Tuesday 24 November 2015

The Battle of Knob End! AAR

Well the 28mm VSF action has begun! Dave and I broke out the FUBAR VSF rule set (with a few subtle changes) and we hit the gaming table running…
Both the British (cheers!) and the Russian's (Boo Hiss!) had balanced forces and the objective of the game was to have the most (alive) figures within 8 inches of the centre of the board after 12 turns, each of these model Armoured Steam Wagons has a crew of three counting toward this total. So let's cross to Wednesday August 15th 1877 to the picturesque rolling fields just north of the quiet Norfolk town of Knob End on Gaywood...

Both sides made a beeline to the objective using their Armoured Steam Wagons as the centre of their thrust! The initiative on turn two gave the Russian Armoured Steam Wagon first shot in the armoured duel and it used it well  causing its British counterpart to burst into flames and then brew up! The crew survived to scamper from the board! The Russian armoured infantry then occupied the brush near the objective while their infantry unit after taking a few casualties fled from the board! The Russian robot unit was slow to move up as it failed its activation roll again and again early in the game! The British may have lost their armour support but consistently successful activation rolls kept them in the game. A hail of accurate fire from their robots and armoured infantry first suppressed, then immobilised and then damaged one of its two cannons of the Russian Armoured Steam Wagon leaving it virtually out of action for the rest of the game!
After six turns the game was anyone's then the British infantry unit after suffering a single casualty failed their morale and fled toward the edge of the table! The British armoured infantry after effectively reducing their Russian opposites in number who survived all their morale rolls were in turn decimated by the Russian robots then broke and fled from the game! At this point all that stood against the Russians were four British robots who survived a hail of fire (but not without a breakdown and a few other failures!). Then with the thin red line reduced to this thin metallic grey one the British infantry unit rallied and hurled themselves forward with gusto! The chances of a glorious British victory For Queen Vic were buoyed...that is until the British infantry were mown down by a storm of fire from the Russian robots, the survivors broke on turn eleven just inches from the victory area and failed to rally on turn 12 fleeing.
The Russians won a narrow victory!

Turn one gave the initiative to the Russian 2nd Imperial Steam Division and they raced at full speed toward the centre of the gaming area.

A good shot on turn two gave the Russians the armoured edge!

The 32nd Norfolk Mechanised Fusiliers lose their Mark Ia Armoured Steam Wagon!

The  situation around the objective mid game, the blue coated mercenary troops fighting for the Russians hold the brush near the objective despite heavy losses...Hurrah!

The  red coated infantry flee after taking a single casualty!!!!!

Only to re-enter the fray a turn later! Hurrah again!

Only to be slaughtered the very next turn and flee again!

Russian robots surveying the battlefied! is that a glow in their eyes or just a bit of red eye from flash photography?

The table at game end, the only troops within 8 inches of the centre of the table were the Russian armoured infantry! The only effective British unit in action still is the robots of the Knob End Engineer Company!

This game was great! We learned a lot about the FUBAR VSF rule set from this session! We swapped sides and played the game again but with a great British victory second time around. The rules are easy, fun, out there and created two close games! To list where we went awry: we didn't value the 'duck & weave' and 'aimed fire' units actions, we undervalued the armour we deployed and we had either to many robots, not enough infantry or not enough Armoured Steam Wagons or guns that could deal with robots but all that aside we will being continuing our VSF games with these rules! I'll put up a separate post on the FUBAR VSF rule set with our thoughts soon! 

Next time:  more on VSF figures or rules, or maybe I'll finally write up the AAR for the Stanley's Redoubt scenario of the Russian are Coming campaign!

Saturday 14 November 2015

The Era of The Great Steam Wars Begins…

Been a while folks but I'm back, this is the start of my VSF campaign posts, they'll run in parallel with my Martian Wars ones as the 28mm ‘human’ forces will be used in both. For these games I’m going to start off using the FUBAR VSF rule set…

The years following the defeat of the Martians dastardly attempt to conquer the Planet Earth and spread their evil influence within the solar system were ones of great technological advancement for Humankind. Man’s knowledge was expanded greatly as it battled the malevolent aliens but as a consequence of the total rout of the extra-terrestrials the first rank nations of the Earth now found themselves fielding large experienced armies equipped the most modern and deadly tools of war but with no apparent enemy to use them against. It wasn’t long before the newly designed war machines became the centre of a great arms race with every country attempting to outstrip the others arms production in an effort to become the most powerful. In this atmosphere mistrust jealousies rapidly developed and it wasn’t long before the Great Steam Wars of the late 1870s erupted into life and engulfed whole continents!

The two Great Empires with the most at stake in this period of expansion into the Dark Continent and the Orient were those of the British and Russian Imperial Families. Relations between Queen Victoria and Tsar Nicholas I were on the face of it cordial but below the surface they both envied and feared each other’s expansionist policies. Both countries governments laid plans to win this ‘Age of Imperialism’.

In July 1877 with Russia battling the ailing Ottoman Empire in the Balkans the British took advantage of their distraction with the infidels to claim vast stretches of the Dark Continent in the name of Queen Victoria, never had so many pygmie tribes been totally wiped out in such a short period of time in the whole history of mankind!. However the British were blissfully unaware of the machinations that were going on within the Imperial Russian Diplomatic Service and Military Intelligence. These branches of the Tsars Imperial Bureaucracy had developed a cunning plan to lure the British into a sense of false security keeping virtually the whole of the Russian Imperial Army ready to strike while a diversionary force dallied with the Turks. The Russians believed the pompous British would expose themselves by deploying the majority of their armies and navies on the Dark Continent with its worthless deserts and mountains and underdeveloped population and they were correct!

The Tsar now prepared to plunge the world into a series of Steam Wars that ‘would sort the men from the boys’…

We go now to Wednesday August 15th 1877 to the picturesque rolling fields just north of the quiet Norfolk town of Knob End on Gaywood, this was the date and location of the first clash between the Tsar’s mighty 2nd Imperial Steam Division just landed on the English coastline and the hastily gathered men of the depot battalion of the 32nd Norfolk Mechanised Fusiliers supported by some territorials of the Knob End Engineer Company. A small crossroad which the Russian Commander General Dimitri Klebb deemed of vital importance for the supply network of his forces was where the first shots were fired and the first drops of blood were to be spilt!

Captain Edward Smythe-Shuttlebottoms ram shackle battle group on the morning of Wednesday August 15th 1877 taken by a photographer from London who happened to be in the town of Knob End on Gaywood at the time...Smythe-Shuttlebottom is seen on the rear deck of the Armoured Steam Wagon.
The Antagonists:
The British:
Captain Edward Smythe-Shuttlebottom
Veteran infantry from the 32nd Norfolk Mechanised Fusiliers
Lieutenant Freddy ‘Stinky’ Smellie
Robots from the Knob Engineering Company
Ensign Harold Dungworth
Mark Ia Armoured Steam Wagon
The Russians:
Poruchik (Captain) Ourumov
Experienced infantry from the 2nd Steam Regiment
Sub Poruchik (Lieutenant) Zhukovsky
Robots from the Kalin Experimental Automaton Battalion
Praporshchik (Senior Ensign) Drago
Mark Ib Armoured Steam Wagon

Next time  maybe a breakdown of of VSF figures, maybe an AAR who knows!