Royalist Reinforcements: Vickers Medium for VBCW!

Vickers Medium Mk2, reporting!

A section of Royalist infantry take over my painting desk, supported by a Vickers Medium

Sometimes, you just need a palette cleanse. An easy paint job to brighten your spirits and fire you up for additional painting.

I chose for just such a task a Vickers Medium Mk2, a very interesting interwar design. Large and slab sided, and not particularly fast, these tanks are out of date by the Very British Civil War timeline, and in our timeline only saw use in small numbers in Africa in World War Two*.

This was one of my earliest prints that I have done, and the bow-legged tracks betray my lack of skill at the time. Still, painted up, I’m hoping it will do sterling service on my gaming table, and look good doing it!

I primed it Vallejo Russian Uniform, a colour that seems, for some reason, to really resemble the off-green the British Army used.

Even with its wonky tracks, it still is an imposing mass of steel.

The tracks I did in an Eshin Grey, and the metal components Army Painter Plate Mail. I then sponged Plate Mail around the tank as severe weathering. Finally, I used Nuln Oil to fill in the metal details on the tank, giving them a more worn appearance.

Free-handing is hard!

I found the free-hand detail to be quite difficult, but serviceable. In my excuse for painting, I have decided that these are hand-painted by the crew, and this crew is particularly sloppy!

Going to have to fix that free-hand here….
The bow-legged tracks are particularly noticeable up front and rear!

Still, for a quick paintjob to get it on the table, its not the worst! I can always go back and add more later.

Behind the tank you can see a section of infantry! Those will be next, bringing my force to twenty royalists and a tank. An HQ section is after that, and I can start fighting for King Edward VII in style! Of course, for such a battle one needs an opponent, and luckily my friend has been working hard on his Albertines! For those fresh to Very British Civil War, that is our timeline’s King George he’s fighting for, to put on the throne.

Quite awkwardly, he too has decided to use Woodbine Design Studios WW1 figures as his base for his army…meaning the only difference is our paintjob!
He has gone for purple puttees instead of armbands for his army. Purple accents show up quite regularly!
And unlike me, he has gotten his officers ready too! I have some catching up to do!

As lockdowns and shutdowns, and other various bits of stressful news come in, I will admit I sometimes find it hard to work up the hobby energy. But I’m really keen on getting my Very British Civil War guys done before I next see my friend next. Goals keep us going!

But for now, that is all I got. Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and God Save King Edward!

*Note, I may not get my history right. Don’t quote me without doing your own digging first!.

Fighting for the Crown: The Royalists Arrive!

The King commands, and we…half-heartedly obey?

Ah, another package from across the Pond. What could be in this one?

After a brief interlude into Warhammer 40k, we return to 1938. I have some background lore I have thought about for my force, and without further ado, lemme bore you with it!

King Edward VIII rallies his armies after the Civil War begins, and across the United Kingdom and her Dominions and Possessions, local loyalties are being tested.

For an initial period, the British Army is in ruins. Whole Regiments turn-coat and join the Anglican League, taking both precious equipment and trained men over to that cause. The Socialists poach a few, causing desertions, when they offer a more equal future for a soldier who could expect little in life beyond being told what to do by his ‘class’ superiors. Scotland takes a great deal of regiments home, and they form the nucleus of the Republic’s military. Wales is in open, if not organized, rebellion. The Irish, holding Ulster hostage, remain neutral, but with the Irish Guards back home, they at least cause issues with the occupying authorities as Catholic fights Protestant once again in open warfare.

Horrendous fighting south of London, in Anglican controlled territory (Real photo is of the London Regiment in the First World War. No disrespect is intended. From the Imperial War Museum.)

The Regiments that remain loyal are rarely loyal as an entire body. For the men of the 1st City of London Regiment (The Royal Fusiliers), they find themselves at around 70% percent fighting effectiveness. With little time to do proper training and recruitment, the Territorial Army (reservists, to us Canadians, or Militia back in the day.) Regiments find themselves thrown into battle along the loose border with the Anglican League, and the Royal Fusiliers finds themselves fighting a tough, but undertrained foe. They also have the backup of the BUF Legions; Tough fighters, but ill-disciplined, prone to heights of cowardice and heroism in equal measure. Worse, the Fascists prioritize reinforcements that show particular zeal toward Mosley into the BUF, leaving the Territorials with unwilling ‘recruits’.

