Saturday, 12 March 2016

The Battle of Thurstonfield : VBCW (Albanich 2016)

Royalist forces under the command of Sir Marmaduke Langdale have pushed westwards towards the village of Thurstonfield with a view to cutting a wedge from Carlisle to the Solway Coast this will hopefully isolate the Albertine forces currently north of the Solway and allow them to be eliminated piecemeal by Royalist supporters from Dumfries.

Marmaduke Langdale
Having carried out various feints further south and around Great Orton this is the main push to the coast and Langdale has amassed considerable heavy support for the attack. The Borderers are also supported by the Penrith Union of Fascists under Viscount Achibald Rackham the local Penrith MP.
Achibald Rackham
To counter this attack the Albertine forces are rushing as many troops and units as they can to the area. The Village itself is held by the Thurstonfield Volunteer Rifles supported by the Wigton Local Defence Volunteers and a unit of the West Cumberland Naval Artillery.
John Lambert VC
These mixed units under the command of John Lambert VC have blocked the main routes into the village but their only hope is for strong re-enforcements, these are on their way in the form of Scottish Troops from the St Andrews League under the direct command of Major Hamish Fraser.
Hamish Frazer
So the scene is set for a major assault by the Royalist forces on the village. This was played as our display game at Albanich 2016. The table is 4'8" wide and 7' long. We used Bolt Action Rules with our own dungeon rules for aircraft. We also used our own special events rules which occurs every time a unique white die is drawn from the bag. I want to say a big thanks to Steve who helped on the day, painted some of the troops and planes. Without him it wouldn't have happened :)

Battle of Thurstonfield
Albertine forces occupying the main street
 Although Albertine forces hold the village at the start Fascist Units have already moved onto the street. West Cumberland Firemen have also just arrived as support.

First re-enforcements arrive
 The first re-enforcements in the village are a strong unit of West Cumberland Miners with a newly fitted Renault 35 Tank. The Scots have also rushed their Matilda tanks forward to push the Fascists back.
Bitter fighting in the main street
 The first really tough fighting is in the main street where the Fascists attempted to drive towards the Albertine Roadblock, they come under strong automatic gunfire from the Matilda and the C9 armoured car.
Scots Infantry pulls into the village
 With a lucky hit to one of the Royalist Vickers tanks the attack on the Royalist right flank looked like it was going to stall then the Firemen were called away to a fire in the next village (random event !)
Aircraft from both sides in the air above the village
 Not wishing to face the heavy gunfire in the main street one of the fascist units has forced its way through the terraces hoping to outflank the defenders.

Scots attempting to regroup
 Whilst rallying the firemen the Albertines are able to bring an infantry unit to hold the dangerous outflanking move behind the village.

Did anybody notice I had called the pub the Pike and Shot ?
Renault 35 has now been disabled but is still firing
 Although pinned down on the right the Borderers regular infantry is pushing forward towards the cross roads, they are supported by both a Vickers and an A9 tank on the road.

Firemen have pulled themselves together and are back on the offensive
 Realising the main thrust is coming down the road the naval artillery manned by local Fishermen has been moved to cover the cross roads from outside the village shop.
Carlisle Constabulary pinned down
 In the main street the Matilda Tanks have killed or scared all the infantry away, advancing they have pinned the Carlisle constabulary who can't or won't progress.

Royalist Tanks surge towards the road block
 Eventually the Royalist tanks are close enough to charge the road block this forces the remaining Thurstonfield Volunteers to flee ! the way now seems open to the remaining Royalist forces until a Matilda Tank trundles forward to block their path.

Vickers tank charges through the road block...... but without support
The battle draws to a close
At this point we decided to call a halt. Although the Royalists have the advantage and have broken through into the village the Albertines have plenty to keep fighting with, as a demonstration game it didn't really matter. The assumption for further battles will be the Royalists now hold the village but lacked sufficient strength to push to the coast.

We had a great time at the show talked to loads of people and much to my embarrassment we won a prize for the game. Thanks to everybody who took the time to come and have a look, to chat and share so much positive feedback, thanks also to Simon and the organisers of the show, all being well we will back at Albanich 2017.

Our prize !


  1. Congratulations on the prize, well deserved. Good to see you and to meet Steve

    1. Thanks Martin I have a few more plans will get in touch to sort your raffle prize.

  2. A well-deserved prize after all the effort you've put in! The table and game look absoultely superb!

    1. Thanks Gordon it looks nice but it was also a good game.

  3. Great looking table, realistic and beautiful...a well desserved prize!

  4. Congratulation on the award. I'm sure it was richly deserved as your game looks superb from the great photo's you've provided.
    I have to say this show is now firmly on my radar and, barring illness, I'll pop up there next year.

    1. Thanks Roy it is a nice show ....small and friendly and I guess depending how far people travel depends on whether it is worth it. I am sure well try to go again next year.

  5. Well done Matt and Steve, excellent display. I spotted a number of extra touches in there - new posters, signposts and even washing on the line. Great little details.

    1. Thanks Paul......yes I added a few bits chimney pots etc..... The lovely red fire engine was Steve. I also have more buildings than before, will soon have a full town for the dungeon.

  6. Great looking game, glad all your efforts came together and well done on your shield.

    1. Thanks Stuart am now thinking of the next game !

  7. Matt, I do have a request, can you publish your random event chart and you plane rules on the blog, unless I've missed them.

    1. Yep Martin I'll find a way to share.

  8. Great looking game there and congratulations on the prize. Nice show Albanich. One question who makes the town hall with the tower?

    1. Thanks P had a good chat to Simon on all things VBCW. I have a few plans to expand our forces and some terrain developments in the pipeline as well. As for the building it is a Sarissa precision , I change the roofs so all my buildings match, and in this game it obviously played with only 2 stories but if you want a bigger building it has 3. Scale wise SP are a bit smaller than warbases so you need to be careful where you place them on the table. I can only play with the manor house if it a long way from any other buildings !