Saturday, 23 July 2016

Winter of '79 - Battle of Rockbeare

Stung into action by the Brexit result, Chas put on a "Winter of '79" game, covering the last opportunity this country has had for "proper" revolution.

The scenario was set on the Rockbeare straight, where the Rockbeare militia had set up a roadblock to earn some beer money from spurious tolls and a local politician had turned up to inspect the operation and take his cut. Not to be out done, the Whipton militia from the Revolutionary Socialist Republic of Exeter (RSRE), had set up their own barricade further down the road. Knowing that a rebel army unit would be travelling down the A 30 trying to seek refuge in Exeter, RSRE forces lurked in the fields off the Rockbeare straight, hoping to force a passage through the loyalist blockade.

Rebel army units approach the loyalist militia barricade
The action opened with the DSRE militia and trained fighters commencing an unprovoked attack on the loyal people of Rockbeare, causing the loyalists to fire back in self defence. Both sides suffered casualties and the survivors sought the best available cover. PC JJ ran to the last working phone box in east Devon and, braving the stench of wee, called up reinforcements. At this point the rebel army column came into view down the main road. "Hellfire" said Ted the gamekeeper "they've got a ****ing tank". Not only that, but a Saracen APC and a Ferret armoured car were soon in view and the barricade was under machine gun fire. The loyalist militia were hard pressed and their fire slackened, with only a few rifles from the buildings and the local politicians bodyguard able to return fire.

Wolfie Smith pictured catching the train down to Devon
Wolfie Smith leads the Rockbeare Militia on a bit of house clearing - "Power to the People!!"
A loyalist militia sniper forced the "Pig" APC to button up just long enough for a loyalist TA APC to arrive from Broadclyst and debus an infantry section at the junction of the A30 & Broadclyst road. Fire rippled up and down the line and a Rockbeare militia man blocked the main road with his land rover and ran for cover.

Who would of guessed what the ultimate tank trap would look like - a Land Rover?"
Seeing the Land Rover, "Red Chas" ordered the Centurion to "crush the capitalist swine's symbol of oppression". Now ordinarily a Landrover would not be much of an obstacle for a 50 tonne tank, but the wreck managed to cause the tank to throw a track, immobilising it and a petrol bomb from the barricade set it on fire. In a flash Ted was pointing his twelve bore into the commander's hatch, prompting the crew's surrender. Well, he looked cool for all of 30 seconds, until a burst of fire from the Whipton boys cut him down.

An army Pig heralds the collapse of the DSRE militia as it charges through the barricade, only to succumb to a ATGM
As the Pig crashed a wire fence and swerved round the barricade, the swoosh of rotors heralded the arrival of a Wessex helicopter. Despite two RPG rounds passing close by, the helicopter disgorged regular troops and they were soon giving fire to the rear of the rebel army column. An anti-tank guided weapon (ATGM) ruined the Ferret's day and small arms fire reminded the DSRE militia they had an important appointment elsewhere.

The rebel "Pig" looked sure to get away, but an ATGM from the TA unit cooked his bacon. No one being more surprised than the unit that fired it !

I am sure the rebels would have given a different slant to the action, but, to borrow from Brennus at the capture of Rome, "Vae victis".

A fun game to "Winter of '79" rules, all played out in 28mm under the watchful eye and light touch of umpire Chas.

Many thanks to Si for riding to the rescue and to Chas and Steve H for playing the opposition.



  1. Great read, I was wondering about using brexit as a very flimsy excuse to have a modern un civil conflict. Might be a little to freash for some people to stomach at the moment though.

  2. Great read, I was wondering about using brexit as a very flimsy excuse to have a modern un civil conflict. Might be a little to freash for some people to stomach at the moment though.