AVBCW: Big Game Hereford 27th September 2014

Byakhee JP & I are planning our next Big Game, provisionally 27th September. So if you’re interested send me a post a comment and I’ll get back to you.

JP has posted the basic details on his blog.

As you will read, its about the Golden Valley Railway, so yet more railway induced madness. The initial plan is for two tables.

The first is the very obvious fight over a railway station.

I bought the Sarrisa Wild West station, ostensibly for the BoB game, but it didn’t arrive until the preceeding Friday lunchtime, and with all the other stuff needing to be done I decided not to try building it in a hurry. Having jogged my memory, I’ve just taken a look at it, and my decision was spot on. It’s not terribly complicated but it is going to be a bugger to put together. It’s a nice generic wooden railway station, which a few appropriate British railway signs will fit the bill for what we need.

The second table will be a more generic table with forces fighting for the railway line. Roo has volunteered to do a special bit of terrain for us – and this time with more time to do so he’s hoping to get the soil colour right. 😉

AVBCW: Of Men & Mice

Of Men

In support of my LDV, and probably very useful for a new faction I am going to work on, here is the LDV section I found and finished painting this week:

Details of the new faction are here, which I’ll expand on, including where the picture and name of the character came from.

All the figures are by Musketeer and feature more Workers Militia and Bandits than my other LDV units.

Of Mice

I hear the pitiful cries of Black Jack outside the front door and let him in, somehow he is able to meow whilst holding a new friend in his mouth, he drops new friend, and new friend heads for cover.

Several hours later after BlackJack losing him, the new friend re-appears.

Clawed moves in for 45 minutes waiting for the mouse to come out to play…

AVBCW: Clipping Hedges

For our second game of Chain of Command, we re-arranged the table, and added the em-4 barn.

Clipping Hedges

Old farmer Arthur Webley has been clipping hedges, but he’s also been clipping some of the gun runners of their goods as payment to cross his land. As a result he’s amassed a goodly load of weapons.

Both the BUF and Anglican League don’t want these weapons falling into the wrong hands.

We commenced the Patrol phase.

My BUF deployed well I initially thought.

JP’s Anglicans popped up very close and a ferocious firefight ensued.

Then JP deployed his tankette – he had subtley altered his army list.

I seemed to be winning the firefight. All our troops were “green”, i.e. rubbish…except I had bought an upgrade to this unit and they were “regulars”, so my shooting wazs better, and they weren’t using the covers as well as I was. Even so both sides started building up shock markers at a…shocking…rate (sorry). 😉

Then he brought on another unit which more than evened the odds…

And a third…

And brought the tankette up, which was armed with an HMG (10 shots…). Unsuprisingly having finished off one of his units, damaged a second but with no way of harming the tankette, my regulars made a quick sharp exit ! This left that flank undefended, and my jump off points exposed.

My central section streamed into the barn – yes the doors are moveable, which on retrospect was a hideous egotistical mistake…

…because my thrid section on my left flank got caught out be an impetuous advance by his third unit who wiped them out in two rounds of shooting.

Even pulling the central unit out of the barn and forming a firing line couldn’t save them.

The tankette was now coming round behind the barn. This left my central section trapped in a pincer movement, with no escape routes. I therefore conceded the game. I had lost because I ahd become fixated with the barn, and by entering it had effectively (as Jp put it) taken a section off the board. In this set of rules, and probably most others you need your troops shooting, not marvelling at architectural excellence ! Occupying terrain features is one thing, driving off the enemy is more important. Other lessons learnt will be in the next posting on the rules.

We resolved to run our next game, with the BUF holed up in the barn needing to be rescued.

AVBCW: Chain of Command Patrol

Byakhee JP has acquired the relatively new rues set Chain of Command by Too Fat Lardies which is a set of rules covering skirmishes in WW2, so near enough the AVBCW (1938). I’ll cover the rules in a posting later, as I had the most sketchiest of introductions and no time to read the rules beforehand so currently only have a 5 hours of gaming to comment on !

The Patrol Scenario

The basic engagement scenario…
Following the events at The Bridge Over the Wye, both sides are taking stock and carefully probing to find each other’s lines on south central Herefordshire’s rolling countryside.

We set the table up – we were playing at JP’s gaff, and there is Evidence(TM) that my ulterior motive in giving him scenery is working as I only had to take a couple of boxes worth of stuff. 😉

the game started with the partol phase, where essentially we probe forward and scout out the enemy’s position. This then determines where the “jump off” points are – where our forces can deploy, so no fixed zones of control exist and this is as tactical as any other rules system is when determining how you set up if not more so. Each of uas had 30 men plus a small command section. the board was about two and a half foot wide by about three and a half foot long.

JP either got lucky with the board layout or was better and ended up controlling half the board straight off with units behind good cover. he then got lucky as he had two “rounds” one after the other when I did nothing – that’s the way the dice rolled.

However, he came off worse, when he rushed his Anglican troops forward and got shot up by my BUF. When the shooting started, the generic markers I’d bought came in handy. They soon mounted up and I was glad I’d bought 50 of each of them ! For bigger games you could probably do with yet more.

