Work continues to complete our game for Cavalier in Tonbridge on Sunday the 25th. The HMS Vindictive model is a scratchbuilt 1/56 scale replica of the ship on the day, total length 2 metres! Hats off to her architect – club member Phil. Can you guess what role tomato puree played in making the model?
We gave the game rules a run through at our last meeting – this will be a participation game, with players leading a squad of the attacking British sailors and marines to destroy objectives on the Mole.
The rescue team put down at the Rebel outpost for much needed repairs following the rescue of the Imperial defector, Danor Jax. Whilst their ships were being seen to they downloaded and decoded Danor’s data. He immediately pointed his rescuers to some critical and time sensitive information. It concerned a secret meeting later that day, being attended by the Emperor himself. The co-ordinates and time of the meeting were accompanied by the intended flight plan of the Emperor’s personal shuttle and details of his small escort.
With only a small window available Wedge Antilles gathered the team together to discuss an audacious plan – to intercept and destroy the Emperor’s shuttle. Cut off the head and the body dies. Unfortunately, Roark Garnet’s HWK-290 had been too badly damaged and could not be made serviceable in time but both Wedge and Biggs Darklighter’s X-Wings and the Y-Wing could. The team knew the risks, their ships would not be fully repaired and the Emperor would be guarded by two of this elite Royal Guard pilots flying upgraded TIE Interceptors but this was an opportunity too good to miss. Wedge sent out a last minute message and the three ships made the jump to light speed.
Arriving at the co-ordinates the Rebels spotted the shuttle and its escort flying past an asteroid field. Biggs peered at his sensors, the readings didn’t make sense, their was something else registering moving through the asteroids – but he couldn’t get a lock on it.
The TIE Phantom moved out from its position with its cloaking device in operation and sped towards the approaching rebel ships. The Rebels opened fire but without a sensor lock the TIE was just too hard to hit! The Phantom decloaked, fired and recloaked. Biggs’ shields evaporated and his X-Wing shuddered under the barrage. The TIE flew past, perfectly executed a Koiogran turn and moved onto Bigg’s tail. He couldn’t shake it. The TIE decloaked, fired and recloaked again. Biggs’ was hit bad, another barrage would finish him. He told his astromech to programme the nav computer and span up the hyperdrive.
Meanwhile the Royal Guard pilots had moved ahead of the Imperial shuttle to intercept the rebels. Wedge engaged the first but the earlier damage had made his ship sluggish and he caught a burst from the TIE Interceptor which took down his shields. The two craft began a series of tight manoeuvres but the TIE was simply more agile than the damaged X-Wing and unleashed another burst which forced Wedge to withdraw.
The Y-Wing had managed to slip past the second Royal Guard TIE and engaged the shuttle. But the TIE swung around and the Y-Wing too came under heavy fire.
But just then, another X-Wing dropped out of hyperspace. Luke Skywalker had received Wedge’s message and come to help his old friend. His arrival couldn’t have been better timed, with the two Royal Guard TIEs already engaged the shuttle was on its own. Luke swung into action fired burst after burst at the larger ship as they flew towards one another. He slipped past the shuttle and brought his X-Wing around to move onto its tail and just as the Royal Guard TIEs started to engage him, he fired again into the rear of the shuttle. The resulting explosion was enormous.
With a huge cheer the Rebel ships made the jump to light speed.
Back at the output the rebel pilots were celebrating when the devastating news came in. The Emperor was still alive – the shuttle had only been one of his decoys! “It was a set up”, said Wedge, “that would explain the TIE Phantom which was already hidden in the asteroid field”.
“At least were all here to tell the tale”, said Luke.
Born at night in Tempest tossed seas far from land, I have travelled on epic journeys in my trusty Birlinn ‘ Nathair Mhara’ visiting Russia and Rome. Whilst visiting Iceland I received a gift of a rare white Gyr Falcon which was to be my daughter’s dowry. This was stolen from me by that treacherous thief De La Rue with whom I at feud, it is our way of Islands for settling scores I will search until I challenge him and my blade will run crimson with his blood. I am a hero of Sagas and oath sworn to Rognvald of Orkney and Norway, so if you cross me I will come silently through the black skies, seaspray and hail. My brave warriors, who live and die by the truth of the axe will leave your cowed men hiding their shields waiting for the final blow and the silent darkness. We will drink much ‘uisge’ and epic tales will be written of our deeds. Meanwhile I bide my time searching for the chess pieces lost in a winter storm. I vow to defend our Celtic ways against the incursions pillage and raping by the Danes from Ingerland and the Northmen from Francia!!
The MWS show game for 2018, now in the final stage of preparation will commemorate the centenary of the naval assault on Zeebrugge on 23rd April 1918 – St George’s Day.
You can see it at the Cavalier Show at the Angel Centre in Tonbridge on 25th February.
It will feature a recreation of the assault on the Zeebrugge Mole focussing on a scratchbuilt model of the attacking Cruiser HMS Vindictive at 25mm figure scale. Look out for more about how this game was put together.
There was so much bravery shown by the men of the ships that assaulted the Mole under a continuous storm of fire that VCs for two members of the naval crew (one officer, one other rank) would be awarded through a special ballot of all the officers and men who took part. Two VCs were also awarded on the same basis to the Royal Marines.
