Thursday, 11 January 2018

Home Front: Civilians and Volunteers

Apologies for the dodgy photos but the light has been very poor this week in the UK.  Here are a few more additions to my Home Front collection. First up...and old man, This one is made by Foundry and is a Perry Sculpt. Just a nice useful civilian figure...also useful for VBCW.

Next, Mr Churchill...or perhaps an actor impersonating the Prime Minister? Not a great sculpt, I forgot where and when I got it, but I think it might be from Westwind. Useful as an objective in some scenarios. 

And finally two of the cast of Dad's Army in their civvies. Sargent Wilson and Lance Corporal Jones from Warlord. Lovely Sculpts, full of character, by Mr Hicks. 

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Home Front: Dad's Army Cast.

 For my Dad's Army/Sealion collection I have painted these two...One is verger Maurice Yeatsman (made by Foundry and sculpted by the Perrys) and the other is Private Godfery, in his civvies (from Warlord Games, and sculpted by Paul Hicks). Both look amazingly like the cast member they are based on. 
Nice additions to my growing collection. 

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Stalingrad Game Photos

Unfortunately I was at work on teh 27th, so I missed the All Day Game at Earlswood Wargamers, although I did pop in for a chat and to take some photos after work. I was glad I did as it gave me chance to see Big Al's Stalingrad board in action...Oh My God! 

Alas my camera ran out of power after a few minutes of watching the game, but I managed to get these shots off...Prepare to be amazed by what is possible the best urban battle board EVER! Big Al scratch built these boards himself. I am going to shut up and let the photos do the talking...

Nuf said.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Home Front: German Agents Disguised as Nuns?

Recently I have been continuing my interest in Operation Sealion as an alternative World War Two setting. Sumner 20017 saw a flurry of releases from Warlord Games to support their Bolt Action Operation Sealion supplement and these complement the original Wargames Foundry Home Guard figures quite nicely. 

Some of the figures are certainly more tongue in cheek, but I love that. I am a massive fan of Dad's Army and don't mind if my Sealion collection veers into the slightly silly or even has a shade or two of Pulp. 

The idea of German agents disguised as nuns seems to have originated in the the "Fifth Column" scares in the British media at the beginning of the period in 1941-42 when the threat of invasion looked real. As far as I am aware it was just hysteria/media hype, and no German agents ever dressed as nuns...never the less the idea fits in well with the slightly silly Dad's Army vibe. 

These figures are by Warlord and Foundry. 

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

'Punative Raid' in South Carolina: An American War of Independence Battle Report

I went down to Earlswood Wargamers for an AWI game with Big Al and Spike a couple of weeks ago. I took my camera and here are a few of the photos I took.

Figures belong to Big Al and Spike. Terrain is either Big Al's or club (mostly made by Big Al in the first place).

The game was based around a British punitive raid against a Southern Gentleman who has been supporting the rebels. I took the role of the Hessian Battalion commander, while Big Al played the Brits. Spike was the hastily assembled militias trying to defend the Southern Gent's plantation.

A southern Gentleman leading the local militia.

The Plantation

Southern Militia ready to fight to protect their homes (well the southern gentleman's home anyway)

The Hessians arrive on one flank...

lead by their brave commander (Me!)...

With a small force of Jagers.

South Carolina Woodsmen are the plantations first line of defence

Elsewhere on the battle field the Brits advance is hampered by the retain and the harassment of the Southern rebels skirmishers

The Hessians advance in lines over the fields, ignoring the skirmishers sent to slow them down. I held my nerve and kept on advancing, resisting the urge to start exchanging fire with skirmishers dug in behind cover.

The Brits advance strait into the waiting 6pdr cannon set up on the road ahead.

The Hessians scatter the skirmishers and advance on the big house. They exchange fire at short range with the militia, and then the grenadiers charge in.

The militia break before the grenadiers charge. The southern Gent tries to rally them

But its not going to stop the grenadiers ransacking the big house, then putting it to the torch.

