AVBCW: Big Game 2015 03 14 Part 1

Yes, JP, Roo & I held another AVBCW Big Game – we’ve now been doing this for four years. We had two tables (each 6×10′) set up. I’ll concentrate on the table I was playing on for the first couple of postings.

Breinton Bridge

At the northern end of the Golden Valley control of this bridge was being contested between the rebels and the Royalists, as it is on the way to the market town of Hay-on-Wye.

Roo did us up some new river sections, rest of the secenery is the stuff I have churned out over the last few years.

My Malvern Hills Conservators (led by Sir Ed Ward-Glear) set up, along with Captain Arrowmsith’s (Richard) BUF tank and…pepperpot…
Our third ally was Tym’s forces.

More BUF infantry deploy. As the table edges qwere split in two, the three of us loyalists opted for the MHC and BUF to deploy on the western edge of the river, with Tym deploying pretty much alone on the eastern river bank. Our goal was to seize the bridge ASAP, occupy the cottage, and block both of the road junctions.

Gavin (as the Reverend Captain Verity of the Anglican League), deployed his Anglicans on the eastern bank of the river.

Clive (as the Bishop of Ludlow), deployed his forces including the awesome scratch built rocket launchers.
Both sides advanced.

The Bishop of Ludlow’s forces advanced with trucks pulling hand break turns to act as cover ! Behind the trucks, the rocket launchers prepareed for their first salvo.

Meanwhile the BUF forces, raced towards the bridge – the BUF’s tank ignored the Bishop of Ludlow’s forces leaving them to the pepperpot and the MHC. Arrowsmith’s cavalry occupied the road, whilst his infantry and command squad occupied the cottage and bridge.

Verity’s Anglicans move through the woods aiming to flank the bridge.

Meanwhile, Sir Gilbert’s LDV roar forward in their trucks and improvised contraptions !
(NB: Doug’s last game was hampered when he pulled a random event card reducing everything to mud and his vehicle column got bogged down for virtually the entire game – this time he was luckier)

And Sir Gilbert’s supporters the WI mounted the crest…of the hill…

Tym’s Royalist column arrives – lots of Crossley’s filled with…more women !
Is there something we don’t know about the women of H’ford ?

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 !

AVBCW 2013 04 13 The Second Battle of Much Marcle II

As Umpire I left this table much to its own as JP is well versed in the game, but I kept an ear out for events. This table seemed to be overwhelmed with lucky strikes by mortar rounds that deviated from intended targets onto other unfortunates.

The approach to the cider factory – an apple orchard and a long road…

JP’s Anglican’s move through the orchard, and his newly purchased tankettes advance along the road.

Gav A’s Anglicans under Rev Verity march across open ground fronted by their Sutton Skunk armoured tractor.

The Anglicans close in on Weston’s Cider Factory woith the SA Rugby Team On Tour defending and the locals are….to the rear…

The Skunk gets up close and personal to the SA Rugby Team On Tour !

The Rev Verity leads his troops forward.

With style, JP’s Anglicans jump over the stile… (sorry)…

The Reverend Verity and the command squad get hit by yet another stray mortar round and are wiped out !

The Royalist and BUF forces held out, just.

However, the Anglicans prevented them supporting the counter attack at the Radio Transmitter. This resulted in a moral/technical victory for the Anglicans on Table 2.

As a result, the BUF are in control of the Radio Transmitter on the Much Marcle Ridge, but have only a tenuous supply line to the site.

maybe the next scenario is: A Ridge Too Far

AVBCW 2013 04 13: The Battle of Much Marcle Ridge II

The full table, with the western edge of the ridge on the right hand side – a steep and wooded hill side leading up to the top of the ridge, whilst the eastern side was slightly less steep and open with fields and a farm.

The Anglicans and their allies deployed on the steep slope, the BUF on the other side. Both were hampered by difficult terrain halving movement, and restricting lines of sight, so cards were deployed (including blinds) to simulate the fog of war.
The first units are revealed – BUF cavalry under Captain Arrowsmith.

Flanking the ridge, a BUF HMG and an Anglican unit square off.

The first fight for the Transmitter sees the Anglicans pushed back – just – after the BUF manage to shell their own troops by mistake. The Anglicans had planted bombs in the farmhouse and barn. The bomb in the farmhouse failed to go off, which was just as well for the BUF as a command squad and a unit of spotters would have been wiped out otherwise. The bomb in the barn went off giving the BUF some propaganda.
Meanwhile the Anglicans and BUF are slowly exposed.

The BUF cavalry attempt a charge and fail (by an inch).

The Anglican HMG and Field Gun are finally revealed.

The BUF sniper shot at and failed to kill the Bishop, due to the Medics rule, but subsequently shot a Vicar (NCO).

Both sides stalled, neither wishing to commit troops over the ridge, but the BUF had troops in the transmitter’s area, had outflanked the Anglicans and so won the game. Had it gone on longer…

Best bits:

  • The Sniper shooting the Bishop…only for the Medic rule to save him
  • The Bombs going off – a real shock for the BUF
  • The spotting rules – the Veteran BUF spotted the Anglicans early on, much to their shock even though they were in woodland – a lucky roll, but within the rules.

Bad bits:

  • I should have ruled more decisively on the ridge and spotting rules
  • The WTDW rules were ambiguous on a number of cavalry related rules
  • Tym rolled abysmally for the “to kill” rolls, about one wound in 17 to hit rolls which really hit the Anglicans’ chance of success

Next time round for the game “A Ridge too Far“, I will simplify the spotting rules and ensure that they are written down, that all players have read them beforehand, and dedicate a good 30 minutes to explaining them to the confused and befuddled players.

AVBCW 2013 04 13: The Battle of Much Marcle Ridge I

Incoming News Reports from Much Marcle !

Loyal British subjects of HRH King Edward will be heartened to hear that BUF elements under the command of Captain Arrowsmith have thwarted a dastardly plan by disloyal criminal elements in Herefordshire.

Their assault on the Radio wireless transmitter at the top of Much Marcle Ridge were defeated.

In addition, these disloyal criminal elements recklessly planted bombs in the local farmhouse and adjacent barn in an attempt to cause death and injury to Captain Arrowsmith who was temporarily billetted at the farm, his staff with absolutely no regard for farmer Giles and his extensive family of cats. (Domestic cats, not large felines like Abysinnian Lions, which are still at large near the Malverns)

Luckily the bomb in the farmhouse planted by these shoddy amateurs failed to explode, but the one planted in the barn did explode.

Farmer Giles, who had only recently renovated the barn was dismayed to see it go up in flames, along with many poor innocent new lambs who were burnt to death alive in the raging inferno.

Asked what he thought of the Anglicans and their allies, he wisely articulated the phrase that they should:

Get orf moi land

…whilst brandishing a shotgun. (Reporters assume it was only accidentally being waved at them)

A whip round amongst the BUF troops raised enough money for a job lot of mint sauce to ensure the roast lamb did not go to waste.

More details to follow.

Meanwhile reports are coming in of a simultaneous assault on the Westons Cider brewery…