Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Seizing the Supplies

After a fairly austere winter, the various forces in the Essex/Suffolk border area are looking to replenish their supplies.  News has reached both sides that a goods wagon (box car) from the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) has derailed in the Stour River valley.  There are also rumors that additional supplies, including petrol (gasoline), may be found in the vicinity.  So the race is on to see who can get there the quickest - the Royalists and their BUF allies or the Anglican League coalition.

We fought this battle back on May 17 and I'm just now finding time to post the report.  Pictures were taken by my friend "Electric" Ed and yours truly.

The Royalists had a company of the 2nd Battalion Essex Regiment, a company of BUF fencibles (the Bolton Rifles), a BUF special assault section, a troop of the Essex Yeomanry with a light tank and two armored scout cars, and a number of trucks with which to haul away the loot.  Two players controlled these forces.

The Anglican coalition had a company of the Cambridge Fencibles, a local defense company from the East Bergholt area, a company of American volunteers (Liberty Bell Legion), and a special combat section, plus trucks.  In addition, their erstwhile allies from the Harwich Maritime Defence Force ("red" sailors) had sent a company with a truck mounted gun to get their share.  Three players controlled these forces.

I was the game master.  We used the "Sword to Adventure" variant, with modifications, of Larry Brom's masterpiece "The Sword and the Flame" rules.  This was a play test for the game I will run at our regional convention, Bayou Wars, on June 14.

Now to the action.  Please click on the photos for enlargements.

Col Campbell himself, center, giving introductory remarks to several of the players.  The derailed goods wagon lies in the lower right corner while the buildings in the background are a petrol station and a house.

The initial moves.  On the left are the Royalists (Russ S. - near) and the BUF (Sean P. - back).  On the right are the Harwich sailors (Alex K. - near), Anglicans and American volunteers (Ed S. - middle), and East Bergholt LDF (John M. - back).  In the foreground are the movement card deck (on the right) and the casualty card double deck (on the left) which the game master controls.  TSTA and its daddy, TSATF, use a card deck to govern movement and to distinguish casualties.

Sean, the BUF commander (and my son), advances his forces towards a well-established farm house.  "There should be plenty of supplies there," he thinks.  On the right, the East Bergholt LDF are advancing there as well.  The derailed goods wagon is in the lower left corner.
Led by an armoured scout car, a Royalist section advances up the main road towards the petrol station.

Another view of the BUF advance towards the farm house.  The special assault section in their distinctive red coats are on the road while the Bolton Rifles are advancing over the fields.

The Anglican special combat section (left) and two Cambridge Fencible sections advance towards the derailed goods wagon.

John M., playing the Squire of East Bergholt, contemplates his troops advance towards the farm house.
The Anglicans continue to approach the goods wagon but there appear to be no Royalists troops contesting their advance.

The Harwich Maritime Defence Force advances along and on both sides of the road.  Their steam truck conceals a naval gun dismounted from one of the ships at the Harwich Royal Navy base.
The Anglicans arrive at the goods wagon.  The special combat section, on the left, fords the stream to advance on the farm house from a different axis.  In the distance, the Anglican trucks slowly creep over the fields.

Meanwhile the main Royalist column, led by a tank, enters along a side road with their truck convoy and approaches the petrol station.
The fighting around the farm house intensifies as both sides attempt to gain the upper hand.  A few BUF SAS get into the house and hand supplies out a window since the door is interdicted by LDF fire.

The Harwich "red" sailors unveil their surprise for the Royalists - the naval gun in the back of the steam truck!  The sailors in the middle are carrying cases of supplies from the house and the fuel drums from the petrol station are by the truck.

The Cambridge Fencibles secure the supplies from the derailed goods wagon while the American volunteers advance acroos the stream to the right.

A Royalist section tries to outflank the petrol station but runs into fire from the sailors who are withdrawing.

The Cambridge Fencibles decide they can carry and roll the supplies to the trucks quicker than the trucks can get to them through the soft fields, so away they go.

The East Bergholt LDF and the American volunteers close on the farm house from one direction while the BUF try to hold them off to get what little supplies they could recover away in the other direction.

The game went fairly well.  The Anglicans and "red"sailors were the big winners, getting all of the supplies from the goods wagon and half the petrol and all of the supplies from the station and house.  The Royalists and BUF got the rest of the petrol and a small part of the supplies from the farmhouse.  The BUF had very heavy casualties in their special assault section and their machinegun team, while the East Bergholt LDF took heavy casualties, including the squire's retainers being almost wiped out and the squire himself being wounded.

For the convention game, I will tighten up the terrain so things aren't spread out quite so much.  In addition, I' working on some more hedges to "congest" the terrain a big more.  You can catch my progress on the hedges here in the previous post to this one and in subsequent posts.

See you in St. Francisville on the 14th!


PanzerKaput said...

What an interesting game made even more interesting as it is my backyard you are playing in. Good report and result there

Jay said...

Very nice Colonel.

JP said...

Great stuff sir!