All in all a great game, on lovely terrain with beautiful figures. Thanks to Big Al and Spike for letting me join in.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Freebooter's Fate Scrap

Following my declaration to post regularly to my blog I have had technical problems with my computer that has taken two weeks to resolve (my hard drive packed in and have had to start from scratch!). However, with that behind me I can get back to blogging with what I hope will be a rapid flurry of blog entries.
Without further ado, here are some pictures of a game of Freebooter's Fate Pulp Citizen and I had a few weeks ago round in his man-cave. The scrap was the first outing for My Imperial Armada, fighting to rid the island of the terrible scourge of the Brotherhood, a band of cowardly assassins.
My brave boys (and girls) of the Imperial Armada...
Pulp Citizens cowardly masked assassins of the Brotherhood...
The scrap got of to an early start with my gunners taking up position to provide covering fire

 Pulp Citizens crew continued to sculk about in the shadows
By using my captain as bate I managed to draw the  assassins out of the shadows as they tried to take advantage of my 'tactical error'. My captain survived their attacks and the heavy hiters from his crew counter charged and cut the assassins down.
 My marine chassed after on of the assassins henchmen, but came of worse in the fight.  
With time running out the cowardly assassins proved reluctant to risk crossing open ground where my gunners could snipe at them, and other than them  chucking a few poisoned knives at my men, the fight was pretty much over.

All in all a great game, and a satisfying first outing for the Armada. They combine good ranged attacks with reasonable close combat ability and great morale.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Freebooter's Fate: The Imperial Armada Crew

Just because I wanted to post something this weekend, I had a look through my shelves at some figures I painted during the last twelve months that I never posted on the blog. I found some Freebooters Fate figures I bought at Salute 2017 to show off. I apologise for the bad lighting but there was no natural daylight around when I took these pictures. 

Sunday, 5 November 2017

VBCW Battle Report: Chaos in Herefordshire!

This week saw an epic battle take place in the hills and valleys of Herefordshire as a group of VBCW enthusiast gathered to fight out another Big Game. 

For fun, the organisers Roo and Clive, came up with a mad cap scheme where the three senior commanders (Socialist, Royalist and Anglican League) each had money and resources to try to attract the 'neutral' LDV (Local Defence Volunteers) to their respective causes. The game began with frantic attempts by the three senior commanders (I was the Socialist commander) to attract the support of the LDV. I only managed to get the support of one LDV (Roo) but I was very pleased because I knew Roos LDV had a 17pdr field gun, which I was confident would come in jolly handy. The Anglicans had two LDV in support, and the Royalists also had two. 

Now while my force was nominally a Socialist force it has, since the last battle, taken on a more left wing tone as the leadership of the Red forces in Herefordshire has been infiltrated by the Communist Party of Great Britain. It is now not unusual to see CPGB Commissars in Socialist platoons, ensuring that the troops and officers are 'thinking correctly'. My commanding officer is Professor Winters, who commanded a Socialist company at the Second Battle of Ledbury. During that battle the Winters' force was allied to the much larger Anglican League force. The collapse of the Anglican defence of Ledbury left Winters' forces encircled by BUF and Royalists, and Winters' entire company was wiped out or captured. Winters himself only managed to escape by hiding under a bridge. After the battle he fled to Birmingham but the Socialist Council found him guilty of incompetence, and he was arrested and detained in Aston Hall. He later escaped with the help of agents of the CPGB, who used their influence to help him get promoted to senior commanding officer for the Red forces in Herefordshire. 

Captain-Commissar Professor Winters briefs members of the CPGB prior to the battle 
For historic reasons the Anglicans and the Socialists in Herefordshire had an alliance against the Royalist/Fascist Government forces, so we began the game together, opposed to the Royalist forces. Due to a shortage of manpower on the Royalist side the Socialists found that their two companies were opposed by a single company of the North Herefordshire Volunteer Militia, ably supported by Royalist Tank commander Sir Alan MacGuffin. The three companies the Anglican League were on the other flank, matched against two Royaist companies. 

Sir Alan MacGuffin's tank leads the North Herefordshire Volunteer Militia in their attack. 

As we position our forces to sweep across the flank and wipe out the North Herefordshire Volunteers, MacGuffin's tank trundled up the road, leading the Royalist advance.  My anti tank team, from the Wolverhampton Steel Workers Militia, raced towards the lumbering metal beast in their tiny car, before piling out ready to assault it. 'Anti-tank' team is something of a bold title for what really equates to two guys with a crow bar and a hand grenade. Somehow these plucky Reds managed to clamber on top of the Royalist tank, prize open a hatch and lob a grenade in. Sir Alan's butler (gunner) and Chauffeur (tank driver) were killed in the blast. A dazed MacGuffin clambered out of the smoking tank and was promptly captured by the Reds. 

