The last twelve months have certainly shot past since our last Very British Civil War 1938 epic at Partizan 2018 show in Newark!
I clearly hadn’t offended everyone last year, as this year I was very kindly invited by Dave Rose to once again take part in the Very British Civil Forum group’s demo game at Partizan 2019.
Dave’s collection is truly phenomenal and he was able to supply a 6×12-foot table, absolutely packed with beautiful urban terrain. All we had to do was supply some troops, so I once again brought Baroness de Loutson and the Cadet Corps of the Slebech Castle College for Young Ladies (a Royalist faction aligned to the quasi-fascistic ‘English Mistery‘). I also brought a spare force from the Army of the Bishopric of St David’s (Anglican League) in case additional players wanted to join the game.
Above: The Midlands town of Fackingham has been fortunate in that up to now the civil war has been held at arm’s length and the town’s local defence volunteers (LDV) have been able to discourage the belligerent factions from attacking the town. However, Fackingham’s cottage industry has been producing armoured vehicles for anyone with the cash to buy them and while that has kept the richer factions happy, others viewed the town’s industrial resources with envious eyes.
Above: Nevertheless, Fackingham’s wealth keeps the locals happy and attracts business to the town and on Market Day the town is packed with traders… As well as rich pickings for anyone powerful enough to take on the town’s LDVs…
Above: But all is quiet in Fackingham… The vicar strolls through the church-yard and thinks about choirboys…
Above: Locals stroll through the streets as tradesmen make their deliveries.
Above: The back-lanes are quiet… Perhaps too quiet…
Above: The peace is suddenly broken as an Anglican League reconnaissance aircraft roars over the town!
Above: Fearing an air raid or worse, the vicar runs to the church tower and rings the church bells to call out the LDVs!
Above: The local constabulary arm themselves and take up defensive positions around the police station and Red Lion public house.
Above: Even the local postmen have a war-role and quickly assemble their rocket-artillery.
Above: Factory-workers take up positions around the tank-factory. While many of the armoured vehicles are only partly-built, some are runners and the crews fire up the engines and load ammunition.
Above: The town’s LDV was wise to mobilise, as a large Royalist force appears at the eastern edge of the town.
Above: The Baroness de Loutson establishes her headquarters in a farm and observes as her girls advance on the town. On her left is a large force of BUF Blackshirts, while on the right is a regiment of Welsh Royalists. Openng her packet of orders, she is horrified to discover that her primary objective is the tank factory at the far edge of the town! Her girls will have to fight their way through the entire town to reach it! However, secondary objectives include the confiscation of essential war-supplies, which should prove a much easier nut to crack. She is also ordered to capture or destroy an enemy propaganda film-unit if encountered and she must also make contact with a Royalist agent, the local Verger.
Above: On the Baroness’ left, an armoured car leads the way along the lane, followed by a file of attached Blackshirts.
Above: Upon reaching the edge of town, the armoured car crew halt and scan the houses warily, waiting for the infantry to move forward and lead the advance into town.
Above: On the right flank, things go rapidly downhill as the Welsh Royalists encounter a group of archaeologists making a documentary film at the local ruined abbey (cultural endeavours must continue regardless of the war – this is Britain, after all!). The Royalists demand that the film-crew stop making ‘propaganda’ and that they should hand over their equipment… A group of mercenaries providing close protection for the film crew lose their nerve and open up with a volley of Tommy Gun fire, cutting down a few Royalist soldiers! The Royalists return fire, cutting down mercenaries, archaeologists and film crew alike, the Cadets also join in and even bring up a tankette… The firefight is brutal and short and the surviving archaeologists make a run for the town, pausing only to shout “Come and have a look at this pottery sherd I’ve found over here, Tony!” and the like.
Above: Cadet cavalry follows the infantry into town… Who brings cavalry to a street-fight…? Oh well, at least they add a degree of class to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl. In the background, a Cadet headquarters orderly runs forward to commandeer an animal feed agent’s steam-truck. Thankfully, steam and internal-combustion motor maintenance and operation is all part of the thoroughly modern educational syllabus provided by the Slebech Castle College for Young Ladies…
Above: At the western end of Fackingham, the rich pickings have attracted other factions… Socialists, Anglican League and Yorkists advance on the tank factory.
Above: The factory militia prepare to defend their livelihood [I have no idea what was going on at this end of the table – it was twelve feet away and was an entirely different game, as far as we were concerned!]
Above: As the Cadet armoured car covers the houses with its machine gun, the Blackshirts advance on the market square, followed by a cadet medic and her trusty hound.
Above: A Cadet musician, riding on the back of the armoured car, gives the Blackshirts a jaunty tune on the accordion…
Above: As the Blackshirts move warily up the street, they spot the Verger – their agent!
Above: The Verger/Agent is escorted back to headquarters under guard.
Above: With the fight at the abbey over, the Cadets, covered by the tankette and a heavy machine gun, move forward into town.
Above: Suddenly, all hell breaks loose as the Cadets and the Welsh Royalists come under heavy fire from LDV units positioned in the Bank, the Pelican pub and some terraced houses, as well as from the Post Office rocket-artillery on the market square! Trapped in the street without immediate cover, several cadets are cut down before they have the chance to withdraw!
Above: Particularly murderous is the fire from an LDV heavy machine gun emplaced on the roof of The Pelican. this gun dominates the market square and completely enfilades the street up which the Cadets were marching.
Above: The surviving cadets take cover behind the Bank’s courtyard wall and the tankette moves forward to engage the heavy machine gun. However, the tankette is soon engaged by the machine gun and by LDV men concealed in the houses to the right of the lane!
