Battle of Wimpfen 1622

For this weeks game we were off to the start of the Thirty Years War and the Battle of Wimpfen organised by Nigel. The forces were supplied by Nigel and Paul and terrain (with slightly less “teddy bear fur”) by Paul. Rules used were Pike and Shotte from Warlord Games.

The Army of the Holy Roman Empire and the Catholic League (played by David, Dave and Alan) faced the Protestant Union force (played by Julian, Paul and myself) in a defensive position made up of “war carts” drawn up in a Wagon Laager. Nigel provided umpiring services.


1 Imperial Tercios Preparing to Advance
Imperial central Tercio’s Prepare to advance
2 Imperial Cavalry
Imperial Right Wing Cavalry survey the scene
5 Centre Tercios
Centre and Left Imperial Tercio’s

And awaiting these forces were the Protestant Union forces

3 Protestant League
Left Wing Cavalry and Wagon Laager
4 Wagons
Wagon Laager with Ammunition in centre
6 Protestant Right Wing
Right Wing cavalry and Helmstadt Regiment in village

Now are battle plan was easy we would wait and shoot as much possible. This did mean that Julian and myself had to rein in our normal tendencies when using cavalry i.e. charge at the earliest opportunity but we would just about manage this.

7 And we are off
Tercio’s start to roll forward

The plan started to work from the first move when early artillery fire severely damaged a tercio and also disorganised it, this also meant that we had blocked the Imperial artillery on the hill result!

9 Well Placed shots
An early shot disorganised a tercio

At the same time the Imperial Cavalry on my flank refused to move (ha!)

8 But not all
Imperial Cavalry survey the battle

However, 2 regiments did finally move from the hill and approach the Protestant Union cavalry, where I resisted the urge to charge.

10 Protestant Left Wing
Protestant Left wing exchange fire

Then even more success from our artillery forces a test on one of Tilly’s tercios and after 2 poor dice throws it breaks, this is the first time we hear the opposition battle cry from David of “these dice are broken”

11 Finally Moving again
“Where’s are pike gone?”

On our right-wing the Imperial Cavalry managed to get off its charges and hit our regiments.

12 Cavalry Clash on Right Wing
Cavalry engage

The cavalry engagement turns out to be a one all draw, with the Imperial cuirassiers pushing back one of our regiments but we managed to rout theirs and capture Eynatten (their battalia commander) in the process – to more anguished cries around lucky dice rolls!!!! from the opposition.

15 Won one lost one
Draw but we managed to get an edge (ha!)

While in the centre one of their pike tercios finally manages to contact the wagon laager and hits one of our heavy guns.

13 Tercio Finally Charges home
“This could be painful”

and the expected result occurred

14 Expected results
“and it was”

Meanwhile on the Protestant left flank I was engaged in getting all my cavalry destroyed by one regiment of Imperial cuirassiers!!!

While trying to complete a subtle manoeuver I managed to throw a blunder (double 6, not all high rolls are good) and followed by another 6 and my worst cavalry regiment was off to the races and charged the Imperial cuirassiers.

16 Left Wing cavalry exchange insults
“and we are off”

I then proceeded to lose that melee and the cuirassiers completed a breakthrough charge to hit another of my regiments, which it proceeded to soundly thrash, which meant that the battalia was shaken and retired from the field.

24 Imperial Heros
Heroes of the Imperialist

But there was a consolation in that the other half of the battalia was still sat on the hill at the back refusing to move after failing every command roll (good man David) with more cries of “these dice are broken”

18 and they still havnt moved
Still admiring the view

While the cavalry was working the tercios were grinding their way across the field taking damage.

17 Another tercio takes casulaties
Another tercio takes a pounding

And the retreating shot from a destroyed tercio blocks the heavy guns again (ha!)

19 Imperial Battery fires over the shattered tercio
Imperial heavy guns wait for their sights to be clear

On the Imperial left-wing a traffic jam has developed as the cavalry advance in front of the large tercio and made it difficult to move, especially as we kept disorganizing the pike (Ha! rolling another six here boss)

20 Traffic jam starts to clear
Cavalry causing traffic jam

The tercio that destroyed the gun cannot exploit the breakthrough as it is shaken and stops in the gap.

21 Tercio Stopped by fire
Tilly urging on his pike

While the main defences are still holding

22 Taking casulaties but holding
Taking hits but holding steady
23 Looking for targets
Heavy gun looking for a target

Then the second of the Imperial tercios on their right wings routs (cracking dice throwing again David of the Broken Dice).

25 Another Tercio Shattered
Another tercio bites the dust

While on the Imperial left flank the traffic jam has cleared due to us breaking their cavalry brigade (smug grin)

26 Imperial Left Flank
“Why are the cavalry behind us now?”

While the gap in the defences has been plugged and keeps the pike shaken and disordered.

