Monday, 31 October 2011

Two games in one week!

Blimey, something that is almost unheard of occurred here last week. I managed to get two, yes two, games of VBCW in during the same week. I love Half Term holidays me. The first one is here the second is to follow.

Tuesday evening Ant and Francis came round to try some different rules sets for VBCW. Firstly WH Historical's Great War then England's Pleasant Pastures from a friends club. We played the same scenario through twice, once with each set. Both rules sets have their own merits:
Great War is essentially WH40k in another time and place, it works pretty well. But I don't really like the my turn your turn aspect of the game. EPP works on a playing card initiative system that works well, but can clutter up the table with cards. Neither set of rules really did it as both are written for larger games than this. But with some tweaking I think EPP will see more use.

Anyway to the game...

Our campaign is set on the Isle of Wight and this skirmish was fought near Shalfleet.
As you can see the board was four and half feet by three. It featured a small church by the main Freshwater to Newport railway line. Francis' Vectis Nationalists patrol had been chased out of Shalfleet by the Wight Constabulary which was being supported by or egged on by a BUF patrol. The Nationalists took refuge in the church and decided to sell themselves dearly.

The Nationalists had limited weaponry mostly rifles with a couple of Lewis machine guns. They took up position, mostly along the dry stone wall that surrounded the church yard, some were on the top of the church tower and some within the church. The Nationalist aimed to keep alive for six turns to see if reinforcements would arrive.
The BUF and police were equipped with rifles, a couple of Lewis', the odd SMG. They also had a Lancia armoured truck and another truck as well. The Lancia has a mounted Lewis machine gun. The first game using Great War rules was pretty pacey. Francis had the upper hand first inflicting casualties from his relatively strong position behind the stone wall. But the BUF made its numbers tell and in a brief time they had overwhelmed the defenders. They got into the church yard in force and riddled the church with bullets. In the fifth turn the three remaining Nationalist laid down their weapons and surrendered.

The game had gone pretty well and we decided we had enough time to do it again so we reset and went again with EPP. These rules are patchy as they are still in development. BUt we did like the card based initiative system, it makes you think very carefully about what you turn will look like. On the downside, these rules are made for bigger games and quick play, which means there is only two rolls when shooting; To Hit and save. No rolling to wound seemed quite odd and very deadly. OK if you are playing games with 50+ troops but quite demoralising if you only start with 12 or so. We did also make some errors with some rules especially rules for Spotting hidden troops, but those issues have since been resolved.

The second game also was won by the BUF but it was a close run thing, with the fascists taking far more casualties including a whole five man squad killed by one Molatov cocktail (The rules for which have been tweaked since by the rules' writers)

Overall I am really starting to enjoy VBCW. It looks great on the tabletop. Our scenery looks ace and with the addition of phone boxes, letter boxes and motor vehicles we really can capture the 'period'. The second game from last week is coming later. The most important thing that I learnt from this game was don't bother taking pics of toy soldiers without a tripod. Hence why I only have four useable photos from this game. Lots more for the Battle of Ryde Esplanade next.

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