Monday, 13 November 2017
The concluding instalments of Storm Commander Giles' report [aka Extended Apologia] to Prime Minister Mosley have now been intercepted and deciphered HERE and HERE. The Storm Commander concludes by labelling "the Reds" as the "bete noir" of the County. Shome colour mishtake shurely....does Captain Arrowsmith not retain such title ?
Posted by leadboy at 05:58
Tuesday, 7 November 2017
Radio Moscow [Rob, Senior Socialist Officer] proved to be "first off the blocks" (amongst the Great or Not So Commanders) in providing a full - and fully illustrated - Big Game Battle Report [aka Propaganda Broadcast] which can be found HERE. A nice - again fully illustrated - description of the HQ and the prominent unit within Captain-Commissar Winter's CPGB Force can be found HERE as linked to from HERE.
The battlefield-promoted Storm Commander Giles [Giles], Senior Fascist Officer, has been messaging his fully illustrated report [aka Exculpatory Address] to Mosley and HM Government through in parts, which you can intercept and decipher HERE and HERE and HERE. Interception of further messages is anticipated very shortly...
Posted by leadboy at 04:10
Post-Action Report On The Recent Clash of Arms
by Cllr.Walter Cracknutt, commanding Wormelow Tump LDV
To whom it may concern.
As the opposing forces mustered it quickly became apparent that our loyal forces [Alan, for it was he, had made a satisfactory deal with Storm Commander Giles, Senior Fascist and Government Officer, in the pre-game financial negotiations] were greatly outnumbered by the Anglican-Socialist Alliance, and it was therefore incumbent on us to remain on the defensive to repel the enemy hordes. My troops held our left wing, with Storm Commander Giles [Giles] in the centre and Captain Morgan [Craig] and his Hereford Local Defence Volunteers on our right. The forces of the "Socialist (Very Broad) Front" formed the enemy left wing, which greatly overlapped our own right, leaving the Anglicans holding their centre and right. This was obviously a cunning ploy by the Reds, as will be seen. The Anglicans advanced in their usual laggardly fashion, or not in the case of the cowering townsfolk facing my gallant lads, whose impressive defensive line hidden in a wheat field caused the enemy to hold back, clearly intimidated by the wide open spaces of the countryside. No skulking back alleys to hide in here !
After some desultory skirmishing in the centre, disaster struck when Captain Morgan revealed the Hereford Local Defence Volunteers to be TRAITORS ! Seduced by insidious Red propaganda, Mexican gold and vodka, these false backstabbers attacked Storm Commander Giles' Wyvern Defence Force (aka "Wyrd Force"). Fierce fighting raged in a wood, with heavy casualties on both sides. The situation was perilous in the extreme for the King's men.
At that moment, the situation changed when the full import of the Red Menace revealed itself, as, wrongly believing our side was done for, they treacherously attacked their Anglican allies. At once all was confusion, as the Anglican left and centre turned to meet this attack.
Sizing up the situation I immediately sent word to the Anglican commander opposite [Gavin, as Cousin Verity of the Verity LDV] suggesting we refrained from any aggressive action against each other until the situation became clearer. As the Red threat increased this agreement became an official truce for the day as the Anglican and HM. Government forces turned to face the new foe.
My Wormelow Tump LDV dashed to the aid of Storm Commander Giles' Wyrd Force, but unfortunately our fitness training had omitted to include hedge-jumping, which slowed us down somewhat. However the Wormelow Cadets did arrive in time to drive the The Westfield Watchmen CC Gentlemen's XI out of the wood, and save our gallant leader, Storm Commander Giles. Our casualties were light, one sniper and an HMG team; also one of the Wormelow Wildcats Hockey Team was killed early on by mortar fire from the false Bishop of Ludlow, whom it may be remembered from previous battle reports has a penchant for picking on young ladies.
Overall, I believe this was a creditable performance in a battle in which we were heavily outnumbered and betrayed. On a positive note the exact nature of the perfidious Red Menace has now been revealed for all to see, and who knows, perhaps the temporary battlefield truce with the Anglicans may presage a more lasting attempt at peace.
One other point to mention is that I was personally approached by a shady character with leftist leanings and offered money to assassinate our gallant leader, Storm Commander Giles, which just shows the treacherous nature of these Reds. Naturally, being a loyal stout-hearted fellow, I did not do the evil deed but, being a Councillor, I naturally kept the brown envelope containing Mexican pesos, which turned out to be wise move when the Bank of England sadly went bust at the close of proceedings.
I have the honour to be, etc., etc.,
(Councillor, Commander, Wormelow Tump LDV)
Posted by leadboy at 03:40
Wednesday, 1 November 2017
A second (and last) pre Big Game News Bulletin for all those coming along to the Burley Gate Village Hall this Saturday, 4th November (10am - 5pm) !!
For anyone geographically challenged, Burley Gate is located just northeast of the junction between the A465 and the A417. A photograph of the Hall and a helpful map can be found here.
For anyone chronologically challenged, 10am really does mean ten am this time round! The Glorious (or Not) Commanders will be waiting to pounce on you in order to persuade you to their side for the day : latecomers may find the "LDV price" has gone down as the minutes have ticked by...real latecomers won't have the luxury of negotiating their own fees, but will be subject to the Umpires' "Cheap Auction" rules! You have been warned!
Food : in keeping with the spartan "AVBCW - TNG" approach of Spring 2017, please bring your own vittels! We will provide coffee and biscuits (which may be enough for some!) but lunch is beyond our catering capacity...
Charges: £10 per player as usual, payable on the day. Remember to bring along some spare cash if you want to browse the "Bring & Buy" table (mind you, nobody has actually indicated that they have any spare VBCW stuff to bring along, but there is always the possibility of a surprise).
Photography : Yes, please. Bring a camera to record the glorious success of your force on the Field of Battle!
Gaming Etiquette Note : There is no need to put your Action Cards on top of your Sections/tanks/armoured cars/that wood over there/on the table at all at any time (apart from maybe in front of where you are standing/sitting as per poker). Now that everyone has a bit of "campaign cash" (we hope), Umpires' Fines will be in operation! (explanation - it quite ruins "the look of the thing" and more importantly completely buggers up the photographs for use on this Blog).
