I was away at the weekend at Kirriemuir in Angus for a 28mm Very British Civil War game staged by the League of Gentlemen wargamers. Over the 2 days 13 gamers attended. The game was set up over five 12ft to 16ft long tables 6 feet wide representing the UK from a line between Dumfries to Berwick on Tweed down to a line between Preston and Whitby. Colin Jack developed the scenario, campaign rules and provided the majority of the troops and much of the scenery.There were 13 players, 3 Scottish (who proved not to be allied), 5 BUF including the GPO, 2 Anglican League, 2 Albertine and the Independent Red Republic of Hartlepool. Any messages sent between players after the first turn had to be handed to Kevin who controlled the GPO who delivered them - possibly.
Towns, cities and resource centres provided revenue to their occupiers at the end of each turn. This was used to buy new units, rebuild under-strength units and for fuel for aircraft. There was also a "Kingmaker" aspect with various personalities including four potential monarchs, Edward, Albert, Elizabeth + Bonnie Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria. The winning player was the one who held the most cities, towns and personalities at the end of the game boosted by their unspent resource points. For the tactical part of the game we used Bolt Action 1st edition with some elements on the 2nd edition. We also used simplified rules for aircraft. These are listed later.
|BUF advance on Penrith|
|Grenadier guards take my farm|
|BUF airpower - FIAT CR32|
It was a truly enjoyable colourful weekend and the campaign rules developed by Colin worked well and were easily picked up by all the players. The highlight of the game was a long desperate struggle for control of Newcastle. The BUF garrison (James) held onto the city almost to the end of the game wiping out 14 units from the combined forces of the Bishop of Durham (Chris) and Captain Herring (Chris) of the Republic of Hartlepool. My highlight was beating back an attack on Penrith by the BUF forces from Carlisle (Tim) and Newcastle (James). They captured my resource farm but my US Volunteers valiantly retook it driving out the Grenadier Guards in their dress uniforms.
The winner was Keiron the wily Archbishop of York whose forces overran the entire southern table.Here is my personal briefing as one of the two Albertines.
ROYALIST INVASION FORCES OF ALBERT, DUKE OF YORKBrigadier Gilchrist
You command one of the two Expeditionary forces whose task is to defeat the
Government Forces, place Albert on the throne and form a new government. In this you may be aided by the Scots and by the Anglican League. Captain Herring and his "Red Bretheren" of Hartlepool Fishermen are also possible allies but perhaps rather unlikely ones. Just how they will respond to Monarchists remains to be seenYou support Churchill for Prime Minister rather than Halifax.
Your troops have been landing on the west coast and concentrating in theLake District. Expeditionary forces have established HQs at Penrith and Lancaster
Here are the 2nd edition Bolt Action elements that we used with the 1st edition.COMMANDS
Pins do not affect rallying tests.
Units that stay down lose d3 pins.
CLOSE COMBATPins are not removed but do not have any effect on the combat.
SHOOTING/BUILDINGSGuns firing direct at buildings do not suffer any cover modifiers.
Small arms firing at buildings/gun shields kill on 1 worse than normal rather than only on a 6.
Troops who are down are a -2 to hit by direct fire.
Despite their looks all aircraft are the same. Aircraft have a 48" movement.Each plane can take 10 damage points
Dogfights - each plane rolls a d6; higher score has the advantage and rolls a second d6; a draw means planes are head to head and both roll a d6Score of 1-5 indicates damage caused; on a 6 roll again 1-4 plane driven back to base 5,6 pilot killed.
Aircraft are destroyed when damage points reach zeroAircraft can attack ground targets counting as a moving MMG
3 kills makes an Ace. Aces get +1 to their initial d6 roll.
All my photos with brief descriptions are on Flickr at https://flic.kr/s/aHsmeBaXBk
Tim Watson has written a more detailed account of the action on his blog at
Tim Watson has written a more detailed account of the action on his blog at
|BUF Morris dancers counter-attacking in Newcastle - note cavalry support hobby horse|
|Last words of a BUF personality|
Outline of the VBCW
Historically, when Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin gave Edward VIII the ultimatum that if he wished to marry Wallis Simpson he would have to abdicate or else the government would resign, Edward chose Wallis over the monarchy. In this alternative history, Edward decides to call Baldwin's bluff and the government does resign. Faced with the fury of the Church of England, the opposition parties refuse to form a new government. Churchill, ever the opportunist, makes concerted attempts to achieve some sort of compromise but fails.In the end the only person prepared to form a government is Sir Oswald Mosley and his British Union of Fascists. The BUF have a large following in and around London and also in Manchester and various other areas throughout England. They do not, however have any real mandate to govern the country.
