Sunday, 9 February 2014

VBCW The Stonehouse Farm Road Block- A Battle Report

Regular gaming Buddy Pulp Citizen and I managed to get together for a game of Very British Civil War. For a change we played Bolt Action, which is a new rules set for the both of us. Because we were using new rules we decided to keep the game small, and so we had just 450 points aside.

The Forces

I was The Manchester Legion of the  British Union of Fascists (BUF) , commanded by First Lieutenant Thompson.Thompson is an inexperienced officer keen to impress his captain, Captain Webster, with his competence. He had two experienced (Regular) infantry sections, a Vickers MMG and, to instil a little 'shock and awe' in the locals, a Vickers Light Tank MKIII.

Pulp Citizen was the Wirral Socialist Worker's Council (WSWC). They were commanded by Commissioner Lunn (a rank equal to First Lieutenant) Lunn was an experienced officer, having fought in the Siege of Liverpool.  He commanded and experienced MMG team, a 3" mortar team, a soviet trained sniper team, and three sections of green militia, dragged in to make up the numbers. One of these teams had been designated as 'tank hunters' and equipped with satchel charges, crowbars and molotovs.

The Missions 

The BUF have information that smugglers from the village of Frodsham are shipping in arms from the continent to supply to the WSWC forces in Helsby. On Captain Websters orders they have established a road block on the road in-between Helsby and Frodhsam, near Stonehouse Farm, and are stopping and searching any vehicals passing down the road. There are also rumours that they are charging a 'toll' to any passing travellers and, being Mancunians, filching goods off the local farmers. 

WSWC forces in Helsby are understandable incensed by the road block, which local hot-headed agitators have started to refer to as 'The Siege of Helsby'.
Lieutenant Lunn has gathered a force of the local militia, together with a few of his more experienced men, and is determined to drive off the BUF and 'lift the siege'.

Stonehouse Farm

The starting positions

Lieutenant Thompson's men manning the roadblock, with the terrifying visage of the Vickers Light Tank standing by. 

The WSWC MMG on the Crag- good sight-lines but too far away to hit anything without redeploying. 

Lunn and his tank hunters take up position in the woods. 
 The battle began in earnest when the BUF patrol in the field came under sniper fire- the WSWC sniper shot and killed the sections Lewis Gunner. The section dived into the broken ground for cover but to no avail- the sniper also took out the sections NCO too. 
The sniper was well dug in in the stones of the old ruins, and try as they might the BUF couldn't draw a bead on him. 

The BUF patrol dive for cover. 

WSWC Sniper- well dug in
 Lieutenant Thompson came under fire from the WSWC in the woods, and leapt over the hedge to hunker down, while ordering his men into Stonehouse Farm. The farmhouse proved to be an excellent defensive position with effective sight-lines across a wide area.  The Vickers MMG team moved up and set up their gun behind the road block- from their they could rain lead down on the militia in the woods, or coming up either road. Eliminating the infantry section in the Farmhouse became a priority for the WSWC militia.

Thompson directing his troops whilst 'Down' behind a hedge.

The BUF Vickers MMG Team at the roadblock  added serious fire-power to the BUF Force throughout the battle.
 Seeing the BUF parole pinned down by the sniper in the broken ground, Lunn ordered one of his militia units to advance, and finish them off. Unfortunately for them the BUF Vickers Light Tank spotted them and entered the field to support the infantry. The tanks machine-guns proved decisive,and the militia unit found itself pinned down in open, and eventually destroyed, by the withering fire from the tank. The tank was screened from the bulk of the WSWC by the worker's cottages, and the WSWC had nothing that could penetrate the tanks armour on  this flank, giving the tank commander free reign. 

The Tank is King!

The WSWC continues to exchange shots across the street with the BUF section in the Farmhouse
 The militia lost the momentum of their attack, as the BUF section in the farmhouse, and the MMG team at the roadblock continued to poor fire into the woods, effectively pinning the militia, while the tank chewed up the flank. Suddenly the WSWC 3" mortor zeros in on the Farmhouse, and begin firing 'for effect'- the section in the farmhouse start taking a pounding. The BUF section fight on, but as the shells start getting more accurate they can do little but keep their heads down and exchange a few shots. The WSWC MMG team move up to support the advance,and suddenly things don't look so rosie for the BUF in the farm. 

The BUF patrol hunkered down in the broken ground decide enough is enough, fix bayonets and charge across the field towards the sniper. Miraculously the sniper, shocked by their sudden momentum, fails to hit them as they advance. 

Bayonets fixed!

The WSWC loose their momentum

The BUF extract bloody revenge on the snipers
 The mortar team continue to drop shells inside the farmhouse- turning the once safe haven into a bloody death-trap. The entire BUF section is destroyed. With that section gone, there is nothing stopping the WSWC militia from occupying the Farmhouse- and using its excellent sight lines to pour fire onto the MMG and Thompson command section. Thompson was killed outright when he tried to drive the WSWC section out of the farmhouse, and the MMG was destroyed by the militia unit in the farmhouse. 

Thompson tries to drive the Militia back out of the farmhouse

The BUF on the flank, having finished with the sniper, take up position in the workers cottages, and open fire on the militia in the woods from very close range, while the Vickers tank cuts down the mortar team and kills the WSWC Platoon Sargent. The 'tank hunter' unit is all but destroyed- only three remain,and they are pinned down, but despite this, Lunn manages to inspire them to attack, and they assault the tank, hurling molotovs into the engines- and destroying the tank!

The remaining BUF section in the worker's cottages, upon seeing their tank destroyed, decide discretion is the better part of valour, and withdraw, conceding the field. 

Commisioner Lunn might have driven the BUF off and lifted 'the siege', but at a terrible cost- most of his platoon were killed or seriously injured, including the majority of his more experience men- fighting had been fierce and bloody!

The Vickers tank flanks the WSWC attack and destroys the mortar team- one of the units that could threaten it. 

My VBCW inspired dice mug

Bolt action turned out to be a great rules set for VBCW, and it was very easy to adapt the game to suit the setting. Both Pulp Citizen and I  really enjoyed the game, and are looking forward to trying it with bigger forces very soon. 


Simon Quinton said...

Great game report. There was plenty of action and it seemed very bloody! Great looking table and forces. I shall certainly look forward to seeing more of this in future.

JP Price said...

Up the workers! Nice AAR mate!

Si said...

Cracking stuff. Some cardstock buildings. Who makes the terraced cottages & the stone barn? Cheers.

Rob Bresnen said...

Glad you like them.

I made the cottages using a program I got online, unfortunately I can't remember it's name. The stone house is form Dave's Games and is available as a free download.