The Battle of Cartington (16th May 1938)

Following the ambush on the Rothbury roadblock by the Free Northumberlanders, the Rothbury section retreated to their safehouse just to the north at Cartington Farm, with the gun runner contact to let the trouble blow over.

Unfortunately with the arms shipment captured by the peelers, the Northumberlanders are now forced to look around for other supplies. Recent skirmishes in the north with Scottish raiders have seriously drained ammunition stores particularly.

They have contacted the Communist duma at Chopwell, who they are aware have a good supply of weapons, with the intention of forming an alliance (or at least an accord) and purchasing a supply of weapons and ammunition. The Chopwell duma has recently received a shipment of supplies and veteran advisors and specialist from Liverpool (including uniforms, ammunition and support weapons including an HMG and mortar), and are keen to sell on their surplus of outmoded weapons. They are also happy to discuss an alliance and therefore send a delegation to Cartington to discuss terms.

The local police have not been idle however, and with knowledge from local informants have identified the Rothbury section’s base at Cartington.

The regular police, together with an auxiliary section and some local defence volunteers have planned a raid on the farm to arrest the Northumberlanders for the killing of 4 police officers at the roadblock.

Forces involved:

  1. Northumberland Freedom Fighters
  2. Chopwell Communists
  3. Police (regular and auxiliary)
  4. Rothbury Local Defence Volunteers

So in the bright moonlight of a chilly May evening, the Northumberlanders and Chopwell Communists mill about outside as their leaders discuss terms in the farmhouse...

...meanwhile, the Police creep up under cover of darkness...

While the auxiliary police set up their Lewis gun to cover any murderous criminals trying to flee acrss the fields to the north.

Suddenly the police charge!

And drive off the Communists, whose brittle nerve breaks immediately!

The police then turn their attentions to the Northumberlanders who let off a few panicked shots with little effect.

'Now then young miss...put that rifle down, there's a good lass...'

The police drive off the rest of the Communists and begin rounding up the Northumberlanders, making numerous arrests.

Meanwhile the Communists finally slink away, unfortunately leaving their precious motor vehicle in the hands of the police...

Alfred Garrett, seeing his Northumberlanders morale break, as many of his men are handcuffed and the rest attemping to flee north, gathers up the £200 cash from the stores and attempts to make his escape in a van...

Police Sgt Henry Penhaligan, however, has other ideas and with his men, they surround the van and beat Alfred Garrett senseless...

The raid ends successfully with many of the Northumberlanders in custody, only a few having been shot dead. the farmhouse is in police hands and the goods and monies within captured.

The Communists escaped, fleeing back to Chopwell as fast as possible to tell tales of the fierce, brutal and highly efficient nature of the Rothwell police...

Briefings Given to Participants

The Free Northumberlanders at the Battle of Cartington (16th May 1938)

Things didn’t go too well at the Rothbury roadblock ambush. Sure most of your men got away including the smuggler, but you had to leave the van full of supplies at the scene. Now your supplies of ammunition are running low, although you still have a fair bit of ready cash.

So you’ve holed up at Cartington Farm to lay low while the heat is on and the police are hunting for the Northumberland Freedom Fighters. You haven’t been idle however, and following a message sent to Chopwell, are currently hosting a Communist delegation interested in selling you some weapons and ammunition.

The negotiations have gone well, although they are starting to talk about an informal alliance which is making you uncomfortable, and certainly wouldn’t please the bosses up north. It’s really ‘supping with the devil’ talking to these Moscow mules; damn traitors all, taking their orders from the Kremlin no doubt. Still, they have what you need so here you are.

The boys are convinced there will be trouble with the reds, but you’re not so sure. Necessity makes strange bedfellows after all.

In any case, they are on your turf and if there is trouble you’ll defend the farm to the last. There’s a store of vital food supplies and £200 in cash in the bedroom upstairs, so you can’t abandon it even if you want to.

So, it’s now late evening and the bright moon is high outside, when the deal for a supply of ammunition and rifles is close to being agreed…

At the Cartington Farm safehouse you have:

‘Captain’ Alfred Garrett Big Man status III – you!
James Sheehan Big Man status II
18 Northumberlander volunteers; Reasonable/Regular, with rifles; Aggressive as they are defending their safehouse; Split into 3 sections of 6 or two sections of 9
2 Civilian Trucks, each can carry 13 men, (8 in the rear, 3 on the seats and another 2 on the running boards)

Deployment:

You deploy first
The big men are in the main farmhouse with a section of volunteers.
3 Volunteers may be placed on sentry duty anywhere within 6” of the edge of the Farm compound. They should be on a circling patrol as individuals, but may be neglecting their duty and having a crafty whiff and a chat…
The remaining volunteers are deployed within the farm compound as desired, milling about in the evening moonlight, chatting, etc.
The trucks are parked within the farm compound as desired.
You may not use blinds.