27 Still holding
“Pour it on boys”

And on our right flank all fire pours into the advancing infantry and please note the two “1’s” on the fire dice we do miss occasionally – but not often in this game.

29 Heavy Fire
Everything targets the last of the Imperial Infantry

While on my flank I was proving we could throw something other than sixes as I managed a double 1 and destroyed one of my own wagon guns, Doh!!!

30 Wagons Still Hold
Targeting the cavalry 

But the fire from the wagon laager managed to shake the Imperial cuirassiers

33 One charge top far
One charge to many

But the good news for David was that he had managed to get one of the cavalry units on the hill to move

32 Finally moved
Finally decide to advance

When the game was called we had managed to break two of the Infantry battalia and one of their cavalry battalia against the loss of my cavalry battalia – so a reversal of history.

And finally at the special request from Dave, the other one not David of the Broken Dice a picture of one of our substandard dice rolls!!!

34 Blow Par dice roll
“Poor dice roll by our standards today”







Battle of Wimpfen 1622

McPhersons’s Ridge

Well for this weeks game we were back over “the pond” American Civil War.

The scenario worked out by Paul was the early attacks on Day 1 of the Battle of Gettysburg. The rules we used were Regimental Fire and Fury with a twist and that is we use brigades – we started doing this on a trip to the Wargames Holiday Centre in Basingstoke and the habit just stuck.

The figures were supplied by Paul and my good self and the terrain was again Paul’s. This week however it also allowed for Paul to demonstrate his latest terrain fetish with “teddy bear fur” which has taken over (but don’t worry no teddy bears were harmed in the production of the terrain).

Victory points were awarded for the three ridge lines that were held at the end of the game and also for units either destroyed or spent.

The Union forces were controlled by Julian and Alan, while the Confederate forces were Dave and myself, while Paul provided umpiring services.

1 Union Initial Deployment
Union Initial deployment

As shown 3 lines of hills with Buford’s Cavalry deployed on Herr Ridge (each line of hills was worth 5 victory points) preparing to delay the Confederate advance.

2 Cavalry Holding the Line
Holding the Line 
3 Back Hill
McPherson’s and Seminary Ridges quite before the storm

First on for the Confederates was elements of Heth’s Division led by Davis’s and Archer’s Brigades.

4 First Confederate Brigades
Davis’s Brigade advance to engage Devin’s Brigade
5 Sneaking through the woods
Archers Brigade moving through the woods 

The Confederate plan was to advance as fast as possible and try to drive the Cavalry from Herr’s Ridge but best laid plans you know!!

6 Awaiting the attack
Gamble’s Brigade notice movement in the woods 
7 Firefight Commences
Early damage to the Davis’s brigade 

An early assault by Davis’s brigade is repulsed and work a firefight develops

8 Black Hats arrive
Iron Brigade and Cutlers Brigade start to arrive 

Pettigrews Brigade arrives and moves to engage the Gambles cavalry while Archers Brigade moved onto the flank to give fire

9 Cavalry in trouble
Pettigrews Brigade joins the fray 
10 Flanked
Archer flanks the Cavalry and gives fire 

In the mean time on the other flank after weakening the Devins brigade they are finally driven back in close action

11 Driving them back
Finally driven from the fence line

While Gambles brigade decide that discretion is the better choice and retires taking enfilade fire (but as it was my dice throwing not that effective).

12 Withdraw
Gamble relinquishes the ridge 

Quickly pushing forward Archer pursues the retiring cavalry

13 That could hurt
“This is going to hurt, I think” 

Being that close you think that the volley would hurt wouldn’t you but no I sodding miss again letting the cavalry withdraw over McPherson’s Ridge.

14 Union 2nd Line starts to form
Union Forces start to form 2nd line

Meanwhile Union forces have taken advantage of the cavalries delaying tactic and have started to form a second line on McPherson’s ridge.

15 Preparing to advance
Pettigrews Brigade forming line

Meanwhile the Confederate forces have to start forming line as a traffic jam starts to develop and they are blocking each other line of sight for shooting.

In the meantime Pender’s Division has arrived and starts to advance on the Confederate right flank.

16 On the flank
Perrin’s Brigade advances supported by Lane
17 Iron Brigade holds the line
Iron Brigade start to engage with Davis’s brigade 

On the Confederate left the remnants of still slow the Confederate advance, while the Iron Brigade (supported by artillery) start to blow lumps out of Davis’s Brigade.

18 Trying to destroy the cavalry
Cavalry refuse to die 
19 Support for the Union Line
Union guns begin to take their toll on Confederate Brigades
20 Confederate Guns support the advance
But Confederate guns support the attack on McPherson’s Ridge

On the Confederate left the Irin brigade halts the Confederate advance and severly damages Davis’s and Brockenbrough’s Brigades.