An old, WW1 Recruitment Poster for the 2nd Battalion. Touched up, this will see further use in 1938. (Public Domain)

However, despite all of King Edward VIII many problems, he was a soldier, and aims to be a soldiers king. In an inspiring speech, he extols the virtues of loyalty, country, and duty, as well as understanding the difficulty each man must face in staying loyal when many have not. It works, and overnight flagging enthusiasm for fighting for Mosley’s Parliament is replaced by increased enthusiasm in fighting for the Monarchy. While not as fanatical as Mosleys Black-shirts, the Regular and Territorial Army now fight as a counter-balance; Stoic, and professional, and well trained behind the lines before being blooded properly in minor engagements. And holy terror once fighting for real!

The revived colors of the unit, going into the later part of 1938. (All Copyright belongs to the author, and will be removed upon request.)

This has led to issues in the field with the more fanatical Mosleyites, and fractures are starting to appear in the once united Government front…

Now with all this lore and background out of the way…lets see the men of the 1st City of London Regiment, Royal Fusiliers, eh?

These fine fellows are from Gripping Beast, more specifically, the Woodbine Design Studio WW1 British. Splendid models! Always wanted an excuse to buy them, but as war-gaming World War One in 28mm sounded less fun then just getting my friends to shoot me with pellet guns as I crest over a trench, I never committed.

I’m using the conceit that the the Army in 1938 was in the changeover period to Battledress, and it was not yet complete. As such, my men in the Territorial Army fight in stuff their fathers might have, but with a greater supply of grenades, Lewis Guns, and Vickers Machine Guns available. About the lack of helmets…I chose instead to order Service Dress Caps. No reasoning here…I just liked them!

Finally, all characters in the army, despite the real Regiment, will be fictional. I do not wish to step on anyone’s grandad! That is, unless they want me to include them!

After opening the box, this is what I was left with. A whole mess of pewter, and perhaps lead?

I make a point of washing all my metal models. Given that I was going to use a primer known for flaking off metal models, I made sure to be thorough, just to be safe. No broken models this time, so I set to work finding my bases and gluing the separate heads on.

This took hours, not because it was hard, but because it was tedious. Well worth it, and I have the perfect color picked out to paint them too!

All scrubbed up, assembled, and put into formations. Four Infantry Sections, each with a Lewis Gun, provide firepower. A Vickers offers a fixed emplacement, to make ‘beaten’ zones. Two sets of officers, one at the company/platoon level and the other at battalion. Two vignettes offer something neat to paint/fight over. And a whole wack of extras…
Two Sections; Each Corporal model is unique! I love the simplicity of these models, but they don’t lack for detail either. Just a joy to work with.
The other two Sections. Same sort of deal.
A nice, simple, if not a bit fiddly to assemble, Vickers. Going to add some shrubbery to the front part of the base, once its basing has begun!
The company/platoon commanders. They will get names, and ranks, shortly. I love the guy ready to punch some Anglican League traitors with his walking stick!
The battalion/regimental command. The guy learning on his cane will be the Regimental CO, while the man holding a truncheon will be the Regimental Sergeant Major. Finally, the man loading his Webley has to be something, he’s just too cool NOT to use!
My two favourite models from the collection I have got. They both have loads of character! They will probably recieve the most attention painting and lore-wise.
Two privates making improvised explosives. At this point, supplies are running thin, and jamming a bunch of nails in a tin and packing it with gunpowder is an old trick. Lots of First World War veterans in the regiment who have taught them how…
The regimental surgeon offers the best he can do to this not overly serious injured young man. “Chocolate, you’ll feel better” The boy will live, but will hate the taste of Frys going forward.

Now when I purchased the sets from Gripping Beast, I failed to take into account how much of each Infantry Section would be replaced with specialist models. As it turns out…quite a few.

I’ve heard of losing your head, but this is just silly! No, I have enough heads to outfit the whole ragtag bunch, but I have an idea…anyone got bearskins?