All - even the laggardly - LDVs have now filed their Platoon Rosters, so (in addition to the early birds in the last post) we will be welcoming (in no particular order) Cousin Verity's Urban LDV (Gavin) of streetfighters and scurrilous types, Councillor Cox's very scary Brichester LDV (James) (for Herefordians who wonder which side of the Wye the unusually named Brichester might be located, the background details are here), formed of sections drawn from the Severnford Boilerplate Workers, the Camside Allotmenteers, the Goatswood Fairground workers, together with new campaign character (and very brilliant or very mad scientist), Doctor Campbell and his latest invention (it's alive! it's alive, I tell you!) plus the return of the Rorke's Drift Re-Enactment Society (on Field Maneouvres) LDV (Neil), complete with that new campaign character, alleged arsonist and proven dodgy insurance saleman, Mr. Ivor Petrolcan, Bringing up the rear (on this occasion only) is the (temporarily former) Stokkies Joubert (Roo) in unaccustomed LDV role....
The Glorious (or Not) Commanders have, of course, been preparing. The Government Forces have recorded some early strategic success, calming the LDVs along the route of Captain-General Jermingham's Front (unfortunately, neither Mort nor Doug could make the date, and we suffered a recent withdrawal of the notorious "Taunton Three" due to health issues - our best wishes to J - so we will be playing on two rather than three tables - respectively the Attempted Breakout from Kington [Table 1] and the Bishop's A49 Thrust, from Brimfield to Berrington [Table 2]) prompting the (Very Broad) Socialist Alliance to zoom into action with a the announcement of another wonder weapon (if it arrives on time). No details have been released of this piece of Soviet sourced (no doubt) hi-tech, but Comrade-Commissar Winters promises all LDVs that "the sky's the limit, comrades!" Not to be outdone (and having already promised new Anglican technology), the Bishop of Ludlow has been boasting of the bulging reserves of the Ludlow Co-Operative and Christian Thrift Society (Chairman : Sir Richard "Rock Steady" Provident-Investment), backed by tithes of the County's faithful, and the stellar performance of newly-minted Ludlow Groats against the Great British Pound (and other similarly valuable 1938 currencies, such as the Peruvian peso) on the off-off-markets in the City of London...details of the names and currencies of the BUF Bank and the Socialist Bank are noted not yet even to be "in circulation"!
Negotiating Etiquette Note : No deal is final until the parties have shaken hands upon their agreement in a truly Very British way. Until that time, both LDVs and Glorious (or Not) Commanders are not bound.
Posted by leadboy at 10:55
Tuesday, 24 October 2017
With the days counting down to the Autumn Big Game 2017 ("The Last of the Summer Wye"), news is coming in from all over Herefordshire (and well beyond) of the forces being assembled:
The Glorious (or Not) Commanders
The "Senior Commanders" have been announced!
For the Fascist/Royalist Government Coalition, goosestep forward Storm Leader Giles (Giles) of the Three Counties BUF Legion, as "Senior Government Officer"! Last seen at BUF HQ being roundly abused by (the presently absent) Captain Arrowsmith after The Battle of Bredwardine Fords, the Storm Leader has seized this command opportunity! Will the County LDVs be impressed ?
For the Socialist (Very Broad) Alliance, raise a clenched fist to the "Senior Socialist Officer", Captain-Commissar Winters (Rob), Professor of History, noted radical, and 'veteran" of the Second Battle of Ledbury, where he enjoyed the dubious distinction of having his entire force killed, captured or routed by the BUF and Royalists. Subsequently arrested and confined in Aston Hall, Winters has recently managed to escape his imprisonment (with the kind assistance of the Communist Party of Great Britain) and has been appointed (again with the kind assistance of the CPGB) to his present exalted command position. Will the County LDVs allow him to erase the memory of the Second Battle of Ledbury? Should he fail, does he face 'liquidation" (again with the kind assistance of the CPGB, etc.,etc.) ?
For the Anglican Alliance, put your palms together in reverent attitude for the "Senior Anglican Officer", the Bishop of Ludlow (Clive)! Another junior leader promoted to overall command (in the absence of Captain-General Jermingham, Anglican C-in-C), has the recent victor of "The Two Bishops' Battle" at Brimfield got the true stuff of leadership? Will one of his notably lengthy sermons persuade sufficient County LDVs to the Anglican cause?
The County LDVs
Ten County LDVs are jockeying for position, influence and lots of cash from the Central Treasuries of the Glorious (or not) Commanders. But not all of them yet submitted Platoon Rosters! Come on, chaps!
Recipient of a "Special Umpire Bonus" for having already returned a beautifully completed Platoon Roster to Central HQ, Captain Morgan of the Hereford Local Defence Volunteers (consisting principally of "The Westfield Watchmen CC Gentlemens XI", "The Roman Road Irregulars" and the "Huntington Parish Honey Farmers Levy"), Captain Morgan (Craig) is sure to be much sought after by the Glorious Commanders. He now has the substantial benefit of being supported by none other than Sir Alan McGuffin, Chairman of the Hereford Golf Club, and his "McGuffinMobile", a vast and deadly Behemoth of splendid appearance, as driven by McCaddy, Sir Alan's chauffeur, general factotum and psycho-batman!
Scarcely likely to be less sought after, and equal recipients of "Special Umpire Bonuses", for having both read the scenario briefing early and actually undertaken some special modelling in consequence, the Umpires also have full Platoon Rosters already returned by Councillor Walter Cracknutt (Alan) of the Wormelow Tump Warriors LDV and the Hon. Felicia Goodbody (Rita) of the Fownhope Faithful LDV. Lady Felicia (cousin of the Blessed Rita Talbot-Ponsonby) has the benefit a mobile grenade launcher :
|Mobile Grenade Launcher of the Fownhope Allotment Holders Association|
and the formidable re-inforcement of a Lightly Armoured Car belonging to the Fownhope Shopkeepers:
|The Fownhope Shopkeepers "Special Delivery Vehicle"|
while Councillor Cracknutt has recruited an old pal (from Pentonville) of the well known Alfie Lightfinger of the Gas Street Irregulars, one Shorty McBisquett, Manager of the Wormelow Pest Control Company (in other guise, and only very allegedly, a notorious gang of County poachers) and their "Not Very Armoured" Car:
|Shorty McBisquett's "Not Very Armoured" Car|
There may yet be further helpful "Umpires Bonuses" for Platoon Rosters being returned - it is still not too late for the other LDV Commanders to get their kit together (and avoid the dreaded "Umpire Penalties"). Remember, the better your outfit, the more likely they will be to command "a premium" from the cash strapped "Glorious Commanders"....