Objectives:

Defend Cartington Farm. It’s a key safehouse and stronghold in the area and holds a cache of supplies and money that must be held. The money can be grabbed easily, but the supplies will take a good hour to load into a truck.

Keep losses to a minimum. The men are too valuable to lose.

Ensure that the Communists are accorded every courtesy. Their help and supplies are very important to the cause. However, they are not to be trusted as their orders probably come from Moscow and therefore are ultimately traitors to Northumbria who will be dealt with in good time.

Victory Points:

50 Hold the farm (no enemies within at the end of the game)*
20 Survive the battle with at least 75% of your men still alive (15+ survivors)
30 Maintain good relations with the Communists (not attacking them during the battle)

*10 If you lose the farm but escape with the cash

Cards:
2x Big Men
1x Sentries
1x Command Initiative III
1x Ammunition shortage

Common Cards
1x Blank (Big man can use it to retrieve the cash from upstairs if in the main farmhouse).
1x Time for a Snifter

The Chopwell Communists at the Battle of Cartington (16th May 1938)

The duma received a recent communication from the Northumberland Freedom fighters to the north recently, requesting a meeting to discuss the purchasing of supplies.

Following the recent supply delivery from Liverpool, the duma has a surplus of older rifles and some spare ammunition and so is interested in discussing terms with the Northumbrians. Money is in short supply after all.

A delegation has been sent to Cartington Farm to arrange the sale of the arms, but you are under orders to negotiate an informal alliance as a priority. Alston has recently seen raids by (suspected) Scottish troops, or Scottish sympathisers and its threatening the supply line from Liverpool. Having a ‘buffer client’ to the north to resist these raids would be most useful!

The negotiations have gone well so far, although the Northumberlanders seem a bit evasive and jumpy, and you’ve noticed some of them glance upstairs every now and then. They’ve become more so as you’ve turn the conversation to discussing an informal alliance.

The comrades are convinced there will be trouble with these nationalist partisans, but you’re not so sure. Necessity makes strange bedfellows after all.

In any case, you are on their turf and under orders to keep them on side for a possible alliance. Anything you can do to help them out would be a good step towards securing that negotiation!

So, it’s now late evening and the bright moon is high outside, when the deal for a supply of ammunition and rifles is close to being agreed…

At the Cartington Farm safehouse you have:

Comrade John Harding; Big Man status IV
Comrade Herbert Wallings; Big Man status I
10 Communist comrades; Good/Green, with rifles (and 1 LMG (Lewis gun)); Brittle (this isn’t your territory, so why fight here?); Split into two sections of 5.
1 Civilian Truck, open-backed; can carry 13 men (8 in the rear, 3 on the seats and another 2 on the running boards)

Deployment:

The communists deploy after the Northumberlanders
The big men are in the main farmhouse a section of comrades.
The remaining comrades are within the farm compound within 6” of their truck.
The truck is parked within the farm compound as desired.
You may not use blinds.

Objectives:

Secure good relations with the Northumberlanders. We need their cash and their alliance. Should the opportunity arise, it might be worth helping them out.

Keep losses to a minimum – but leave no prisoners that can be held hostage or interrogated.

Ensure that the truck and as many men as possible escape any trouble. These Northumberlanders are untrustworthy and may well try something.

Victory Points:
60 Secure the Northumberlanders on good terms*
40 Survive the battle with at least 50% of your men still alive (6+ survivors)

*10 If this isn’t possible, raid their compound for anything of value that might be used or sold on.

Cards:
2x Big Men
1x Committee!
1x Command Initiative IV
1x Friction

Common Cards
1x Blank (Big man can use it to search the main farmhouse if no Northumberlanders are within).
1x Time for a Snifter

The Police at the Battle of Cartington (16th May 1938)

Following the ambush on the Rothbury roadblock by the Free Northumberlanders, the police and authorities have been busy investigating and trying to track down the criminals. The brigands didn’t get their arms shipment, but they must be brought to justice for the murder of four police officers.

Several local informants have suggested that the brigands are holed up at Cartington Farm a few miles to the north of Rothbury.

You have organised a night time raid on the farm to identify and arrest these murderers and to bring them to justice. The force assembled is led by a regular police unit and supported by local auxiliaries drawn across from Hexham. The Rothbury auxiliaries are currently still under strength, having been disbanded following the actions at the Rothbury roadblock.

In addition to this, you’ve recruited further support from the Rothbury Local Defence Force. A motley bunch of misfits, they none-the-less possess good local knowledge. Some are ex-servicemen, which should help if things go wrong.