If anyone has any, or knows of a manufacturer of Bearskin Grenadier Helmets, I’d love to know! These headless chaps will become my elite backbone of my army, a section of Grenadier Guardsmen, sent to stiffen their resolve. I might be able to organize a cross-channel trade, in the spirit of Global VBCW….

On another topic, how do these lads rank up next to my British Union of Fascists thugs? Glad you asked that incredibly specific question, here is a scale photo between two very similar models.

Footsore BUF Yeomanry on the Left, and the Gripping Beast WW1 on the right! Hope this helps!

And that is it, until I go spray some models. I’m waiting for a low humidity and heat day, something you wouldn’t imagine would be an issue in Canada, but certainly is, at least where I live.

Misha too wishes for some colder weather, otherwise its simply too hot for the poor doggo!

Anyways, that is all the Very British Civil War goodness I have for you today! I hope you enjoyed it, and if you did feel free to comment! And if you didn’t, actually, comment why you didn’t too! All feedback is appreciated. I’d like to thank the VBCW community on Facebook for the warm reception. My buddy and I in Canada will aim to please!

Look for our landing in Dorset; We will arrive with Mounties on Moose Cavalry, Machine Guns, and Tim Horton’s for all. Oh, and King George. The real King!

Happy War-gaming, wherever you might be. And God Save King Edwar….even I can’t commit to it. Sorry! You guys have a wonderful day!

For King OR Country: First Steps into A Very British Civil War!

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They aren’t perfect. But I printed them at home!

In my last post, I mentioned that my 3D printer was arriving the day after. As one can guess from my utter lack of posting since, I have been busy enjoying my personal resin miniature machine. It’s a not insignificant learning curve, and I can’t claim to be 100% proficient at the process yet. But, for my stated goal of printing tanks, it has not failed me.

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The Phrozen Sonic Mini, doing its black magic. In goes liquid resin, out comes Tanks!

On the other hand, a few weeks ago, I mentioned that a friend and I had bought into A Very British Civil War, a setting based on King Edward VIII’s abdication crisis in 1936. Before I give you a quick synopsis, fair warning here, I’m not a Britisher myself, I may get some details wrong, but lets carry on with it, shall we? King Edward had attained the throne upon the death of his father, King George V.  However, the young king was sort of a playboy, and had fallen away from his womanizing ways by wanting to marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee. To our modern eyes, this doesn’t seem so bad.

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Prince Edward in the First World War. He was a member of the Grenadier Guards, but never allowed to see service. Admittedly a rather handsome young man, and his leave in Paris was…educational for the young Prince on the art of wooing ladies.

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However, he met his match in the 30’s in Wallis Simpson. An admittedly pretty lady, who proceeded to nearly cause a country to crumble!

But back then, it was a massive deal, and one that threatened to cause a serious issue in the United Kingdom. Parliament, to not go into too much detail, had said they wouldn’t support such a move. King Edward deliberated for pretty much the entirety of 1936. During that time, he showed an inclination towards supporting Fascism, which is probably the more dangerous part of this whole crisis. He was friends with Hitler later on!

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The Duke of Windsor, as Edward was styled after his adication, during a trip to Germany. He did the whole touristy thing, did as the Germans did. Which, in 1937 was Nazi Salutes and meeting good Ole Hitler.

Now, in our history, King Edward abdicates the throne in order to marry Wallis Simpson, and while a thorn in the side of British foreign relations, he played no serious further part in history. In the timeline of A Very British Civil War, however, he decides he’d like both, please. By keeping the throne, and marrying Simpson, Parliament collapses on itself. Some stay loyal to King Edward, but most resign. The government is on the brink of collapse. In order to keep things going, King Edward decides to invite someone to take charge, and appoints a Prime Minister.

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King Edward opening Parliament during his brief reign.

He chooses Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists, and confirmed absolute jerk, who then proceeds to fill Parliament with a heavily Fascist majority, and placing his Blackshirts as an actual, legal, paramilitary. This does not sit well with a large part of the country, but he still manages to keep a lid of things. This is, until, a royal parade.

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Like a British Hitler, with a much more stupid mustache!