And now for the other news. The Senior Socialist Officer has announced that he will have "some very special logistical supplies" for any LDV willing to join his cause (the supply of which may or may not be linked to the provision of a Communist Commissar to your own force). The Senior Anglican Officer is shortly to broadcast that he will be fielding "some new high technology equipment" and planning "brilliant new tactics" for any LDV ready to enter into "the service of the Almighty". The Senior Fascist Officer has confirmed he has read the scenario briefing, and is busily engaged in preparing an all new "Wyrd Force" for the Big Day...
The Very Very Real 1938 Relic is ready to be won, and all the items for the Special Voluntary Modelling Challenge are bagged up and ready. Umpire Clive is making roads. Umpire Roo is busy making hedges - er, lots and lots of hedges - and a whole lot else!
Posted by leadboy at 09:34
Thursday, 31 August 2017
As the last soft rays of summer sunshine fade from the fabled green landscapes of the embattled County of Herefordshire, plans have been laid by the vast (and vastly) creative staff at AVBCW (TNG) Tac-HQ for the Autumn 2017 “Big Game”. Yes, coming soon to a tabletop near you, it’s the long awaited:
“THE LAST OF THE SUMMER WYE”
THE AUTUMN 2017 AVBCW (TNG) BIG GAME
The Campaign Situation
The County of Hereford remains central to the outcome of the continuing, and Very British, Civil War.
|Parish Map/Situation Map No.11|
In the south of the County, with his regional base at Ross on Wye, the square-jawed Captain-General JERMINGHAM (Mort - Anglican CinC), usually assisted by his doughty (and jealously independent) ally, Sir GILBERT HILL (Doug - Golden Valley Invincibles LDV) continue their dogged drive northward towards HEREFORD itself.
In the north of the County, with his regional base at Ludlow, the gallant Bishop of LUDLOW has crossed the Shropshire/Herefordshire border on his self-styled “Great A49 Drive” southward towards LEOMINSTER, and thereafter (he devoutly prays) HEREFORD.
In the west of the County, with their regional base at KINGTON, a mixed force of Welsh Nationalists, Socialists, Communists and anti-Royalists of all descriptions - loosely allied to the Anglican cause for the moment - battle grimly on under continuing siege by a mixed force of pro-Royalist and pro-Government forces.
In the east of the County, the area centred on LEDBURY, the great early battles of the Hereford VBCW have given way to an uneasy calm.
|Hereford VBCW General Theatre Map|
In the Shire Hall at HEREFORD, Lord DE BRAOSE sits brooding. Embroiled in personal scandals [caused by his own murderous and malignant character/promoted by the false propaganda of the Bishop’s Broadcasting Service - select according to your taste] he increasingly has to rely upon his principal field commanders and their forces: the snarling Captain ARROWSMITH at the head of his black clad BUF and that devil-may-care King’s Colonial, Stokkies JOUBERT.
And in that field jostle the usual (and not so usual) cast of factional sub-leaders, each jealous of their reputations and ready to step up the chain of command if any of the “leading men” (sorry, Rita, they’re all still men, but this is 1938 and we’re aiming for gender equality by 2018) fail to “make the date” of the “Big Game” - Major STRAITT-JACKETT, the Bishop of LICHFIELD and the Blessed Lady Rita TALBOT-PONSONBY, Commander Eustace SPODE, Captain VERITY, Storm Leader GILES, the Reverend Percy FITZNEATLY, Sir Ed WARD-GLEAR of the MHC, the list goes on….
But new problems confront all our commanders……
The Local Defence Volunteers
The outrageous and bloody events at the HEREFORD GOLF CLUB (see “The April Fool’s Day Massacre” - Spring 2017 Big Game) have emboldened the native spirit of adventure and deep sense of independence within the County’s many and varied forces of Local Defence Volunteers.
It has been duly noted that many of the “supporting teams” that ventured forth that warm April day sprang not from the warring ideological factions of Fascists, Anglicans, Royalists, Socialists or Albertines - but from the native soil and agricultural villages of Herefordshire itself.
No longer are the miscellany of Hereford’s Local Defence Volunteers willing only to “stand their ground”.
No longer are these mixed bands of the great untrained (and occasionally unwashed) willing to take part in the County’s Civil War without reward or recognition. After all, they took on the toffs in the Spring and won (or nearly won) the County Golf Cup….
Now comes a time when the Great Commanders of all the factions must beg and wheedle and bribe and cajole for support (yes, even the jackbooted Captain ARROWSMITH). Without the support of the Local Defence Volunteers, the best laid plans of HEREFORD, and LUDLOW, and ROSS-ON-WYE, even of KINGTON behind its siege lines, are bound to go astray….
It’s the Economy, Stupid
Months of civil warfare have taken their economic toll. The County’s industries have faltered or been turned over to war production. The vast farming population have gleefully taken the opportunity - wholly in line with their native instincts, but contemporaneously presented by a lack of firm central authority - to stop paying their taxes. Inflation is rife. Recruitment is hard. The Central Treasuries of the warring parties have dwindled steadily, with no respite - other than the distant possibility of total victory in the field - in sight. Once, tanks and heavy guns were common sights on the VBCW battlefields of Herefordshire - with even an occasional aircraft being spotted (or acting as spotter). Ammunition was shot off with gleeful abandon. Now, and one way or another, the price of every engagement has to be paid for not just in blood, but in coinage.
And a possibly debased coinage. With the Bank of England’s national gold reserves drained and the transportation of notes and coins from the Royal Mint a hazardous business in a troubled land, the factions of HEREFORDSHIRE have each taken to producing their own currency, backed by their own regional banks: the Capital and County Bank of Herefordshire, for example, or the Lending Co-Operative Society of Ludlow. Where once there were only pounds embossed with the King’s head, now there are florins, and fresh minted guineas, and even twenty shilling “Herefords” boldly stamped “BY ORDER - DE BRAOSE”. It is boasted (by their respective political backers, if no-body else) that each is equivalent to the old, pre-Civil War, pound - but equally widely rumoured that at least one - perhaps even more - of the new “currencies” is actually valueless.
Who can tell?
Everyone enjoys the good old “3 platoons v 3 platoons/3 platoons v 2 platoons” battles. After the wild mayhem of the “all versus all” Golf Cup Challenge, we return to our “campaign meeting engagements”, but possibly not as we have known them….
