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A tale of two worlds

A tale of two worlds

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The Battle of Sandrigham - Part One

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The Battle of Sandrigham - Part One

The Battle of Sandrigham

Part One.

Captain Blashford – Robbins tugged at his collar to relieve the heat as he watched the Queen climb the gantry for the official ship naming ceremony. It was late in the day due to delays which had been beyond his control but which he knew he’d be blamed for by his superiors. As long as Queen Victoria wanted to stay in the inn swapping tall tales with her highland officers and that annoying Lady Marmalade there was little he could do about it. Overall though he couldn’t be too disappointed. Although the Queen had not initially been too amused by the rather unsteady gait of the new army walking artillery platform ‘HMMS Gladiator’, she had been excited to use it to chase grouse across her estate. It had been quite a sight to see the ageing monarch who needed help to keep upright suddenly start belting away with her shotgun at anything that moved, including at one stage a game warden from the RSPB reserve. The test range forgotten, the mechanical terror had waded tidal inlets, crossed salt marshes and at one point crashed a party of the local WI. Once the smelling salts had been passed around the good ladies were more than happy to pass cakes and scones up to the thankful naval brigade who scoffed them at the insistence of the Queen who scolded Admiral Standish for being too ‘po faced’. The captain smiled at the memory of the admirals expression.
It was vitally important for certain members of the cabinet to get the Queen’s approval for the new war initiative which was being funded by the 23rd war bond. As usual the job of pleasing the Queen had been given to the officer lowest in the food chain.. Him. The artillery trials had gone well except for the first round which had overshot. Really there was no way of knowing that the pig farm was there. Correction..that it once had been there. At least the good citizens of Lower Titchwell would be eating chops for a good few weeks to come. And the Queen had been impressed by the pintle mounted gatling guns, though he’d not heard of them being used for rabbit hunting before.

Standing on the fore-deck of HMMS Gladiator, the captain was aware even above the din of the crowd which had gathered on the royal-estate of a growing squeaking sound. He’d put it down to another infernal component in this machine, but the noise was getting louder. No time to look about though as the Queen had reached the top of the gantry. The crowd shushed into silence and a hundred pairs of eyes watched as the queen took hold of the lever which would drop the bottle onto the front deck of the ship. Something fell behind the captain and clattered to the ground but he dared not look away.
The Queen had managed to gather some composure now and look slightly more regal, despite the bunting which had somehow got snagged on her foot and which no one had had the bravery to tell her she was dragging around.
“God Bless this ship and all who shail in her”
Oh God, how many had she had..and some of those highlanders didn’t look much better..
CLUNK the lever was pulled. The bottle released…and …exploded in midair.
The captain turned, wiping champagne from his face while several thoughts buzzed through his head. In roughly this order he thought: “that’s not supposed to happen…why is there a large Prussian tank on the other side of the millstream …why is midshipman Phelps unconscious behind me…why do they always use such cheap champagne for these things?”

And so began the infamous battle of Sandringham.

Will Queen Victoria be snatched by the ruthless Prussian special forces? Will someone tell the Queen about the bunting she is dragging around on her boot? Will someone get the highlanders out of the pub in time? Were the WI scones really poisoned? If a tree falls in a forest and no-one is there, can we assume it has been caused by an ageing British monarch with a Gatling gun? Can somebody please get me an aspirin?

These questions and more probably will not be answered fully as the battle unfolds.

I picked up a copy of GASLIGHT and Battles by GASLIGHT for this game.  We didn’t really have to long to prepare for the game so we decided on a rather small skirmish, slightly themed (yes very slightly) on The Eagle Has Landed.
It was also a good excuse to paint up some new figures and hang good old Union Jack bunting around my little town.

Prussian forces consisting of Clockwork Cranky pants, A Metal Bicycle, Derailer Tank and a handful of Elite Prussian Guards would attempt to snatch Queen Victoria in a lightning raid whilst at the same time a Prussian Spy who had not only sabotaged the H.M.M.S Gladiator but had also stolen its blueprints would try to escape undetected.

We decided that the Prussian Clanks could only make sustain rolls if there was a friendly figure in base contact with them, someone needs to wind them up.  So the Prussians also had a 4 man Bavarian repair team.

The damage caused to the Gladiator would mean that it had a really low Start and sustain number and could only fire its main gun once it was up and running; its two gatling guns however were fully operational.

The Prussian spy was chosen in secret and hidden within the unit of townsfolk.   At any point in the game I could reveal his true identity and immediately take command of him.  He was armed with a pistol and a bomb should things get desperate for him.

On the British side were 20 Highlanders split into 2 units of 10.  A unit of Marines a large mob of 20 Townsfolk (including our spy.) and the two British tanks freshly back from the hunting trip with the queen.

Anyway  enough of my ramblings and on with the pictures.

Her Majesty Queen Victoria addresses the townsfolk.

The Battle of Sandrigham - Part One

Prussians advance on the town using both bridges in a pincer manoeuvre.  Uhrwerk-verschrobe Hosen at the fore; their solid metal skins all but impervious to small arms fire.

The Battle of Sandrigham - Part One

No sooner has the Prussian assault started it starts to falter.  Clanks begin to unwind blocking the way.
Bavarian Wind Up teams rush forward to restart the static assault troops.

The Battle of Sandrigham - Part One

Highlanders and townsfolk rally forth to defend the Queen whilst the H.M.M.S Orca, a British scout class walker, attempts a flanking manoeuvre on the smaller of the two Prussian forces.

H.M.M.S Gladiator stirs to life and begins to trade blows with the Prussian Derailer.  Round-shot skims past chimney pots in this deadly exchange of heavy metal.

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