Traveling via armored car out of fear for his life, King Edward was being escorted by the Guards regiments, and several columns of British Union of Fascist “police”men. Someone fires a shot. Utter pandamonium reigns as King Edward makes his getaway, but the British Union Fascists turn their guns on the crowd. The Guards, in part but not entirely, fire at the Fascists! No one knows who shot first. In the aftermath, the country falls into collapse. The non-English Guard regiments are disbanded, and the Welsh, Irish, and Scots Guards are sent home in disgrace. The perceived insult leads many of these men to join the ever increasing and violent opposition to Mosley and his King. The many, many factions start to group together into loose coalitions.

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The Anglican League, middle class England, starts to form militias out of cricket teams, former soldiers, and various parts of your typical British village. They rally around Anglican dioceses, and start to form a mild-large religious front. They are a loose federation, all fight Mosley, but few groups agree what happens after. Some even consider working with the Socialists for a greater say in post war reconstruction.

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The Socialists get a huge shot in the arm, now convincing many lower class workers that the time is right for vast social reform, a revolution! Support from the Comintern is forthcoming, and many veterans of the Spanish Civil War join the ranks. They too differ in ideology; Some are more Leninist, some prefer hard-line Stalinism, and a few broach the dangerous territory of being Trotskyites. Some are willing to work with the Anglicans on broad goals, some refuse on principle. Some actually don’t want Soviet help, while others jockey to please Moscow.

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The Royalists are in a bad spot; They control most of the Army, and the Royal Air Force overwhelmingly supports Mosley and the King. The Navy is actually not touched upon in great deal in the setting, but I’d like to think that, inspired by global events elsewhere, some go Socialist, as mutineers rise up on their ships. Some go to follow the other claimant to the throne, Prince Albert, to Canada. And some stay loyal, but probably with the least amount. What they do maintain is extremely well trained Regulars, a good Territorial Army system, but with some of the major arms suppliers being now in rebel hands, they are fighting a war of attrition, in both losses of men to bullets or desertion, or difficulty maintaining supplies.

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The Fascists, while nominally on the same side as King Edward, are jockeying and using the turmoil to make themselves more and more ingrained into every part of governance and warfare, a move that Royalists can’t stop but don’t have to like. Mosley recruits fanatical youth, forming a military around his BUF. His new Legions take the name of famous kings and folk heroes of Britain. But really, the jackbooted thugs find themselves in a gamble; if they win this war, Fascism is entrenched and the UK saved from undesirables. If they do not, the reprisals will end them. Simple as.

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The Scots, having had quite enough of this silly stuff, turn into a self governing Republic. They suffer from internal issues as most of their officers wish to reunify upon Scottish victory, and become part of a Union again. Jacobites in the Highlands bring up the Stuart claims to the throne…again. The Scots really just want to defend their ancestral lands, and force a peace deal to secure this.

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The Welsh, ever fractious, can’t form a national resistance, and naturally form into similar groups as the English did. A few want an independent Wales, however, and are willing to fight for it. Now if only they could all agree on how to do that….

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The Irish, wisely sensing they can get away with it, occupy Ulster and Belfast. Ireland is now united, albeit temporarily. Ireland now sits, and waits to see how the sides respond. Eamon de Valera might be able to keep Ulster if he backs the winning horse, but will the luck of the Irish help them choose right?

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Finally, Prince Albert, in exile in Canada(from this point on, this is conjecture. And this is the lore we are using in my games among friends.) seeks the aid of the Canadian government. An Expeditionary Force is authorized, and while badly under-equipped in aircraft and armoured vehicles, a few of each are attained. Fellow British exiles join this Force, and they make for the coast of Wales. Upon landing, and setting a defensive perimeter, they are approached by envoys of the local political factions. He dismisses the Socialists outright, unwilling to work with a party that seeks to abolish the throne; He will fight them as hard as he will Mosley. The Anglicans are a much more interesting case; interested in fighting for a claim to the throne, back the Albertines. However, some talk in the Anglican ranks seems to push them to ask for concessions, and perhaps stricter religious laws. The Canadian bulk of the Expeditionary Force is seen by some as foreign invasion; to alleviate concerns, detachments of local Anglicans are embedded into the command structure of the Force. The Canadians are eager to restore who they feel is the true King to the throne, and bring a staunch professionalism and grit to the otherwise undertrained militia flocking to the Albertine banner.