There are still three tables of our usual generous size, in this case designated “KINGTON SEIGE”, “NORTHWARD PUSH” and “THE A49 DRIVE”, each thereby representing the present campaign areas of conflict. The tables are pretty indistinguishable, however, being mostly fields, hillocks and woods with occasional B roads and hamlets. The great towns, siege works, rivers and railway lines of the County are off table, for these are to be meeting engagements on a highly localised scale…
There are only six Faction Commanders (3 pro Government, 3 anti Government). The rest of our gallant band of players have brought along not factional troops, but forces of Local Defence Volunteers. There’s no telling on which table they may fight, or on whose side….
The six Faction Commanders each have access to their own Treasury, denominated in their own currency. None of the Faction Commanders know the resources of the other Faction Commanders, for stores of currency may be unequal….but all of our LDV commanders are presently penniless.
Over our usual morning coffee, it is up to the Faction Commanders to “beg and wheedle and bribe and cajole” for support - and perhaps even threaten. Hard currency (of whatever sort) will no doubt lubricate the wheels of diplomacy, for that’s what our Faction Commanders have and that’s what our LDV Commanders need.
But wait! All is not so simple. In the chaos of the Civil War, a losing LDV Commander cannot be guaranteed to keep the price that he might have earlier extracted from his Faction Commander. LDV Treasuries (commonly referred to as “Stashes”) might go missing in a retreat, or ransoms might have to be paid, even outright bribes to extricate a losing LDV force from the field. The canny LDV commander will not just demand a high price from his support, but will judge whether the price can be kept by victory in due course….
And even if kept by victory, would the price be worth anything at all? With the rumours of debased coinage swirling around Herefordshire, there is no guarantee that the cash offered by the smiling (apart, possibly, from Captain Arrowsmith) Faction Commanders is actually worth anything at all. What is a poor LDV commander to do?
Prepare his force of Local Defence Volunteers, obviously. A well-armed and equipped Platoon will be more attractive to a Faction Commander than a bunch of ill-trained layabouts, so get that Platoon polished up and on the training field in readiness for the day of the “Big Game”…..and be sure to boast in negotiations of just how effective your lot will be on their table top - if the price is right.
But what is “well-armed and equipped” and can our LDV Commander afford it? That’s right, it’s not just the Great Commanders that now have to worry about money. A tank demands diesel (or at least coal), big guns and even mortars demand ammunition stocks, aircraft and pilots might prove prohibitively expensive “in the field” and “on the day”. The better trained the Platoon, the more expensive their own wages might be…There is no point obtaining a high price for one’s services, only to watch it all drain away in the fabled “expenses” ledger.
And a ledger will be kept. That’s right, the various “stashes” of the various “LDVs” will be recorded at the end of the “Big Game”. All of our LDV Commanders might - no, will - need “money in the bank” (or under the mattress) for future adventures…as will the respective Treasuries of the Faction Commanders. Knowing this with certainty, how much will our Faction Commanders choose to spend this time out - possibly leaving them short on another occasion?
Campaign & Table Top Tactics
There are still 3 tables, but no longer fixed “3 Platoons v 3 Platoons” table engagements.
How many Platoons actually finish up on each side (pro or anti Government) will depend upon the Faction Commanders negotiating skills over early morning coffee. If Captain Arrowsmith continues to snarl, it could be, say, 15 Anti Government Platoons vs. 3 Pro Government Platoons (i.e. reduced to the Pro Government Faction Commanders). If, to the contrary, the Bishop of Ludlow decides to ignore “brass tacks” (or the provision of Ludlow “alms to the needy”) and preach a wordy sermon instead, the reverse could hold true. Or honours could turn out more or less even (i.e. equally expensive for respective Central Treasuries) and both Pro and Anti Government factions will finish up with around nine Platoons each…who can tell?
After the recruiting negotiations have finished, it’s then up to the Faction Commanders in conference to decide their campaign tactics. No longer does each table have to have 3 Platoons - it’s now a matter of tactics. Will the Anglicans and Allies choose to sacrifice the brave defenders of KINGTON, for example, and allocate the majority of their Platoons to the tables representing “THE NORTHWARD PUSH” and/or “THE A49 DRIVE”? Can the Government Forces risk the fall of HEREFORD itself to grab the long awaited prize of KINGTON, or should they concentrate their forces, say, against the hard driving Anglican Commander of Chief? Would too many Platoons on the one table get in the way of each other, and is a “balanced approach” the key to success?
Who can tell?
The only rule is that at least ONE (defending) Platoon of Pro or Anti Government Forces must be allocated to each table, and that such ONE Platoon cannot retreat off table to another table. Oh, and the second rule is that such platoon NEED NOT be a Faction Commander’s Platoon. It can be an LDV Platoon.
And you thought this was simple…
Not every LDV is equally reliable, nor necessarily stays bought. And even the LDV Commanders don’t know whether they’re reliable or trustworthy when the great negotiations take place over morning coffee….
That’s right, it’s time for the “LUXURIOUS SEALED ENVELOPES” as introduced in the Spring Big Game 2017.
This time, a “LUXURIOUS SEALED ENVELOPE” is given to each LDV Commander on the morning of the “BIG GAME”, not to be opened until after all negotiations have concluded.
The “LUXURIOUS SEALED ENVELOPE” will tell each LDV Commander their personal character. These will not be complicated, but will be varied. LDV Commanders can range in character from “DOGGEDLY LOYAL” through “SCANDALOUSLY INCOMPETENT” to “OUTRIGHT TRAITOR” - to give just a few examples.
LDV Commander’s Character Traits can be revealed orally to Faction Commanders and fellow players after the start of each tabletop game (so as not to effect initial placement), and may be reflected in individual bonuses or handicaps. The written contents of the “Luxurious Sealed Envelopes”, however, may not be revealed at any time. “DOGGEDLY LOYAL” players may get a +1 on morale tests. “SCANDALOUSLY INCOMPETENT” players may get a -1, or even a -2, on shooting tests. “OUTRIGHT TRAITORS” may act in the interests of the opposing side (pretty obviously), but when they choose to do so and how they choose to do so will be a matter entirely for them. So secretive are they that not even the “opposing side” - and not even the Umpires - know that they are “TRAITORS” until the moment of truth…the only thing that is certain is that an “OUTRIGHT TRAITOR” is very unlikely to confess in advance that he/she has such traitorous characteristics….
