Call out the Home Guard

As I start to reflect on possible forces for Operation Sea Lion games I have been looking around to see what is available, there have been some useful articles in the mainstream wargaming press on this subject too.
In a previous blog post I discussed my new Royal Navy Section which I will be using for Operation Sealion games. I already have on the workbench some Bolt Action partisans, which though designed for the Eastern Front will work just as well for games of Operation Sea Lion. I also have the Dad’s Army boxed set, which means I have some Home Guard already and extra civilians.
I had expressed how I liked the British LDV Section from Warlord Games and was pleased to pick up a box on discount from Firestorm Games on a recent visit.
British LDV Section from Warlord Games

On 14 May 1940, Britain’s Secretary of State for War Anthony Eden made a broadcast calling for men between the ages of 17 and 65 to enrol in a new force, the Local Defence Volunteers (LDV) to defend the country against the expected German invasion of Britain. By July, nearly 1.5 million men had enrolled – far outreaching the 150,000 the Government expected to volunteer.

Beginning life as a rag-tag militia, the LDV initially had to make do without uniforms, wearing a simple armband bearing the organisations initials. The LDV similarly struggled for modern weaponry – shotguns and improvised weapons such as golf clubs, crowbars and industrial tools were not uncommon. The LDV evolved into the Home Guard, becoming a well-equipped and well-drilled force.

Disparagingly referred to as ‘Look, Duck & Vanish’, the LDV were renamed to the more inspiring Home Guard. Although the German invasion of their country didn’t materialise this proud people’s army – the original ‘Dad’s Army’ continued to stand until it was disbanded in late 1945.

The box set contains a ten man section equipped with various improvised weaponry, with additional firearms and Molotov cocktails.
British LDV Section from Warlord Games
This is the rear view of the models.
British LDV Section from Warlord Games
There has been lots of discussion about how effective the LDV would be against elite German Fallschirmjäger or even regular Wehrmacht forces. Trained soldiers generally will easily overcome irregulars in a straight firefight, one question though would British LDVs become the resistance?
These models could also be used as British Auxiliaries which were trained in irregular combat and were expected to fight on after invasion and occupation.
Of course, these models will also be suitable (as will my other Sea Lion British forces) for games set in the realm of the Very British Civil War.
So what units are you mustering to defeat the Germans as launch Operation Sea Lion?

It’s the Navy!

As I start to reflect on possible forces for Operation Sea Lion games I have been looking around to see what is available, there have been some useful articles in the mainstream wargaming press on this subject too.

I already have on the workbench some Bolt Action partisans, which though designed for the Eastern Front will work just as well for games of Operation Sea Lion. I also have the Dad’s Army boxed set, which means I have Home Guard and civilians.

I quite like the look of the new LDV from Warlord Games, but one unit that was recently released caught my attention. The Royal Navy section looked really interesting.

Warlord Games Bolt Action Royal Navy section

Armed primarily with the reliable Lee Enfield rifle and often supported by a Lewis machine gun, sections of highly disciplined and well-equipped naval ratings with considerable experience of close combat fighting are a fearsome opponent.

Warlord Games Bolt Action Royal Navy section

Clad in their dark blue uniforms and 1908 pattern webbing these Jack Tars will provide a dash of colour to an otherwise khaki British force.

Warlord Games Bolt Action Royal Navy section

As the war progressed, it was Royal Navy Commandos or Royal Marines who would lead shore parties rather than Navy sailors. However in the realms of Operation Sea Lion you can easily imagine German Fallschirmjäger attacking a British Navy base to secure it to defuse any opposition. The only thing they weren’t expecting was some sailors to fight back.

Another idea would be, following a German invasion and the establishment of a successful beachhead with troops moving inland, the British command send in a Royal Navy shore party secretly to rescue a key scientist who has been left behind the lines in a seaside resort. The shore party need to find the scientist, whilst avoiding Wehrmacht patrols. They may have the support of local defence volunteers, potentially even members of an Auxiliary Unit.

Of course these Naval forces will also be suitable (as will my other Sea Lion British forces) for games set in the ream of the Very British Civil War.

You can see how in the turmoil of a British internal conflict, local militia attempting to secure weapons from a naval base, find that it wasn’t going to be as easy as they thought. They did bring a hastily improvised armoured civilian truck, however then the Molotov cocktails started to rain down on them.

The rules for the Royal Navy section can be found in the Bolt Action Campaign Sea Lion expansion. When I first read this campaign book, I didn’t expect that Warlord Games would release “obscure” units such as this for the game, however I have been pleasantly surprised by the variety and number of releases for the expansion. I am probably thinking in the past of rule publications that “talk the talk” but due to a range of issues didn’t “walk the walk”. Part of this was probably down to the fact that there were companies who made miniatures and then there were companies who published rules. There were a few who did both, but not many. Warlord Games are one of those companies who do both, and do both well; you can tell their Games Workshop heritage in their business practices.

The boxed set contains ten models. A petty officer leading the squad armed with SMG. There is a two man Lewis Gun LMG team, which will provide much needed fire support against an Fallschirmjäger attack.

There are seven unique sailors all with rifles and three have Molotov cocktails. Well that Lee Enfield isn’t going to be much use against those Jerry Panzers!

So what units are you mustering to defeat the Germans as launch Operation Sea Lion?

Tally Ho Rolls Royce Armoured Car

Tally Ho Rolls Royce Armoured Car

This model was the first one I bought for Tally Ho! It has been stuck in a box for about twenty years..

I can’t recall the manufacturer, but they were small and relatively new, I even remember discussing licensing the models for a commercial version of Tally Ho! However that didn’t go any further and the model went into a box…

As well as Tally Ho! I am also going to use it with Bolt Action with my Home Guard Unit, and possibly A Very British Civil War.

The Rolls-Royce armoured car was a British armoured car developed in 1914 and used in World War I and in the early part of World War II.

Tally Ho Rolls Royce Armoured Car

At the outbreak of World War II, 76 vehicles were in service. They were used in operations in the Western Desert, in Iraq, and in Syria. By the end of 1941, they were withdrawn from the frontline service as modern armoured car designs became available.

This is a 1920s version of the Armoured Car. The model consists of a resin armoured hull, metal chassis, wheels, turrets and fiddly headlights.

Tally Ho Rolls Royce Armoured Car

Despite the age of the model, this is a well crafted sculpture and has captured the rather unique look of the original.

Next stage will be putting it altogether, though the headlamps look rather fiddly.