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.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

The Battle of White Oak Farm

Despite feeling wan after fence erecting on Saturday and walking miles around WMMS on Sunday Phil and I found ourselves ensconced in GHQ on Monday for our weekly game. I'm sure that says something significant about us both, I'm just not sure what! We had decided to go for the VBCW as a genre, as Dan will be here later in March to take some pictures for Wargames Illustrated to accompany my latest article. {That does mean of course that the AWI game will now be on 27 March and the planned War of 1812 and ACW games will be in April, all three though played out over the same terrain.} The scenario sees the Socialists of Wolverhampton and their allies moving to seize the resources of White Oak Farm, having come off second best in the Chillington Raid just before Christmas. The farm lies nearer the enemy dispositions than it does theirs, so victory will depend on a vigorously conducted offensive. We used Bolt Action 2nd Ed rules, starting 2' in from the table edge for both forces. We planned to play six moves, plus a possible extra move decided by dice throw at the end of Turn six. As ever, I played the Socialists and Phil the Government force. Here's how the game unfolded, beginning with the positions at the end of Turn 1 ~
The Workers' Militia, the Hilton Main Miners and the Boulton-Paul Workers
advance on the right flank towards the farm.

Manders' Horse and Princess Sudhira's Rifles support the Armoured Car's
advance down the road towards Bilbrook.

The South Staffords make rapid progress to occupy White Oak Farm, their left
covered by the MMG.

The Smith Gun and a Vickers MkVIc support the advance. The anti-tank
rifle team waits to ambush the armoured car and the 3" mortar deploys.

The BUF's Bilston Steel Division and the Chillington Rifle Company hold
the right flank.

In Turn 2 the South Staffords occupy the White Oak Farm. The farmer and
his prize pigs seem unimpressed!

The Socialist advance continues, using the steam road roller to smash through
the thick hedges. Manders' Horse is held up short of their objective by the
strong enemy position.

Princess Sudira's Rifles advance to support the MMG
enfilading the farm. In the distance the BUF and the
Chillington Rifle Company advance across the fields.

In Turn 3 the Socialist tank advances on the farm's defenders while their
infantry makes steady progress in support. The South Staffords' position
looked very strong at this point.

The tank attack fails to dislodge the farm's determined defenders in Turn 4.
The infantry will have to go on! Manders' Horse is under heavy fire in the
centre! On the left, Princess Sudhira's Rifles gather for an attack.

On the Government's side the situation seems well in hand at this point.

Despite heavy fire from the defenders and their supporting units the Socialists
assault the farm in Turn 5.

A rush of blood to the head sees Princess Sudhira's rifles assault the BUF!
Not a good move and by Turn 6 they were eliminated. Support though from
the MMG, the 3" mortar and Leach Catapult and the 18lb gun eliminates
the enemy in Turn 6.

Fierce hand to hand fighting in the farm ensues in Turn 6. Its in the balance
after the first round.

The second round of combat sees the Socialists defeat the South Staffords and
occupy the farm. The Miners advance in their support.

Although there was an extra turn, immediately it started the Miners eliminated the remaining South Staffords. With no prospect of taking the farm now, Phil conceded defeat. The Socialists of the Peoples' Republic of Wolverhampton could acquire the stores and animals of the farm. A thoroughly enjoyable three hours which could have gone either way in the end.


  1. A fine game it was too and the pics capture the unfolding action splendidly indeed.
    A sudden turn around in fortune for the Government forces, but they will be back!

    1. Yes, the game swung both ways it's true. I was really surprised to win.

  2. I really enjoy these particular reports.

  3. THis terran is awesome! A great report, I am impressed by your vehicles and wagons, nice touch!

    1. Thanks for that ringing endorsement Phil!

  4. Excellent looking game David!


  5. Great stuff, and excellent scenery!

  6. Lovely lovely lovely , what's not to enjoy, great setup, great figures and a close VBCW battle 😀 Not played VBCW for while so we need to get our stuff out again soon.

    1. Thank you for your kind comments Matt.

  7. Lovely game and beautiful scenery. Would love to see more of the impressive factory complex in the background.


    1. Thank you for those kind words. A link to the page about the town, including the factory ~