Of other bribes, Umpires’ Ambushes and Ancillary Rules - YOU REALLY SHOULD READ THIS BIT
Here’s the “wash up”, although the umpires (Clive and Roo) reserve the right to invent new rules absolutely on the spur of the moment (but pretend they’d thought of them months ago) to fix any glitches:
(a). Faction Commanders : Have you been working on a new piece of kit, a shiny new Section or a nice meaningful terrain piece? Tell the Umpires what you could bring along in addition to your Platoon and you might just be granted special dispensation to use it. This could be useful in negotiations with LDV Commanders (e.g. “the Umpires have granted me permission to use my HUGE NEW TANK at no cost, so we’ve got the beating of Captain Arrowsmith this time, no worries” or “I have a Petrol Dump terrain piece which I can provide you with, so your Armoured Cars will cost you nothing to run this game if you stick with me…”). The only limit is your imagination and the Umpires’ jointly granted generosity. PS. the better the back story, the more exotic/imaginative or the more VBCW your extra piece of kit is, the more likely you are to be granted permission).
(b). LDV Commanders : absolutely the same applies to you. Ask the Umpires for permission to use your additional kit, and your wishes might just be granted (or not, dependent which side of bed they got out of that morning). Worried that you don’t have an LDV force at all? Don’t - however your existing troops are uniformed, they can be named as an LDV anyway (although the black shirted lots, if the price is right, might just prefer to ally with the BUF for “the look of the thing”).
(c). Umpires Ambushes: and speaking of Umpires, please understand this time (and for all time) they’re evil. On AVBCW TNG’s first time out in Spring 2017, we invented “Umpires Incentives” to get your Platoon Roster in on time, and in proper order in accordance with the Rules (well done, Alan and Rita). We also invented “Umpires Thank You’s” for those who had gone out of their way to help with terrain, etc. (well done, Tim and Nick). The incentives were then relatively minor (a +1 bonus on a morale throw, which, by the way, Alan forgot to use at a critical time). This time we’re bigging them up Billy-Big-Time….you have been warned.
(d). Continuing Favours - of Absolute Authenticity - Mark One: Oh yes, some things translate from Big Game to Big Game. The proud victor of the Hereford County Golf Cup (not Roo, who actually won with his scratch force, but that 28mm mercenary miner, Mr Cuddy Davison) will be displaying the Cup behind his assigned Platoon (if Nick and the Lichfield LDV can make the game!), which will benefit from a +1 morale bonus throughout the Autumn Big Game. Look out for this valuable piece of silverware! (although it’s actually painted gold - and it can be captured, yes).
(e). Continuing Favours - of Dubious Provenance - Mark Two: And yes, some things even translate from AVBCW (TOS) to AVBCW (TNG). We speak, of course, of the notorious (and possibly forged) “Memoirs” of the late Colonel Mustard, as captured on the field of battle by the Socialists. Such book, in the same manner as the Golf Cup above, will be displayed behind a selected Socialist Platoon (if they turn up at all, which is never guaranteed), which will “benefit” (if that is the word) from a -1 firing bonus throughout the Autumn Big Game. Look out for this classic example of English illustrated literature [tasteful erotica] [smutty pornography] [forged rubbish] (which can be captured, yes, if anyone wants to do so - just please don’t ask why the socialists can’t shoot quite as straight as before, this is the 1930s).
(f). Ancillary Rules: And yes, we have noticed that we could finish up with one table with only one “Defending” Platoon on it, and, say, three to seven “Attacking Platoons” facing them, dependent on how the negotiations and the Campaign Tactics work. That might not make for the most interesting game. So here’s what we’ll do if that situation occurs. The “Attacking Platoons” must advance up to the “end” of “their” table (no doubt running or motoring frantically and no doubt destroying the one “Defending” Platoon on the way). At the “end” of “their” table they will then be translated to “another table” of the Umpires’ choice, at a point of the Umpires’ choice, and will then take full part in the battle on that table as the relevant Faction Commander requests. If things look really bad/potentially boring on any one table at the start of play, bear in mind that the Umpires have kept the fabled “Mommet’s Circles” terrain pieces from the Spring Big Game 2017, which may be deployed at the Umpires’ will to assist with (already fantastically assisted) movement….
(g). Ancillary Rules +1 ; Inter-table movement is not necessarily restricted to the situation given above. If one side is victorious on a table before the “close of the afternoon” and (by equally frantic running/motoring) reaches the “end” of “their” table as above, they can equally move onto another table via the special (highly secret, and rumoured yet to be invented) Umpires’ Tabletop Campaign Rules….
(h). Ancillary Rules +2 = Auctions: Ok, someone’s going to be late and miss the morning coffee negotiations. These things just happen. If any LDV player is late, or if any LDV player has not come to satisfactory terms with any Faction Leader by the close of morning coffee negotiations, their services will either be “purchased” by open bids in a quick, dirty and very public auction, or simply assigned (NB. at nil value to the LDV player) by the Umpires. It is not recommended that Faction Commanders turn up late. Well, not if they want a comfortable rest of the day.
(i). Free For All: There is no ban on negotiations between Faction Commanders and LDV Commanders taking place before morning coffee on the day of the Big Game. There is equally no ban on LDV Commanders negotiating amongst themselves - how about an LDV “trade union” to keep the price of life and labour up? If you wish to indulge in private discussions by email, well done. Be aware, however, that it may not be clear until relatively late in the “circular emails” who is actually going to be a Faction Commander and who an LDV Commander (dates which everyone can make are very hard to arrange) and none of the Faction Commanders will know how much money they have to spend until the morning itself.
(j). Currency Debasement: Oh yes, we’re serious. At least one of the Faction Commander’s currencies is absolutely worthless. It might even be more than one currency. You don’t know which, and even they don’t know which, because the worthless currency (or currencies!) will be decided/announced by the Umpires at the conclusion of the Big Game. Well, you know, sometimes even 28mm life is a bit of a bummer….
