Saturday 27 February 2016

Betteshanger Miners

Betteshanger colliery opened in the late 1920s and was the largest of the Kent collieries. It had two shafts of almost 2300 feet, plaques can still be seen where the shafts were once sunk. The colliery was served by a railway branch which left the main line between Deal & Sandwich.
Betteshanger had a tradition of union militancy; it was the first pit to come out on strike during the second World War and took active part in the miners' strikes of 1969, 1972, 1974 and 1984-85.
A sit-in was staged at the colliery in 1984 and those involved were sacked for trespass.The Kent Area's NUM initially refused to return to work until those sacked were reinstated and continued to picket the rest of the country after the NUM's national executive had voted to return to work, so Betteshanger was actually the last pit in Britain to return to work after the strike.
Thereafter, Betteshanger became known for the brutality with which strikebreakers were treated. Posters had gone up in the village with photographs and names of the 30 men who had broken the strike. It was the last Kent colliery to close, closing for good in 1989.

The above was taken directly from the Wikipeadia. I will attempt to write the Colliery up for the VBCW forum this week.  But in essence they are a socialist faction within Kent working against the London Fascists and Allied with the Anglican League. However they are not hand in glove with the Anglican league they are allies of convenience against a common foe. More will be explained on the forum (I Hope). But there is a rivalry and while it may result in a few punch ups and beatings it has so far not lead to permanent injury! So Far!

The figures are all for Matt and a collection of makes including Sloppy Jalopy, Musketeer miniatures and Ironclad. there is even a Warlord figure from the Dads army set. So quite an eclectic bunch.

But most importantly let me talk about the flag. The Flag is a "ONE OFF" by Pete Barfield (aka Petal aka Panserkaput) and his blog is HERE! I am very grateful to Peter as it does make these miners unique. It makes you realise how many nice people there are out there blogging!

While this is not the Official Betteshanger banner it is now the official VBCW Betteshanger Banner. (OK semi official VBCW Banner). I am very pleased to say it has the "Invicta" horse on display. When he sent it to me It really did make my day.

So if any of you VBCW players want to represent this unit contact me by leaving a comment below and I will send out a PDF. I have already gotten permission to pass it on from Pete and he is a Generous guy indeed to allow it.

These will be my last Miners for VBCW for a while I think as I am about to crack on with some socialists. perhaps they will be dock workers from the ports in Kent, who knows at this stage.

It has been suggested that I make a beer wagon to follow along behind the miners but as yet that is just a twinkle in my eye!

Thanks for Looking and I am off to the Cavalier show on Sunday so expect a show report or swag post on Monday. Until then take care have fun and do not get too cold.

Thursday 25 February 2016

Kent Miners (Part 1)

Yes part 2 will be along in a couple of days. yes these were the first batch of Miners shown over a week ago on the Analogue painting challenge. The rest will follow in the next posting. They are of course painted for my mate Matt and equally obviously they have a flag by Pete Barfield. These are part of the socialist assault column in VBCW.

A mixture of makes, Sloppy Jalopy, Ironclan and Musketeer miniatures and armed with a variety of weapons. Mostly with rifles but also Smgs (Lanchesters used by the Royal Navy), shot guns and revolvers.

Most have miners helmets but as 1/5 of the Kent miners did work above ground not all are wearing them or have them slung on their belts. But there are enough in the group to make it look like they are mostly equipt that way. All dressed in sombre colours appropriate to the time and all as keen as mustard to get stuck in against the London Fascists and the Kentish fascists as well.

Thanks for looking today a bigger batch next time, but NO I cannot do a group shot of them all as Matt has already gotten these back.

Monday 22 February 2016

To the strongest!

yesterday at the club I had my first game of "To the strongest". Dave set the game up and with Kev controlled the Hittites. While Ian and myself had the New Kingdom Egyptians (NKE). These are all Dave's Figures, rules, Terrain, Maps well everything.  Dice represent the missiles the unit have before they run out and need to get supplied again.  The little white skulls represent there is a hero in the unit. While the red hearts tell you the unit is close to breaking, or has suffered a hit and another will kill it.
WE played 2 games in all and the pictures are taken on Dave's phone as I forgot the camera and he was nice enough to do it.

The rules worked very well indeed.  In the first game I was of course daunted by facing heavy chariots with only 1 unit of heavy infantry several units of light infantry and some light chariots. But with some luck I did manage to destroy half the heavy chariots of the Hittites and slip a light chariot unit behind the Hittite lines where it sacked the Hittites baggage trains and generally made a nuisance of itself. It was hard fought everywhere else and I did have some light chariots chased from the board never to be seen again (yeah OK they did turn up in the next battle). generally speaking it was hard fought by all four of us but due to the baggage train being sacked the Hittites lost faith in the battle and the NKE won.

The second battle was somewhat different. Firstly let me state that I failed to kill anything at all. Dave did out play me I cannot say otherwise. Kev also out played Ian and I had a Hittitte light chariot in the rear (Make up any rude joke you like) and my Baggage was sacked. Ian on my left had completely crumbled as Kev had learnt how to use his chariots and Ian unfortunately had not adapted quite as well. But a loss is a loss and it would be ceorlish to blame anyone else for such a thing.  So I take full responsibility!

So where do we go from here? That is the question! I did very much like the rules, they were easy to play uncomplicated and yet at the same time versatile. The army size is very nice (bigger than DBA of course but not so large as to make them unruly and difficult to transport.

So the consequence is that I think I will get an army. Ahhh but which one. I do have a choice of opponents. Big Lee has some 6mm Romans and Carthaginians ready for these rules. Dave has 2 Biblical armies. I think Another club member has some NKE as well so I would seek something else. My pet love is Italian renaissance, but that would mean getting 2 armies as I do not think anyone else in the club has them, also the rules are just on the edge of that as a timeline so perhaps not. Unless I was to do them in 10mm or smaller. (Just for cost/storage/transportation purposes).

I have had a "Seapeople" army before and they were fun and very hard hitting and I do have some Minoan/Mycenaean figures sitting in the lead pile. So that would be another option and would be a better army for my character than the NKE. And knowing Dave he would want to use the Hittites again and again.

So if you know the Biblical period and know a good army drop me a comment.

All the best Cheers Clint

Finally, just for Sander. here are some Bare Naked ladies!