Friday, 5 September 2014

Operation Woodchip - A VBCW Scenario

Last Monday saw a big VBCW game in the Shed to welcome a couple of new visitors..

These two new visitors both live in my vicinity (the furthest less than 500 yards from my house) but by chance they discovered my blog.

A pub meet followed and realising that we were all sane chaps an invite to the shed was extended.

In this game I set up the table to represent another part of leafy surrey....

Looking West to East
The following is the mission briefing given to the Attacking BUF players. Please feel to plagiarise this.
Operation Woodchip - BUF Briefing
The BUF are slowly spreading their grip across the South East but an enclave of Anglican troop s and local militia forces are firmly entrenched and dug in around the hamlet of Upper Snatch.

The BUF commanders mission is simple eradicate this resistance.
Your forces have been split into two flying columns approaching from both the east and west of the village. To the east you must cross the Surrey canal and to the West lies the river Wey. Authority has been given to the local commanders to determine your best course of action.

The Western Road Bridge over the river Wey and ruined abbey

The surrey canal - there was a foot bridge on the left hand side

Your troops are designated as Veterans – ie they save on a 5+
Air support is potentially available – each turn roll d6 (on a six you may potentially call in an aircraft). You are limited to two air support missions.

Artillery support is also available (one guaranteed mission).
Please note your observers must be able to see the targets – if the observers are killed you lose the opportunity of these.

Your western force will enter the board from the bridge on the edge of the board.
Infantry may cross the canal foot bridge.

Reconnaissaince has suggested that League forces are holding the west of the town and the Civilian Militia are holding the line across the canal.
Your Forces
Two Command Units (+2 Morale)
One Medic
Two Snipers
One Artillery Observer (in Unarmed Armoured Car)
One Forward Air Observer
3 X MK1 Panzers armed with MMGs & LT AT guns
1 X Lancia Armoured Car
5 x Six Man Rifle Squads
1 x Four Man SMG squad
2 x MMGs
1 X Mortar + Observer (+ Vehicles)

Fascist troops sidle up to the embankment
In addition to the above I had prepared the following mission briefings. These would be issued randomly in the game. In the end the BUF only got 2 - these are in bold

1 .BUF Intelligence Report….
It is believed that fuel supplies held by the militia are running dry. Nominate one enemy vehicle – it may only move twice once this card played.

2. BUF Intelligence Report
There is a secret tunnel running from the ruined abbey to the church – one squad could navigate this tunnel in six turns emerging in the church yard at the monument. If you choose to send unit in this direction let the umpire know.

3. BUF intelligence Report
The WW1 Ace Lord Flashgit’s silver plane has been seen in the area. If you successfully get an Air Mission you may designate this as a counter air unit.

4. BUF Intelligence Report
Local partisans are operating in the area – declare this to switch the partisans allegiance. (will not work on the boys in blue) – you may declare the change in sides at any time.

5. BUF intelligence report.
You may automatically call in a smoke barrage at the beginning of your next turn

6. BUF Intelligence Report

An inspirational message from Sir Oswald Mosley automatically removes one pin from every unit. May be played only once.

The following is the mission briefing given to the Anglican League/Militia defenders
How long can you survive

Those dreaded men in blackshirts are pushing forward into the South East. The Village of Upper Snatch has become a desperate defence. Bolstered by regular League troops the defence must hold out for as long as possible whilst the lines to your rear are strengthened.
Your forces are split between milita units and regular League troops. Unfortunately your artillery off table is in disarray so don’t expect and support from that quarter. However you can count on the dashing services of Lord Flashgit – the WW1 Ace. His plane is in comms with your command and can be called in at any time in the game for a strafing mission or counter air activity. Roll a d6 if you want him – on a 3+ he’ll arrive in his silver dream machine.

The League forces are deployed along this side of the embankment. You may occupy the pub and the bunker.

Deployment area for League
Anglican League Forces – All Regular

Command Units X 2
1 Lt Tank (MMG/LT AT Gun)
1 Rolls Royce Armoured Car HMG
3 Units of Infantry (eight men strong)
1 Med Mortar + Observer

The Militia (count as experienced troops but their morale is somewhat flaky (8+)

These guys are deployed in the village upto the railwayline. This may include the church.