21 There still holding
Iron Brigade stops the Confederate advance 

However in the centre Archers and Pettigrew’s Brigade supported by artillery deliver a deadly volley to the Union Brigade on McPherson’s Ridge (my shooting dice warmed up for a change).

22 Preparing to attack
“That hurt”
23 Attack on the 2nd Line
Pender’s Division attack McPhersons Ridge

On the Confederate right brigades from Penders Division start to attack McPhersons Ridge but someone (naming no names Julian) start using Wellington’s reverse slope tactics!!

24 Zouaves playing at Wellington
“Who do you think you are British?”

While in the centre the damned cavalry reappear to block a gap in front of Archers brigade (god you could start hating some units you really could).

25 Pesky Cavalry
Gamble’s Brigade reemerges to hold the ridge

On the Confederate left the Iron Brigade supported by other brigades start to push the Confederates back.

26 Union Drive Forward
Davis and Brockenbroughs being driven back

While in the centre the Union artillery starts blowing lumps out of Pettigrews Brigade (Alan rolling cracking shooting dice).

27 Cleared the way
“Rolling high here boss”

On the Confederate right flank heavy fire drives the Union forces back off McPhersons ridge.

28 Zouaves Under attack
Zouaves taking heavy losses from Confederate brigades

But on the left the Union have advanced back onto Herr Ridge

29 Driven Back
Davis driven back 
30 Close range fire
Davis’s Brigade now spent 

While on the right the Confederates drive the Union from McPhersons ridge

31 Pounded by Artillery
Still holding, just
32 Taking the 2nd Hill
Pender’s Division advance onto McPhersons Ridge

But the Union still had troops in Seminary Ridge, including Buford’s cavalry – I really hate that unit!!!

33 Holding the line
Union reserves advance on Seminary Ridge

So when the game was called with both McPherson’s and Herr Ridge contested and Seminary Ridge in the hands of the Union the question was had the Confederate done enough damage to the Union and the short answer was no. Victory went to the Union.


McPhersons’s Ridge

Off to sunny Spain

Well for this week game something new and the first appearance of the 28mm Napoleonic’s me and Paul have been working on for some time. However this was not a “big battalion” we are collecting for but a step back to true 1:1 skirmish game.

The rules in use were the new “Forager – Napoleonic Skirmish Rules” by Stand To Games.

Our game pitted 12 French Voltigeurs (played by Nigel, Julian and myself) against 6 British Light Infantry (Paul and Dave) and 6 Riflemen (David and Alan).

Terrain was again supplied by Paul.

The game has individual statistics for combat, field craft and fatigue (hits) as well as randomised personal traits and equipment to figure giving a really good mix where no two figures are really the same.  The example below is for the French officer I used in the game.


The scenario we played was the first in the rules “A Chance Encounter” as forces clashed when they were out foraging for supplies. There was two ways to win the game the first was to drive the enemy from the field the second was to collect various supplies ranging from sheep, pigs and goats (the hardest to catch) to barrels (the easiest).

Please forgive the quality of some of the photographs as some “muppet” who will remain nameless (me) forgot his camera and had to rely on his phone to take the pictures (doh!!!).

1 Village
Sleepy Spanish Village in for a rude awakening
2 French Approach Village
Cautious advance on the village (and taking dog for a walk) 
French Skirmish line advances
British line advances
3 French Left
Voltigeurs move through the fields
Approaching the village
French spot the British and run for cover

It was at this stage that the first shots rang out and the French drawing first blood (almost), one of the British Light Infantry was hit and when dicing for the actual wound this turned out to be “Not mi Tatters” a spent musket ball hitting the figure in the “unmentionables” doing no real damage but distracting the character until he recovers from the tears running from his eyes!!!!

4 First Blood to French
“That looks painful”

In the mean time the Riflemen take cover as they spot not only the French but some sheep and pigs in the field.

5 Riflemen Advance
“Fresh meat chaps”

And the Light infantry move into the village and one manages to capture a innocent goat that was running about.

6 British Light Infantry in Village
“Careful lads I think I hear something”
6a British Light Infantry
Light Infantry engage the French moving to flank the village

Rifle fire delivers a near miss and one of the French does a runner.

7 Near Miss
“Henri where do you think your going”

In the village a game of hide and seek breaks out, while troops try to get hold of the goats.

8 Hide and Seak in the village
“Come out, come out wherever you are”
9 British engage in the village
Someone is out there

In the meantime ignoring the fire from the French a riflemen indulges himself by chasing a pig around the field but failing to capture it.

10 Pig Wresling
Pig wrestling in the field 

But one of the French shots scores a hit wounding a rifleman in the arm.