(k). Charitable Donations: Some may remember that the County Golf Cup Challenge event was held in favour of the now hugely enriched (but also now hugely overworked) Hereford Widows and Orphans Fund. The Umpires wish to continue the idea of Big Games being held in aid of “charidee”, particularly so as the funds are worthless and the charity fictional. See, that’s how bitter and twisted we are. You have been warned again. Anyway, we want YOU to suggest a fictional, Hereford based, charity to benefit from the Autumn 2017 Spring Big Game, together with a tagline that can be used in charitable posters, leaflets, etc. The best idea with the best back story wins, and the originator will receive one of those new Umpires Bigged-Up Favours….useful for the negotiation phase before the Big Game.
(l). FREEBIES. Oh yes! There’s no such thing as a free lunch in Hereford 1938 (in fact, we’re continuing the TNG approach of not providing lunch, so bring your own please as before. We’ll provide coffee and biscuits, though) but there are NEWLY INTRODUCED FREEBIES! Here’s what’s on offer this time:
(i). FREE CURRENCY. That’s right. The Hereford 1938 economy, ruined as it is, is not just a paper accounting exercise. We’re providing real plastic (or maybe real paper, we haven’t decided yet) currency to our Faction Commanders for distribution in negotiations and for you to keep (if you’ve got any left) after the Big Game! Wow!
(ii). FREE SWAPMEET/BRING AND BUY. Your tat is another’s treasure. Got figures you’ll never use? Terrain pieces you’ve tired of? Impulse purchases that demonstrate only a complete lack of judgment? We all have, even in VBCW. Bring them along to the Big Game and swap them or sell them. Great!
(iii). FREE MODELLING CHALLENGE DOGGY BAG - NEW! The Umpires - and the vast (and vastly creative) planning staff of AVBCW (TNG) have already devised a unique “Big Game” for next year, 2018. They’ve gone further, and actually bought some real model kit that they want you to convert as you will, paint, and bring along to the 2018 game. So, free “Modelling Challenge” Doggy Bags will be available at this Big Game for any VBCW volunteer willing to take one away and spend the long winter months converting and painting (well, we think it’ll probably be an evening’s work/fun, but still). ONLY VOLUNTEERS NEEDED - no compulsion to take a doggy bag - but hey, FREE MODELS! (Terms and Conditions Apply). What- ho!
(iv). FREE AND VERY, VERY REAL 1938 RELIC TO “THE VICTOR LUDORUM” = NEW! NEW! The County Golf Cup (in 28mm form) proved a real vote winner last time out, so we’re keeping our newly minted tradition of having a small prize at the end of the “Big Game”. This time out it’s a VERY, VERY REAL 1938 RELIC that ANY HOME WOULD BE PROUD OF (well, let’s not fall foul of the Advertising Standards Authority, it rather depends who wins it). Oh yes! The joint award of the Umpires, the VERY, VERY REAL 1938 RELIC will go to (i). the player who has most keenly demonstrated the VBCW 1938 spirit during the BIG GAME AUTUMN 2017, or, at the Umpires’ option but wholly in line with their native inclinations, (ii). the player who has most obviously demonstrated the ABSOLUTE EVILITY NECESSARY IN A CIVIL WAR, EVEN A BRITISH ONE, or (iii). oh, bloody hell and excuse the French, the obvious winner of the day. I say, top-hole, Bunter!
(m). That’s It, Chaps! That’s your challenge, should you choose to accept it. If you wish to add any ideas/cautionary words/constructive criticism/worries/ideological texts or, even better, good period jokes, please feel free to send a message to either of the Umpires!
“AVBCW The Next Generation - Herefordshire: the final frontier. These are the games of the AVBCW crew. Their continuing mission: to explore strange new scenarios, to seek out dodgy geezers and model Heath-Robinson contraptions, to boldly go where no gamer has sensibly gone before” - a Hereford1938 quotation attributed to Sir Ed Ward-Glear of the Malvern Hills Conservators.
Posted by leadboy at 04:09
Monday, 28 August 2017
Somewhere within the confines of the (undestroyed) Clubhouse of the Hereford Golf Club - probably in the upstairs loo - is displayed a wooden board, lettered in gilt, declaring the results of the 1938 Golf Challenge:
The Winner (and Holder of the 1/1 Scale Cup)
Roo’s Scratch Terretorials (Quasi - Royalist/Mercenary)
The Successful Robber from Sir Alan McGuffin (and Holder of the 1/60 Scale Cup)
Mr Cuddy Davison (Mercenary Miner)
The Runners-Up (who made it onto the 18th Fairway)
Jay’s Spanish Catholic Nationalist Monarchists (Royalist/BUF/Politically Confused)
Tim’s Bishop of Lichfield’s Field Force (Anglican)
Craig’s North Herefordshire Parishioners Militia (Anglican)
Carl’s “Not those Carlists” Local Defence Volunteers (LDV)
Rita’s Herefordshire Field Force (Anglican)
Monsewer Crapaud’s (Nick’s) Lichfield Local Defence Volunteers (LDV)
The Gallant Field (and in no particular order)
Steve’s Chinese Converts Column (LDV)
Alan’s Fascist Alarm Company (BUF)
JP’s Blackshorts (BUF)
Neil’s Rorke’s Drift Re-Enactment Society on Field Exercises (LDV)
Stephen’s “THE Rural LDV” (LDV)
What will the future hold for "Cuddy Davison" and his section of blackened miners? Indeed, for all the forces of "supporters and well-wishers" who turned out for the Spring "Big Game"? How will Sir Alan McGuffin extract his revenge for his destroyed Golf Course? These and other burning questions can only be answered by participation in the AUTUMN BIG GAME....
Posted by leadboy at 07:13
A late Appeal !
It turns out that, such was the desperation of RDR-2 in the scramble to put together a force in 10 minues before the "Off" in the morning, his 28mm commander had "borrowed" a small section from none other than Monsieur Crapaud (Nick) of Crapaud Force - a section of "blackened miners" lead by one "Cuddy Davison".
And who had relieved Sir Alan McGuffin of the 1/60 scale Cup at the point of a bayonet? None other than "Cuddy Davison" himself.
Brows were furrowed, heads scratched. Counsel's Opinion was taken. The Appeal was successful.
The leader of RDR-2's "Mercenary Miner" section, Mr Cuddy Davison, was duly given the right to carry the 1/60 scale cup back to Crapaud Force in triumph, and have a tiny medal sewn (well, painted) onto his jacket. The scale Cup will accompany Nick's miners section on the next occasion of battle, and give them a well deserved +1 morale bonus (until the Cup is captured by someone else, of course..)
