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, 19 March 2019

Up the cut without a paddle!

Monday saw our return to the VBCW here in GHQ, a decision prompted by my having collected a set of canal pieces which Andy at The Last Valley had made for me. I still need another two sections and a longer gentle curve, but for now we can make do with what we have ~
The Socialist defenders are stretched thinly along the front.
I've got several things on the go to enhance future games, one of which is a gasometer I picked up cheaply in a model train shop we frequent from time to time. The game sees the Government forces of Lord Rawnsley in a two pronged attack, seeking to carry off supplies before the barge can set out and to destroy the Corporation Gas Works if they can. The Socialist forces lead by the Manders will do their best to thwart the facists' plans of course. As is my wont an annotated photomontage telling the story of the unfolding action ~
The forces of oppression muster for the attack!
The 18lber is an early victim of the once a
turn randomly generated event card, drawn
on the 'red dice of doom'!

A duel develops between the armoured cars of both sides with
the Socialists' Heath-Robinson version having the better of it.
A prototype Matilda leads the South Staffordshire veterans
across the railway line despite fire from the defenders' mortars.
The 18lber engages the enemy Rolls Royce
armoured car in support of their own's 
The forces of oppression are moving forward on their right,
while the centre pins the defenders in place. On the left their
attack has stalled thanks to accurate fire.

The thinly defended Socialist left flank is in danger of being
overwhelmed. Heavy mortar fire can only target the Tettenhall
Militia in the defenders' support. The gasworks is in real
The Socialists' right flank is secure, the enemy will not be able
to cross over the canal bridge.

This allows the reserves from St Edith's to be transferred to
reinforce the threatened left. They 'run' for all they are worth!

Phil is having a field day with these Random Event cards! The
18lber's effectiveness was sadly much reduced this way.

Regulars from the South Staffordshires make use of cover to
harass the defenders in the Socialist centre. Their Light
Machine Gun was especially troubling.

Despite its unreliability {the best random card I had the chance
to play} the prototype Matilda reaches the canal. Without any
readily available anti tank support the Socialists' left flank and
the gasworks appears doomed.

St Edith's finest are rushing to the aid of their comrades! They
may be too late to save the gasworks, but the supplies may
yet be saved.

Desperate times in the defence of the left flank! The men are
doing all that an be asked, but the situation on the left is critical!

The heroic mechanic is doing wonders to keep the Matilda in

With the defenders of the gasworks overwhelmed the forces of
repression do their worst and set it alight! You an just see the
lads from St Edith's arriving in time to save the supplies stored
on the canalside.

We ran out of time in Turn 9. The game ended in a draw, with the gasworks in flames but with the barge and the supplies still firmly in the grip of the Socialist Heroes! Not that I'm biased of course. Next games in GHQ will be two SYW games in early April.


  1. Great looking game and hurrah for the good guys. Love the canal sections.

    1. Thanks Colin. The canal looks just right imho.

  2. What a lovely looking game and miniatures etc. The canal sections are great too.

  3. Fine pics of a most splendidly enjoyable set to, Andy has made a bostin job of the cut.

    I caught a whale in the cut once.

    1. A minnow I might believe.

    2. No definateley a whale, the spokes were all bent so I threw it back ;~)

  4. Excellent looking game as expected and that canal looks the biz!


  5. Great terrain, a joy to play on no doubt.

  6. We do our best but it's a bit worn in places, rather like me I'm afraid.

  7. Great looking game David, love the barge, canal and gasworks.😀

    1. Gasworks from Hornby/Skaledale, canal by The Last Valley, barge from Autherly Junction shop. Glad you like the look as your VBCW games are inspiring to me.

  8. Great looking game, the canal and gasworks are fab I really enjoy your fantasy games!
    Best Iain

    1. Alternate History, thoroughly researched and thought out - see my article last year in WI. But, I give you full marks for effort at humour. The canal has proved a definite hit with folk I think!