AVBCW: Here’s one I did earlier

For the Big Game last Saturday I did a couple of new scenery pieces, and bought some bocage style hedges from Jon & Diane Sutherland.

About 2 years ago I bought some buildings on e-bay from a dodgy vendor who shorted me out of over £100, but about 2/3rds of the goods did reach me, and to be fair they were very nice. I had long planned to put a couple of these very British terrace houses together and make a country Post Office. I’d even got an appropriately sized piece of MDF cut as a base, but I just never got round to it.

Well having to dress a third table, concentrated my mind ! So I dug out the pieces and started work. The MDF board has the dolls house paving glued to it. I had envisaged the base would have a pavement out the front of the buildings, around the side and a paved yard behind the P.O.

The two (resin) buildings were assembled and glued to the base.

The edges of the base were painted in – a small but noticeable flaw if you don’t do this. (Or is this just me being obsessive ?)

Then the back garden was flocked.

By now it was Friday lunch, the static grass was added, and I left it on the kitchen window sill for an hour to dry out – the extra wamth from the sun helped dry it all out ASAP.

Because I needed to add the brillo pad hedging ! Yes simple brillo pads chopped up, sprayed a darker green and then highlighted with Foundry Forest Green and Moss.

The only thing I didn’t have time for was to add the lettering on the front of the shop !

Very simple to do, but makes it stand out as a more important “objective” and makes it useable in urban locations as well as rural.

BoB: 4 Ground Buildings pack of East European buildings

Following on from the AVBCW Big Game, several of the attendees asked whether I’d be dojng another Big Game, and whether it would be BoB. Simple answer is yes.

So whilst recovering on Sunday evening, I decided to buy some more scenery suitable for BoB/RCW. I remembered I had seen the new 4 Ground Eastern Europe scenery and decided to check that out.

I ordered it Sunday evening, received a dispatch notice Tuesday morning, and an hour later the courier turned up with it !

A veritable pile of pieces. I opened up the Russian building pack. The figure gives some idea of how many components are involved in these buildings. The figure is a 28mm piece from the Mannheim Partizan convention that I bought and was delivered a week or so ago. (A dismounted Cossack – lovely figure)

I thought it was going to take a month of Sundays to build these buildings given the double sided A4 instruction leaflet.

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But I didn’t think I’d be using clothes pegs to hold stuff together.

By 8.30pm however, the building was 90y% complete. I did the main walls and interior and then the roof section in parallel which reduced the time. I did not press out all the wall sections to further ‘distress’ them as I wanted a half habitable building. This morning all I had to do was glue on the shutters, cut and paint a base, and then this afternoon glue the building to the base, flock and add static grass.

Ta da !

  • A bit pricey at £20+, but you get a fully painted building with interior and exterior detail that you can customise, so worth it.
  • Follow the instructions closely
  • the building is solid with good thick walls.
  • I’ll be buying their paints to finish off the joints better.

Well worth the money and a super quick service.

AVBCW: A Royal Mitre Exchange – Summary

With 14 players and three tables this was the biggest game JP & I have put on, and it went reasonably well.

Table 1

The Royalists failed to break through. They retained the Bishop of Hereford, so are still “in the game”. They escaped with most of their troops. The Socialists prevented the hand over, but had their heavy tank damaged. They lost a fair number of troops though.

On reflection, the “attackers” should have had more troops as defenders always have an advantage.

Table 2

The BUF failed to press home their attack, distrusting their Royalist allies who wanted to make the swap. Both of these factions did a deal to escape Foy, without their heavy equipment. The Baron of Foy also escaped in disguise.

The Anglican League were betrayed by the Socialists who had littered the road with IEDs and has initiated an attack. The long term fall out of this is yet to be seen.

As one player commented:

The gaming was more interesting than just a shoot them up…

Again the divisions between the Royalists and BUF have long term consequences, as do the divisions within the BUF hierarchy.

Table 3

The BUF made a strong attack on one flank but were perhaps too cautions on the other flank. Their use of tanks certainly wound up the opponents. They got unlucky by keeping their infantry in a “target rich environment”.

