Monday 14 October 2013

The 30 Year Itch

The Colonels wife had only had one indiscretion, with B Company. Perhaps that's why B Company found themselves posted to the Bakonga Rift Valley.....

"Why are we here Corp?"

"We're 'ere because we are soldiers of the Queen M'Lad"

"Soldiers of misfortune more like"

"If only she had been a Miss....."

Been laid up this weekend with an agonising back problem. Finally seems to be easing thanks to prescription medicine and ThermaCare heat wraps. Whilst painful, it has given me time to stop and reconnect with my gaming soul.  So I thought I'd do a quick photo in the style of  Don Featherstone's Wargamers Newsletter as a sort of homage to the past before Welsh Special Forces from 1979 sneak down that same valley on wednesday.


Friday 11 October 2013

6 Para Apply Pressure

6Para Post Op report
                    Op Brunel 9 October 1979

Btn QRF tasked with capture of Red Borset Front sniper team located in area St Paul in March - Butley - East Butley and Stanley Wenlock.
Call Sign Quebec Actual tasked to approach from FOB KENNETH in landrovers.  Call Sign Quebec Two,  on standby for eagle flight air insertion by helo.

0915 Quebec Actual arrives Cocked Hat Pub on A75 - reports all quiet. Suspect devices removed from premises for detailed investigation.

O943 QA arrives Burns Barrow and sets OP on Butley Cross. SF Patrol BADGER reports no activity area Butley - East Butley.


1035 QA approaches East Butley, receives heavy fire from concealed Atk rocket launcher.  Vehicle damage. Three enemy neutralised.

1050 QA approach St Paul's In March. Sniper fire received, QA deploys and clears position. Sniper detained. QA moves towards Stanley Wenlock, heavy small arms fire, vehicular damage, enemy neutralised.

1130 QA ambushed on return leg on A75, Q2 eagle flight deployed with armed Westland support. Vehicular damage and Q2 fired on at LZ.

1200 QA and Q2 clear A75, Westland deployed to suppress enemy. BDE QRF deployed to pin enemy force.

1300 all call signs return FOB KENNETH

Dave Tucker, Corporal 6 Para, recalls in Channel 4 documentary That Was The War That Was:

"Operation Brunel? That landy job was a pig. There we were tearing around in landies while Trots shot our arses off.  Great bloody day! All quiet until East Bloody Butley and then it didn’t let up. Of course THEY had said it was clear and you can trust THEM, yeah my arse. By the time we grabbed that bloody sniper we had one landy running proper and the rest were shot to hell. That Westland was firing its Gympies into the hedges and we were just flooring it. Like the wild west, good job trot was a piss poor shot and as tactical as my Donna. Taffs would have had our arse on that one. And the sodding kegs we grabbed at the Cocked Hat were bloody riddled. Like I said, pig of a bloody day."

The Game

We decided the game was taking place just off map from the Ambridge/Borchester A.O. Introducing elements from Ranger: Simulation of Modern Patrolling Operations from Omega Games so that the enemy was randomly generated and operated as dictated by the Tactical Events Book (TEB) from the game - more or less - there was a bit of mugger gaming between us to ensure enemy reactions fitted within the context of Winter of '79. The eagle flight was incorporated into the game to give it an extra dimension. 

We were both beat after some b'stard days in our respective workplaces. If any of you are movie buffs, when I say that I reached what Dan O'Bannon calls 'the point of no return', close act two, you'll know what I mean. So rather than set up a whole table, we played from a map and I threw down some buildings on my card table as required by events. This meant we could walk away from the game if we just wanted to natter or became too tired to continue. Picking up again next week without having to leave the table setup if it came to that.

Next game will be a special forces mission based on Ranger


Wednesday 9 October 2013

Prince Albert's Revenge

Nursing a Lemsip tonight in no mood for loading pictures, hoping I can stave off the annual change in season manflu pandemic.

Many of you will remember that I have an interest in early Victoriana. Belltop shakos and 1830 Woolwich Pattern muskets. Well, I was slowly collecting the figures and it was going nowhere to be frank with you. Then Maff became highly excitable about In Her Majesty's Name and was trumpeting it's praise.

I picked up a brand new copy on eBay for around £7, not expecting much but wanting to support Maff and have to say that I was quietly impressed. IHMN was the first set of rules to fire my imagination in some time. The rules themselves are short, elegant and let's be honest wouldn't be out of place as a stand alone feature in Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy.

The upshot is that my mind returned once more to Victoriana and where The Winter of 1839 had started to morph into a Sharp Practice proxy for Napoleonics, IHMN lifted my thinking, reducing the overall number of figures required for any individual faction, allowing me to indulge in some of my favourite Victorian episodes for very little effort and cost. Whilst all along maintaining a strong 'fun' element. All lessons that I've been quick to reapply to Winter of '79.


Saturday 5 October 2013

1979 The Struggle Continues


6 Para Post Op report
                      Op Telford 30 sept 1979

2 Btn QRF tasked with location of Borset Marxist Front cadre reported as active in area Dudley Hope - West Rissington - Claydon Barrow.

Call sign Quebec Two Two tasked to approach from S; Quebec Two Three approach from W; Recce Section insert by Helo direct at Dudley Hope.

0700 Recce Stn land DH DZ, contact OpFor. Area cleared, hostages (local police) secured and evacuated.

Q22 move by road towards WR. No resistance, suspect pipe bombs slow advance.

O730 Q23 arrive DH. Area secure.

O800 Recce lifted and moved to area CHIPSHOP on Observation React OP.

Q22 moving slow, report wired bridge at Rissington Cross. OpFor OP spotted and neutralised.

0900 Report from Box500 of OpFor moving on West Rissington. Recce Stn lifted to block approach. Contact. OpFor retires on Claydon Barrow road, Q23 move up and contact; OpFor neutralised.

1000 Q22 clear road and move on Claydon Barrow. OpFor contacted in company strength. Sections A and C suppressed, Q22 HQ element counterattacks. Location secured. BMF local commander captured WIA, KIA subsequent.

All elements consolidate and return to FOB KENNETH

Transcript of Sergeant Dave Tucker interview with Daily Mail:
"Claydon Barrow? Yeah that was warry. We piled up in the Landies and got right into Trot, lots of it! Gave them the good news alright but they stuck at it. We weren't going anywhere until Tilly, Corporal Tilly picks up his gat and starts in at them. We followed him in and slotted the lot. Picked up this trot boss who was leaking a bit and roughed him up. He didn't make it back.....Shame. Another pint?"

Official sources in the Emergency Government have announced another success in the war against Marxist anti-government terrorists, 10 miles South-West of Borchester. A terrorist leader was captured and an as yet unknown number of civil servants being held hostage have been returned to their families.

 The Game 

Op Telford was played as a 20mm operational level game. Something I'd wanted to do for a while. The home baked system, whilst still informal worked well and was a laugh to play. We switched between macro and micro as required by the game; that village of two-three houses became just the target houses in the village and that 'company' of 8 figures becoming a 1-2-1 rifle section assaulting the Newton's shop where the self-styled Supremo of Free Borset hid out.

Definitely a winner for future Winter of '79 gaming.