Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Hereford1938 AVBCW Autumn Big Game 2017 (PART TWO)

The early part of "The Battle of Berrington Approaches" (as it has subsequently become known) was one of quiet maneouvre. The Ludlow forces captured the strategically important "A49 intersection" without incident, and the Bishop, as ever leading from the front, established his "Forward Command Post" in the grounds of the "Gardener's Cottage". While the Behemoth Destroyers, in support of Cousin Verity's LDV, stalked Councillor Cracknutt's "Little Italian Tank" and "(Not Very) Armoured Car" on the right flank, the Anglican mortar's firebase was established in the walled grounds of the Gardener's Cottage, and the weapon made ready to fire...
The Bishop's Forward Battle HQ at the Gardener's Cottage. To the left, the A49 intersection and the first
appearance of the Brichester LDV's secret weapon - Doctor Campbell's "Marvellous Mechanical Man".
In the distance, the forces of Councillor Cracknutt and an advance by the "Gnat" AT Rifle.
It was on the fields of Kington, however, that the true action of the morning took place. Whether suffering from a rush of blood to his (very bald) head, or whether McCavity, his chauffeur, had difficulty in selecting the correct gear, Sir Alan McGuffin's behemoth suddenly jolted into a very enthusiastic, but very solitary, charge towards the oncoming forces of Comrade Commissar Winters....

Fore! Sir Alan's armoured charge begins...but what are those chaps nearly under his tracks up to?
(Photographs Courtesy of "Red Star" Picture Agency)
a charge that lead to an unexpectedly swift disaster.....

Socialist (Broad Front) Terror Bombers in action!

Boom! The open topped Behemoth is grenaded into a smoking mess!
....the swift and explosive death of McCavity the chauffeur and the entire Club Committee (still trying to follow the instruction manuals, they had clearly not kept a watch out for insurgents) and the shameful capture of Sir Alan and a badly wounded MacCaddie. [1]

Nothing daunted by such an early reverse (indeed perhaps prompted by it), Captain Morgan immediately announced that he was in fact, beyond peradventure and without a shadow of a doubt, "An Outright Traitor" to the Royalist cause and promptly joined forces with the Socialist (Very Broad) Front!

[Craig read out the following "Umpire's Luxurious Sealed Envelope Character Instruction" :




DOGGEDLY LOYAL. “You have reached a deal with your Faction Commander and will absolutely honour it - without question, come what may - to the end of the day. I say, what a chap! We’re afraid you don’t get any bonuses, but then you don’t get any penalties, either. Well done!”


This is what you tell your Faction Commander and fellow players, but it is completely UNTRUE. You are in fact an OUTRIGHT TRAITOR. No-one knows this but you - not the present “Opposition” nor even the “Umpires”. Reveal yourself and join “the other side” when you wish at any stage during the course of the game after the first two moves by stating “My Luxurious Envelope has given me new instructions, and I am in fact a black hearted traitor who will now make common cause with the other side - bye, bye, suckers!”  If you shoot your former friends in the back at the same time, or otherwise act with ingenious evility, you will get extra Umpire acclaim.



Such a dramatic turn of events completely over-shadowed the methodical preparations of the Anglican forces for their own afternoon assault. The Bishop's mortar had begun popping away, despatching crew members of Storm Leader Giles' MMG and AT Gun at frequent intervals. It would only be a matter of time before both were destroyed, or pulled back out of action. On the right, Cousin Verity's LDV plodded on, getting ready to flank the forces of Councillor Cracknutt. On the left, the Brichester LDV happily ensconced themselves in a walled field redoubt, ready for anything...

And "ready for anything" was the watchword for lunchtime. Storm Leader Giles had blanched visibly as Captain Morgan had declared his traitorous intent, reducing the "Government" forces, already in a minority, to a mere six Platoons against (now) eighteen of the combined Opposition. Air Reconnaissance reported that the Socialists were "well beyond their seige lines, spilling over the Kington plains without the slightest opposition"[3]. Quite what Lord de Braose, Governor of the Marches, would make of such news in due course....Storm Leader Giles could feel the blindfold being placed over his eyes, the sharp words of command to the black-clad firing squad....and to make matter worse, Councillor Cracknutt was now to be heard muttering about "the necessity of an orderly retirement" and delivering himself of the opinion that "Bugger Christmas! This is all going to be over by lunchtime!"

Clearly, Lord de Braose was (as ever) completely out of touch, for Anglican radio intercepts promptly delivered to the Bishop his "Order of the Day", promoting the embattled Storm Leader to Storm Commander.[4] The newly promoted Fascist Leader, now under sharp attack on the right from Captain Morgan at the head of his enthusiastically traitorous LDV - and about to suffer a death-knell advance by the now overwhelmingly superior Anglican forces - did the only thing that he could, and promptly dived into the available tree cover.

A pre-game view of the A49 Battlefield - before the mountain to the right, by God's mercy, was excavated
from the table to leave a plain. Lacking the Alps, Storm Commander Giles intended to use the foreground woods
 as a "Rural Redoubt". This panorama also provides a fine view of the A49 itself, the Gardeners Cottage
(as quickly occupied by the Bishop), and the walled enclosure, as occupied by the Brichester LDV.
With the ashen faced Storm Commander reduced to playing "hide and seek", and Councillor Cracknutt's LDV about to perform their "orderly retirement" before the oncoming forces of the Verity LDV, what now for the future of the Herefordshire VBCW ?

[1]. Radio Moscow has broadcast that MacCaddie was killed along with the rest of the Behemoth crew. This announcement was clearly subject to be battlefield confusion, and premature. MacCaddie lives!
[2]. This was all supremely bad luck for Storm Commander Giles. The odds of a traitor appearing on the battlefield at all were 5%, and consequently, the odds of a traitor to the Fascist cause were somewhere around 1.25% - 2.5%.
[3]. As indeed they were. With the defection of Captain Morgan and the Herefordshire LDV, the Government now had no defending forces at all on the fields of Kington.
[4]. highly reminiscent, as it turned out (and using an example from the alternate timeline) of Hitler's promotion of von Paulus to Field Marshall at Stalingrad. No Storm Commander had yet surrendered to the enemy in Herefordshire's VBCW....could Storm Commander Giles now "hold out"?

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