Every member of the crews was thus deemed eligible to receive the VC.
Vindictive’s commander, Acting Captain Alfred Carpenter, pictured below with one of the ships cats, was the officer the crew chose. He also received special advancement to the rank of Captain.
Able Seaman Albert Edward McKenzie pictured above, a volunteer chosen from the crew of the Battleship, HMS Neptune, was the other rank the crew chose.
Carpenter’s Victoria Cross medal citation perhaps speaks best to his qualities:
… He set a magnificent example to all those under his command by his calm composure when navigating mined waters…. He showed most conspicuous bravery, and did much to encourage similar behaviour on the part of the crew, supervising the landing from the “Vindictive” on to the mole, and walking round the decks directing operations and encouraging the men in the most dangerous and exposed positions. By his encouragement to those under him, his power of command and personal bearing, he undoubtedly contributed greatly to the success of the operation.
McKenzie was a member of the storming party, landing with his Lewis Gun into the storm of fire, advancing down the Mole with his CO (Arthur Leyland Harrison) who with most of his party was killed. He was severely wounded and after his Lewis Gun was wrecked had to fight his way back to the ship in hand to hand combat, with only a pistol, a bayonet and his boxing skills. Whilst recovering from his wounds he died in the Spanish Flu epidemic.
Tony F has an update on one of his To-Do list projects, completing his Scouring of the Shire hobbits which were started last year:
This only involved 12 figures, eight of which were already part-painted, so it wasn’t much of task, but it’s done at last. The final four figures were the hero hobbits, Pippin, Nine-fingered Frodo (yes, his tiny left index finger is missing), Sam and Merry, all on ponies (I already have foot versions). Pippin and Merry are wearing their uniforms as Heroes of Gondor and Rohan respectively.
In wild celebration I then went off and painted some elves – Elrond Half-Elven and his sons Elladan and Elrohir (who don’t get a look-in at all in the films, but in the book were present at the climactic battle at the Black Gate). Master Elrond in his Last Alliance armour is a really nice figure – I’m not quite so sold on the poses of the two junior elves, who are a bit two-dimensional, but the sculpting is nice.
A hard land needs a hard lord, Uhtred Beornson is such a lord. Having inherited the settlement of Elmslac and surrounding lands from his father, a prosperous land and renown great hall has attracted many fearsome retainers to bolster Uhtred’s household since the great battle at Stamford. But with the disaster down South and the loss of great King Harold the relentless march of the hated Normans, burning and savage destruction of the land, signals the time for noble warriors to muster to Uhtred’s banner as the Bastard himself resides in York.
From the town of La Roche-Guyon in the bishopric of Rouen a young man of noble birth and manner was sent to Rome to be tutored in the finer arts of manliness and Godliness. It was during these formative years that he attained a Noble Mien and the favour of God’s representatives in the Holy See. On his return from the grandeur that was Rome he sought neither property nor wealth but the honour of being a Godly man, such a reputation being worth more than gold and land. He set sail from Normandy with his supporters to the island realm across the narrow sea to seek glory for God and to bring any heathens (and any who needed correction) to the true faith. His name – John Le Roche.
I am Andraes Vilhelmsson, son of Vilhelm Vilhelmsson, son of Vilhelm Johanesson, loyal liegeman of our late King Harold Godwinson.
For many years I have honed the craft of war-leader, as I honed the edge of my great axe, in the service of our beloved King, winning many victories in his name and gathering many of the finest warriors in the land to my household.
I live to avenge Harold’s death at the hands of that upstart Duke of Normandy, Guillaume the bastard and his henchmen.
And if the curse of Norman boots trampling our land and traditions was not enough we must suffer the deprivations of bands of barbarian Welsh and Gaels raiding our farms and hamlets.
Owain the Cantankerous, son of Owain ap Gruffyd, son of Owain the Red who saw angels, son of Madoc ap Llewelyn, son of Llewelyn Maredudd is a bondsman of Bishop Dyfan of Bangor.
Owain is the chief of Melynbryn village which has been in his family for five generations. Under King Gruffyd the family prospered. However, after Gruffyd was killed by earl Godwinson, Owain’s family fell on hard times and lost a lot of their land and inheritance to the English.
Things barely improved with the arrival of the Normans. With the establishment of the earldom of Chester the kingdom of Gwynedd has come under frequent raids.
This has left Owain angry and bitter. Bitter with the English who stole his family’s money, and bitter with the Normans who continue to plunder his lands.
We’ve been playing Saga at MWS for some years now.
When the Age of the Wolf campaign pack came out we decided that we had to give it a go. So we have 6 players in the campaign, as follows:
Tony Gibbs – Normans
Jeremey Claridge – Anglo-Danes
Stephen Tucker – Welsh
Andy King – Anglo-Danes
John Le Roche – Normans
John Lambert – Norse Gaels
With that selection of armies it looked about right for England in the immediate post-Conquest period, so that’s the background behind the campaign.
Each warlord will write a piece about their warband, and as the campaign progresses we’ll also post tales of their exploits – and I’m sure you’ll get two different stories from battling leaders. You can use the SAGA:Age of the Wolf category on the blog to follow the campaign.
It also goes without saying that we’ll post lots of pictures. If you have any questions then don’t hesitate to ask.