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.

Saturday 31 May 2014

An Englishman's Home...

...may no longer be his castle! The sad outcome of the siege of Blandings Castle in May 1938 being the , hopefully temporary, homelessness of Clarence, Earl Emsworth as the result of Government cunning and inept firing. {In reality an account of a game played here in GHQ between Phil and John Aston and umpired by yours truly.} The action was faithfully recorded by a gallant crew from the BBC ~

Phil, as the defender of the castle, could occupy any position within the perimeter, though he lacked a sufficient force to cover every aspect, while John, as the Government forces attacked from his baseline opposite the castle. The table layout in Turn 1 ~

Using Bolt Action rules the run of the dice can be very important in determining the way the game develops. Phil immediately advanced his secret weapon, 'The Empress of Blandings, Mk II', known to all as 'The Iron Pig'!

She gets a sight of the enemy's MkVI tank and opens fire. A direct hit! The enemy tank is destroyed ~

Undeterred by this setback, the Government forces are advancing on all fronts! In the centre two sections advance, supported by MMG and mortar fire. The latter was to prove very accurate and destructive ~

On the left, elements of the KOSLI used the cover of a copse of trees to work around the defenders' right flank ~

While on the right a Bicycle Mounted Infantry element was advancing on an undefended section of the perimeter.

The Iron Pig crosses the enemy's front to disrupt the attack, but falls victim to an ambush from the Government 2lb anti tank gun. She is immobilised and takes Pin Markers ~

The defenders are spread very thinly, but are behaving as any Englishman would, holding their ground with fierce determination. The Empress' Company, all veterans of the Great War hold the left and suffer severely under mortar fire ~

While the Volunteer Castle Company hold the centre doggedly, despite galling fire from the Government's MMG ~

The defender's right flank is held by a group of Guests at the castle. More used to hunting, shooting and fishing than the battlefield they break under fire ~

And the KOSLI rush towards the unguarded perimeter ~

Reaching it without drawing fire from the dwindling number of defenders ~

Just as on the opposite flank the remnants of the Empress' Company find their defences breached also ~

'Tubby' Bykleigh surveys the situation from the vantage point of the castle roof ~

Its all up for the Gallant Defence of Blandings as Government forces seal an emphatic victory ~

The game lasted for eight turns in all before the Defenders' situation became hopeless with their perimeter breached in two places. Forces loyal to Lord Emsworth reluctantly took the decision to retire towards Market Blandings and live to fight another day! Their losses were grave, but they were not bowed, Englishmen One and All!


  1. Great report. I do like VBCW reports. Have only played a few games with mates but so far have not been bitten by the VBCW bug. I like the quirky Englishness/Britishness players put into their games.

    1. Thanks Mark! Take the plunge, though, you know you want to!

  2. The Iron Pig rule them all!!! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great AAR, make me want to dust of my own forces in the Worcester region.

    1. Thanks Stu, get your own going too now!

  4. Splendid report, and a spiffing days sport too.

    1. Agree, see you in a hour for Partizan!

  5. Great looking game - shame I couldn't make it but the wheels of industry you know .....

    1. Yes, they're coming off are n't they?

  6. Great looking pics for a great period...unusual and beautiful!!