11 Fist wound
“That hurt”
12 Still Playing
“Still playing hide and seek”
13 Chicken on the Orchard
Light Infantry cover the Orchard 

But he is soon to be either the unluckiest or luckiest soldier on the field as he is hit several times and the French move through the orchard.

Trying to collect the most markers in the game

After taking hits the Light Infantryman consumes his “rum ration” making him distracted but curing his woes, but then a near miss forces his head down and another shot as the French charge hits him in the arm and forces him to retreat, where he spends the remainder of the game hiding ion a bush but survives.

14 Where he gone
“Where is he going?”

Also at this stage one of my Voltigeurs takes a hit and temporarily blinded with blood in his eyes he moves ion a random direction, straight at the riflemen!!!!

To avoid getting shot to pieces next moves he charges the wounded rifleman who both now have arm wounds. While one of his colleagues fails to capture a pig while under fire.

14a Combat in the field
Another pig wrestling match and a charge

In the village one of my Voltigeurs bites the dust while trying to capture a barrel.

15 Shot trying to get barrel
“Told you it wasn’t safe out there”

In the village exchange of fire is still going on and I attract howls of derision for allowing my “friendly dog” to take a hit instead of the Voltigeur, but he gets his revenge by shooting the culprit through the head which also means the goat the Light Infantryman had captured escapes.

17 Poor Fido
“I’ll get you for that”

The Voltigeur also delivers a low blow to the British officer distracting him for a while.

17a Teach you sir
“That’s unsporting sir”

On the French right, Riflemen mug a couple of French Voltigeurs taking them out of the game.

18 Getting up close and personal
Ganging up on the French

Finally on the village the Volitgeur nearly wins the game for the French hitting the British Officer with 7 hits and leaving him on only one fatigue.

19 Revenge
“damn nearly got him”

At this stage we called the game, each side had 4 characters out of action and no one had managed to capture and retain any booty the game was a draw.

This was a really enjoyable game and the traits and equipment gave a cracking flavour to the outcome of the game, also it was quickly mastered by all the players.


Off to sunny Spain

Stop the Panzer!!!

Well for this weeks game we were back to Mother Russia for a WW2 game for a practice using the Rapid Fire rules before the annual pilgrimage to the Wargames Holiday Centre in April.

The scenario was from the Rapid Fire Supplement 3 by Richard March and pitted elements of the 4th Panzer Division against the newly formed 4th Tank Brigade during the Battle of Mtsensk.

Overall Map of the Battlefield

The “Glorious” Soviet forces were provided by my good self while the “Dastardly” Germans and terrain were provided by Paul.

The Soviet Forces were commanded by Alan, Julian and Nigel, while the German players were David, Dave and Paul (we have to many David’s and to make it worse there surnames both begin with B!!!). The unbiased (Soviet) umpire was my good self.

The German objectives were to advance and occupy the village on Woin by turn 15, while the Soviet forces was to stop the German advance and drive them back over the river by turn 15.

1 Kamenewo
View from railway bridge
2 Bridges

The Soviet’s started with a small rearguard force on the table and were eagerly awaiting the arrival of their armoured reserves, while the German hoards swarmed onto the board on the 1st turn.

6 German Recce moves forward
German Recce company with Motorcycle Suppport
7 35th Panzers roll
2 Companies of Pzkw III (short 57mm) make for the railway bridge

In the wood near the bridge Soviet infantry and the lone T26 prepare to spring their ambush and try to slow the German steamroller.

8 Russian rearguard spring the trap
T26 lurks in the shadows

The T26 manages to damage the Pzkw II but does not block the bridge and is sooon trading shots with the Pzkw III (37mm)

9 First blood
First blood to the Soviets 

This exchange of fire results in the T26 taking out the Pzkw III (well done that man).

10 and first kill
First destroyed tank on the field

But there was plenty more armour moving forward with the Pzkw IV moving forward.

13 German fire support
Support armour moving up

On the other flank the Pzkw III’s advance over the railway bridge and come under fire from a 45mm Soviet anti-tank gun on the ridge.

12 AT ready to engage
Anti-tank gun takes aim 
11 Playing at trains
And the target 

The shot hits but only manages to do a light damage on the Pzkw III.

15 Small Success for the AT Gun
German tanks keep advancing across the bridge.

While on the Russian right flank infantry open fire on the motorcycle company and thin out the fascists ranks.

14 Russian Infantry defend the river
Springing another ambush

In the centre the T26 still holds on but is getting some more attention.

16 T26 still holding out
New opposition for the T26
17 Panzers roll
Panzers continue to advance on the Soviet left
22 Flanking the ridge
And start to flank the ridge
21 Recce reports
German Artillery target the Soviet Anti-tank gun and wipe it out 

In the background you can see the Pzkw II making his report on the Soviet location (as the Germans claimed) or in reality failed his morale and fell back 2 turns to get out of the way.

