Monday, 5 August 2013

Tea Galore!

BREAKING NEWS! A supply of the King’s tea has gone missing in the Malverns! Newly arrived BUF bigwig Baron Hoy has determined to rescue this precious cargo for His Majesty, but the Malvern Hills Conservators have also pledged to procure the Kings tipple!

Having organised a short-notice game at Giles’ on Saturday (due to SWMBO’s bosses and their inability to plan their staffing levels on a long term basis). My erstwhile host quickly knocked up a rather fun scenario thus:-

A steam lorry carrying the finest tea to Madresfield for the King's consumption has been ambushed by ne'er do wells and forced off the road shedding its load all over the place.
In these straitened times of austerity, forces loyal to the King attempt to rescue this precious cargo.

The board is split into two by a road.
d6+3 tea crates are scattered along the road, within 8 inches of a crashed steam lorry that is placed in the middle of the board.
Along with 4 sugar crates

No unit/model may be placed within 18" of a tea crate at the beginning of the game.
Each tea crate requires 2 models to take it off the board. Ditto sugar crates

Victory conditions:

10 points for each tea crate in your possession
5 points for each sugar crate
1 point for each enemy model killed
5 points for each enemy commander or standard bearer killed
3 points for each enemy vehicle destroyed.
3 points for each quarter of the board occupied.

Using our rough platoon generator I knocked up a force of four infantry sections, HQ, HMG team, artillery and an armoured car. I then rolled for training (1-2 irregular, 3-5 trained, 6 veteran), which saw most of my force as trained with the exception of an irregular artillery. The MHC had three infantry sections, HQ, HMG, mortar, armoured car and two 'Croydon Crushers'.

Let battle commence!

Battlefield
The battlefield consisted of a roughly H-shaped road layout, flanked by fences and hedges, surrounded by fields and trees. Diagonally opposite each other at the crossroads was a pub and a L-shaped building. The lorry had crashed next to this abode, scattering it's contents along the road in the centre of the table.

The pub
I split my platoon into three groups, beginning with a larger central force comprising a section of BUF infantry, command and HMG team alongside their Weasley Whateley auxiliaries. Flanking them on the left was a section of police, supported by the BUF armoured car and to the right, a section of BUF, led by the platoon NCO, protecting a BUF 18pdr gun.
The centre
I began with a general advance, with the Whateleys making straight for the crashed lorry and the tea and sugar crates scattered around the crossroads. Alongside them the BUF also moved forward, slowed somewhat by the hedges.

The left
On the left the police and armoured car moved warily towards the pub, which was being occupied by an elite section of MHC, while on the right the BUF moved to occupy the wood and stone walls to provide cover for the artillery, which was slowly being towed off-road towards the extreme right flank, where it would have a better line of sight of the MHC positions down the road.

The right
The MHC quickly positioned themselves opposite my force, anchoring their line in the pub on their right, supported by their mortar, HMG, armoured car and ‘Croydon Crushers’.

Whateleys on the rob
As the Whateleys did what came naturally and started to steal away the crates, the MHC opened fire, severely depleting these rascals. The central BUF also took heavy casualties as they took up firing positions along the road. Combined rifle, MG and mortar fire was playing havoc with my central section, but at least I was fulfilling my objective and getting the precious cargo away.

Central section decimated
On my right the BUF gave as good as they got, carving large holes out of the MHC section sent to oppose them, while my artillery scored a direct hit on the MHC HMG team, wiping them out. Soon this BUF section had wiped out one section of MHC and turned their fire onto the Croydon Crushers, who were becoming occupied with ferrying crates back towards the MHC lines.

Shifting crates
The police and armoured car reached the pub, but MG fire from the car made little impact on ensconced MHC, whose fire was raking my centre BUF. At about this time a chance card had the all the combatants stopping for a brew, which gave my BUF a respite from the galling fire of the MHC and bought me a little time to get some crates away.

BUF support the artillery
With my centre withering under heavy fire and seemingly unable to reply effectively, I decided that I had no option but to send the police into the pub where they would hopefully distract the MHC veterans for a few rounds, enabling me to batter the rest of the MHC force with artillery fire. However things quickly went awry!

Police enter the pub
My poorly trained artillery proved that their first direct hit was something of a one-off by scattering shells practically everywhere except the MHC positions. Eventually they got somewhere near, landing a barrage on top of the pub, and, thanks to some woeful dice rolling, causing more damage to the police than the MHC!

More crates for the taking
The survivors of this carnage dusted themselves off only to be charged by their enemy. In the confines of the pub the MHC were unable to bring their superior numbers to bear, but again my dice rolls failed me and the police came off worse, losing the melee and being overcome by the veterans.

Pub brawl
With the BUF in the centre whittled down to nothing, my CO cut down by mortar fire and the remainder of the Whateleys still carrying crates back to behind my lines I was on a losing streak. By now the MHC were making a concerted effort to grab their share of the spoils – at one point using their medic as a pack mule!

Couldn't hit a bull's arse with a shovel
Having seen off the MHC opposite them, the BUF on my right moved along to occupy the building at the crossroads and finished off the Croydon Crushers. The artillery finally managed to get another accurate shot, landing a round on the pesky MHC mortar that had been blasting away my centre and had now turned their accurate fire on the newly occupied building to deadly effect.

Right flank moves up
With this threat dealt with (catching the MHC CO in the process) I had evened the score a little, but for the BUF the game was effectively up. As my armoured car trundled back with one last crate (no thanks to some chance cards that had reduced petrol supplies for both sides), my force had been reduced to the ineffective artillery crew and a small handful of survivors.

Event card
The MHC had also been heavily mauled, but still had a viable force holed up in and around the shattered pub. Their last ditch effort to nab the remaining crates also added to their victory.

BUF makes off with one last crate
When we came to work out the victory points it was a closer run thing than I thought. In retrospect my failing was rolling a 1 for the artillery during my pre-game training rolls – more accurate artillery fire would have played havoc with the MHC centre, possibly knocking out their mortar sooner and reducing the effectiveness of the veterans in the pub.

Final tally
I also had doubts about sending the police into the pub, although I didn’t expect their numbers to be halved by my own artillery fire! In my defence, leaving them outside would have only exposed them to the same heavy fire that eventually wiped out my centre.
Surviving MHC drink to victory
Nevertheless we had a great game as usual (I’m never too bothered if the BUF lose!) Please check out Giles' view of the day in his blog at http://thelostcityofcarcosa.com/

10 comments:

  1. Magnificent. You kind of had me with the first paragraph, mind... Any Blog Post featuring a combination of "steam lorry", "finest tea", "precious cargo" and "sugar crates" is always going to be a winner for me!

    Great AAR, Jon. I love the way that the battle partly ended up in the pub!!!

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    1. Thanks mate! It was a really fun game with a suitably vbcw-esque scenario courtesy of Giles. I forgot to mention that his version of events can be found at http://thelostcityofcarcosa.com/

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  2. Oh bravo Sir, V.B.C.W. at its very best!

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  3. That was a fun report. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Cracking stuff! An excellent AAR, sir. Now, I'm off to put the kettle on...

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  5. A wonderful report there JP and great eye candy on display.

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