Regular followers will know that our last VBCW battle involved the first recorded use of Pigeon bombs. Highly trained homing pigeons are trained to carry and deliver various sizes of bomb and drop them roughly near the enemy. Very inaccurate but occasionally deadly, especially if you carry sandwiches ! Very hard to take a photo of a pigeon bomb in action, but I managed to capture one on film recently.
This is Bertie...
He missed the last battle but has managed to fly all the way to Penrith from China ! He is clearly very strong as he can carry and drop quite a large bomb🤓
Back from the show, tired but happy all seemed to go well, I think 9 or 10 games during the day and hardly a break. Everyone very complimentary about the game and hopefully all enjoyed it. All left smiling anyway. HAving done it at a couple of shows now I know it works, is quick to set up and I can accommodate experienced gamers through to fairly novice children.
The table set up first thing, plenty of space but
sports hall lighting!
One close up of the table, I didn't get to look at anything else much during the day
My loot for the day, with not much spare time Steve who was helping was looking out for bargains. A couple of Universal Carriers at 30% discount, some light german artillery which I was picking up, it
cost me £3 using the Warlord discount email from a couple of weeks ago ! A smudge of terrain for next weekend, some Grenadiers ( I actually only want the arms) and some Ironclad armed WI, these are great but will take a while to get to the painting table.
A good day and very likely to be back next year with another game thank you to everyone that played and came and had a chat......a special prize should go to Martin who played twice and managed to get Aragorn killed both times 😀
I bought a second unit of Foundry home guard figures with the previous set. These whilst nicely as a 'marine' unit didn't quite have a role. So as they needed rebasing I have also given them a fresh look. My thoughts are they represent a militia unit who have had to make do with no standard uniforms.
Hopefully they are uniform enough that they will mix in with more regular troops, but I can also play them as a reserve unit or as a VBCW militia unit. Sorry about the photo the light in the kitchen is really annoying 🙁
Packed up and ready for Battleground in the morning.
The Germans so far in my Operation Sealion Campaign have been struggling. But finally the Luftwaffe have got their act together and can provide much needed heavy support for the initial landing troops and beleaguered Fallschirmjager.
Junker Ju87 B-2 according to the packet, in suitable summer 1940 pattern. I bought the model from a mate half finished. It's to my usual 'gaming' standard and I have swopped the spiky bits for metal to make it a bit more robust. It is full scale which of course looks massive but I may want it to be an objective at some stage. Those with eagle eyes will note it is currently bombing Uruk hai as I played a very enjoyable test game of Find the Halfling in preparation for Saturday.
My 300th Post....I should really have done Spartans ! Anyway have managed to finish off the Motorcycle side cars, which I had posted previously. A challenge to make but fairly easy to paint, as always I have kept them fairly generic, they'll be getting their first outing in VBCW in a week or two as part of my Royalist Mobile expeditionary force to the Durham Coalfields. I don't normally take more than one photo but the light was rubbish ! Just a bit of grass to add to the bases next time I have the glue out 😀
For those that don't recognise them they are 1st Corps models squeezed onto the smallest bases I could get them on.
Whilst the bikes are pretty much the same I have tried at least to get some slight variation in the riders and they have different uniforms.
For our next (but probably last for a while) foray into Normandy using Blitzrieg Commander we set up day two of Operation Goodwood. Having failed to make any significant headway the day before the British overnight brought forward replacement tanks for those lost. The attack on a slightly wider front involved the 11th and 7th Armoured Divisions south towards the Bourgebus Ridge, between Vimont and Caen.
The 7th Armoured attacked towards the villages of La Hogue and the village of Bourgebus . The Germans were now also pulling reserves into the front line, which meant the 7th's attack would fall directly on the ground held by the 1st SS Panzer division under Obergruppenfuhrer 'Sepp' Dietrich. The 7th Armoured under Major General George Erskine had not fought significantly the day before.