Okay, now that the ‘brief’ summary is out of the way, for those of us unfamiliar with the setting. I honestly got carried away writing it! It was an absolute blast. I really enjoy the setting, what can I say?

As I said last time, My buddy is playing the Albertines, with Anglican support. A very traditional faction, with some cricket teams and some other goofy stuff planned for late. Here are some pics of what he’s started on!

A BEF box, Command, Vickers Machine gun, and a boat to carry them home to the Rainy Isle. He’s got more coming!

As for me, I did two large orders of infantry, one from Footsore Miniatures for my BUF, and another from Gripping Beast for WW1 Infantry, to be used as Territorial Army(Reservists) serving the Royalists. They have not yet arrived; Hopefully soon! Both companies have been in touch to ensure that they do.

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A whole of bad dudes; And, what I presume, is a large amount of black primer!

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The good ole Territorial Army. Going to war with what their father’s would have, and dressed pretty damn close. I have 4 platoons in there! so I should be set for both BUF and Territorial Army.

 

Of course, what is clearly lacking here is vehicles. Having already got a 3D printer, I decided to try scaling up two 15mm models, and adding in a 28mm tank on that as well. Now this is a learning curve, a lot went wrong at first until I learned my machine a little better.

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The Assembly Line of Resin Goodness!

My first prints were a couple 40k and Fantasy related things, but I wanted to print an armored vehicle. I settled on the Rolls Royce Armored Car, model of 1920.

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Hmmm, something doesn’t look right.

After this failure, I fixed the issue with the supports, and produced my first battlefield ready model! It is far. far from perfect. And I can tweak it to make it better! But let me show you!

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Much better! A few issues with the tires, but very gameable.

 

With a nice solid coat of a nice green, it is ready for painting! I’m quite pleased, even thought its far from perfect. These were a common vehicle, and it’ll serve as a fairly quick machine gun position, moving along roads to secure key positions.

Morale restored, I decided to do a small Vickers “Dutchman” tank, an export model meant for the Dutch East Indies. Meant for police and enforcement, this tank was woefully under-equipped to fight the Japanese in 41-2. But in the VBCW setting, they will be nimble, small, decently well equipped gun platforms. My intention is that General Fuller has requested as many fast, light, tanks as he can get a hold of, trying to prepare for a blitzkrieg across the English countryside, and the Dutch order gets cancelled and vehicles pressed into service.

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It’s so widdle!

Finally, feeling confident I could tackle something larger, I started on a Vickers Medium Mk2. This tank is a key part of many VBCW armies, as it was common in service and training roles, and many could see service on any side. On this tank, the Turret Peg simply didn’t print, and as a large piece to hold the turret in, it was kind of important. This was fixed by a convenient off cut of plastic pipe a plumber left behind; perfect fit, and cut to size!

As well, the 3 Pounder Barrel didn’t print entirely. I decided to replace it with a pen tube. I can always print more, and I have gone back and fix the print. The real disaster came when the tracks came out seriously warped; it took a lot of rubber bands and hot water warping tricks to get it to this not entirely satisfactory result. But, it’ll serve just fine, and while very noticable, won’t affect my enjoyment of using it in a game! I love this tank, and this will form the core of my tank force. with a 3 Pounder gun, it is actually well equipped to deal with other armor it might encounter.

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Tissue armor, slow, slab sided. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I love this model.

Now since two of these models are scaled up from 15mm, I needed to see if they still looked the part! So I did a scale test with a Bolt Action plastic 8th Army soldier.

No major issues, and consulting the internet shows that while a hair too small, they are perfectly usable. 1/56th scale is common for Bolt Action, and seeing as we are using that rule-set, we decided to keep the vehicles that size. As well, my infantry in the mail are much smaller and finer in detail then the Warlord plastic model I’m using here. It should, altogether, make a striking force to look at on the table!

That is all I really got for today! But look on Monday for some sweet Zona Alfa related content!