A firefight on my right resulted in me driving back the Anglicans, and a bunch of shotgun toting farmers were seen off on my left. This resulted in his morale dropping fast.

However, his local fox hunt cavalry penetrated into my centre and captured one of my (unused) jump off points resulting in my morale dropping as well !

But the cavalry were surrounded by two units and hightailed it away rapidly.

As did the shotgunners who were were massacred.

At which point his morale broke and he conceded defeat. The BUF were combing the countryside of traitors !

The game lasted from approx 11am to just after 1pm, so not long – this includes important interruptions from JP’s daughters and a nice lunch cooked by his wife. We then had a second game as we were now beginning to get the hang of the game mechanics and racing along !

BoB/AVBCW: Swedes !

A Very Moderate Swedish War caught my eye recently, with a new range of figures (Shiney stuff) supporting it.

The range so far has: a command unit; four infantry in Sewedish helmets; four infantry in Swedish kepi; four infantry in Sewedish tri-corns (really!). A great start but not enough for a meanignful platoon in the games we fight so I asked the owner if more were on the way, his response was:

He is doing an HMG, a 80mm mortar, another light machine gunner and a guy with a smg. Hopefully they will be released in the early autumn.

So here’s what I bought – a command unit, 2 sections with helmets, and a third with kepis. A few leftovers will be converted to standard bearers and medics shortly. A second LK II tank was also acquired to be fitted with an HMG to beef up the force.

So what can these figures be used for ?

Swedish Volunteers in the RCW: Over 300 Swedes volunteered to help out the Estonians in the RCW (“The Boys from the North” Ed by Lars Ericson). A picture is shown in the Osprey White Armies book where they are wearing Swedish helmets..

Hmm, looks like I can get an Austin in to the army as well with a Polar Bear head !

The Estonians were provided also with equipment from the general Russian armies, the British, and the Germans. So these figures can be integrated with many other units I already have,

The Aland Crisis
The Swedes did almost get involved in the RCW, the Aland islands midway between Sweden, Finland and the Baltics saw combat with Reds, Whites and Germans before the Sewdes intervened.

Altaernate histories
What if the Swedes directly became involved in either the late stages of WW1 or the RCW ? They could have been involved in the Finnish Civil War, the Estonian war of independence, or potentially the latvian war of independence.

The uniforms are also valid up until the 1930’s, as are the tanks (modified LK II) so I could use them in AVBCW…

Moose…Monty Python..stereotypical but still funny.

Monti Python ik den Holie Grailen
Roten nik Akten Di
Also wik
Also also wik
Wi not trei a holiday in Sweeden this yer ?

See the loveli lakes
The wonderful telephone system
And mani interesting furry animals
Including the majestic moose
A moose once bit my sister…
No realli! She was Karving her initials on the moose with the sharpened end
of an interspace toothbrush given her by Svenge – her brother-in-law – an
Oslo dentist and star of many Norwegian movies: “The Hot Hands of an Oslo
Dentist”,”Fillings of Passion”, “The Huge Molars of Horst Nordfink”…
Mynd you, moose bites Kan be pretti nasti…

As for llamas…stay tuned… 🙂

AVBCW: Big Game Hereford 2013 – Umpire notes

Phew ! JP and I did a lot of organising over several months to pull this event off. We got more of it right than we did for the first game in February 2012 (sadly not very well documented)…not least because JP’s wife and daughter had the temerity to be ill with chicken pox and he claimed he couldn’t make it – a feeble excuse methinks !

Before anything else I’d like to say thanks to all the players: Jim; Jon (JP); Mort; Rich; Rob; Roo; Tom and Tym.

This time round, whilst the booking of the Village Hall** was easy (and indeed is a great venue) we had to find a new caterer which took a week or so but turned out to be absolutely fantastic as she was using local butchers, bakers and other sources for the food at extremely good prices. She did provide the quote of the day after Rich had explained what game we were playing (AVBCW) about fascists:

I often lay awake at night and wonder how many fascists I know.

Moving on…

Then we had to think up some good “local” scenario based stuff, like the lions, the scarecrow, and most importantly the errant Bishop. Hmm, we should have had a tin-man !

Learning from the battle of Little Hereford, JP and I decided that the attackers of Ledbury (Royalist & BUF) should have more forces to offset the trenches and other defences the Anglicans and Socialists had.

Finally, we wanted a bit of drive or discipline, and so opted to force my own group’s house rules on the event. This went very well, and thanks Tom – you got it right you were following the house rules, no cr@p on the table, so thanks to all the gents as it was a nice clean table(s).

What didn’t work was our naive attempt to keep the two table in synchronisation. Mort warned us it wouldn’t work, and it didn’t. Having Table 2 with experienced players motoring on ahead, whilst Table 1 with several new players was left floundering in its wake. They soon speeded up though.

Mort mentioned putting together a checklist for doing these events and I think that is a good idea so we can share our experience of running large multi player games. This should cover both the logistics and the house rules of playing these Big Games.

This was the sponge dice Rich found when we were packing the tables and chairs away. It’s about 12″ diameter, and we wish we had found it earlier !

