Day two of the recent Stoke Rochford Gaming meet was given over to a Land Ironclads game. Organised by the Italian Stallion, Silvio la Verde, the game used the same terrain mats as the previous day’s Imperial Skies game. The rules were simplified from the original Wessex Games set but still retained the flavour and fast-paced action. Time prevented us from reaching a conclusion to the game, but highlights were an Austrian cavalry charge against British tanks (that’s cavalry on horse, not mechanised !), a Russian front-style slaughtering of many Ottoman infantry by rocket-firing British contraptions and the appearance of a Belgian colonial Ironclad Brigade. Thanks to David Frampton and Silvio for providing most of the hardware on table.
The weekend just past saw another gathering of the Stoke Rochford gamers. These take place (as the name suggests) at Stoke Rochford Hall in Lincolnshire, a hotel set in a Victorian mansion just south of Grantham.
Saturday’s gaming saw a large Imperial Skies action organised by the author, Robin Fitton. Three allied forces (Italian, British and the US Mediterranean fleets) took on the Central Powers of Germany, Austro-Hungary and the Ottoman Turks over the eastern coast of the Med.
I won’t go into a detailed AAR, but in a nutshell the Italians got caught in a vice between the Teutonic might of the Austrians and Germans and rapidly perished in a welter of gunfire and magazine explosions. On the northern flank the Turks were stuck in a similar position between the British and US fleets, but through judicious playing of command points to keep the initiative they fought on, destroying the might of the British and then turning on the US forces who were suddenly distracted by the arrival of the Germans from the South. By the time we called a halt, the result was in the balance, but Robin adjudicated that although the Central Powers had the edge in combat, the allies had stuck to their objectives better and thus awarded them a minor victory.
Action over, we retired to dinner and a fine bottle of Chocolate Rum (thanks, Robyn !).
This weekend sees the latest Aeronef weekend at Stoke Rochford Hall in Lincolnshire. The theme this time is a refight of Jutland using Aeronef – we’re hoping to have all of the capital ships that were present at the real action present on the table, although not necessarily all of the cruisers and escorts !
We two Brigadiers are both contributing to the fleets – Phil is painting up four Victoria-class battleships which will play the part of the four heavy Queen Elizabeth-class vessels of the 5th Battle Squadron. For my part, I’ll be taking on the role of Rear Admiral Behncke, commanding the four Koenig-class battleships of the 5th Division, 3rd Battle Squadron.
To this end I’ve been super-detailing and painting my four ships plus some escorts. I’m going to write up a full account of the process later, but this week I’m too busy finishing them off ! In the meantime, I thought I’d share a few photos of the almost complete ships. They’re based on our Prussian Koenigsberg and Manteuffel class models, two of each, and the escorts are also Prussian. I’ve replaced all of the turrets and the larger funnels with bespoke 3D-printed pieces, and added fighting masts, searchlights and ship’s boats. There is some tidying-up work to be done with the painting and they still need decals. I’m also hoping to rig them although this depends on how long I have – there is still normal day-to-day Brigade work to be done as well this week.
Unfortunately for various reasons the last Stoke Rochford gaming weekend had to be cancelled, which meant that the planned Aeronef Jutland refight never happened. However, not to be daunted, the event has been rescheduled for October, with an expansion in scope.
It will run over the weekend of 16/17/18th of October, with bed and breakfast for two nights (Friday and Saturday) and dinner Saturday night for the bargain price of £110. Lunch is available from the bistro bar on both days. For the first time it’s also possible to book a day entry for £5 per day if you are local and don’t want to stay at the hall.
The main event will be the Aeronef Jutland refight, with VSF airships battling it out using historical orders of battle. If you would like to join in but don’t have your own models then they can be provided, or if you would like to contribute towards the forces on the table then let us know and we’ll try to fit you in.
However, with plenty of space and tables available in the conference centre, we’re also inviting gamers to come along and host their own games.
For more details or to book, email Robin Fitton – firstname.lastname@example.org – who is coordinating the event.
UPDATE – This edition of the Stoke Rochford weekends has been CANCELLED – the next event will now be in October.
We’ve just had confirmation of the next Stoke Rochford Aeronef weekend, which will be held over the weekend of the 7th/8th of March. If you’re not aware of these events (of which this is – I think – the fourth), it’s a gathering of gamers at the picturesque Stoke Rochford hotel in Lincolnshire for a weekend of good food, drink and Nef gaming. The theme for this particular event is a refight of the Battle of Jutland, but this time in the air, and the main part of the refight will take place on Saturday.
We’re planning to take the historical OrBats and reproduce them with Aeronef models – all 44 battleships, 6 pre-dreadnoughts and 14 battlecruisers. We probably won’t attempt to represent the 200 or so cruisers and destroyers, but we have to call a halt somewhere! I’ll be generating scenario-specific stats for the occasion, based on the characteristics of the ships in the battle, which I’ll publish afterwards.
The event is open to anyone who’d like to join in, no Nef experience is required and models can be provided. The fleets are large enough to handle 12-15 players with each admiral having a division of 3-4 capital ships plus escorts. this time the cost is £110 for two nights’ bed and breakfast, plus a Saturday night formal dinner. For more details, contact event organiser Dave Frampton at Stoke Rochford, or you can contact us and we’ll put you in touch.
As always, we’ll be bringing along plenty of stock of Aeronef models along with a selection from other ranges. We won’t be bringing the full stand but you can of course get in touch if there’s something specific you’d like us to bring. Even if you aren’t able to stay for the whole event you can pop in to collect some bits, have a gander at the game, a natter and even join in.
Finally, here’s a selection of pics from previous events, just to whet your appetite.