Very British Civil War

I’ve played a Very British Civil War before, at Historicon 2019. A Very British Civil War is both a set of rulebooks and troop listings from a fictional alternative reality in an England where Edward VIII did not abdicate from the throne and sought to make Wallis Simpson his queen. This causes a cascade of political parties to get involved. Sir Oswald Mosely, the head of the Union of British Facists, becomes PM. A second civil war breaks out in the 1930s. A myriad of splinter groups, based on divisions of religion and regional ethnicity, form immediately and take sides in a short and bloody civil war.

The Battlefield and objective (bottom building)– a supply and fuel depot

The Scrummers failed to meet for March’s meeting due to the weather (snow) which was a bit of a letdown. However, the next day things were clearing up fast as the temperature rose by 20 degrees. Meggo (Pete Megginson) invited me to a game of VBCW on Sunday up in Columbia, MD. A bit of a hike but it turned out to be a nice location– a game store in a strip mall. The scenario was pretty simple. Two opposing sides in the 1930s civil war– nationalist groups British Union Party and the Blackshirts were opposed by Socialist militia groups, both with a clear objective- to capture a supply depot with fuel and ammunition at the southern boundary of the battlefield. The two forces were roughly equal. The Nationalists had three vehicles– A Vickers tank, an Armored Car and a Rolls Royce Touring car to be used to transport supplies. The Nationalists had three squad maneuver elements. The Socialists had a Rolls Royce Armored Car with Heavy Vickers and an aging FT17 tank with a 30ish mm AT gun. We also had a Mortar team.

Logistics notes: the scale was 20mm or 1:72. The figures were about 90% plastic figures, I’m not sure which exactly but from Caesar and HaT. The vehicles were resin and metal from a variety of manufacturers, probably English. The few metal figures in 20mm don’t mix well with the plastics, being a bit bulkier (like the mortar team below), but nobody found it noticeable. Figures were entirely supplied by Meggo (Pete Megginson) or Jeff Hoffman. All of us are Interwar period enthusiasts.

Enemy Tank and Armored car.

They ended up taking out the Vickers tank!

Well, that was unexpcted

The way I read the engagement is that the danger would be getting stalled at the North end deployment zone. Steve (my teammate) had the FT 17 on our side of the battlefield. We managed to slow the Nationalist down. My “anti tank” team was a bunch of guys with Molotov Cocktails. They never attacked any tanks with them but I think the enemy seeing them deployed on the edge of the road slowed them down sufficiently so that they got so careful about engaging that they didn’t do a lot to achieve their battlefield objectives.

My Socialist Militia. They fought pretty well, I think.
Nationalist commanders Bob Daretta and Jeff Hoffman. I’ve played against them before
My other maneuver element of Socialist militia. Both of my groups fought well, but were a bit undergunned.

A couple things happened that changed the flow of the battle: 1) the light mortar team made three really good hits– keeping the Nationalist infantry squads pinned down in the field across the road and also took out the Vickers tank with a lucky shot landing on the roof. My vote for MVP players on the Socialist side. 2) The Rolls Royce touring car drove fast down the road early in the game and reached the buildings at the far end of the board. In response, I avoided confronting the troops in the field and moved South to the depot finding whatever cover I could to move . I got the Rolls Armored Car there first and shot up the touring car, which promptly exploded.

Target of Opportunity, sir!
Result! Everyone killed.

The un-pinned Nationalists infantry managed to get to the first building before my guys did. I followed right up behind them and there was a viscious hand to hand house clearing battle.

Result: the last man standing was a Socialist.

This was the end of the game here. The combination of losing two squads, two vehicles and one unit pinned down in the field made victory seem rather unlikely at that stage. We agreed and ended the game. I think that avoiding getting bogged down in fighting across the road contributed to victory. Victory was about controlling the depot, not about killing fascists.


We used Iron Ivan rules– whatever they publish to support the Interwar period. I find them a little step-heavy but they are crunchy enough to provide a lot of detail. I have played a Spanish Civil War game (the Battle of Sesena) at Pete Megginson’s house last June and didn’t mind using them. In this case we didnt’ use the native Very British Civil War rules, but the Iron Ivan rules worked fine in a VBCW setting. I really enjoyed the game and found it very entertaining. I’d definitely play it again. Big thanks to Meggo for inviting me and running the game, and Jeff for providing some great custom Interwar era troops and AFVs.


Meggo (R) and me.
Steve Braun (R) fellow Socialist Commander

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