The Village of Upper Snatch
The Church of St Dicks

Forces at your disposal are…

1 Command Unit + Medic (counts as aerial observer)
1 Med Mortar + Observer
2 x Units of eight men infantry – rifle armed
1 x 6 man unit of smg armed troops
1 X Medium Tank – sadly this is a bit of a gas guzzler and can only move for three rounds
1 X Medium AT Gun + 3 crew (again this has been badly serviced – 1 to hit, -1 pen)

In addition each turn you might receive partisan support.
Roll d6

1-5 – no partisans, 6 Roll on table below
1 – a solitary sniper (will stay on board for two rounds before vanishing)
2 – the local hunt – six man unit of cavalry – enter the board from the south east road (only once)
3 – the local boys naval cadets arrive – 6 men unit arrive on a canal boat from the south west
4 – the local bobbies arrive from the south – 6 men unit
5 – Lord Flashgit comes back or arrives early – problem is his eyesight is going – 50% chance he will strafe your boys
6 – Gods Fist (an armoured wagon)revs up behind the church.

Believe it not the defenders actually rolled two sets of sixes getting the boys in blue and the local hunt to join the team

The Militia also got some briefings - three in total (bold)are the ones they got

1.       Treachery
Your spies have successfully sabotaged the local BUF airfield – there is a 50% chance any guns or bombs fired by BUF planes will be duds.

2. Exploding Cows
The pantomime cow is in fact an ied – explodes as a medium mortar in a 6 inch radius. If it is moved by opposition don’t say anything. The resting place is the centre of the detonation.

Spot the bomb...

3. Drunken Vicar
The local Vicar is as pissed as a newt but keeps rambling on about secret tunnels – a 6+ will tell you more.

4. You are on Gods side
Thanks to a rousing sermon from the local archbishop all units may remove one pin.

5. Train services now running normally.
Provided you still own the station a train runs into the platform next turn. This is carrying a squad of veteran home guard troops. The enemy may be alerted when the umpire closes the railway crossing gates.

6.Double Agents – if by any chance any of your units turncoat then play this to switch back their allegiance.

So how did it play...

Well for the attackers it was a nightmare. In the very first turn Lord Flashgit appeared and strafed the BUF column crossing the bridge. At that point they never really recovered in the west.

Carnage across the bridge

Fortunately this was the last that the BUF saw of Lord Flashgit and his silver machine

An aerial shot as he flies away.

With the Attack towards the embankment stalling the League forces pushed forward quickly knocking out the BUF armoured car

The violence of the explosion blew the turret into the field beyond

and the League Infantry pushed up into the fields..

 With God on their side the Leagues confidence grew and a small tank pushed forward into the BUF advance.
Despite surviving a blast from an AT gun on the bridge this confidence was punished by a successful close assault
As has been mentioned the BUF quickly discovered the hidden tunnel and a squad disappeared =out of view. Sadly for them the drunken vicar spilled the beans so when they emerged ion the graveyard they were mown down by a hail of bullets from the overlooking pub.
emerging in the graveyard...

Cant think of a better place to ambush them sir...

The BUF never progressed further on this front...
Lets head over to the other side of the battlefield
The BUF pushed up along the roads and tried to force their way across the canal. A couple squads got to the outskirts of the village before engaging in a furious gun battle with members of the Teachers union - they were called this as the starting point for these guys was the schoolhouse.
Meanwhilst BUF armour had forced its way onto the bridge only to be immobilised by the AT gun sited on the other side.

Before the panzer brewed up it managed to knock out the militias only tank...

Eventually the BUF mortar crew and observers managed to gain the heights above the village..

and realising their sniper had been left behind he took cover behind the local farm animals

At this point it became obvious the BUF attack was never going to succeed and with the clock ticking we called a halt.

Everything back to normal in Upper Snatch


Aircraft can be a right bugger - need to get some improvised flak on table
I had made the defenders forces too large
There were too many troops on table to finish in the night...

Until next time...

Which will be a Muskets & Tomahawks game


  1. The BUF are clearly running into difficulties. Here in Kent, the local BUF (Spode's Blackshorts) were defeated by the Buffs at Snodland and the Chatham Soviet at the Medway Gate.

  2. Fun looking game and report. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Another fine looking game, Mr Shed!

  4. Great looking board. I haven't played any VBCW in a while :(. I have a question though, who made that wonderful church?

  5. Hi Ron
    Thanks for your comments
    The church believe it or not is a dolls house from petite properties....1/48 scale
    I have done a full review of build
    Go to tab on top of page for terrain directory and find 28mm church

  6. I liked the scenario and loved the terrain and figures. Your Egyptian monument terrain looks great too. I'm puzzled where to look for blue foam at all, let alone 2mm thickness. Perhaps it's where I live, it's not very cold here.

    1. The blue foam was picked up from a model / design store called 4D in London

    2. Thanks! I've been looking for the same!

      Good to see your gravestones "in action". Sorry I missed it!

  7. The BUF are building giant mobile anti Flashgit Pimms lobbing catapults as we speak ...

  8. Great scenario and wonderful buildings. I like in particular how you hold the camera for zooming details - bravo!