David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occasional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

The Pig has Flown!

Or the Battle of Blandings Parva, a three way VBCW encounter played out recently here in GHQ. Featuring my favourite Wodehouse character, the bumbling Earl Emsworth {Yours Truly}; the Royalist/BUF forces of Lord Rawnsley {Phil}; and the Market Blandings Peoples' Defence Cooperative {Jon}.~
A quiet morning in sleepy Shropshire, 1938

As you look up the table, Jon's force enters from the road front left, Phil's from the road middle left, and mine from the castle grounds at the far end of the table. The game used Bolt Action rules and was limited to 10 turns. The objective was to control the crossroads {middle right} at the end of the game. The forces are deliberately asymmetric: Emsworth has three squads, plus his secret weapon and a pig; Rawnsley has elements of the IV Battalion the KOSLI and some BUF supports; White's Cooperative has the largest force of LDV with a tank and artillery support, but is furthest from the objective.
Beach unfurls the Earl's personal standard over Blandings Castle

Emsworth's small force, made up of family, house guests and staff set off to defend an Englishman's home from all comers ~
Advance the Colours!

While Rawnsley's force makes a direct assault on the village of Blandings Parva ~
The Royalist/BUF column advances boldly

While the forces of White's Peoples Cooperative make for the bridge across the Severn ~
Vickers VIb and Smith Gun at the bridge

Rawnsley salutes his troops as they move into action ~
Lord Rawnsley

BUF men move to engage the enemy

Fierce fighting ensues across the Severn as elements of the KOSLI engage the BUF ~
Heavy fire across the Severn

Emsworh leads a spirited and successful defence of the castle grounds in person ~
An Englishman's home...

The Royalist forces are stalled on both flanks, having spread their forces too thinly it transpires ~
The Royalist's high watermark...

They find themselves under increasing pressure from White's Cooperative forces ~
A crisis is approaching at the crossroads...

Cooperative forces now threaten to gain a foothold in St Edith's churchyard and push on into the village itself ~

Superior numbers look like tipping the balance towards
the Peoples' Cooperative

Emsworth's small force can't hold on! Time to deploy the experimental Walking Carrier, 'Tommy Atkins 01' ~
Professor Braynstawm's latest invention...

Sadly it was not the answer, breaking down in turn 9 and thus failing to deny the crossroads to the Peoples' Cooperative forces ~
The People triumph over the forces of reaction!

All in all a splendid game we thought. Emsworth left it too late to deploy his secret weapon and when it broke down at a critical moment he was thwarted in his game plan. Rawnsley's bold and direct assault was halted by Emsworth's brave defence of the crossroads and surrounding houses, while his attempt to creep around the flank was halted by forces led bravely by the ageing Earl himself. The Peoples' Cooperative forces, ably lead by Jon, profited from a steady advance, during which the two opposing forces were fatally weakened as it turned out. Slow and Steady wins the race it seems!
The figures and terrain are all from my collection with the exception of Rawnsley's BUF which Phil painted. As you can see, Rawnsley has a superior style of staff car!


  1. Yes it was a splendid set to in splendid company. On reflection I should have taken a more circuituous route of attack :-(

  2. Beautiful set up and an enjoyable game by the sound of it.

    1. Thanks Matt! It was a grand game, that's true.

  3. Great looking game, sorely tempted to rally my own forces, the WOrcester Militia have been in barracks for far to long.

    1. Stu, I hear the Militia mustering as I type!

  4. Replies
    1. What Ho, TM! Glad you liked it! Welcome to GHQ!