Before very long the new government finds it very difficult to govern as protests break out all over the country. The police are unable to cope and the armed forces are reluctant to accept government orders. Responses differ according to location, sometimes troops follow government orders, sometimes they side with the protesters, sometimes they do nothing. Auxiliary police units are hurriedly raised in an attempt to maintain order.In the armed forces desertion is at an all-time high as soldiers head home to protect their families. Meanwhile, in Scotland, to avoid being drawn into the Civil War the border has been closed. The BUF have virtually no following in Scotland, partly because such fascists as there were have been swept up by other political parties, and partly because the BUF are pro-Italy they are also seen as pro-Catholic. The BUF have failed to understand the sectarian nature of much of Scotland. Communism was the problem here but the Red Clydeside revolts and protests were put down by the army and the ringleaders jailed. Scotland now has its own Republican government with SNP leader Thomas Trout as the First Minister.
Here is my personal briefing as one of the two Albertine players.
ROYALIST INVASION FORCES OF ALBERT, DUKE OF YORK
Brigadier GilchristYou command one of the two Expeditionary forces whose task is to defeat the
Government Forces, place Albert on the throne and form a new government. In this you may be aided by the Scots and by the Anglican League. Captain Herring and his "Red Bretheren" of Hartlepool Fishermen are also possible allies but perhaps rather unlikely ones. Just how they will respond to Monarchists remains to be seen
You support Churchill for Prime Minister rather than Halifax.
Your troops have been landing on the west coast and concentrating in theLake District. Expeditionary forces have established HQs at Penrith and Lancaster.
VBCW CAMPAIGN NOTES
All players start with an HQ, 4 infantry units and one support unit but 2 BUF players (TW & JR have 2 armoured lorries with LMG)Starting units have a leader and an LMG. Assume all others armed with rifles.
Support units can be an MMG or Medium mortar or AT gun as available. All with 3 crew (however depicted)
BUF 2 Regular and 2 Inexperienced1 Regular may be substituted with a) Veteran Grenadier Guards
1 Inexperienced may be substituted withb) Inexperienced Assault unit with SMGs
Anglicans and Albertines 2 Regular and 2 InexperiencedScots 1 Veteran, 1 Regular and 2 Inexperienced
Independent 2 Regular and 2 Inexperienced
Additional units or reinforcements can be purchased (if available) as follows at your own or an allied base.Units of 8 to 12 Inexperienced men with rifles can be purchased for 1RP per figure
Units can be upgraded to Regular for 1RP per man or to Veteran for 2RP per man
Additional upgrades may be purchased (if available) as follows:
Officer 2RPs Units without officers are -1 for Morale
SMG, 1 per unit only not Inexperienced 3RPs
LMG, 1 per unit only 4RPsHorse for cavalry units 2RPs
Additional support weapons and vehicles may be purchased (if available) as follows:
MMG, Mortar, ATG; 1 per 3 units only 5RPs + 3 crew 3RP (Inexperienced)/6RP (Regular)/9RP (Veteran)
Field gun counting as light howitzer 10RPs + 3 crew 3RP (Inexperienced)/6RP (Regular)/9RP (Veteran)
Armoured car 10RPs
Cities produce 2 Resource Points (RPs) per turn, Towns 1 RPRPs may also be found at various Resource Centres (factories, farms, etc.)
These have a finite number of RPs represented by playing cards.Aircraft may be found at airfields but fuel will require RPs
AFVs will also require fuel if they venture far away from an allied base"Wounded" figures will be returned to their base for incorporation in unit being built
Inexperienced units which win a Close Combat will be upgraded to Trained
Test all casualties on d6; 1-3 dead; 4-6 wounded. A Medic included in the player force gives +1 to dice roll
|Furious bloodbath at Newcastle - BUF armour aflame|
|Scots searching for the Sword in the Stone|
|Royal train blown up on way to Coronation at York|