The villages in and around the valley are home to agricultural workers, miners who work the mineral deposits in the area. Disaffected servants and others who have escaped the yoke of servitude to build an independent workers state. They are generally poorly armed as they have, as yet, been unable to build firm links to any national parties or organisations. They do occasionally get hold of guns or armoured vehicles when they trade their agricultural or mineral deposits to nearby factions.
Up until now they have been content to make small local raids in search of weapons and as they have become increasingly militarised, replacing the traditional Sunday church worship with military style parades and weapons training.
One of the parades through the village centre
The Alston Moors Mounted Brigade, farmers and ex gamekeepers on their own or stolen horses
Last in the column, mainly due to its cumbersome nature is an ancient field gun, originally sent to the area as scrap metal, the foundry workers have brought it back into serviceable condition, but they haven't fired it in anger !
So it was on this uneventful Sunday morning that the Archbishop from Hexamshire had roused his congregation and led them across the Moors to attack the Village, his Serman that morning had aroused such excitement that a significant contingent of the Anglican League had followed, 'hell bent' on re-establishing good Christian values in the valley and also stealing what ever valueable commodities they could find.
Our battle takes place on the edge of Alston, with rough ground leading past the mines onto the moors themselves. (Ed note... We played Bolt Action rules with about 15 or 17 units per side we had some special rules for unique units. The objective was to hold the middle ground, the Anglican League would enter from the moors and the ASA would start in parade formation in the village, the battlefield is 8 foot long and 5 feet at its widest)
View form Alston village up towards the moors (this is a couple of turns in but is the best overview shot I took)
As soon as the alarm is raised the parade breaks up with units rushing to and fro. The gunner immediately unlimber the 60 lb artillery piece but it take them a full turn to load it. Who know if the'll manage to hit anything ?
The Alston Mounted Brigade scout forward towards the mine office (white building)
Anglican League troops are pouring into the valley, under the commanding presence of the Archbishop who is accompanied by a reporter from the local paper.
Even the cricket team have been shamed by the Clergy to break their first innings and join the battle, secretly they are hoping to complete the second innings in Alston where they believe they have a decent square.
The Alliance also has one small and almost obsolete tank, which trundles forward
The workers have generally banned all sports in the valley which have any links back to the old establishment ways. Preferring instead pastimes more in keeping with their local traditions. One of these which has found favour with the mining communities is pigeon fancying, and through diligent breading and training they have developed the birds to carry small bombs which can be dropped on any potential enemy. It is of course an unreliable weapon and they don't hold much hope of hitting anything !!!!!!!!!!!
One unit of miners advances forward into the allotments
The lucky shot.........reload
Rather than a frontal assault the League are looking to use available cover in and around the mine workings.
Before pushing forward the miners check out their prize birds, once they are assured of their security they move on
Foolhardy cavalry exposes itself to enemy fire and takes a number of casualties, in the distance armed monks run down the hillside
Overview of the battle of Alston Moor
The servants and gamekeepers who have formed their own irregular unit make their way across rough ground towards the old mine owners house.
Things are getting up, the cavalry have chosen to pull back but one of the miner units under the close supervision of the mine foreman are rushing forward under the cover of smoke from one of the mortars
Anyone for Cricket.......not likely a sport clearly played by toffs and public school boys, used by the establishment to subdue the workers across Great Britains' overseas colonies.
The workers have moved their banner nearer the front to encourage greater morale and remind people what they are fighting for.
The Renault tank has been brewed up by accurate anti-tank fire.....actually not very accurate as they took several shots to hit it, missing completely on one occasion and hitting the building instead !
Truck which had held a machine gun has now been blown up as well, luckily the gunner has been thrown free and although pinned he is unhurt.
One of the Anglican Leagues powerful artillery pieces causing havoc in the valley.
There is only one hope and the cavalry muster for a WW1 type charge, with nonchalant ease the Ladies reload and let rip cutting the horsemen down as they charge.....such nice horses too such a shame.
Well I wasn't expecting that ...........and the reporter for the first time in the day starts to question if there really is a god. It may be too late to effect the outcome of the battle but it did make the miners cheer😀
With one more turn the workers attempted to snatch the objectives but this was really only a piric victory as they had taken far more casualties and would need to fall back.
The banner still flying in defiance of the WI luckily the game ended before they could do anymore damage !
One unit of miners had spent the entire game in the allotments ? Either pinned down or perhaps they were protecting the pigeon loft
The heroes of the day !
After the battle the monks are supervising the sad task of collecting the body of the Archbishop this will make the front page !