The ebb and flow was good to watch, but again with hindsight, the attackers should have had more troops.

The long term outcome of Captain Arrowsmith’s utterances is TBD.

Overall

As Umpires, we need to ensure that as well as balancing the tables and players, we also need to recognise the spin that a ascenario should give on the forces, with attackers given more forces to overcome inherent bias towards the defenders.

The players enjoyed the day, and are busy posting their versions of events.

My full set of photos can be found here.
They include 15 pictures taken by Roo, whose forces I commanded at short notice due to his daughter’s b’day party.

JP’s blog entry and pictures are here.

Matt’s write up of Table 1 is here.

Captain Arrowsmith’s comments and photos are here. (Scroll up for the photos)

Leadboy’s comment:

My French clad Anglicans on Table 2 were rather puzzled by my fellow Anglican Mort’s (campaign dictated) strategy of masterly inactivity as deployed in the morning (and equally by the Royalist’s corresponding stance, which seemed to result in much wall jumping and rejumping in a sideways direction). By lunchtime, I think my forces had managed to shoot up a postbox and one IED carrying van. The afternoon became much more complicated, with an attack by concealed Socialists on one of my sections (having sprayed it with an MMG and rifle fire, a truce was immediately concluded between Mort and the Socialists, so my chaps had to watch the murderous rabble file away without reply), followed by the satisfactory repulse of an attacking wave of Nick’s (aka the evil Foy’s) BUF. The afternoon concluded with a flank attack by my slightly out of control cavalry straight into the mud of an impassable railway embankment.

There are a few of the other Matt’s photos on the VBCF thread here.

Sir Gilbert’s chronicle of events.

From Captain Bigglesmay (aka Comrade Smith, Table 2):

Comrades,
Great news from the north of Herefordshire, with supplies gained from out side of the county allowing us to prevent Anglican false deals with Royalists who would seek to put us down. They were taught the lesson to not look for back room deals even after we tried to offer them a peaceful and respectful deal before hand. It is clear they value their old leader the Bishop of Hereford, more than our friendship and we have started to deal a blow against their pride and that they can never be trusted. Our work with Welsh comrades, more of which rush to our side as we speak, as well as Unions from other counties has proved we can become a force within Herefordshire and look to follow the example of other socialist states in the midlands and create a true fair state for our people. We have proved we can beat a Royalist army and make it run from our forces. We have proved we had give a bloody nose to the Anglican league and that they are becoming a force on the out.

Who will take their place as resistance against the Fascist forces and their puppet king? We shall, with our victory today we have proved ourselves and our chances of success. On comrades, to Hereford and victory!

Comrade Smith.

We await more updates

AVBCW: A Royal Mitre Exchange 4

On Table 2 the high tide of the BUF advance:

They got as far as the first line of defences.

The Anglicans advanced in response. They also did a deal with the Socialists, who moved off to help their comrades on Table 1.

But the BUF melted away as they came under fire as the fog lifted. One section was lost entirely, and another lost a third of its troops.

Table 3 and having decimated the BUF infantry of Captain Arrowsmith, Sir Gilbert’s forces surge foward with the unharmed steam powered armoured car whose HMG had trapped the BUF cavalry in woods out of harm’s way.

Captain Arnett’s tank moves forward, but it is too little too late.

The other BUF forces bug out ! Captain Arrowsmith expresses his frustration at being given a spoiling attack and not a proper mission befitting his status.

But he enjoys one last victory (in the last turn of the game) knocking out Sir Gilberts armoured car that he had failed to damage for the entire game !

On Table 2 the BUF consolidate their positions following their withdrawal.

Whilst the Royalists still don’t open fire on the Anglican League as they advanced…

And on Table 1 the socialists emboldened by reinforcements advance towards the retreating Royalists.

Who dug in…

The End

A mystery photo from WW1

As we approach the centenary of WW1 one of my associates posted a picture that had been in his family archives.

