Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Retreat to Caldbeck : VBCW

Having achieved a narrow draw in the Battle for the brewery the Crimson Commissar aka Owen Bishop has pulled his forces back to the village of Caldbeck. Only to find that the village is being contested by another force of Royalists. These are again predominantly Royal Cumberland Regulars supported by allied fascist and police from Penrith. This time though the Infantry are supported by a impressive looking A9 Cruiser tank, untested in battle it will be interesting to see if this gives them a big advantage. The Reds have been able to convince some of the local population fed up with the overpowering Royalist forces to support their revolutionary cause.

Socialist forces Retreat back to Caldbeck
The main action in the battle takes place around the church (we played a straight up encounter as it was the Royalist commanders first full bolt action game). The objective for both sides was fairly simple to break the other force, for Owen this would allow his remaining troops to avoid encirclement and to pull back west.

The Church and Church yard in Caldbeck Village
The Reds seen here on the right have spread out looking to occupy the terraced cottages on the East of the village and the fields in the foreground. They have also sent a couple of newly formed Workers Militia units into the Church yard.
A group of miners and sailors take cover around the cottages
The Royalist forces have already crossed the river which is behind their lines off the battlefield to the North. They too have spread out across the village. Two regular squads are pushing into the Church Yard whilst the A9 trundles down the main street supported by well trained fascist troops mounted in a truck.
Royalist forces push into the village
At this stage the better trained Royalist forces have pushed right through the Church yard and Owen Bishop, seen here standing in the ploughed field is starting to look increasingly worried. Well out of shot he had placed his only heavy gun in the woods SW of the village but they simply couldn't get a decisive hit against the tank which was using its double turret machine guns to good effect. I suspect their inability to hit anything may be due to the beer they had consumed on the short journey from Hesketh Newmarket.

Low point for the Red forces !
Finally though the Reds began to fight back with fire from units in the cottages supported by an armoured car taking their toll on the Royalists on the main street  and around the Church yard
Firepower from the cottages forces the troops in the church yard to take cover
(Seem to have missed some photos here?)

Following a daring but foolhardy assault on the Church yard the Reds were pushed back, only after a second assault were the miners able to bring their guns into play cutting down the remaining Police constables. But still the tank had not been hit and all it would need to do would be to turn around to bring its heavy machine guns into play. The remaining reds were starting to look decidedly shaky would they hold or would they run ?

Miners making their way through the back yards
As fate often has it the game then changed in an instant ! the poorly trained gun crew who had spent most of the battle firing wild drunken shots into the church yard finally got a lucky shot in and BOOM went the A9.
Yaaahhhh vun lucky zhot Comrade ! hic !
Taking courage from this the miners supported by the final Russian sailors charged out from behind the cottages sweeping all before them. Those Royalists who weren't wounded by gunfire fled back out of the village.
Russian sailors push past the still smouldering Royalist Tank
It had been a very close thing with the A9 being very powerful and the Red artillery very weak, but I guess it only takes one lucky shot. As light fell the Crimson Commissar was able to lead his remaining troops west across the back roads to safer territory.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

The Battle for the Brewery : VBCW

The setup for our second VBCW battle saw the West Cumbrian Socialist Alliance take on the Royalist Forces of king Edward. (The Alliance is a mixed group of Workers Co-operatives, Unions and Party Members affiliated to the left based along the West Coast they have been galvanized into collective action by a local radical Owen Bishop, known wider as the Crimson Commissar an ex union leader from Barrow who had fought in the Spanish civil war. He has close links to both Russia and other European communist parties who have supported the 'Peoples' uprising with equipment and some regular troops. They are also able to field units made up of Russian Sailors from ships docking in Whitehaven and Barrow. Although loyal to the cause they are sometimes hampered by their excessive consumption of cheep beer).

The Reds have looked to probe further East expanding their influence of control and looking to obtain supplies chief amongst these being alcohol and they have identified a potential source at Hesket Newmarket. The Crimson Commissar has sent a small force to bring back the beer ! Having advanced towards Calbeck and being repulsed by a strong local militia they have moved to Hesket Newmarket and are in the process of loading (drinking) the Beer. Although currently unaffiliated the locals have got a message to nearby Royalist forces who have come to sort the Reds out.