Which leaves only the Sir Alan McGuffin, sorrowing over his lost Cup and his destroyed Golf Course:
|The Hereford Golf Course : Before the "April Fools Day Massacre"|
|The Hereford Golf Course : After "The April Fools Day Massacre"|
Posted by leadboy at 06:39
The final charge.......
|Jay's Mounted Troops "go wide" in an effort to avoid the Committee's Machine Gun fire, and then turn...|
|J's Horse charge, taking on the Committee's Machine Gun. To the right, RDR-2's Miners take on the Club Committee|
|A closer view of the final moments. It is now too close range for the Commitee's Field Gun, and Sir Alan McGuffin|
can only take cover between the champagne Behemoths....
Sir Alan McGuffin, as Chairman of the Hereford Golf Club and custodian of the Cup, personally commanded the Committee's rearguard action. A charge home from the Spanish mounted troops, but the tussle was inconclusive (hard luck on the dice rolling, J)..wide eyed Sir Alan swung round to check his other flank, and suddenly found himself staring into the grim eyes of a blackened miner levelling an old fashioned Lee Metford...
|A courageous miner is about to "hold up" Sir Alan McGuffin|
"I'll have that, son" growled the miner, pointing at the Cup. "And I think happ'n we've earned it."
Posted by leadboy at 06:07
Neither Crapaud Force nor the "Not those Carlists" LDV had the forces to outdistance J and his mounted troops, nor RDR-2's frantically running (and charioteering) Lew Wallace Memorial boys. After a brief exchange of fire between their forces, differing tactics became clear. Crapaud Force advanced warily behind J's politically confused Spaniards, hoping that the "initial wave" of attacks would be broken by the Committee's firepower. Carl and his "Not those Carlists" LDV, however, possibly driven mad by their long-running battle with the Lower Course tank and benefiting from some long range weapons, took to bombarding the "front runners" from behind with great glee - particularly Carl's old friend, RDR-2. Whatever the tactical thinking, perhaps not so tactful in relation to a man who was due to give you a lift home later....
Gee-up! Whipcrack away! RDR-2's 28mm commander, juddering along on his artillery limber, well saw that he was being outpaced by the faster moving mounted troops of J's force, and knew that he could expect no mercy from behind. Forward! Faster! Into the teeth of fire from the defending Committee! Onwards on the Fairway of Death!
|Whipcrackaway! RDR-2's brave 28mm commander on top of his fast travelling|
limber. On the flank, a depleted section of miners is all that is now left of the
Lew Wallace Memorial Assault Group. Thanks, Carl (and Nick and J)
The lead horse of the artillery team went down; then another. The remainder stumbled, recovered, gathered themselves for the final gallop and.....
An artillery shell landed slap bang on top of them.
The brave 28mm commander was obliterated in an instant; in a tangle of leather straps and drivers and mangled horseflesh, in that but one explosive instant, both the leader and the dreams of the Lew Wallace Memorial Assault Group died.
But did they?
On their left, J's fast movement had put him into the teeth of the Committee's fire. Spaniards fell left and right, with J's forces rapidly being whittled down. RDR-2 still had one (reduced) section of grim-faced miners to make one last close assault...
The respective (1/1 scale) Commanders saluted. It was to be now or never. After a long day of grinding battle, it had come down to one last, great charge....
Posted by leadboy at 04:11
As RDR-2 and the wily J set up their forces on the 18th Fairway, news filtered through from the Lower Course - the will of the Herefordshire Watch Committee had finally been broken, and the defending tank destroyed....
|The sadly depleted forces of the Lew Wallace Memorial Assault Group assemble on the 18th Fairway.|
Their brave commander can be seen mounted on his chariot-style artillery limber.
|J's Politically Confused Spaniards assemble in the other corner. Will his mounted troops give him an advantage?|
|A good impression of the Clubhouse and the waiting Committee, Cup and Champagne.|
The wide, green acreage of the 18th Fairway is clearly visible.
It soon became apparent, however, that the Committee had arranged both chilled champagne and a hot reception for our contenders, forming up the Club staff behind a field gun, a machine gun, and as the remarkably well mannered servants of two mortars. The Chairman of the Club, Sir Alan McGuffin, had let it be known that the Cup was only to be wrested from his cold, dead hands....while behind J and RDR-2, the victors from the Lower Course, Nick and his "Crapaud Force" and Carl and his "Not those Carlists" LDV entered the assembly areas of the 18th Fairway....
Who would triumph?
Fighting slowly petered out on the Upper and Lower Courses as the players gathered round the 18th Fairway. Later qualifiers - Lady Rita, the lumbering Lichemaster of the Upper Course (Craig), and (remarkably) the heavily battered Bishop of Lichfield (Tim) - gracefully accepted that their role was now likely to be academic, as they were already behind the earlier four top table qualifiers. It appears that a late change of "Golf Buddy" cards on the Upper Course, together with the physical exhaustion and/or sudden onset of claustrophobia by Captain Straitt-Jackett, had allowed the good Bishop to qualify.
But which of our four early qualifiers would claim the Cup?
Posted by leadboy at 03:33
Sunday, 27 August 2017
Not just speed, however, but speed allied with firepower.
After the near extinction, by massed artillery fire, of both the Ben Hogan Friends of Herefordshire Golf (on the Upper Course) and the Herefordshire Watch Committee (on the Lower Course), the defenders of the "central objective" on each table were seriously undermanned.
The situation on the Upper Course has already been described. On the Lower Course, due to the three way (and still continuing) melee, the non-participants had been making slow but steady progress towards the centre of the table : a newly cautious Spode, the wheel-spinning Commander Carl of the "Not those Carlists" LDV, and the seriously undermanned Monsewer Crapaud. On both courses, any assault on the "central objective" would be practically bound to succeed.
Before the lunch adjournment, Umpire Clive had ordered a change of "Golf Buddy" cards. Perhaps a re-shaping of alliances could save the "central objective"? To no avail. The fall of the cards resulted in little change, and just as much danger to the "central objectives" as ever.
Over lunch, RDR-2 hastily re-frocked himself, and the Umpires now fell into discussion. A solution was found. Upon resumption of play in the afternoon, the players on both courses stared aghast at the HUGE TANK that now defended each "central objective"....(apart from the Bishop and the Captain, of course, whose heavily blackened eyes made sight difficult, and who soon fell again into their mutually enjoyable and entirely private bunfight, taking turns to bludgeon each other -See Rule 2A(iii) of the "Close Quarter Assault" April Supplement to the Rules).