As I had a herd of nerds on Saturday evening I printed it off and tossed it into their midst for identification.

I thought the central soldiers were Russians, and that the guys in service caps to the sides were Americans.

BUT when printing it off A4 size, you can see the service caps have tassles, which is not characteristic of Americans in WW1. The collective suggested they might be Greek or Belgian. The Osprey book “Armies in the Balkans 1914-18” p46 has a good likeness, with a picture of six troops from different nationalities shown.

A Belgian in an American Greatcoat which seems similar to the greatcoat worn in the original photo.

Belgian soldier with cap tassle.

BUT, the pictures I find for the Russian Expeditionary Force to the western front show them in Adrian helmets.

So could this still be a photo from Salonika where the Russians wore their own (national) uniforms, with Greek troops ?

Answers please !

AVBCW: A Royal Mitre Exchange 3

On Table 1:

The Socialists advanced beyond their barricade in order to catch the Royalist vehicles hoping they contained the errant Bishop of Hereford. However, the Royalists were sticking around and drove them back.

Unfortunately, the Royalists landed a mortar bomb in a field of corm, enraging the local farm labourers – members of the Twiggy Mommet movement. Lo and behold, dressed as scarecrows they turned up to help the Socialists drive the Royalists off.

On Table 2, the BUF crossed the railway embankment under the cover of the fog.

And then in the next turn opened fire with their rocket launcher once the fog had cleared.

But despite a very large template effect, did very little damage – 2 casualties to the AL.

Who were falling back from the traitorous Socialists (but at least giving as good as they got !).

Table 3, Captain Arrowsmith’s headlong attack had ground to a halt. A lucky shot disabled his tank, and a continuous barrage of fire had lead to his cavalry seeking shelter in a wood and his depleted infantry taking more casualties.

He was pinned down and bracketed by fire from Sir Gilberts men, and the AL.

Meanwhile Captain Arnett dvanced his two tanks and a tank duel ensued with the AL tank, but in the end the BUF tanks prevailed. But it did mean the BUF infantry culdn’t cross the open ground against HMGs.

The BUF tanks having silenced the AL tank, caught several squads of Al infantry on the lane…Now you see them…

Now you don’t…

AVBCW: A Royal Mitre Exchange 2

Soon the first exchanges of fire started, except strangely on Table 2….

The BUF moved their French tankette towards the level crossing towards the Anglican League, but the driver or machine seemed strangely inept and kept stalling. This obviously inhibited the advance of the Nice South African Royalists.

A BUF unit did manage to cross a hedge on the second go, and then stood around a lot not doing much before eventually sidling along the hedge at the bottom of the embankment towards the railway crossing.

NB: We were using some rules modifications to test for entire units crossing obstacles not model by model as this tends to slow down play in large games like this.

On Table 3, the BUF were not hanging around.

Captain Arrowsmith’s motorised cavalry column stormed up the road towards Sir Gilbert and the Anglican League. He had got all but his cavalry in soft skin transport. He was flanked by Captain Arnett who deployed a field gun to ensure that the AL and Sir Gilbert’s gangsters brave LDV could not get past the BUF.

Sir Gilbert and co ready themselves !

On Table 1

The Royalists fail to break through, and turn tail before the Red Menace.

Phuttt, Fizzle !!!!!

On Table 2, lots of strange roadside items were laid out, barrels, a strangely large number of Post Office Boxes, and unmarked vans. Just as the Nice South Africans passed a barrel, there was a strange sound, and it was revealed to be a roadside bomb !

All the present factions (BUF, AL, Royalist) immediately sought to find and destroy any other such cowardly and wretched items, targeting the suspicious post boxes, vans and so on. It was soon revealed many of these items were indeed similar booby traps and were swiftly dealt with. Strangely, the post boxes seemed to be genuine, so a few letters managed to get damaged with anti tank rifle rounds. Now who had carried out this act of indiscriminate destruction ?

