Friday, 20 October 2017

Battle of Coldstream

It was a bright and sunny day in August 1938 in the border town of Coldstream. Lord Percy has spent the summer consolidating the border between Northumberland and Scotland.The famously loyal English town of Coldstream defended a key crossing point.

Coldstream High Street

Edge of Town (where the darkness comes from)

Hill in the centre of town

Farm land. Lord Percy has built a firebase to protect the road to the South

Lord Ridley, Percy's war minister has decided to tour the border to prove it's security and the strength of Northumberland

The tour has been well publisized and the local media are waiting to film his procession through the town

The cavalcade advances through the town with motorcycle outriders at the front and a motorcycle mounted vickers and Lancia armoured truck with a section of the Northumberland special service force (the Alnwick Vampires) to the rear.

Suddenly and shot rings out fromthe upstairs floor of Grace Bros Haberdashers. A sniper has rushed his shot and it flies wide. A 2nd sniper fires and shoots Ridley through the heart killing him immediately.

A section of militia known as the Border Reivers charges out of the Miners Arms and assaults Ridley's Prince Henry staff car. However the assault fails. and the car and motorcycles move forward 

The townspeople lead into action and drag barbed wire road blocks across the road splitting the convoy in 3 before diving back into cover

The machine guns in the convoy open fire and kill 2 of the Reivers. The snipers open fire again and kill and motor cycle machine gunner. The outriders and the staff car carrying Ridley's body have escaped the west 

To the east the local cricket team had been waiting for their moment and march into the town

The Reivers capture the motorcycle driver as the Alnwich Vampires, their advance blocked, retreat, debus and prepare to occupy the outskirts of the town

The death of Ridley will enrage Percy and he will launch a major assault to punish the town. Will the town hold out.
This battle will be fought over the next few weeks and will escalate as every VBCW figure I own joins the battle.
Old Guard on Sunday, most are fighting another ACW battle in preparation for Battleground. Me and James, and others,will be fighting the next battle in James WW2 campaign. Staffs vs Germans in a night battle. Can't wait for that either

Sunday, 1 October 2017

The Retreat from Fort Mackenzie

Following the burning of Fort MacKenzie the British retreated back down the pass to the safety of their base

The British enter the battlefield from the North and need to cross the ford in the village to the south and get the supply wagon off the the table to the South

As the Bengal Lancers leave the pass a horde of warriors who had raced over the mountain appear near to the mouth of the pass

The British vanguard form a line as the column advances with the wagon which can not stop

The Afghans charge home and a fierce battle ensues.

The British win, just and the column is free to advance

The Bengal Lancers charge a small unit of Afghan cavalry and wipe them out. Across the river another unit a warriors shadows the column

With their side of the river clear the British advance towards the village, watched by a couple of units of Afghans

A second unit of warriors appears behind the column and the surviving Highlanders, who fought so poorly yesterday and bringing up the rear and are ordered to protect the column

The British reach the village

The Highlanders unleash a volley but the Afghans press home. Another bloody fight but the Highlanders win well.


However they are isolated and rifle fire from Afghans in front and freshly arrived irregular cavalry destroy them


The British unlimber their field gun to protect the crossing as the Lancers and a Sikh regiment cross the ford with the wagon. A unit of warriors emerge from the fields near the village and catch the rearmost British regiment in line wiping them out. The situation gets worse as fire from the following units wipes out the gun crew.

The Bengal Lancers face up to the warriors. This should be easy

Disaster. The Afghans clash with the Lancers and utterly destroy them - too many 1s vs too many 6s

The Sikhs form a line to protect the wagon and finish of the Afghans.


The wagon makes it off the table as to the Sikhs but it is a Pyrrhic victory. Over the 2 battles the British lost 6 regiments and only 1 plus a wagon survived. Afghanistan is a terrible place to invade.


Battle of Fort MacKenzie

I've been really busy for the last month, lost of house guests and start of new term at work so I've done nothing for 2 weeks, although it feels much longer. Yesterday was my first chance for some proper hobby time and as my painting mojo is off (figures on my paint table are poor quality and uninspiring) I fought a solo battle.
1882, NW frontier. Fort MacKenzie guards the entrance to a mountain pass and is held by a battalion of British infantry. The Afghans are restless and a force has been spotted approaching the fort. A messenger has been sent to send for reinforcements who will arrive through the pass to the left of the fort.

Afghans approach

British sentries keep watch

The Afghans cross a wadi

The Afghans launch a general advance

Fire from the fort disperses a small unit of Afghans but incoming fire is whittling down the British

The 1st British reinforcements arrive

Afghans ready to assualt

A mad charge and they burst through the gates. Devastating fire from the Brits stops them but they don't rout 

Activation failures cause a traffic jam and the Brits pour withering fire into the Afghans

The 1st British reinforcements have been decimated by enemy fire, advancing down the pass is going to make deployment difficult. However the next unit is advancing behind

A 3rd unit arrives as the Afghans are still stalled at the fort

Brits deploy but will it be in time

The Afghans are in and are attacking the Brits in the fort

Afghan cavalry charge the survivors of the 1st unit of British reinforcements. They hold

This give the Brits time to deploy and hold the mouth of the pass

With units in the fort the Afghans turn to attack the Brits

THey charge the line and clash with a unit of Highlanders. The Afghans win just but the Highlanders rout from the field.

Back in the fort it's all gone a bit General Gordon as the Colour party of the Brits hold the roof

The rout of the Highlanders has shocked the Brits and they form a square as the next unit arrives and clears out the Afghan infnatry

The Afghan force has been almost destroyed but the colour party has been killed 

The Afghans torch the fort and leg it. The British will have to retreat back down the pass to safety and shelter - but that is for another day.

I really enjoyed this battle, played using a variation of Dave Docherty's Imperial Steel rules which are very simple but well balanced and cinematc. I will play the retreat today and post later.