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.

Monday 18 December 2017

The 3.10 from Oxley

As I hope many of you will have seen my description of the game background in last weeks post, “Action at Oxley Sidings”, we can move straight into the report of all the action, excitement and, yes, even disappointments. Phil, cast entirely out of character as the fascist Lord Rawnsley, commanded the forces of repression, while I commanded the gallant Railwaymen of Oxley Sidings, their Socialist allies and the volunteer units from the Mander’s home at Wightwick Manor defending the People’s Cause and Freedom, oh, and the train of course.
The armoured train is the objective for the Government forces
The Vickers MkVIc is immobilized by a hit from the 18lber
A rousing cheer from the miners of Hilton Main
greets the hit on the Government tank!
The thinly defended hedge line is supported by an assortment
of mortars
A hit on the tank by the Leach catapult fails to add to the
The Blacker Bombard immobilizes the Boulton Paul workers'
armoured car!
The volunteers are stalled at the line of stone walls. Can they
carry their attack on the weak flank?
With 'encouragement' from Lord Rawnsley himself the anti-
tank rifle team take careful aim at the immobilized armoured
car. It must have worked as the vehicle goes up inflames!
The NUR men lining the hedgerow are under heavy fire, the
pin markers are starting to mount!
FUBAR! "Don't panic! Don't panic!"
Despite the best efforts of the mortar teams to support the NUR
the centre is crumbling!
As the Regulars of the South Staffs finally make headway
 through the woods the men manning the train reveal their
presence and open a devastating fire!
The NUR men's morale collapses and the centre is wide open!
On the right, the Miners' are 'Down' and face multiple attacks
With the right in tatters the Volunteers surge forward to turn the
enemy's flank
The train gets up steam finally, but too late to escape the
clutches of Lord Rawnsley's victorious forces.
Over the two Mondays we played our usual twelve moves, seven last week and five this. After some initial success on my part advancing the two armoured cars to disrupt the Government advance, allied to Phil's Regulars largely showing a marked reluctance to attack, the loss of the Rolls Royce armoured car enabled the enemy to recover the initiative. That left the Boulton Paul workers' improvised armoured car isolated and unsupported later to be knocked out by the anti-tank rifle team. That in turn left the workers manning the carriages with no real support, the collapsing centre isolating them effectively, as by then all the reserves had been committed elsewhere. While at the end of Turn 12 the train was still in the workers' hands it was clear that they could not survive a further assault by the masses of Volunteers on the right and the Regulars in the centre, and so I conceded the game to Phil. 
And that is that as far as games go in GHQ for 2017. Our next scheduled meeting is on 3rd January 2018, but first there is just the little matter of Christmas and New Year to negotiate, so we will leave that to take care of itself for now. Season's Greetings to all my readers!


  1. David. Great write up and scenario. Glad the train did it's bit!

    1. Thanks Colin; for the encouragement and for the train. Happy Christmas.

  2. Super couple of Monday's gaming, with markedly different weather and after a tentative start a markedly better turn of events for the government forces, the tea finally having the desired effect, the King will get his train set for Christmas. Here's to 2018.

    1. Indeed, here’s to 2018 and many more splendid years and games I hope. Happy Christmas.

  3. Why do I always feel like starting a new period after reading these? Great stuff!

    1. Why? You are a Wargamer! It is the law, see it, want to do it! Happy Christmas.

  4. Excellent stuff....I’m afraid I was rooting for the bad guys ! The expanding collection is looking very good....and as I always say I need to sort out some better flags....perhaps my project for 2018 😀 have a good Christmas at GHQ

    1. Rooting for the bad guys? At Christmas? Oh dear Matt...
      Glad you like the growing collection though. Adding further really depends on Footsore now.

  5. Love the train, explosion markers and this beautiful mortar vignette...Great looking game, and Merry Christmas!

  6. Yet another fine example of wargaming at GHQ!! I want a train like that!


    1. Thanks Christopher, sadly I can’t help with the train.

  7. A great looking game David...
    It’s a shame the villain’s had to win...

    All the best Aly

    1. Thank you Ally! A shame, yes, it all fell apart for me in the last two turns.

  8. Nice looking game, lovely looking train! Pity about the result but sounds like a fun game!
    Best Iain

    1. Thanks Iain, but as you say a pity about the final outcome.