces start to pull back
So a strong victory to the Royalists, the Albertines simply failed to make any significant headway against the fire power of the Regular Border regiment Troops.........but they now have one advantage

to be cont...........


  1. Brilliant. Never used air power in battle and it looked really cool. Do you always use Bolt Action rules

    1. Thanks Martin.....yes currently use Bolt action for VBCW I play too many different systems to remember all the rules and although not perfect they are dead easy to use for this size of squad based game.

  2. Another superb VBCW batrep...look forward to the next one!

  3. Love the washed out look.
    Sounds like a great game.

    1. Thanks Stu ......a rather weak attempt to create a period feel.