On the Lower Course, the tank proved a serious obstacle. Vast amounts of firepower poured over the behemoth and its two sheltering policemen (who were nerveless, and apparently indestructible) to no effect. The three non-meleeing parties were seriously held up, particularly the teeth-grinding Commander Carl : would no-body free him from this turbulent tank?
On the Upper Course, the tank seemed to interfere seriously with the previously steady advance of Captain Chang's Chinese Christian Mililtia. J's "politically confused" Spanish Force seemed more sanguine, however, having some means of taking on the Behemoth, while the newly defrocked (again) RDR-2 decided that the time had come for desperate measures. He mounted his 28mm commander figure in unorthdox seat on a spare artillery limber, whipped up the horses, and heedless of danger and in imitation of Charlton Heston's famous Ben-Hur, set off at a frantic gallop towards the "Central Objective"!
Fortune favoured the immensely brave.
A planned change of "Golf Buddy" cards swapped RDR-2 into alliance with J's Spaniards. A lucky short destroyed the Behemoth.....
and the Central Objective of the Upper Course fell into the hands of the swift moving 28mm Commander of the Lew Wallace Memorial Assault Group and the mounted troops of his new (and very temporary) ally, J's Spanish!
The first "team" to be translated to the hitherto untouched 18th Fairway (the Central Table) and to hazard an assault against Sir Alan McGuffin's defending Club Committee! But who will take the Cup (there can only be one!) and will not the Lower Course contribute some competitors ?
Posted by leadboy at 12:03
Not to be outdone, the Lower Course descended into a more measured, if equally desperate, bout of chaos : the first three sided melee in recorded Hereford VBCW history. Determined to capture a vital "red flag" from the upper green (or at least deny it to the enemy), the forces of the Blessed Lady Rita, the Rorke's Drift Re-Enactment Society and THE Rural LDV fought a long-running, bloody and somewhat indecisive engagement through and over the bunkers:
|"The trouble with the Bishop - and the Captain - is that they do things on such a small scale, m'dear." - |
Lady Rita Talbot-Ponsonby in the course of the vast three way melee on the Lower Course.
While rendering Captain Fitzneatly's force even more formidable than anticipated, such was the vast scale of the re-inforcement that it seems to have slowed down his advance to a crawl. With the Bishop and the Captain still engaged in their never ending bitch - fight in the southern corner of the Upper Course ("I take this pen-knife...I see your pen-knife and raise you a rusty fork - take that, you bounder!), the remaining players (Captain Shang's Christians, the Lew Wallace Memorial Assault Group, and J's Spanish-Monarchist-Nationalist-Catholic Militia) would have to rely upon speed to claim their victory.
Posted by leadboy at 11:13
Spode's self-confessed reasoning seems to have gone something like this : a minefield looks threatening. However, it is a special objective set by those too-clever Umpires, and is therefore almost certainly not a minefield and no threat whatsoever. Confidently, he strode into the minefield, received and then opened his "Luxurious Sealed Envelope" only to discover that his Special Objective was - a Minefield ! (in fact, of all the minefields scattered across the course, this was the very worst). Only a throw of "6" on a D6 could now save Spode from disaster - and he duly threw - a 6!
Others were not so lucky. Captain Straitt-Jackett, leading his BUF Alarm Company towards the south centre of the Upper Course, wandered into another kind of Special Objective : a strange tunnel entrance. Upon opening his "Luxurious Sealed Envelope", he read the following:
SPECIAL OBJECT NINE
“THE TUNNEL ENTRANCE”
"Congratulations (we think)! You have discovered the entrance to a large tunnel belong to the “Herefordshire Molemen”, the “underground” faction of Herefordshire Mommetry. These mysterious sappers and miners are in training to assist an attacking faction at any VBCW siege within the County (or perhaps to relieve the defenders of any such siege).
Roll 1D6 and implement the result below:
. NO RESULT! Nada. Nothing. Zilch. This is a long abandoned training tunnel that does not lead very far. Move on. Yawn!
. SECRET EXIT! You and your entire force (as surviving and wherever they may be) follow the abandoned tunnel to a secret exit 12 inches (in any direction) from the centre of this Special Object. Choose your direction, mark your point of exit, and then re-set up your entire force (as surviving) within a radius of 12 inches of your exit point.
. REINFORCEMENTS! The Tunnel Entrance is guarded. The Herefordshire Molemen emerge from the stygian gloom and resolve to join your force. Now choose ONE UNIT (if available) from the “Spare Units” Table and add it to your force - by grouping it immediately around your Command Figure (or senior surviving Command Figure). You can claim an Extra Movement Card for your force at the beginning of each succeeding turn.
. DOUBLE REINFORCEMENTS! The Tunnel Entrance is guarded. The Herefordshire Molemen emerge from their hiding places and resolve to join your force. Now choose TWO UNITS (if available) from the “Spare Units” Table and add it to your force - by placing them within a radius of 12 inches of your home Tee. You can claim two Extra Movement Card for your force at the beginning of each succeeding turn.
. GOLF FLAG! The Herefordshire Molemen have previously stolen a Golf Flag from the Club, and hidden it here. Well done! Now all you have to do is keep hold of it and get to the Tee (18 or 18A) at the centre of the table….
. YIKES! There’s a strange tick-tocking noise coming from the end of the tunnel. The Herefordshire Molemen have booby trapped their diggings. There might just be time to get away before…BOOM!"
|The BUF's fateful decision to enter the tunnel entrance of the Herefordshire Molemen|
Rolling a 2 on his D6, Captain Straitt-Jackett (Alan) had no option but to transport the entirety of his Alarm Company bang into the centre of the advancing forces of the very surprised Bishop of Lichfield (Tim):
|Underground attack! Alan's BUF emerge from the Momett Molemen's old workings into the centre of Tim's forces.|
The apparently confident attack (although actually forced on Alan by the rules of the "Luxurious Sealed Envelope") had fateful consequences at southern end of the Upper Course. Captain Straitt- Jackett and the Bishop of Lichfield, both highly experienced commanders, promptly forgot the "Rules of Golf" entirely, and indeed even the vast acreage of the Herefordshire Course itself, preferring to spend the remainder of the day in one vast, swirling, hard punching melee confined within an area of about 12 inches square....
Posted by leadboy at 10:23