Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Very British Civil War - thoughts

Says it all! Image credit - 6milphil.

A few years ago I belonged to the same wargames club as Nigel Higgins, founder of Anglian Models. We chatted about a new phenomenon that had arisen in the wargames world - A Very British Civil War. Nigel was happy about sales of his excellent SCW figures, but seemed bemused by the number of gamers buying them for AVBCW. I asked if he'd thought of putting out a range specifically for the period, and he said he'd discounted the idea. “Why put so much time and effort into something which might be a flash in the pan?” he said.

To paraphrase Winston Churchill – 'Some flash! Some pan!'

This mythical era has proved it has legs. I've been tempted by it for some time, but my attentions were diverted by many other things. Now I have a little time, I can turn to it once more.
* * *
Back in 1935 English local administrative boundaries changed, and my part of the County of Norfolk became Blofield & Flegg Rural DistrictCouncil.

VBCW canon accepts that most of East Anglia fell under the sway of the Anglican League, with Norwich declaring itself a Free City, Great Yarmouth a Free Port, and Kings Lynn being taken over by the British Union of Fascists (BUF). Blofield & Flegg would fall under the Anglican League, but the increased imposition of tithes to support the League's war effort would make their hold unpopular in some quarters, especially as there was a strong socialist feeling in the farm-worker population.

Historically the BUF did make an appearance in Norfolk in support of local farmers who fought the imposition of Church of England tithes (known as 'Queen Anne's Bounty') on their land and produce. Such support faded quickly when the local constabulary (usually a single copper!) moved them on.

I can see an alternate history where the BUF were far more militant, fighting Anglican League troops to protect the farmers - for which protection the BUF would naturally expect to be paid in produce! Equally, I can see the farmers and the local community quickly becoming fed-up with both sides and taking matters of defense into their own hands, in the manner of the Clubmen of the previous Civil Wars.

My VBCW plan is for two platoon-sized forces to begin with, one each of BUF (Boo! Hiss!), and Anglican League. Eventually I'll add a platoon of Local Defense Volunteers. 

As Norfolk has a history of good horse-rearing, all sides will have a cavalry contingent. Armoured vehicles will be kept to a minimum. They're rare, expensive, and an increasing shortage of fuel as the war progresses will make them hard to keep going. I also feel they detract from the flavor of the game. I want to fight skirmishes between various small factions - not the Kursk Salient in miniature.   

Equipment-wise, all sides will have access to surplus WW1 stuff, the British Army's tin hat being predominant, perhaps drawn from souvenirs of service during the Great War. 

All this to come. Watch this space...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Onward and upwards

It has to be said I've mixed feelings when it comes to eBay. PayPal is annoying me due to their policy of placing holds on payments received through sales there until either a positive rating is given, or 21 days has passed, whichever comes first. 

I think anyone who has ever sold stuff on eBarf knows there are buyers who never give ratings, however pleased they might be with their purchase. As a result, I've had money languishing in my account for nearly a month - no joke in this economy - whilst PiePulp merrily uses it to make money for themselves through loans interest, etc. What can be done about this? Sweet FA!


Equally, there's always a chance of picking up a bargain on eBilge. Last night I successfully bid for a batch of ten Wargames Foundry askaris for twelve bucks and change. These will form the nucleus of the Ukraziland Rifles, an auxiliary unit in British pay composed of local volunteers and rehabilitated wangwana from the previous regime. I'm currently cogitating on suitable uniform colors, but will probably settle for some shade of khaki.

Once they're painted and based, I plan to include them in the Raid on the Tembe mini-campaign to Sharp Practice rules mentioned in a previous post. Quite when I'll get around to playing it out - or even where I'll play it out - remains to be seen. We have a potential house-move in the near future, so circumstances are subject to change. 

In the meantime, I'm still working out the details of A Very British Civil War collection. Pendraken Miniatures has a forum dedicated to the 10mm scene, and there are photos of some superbly-painted figures and models there. Given my current constraints in terms of space, disposable income, and the aforementioned move, 10mm seems very much the way to go. I'll post my thoughts on the background to my VBCW in the next few days, probably by this weekend.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A whole lot of nothin' going on

We're back in town, from one of the most stressful and boring weeks I've had for a long time. I won't go into details. Suffice it to say our trips to care for my mother-in-law in her illness might not be necessary for much longer. For all the stress and boredom I went through, it totally pales into insignificance compared to her troubles.

Sporadic internet and computer problems meant any stress-releasing forays through the hobby blogs and sites were few and far between. I have made a provisional list of Pendraken figures for two AVBCW sides. Hopefully I'll be able to buy some figures soon.                     

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The 10mm Route

Okay, I know I said I would wait before beginning yet another new period. This stern resolve lasted up to the moment I wandered over to the Gentlemans' Wargames Parlour and came across mention of Pendraken, maker of 10mm figures and vehicles. One glance at the goodies on their website and I was hooked.

Pendraken offer ten figures, five cavalry or three artillery pieces for 1.20 GBP - around $1.90. Tanks and other vehicles aren't much more. All very economical, and it allows the build-up of large forces quickly. I did toy with this scale back in the day when the Grand Duchy of Hetzenberg was but a gleam in my eye. Seeing the ranges and quality that Pendraken and others produce makes me wish I'd chosen 10mm. I'd have had the entire army for both sides by now.

But, I digress. AVBCW has a lot of charm. As one player describes it, "It's like cricket with guns." In a week or two, I'll place a small order. A few ideas for VBCW forces based on my old home area are taking shape. Watch this space.

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