Looking east from the Bourgebus Ridge towards Borguebus and in the distance La Hogue. 88mm flak guns of the 1st SS Panzer Division are still dug in on the heights with a commanding view of the open ground around the small Normandy villages.
Attmepting to surprise the Germans the 22nd Armoured Brigade supported by the 131st Infantry Brigade have concentrated their attack on La Hogue, tanks of the LSSAH can be rapidly redeploying to counter this moving around the back of Bourguebus.
The approaching tanks are weary from the previous day knowing that the Germans still have 88mm guns in and around the villages. As soon as the Cromwells appear they come under fire and burning tanks can already be seen in the distance.
The 7th Armoured Division attacking on mass towards La Hogue
British infantry moving on foot in the open !
Tiger and Panther tanks have now moved around Bourguebus and with their extra range are threatening the right flank of the British advance.
More British Cromwells brewed up but the infantry are making good progress despite heavy fire.
A low shot from behind Bourguebus the British managed a record number of command blunders during the battle although none had a really significant impact, they also rolled several double 1's (which are good in BC)
The British concentrated massive fire on the village of La Hogue which eventually pushed the Germans back and the British Infantry were able to force a way into the village.
At the last minute the Germans have brought up their final reserves........SS Panzer Grenadiers supported by a couple of Stug III's.
But before they are able to attack and push the British back out, darkness fell (General Erskine had to get home !) this left the battle pretty much a draw. Both sides holding one village. In line with the real battle the field was literally littered with burning British tanks. According to the books over these two days of Goodwood the allies lost an unbelievable 400 tanks ! This was reflected in both our battles with the Germans dug in and incredibly hard to shift.
We are going to take a rest from Normandy for a while, reflecting on the battles in and around Caen and Operation Goodwood they have been pretty much all that is good about wargaming for me. I expanded my collection of figures and tanks, I have read and learnt in a bit more detail some history from WW2, I've made some new terrain and we've played several hard fought, but very close battles in the best spirit of gaming. By some coincidence several of these have reflected the historical outcome. It is the playing not the winning that is important. Thanks Steve for engaging in this little project it has been great fun. My only regret is I bought some 'Normandy style' buildings which didn't get finished !
Next up for 6 mm will no doubt be the Eastern front I have a couple of books I haven't explored yet as source material 😀
Ages since we have played any WHFB in the dungeon, but we have started a small campaign. More details on the system on The Hobby Horse blog. We have started with two small Chaos lords who will be fighting it out for the glory of the blood god.
A fun game....which may see us playing a bit more WHFB .....
Picked these up at a show not so long ago....and with another VBCW on the way soon they needed painting. Very simple job but two more off the list. Our forthcoming battle will see the Royalists from Carlisle and the Eden valley push east to attempt to take control of the Durham coal mines. I am putting together a fast moving and mobile army as this is likely to be a lighting attack.
......they are not expecting much opposition from the mining communities in the area 😬
Purchased these off a mate who is looking clearout some unused stuff. All I have had to do is redo the bases to match my other figures, repaint the webbing to match and a little tidying up. Otherwise once I have sprinkled some grass they are good to go as reinforcements for the battalions on the frontline.
They are foundry home guard figures...and I have a few more. They may also boost the Royalist forces in future VBCW games. There is a bit of colour variation in uniforms which I prefer.
The Germans have gradually sought to get a foot hold on the morning of the 14th July 1940. Having secured much of Hythe the objective for the 55th Infantry Regiment is now to push inland and move East, towards Folkestone, to capture the harbour and then link up with troops who are currently fighting to take Dover.
In the early hours of the morning elements of the 20th Fallschirmjager regiment were dropped in and around the golf course. These elements only lightly armoured have met stiff opposition and have not been able to break through, they have dug in on the course and are exchanging fire with Infantry from the Shorncliffe Military camp who have also started to dig in to create an improvised defensive line. As further German reinforcements are landed at Sandgate they are being brought upto the front to force their way through. The Brits are also mobilising what local tank support they have.