20 MC Battalion support
While German support weapons target the infantry on the Russian left flank
19 Artillery Support the advance
All the time more troops cross the river
18 Germans stream across the river
German forces soon wipe out the last of the Soviet Infantry

It could not last forever and the T26 finally gets destroyed by the Pzkw III’s picking on it.

22 T26 Final demise
Death of the T26

Shortly after this the last of the Soviet rearguard were destroyed and this opened the way for the German armour to start flooding forward.

23 Advance accelerates
Pzkw IV’s join the advance

But suddenly the first of the Soviet counter attack appeared in the form of BT7’s advancing on the Russian right flank.

24 First of the russian reserves
BT7’s to the rescue?

These soon engaged the Pzkw III who had the advantage in armour protection but it didn’t help as one bit the dust

25 Didnt expect that
Pzkw III falls to the BT7’s

While the rest of the Soviet reserves streamed onto the field and gave the Pzkw II a nasty surprise!!

26 Oops
Bit of a miss match – Pzkw III falls to the KV1

Now the advantage in the centre swings to the Soviets as the superior KV1 and T34/76 engage the German armour.

27 Clah of armour
Soviet armour engages
28 What do you mean I need a 6
T34/76 vs Pzkw IV 

But in a set of desultory dice throwing by each side no real damage is done and the Germans cheat again by bringing up there heavy AA gun to join the fray.

30 But the Germans have there own surprise
88mm takes cover in the wood

But the Soviets aren’t  bothered as their OP has just arrived for the Guards Motor Battery, the fabled “Katyusha” and it will soon join the fray. However they needn’t have worried as after firing twice at the 88mm the only thing they managed to hot was one of their own T34’s who had wandered top close and gave it a nasty surprise and a lot of new scratches.

31 Sneaking on
OP takes position in the village of Woin

After targeting the 88mm with it’s 20mm autocannon much to his sides surprise one of the German commanders targets the T60 with his tanks rather than the heavier Soviet tanks and destroys it (you know who you are Dave).

32 ive killed a tank
Soviet tank destroyed

After initially withdrawing over the ridge the German armour realises that it has to be in really close range to destroy the Soviet armour and charges. In the centre Colonel Katukov on the T34 survives a shot form the 88mm it only inflicts a light damage rather than smearing him all over the steppes.

33 refusing to hurt each other
Commander hit but continues to fight
34 slow death
Up close and personal as armour exchanges shots
35 Breaching the ridge
Soviets crest the ridge
36 Just the 88 to go
Soviets advance passed destroyed Pzkw IV’s 
37 BT still fighting
BT 7’s continue to engage and more importantly survive
38 Holding the bridge
But the Germans still have forces on the east bank of the river 

It was at this stage that we called the game and it was declared a draw as neither side could have achieved their objectives.

What was interesting was how the scenario replicated the actual battle – the Soviet force stopped the German advance (but with heavier loses in armour caused mainly by the 105’s and 88 battery) and shortly after the were awarded the Guards honorific, while the German side Guderian visited the 4th Panzer Division to find some of his bets tank officers “spiritually drained” by one of the first encounters with the mass formations of T34’s and KV1’s.


Stop the Panzer!!!

Protect the Outpost

Well for the first game of the year it was decided that we would go with something simple to organise – and we were back in the in space with X-Wing.

It also gave Paul a chance to play with his new Christmas Pressie a “Gozanti class Cruiser” (now I will have to get something for the rebels).

1 Cruiser
Gozanti Cruiser Requiem leads the Imperial Attack

The Galactic Empire forces (Paul, Nigel and Julian) had the Cruiser and escort of 4 Tie Fighters, a Tie Punisher, Tie Advanced and a Tie Interceptor and the aim was to break through the Rebel Squadron and exist the opposite board edge which would mean they could attack the rebel base.

The Rebel Squadron (David, Dave and Alan) had a squadron of 2 X-Wings, 2 B-Wings, a K Wing and an A Wing to stop the attack and save the Rebel Forces.

2 Escorts
Tie Advnaced and Tie Fighter wing men

The cruiser was not the only debutante on the field with the K Wing purchased last year at York making its first appearance.

3 K Wing
K Wing loaded for bear

The rebels drew their squadron up with the heavy hitters in the centre (K and B Wings) escorted by the X and A Wings to keep the Imperial fighters at bay.

4 Rebel Squdron
Imperial Squdron

First move and we were off – with the Imperial fighters moving out rapidly to engage the enemy outstripping the Cruiser –

5 Squdrons ready for action
Forces move out to engage

First engagement were the A Wing and Tie Fighter – in the exchange the A Wing lost its shields but the poor Tie Fighter pilot “Youngster” evaporated into space.