Here are some links to blogs attendees have produced:

JP, my co-conspirator Lots of material and photos of Table 2.

Rob, deviant socialist
More nice pictures.

Rich, fascist nutter (scroll down) Let’s Off Road ! Tank commander par excellance…

And finally, the full collection of my photos.

** With two visitors who turned up at the hall, and given this is a”Local Village Hall, for Local Villagers, and we’ll have no trouble here” my status as resident eccentric is now sealed…

AVBCW: Big Game Hereford 2013 – 2

Charge !

The Chance card pulled indicated the two commanders had met before and hated each other this caused the entire set of armies to collide with each other in the most massive brawl and hand to hand combat I (or anyone present) had seen in an AVBCW game.

The cavalry finally did what they are meant to do and charge into combat, and they caused a lot of damage. Though they were eventually ground don by the socialists in subsequent rounds of combat.

In the meantime, Table 2 had delivered a decisive result – victory for the Royalists and BUF – the telephone trilled on Table 1 weith the victorious Blackshorts on the line confirming victory and that they had not found the Bishop of Hdereford. Both sides in Table 1 did a hasty search of all remaining buildings and the Bishop was found…

In a privy, behind the Royalist/BUF lines !

As were the Twiggy Mommet protestors, who fought on outnumbered and distracted well over 20 BUF infantry. If it wasn’t for the other Chance Cards in play the extra BUF would have made victory even more crushing.

Roo’s SA Rugby squad, seeing the melee mistook it for a rugby scrum and piled in.

Jim’s Hot Rod (Steam Tank) faxced off agains the BUF’s Big Beast.

Whilst Tom’s Cavalry surged across the river outflanking Jim’s Anglican’s.
Even the late arrival of Mort’s fleeing troops could not stop the BUF and Royalists, who a couple of rounds later received reinforcements as Tym and JP’s troops arrived. The game was over, Ledbury was lost and the Bishop had been captured.

AVBCW: Big Game Hereford 2013 – 1

After a last minute line up change we got to the game. On Table 1 – we had two tables…

The BUF (Richard) and Royalists (Roo & Tom) massed their cavalry, some 40+.
Now Cavalry did not have a good track record in AVBCW games (note past tense)…

But when augmented with Tanks, and a few good dice rolls they stormed across the table towards the Anglican and Socialists. Though the BUF tank did blow up a building on the way over…

Whilst the Socialists from B’ham after rather placing thier car in a rather rakish position on the bridge suffered from the effects of a chance card that meant it was out of petrol. This seemingly small event went on to make a major impact on the game, as the broken down car was then shelled by the BUF tank, blown up and left wrecked on the bridge blocking it. It provided cover for Anglican bomb squads who attempted to blow up the BUF super tank later as it crossed the stream.

Meanwhile the Socialist NCO checked out the wrecked car..and found that it had contained the Bishop of Hereford, who had now escaped and was somewhere on one of the two tables…capturing the Bishop would be a major issue for both sides.

Elsewhere, the Anglicans had sent forward a unit across the stream. Screams were heard across the fields, and the survivors later claimed that they had found an Abyssinian Lion in the bushes that attacked them. Both the Anglican troops who claimed to be attacked, and the Royalists moving towards them made these claims, but to date no reliable photographic evidence has been shown. It is suspected that a domestic house cat or two was responsible for clawing a few ankles.

The staff of Emperor Hailie Sellasie have declined to comment on the whereabouts of his highness’ pet lions.

With the Royalists and BUF approaching the bridge, the Socialists called up their reserves !

With both their lead car and motorised tachanka out of action (kaput), the socialists retreated as per orders whilst the BUF and Royalists targeted them with mortars and tank guns. Luckily for the socialists the BUF super tank managed to get stuck trying to cross a hedge which bought them some time. However, spies in their midst, fog and other adverse chance cards really hindered them and they were not able to mount a decent defence.

Having loped off the head of the scarecrow that was taunting them (it was dressed up in BUF uniform), the BUF cavalry cantered on, leaving in their wake some very annoyed Twiggy Mommet protesters who turned their scythes, pitchforks and shotguns on the unfortunate BUF infantry.

Breakthrough !

The BUF supertank crosses not only the hedge, but the stream !
Thbis was the beginning of the end for the Anglicans and Socialists. With the tank across, and seemingly immune to the tank killers of the Anglicans who made a brave effort, the ATR squad mown down by BUF cavalry, the tide turned against them.

However, the Anglicans went down fighting, the Royalists assaulted the immobilised tanks (known as the Hot-Rod), but the Anglican commander raced to the rescue and valiantly fought off the Royalists.

And then a Chance card through everything up in to the air. It turned out the commanders were old enemies and basically everyone had a grudge against each other…CHARGE…

To be continued…


With inclement weather preventing varnishing and taking photos, and a pending cold, I’ve done a bit of housekeeping on the site, re-organising the pages/menu, adding a new one on AVBCW, and tweaking a few things in the background, as is the wont of a webmaster.

The Cats page has also been updated.

Weathering of Weathertop continues with all the separate pieces done, only the large base remaining to be done. Now that’s used up 2 bottles of Devlan Mud, and one of Thrakka Green already !