Looking from the north the Royalist forces push into the edge of the Village, (the scenario has the three objectives beer held by the Red forces on the far side of the village)

Royal Cumberland Borderers approach the village
The Royalist forces enter the village in force and send their armoured support, a Vickers Light Tank into the village.
Borderers fan out sending Vickers Light Tank down the main street
The Socialist Alliance are supported by some regular troops, although it is sometime hard to tell them from Union forces with imported Russian Uniforms !
East side of the Village the Red Commissar
The objectives / beer is located in the barn in the distance, the truck already loaded and slightly further North of the village just out of this picture.

Both forces close on the village
The Royalist must take the initiative to recapture the beer.

Borderers come under fire in the garden of the big house
As the Borderers get into the village they start to come under fire, taking loses especially around the Garden of the bigger house. It turns out the Reds also have some heavy support in the form of an armoured car and and artillery piece which they set up in the woods overlooking the village.

The Royalists are surprisingly reluctant to push down the main street

Choosing instead to skirt the back gardens

Drunk Russian Sailors lost in the wood ?
The Royalist Regular Forces are supported by some mixed militia and a unit of the Carlisle Constabulary who arrive on the right flank and are ordered to take the skirt around the village to the North, unfortunately they come up against the Russian Sailors who despite their hangovers are able to put up a determined defence. One lucky shot knocking out the Police's transport and pinning them down.

Police pinned by fire form the woods
A truck load of Black shirted fascists recruits from Penrith turn up and are thrown down the left flank, to support the stalled push by the Borderers into the village
The Royalists also have an allied unit of Fascists in support.

Overview of the Village

Luckily the Artillery has limited targets

A foolish or heroic charge
Determined to make an impact on the battle the Cumberland Borderers make a fairly foolish charge down the main street, where they are pretty much wiped out by a unit of Workers Militia dug in behind the stone walls at the far side of the village.

Fascists under fire form the barn
A group of Miners are holding the Reds' right flank and the barn, they have a Lewis gun which makes short work of the poorly trained Fascist recruits who are unable to push forward.

Royalist Militia break through in the centre
Eventually on the Royalist right the Militia force the sailors back and spot the unguarded stash of Beer Barrels in the field, with their truck giving some mobile cover they make a dash for the stash !

Get your Heads Down !
The Vickers tank with concentrated machine gun fire has now started to force the Reds out of the village  but this is pushing them towards the middle objective, where a desperate fire fight ensues with the Militia.

Tantalisingly close to the Beer !
On the other side of the village the remaining Cumberland Borderers have made a charge towards the barn and their better training a discipline allows them to chase off the Miners so they can claim the beer in the barn.
The armoured car sees off the Fascists !
This was pretty much the end of the battle with one objective each and one contested, an excellent draw. The Commissar ordered his units  back out of the village towards Caldbeck..........

Starting the celebrate ?

Monday, 21 September 2015

But I don't collect Orks !

Well only Lord of the Rings Orcs anyway. Had the pleasure of entertaining a good friend of mines two boys over the summer one rainy afternoon in the dungeon. Whilst playing a fun game of Lion Rampant  I managed to find one lonely 40k space Ork. Young Ally has now painted him up and I just wanted to share the photo as I was so impressed. I particularly like the armour and skin. Great job.

Is that blood or rust on his axe ?

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Berlin 2015

Lucky to have a few days in Berlin with my son at the end of the holidays, but as this is a Wargaming blog I'm not going to download all my holiday snaps. But as we are both military history buffs we are always looking for stuff to inspire my Wargaming hobby. Berlin has a complex history and obviously there is still a very difficult relationship between the German people and the World Wars. So we knew not to expect the kind of British Imperial War Museum approach. But there is still masses of stuff to see.

In no particular order....

Checkpoint Charlie

Remnants of the Wall and the German
Luftwaffe HQ (now finance ministry)
Berlin Dom the spot where Hitler gave many
of his Berlin Speech's

Babylonian Ishtar Gate

Bullets holes in many central locations

Russian War memorial
Not captured in the photos there were many other highlights of interest to those with a liking for Military history. Spread around the many museums are some of the best Greek armour collections, some of the best medieval swords, shields and weapons we have seen, Napoleons hat and sword captured by the Prussians after waterloo, Loads of stuff on Fredrick the Great and the various European Wars in the C17th and C18th the Prussian memorial/column to the east of the teirgarden is worth a visit. The Reichstag of course and the best Roman gladiator Helmet we have seen anywhere.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Battle for Middlesceugh Hall : VBCW

1938 and our first VBCW encounter in Cumberland between Albertine and Royalist forces ..  see previous post for the overall background. We are still in the process of developing and collecting troops so hopefully as the campaign develops armies will become more uniform.