The Committee at the club have also arrived at the course for the usual gentlemans sunday stableford pairs competition. Finding the course in some turmoil and the club house under attack they retire to the Committee room for an urgent discussion. After a short debate the Sunday competition is postponed to the following week and despite protestations by the green keeper the Committee vote by a clear majority to defend the course from the Hun. Dash it they are not even sure if the Germans play golf ! luckily in these uncertain times the members have come armed and they make their way to the members bar for a swift whiskey before moving to the front of the clubhouse to await the battle.
Fallschirmjager dug in around the green keepers shed, pinned down they await support from the beaches
The Shorncliffe garrison have arrived and dig in around the 17th green, the Germans have started to lay down smoke closer to the clubhouse preparing for a full assault.
The leading elements of the 55th Infantry Regiment arrive and are immediately pushed forward.....there is to be no delay the course must be taken to open the way to Folkestone. Armour support is also arriving but not the Panzer III's the Oberleutnant was hoping for (still on the shopping list😀)
The Germans have also managed to bring a 'liberated' polish armoured car now in the service of The Wehrmacht.
A smoke screen is being layed down whilst the infantry rushes into the open on the 18th fairway !
German support weapons laying down smoke and machine gun support fire from close to the 1st Green.
More infantry push towards the clubhouse, whilst Ursula moves up the B2065 to Newington
I just like some B and W shots 😀
The British reserves arrive....a light Vickers tank and slightly dated Matilda I but they provide much needed machine gun support and slow the advance.
Howls of anger from the clubhouse as the Matilda tank swings off the access road onto the putting green. But thanks god they are keeping off the 18th green. You can see in the distance the Head green keeper has actually prevented the infantry running bared wire across the green and the infantry have sought protection in the green side bunker instead.
Coming out of the woods A squad are forced to take up a position on the 17th green......green keeper will not be happy !
Move German infantry arrive....slightly seasick from the beach and are thrown straight into the battle
After harsh criticism the Fallschirmjager have finally charged out from their cover...but the open ground around the 18th Green is a killing zone and half way across the gap they dive for cover in the closest woods.
The attack on the clubhouse is faltering...infantry pinned down
Yes just another B and W shot 😀
The Matilda is joined on the putting green by the remaining infantry who set up a Lewis gun by the fence. The Committee are now so angry at this unnecessary and wanton damage to the course they come out of the club house to protest and come under attack from Ursula.
Some of the Fallschirmjager have made it to the wire !
But what is this .....veteran troops fail a leadership roll...(still not found the German for fubar) and turn and run !!
The Committee now also pour their fire into the Germans from the flagpole outside the clubhouse. The green keeper simple shakes his head in despair !
But all is not lost yet and a lucky shot from Ursula brews up the Vickers, the remaining paratroopers are pinned in the wood. (This moment did allow the German commander to utter the immortal words I'm going to stick one right up the Vickers backside......a phrase not often heard in this dungeon at least)
To the east things are going better for the Germans, overpowering numbers have allowed them to push round the wire onto the 17th green. The Morris AC races around avoiding in coming shots from the 35(t) tank but doesn't have the firepower to halt the infantry advance, and will have to withdraw soon.
A shout goes up in the clubhouse.......Germans on the 17th green ! The green keeper can only weep😢
Whilst the Vickers tank burns in the distance the Matilda pushes across the course, but in the distance they can see the Germans building up additional forces........whilst they have held the line so far it is clear that the Germans are intent on full scale invasion and the British will need more than a line of bared wire to stop them.
At this point we stopped the game 6 turns of tremendous fun the Brits had clearly won even though the Germans got to the 17th green. This would be the breach they could exploit to push through to Folkestone.....later in the day.
We adopted a couple of the new bolt action rules but other wise used my old set. The only thing we need to consider is how to balance the forces when the Germans are having to assault front on ? Perhaps a 10% extra although I didn't actually count up the points.....more Fallschirmjager to paint now.