Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Glenpool Strike: A VACW Campaign

The Black Legion forces have been dispatched to Tulsa Oklahoma to secure the Glenpool Oil field. Which, up until a few years back was the single largest oil strike in the US. With the aid of a few local citizens sympathetic to their cause they were able to land at the Tulsa airport north of the city just after midnight. The first two planes held a total of 20 soldiers and their equipment. They were easily able to take over poorly guarded airfield and adjacent Spartan school of aeronautics. Reinforcements were scheduled to land every half hour but later planes hit severe weather and turned back. With only two squads available, the commander decided to hold the airfield with one squad, and then send the second ahead, in an airfield service truck. Their job, along with two local guides was to scout the planned route to the Glenpool oilfield, and if it looked as if the refinery was an easy target to go ahead and capture the facility, or wait for reinforcements, at Lt. Drysdale's discretion.

Unfortunately for the Black Legion forces, they failed to capture all of the people present at the airfield. One, a communist agent, was able to slip into a back office and make a phone call to his comrades, the Cherry Street Irregulars. This commie was caught and shot by the Black Legion guards. However, the damage had been done.

The Black Legion squad in the truck had already departed but because of the poor visibility (dark and rain) and muddy roads they were moving rather slowly. The Cherry Street Irregulars were able to get ahead of them and set up a an ambush. At the intersection of the country roads outside the city limits at Sheridan and what would be 31st street, if 31st street extended outside of town (rather, it is an unnamed county road).

Since we were doing a really small table, my folding table, which is around 3x3ft I decided that we would try out an old skirmish game called Red Poppy/White Feather that I found for free on the internet. It seemed like an interesting game for a squad based game, so we gave it a try. We used the Bolt Action dice to keep track of things, as the orders aren't really all that different.

For the game we set visibility at 12", beyond this models could not be seen. That is with the exception of any unit within 3" of the sides or back of the truck, and 6" in front of the truck. The truck could also be spotted at any distance because of the head and tail lights.

Outside of the regular rules the only thing we added was the random event card between turns.

Since the Black Legion guys were getting ambushed they set up first and had to be within 16" of the table edge where they would have entered. Then we placed the barricade on the road and the the CSI guys set up in ambush.

Just another shot of the table from a different angle. Here you can see the farm house and the CSI van parked behind the shed.

As we see here the Black Legion come down the road to find the intersection blocked by two dead cows. The local guides and several troopers get out to investigate while several more troopers guard the rear of the truck just in case.

So now everything was set up and the game got under way. My opponent won the initiative and he decided to use his leader, the lad in the dashing prison striped pants to activate the crew at the rear of the truck. They opened fire but failed to hit any of my troops so the initiative passed to me. I used my officer in the back of the truck to activate the three guys in the back to fire back. They too, failed to hit a target.

He activated the man by the shed, who shot at my officer but missed. In return one of my locals moves over the fence and took a shot at him and he went down. Then my guys in front of the truck took a few shots but missed. So the initiative pass back to my opponent, and not being one to mince words, he pushed the attack, with his troops at the front of the truck opening fire. The first gal scored a hit on one of the guides with her Tommy gun, and so he kept initiative and his next commie threw a Molotov cocktail at the two remaining men in front of the truck doing some serious damage. After failing to activate his next model it was the end of the turn.

Not bad, lots of shooting but not much in way of hitting except the Molotov cocktail. So far, it wasn't looking very good for me and the Black Legion. We drew our random cards. My opponents was blank, but mine allowed my to place a LMG team on the table, as we apparently suspected some funny business ahead and dropped a few guys off to circle around just in case. Well it paid off. They set up in the window of the farm house and opened fire on my opponents commander.

Since I took down the enemy commander, if you can really call a small time thug a commander. I kept the initiative and decided to activate my commander and the troops at the rear of the truck. Figuring they would do better with some cover from the other two in the back my men jumped the fence and went on the offensive. Two of the communists went down before them. I tried to rally one of my troops who was down but failed.

The communists moved up and took some shots. The rifleman and Thompson wielding, ex-field hockey player downed my BAR gunner and my officer.

Then the guys in the back who had moved up, threw and hand grenade...and that was pretty much it for my offensive attack.

 Meanwhile, the second communist that had been next to the shed during the start of the game went around through the front of the house to attack my LMG team, but he came up short and got taken out by the LMG team. At this point instead of fighting on, they captured comrade Roberts and made off into the night with their prisoner.

More shots of the carnage. I should also mention there is free BBQ and potluck at the People Collective HQ's tomorrow.

Another shot from down 31st street.

The Cherry Street Irregulars made off with a truck they captured from the Black Legion.

In addition to the one they brought, as my opponent insisted that he be allowed to have his vehicle on the table also. It was only fair after all.

So one of the things that I find interesting about the game, is that after the action is over you roll to see what happened to each model. Just because they went down, doesn't mean they were killed. Nor does being up at the end of the game mean that the model lives, they can die from wounds, despite their heroic effort.

So we rolled for the communists first since they won. They had one guy captured, the man with the red and white blanket and the comrade next to him was lightly wounded. All the other model were just down, and all of the remaining models were lightly wounded or perfectly fine. Not bad.

For the Black Legion, the rolling went less well. All told; they suffered five men killed in action, four men seriously wounded and unlikely to recover, including the squad leader, Lt. Drysdale. The last man was found alive and unwounded, but knocked out by the concussion from the grenade. The two man LMG team survived and slipped off into the night and reported back to the rest of the unit at the airfield.

The Cherry Street Irregulars clearly won this engagement. Here is a picture of the smug little snot gloating over his victory. :)

...and one picture taken after I asked him what he thought my odds were of winning the next game.

not good apparently!


  1. Great AAR! Very dense atmosphere and a nice set up. Your lad seems to be a competent commander.

  2. Great AAR, any chance we can get a close up of your "Black legion"? What figs did you use for them?

  3. I could do a close up, but I think the horrible paint job might scar you mentally. They are are a mix of leftover bits from some of my other plastic miniatures. The bodies are WGF Zulu war Brits, a mix of heads from WGF Soviets, PSC Soviets, WGF Germans, and the same for the equipment.

  4. Well they look pretty cool. Might nik the idea for some of my "Silver legion". I guess the police style peaked caps are from the Germans then?
    Did you give them Springfield's and Kar98s or did they get Garand's?

  5. Also is that a blanket you are using for fields?

  6. I will try and put up some clearer shots of the Black Legion guys. Yes, the peaked caps are from the German officers. The Soviet box has some hats in the same style, but I used them for my police. The German box also has forage caps if you like that look. I gave them mostly Kar98's as the American box had few Springfield rifles. Also, armed a few with BAR's and Thompson SMGs.

    Luckily I have a lot of different bits, but I also have about 10 boxes of plastics from my ww2 and pulp gaming. Otherwise I think I would have gone with metals, using the same guys that get used for the BUF. There is also a store called Hoard o' bits that sell bits from the various plastic sprue's but it ends up being a bit more expensive this way.

    The field is a towel. Something I picked up from Panzer_kaput on the VBCW forums. I wish I had bought that Citadel mat when I had the chance.

  7. Nice report and great pictures, a very nice looking battlefield...