Back on Table 3

The BUF de-train…

And promptly shoot up the (corrupt) local Police that were obviously acting in collusion with Sir Gilberts gangsters LDV. Captain Arrowsmith had at least resisted temptation to shoot up/bomb/burn the buildings he’d passed, but the Policemen were a provocation too far.

Sir Gilbert and the AL responded in kind, shelling and mortaring the closely packed BUF infantry that came off the worse for the wear, losing a third of the infantry in one turn.

On Table 2, the terrorists who had planted the IEDs revealed themselves from their hiding spots, two units of the Red Menace – Socialists – pounced on the hapless AL troops and opened fire at close range causing chaos and confusion ! One unit ran away (aided by a chance card)

The BUF under Major Campbell pounced (ponced?) in a lugubrious fashion with their French tin can finally getting into gear, and getting out of the way of the Nice South Africans. Just then a fog descended reducing shooting ranges and allowing the BUF through the gap…

AVBCW: A Royal Mitre Exchange 1

Fourteen gamers, three tables, and a shed load of troops. Yes, JP & I staged another Big Game following on from the Battle of Foy.

We had set up Table 1 (last post), we set up Table 2 on the day once Roo had delivered the wholly unexpected railway embankment sections which proved a real psychological barrier. Yours truely had to stand in for Roo in the morning due to Roo’s daughter’s Willy Wonka party so for once I actually got to “play”.

Table 3 was set up late as well once Byakhee Richard arrived with his gaming mat, and was set up as generic Herefordian countryside albeit with a defensive line for Sir Gilbert and the Anglican League.

Three tables all 8×6′. The hall just about had enough room, and tables to cope with this.

Leadboy, one of our newcomers set up on Table 2. At first no one twigged about the numerous post boxes, unmarked vans and bafrrellas littering the table, but it soon became apparent the dastardly Socilaists were planning to wreck the planned hand over of the captive Bishop of Hereford to the Anglican League. As you can see in the photo, the unmarked blue van was dangerously close to his forces and took a lot of effort to eradicate !

Mort’s Anglicans were well dug in.

The BUF under Baron Foy delpoy along with their Royalist allies.

All on Table 2.

Whilst on Table 1, the Royalist column moves in to deliver the Bishop as part of the deal.

On Table 3, the BUF deploy and move in to deliver Sir Gilberts a stern warning !

To be Continued…..

AVBCW: A Royal Mitre Exchange

Byhakees JP and I aided and abetted by Roo have started the set up for our Big Game for tomorrow.

Yup, another Big Game, I’ve hired the Village Hall, laid in external catering and have 14 gamers. So It’ll be quiet until late tomorrow when I should have lots and lots of piccies. 🙂

We set up 3 8×6 foot tables with some special terrain from Roo, and new stuff from me.
Things may be delayed because we have a curry and beer session afterwards in my newly renovated kitchen !

Rehearsals for Oblivion (Act 1)

Given the distraction of supervising the builders (overgrown children with power tools), I ordered and read another book of short stories on my favourite subject The King In Yellow (me).

This was a much richer set of stories than in “A Season in Carcosa“.

The stories reference oscar Wilde’s Dorian Grey, Gehenna, WW2.

Have you ever seen a flower drip blood, or watched the sky grow black and rained dead fish ?

Broadalbin (by John Scott Tynes) in particular reminds me of the Angel episode Are you now or ever been, set in a weird hotel.

People come here when they’re looking for something. For some of us, it takes a while to find it.

Melonia.

I spotted a scarecrow, it was a bulky, low figure whose assemblage of rags flapped in the wind.

Eerily, we’ll have scarecrows in the AVBCW game on the 8th March…so maybe a SAN test for all the players who have heard of the King In Yellow ?
😉

Also it includes “The Adventure of the Yellow Sign” featuring Sherlock Holmes & Dr Watson, and of course Holmes has read (part of) the iconic play and keeps it next to de Quincy’sConfessions of an English Opium Eater“.

Helpfully (?) translations into several more foreign languages are provided for the title of the play.

Gaze not too long on the Pallid Mask,
Or the Yellow King, for mercy ask.

This is a must have book.