This has been a fun experience, the printer. For printing obscure models from the Interwar years, it has been invaluable. I will continue to collect store-bought and boutique models, but as a tool to make some cool stuff, color me happy and impressed.

If you are a old school veteran Very British Civil War player, please let me know if I’m off to a good start. As a foreigner, some concepts here might escape me. And If anyone can help with flavour, I’m all ears! Happy to be joining a setting that has interested me for almost seven years!

Until next time, Happy War-Gaming, where you might be! I’m off to watch some Blackadder Goes Forth, Bertie and Wooster, and some Peaky Blinders to get into the flavour of things. Have a wonderful day!

 

The Road to Miniwargaming: Part 2….and a detour to 1944…

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They may look majestic, but keeping these mighty stallions of the air on the table is a game unto itself!

Finally, the light at the end of the tunnel. A hurried rush to get everything painted before the big day, but…its done. My list is painted, varnished, and safely ensconced in protective foam for it’s long journey to Welland, Ontario.

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The last stragglers cross the finish line. I ran out of my preferred brown paint, Army Painters Oak Brown, and had to use GW’s Dryad Bark; Similar, but not the same! However, they still rank up nicely with the rest…so I guess its fine?

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Ready to roll poorly, at my command, at the worst possible time…now on Youtube for all to see!

This has been a hectic last week, as the clubhouse was a hive of activity. I managed to get another practice game in. I decided before that game to remove one Lascannon squad and Ratlings to bring in a Leman Russ Annihilator, a unit I’ve had for a while. It saved me one squad of painting, and its durability and firepower paid off; It was the right decision to amend the list. I’m still not bringing the best possible list in the world, with my Imperial Navy assets still front and centre, despite the FAQ making them far harder to use. I don’t want to spoil who I’m facing; Suffice to say, I hope to make for good sport!

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The last practice! I lost, but learned some tricks and tactics to use for later, and learned I MUST fly in careful patterns or risk losing the 300+ point model in a very embarrassing way…

This whole thing has got me terribly excited! If I am allowed, I will take as many pictures as I can, and I’ll try to keep you guys informed as to what is going on.

Now, I would end here, but a rather surprising turn of events happened at the Clubhouse this week. During the middle of my practice game, Paul, the owner, walked in, hands full of Warlord Games Konflikt 47 starter sets! Turns out, while not a fan of historical gaming, the simple addition of “weird” elements has convinced him….it was all downhill from here. The Clubhouse, while having a couple of lapsed Bolt Action players, mainly played 40k and AOS, and we didn’t have the drive to play that we would normally have. But suddenly, at least 4-5 people have committed to playing Konflikt 47, purchasing starters and assembling in mad haste. And with Konflikt 47 being an offshoot of Bolt Action, using much the same rules, us WW2 fans found ourselves suddenly experts. At least two of the new players want to do Bolt Action as well! I helped run a demo at the Giddy Goblin in Hanover, Ontario, and played a few games at the Clubhouse as well.

Unfortunately my primary Bolt Action force is the British 8th Army, specifically in the North African campaign. Being a 1941-1943 force, they lack heavy armor by 1944(and onward!) standards, and also lack firepower. Luckily, I did just happen to have a British Airborne starter army just sitting on my shelf, and a plastic Sherman to temporarily give them a wee bit of a chance against any Tigers or the like! One frantic day of assembly gave me 1000ish points of plucky British Paras, ready to take the fight to Jerry!

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A plucky British Paratrooper, freshly assembled.

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Major Allison Digby Tatham-Warter, a real life paratrooper who fought at Arnhem, 1944 . Known for his distinctive umbrella, which he carried because he couldn’t remember passwords…and figured no British soldier would mistake him for a Jerry, as they were sensible enough not to carry umbrellas! He’ll be acting as my Major in my army, granting significant buffs to my Paras.

Now, none of my WW2 stuff is painted; why would it be? No-one locally played at the time, and my only opponent was my friend in the city, and at least he had started on the painting part. However, I now find myself in the position where I need to paint up my British 1st Airborne for engagements in 1944-47, and so begins yet another intricately detailed miniature army to paint. The cycle continues! As I finish work on them, I will post updates!

Until I post again, Ave Imperator, and happy war-gaming, wherever you might be!