38 Fest in Virginia!!

38 Fest is a crazy scheme of Peter Barfield’s of Very British Civil Forum fame.

Forum-Banner-1  For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, Very British Civil War (or VBCW) is a  alternative history genre where King Edward refuses to abdicate upon marrying American Divorcee Wallis Simpson.  The ensuing constitutional crisis leads to a war between a number of factions many of whom enter into uneasy alliances.  Typically the game is played with ones tongue planted a bit in one’s cheek with Jeeves and Wooster provide as much research information as the actual history of the troubled thirties.

Peter Barfield who is also an illustrator for the Solway products that guide the fluff of this genre created a stratagem for a National, or in some cases international scenario and game.  38 Fest is a scenario that has been played through out Britain and here in Virginia (and who knows where all else) throughout the month of May.  Results of these games will have an effect at the “Big Game” being played at Partizan in England this weekend.

VBCW 38fest 2015 part3

The scenario has King Edward removing the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London and covertly transporting them to his Headquarters at Madresfield.  The Prime Minister, Oswald Mosley of the British Union of Fascists is pursuing them, believing that they are more secure in London.  The Jewels are being transported in smaller lots and being transported by different means.

VBCW 38fest 2015

These games were to be played in any scale and by any set of rules.  It was suggested that the forces be at least a platoon each.

Waterloo_Terrain1

Basically, the game is a fight over three farmhouses.  One of these houses also hides a portion of the Crown Jewels of England!

The Battle Ground

The Battle Ground

Downed Gladiator that had been carrying the jewels

Downed Gladiator that had been carrying the jewels

We used Chain of Command and the forces consisted of a Platoon from the 3rd Company of the Birmingham People’s Assault Column and the Market Drayton Action Group of the BUF II Legion, supported by a section of King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. The PAC force consisted of veterans of the British Battalion in the Spanish Civil War and I used the proper CoC Espana list for them.  The BUF were built using the British Home Guard List available on the Too Fat Lardies Yahoo list.

DSC_0001

The scenario described the battle to be two platoons coming together in advance of the larger armies and I decided that the CoC patrol scenario would be perfect.  I was a little worried about the patrol phase.  I am sure this map was not designed with CoC’s patrol phase in mind but on a six foot by four foot table some of the houses might well be taken in that patrol phase.  Perhaps I should have just had the forces enter on table edges like most games.  In the end I think it worked well however.  Chris (PAC)  and I (BUF) played the game and frankly the game was won in the patrol phase!

Having only three patrol markers for a 6 foot table with three objectives across the middle meant some decisions had to be made.  Both of us realized we would have to determine which houses to make our drive to, and perhaps the other might be won later.  This became even more threatening when the Reds actually got a patrol marker into the Grange farm in the center.  I had to push for the Bridge farm on my right which I managed to secure.  This left the Brookfield Farm to the Reds, worse than that however, they had also flanked my patrol markers.  My area of control was substantially limited and it would cost me.

PAC section in the environs of the Grange farm

PAC section in the environs of the Grange farm

The Socialists immediately placed a section of rifles in the Grange farm and two 50mm mortar squads at the Brookfield Farm.  These mortars were also joined by the Platoons Sergeant to command them. They waited for a target.

Mortars at Brookfield Farm

Mortars at Brookfield Farm

DSC_0003

Soon the BUF would oblige them.  One section took up a position to threaten the Grange farm (on the left in the picture above.  Also visible, on the right, the Brookfield farm, from which the mortars began to rain down sells onto these very men.  Another section secured their position in the Bridge farm as the BUF planned how best to take the centre house.  A  Vickers Machine Gun team deployed south of Grange in hopes of softening the target, but they were soon routed.  The BUF morale began to sink.

KSLI advancing upon the Grange house

KSLI advancing upon the Grange house

The King’s forces ordered the KSLI to advance upon the Grange.  With their Lewis gun providing covering fire, the rifle began to move forward.  The received only light fire but it was enough to wound their Corporal.  The BUF morale continued to sink!

DSC_0009

Boudicca  

The Women’s Assault Section (Boudicca) also left the Bridge farm, trying to get into position to assault the forces holding Grange.

DSC_0008

The Reds, aware of the assault building upon their right places troops in the hedges to put any assault in a cross fire.  It is unnecessary however. Another BUF junior leader is wounded.  The BUF Force Morale has dipped very low and they lose two command dice.  This would be difficult for the best of units, but having begun the game with only four this was disastrous. Having lost much of their command and control, their morale quickly crashing. BUF are forced to fall back to the only house they held and wait. That battle was over.  After a quick search the missing jewels were found by the Socialists, hidden in Brookfield farm.

The game was fun, and I think the idea of a communal game was interesting.  I hope the idea might be tried again and perhaps altered so has to have a greater effect on the Big game.

Cheers,

Ron