I played my first ever game of VBCW today with mate Ants. The rules we used were” Went the Day Well” from Solway Crafts and Miniatures, available from North Star.
As it was our first game we decided to keep it simple with no vehicles being used though a few were on the table for decoration purposes only.
The scenario idea was a loose based encounter scenario. The newly formed independent forces of the Llynfi Valley – the “Meibion Y Llynfi” were on their first training exercise under the leadership of Ypres Hopcyn (Backstory – http://vbcf.freeforums.org/post31839.html).
All were deemed to be irregular troops with an HQ of 5 men with Ypres, his grandfather old Taliesin and a standard Bearer
There were 3 squads of 10 men each including some notable local characters including Sergeant “Luverrly boy” Windsor and Trevor Traffic Thomas the much despised ex traffic warden of nearby Bridgend. Here we can see Sergeant Windsor trying to persuade Trevor to take the lead over the bridge. Trevor being somewhat reticent to get himself shot at replies “why don’t yew send Muriel, he’s not doing anything only picking blackberries and anyway he’s bigger than me”.
Mr Davies the Co-op and his manservant Gwilym were leading another squad but with him being a man of distinction and natty dress there were no illusions as to who the boss was and no back chat whatsoever in his squad.
As it happens it was quite lucky that William Williams and William Evan Williams volunteered to bring along the Vickers gun because they thought that they needed to get fitter (of course also secretly hoping to get a chance to shoot a lot of rabbits). William John Williams who is actually known as “Sledge” because he’s so thick first of all told everyone that he thought it would be a sin for a Vicar to own a gun and when his mistake was pointed out to him argued all the way down Maiden street saying that it made far more sense then to call it the Williams’ gun because the Williams cousins were operating it. They finally distracted him and managed to change the subject when they got him talking about his attempt to get in the Guinness Book of World Records by asking how his training for an attempt at the record number of Mint Imperials he could stuff in his mouth was coming along!
Anyway, I’m wandering again ….Despite the fact that the river was fordable, just about everyone was keen to cross with dry feet rather than have to explain to their wives and mams later why they had wet socks and soggy shoes.
Ypres decided in the end to lead the way down Lessby Avenue and over the bridge before turning left into Jenkins Terrace. The whole idea was that they would then make their way up Jenkins Terrace to the end to see “Billy Half Pint” in the forge to find out if he knew of a way of making bullets from old left over lead piping.
As this was an exercise Ypres decided to send Mr Davies and his squad to the right, the other to the left along with the Williams’ gun err….. I mean the Vickers’s gun to John William Jones’s granny’s house by the river.
Fed up of waiting Ypres pushed past Sergeant Windsor and Trevor leaving them to follow over the bridge.
And that is when all hell broke loose……….
Do you know what was happening on the other side of the river? You don’t do you……
No? Well Jenkins Terrace was being invaded you see by those ruffians from the Vale of Glamorgan and on a Sunday of all days!
What we know now, but we didn’t then…………
Is that a search party had been sent out from The Vale to look for, find, capture and then interrogate poor old Flossy Thomas. This is an archive picture of Flossy and her long suffering husband Islwyn talking in the garden to the vicar. (He doesn’t look like the sort of man that would carry a gun does he? The vicar I mean not Islwyn … that’s a bloody shovel he’s leaning on you twit)
Do you know……They sent some scaly wags from Cowbridge backed up by a squad from New Zealand of all places – yes and shame on them – medical men from Tauranga and if you look at the pictures you can even see that they were the ring leaders and even brought a flag (figures from Ants’collection and painted by both him and Giles Alison)
What an unholy alliance this really was, the devil himself couldn’t have put together a more evil conglomerate as there was a squad of the hated BUF and those weaselsy good for nothing Cowbridge branch of the Vale of Glamorgan Yeomanry, who they say will do anything for few bob including beating up old grannies and even play bowls for money.
Now the big question of course and the answer to what we want to know of course is why in the hell were they after poor old Flossie?
The reason of course is that Flossie is a gossip and she knows everybody’s business. Look if you want something to get around what you do is tell Flossy Thomas that you know a secret about such and such but you’ll only tell her if she promises not to tell anyone else. That way the whole district gets to know what you want them to know. Well of course word had got around so these ruffians were coming to interrogate Flossy. Luckily though Flossy was out visiting her neighbours so they had to enter and search each house in an attempt to find her……….