Red Anti-tank unit disables the Royaist tank and capture Sir Alan

What happened next was a surprise to everyone (well almost everyone). With the Royalist MacGuffin captured, the proletariat of the North Herefordshire Volunteers decided to throw off the chains of their aristocratic masters and raise the Red Flag.  CPGB infiltrates and anti-royalist propaganda had persuaded the LDV commanders to turn on their royalist masters. (Basically Craig, the LDV player, had randomly drawn a order that he was to betray his Royalist paymaster at some point during the battle, and naturally MacGuffin's arrest seemed like a good time). The North Hereforshire Volunteers had a unit of Bee Keepers Militia, who were in the woods with the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, covering the open ground in the middle of the battle field. Upon seeing the Red Flag they turned on the sailors and opened fire at close range...chaos and carnage ensued. 

A Republican Air Force Hawker Fury circles overhead waiting for a target
Roo's 17 pdr now re-positioned ominously pointing at the Anglican League

With our flank secure (well there was no one to fight as all three of us were 'Reds') Professor Winters decided it was time that the alliance between the socialist and the Anglican League was brought to an end. While the North Herefordshire Volunteers engaged the Royalist force in the woods, the rest of the Reds advanced on the Anglican Leagues positions. The Anglicans held a small field surrounded by dry stone walls- a good defensive position- and one we would have to take if we would stand a chance of breaking their Anglican forces. 

Professor Winters called in the Republican Air Force to strafe the position (alas the Hawker Fury was shot down), and Roos field gun pounded the Anglican's position relentlessly. Under the cover of this barrage the Reds advanced towards the Anglican's defences. 

The Hawker Fury strafes the Anglican League position in the stone walled field

The fury is damaged by the Anglican League and crash lands. 
At this point another unexpected occurrence changed the dynamics of the battle, as the Anglican League and the Royalist decided to declare a temporary truce while they dealt with the 'Bolshevik Scourge'. Both of them were happy to have the workers fight and die in their armies but the idea of the proletariat rising up and seizing power was enough to terrify them both into co-operating to protect their vested interests. 

Anglican League forces abandon their attacks on the Royalist and turn their attention to their former allies
As Craig's Militia pushed unit after unit into the woods, and the Royalists did the same, the entire woodland became a meat grinder, where neither side could achieve a significant break through and the loss of life was terrible. The commanding officer and senior NCO of the North Herefordshire Volunteers was killed leading his men in an assault on the Royalist positions, as was a CPGB Commissar Winters sent to assume command of the LDV. The Royalist Officer, Captain Giles, was also wounded, but only lightly, and is likely to make a full recovery. 

The Anglican Bishop negotiates a truce with the Royalists
As Roo and my forces advanced on the Anglicans defences we found our armoured cars could make little progress over the boggy fields, and so out infantry were unsupported by armour. The infantry- two full companies- advanced across an open field, onto the Anglican held positions, braving machine gun fire as they advanced. Winters' company suffered terrible losses, but were able to wipe out the Anglican infantry defending the stone walled field, and although they were a spent force they had  cleared the way for Roo to advance. An Anglican League officer was killed by a lucky shot from Roos 17pdr field gun, which was a blow to the Anglicans. Despite this loss they did manage to advance another company up to try to push Roos forces back, but it looked like too little too late.

Socialist forces advance stoic towards the Anglican defences

The Anglicans defened the stone walled fields to the last man

The battle concluded with a hallow victory for the Reds. Craig and my forces had lost almost all their infantry, and Craig had lost an officer to boot. The Royalists had lost the best part of a company in the meat grinder of the woods, and the Anglicans had lost another company, and an officer, to the combined attack of Roo and myself. 

What is, perhaps, more important, is the repercussions for the future of the VBCW in Herefordshire. Winters' personal vendetta against the Anglicans, who he blamed for his losses in the Second Battle of Ledbury, has shattered the alliance between the Reds and the Anglicans, which can only strengthen the Royalist/Fascist power in the area.  Perhaps the temporary truce between the Anglicans and the Royalist might turn into a more permanent political arrangement?

Craig winning the Umpires Award for being a treacherous backstabbing rogue!

As a parting thought I would leave you with this to think over: Did the communist Party of Great Britain know that Winters would turn on the Anglicans? Did they plan to use Winters' hatred of the Anglicans to break the alliance between the Anglicans and the Socialists? Was this why they made so much effort to free Winters from his imprisonment and secure his position as senor officer in charge of the Socialist forces in Herefordshire? It certainly makes you wonder...