6 First Clash
First blood to the rebels
7 Tie Interceptor
Tie Interceptor and Tie Fighter close on the rebel forces

With its shields depleted the A Wing pilot “Gemmer Sojan” aka David accelerated to get away from the Tie Punisher with fingers crossed.

8 A Wing heads for the hills
Lets me get out of here 

On the other side the Tie Fighters were tangling with the X and B Wings but not doing a lot of damage

9 Up close and personal
Close order flying

While on the rebel left the Rebels were targetting the Cruiser as the Imperial Pilots overshot the Rebels and couldn’t target them, leading the glorious Umpire (me) to question if the escort pilots had forgot their job as the Cruiser started to take a pounding.

10 Breaking through the cover
Rebel ships ignore the escorts and target the Cruiser
11 Cruiser exposed
X and K Wings hit the Cruiser 
12 Closing in on target
More Rebel ships target the Cruiser
13 Cruiser taking heavy damage
The Imperial Admiral feeling picked on 
14 More incoming fire
Where’s the fighter escort?

At this point the A Wing (well done David) makes its reappearance and targets the rear section of the Cruiser doing the last damage required to destroy the ship, leaving the Imperial Admiral swearing at his escorts as he tries to make the escape pods.

15 The forgotton A Wing
A Wing marksman 
16 Wheres the Cruiser Gone
Gap in space – where’s the Cruiser gone

For some reason the surviving Imperial pilots decided to gather in a huddle, but no one knows why

17 Meeting
“Quick lads what do we do next?”

Which led to a bit of an air traffic control problem and presented the Rebel pilots with some wonderful targets

18 Air Traffic Control Problems

But not wanted to be left out “Wedge Antilles” (Dave) joins in with the carnage

19 And the Rebels Join in
“This looks fun”

But soon after this the carnage came to an end when for the loss of 2 X Wings the last of the Imperial escorts were destroyed giving a 8 ships to 2 victory to the Rebels.

“Uncle Darth” will not be happy

20 Home for tea and biccies
Rebel Pilots circle to celebrate their victory

All that was left to do for the rebels pilots was to return to base for their “tea and biccies”


Protect the Outpost

Winter Wonderland?

The question this year was where would are traditional Christmas game be set? Would it be back to the snowy steppes of Mother Russia or the Ruins of Stalingrad? Nope Nigel said he would arrange the game and it was therefore across the “pond” we were travelling to a “what if” scenario based on the Battle of Trenton.

The “gallant” forces of the crown were played by myself and Paul, while the leaders of the rebellious colonials were Alan, Dave, David and Julian, with Nigel taking the role of umpire.

The game started with the garrison of Trenton sleeping off their celebrations from the previous evening with only a small picket force on duty in the mist.

4 Pickets out in the snow
“Gunther do you see shadows in the mist?”

When out of the mist shapes appear, a lot of shapes with the advancing Continental army!!!

5 Emerging from the mists
Continental skirmishers appear from the mist
6 and there are more
And Columns down the road
8 on the other flank
And even more down the Crowns right flank

With the Hessian skirmishers holding up the advance of the Continental Army, the Pennsylvania Rifles charge the Hessian Jagers, but what no one expected was that Dave would use Washington to personally lead the Pennsylvanian Light Horse into the combat!! Who has been feeding him alcohol this early in the morning!!

9 Thats cleared the way
Rifles and Light Horse make quick work of removing the Hessian Jagers

With the picket line destroyed the Continental units advanced, but not as quickly as they had hoped, must admit there was some cracking dice throwing going on the American side much to the amusement of the Crown commanders.


11 Outflanking the village
Units moving around the flank of the village
12 Traffic jam starts to form
More units make there way onto the table

Luckily however most of the Hessian Units (apart from the Queens Hussars) had been woken from their slumbers and had formed up with the Grenadiers moving to the centre of Trenton to hold the crossroads.


13 Grenadiers hold the centre
Grenadiers hold the crossroads 

Finally after a couple of failed rolls even the Loyalist decide to join the fray

14 Cavalry finally wake up
Hussars finally wake up!!!

But luckily for the Crown the advance of the Continentals has stalled (cracking dice again lads) with every time the words “form attack column” is mentioned the following command roll is failed.

15 Still tryiung to dislodge the grenadiers
Units swap places to fire on the Grenadiers but no one want to charge

While the Grenadiers take punishment and become disordered they still hold the line.


17 Still there
Grenadiers take fire from two Continental Units 

With the advance through the village is stalled American Units try to move around Trenton on their left

18 Pushing past the village
“Push forward lads”

But a Hessian Line unit moves out to black their advance

19 But advance is blocked
“Where do you think your going”




On the American right flank things are progressing but again not very fast and with great concern not to block the line of fire for the artillery.


