Friday 14 January 2011

VBCW Skirmish in Frodsham

This week Leon and I fought our first battle (well two battles) of our 1938: A Very British War (VBCW) Campaign. Our campaign is centered around the goings on in Wirral and Cheshire.
The Wirral is a peninsula that juts out into the Irish Sea between the rivers Dee and Mersey, and it holds a great deal of tactical importance to the siege of Liverpool. The Liverpool Free State (the Socialist lead government of the now independent city of Liverpool) is battling the forces of the Royalists and the British Government (in the form of the Manchester Legion of the British Union Of Fascists).
The Wirral is of great importance because its farms produce food for the besieged forces of Liverpool, while it’s industry (e.g., Birkenhead’s Shipyards, Ellesmere Port’s Chemical and cement factories) help the Liverpool Free State (LFS) maintain its control over the city.
The LFS controls most of the Wirral, but in the south of the peninsular Royalist forces from Chester and Manchester contest their control. Siege lines are drawn up between Ellesmere Port and Chester, and the Royalists know that if they can take the Wirral then the will be able to tighten their siege on the city of Liverpool.
Our opening battle was a skirmish between two patrols, around the town of Frodsham. Frodsham is a small town north of Delemere Forest. As neither the Royalists nor the LFS have a presence in the town it has become a haven for spies, smugglers, refugees and profiteers. Sergeant Major Ramsey, of the BUF was leading a patrol of twenty members through the farms on the outskirts of Frodham, when he encountered a similar sized patrol of Socialist Militia, lead by the Spanish Civil War veteran Juan Caballero (some time poet, some time painter, lover and fighter).

The Socialists seized the initiative and raced off to occupy the farmhouse. They use their van as a roadblock to stop the BUF outflanking them.

The BUF, slower to respond, skirted their way around the outskirts of the farm.
Sustained fire from the Socialists forced the BUF to skulk in cover, but Sergeant Major Ramsey managed to keep his squad moving, dashing from one patch of cover to the next. A lucky round of shooting from Ramsey and his men saw Juan Caballero go down, along with most of his squad, swinging the odds in the favour of the BUF. This allowed the BUF chance to regroup and press on. The Socialists move into the farmyard, seeking to push the BUF out of cover. Ramsey took a gamble, charging his squad into the open to counter the Socialists in the farmyard. Shots were exchanged at close range, and although Ramsey’s squad lost a couple of men, they all but wiped the Socialists out, forcing them to withdraw. The BUF capture the farm and some prisoners. The wounded Juan Caballero escapes with the remnants of his force in their vans.
This was a very basic battle, designed more to get us both familiar with the rules we were using that to test our metal. For the rules set we opted for FUBAR, a free downloadable game designed for demonstration games and alike. As such the FUBAR rules are very simple and quick to learn. They are printed on a single page of A4 paper. We felt that the rules performed well enough, but that they would be better if there were more squads involved. Also, because there is no points based system in the game, we felt that the BUF’s slight superiority in firepower games them a tactical advantage. (Although I was spooky-lucky when I rolled seven 6s on fifteen dice for shooting, mowing down the best part of a Socialist squad).

1 comment:

tim said...

Great report and wonderful minis! Thanks for sharing!