Saturday, 11 June 2016

The Battle for Brampton :VBCW

Not much time recently to get on the blog but luckily this doesn't reflect activity in the Dungeon. Taking a break from 'Find the Halfling' preparation I thought it was about time to get some more VBCW on the table and I wanted to play a 'big battle', to test the mechanics and get a few things on the table which had been recently finished. So the Battle of Brampton took place bank holiday weekend.

Background - whilst the Royalist forces have been seeking to push west to the coast to cut off and isolate Albertine forces in and around the Solway they have had to pull reserves from across their areas of control. This has been observed by Scottish Republican Forces who although they have no formal alliance with the Albertines have seen this as a good opportunity to make a push towards Carlisle which they have always contended since Jacobite times should be Scottish.

Advance route of the Scottish Borders Army
Scottish troops comprise lowland regiments who have defected from the crown, AFV units with tanks taken from former Royalist Depots in Glasgow and Edinburgh and a strong contingent of local militia. These form the Scottish 'Borders Army' and occupy the isolated border region north of the old (now contested) English border. Rather than a direct assault on Carlisle the Scots have cut across country and attacked the small town of Brampton. Urgent messages have been sent back to Royalist command at Carlisle and all remaining Border Regiment troops have been rushed to block the advance.

(I set up the table almost as big as it will go, playing with four separate battlegroups, giving each commander an independent command. We had 5 objectives and played with bolt action rules. 32 dice in the bag !) ps I noticed after posting I should have checked the spelling better ! Not sure who the Rebulicans are ?
Starting positions
The battlefield represented a small portion of Brampton including Church and a small section of countryside.
Objectives marked
Not surprisingly with a battle this size I can run through every detail but I took some nice photos which roughly tell the story of the battle.

Royalist Border Regiment Infantry supported by Vickers Tanks move towards the farmhouse with an eye on the Pillbox objective. In the distance the war memorial is another objective but in very open ground.
With the farm secured Royalist contemplate crossing the road, whilst the Scots have already pushed a Matilda I into the corn field. In the distance the Carlisle Constabulary are making their way through the church yard.
A large contingent of Scottish Militia from various villages in the lowlands make towards the memorial but are sensibly reluctant to push into the open ground.
A vintage shot of the Church, currently held by Royalists. The Harraby Home Guard have moved into the bell tower but only have one lewis gun which is effective from longer range. The cross roads another objective is being approached by the Carlisle Volunteers but they come under attack from the sky !
At the East end of the village, Scottish lowland regular infantry supported by the Lochmaben Fire brigade work their way towards the main road.
All quiet on the main street, with only a single armoured car keeping watch.
The Royalist Vickers tanks are pushing forward but sadly neither tanks has enough firepower to knock each other out.
Lockerbie Local Defence Volunteers make a break for the memorial, are are immediate pinned down in the open !
Tank on Tank the Scots have somehow managed to find a pre-production Matilda II, this will be a good test as it faces up against the Royalists A9. 
Fierce fighting at the back of houses off the main street, as a unit of Borderers attempt to capture the phone box.
The Lockerbie Volunteers try and keep their heads down.

Scottish troops are now rushing across the main street using whatever cover they can find.
The Matilda II shows its effectiveness knocking out the A9 with a single direct hit.
The Scottish right flank is starting to crumble and the Royalist take advantage capturing the Pillbox on the edge of the village....but it isn't all over yet.

A local Shooting Party from one of the estates close to Carlisle are pushing the Scottish Militia love lost there !
Grab it ! the Scots have the phone box, but the Fire brigade are dangerously pinned in the main street.
Madness ? clearly enthused with the battle lowland infantry push past the objective to attack the armoured car directly.
The Scottish Tanks are using their firepower to push the Royalists back.
Scottish Militia artillery proves very ineffective even at fairly close range, recognising this the second Royalist Vickers tank breaks through the Church Yard fencing to try and keep the remaining Scottish Militia forces away from the war memorial.
Scottish Infantry working its way through the Pub garden and making for the cross-roads.

The Borderers are made of stern stuff and have gone in with the bayonet against the Scottish infantry knocking them back away from the phone box. The fire brigade look on in horror and are pinned down.

Scottish infantry make a break for the cross roads, under the watchful eye of the Matilda II tank commander.
This then was pretty much the end of the battle and it was time for tea. We had played 6 turns and despite a slow start both sides had taken a significant number of casualties. Only one objective was held by each side so a hard fought draw. Fun to play although I might change a few things next time.

As the sun set on the battlefield the Harraby Home Guard who remained in the bell tower for the whole battle take ineffective pot shots at the Scottish Gloster as it flies past.


  1. Replies
    1. Your terrain always pops, really adds that extra dimension.

    2. Thanks.......a lot just takes time and patience and it would be better if I had more of the later๐Ÿ˜€

  2. This is an excellent blog post. Very nice work.

    1. Thanks Roy.......a few more ideas and plans still in my back pocket ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Quite the battle! Nice AAR, thanks for sharing.

  4. A great read Matt.
    32 dice I am surprised you could get your hand in the bag :-)

    1. Luckily a big the first couple of turns we pull two out at a time as it was mainly movement.

  5. Brilliant! Great set-up...great pics...great report!