It's been at least 5 years since Worcester was last aflame and a British Civil War outing.
That's what the show circuit does for you, a brief chat turns into a why not and out of cold storage comes the AVBCW collection. Time for Harry Doyle Leader of the Severn Riverside Wharf Labours Federation (SRWLF) to make an appearance.
One of the best things about the AVBCW is the opportunity to dig a little deeper into local history, this scenario led me down a path exploring Worcestershire and whether we had any mines after all when you have a coal mine you need to get it on the table right.... It turns out that a branch of the Severn Valley Railway lead to the Highley Colliery and the idea for the days scenario.
Harry Doyle had lead a force out of the city to meet with the Highley Militia to secure coal for the winter. District Leader Clarke of the BUF had received news of this from an informant and sent a flying column to capture the mine for the fascist cause.
The SRWLF can deploy anywhere from the stream backwards, there are two access roads and the railway line, that need to be defended from the attackers.
The opening moves as the BUF arrive by trucks but are instantly countered by the SRWLF who advance across the stream to line the hedge row closing the road to the men in black.
Pigeons are sent into the air and flags are waved, the workers from the Royal Mail depot send forward a special delivery to slow the BUF advance.
Under heavy fire the BUF advance, driving the wharf men backwards and push up the railway line.
Under pressure in the centre and with fascists crossing the stream, the Highley Militia supported by a SRWLF Armoured car move down the railway line to take the fight to the government forces.
On the left flank a similar move is countered by Anti-Tank weapons deployed in the wheat fields and a Police assault on the opened topped truck.
The armoured assault swings right catching the BUF armoured car in a weak spot and setting it afire.
However having held back the British Regulars, the district commander calls forward his reserves, they rush down the open road bypassing pockets of defenders.
As the local militia and socialists rush to redeploy in the face of the fast moving column, the Police rush the hill taking out the spotter and supporting sniper who had been annoying the advancing troops for a number of hours.
The regulars debus and under Clarke's personnel command pour fire into the defenders who whilst better armed are soon under a number of pins, which forces units to go down rather than fire on the fresh attackers.
The Police fresh from their victory on the hill push on as the defenders in the corn field are slowly whittled down.
The left flank is forced but both sides found themselves unable to advance across the field.
Much like a game of cricket fought over a number of days, rained stop play and we agreed on a tie.
Although on the table the armoured car was pressing down the road and it would only be a matter of time before the coal mine would have been in the BUF's hands and as I write this post now it certainly feels like a victory for the men in black and the regulars.
A great encounter with plenty of opportunities for both sides. Bolt Action gave a really balanced game although the hand to hand element is rather brutal. Once again we added in the Blucher dice mechanism by rolling for each opposing command, so you never knew if you had 2 or 12 command dice to play with. That really is a game changer for the Bolt Action encounters.
These toys have been in storage far too long, it might even inspire me to finish the last few pieces of bare metal.
Until next time....