20 Forming up to attack
Dress those lines boys 

And another Hessian line unit has moved out to slow the advance but is taking damage

21 Hessians hold the line
Hessians appear from the village to slow the advance

And at the rear the general order of things is restored with Washington and escort restored to their proper place behind the infantry.

22 Washington back in usual place
Washington directing operations

American forces rapidly charge the Hessian line (what has someone been feeding Dave?) and sweep them away with their artillery support.

23 Charge on righ flank
Bitter hand to hand fighting
24 Swept away
Victorious American forces 

But as things look bleak for the gallant Hessian’s relief columns can be seen advancing towards the field of battle. With great skill and dexterity (or as some would say a lucky dice roll) the 16th Light Dragoons make their presence felt by charging the Continental Combined Light Infantry and driving them back.

25 Lt Dragoons make their arrival
Light Dragoons lead the way

The remaining British reinforcements advance on the American Forces

26 British arrive
British Foot advance

With the arrival of the reserves a quick readjustment of lines was called for.

27 Washington reorganises
Washington directs the troops 

Meanwhile on the other flank Von Donops brigade march into Trenton

28 Hessians reinforce the village
Reserves march into Trenton 
29 Worried about being outflanked
American forces realise they are about to be flanked

And in Trenton Hessian Artillery protects the flank of the Grenadiers

30 Artillery holds off infantry
Keep firing boys

But the Continental Army is still stalled outside the twon

31 American high water mark
Highwater mark the American left

While on the right flank the forces had advanced further but still short of their objective

32 High Water mark
View of the American Right 

And the Loyalist cavalry was starting to move the supply wagons further out of reach.

33 Leading the wagons away
Loyalist start to move the supply wagon 

When the game was called the Americans had not manage to break the garrison (very close but no cigar) and the supplies were safe.

The special award for unluckiest wargamer of the day must go to Julian, throughout the game managed to move his forces three times, blunder once and fired twice, maybe Santa will bring him some new dice -:)

Winter Wonderland?

Day Trip to the Sea Side

Well for this weeks game it was time to break out my Very British Civil War forces for another game in the local campaign, once again terrain supplied by Paul.

This is the first of three linked scenarios I intend to run with the results of each scenario affecting the next.

The back story for this game was:

The steamships SS New Brighton and SS Shearwater were due to deliver supplies to the Royalist garrison in Preston.

However as the SS New Brighton entered the channel at the River Ribble she came under rocket attack from Socialist forces on the Southport sands, taking damage but with no other option the SS New Brighton continued up the river and arrived at Preston Docks.

However the SS Shearwater seeing the attack develop had enough time to reverse her course to avoid entering the main channel but did take damage to her rudder.

With the damage she took the decision was taken to head to the fishing port of Fleetwood, which is also held by a small Royalist garrison, to effect repairs and off load the supplies that can then be taken by land to Preston.

At present the SS Shearwater is anchored in the River Wyre before she can be towed into the main Fleetwood docks as she does not have enough manoeuvrability  to manage the approach to the dock gates herself.

The Anglican League forces were taken by Alan, David and Julian and there instructions were:

To take advantage of this situation the Bishop of Lancaster has despatched a flying column to Knott End to try and destroy the supplies on the ship.

The Anglican League forces orders are to destroy the ship and cargo, and to this end you have been supplied with several armoured units to bombard the ship.

This is not an action to fight the Royalist, your main aim is the ship and not the Royalist forces in Fleetwood.

You are unsure how much damage you need to do to the ship to destroy it but with God’s help you succeed.

To achieve their objectives the Anglican League had 2 reinforced platoon with 6 vehicles capable of damaging the ship.

The Royalist Forces (commanded by Paul, Dave and Nigel) briefing was:

The royalist garrison in Fleetwood have received information that a Anglican League force is headed towards Fleetwood in an attempt to finish what the Socialist have started.

Not knowing for sure what direction the Anglican forces are coming from, groups have been detached to cover Shard Bridge and a small force to occupy Knott End on the north side of the Wyre.

Orders are to stop and drive off any Anglican League forces and hold the village of Knott End. 

Reinforcements will be available from Fleetwood itself via the ferry and other boats that could carry troops.

However, several influential people own sea front villas in the Knott End area so Royalist forces have been instructed not to occupy or damage these buildings so as to avoid any adverse publicity.

The Royalist forces had 1 reinforced platoon on table and random reserves that would appear throughout the game.

1 Pub and Railway Yards
Villas and Railway Yards

The village of Knott End on sea with its Victorian seaside villas and rural village was about to have its tranquillity rudely interrupted.

As the Anglican League forces advanced onto the table there was a nasty surprise awaiting them near the railway yard, an 18pdr QF gun.

