Thursday, 22 March 2012

The way we were

Here's a little bit of hard-drive archaeology.  I was pootling around my old backup drive yesterday when I found copies of all my old Olistan colonial battle reports from back in 1999-2001.  Nestled among them was a series of photos of what I think was the very first GASLIGHT VSF game I ran at the club back in 2001.  I'd tried GASLIGHT for a couple of colonial games prior to this, but this was the very first time we'd used any vehicles and represents the very first shots fired in the Invasion of England 188x.

The scenario went by the name "Mr Brown Goes Off To Town", a reference to the classic TV series "Dad's Army".  Details are a little sketchy in my memory, but I remember it as being based  #29 "Raid on a Train" from "Scenarios for all Ages".  The 8:21 train from Walmington-On-Sea had broken down, and the small detachment of troops on board had to defend it until a recovery engine could reach it.  The aggressors in this scenario were actually Russian instead of German, at the time this was simply because I had more of them painted up, but now it firmly places the battle somewhere in the far north of England or even Scotland.  And everything, of course, was in 15mm (this back in the day when almost nobody was doing 15mm VSF.)
"Hold on, 'Arry.  I fink I hear something..."

Details of the actual course of the battle are sadly lost apart from these few pictures.  I do remember right from the word go we had players wanting to close assault vehicles with infantry or cavalry.  Or have their vehicles trundle over infantry.  Or ram vehicles with other vehicles.  Basically pretty much everything that wasn't covered in the original rules booklet (I was pleased to note the Compendium now covers such "unexpected" eventualities.)

I'll let the photos tell the rest of the story, such as it is.
Brave Tommies assaulting the Russian steam tank.
This is what I like about VSF.  A cavalry charge with a
steam tank in the background.
Another cavalry charge.  Against a train. (sigh)

The relief column arrives.  The P5s looked positively
gargantuan in 15mm!

Approaching endgame.

The steam tank rams the recovery engine.  Certain players
who shall not be named now consider this the main objective
for every GASLIGHT game I run with a train track on the table.


  1. Ah, hard drive archaeology! I've found more than one gem lost in the archives. It looks like a fun game, and yes, I know well the headaches caused by players doing the unexpected.

  2. Hi Chris

    I saw your post on the MAWS Black Panthers site about MAWS VBCW gamers. I replied over there but thought I'd post on here in case you didn't see it.

    I'm at MAWS but haven't been down in a couple of months, amongst the 40k lot. I've got a small Royalist VBCW force painted that just needs the basing finished and am going to be starting some Socialists afters bill and hols, etc. paid for. I've played in a few big multiplayer games now but would love to have a go at some smaller scale games as well. I fancied using the 'Through the Mud and Blood' rules from TFL but am willing to give owt a go. There's a couple of photos of some of my Royalist bluecaps here:

    Anyhow, if you still fancy it you've got at least one opponent.

    Also, I've also fancied giving VSF a try. I don't know how long it'd take me to paint up some stuff (I'm atrociously slow at painting) but if you're looking for any more players for your campaign I'd be grateful for the chance to give it a go.



    1. Hi Adam

      New players are always welcome for the GASLIGHT games we do at MAWS. I only do them on the Sundays as I don't want to compete for tables with the club's core competition gamers. Don't know when we're going to do the next one - possibly 3rd or 5th Sunday in April if I can drum up the players. I'll announce it here and on the Black Panthers page, and if you can make it you're more than welcome to join in.

      I've got too many Victorian figures on the lead mountain to think about buying VBCW figures right now, but maybe later in the year.

  3. No worries, mate. Like I said, I'm going to be building a second force in the near future so should soon be able to provide both sides for a game if you're up for it.

    Cheers for the invite. Do you lads play VSF often? I've been looking for an excuse to paint up some of these:

    Also, I've got a lot of perry plastic Zouaves sitting at home I could do as VSF French (bought loads for baggy-panted chouans conversions for a sceme that's joined the rest of the lost and the damned in my cupboard).

    1. I try and organise something every couple of months, but people's availability and avoiding clashes with MAWS events cuts that down quite a bit. We've done a few smaller private games too. As you'll see from the blog, it's pretty much my main period.