The specific background to this scenario is that Middlesceugh Hall and the Area around Skelton is currently undeclared. A small  Recon Force has pushed out Eastwards towards the Royalist Eden Valley. The Albertine forces are made up of the 1st Battalion of the Halifax Rifles diverted to the west coast of England on their way back from Africa (hence the hot weather kit ! cold knees in Cumberland) they are supported by two units from the Wigton Local Defence Volunteers who have arrived in civilian trucks. When they have arrived at Middlesceugh Hall they have been unable to persuade the lord to support Prince Albert. Whilst he remains independent he has called in Local Royalist forces to help him defend his property. The Royal Cumberland Borders arrive together with a unit of Fascists from Penrith as they are always up for a scrap ! and not at all keen on the Canadians !

We played a simple scenario as we are still getting to grips with the rules etc. The Albertine Forces needed to get into the final third of the table whilst the Royalists just had to stop them.

 Royalist forces dug in on the right of the Hall which can be seen in the background, the Canadians in a very WW1 style are pushing forward on mass, this may prove to be costly ?

Another view of the Cumberland Borderers, the King's 'finest' garrisoned in Carlisle and holding the main communication way north to Edwards' Supporters in Scotland. They are supported by a Vickers Tank. But it hasn't seen much use recently and the crew are fairly indecisive.

Two more Squads of the Borderers dig in around the Hall, Lord Middlesceugh and his household prepare to defend his property from the vegetable garden.

The Canadians have brought some heavier weapons with them, effectively whatever they could carry and they start laying down covering fire from behind the hedges towards the Hall.
One of the squads of the Wigton LD Volunteers rush forward in their converted delivery truck to assault the Lord's Household, a tough hand to hand combat ensues with both units almost wiping each other out. Lord Middlesceugh falls back to recover from wounds which have taken him out of the battle.
The Canadians dug in on the minor road have had enough watching the Wigton Volunteers take all the glory and realizing they need to get into the fight jump up climb over the hedges and push into the woods. Only to be met by the heavy fire of the Vickers tank. The Fascists have remained dug in and seem reluctant to join the fight whilst a squad of Borderers are looking to outflank the Canadians and cut them off.

Back at the Hall regular troops have now taken hold of the vegetable gardens but the Canadians still have some fight in them pushing forward on foot, but caught in the open disciplined fire from the Garden knocks the impetus out of their attack.

 Having cleared the woods the Vickers Tank turns up hill towards the Hall, this might be the Canadians chance but their heavy weapons prove incapable of causing any damage even at close range.

In a final ditch attempt to gain some glory the few remaining Wigton Volunteers attempt to get around the Hall in their truck but the Lord's men knock it out at close range.

Having eliminated the threat of being outflanked the remaining Canadians decide to retreat back down the road. A good victory for the Royalists although I am not sure what they think of their Fascist 'Allies' who conspicuously played very little part in the battle, this may weaken their alliance in the future. Middlesceugh Hall is clearly now under the protection and control of the Kings forces.....but for how long ?

A good introduction, more to come.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Cumberland Farm house : VBCW

As mentioned in previous post 'twas my birthday not long ago. Rather than get socks I try and ensure I get something I want. Here is the first of the Birthday posts completed just this morning.....

A Charlie Foxtrot farmhouse, I had been looking on eBay at this for ages so needed my birthday as an excuse. Pretty easy to put together and I only had to unstick one wall which I got the wrong way round. I did change the roof by adding cardboard tiles so it matches all my other buildings. Can't see in the posture but is has a small extension at the back. It is slightly smaller than the warbases buildings I have, but I do see it as a small farmhouse so you can get away with the variation. Figures are warlord for comparison. The farmhouse will definitely be in our next VCBW battle.

Monday, 7 September 2015

The Berlin Dom !

Just back from a short holiday in Berlin. What a great place masses of History, as always I was on the look out for something to bring back and lo and behold the Berlin Dom (Cathedral). It is actually slightly small scale I would guess about 3 mm. But I have just tried it with some of my other 6 mm buildings and it looks fine taking up a full 'block' it is significantly bigger than my other church's.

It will probably find its way on to a Russian battlefield in the near future. It is about 10 cm across at the base and 15 cm high ! I also had my birthday so have some more goodies to blog in the next few days.