Friday, 3 March 2017

Beachhead - A VBCW battle report

Good Evening Folks

As my last two posts will testify the Shed has already seen two games so far this year – our Frostgrave Monster Crawl and an ECW Pike & Shotte battle. Last night we kept up the impetus with a Very British Civil War Game using the Bolt Action Ruleset.

As you can see from the pictures below I pushed out on the layout – a coastline complete with quaint village and industrial area.

Picturesque Sea Front
Not so picturesque - its called progress

View from Industrial area to Village

The Background (please note that this is entirely fictitious)

Over the last few months the Fascist forces of Sir Oswald Mosley have been pushing south down the A3 Portsmouth road and following their successful capture of the royal Dockyards at Portsmouth turned their attention to the Anglican stronghold on the Isle of White.

The Dock yard
In the early hours of a spring morning the Fascist forces launched a surprise attack on the village of Cowes. Their advance forces quickly seized the beach head and waited in anticipation for the second wave to cross the Solent. However the weather in the channel turned nasty and this spear head was quickly isolated from the mainland. All they could do was to hunker down and wait for the storm to abate. The Fascist forces spread their forces out along the coastline facing inland waiting for the inevitable counter attack.

As the background describes the Fascist forces have already landed and are now defending the beach head. Their objective to simply hold fast until reinforcements could arrive. We agreed that if the Fascist troops could hold out by the end of the gaming evening they would be declared the winners. Of course the Anglican forces on the island were not going to take this lying down and had a counter attack plan in place.

The Forces were evenly matched with John & Mark K leading the Fascist defence, Mark F and myself would lead the Anglican counter attack. We typically find that with each player commanding 8-10 units the game can be concluded in an evening session

Fascist Forces – these were deployed on the table 12-18 inches in from the coast

Grey Dice – Village Deployment

1 X Panzer Mk1 (armour 7, LT AT Gun, MMG)
1 X Armoured Car (armour 7, MMG, LT AP )
1 X Medium Mortar & Observer
1 X Grew Served MMG
1 X Light AT Gun
4 X Rifle Squads (six men strong)
1 X Command
Black Dice – Industrial Area
1 X Panzer Mk1
1 X T17 ( armour 7, LT AT Gun, MMG)
1 X Observer
1 X Sniper
1 X Crew Served MMG
4 X Rifle Squads
1 X Command

The beachhead commander inspects his forces
Looks a bit like Balamory ...Sir

The Anglican Forces – these could enter any point on the table opposite the Coast

Green Dice (Anglican Regulars) – started opposite Village
2 X FT 17 (armour 7, LT AT Gun, MMG)
6 X Rifle Squads
1 X Crew Served MMG
1 X Medium Mortar & Observer
! X Command

Red Dice ( Postal Brigade) – split entrance village & industrial area
1 X Big Tank (Big Red) Armour 8, LT AT Gun, 2 X MMG turrets)
1 X Half Track (Armour 7, MMG)
1 X LT AT Gun & Tow
3 X Rifle Squads
1 X Medium Mortar & Observer
1 X Crewed Served MMG
1 X Command

The dockyard and industrial area
Canal Crossing

How did it play…

Once the Fascist forces had deployed the Anglicans were free to enter the table anywhere along the back edge of the table – my postal Brigade forces would attempt to pin down the opposing units ion the industrial area whilst Mark would assault the defences from the Rail Line. Our first units moved on.

The first Anglican unit to appear was my Postal Brigade Half Track - it crawled into the dockyard area and opened fire on the Fascist MG on the power station - a rapid burst of fire sent the loader into heaven.

Before the unit could get out of dodge the Blackshirts armour swung round the dockside buildings and Kaboom !!

The second unit on was Big Red - with his double MG turret he riddled the lighthouse with bullets taking down the fascist sniper !

He didn't last long !

Mean whilst Mark had advanced his armour along the rail line and made short work of the Panzer 1 defending the church grounds

With the armour taken out he pushed up his infantry under smoke (delivered in the wrong place by the enemy)

The Anglican assault was full speed ahead with the bunker (facing the church a key target) - fortunately is was undefended and quickly secured)

Using the rail line walls as cover Marks forces advanced forward - the enemy mortar observer in the church was taking a keen interest in their advances. Within seconds the medium mortar was delivering some devastating and accurate fire. 

With the pill box taken the Anglican troops poured fore into the eastern end of the church quickly dispatching the hidden forces. Mark then through the full weight of fire against the MG and observer hiding in the tower

By now my advancing forces into the Dockyard were having a torrid time - the half track had been destroyed and two thirds of my infantry gunned down by the black shirts.

The Fascists started to push forwards. 

The Anglican village forces continued creeping along the rail line - intent on securing the houses facing the coastline

mean whilst back in the docks the Fascist had finished mopping up the Postal Brigade resistance

Their next target was to get across the bridges into the village - this was not going to be easy. Postie had set up an MMG in the general store (building to left of pub) and on the wharf side lurked Big Red.

What was left of Posties brigade had joined the fight in the village and a vicious close quarter battle was raging across the back gardens.

By now Marks Armour was engaging with the Fascist AT gun - rounds were exchanged and despite their cover the gun soon fell silent to a barrage of mortar fire

With the AT Gun out the way the Anglican troops surged forward through the memorial garden - Ambush. A section of hidden fascists in the school house opened fire at pointblank range 

The Anglicans died to a man but the Fascists had given away their position. Mortar rounds landed on the school building disintegrating it in a weight of high explosives

Big Red was now supported by the Postal Brigade artillery - nobody was coming across these bridges !

Trying to wrest back the initiative on the wharf side the Fascist Armoured car trundled along the docks a popped out behind the pub to take a pot shot at Big Red - he fired, he hit but the rounds just bounced off the armour. However one round managed to immobilise Big Red. 

Scuttling back the armoured car tried to attack the weaker rear of Big Red - again he hit but his light guns failed to penetrate. The response was devastating as Big Red turned his turret...well you can guess the rest. 

Big Red then switched his attention to the Fascist forces pushing in from the docks. In successive turns the Pz ! and T17 were soon silenced 

With little or no fascist forces left in the village and the fascist forces in the docks deprived of all their armour the Anglican assault on removing the beachhead was deemed a success.

An Anglican FT17 stops for refueling after a hard fight 

The Isle of White remains in the Church of Englands hands

Until next time


  1. Great work Mr Shed impressive set up...particularly like the Harbour which has given me several ideas for my Sealion campaign 😀

  2. Lovely board Eric, really characterful and detailed. What a way to play your games :-)

  3. Awesome looking game. Well done sir!

  4. Fantastic looking terrain & lots of gaming goodness there!

  5. Smashing stuff! I really like the layout of the town and harbour.

  6. Great stuff as usual Mr. Shed.

  7. Awesome report. What a cracking looking table!

  8. I will echo the others in their admiration - one might almost call it adulation - of the board which you put out for play. Wonderful stuff! It sounds as if you had a good game, and a lot of fun, which is, of course, the whole point.