But I digress (well actually no I’m jabbering – I blame the beer and wine we drank). Needless to say a battle followed between 2 untrained and irregular forces with shots going all over the place with hits needing 8 or 9 on a 10 sided dice depending on cover (except for the veteran rated Yeomanry)
First of all the Willams’ Vickers gun opened up on a squad of the BUF who were sneakily trying to get around the right flank causing the first casualty , Ypres and his men ran over the bridge and lined the hedges and then the fence whilst Sergeant Windsor followed. Withering fire raked the hedges from the despicable Tauranga men but a combination of the work of Dr Lance Boil the medic and the Dragon standard being carried and kept the casualties to a minimum and the morale high.
Poor old Lance, he got more than a boil for his trouble, here you see him wounded and out of action
Meanwhile Mr Davies Co-op and his squad were trying to get around the flank. (Actually there is a rumour going around that Mr Davies is quite upset because he had to get his feet wet on account of the fact that Gwilym wasn’t able to carry both him and the Lewis gun across the river at the same time – yes I know Gwilym’s surname is not Lewis but we’re not doing that joke again alright!)
Meanwhile on the other flank it was like the Grand National, legs everywhere….. Next week, forget target practice but at BUF training night it’ll be jumping practice I tell you………..
In an attempt to jump the hedge in order to get out of the range of the Vickers Williams gun (look by now I’m sure you know the one I mean) 4 out of 9 BUF men failed and fell over………..
Worse still 2 of the in-coordinate yobs tried and failed again on the next turn!
In the centre the ruffians were getting the upper hand when they managed to get an HMG in the upstairs en-suite of Flossie Thomas’ house killing a few of Windsor’s squad. Undaunted, when they heard that a keg of Brains beer had been stolen from the Lamb & Flag these men saw red and acted like veterans, flanking and then charging the HMG whilst singing “Men of Llynfi”. Now this HMG was crewed by nurses, but by god they were the cruellest evilest nurses you could ever have the misfortune to come across…….
In the ensuing melee they bit and scratched (and being nurses naturally of course knowing where the men’s testicles were) they did their worst and when that Yeomanry squad arrived in the nick of time through the backdoor to help them, they both saw off sergeant Windsor and his remaining men who were forced to retire.
Now the picture above doesn’t really do justice to the situation – you’ll have to imagine them kneeling down in the river trying to soothe those nasty nether region wounds with looks of indescribable agony on their faces. On hearing of this atrocity Muriel’s mum fainted fearing that he would end up singing soprano rather than bass in the Nantyfyllon men’s choir but I have it on good authority that his manhood was actually saved by a family heirloom. Lucky for Muriel he was wearing his the old long Johns with the built in reinforced jockstrap that was handed down from his late great uncle William Henry. (Actually it’s the little things that matter so to put the record straight I should point out that this was not actually a built in jock strap but long ago his wife great aunty Liz, had over sewn a hole in the long johns with an old scrum cap)
Anyway, where was I? On the right flank Mr Davies and his men had arrived and were flanking the Tauranga men when all of a sudden the action stopped and everyone was afraid to move.
One of the random event cards was drawn which stated that a drunken Morris man was wandering around, his movements controlled by scatter dice – when this man made contact with a unit he would recognise a man in the unit and ‘out’ him as a Morris dancer known to him and so cause the outed man’s unit to undergo a rout test.
Now again I’m going to ask you to use your imagination and pretend that this drunken Landsknecht is actually a bona fide Morris man. Eventually he withdrew after meeting Mr Davies ‘ squad and failing in his attempt because apparently he lost a fancy dress competition with Mr Davies and was so ashamed that he just pouted and sulked away.
Some hairy moments were had in the ruffians centre at this stage as the nurses manning the HMG had a morale crisis and spend some time re arranging their hair, hat pins and nails before finally deciding to stay and fight on .
The ruffians were not able to make any further progress beyond the stables in their attempt to find Flossie Thomas, being thwarted by Mr Davies and his men – they actually didn’t bother searching the stables despite being given information that Flossie can be a bit of a cow at times – but there we are.
On the left flank the BUF were by now in big trouble having attempted to ford the river and cross the bridge at the same time taking 4 casualties. By this time they were below 50% in strength and actually cowering under the stone bridge after being stopped by Ypres’ 3rd squad who later needed the service of this ambulance themselves when they tried to go forward.
At this point the skirmish ended with roughly similar casualties on either side but this picture of the BUF infantry cowering under the bridge is now being posted all over South Wales as a superb propaganda poster.
As for Flossie, well I’m glad to say she was safe and well, oblivious to it all gossiping in a nearby cottage with Blodwen Pugh. Looking at her picture now I can see why they didn’t want to search the stables as I doubt anyone would fancy a roll in the hay with her!