You’ve explained that this raid is for the purpose of identifying and arresting the criminals, not an ambush, but despite their agreement, you get the distinct impression that some of the LDV will be very happy if the bullets start flying.

You’ve dropped the vans off some way to the south, to avoid alerting the criminals, if indeed they are at the farm. Your police sections will approach from the south, possibly behind some forward scouts, while the LDV have disappeared off to the west, with the plan of getting north of the farm to block anyone trying to escape as the police go in.
At the Cartington Farm you have:

Police Sgt Henry Penhaligan; Big Man status IV
Police Auxiliary Sgt Benjamin Cohen; Big Man status II
6 Regular Police; Regular/Good; armed with pistols and truncheons; Aggressive; A single section of 6
12 Police Auxiliaries; Regular/Reasonable; armed with rifles and 1 LMG (Lewis Gun); A single section of 12 or two sections of 6; May separate up to 3 scouts
3 Police Vans (not present); can carry 13 men (8 in the rear, 3 on the seats and another 2 on the running boards)

Deployment:
The police deploy after the Northumberlanders.
The police and auxiliaries must deploy within 6” of any part of the south or east table edge.
The auxiliaries may deploy up to three scouts. These may deploy anywhere, but no closer than 12” to any Northumberlander already placed.
The police have trucks have been left on the main road some way back, to avoid alerting the Northumberlanders of the arrest raid.
You may use blinds.

Objectives:

Arrest as many Northumberlanders as possible.
Keep losses to a minimum.

Victory Points:
30 Arrest at least ½ the Northumberlanders present*
30 Capture the farm compound by the end of the battle (no surviving un-arrested enemy within)
40 Survive the battle with at least 75% of your men still alive (15+ survivors)

*10 Arrest at least ¼ the Northumberlanders present

Cards:
2x Big Men
1x Blinds
1x Up and at ‘em!
1x Command Initiative IV

Common Cards
1x Blank
1x Time for a Snifter

The Local Defence Volunteers at the Battle of Cartington (16th May 1938)

Following the ambush on the Rothbury roadblock by the Free Northumberlanders, the police and authorities have been busy investigating and trying to track down the criminals and finally they have a good solid lead.

The police have organised a night time raid on Cartington Farm, north of Rothbury, to identify and arrest these murderers and to bring them to justice. The regular police supported by auxiliaries drawn across from Hexham have also recruited you for further support given your effective local knowledge and desire to see justice done.

The police commander has explained that this raid is for the purpose of identifying and arresting the criminals, not an ambush, but you’ve put up with the ‘Northumberland’ traitors actions for far too long. Its dark and the police might want to arrest them, but why tie up the courts when it could all be settled tonight?

The vans have been dropped off some way to the south, to avoid alerting the criminals. The police sections will approach from the south and go into the farm. You’ve been instructed to hold the fields to the north to block anyone trying to escape as the police go in, but why wait?
At the Cartington Farm you have:

Gareth Lucas; Big Man status II
9 Local Defence Volunteers; Green/Reasonable, armed with rifles; Aggressive towards the Northumberlanders only; Brittle
1 volunteer may act as a sniper (Jack Blackman was a sniper during the Great War)
1 Truck, can carry 13 men (8 in the rear, 3 on the seats and another 2 on the running boards)

Deployment:
The LDV deploy after the Police.
The LDV must deploy within 6” of any part of the north or west table edge.
The LDV have a truck which has been left on the main road some way back with the police vans, to avoid alerting the Northumberlanders of the attack.
You may use blinds.

Objectives:

Kill as many Northumberlanders as possible without the police seeing. Despite the police briefing that they are here to arrest the Northumberlanders, most of the LDV are fierce loyalists and hate the Northumberlanders and their cause. They have resolved to start shooting and blame it on self defence.

Keep losses to a minimum.

Victory Points:
60 Kill at least ½ the Northumberlanders present without the police seeing * / **
40 Survive the battle with at least 75% of your men still alive (15+ survivors)

*10 Kill at least ¼ the Northumberlanders present without the police seeing

** In order to qualify as a kill this must be a ranged shot taken more than 12” from, or out of direct view of, any policeman (and therefore hidden in the darkness).

Cards:
1x Big Men
1x Blinds
1x Sniper (support unit)
1x Hesitant troops
1x Friction

Common Cards
1x Blank
1x Time for a Snifter

Battlefield

The battlefield is here:

http://www.multimap.com/maps/?qs=cartingto...and,%20NE65%207

With the tabletop layout looking like this:

http://www.multimap.com/maps/?qs=cartingto...and,%20NE65%207

- Steve Hardy and Malcolm Gordon, DWG