Above: Throwing caution to the wind and responding to radio calls from the tankette, the armoured car surges forward onto the market square, in an attempt to destroy the rocket-artillery!
Above: Demonstrating a remarkable degree of dexterity and speed, the Post Office Rocketeers somehow manage to dismantle their weapon and leg it into cover as the armoured car’s machine gun knocks chunks out the brickwork around them! The armoured car turns its attention to the machine gun, but is in turn engaged by previously-unseen heavy machine guns at the far end of the square! The armoured car’s paper-thin armour can’t withstand much punishment and the car is soon reduced to a burning wreck in the middle of the square.
Above: The LDV machine gun crew atop The Pelican whoop with triumph and taunt the Royalists as they turn their gun on the tankette.
Above: The Welsh Royalists manage to rout the LDV men from the terrace, but too find themselves suffering from the heavy fire coming from The Pelican Inn! Alas, the Cadet tankette too succumbs to heavy machine gun fire and is soon burning in the lane behind the Bank.
Above: On the Royalist left flank, a large force of Blackshirts has moved forward, but doesn’t seem to be much interested in joining the fight… Instead, they spend their time removing trucks, loot and a whole herd of cattle from the cattle market.
Above: The local civilians keep their upper lips stiff as they carry on with their shopping on the market square, regardless of the bullets whizzing past… It makes all factions proud to be British (except the Socialists, obviously).
Above: The reason for the armoured car’s destruction soon becomes apparent as an LDV gun-truck and a police armoured car appear on the square.
Above: Despite their losses, the Cadets are made of stern, matronly stuff and, having fixed their lippy, they lift their skirts to ankle-height and with a bellow of “Come on Girls!” from Captain de Carnelle, they charge the rear of the Bank! Their heavy machine gun manages to keep the bank staff pinned down and the Cadets reach the building without loss! Led by Captain de Carnelle, brandishing her pistol and sabre, the well-drilled Cadets winkle the bank staff out from behind their heavy mahogany counter.
Above: The surviving bank staff are taken prisoner and are escorted to the rear by a mounted Cadet.
Above: With the armour knocked out, the mounted Cadets are mover forward to provide what support they can to the infantry.
Above: Baroness de Loutson’s tactical headquarters group also moves forward for a better view of the action.
Above: With Royalist forces now occupying the Bank and the houses on the left, the heavy machine gun on the roof of The Pelican is finally knocked out by the massive weight of Royalist small-arms fire. The LDV gun-truck moves forward, somewhat suicidally, to closely engage the Royalists and quickly becomes the target of several grenades…
Above: On the north side of The Pelican, the LDV Headquarters Platoon is getting the worst of their firefight with the Welsh Royalists.
Above: Meanwhile, on the western edge of the town, the Socialist militia don’t seem to be making much headway against the tank factory LDV, who have brought up some armour to aid their defence.
Above: However, on the north side of the factory someone’s armour (we’re not sure whose) is storming up the main road and has almost reached the market square!
Above: Following in the wake of the armour, Anglican League militia are storming through the factory gate.
Above: Yorkist Boy Scouts have taken the church and raise the banner of the Duke of York from the tower! There is much cheering from the Yorkists, though nobody else knows or cares why.
Above: The Bishop of St David’s Anglican League forces follow the Yorkists into town and have ‘armour’ of their own…
Above: Meanwhile, back at The Pelican, the LDV gun-truck has been grenade into submission and the Cadets storm out of the bank to assault the front door of The Pelican! Astonishingly, they suffer no casualties during their mad charge and successfully breach the pub! Suddenly realising that they have no Gentleman Friends with them, they immediately turn left into the Lounge Bar and avoid the Public Bar, as they are Ladies…
Above: The dismayed survivors of the LDV Headquarters Platoon desperately down their pints and half-heartedly defend their pub from this frenzied attack, but are soon overwhelmed by shrieking women with long-suppressed Issues… Congratulating her girls, Captain de Carnelle permits them to consume a small fruit-based drink, while the officers consult the cocktail menu…
Above: Missing out on the free drinkies, one disgruntled cadet escorts the prisoners to the rear, wondering if she is going to make it back in time for Last Orders…
Above: Cadet Headquarters Orderlies once again move forward to remove anything portable or driveable.
Above: “Time please, Ladies!” Having consumed a refreshing beverage, giggling Cadets burst out into the Beer Garden to engage the Post Office Rocketeers… However, they may have had one or two Babychams too many and are soon forced to withdraw, staggering and giggling, back into the Lounge Bar…
Above: Duty done, the cadets have a lock-in and a party on the roof terrace of The Pelican, while waiting for their Gentleman Friends from the Welsh Royalists to join them…
Above: At the far end of town, the Anglican League and Yorkists look to be making headway into the tank factory.
Above: The Yorkist armour has succeeded in knocking out the police armoured car, but is itself coming under heavy fire from the Post Office.
Above: As the Anglican League recce plane makes another pass over the town, the Royalists realise that there’s no way that they’ll be able to reach the tank factory and withdraw (some of them staggering, giggly and ‘silly’) from their town with their loot..
Thanks to all for a great game and especially to Dave Rose for putting it on and to Mort for running around like a whirling Dervish as the game-umpire. Congratulations also to Norm, our Blackshirt ally, who was judged to have ‘won’ due to hoovering up more cows than John Chisum and Ronald McDonald put together, while not firing a single shot during the entire battle…