The Battle of Rotherham, a VBCW AAR

With the easing of lockdown in the UK, I was able to get in my first face-to-face game with Kevin, whom I met at Steel Lard last year. We'd been talking about getting together for a game for ages and this was the first opportunity. He invited me over to his place and had set up a game of A Very British Civil war. It's a game I have never played before, despite seeing it at pretty much every convention I've been to... 

The British Union of Fascists (him) supported by Blacks and Tans had emplaced themselves in the County Borough in the centre of Rotherham. Meanwhile, the socialist forces (me) of the militant wing of the Labour Party (MLP) supported by the veterans from the Spanish Civil War (including my Great Uncle Tommy James) and a contingent of the Royal Navy made moves to throw them out of town! The BUF had to get a messenger out to Barnsley to call for more reinforcements, if they managed to do this, they would win. 


Headquartered in a barn, the MLP brought forward a captured 37mm AT gun, towed by the local bread van. 

Whilst the Veteran Sheffield Tingle Brigade took up positions in the gardens of the back-to-backs facing the County Borough.

Fresh from a shift at Tozer's Works, the irregular factory militia also moved forward to a ruined barn building. 

The socialists were hoping to flank the pub whilst also blocking off the route for the BUF's messenger to get through over the railway bridge.

But the fascist vipers had brought heavy equipment with them in the form of Panzer I, fresh from the training grounds of Spain.

Supported by an armoured half-track, the BUF HQ called in their reinforcements. 

Acting quickly, the 37mm gun was unhitched and dragged into position facing the Panzer. 

Meanwhile, a melee broke out between the factory militia and members of the BUF armed with sub-machine guns!

The factory militia were overwhelmed by the fascists and fled, taking their wounded with them...

But the 37mm gun took out the Panzer I with it's first shot! Take that Mosley! 

All was not well on the flank as the anti-tank team attempted to throw their satchel charge over the wall of the barn, it bouncing off and wounding one!

The homing pigeons must have made it through with their messages and the Royal Navy entered town, by the war memorial and chapel, ready to take the fight to the BUF.

Sensing the danger, the BUF's halftrack moved to engage the RN, but took casualties from the Spanish veterans in the windows above

Meanwhile, the factory militia counter-charged the BUF in the barn, trying their best to wipe out the nest of snakes. 

The fascists held firm in the pub and more support arrived with a Vickers light tank. 

Rifle and LMG fire crackled across the street.

As the Blacks and Tans made their way through a row of cottages to take up positions.

In what seemed like the nick of time, the Rotherham police (armoured) division arrived in a armoured train!

The situation in the middle of the game had seen the BUF hemmed in on their right, with a gap on the left opening for the messenger to get through.

More fighting in the barn saw more casualties on both sides, but the BUF gaining the upper hand against the factory militia. 

Whilst the Civil War veterans stood firm.

Removing the road blocks, the Royal Navy were able to press on the BUF's flank, even with the arrival of a contingent of Fascist cavalry, fresh from a fox hunt.

More Blacks and Tans appeared to plug the gap and fight the RN, whilst the Vickers was moved in to support. 

Clearing the road, the Royal Navy moved to one side to allow the two Vickers Machine Guns to open up on the defenders.

Whilst the cavalry charged and were cut down in the fire!

Then, showing his sneaky side, the shabby fascists brought out a barrel bomb, packed with explosives and nails to roll into the 37mm AT gun.

But they had miscalculated and the barrel only rolled part way to its target.

With the Blacks and Tans forced into a rout, the Royal Navy pressed their advantage even under mortar fire from the pub's back garden.

The BUF followed up their success at the barn and pushed the factory militia back, whilst the messenger was dispatched to try to get off the table.

But it was too late! The pub fell to the Royal Navy as the remaining BUF forces were routed off table. 

The Fascist leader was captured along with his adjutant and summarily executed against the walls of the cottages as the flag of victory was raised about the County Borough. We'll keep the Red Flag flying here!

All in all, this was a good fun game and I'd like to try it out again. it took a little while to get used to the rules, but they are pretty simple when you've played a couple of rounds. However, in our post-game discussion, we both said this would be a good game to use Chain of Command with, as the units are small enough and it would give a lot more friction than the card driven VBCW system. I enjoyed the theme, it was good-knock-about nonsense and made for some funny situations through out the game. It's something I'd like to revisit in the future.

Speaking of Chain of Command, I also published part four of my How To Play series, you can watch it here:


  1. Great game report- looked like it was lots of fun.



    1. Cheers Pete, it was indeed a cracking game.

  2. Great AAR as usual. I was about to write what a Cracking game it looked to be but you beat me to it.

    1. Thanks Andrew, ha ha, great mind think alike?


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