5 Opening Shot

But they needn’t have worried as in-keeping with its shots throughout the game it missed!! Overshooting the armoured car and hitting the R35 behind doing no damage.

6 Dont Panic
Schneider P16 AC in a near miss.

In the mean time on the Anglican League left flank the Renault FT17 and 47mm FRC Carrier took advantage of the rail line to take a short cut.

7 Playing on the railroad
“Bit bumpy old chap”

The appearance of the 18pdr led to the majority of the 1st platoon to forget about the ship and take cover behind the houses in the village.

9 Bit of a panic
“Its dangerous out there”

While the R35 commander decided to surprise the right wing leader by taking the R35 out of the line of fire and headed down a side road.

10 We will nip down this side road
“Whats down this nice country lane?”

Which came as a bit of a surprise to the Post Office Volunteers and the Mobile Pill Box which were both now targets.

8 Sort out that someone
“Where’s everyone gone”

In the mean time the first of the reserves appear and head off to “look after the roses” in the seaside villas.

11 Royalist defenders move up
“Is that a geranium?”

By this time in gentlemanly style so far no-one had actually managed to inflict any casualties on each other!!!

12 Take aim
Royalist Oerlikon Gun waits in ambush

On the left the FT17 continues its advance and comes into the sights the Royalist anti-tank gun, but keeping up the tradition it misses and the FT17 carries on rolling forward.

13 Moving out
Royalist MkVI moves forward

AT this stage the Royalist latest armour rolls forward and gets hi and its main HMG is put out of action!!

14 Getting in a bit of a mess
Close Quarter fighting in Quail Holme house

Finally the first casulaties are caused in fighting between the Post Office Volunteers and the Regulars defending the house.

15 Traffic Jam
“They are over there sir”

Remembering their objectives Anglican League forces make a dash for the pub and sight of the ship.

16 Moving to the Pub
“Put your foot down that man”

And the fighting at the “old house” continues with the “mobile pill box” joining in, but the regulars (who were “madcap and thugs”) bayonet charge the Posties and drive them off.

17 They didnt expect that
Post Office Volunteers driven back

Net up comes the “shot of the day” as the FRC 47mm rolls past a highlander ambush (where did they come from?), 10 shots needing “7’s” to hit and they all miss (very sporting of you Paul)

18 Not a seven among them

In the mean time the MkVI has descended to ramming the opposition transports in a fit of pique after losing his HMG and slows down one of the transport but damages his own transmission in the process.

19 Getting Desperate - Ramming speed
“Steady on old man – can I have your insurance details please”

On the left flank – the highlanders finally hit the crew of the FRC Carrier and disable it but the FT17 gets into a position to fire at the ship. The Royalist deploy their anti-tank resources “a bloke with a sticky bomb” but both sides don’t have to worry the bomb does no damage and the FT17 misses a ship!!!!!

20 - Sticky bomb time
“What was that Sir? Run over there and stick it where?”

In the centre the Royalist and the Anglican League “madcap” units engage in “hand to hand” fighting

21 Madcaps together

And the Posties rally and join in

22 Now thats just nasty
Ganging up – most unsporting

This leads to severe damage to the Royalist section causing it to retreat.

23 Close fighting in the villas1
“Watch the roses that man”

At the seaside villas close range fighting between the Bishops Guard unit and the Royalists results in the only damage to the villas when the Royalist “bomber” attempts to throw a “Molotov Cocktail” misses and throws it behind him setting fire to one of the villas!!!

24 Guards will need some recruits
“We need to launch a recruitment drive”

But things soon go wrong for the guard as they are flanked and shot to pieces by the Royalists.

As well as this the AL advance is blocked by the arrival of more Royalist Reserves in the form of a Morris AC to stop their AC having a pot shot at the ship.

25 HQ getting involved
“Carry on forward lads, I have you covered”

And the 18pdr QF Gun finally had some success – but more by luck than judgement, after missing again its scatter shot overshoots and lands on the HQ Vehicle (red car) killing the Captain and the Standard Bearer (always better to be lucky than good eh Nigel?)

26 Moving up past the destoyed HQ
What was that?

While the Anglican League forces continued to push forward they were steadily losing the ability to bombard the ship with the R35 being immobilised and the FRC crew being killed.

27 Victorious gents
Gentlemen Volunteers continue to push forward

On the other flank the Highlanders start to move on the flanks of the AL forces

29 Highlanders move up
“Can you see anything boss?”

And the Oerlikon crew have time for a fag.

28 Fag Break
“Do we have to move boss?”

When the game was called the Anglican League forces had only managed to fire one shot at the ship and that had missed!” To continue the theme of the day for both sides.

This meant the Royalist had won and the SS Shearwater was safely birthed in Fleetwood Docks and can start to be unloaded.

More will be revealed in the next exiting episode.

Day Trip to the Sea Side