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, 5 September 2022

An Away Day!

 Towards the end of last week I had the very great pleasure of a trip out to Lord Walton's stately pile, for a WWII bash on Jon's new wargames table of course. Not only did the stars align to make this treat possible, but also to grant me a fine win in what was a really engrossing game. Now, I freely admit I'm no gaming genius, especially when it comes to WWII games - Phil says I am in the 'a tank is something you store water in' brigade! That's as maybe, but headlong assaults as a Russian I can usually manage, no need for much tactical thinking, just get stuck in with numbers!

Anyway, I took a few pictures during the game as Jon's terrain and figures and vehicles are a joy to game with and I'd like to share them with you all ~

One of two river crossing objectives for the Russian hordes! The bridge cleverly lifts out of the bespoke terrain and can be replaced by a destroyed version. Did I achieve this objective you are wondering?
Ominous lines of trenches and a wooded ridge backing the bridge suggested to me that if I ever reached this objective then it would prove costly to take. Perhaps the secondary crossing might prove a better ploy, allowing the Russians to flank any bridge defences?
Ah, the secondary crossing - a ford in the river at top right in the picture - is also heavily defended. This looks like it might turn out to be a bit of a slog!
So, some sort of loose plan - a direct assault and damn the losses - in place, the Russian lead elements set off to probe possible German forward positions. Early mortar fire suggests I will encounter some opposition in overrunning the forward elements. 
Tanks with infantry support advancing on the Russian right try to drive through the defenders here and flank the defensive line. A bit of a blood bath ensued, but the Russians force the position and the first line is overcome. We are drawing chits for lost elements à la Battlegroup rules, but otherwise using a mash up of Rapid Fire Reloaded and Rapid Fire!2. Both sides have a decent collection of chits following this opening phase of the action!
On the Russian left the advance is more costly, but the loss of a few tanks and infantry is as nought to we Russian generals! Forward Commrades...or else!
As the Russian attack unfolds the German's second line of defences is encountered and over run after bitter and costly fighting for both sides. More tanks are lost as one position holds out against the odds. Surely maned by troops deserving of their Iron Crosses with Oak Leaves! But, even heroes can perish...and they duly did!
The climax of the battle arrives with the Russian steam roller crashing into the remaining scattered and demoralised defenders - the chits are mounting up rapidly now for the Germans. One final flurry and the German defence is shattered. The ford is open to the Russians and the route to the bridge is now open, and as it turns out, undefended. A Russian victory but at a great cost!
Well, I do hope you enjoyed seeing Jon's wonderful gaming set up! It was a joy to get to play on his table again after so long and to handle his excellent WWII collection in a fine game! Mind, winning does help I freely admit!


  1. Great to see Jon's grand terrain on the web. A joy to play across and a splendid win too, not bad for a water tanker :~)

    1. Remind me, how did you fare on Monday?😁

  2. Well done on the win and of course having a great days gaming too on a rather lovely table:).

  3. Great looking game and congrats on the win!


    1. Jon's terrain and collection are wonderful! I did enjoy a rare win though, I confess.

  4. Lovely looking game David and the terrain etc looks great 👍

  5. A great looking game David…
    And victory… next stop Berlin.

    All the best. Aly

    1. Jon has a grand wargames set up, a joy to play across win, loose or draw! But yes, a win is always nice.