Sunday, January 28, 2007

36 miles of barbed wire: Part 2

The last three Savage Sundays aven't been all that savage. Two of them only Darrin showed up and so I shanghaied him into some terrrain making. Curtis also showed up for one. He was also forced to labour in my terrain making slave camp. They have enjoyed the fruits of my labours for years... it was time they helped out a bit....

The first week was documented in the previous post; 36 miles of barbed wire: Part 1.

Last week Curtis, Darrin and I started off making making some mud brick/adobe style houses. I cut the MDF and Darrin and Curtis glued them together.

(click on the pictures for a bigger version)

I have some sanding and painting to do yet, but it was a good start.

This didn't take nearly as long as I thought so we stared in on the wire again. Curtis and Darrin painted the posts dark brown and touched up the rest of the dark brown paint on the base.

Darrin and Curtis, my happy terrain slaves, painting posts and bases.

Meanwhile I started cutting strands of the wire. The wire I cut from nylon screen door mesh. Simply slice down between two strands and you will end up with a single strand with the remaining bits of the cross-strands closely approximating barbed wire. Do not use the metal screen as it is woven and the crossing strands are not .. well... attached in any way... trust me it just won't work.

that's me cutting those strands

Again with the cutting strands.

Shortly thereafter we called it a day.

During the last week I dry brushed the light brown on the bases.

In the lower part of the picture above are the ones that Curtis and Darrin finished touching up, above those are the ones I've been drybrushing.

There's all 36 stands of painted and ready for wire.

So again, as I mentioned earlier, only Darrin showed up today. He said he was up for some more terrain making so once again I put him to work! Darrin started off stringing the wire. I carried on with cutting strands for a bit, then helped with the strinning/glueing as well.

Darrin applying glue to base.

Here's how I do it. First I put a little dab of glue at the bottom of one of the corner posts. I use a cyanoacrylate glue - "Flash" or "Superglue". When they say use only in a well ventilated area they MEAN IT! Especially when your doing a LOT of gluing as we did! I opened a window right up (luckily it wasn't too cold today!). The War Room is still a bit stinky.

Anyway after I put that dab of glue on there I take an end of a strand and wrap it around that post and hold it tight until it's good and stuck. Then I'll put a wee dab of glue at the bottom of each of the posts and wrap the wire around them criss-crossing between them and around the perimeter If I have enough.

The strands I had (due to the size of scrap screen mesh I happen to have) were not all that long. each was just about enough to do one "layer" of wire.

Here's what it looks like when "layer one" is done.

For "layer two" I start at the bottom of a corner post again, but this time I run the wire around the perimeter of the stand wraping it alternatively at the top a of one post and the bottom of the next.

For "layer three" I start the top of one post and in a similar fashion to "layer one" I wrap wire around the tops of the posts. Sometimes around the perimeter, sometimes criss-crossing between them.

Presto they're finished.

By the time we were finished these our fingers were thoroughlly stuck together! GAH!

I will spray finish these to further solidify the wire on there and protect the paint on the posts. I might also throw on a few pebbles as field stones churned up by previous bombardments of the area, maybe some skulls and other bones I have kicking about in the bitz box, maybe even the odd rare tuft of static grass.

Well that was a big chore out of the way! BIG THANKS to Darrin for helping me out with that! I'll have to do this all over again three more times for my Vimy Project before I can do the whole corps attack... Yikes...!

Like it? Know a better way to make wire? Post a comment below!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Tims Clash on the East Front (FoW)

... a little after action report of a game played between myself, Tim Brown, and Mr. Tim Miller...

We hooked up for a little "ostfront" Flames of War action. I played some German Grenadiers and Mr. Millerov played his ubiquitous Russians.

Rolling randomly for a scenario we got "The Cauldron". Now in the previous version of FoW the Cauldron scenario was nice for forces like Germans and Brisith in the Desert... but didn't quite work out for anyone that had to play against Russians. So Mr. Miller was a bit hesitant, but we had a look at the sceanrio and how it has changed and decided to give it a go. I was still obliterated, but that had as much to do with terrible dice rolling as the scenario.

Rolling to see who would be attacker and who would be the defender we tied, re-rolled, tied again, re-rolled, tied again... five times we tied before it was finally settled that I would be attacking... attacking a Russian BATTALION which had two entrenched rifle companies and an armoured company.... with my single Infantry company... was there any doubt how this would turn out...

We set up some terrain with a town at a crossroads in roughly the center of the table. The Russians had infintrated a battalion throught the lines and took this vital crossroads on the was to Lenningrad. The Germans would have to crush this force and regain the crossroads before the Russians could reinforce the position.

So "Comerade Millerov" set up his two Infantry Companies encircling the town and kept the Tank Company in "immediate ambush"

(click on the pictures to see a bigger version)

Look daunting, don't they...?

Then I set up my stuff. I got to roll randomly for the initial dispositions of my troops. I decided to take two Grenadier platoons an Infantry gun platoon and a mortar platoon. The two Grenadier platoons were in the to southern quarters of the table and the Infantry gun and Mortar platoons ended up on the Northwest quarter of the table. The quarter nearest the Russian base line.... handy...

So I set up the mortars as far from the town (but in range) and as far from the Russian table edge as possible. In the end their doom didn't come on from arriving Russian reinforcements,but rather the Russian armour sallying out of their defensive pocket....

Here's what it looked like when we were all done...

The picture is taken from the North end of the table. At the bottom of the picture are my Infantry gun and Mortar platoons. In the middle of the table is the town and the two Russian Infantry and single Russian Armoured companies. Off to the left of the picture (east of town) is a single mortar platoon observer. In the two stands of woods furthest south was where my two Grenadier platoons were hiding. That's Comerade Millerov looking on.

Here's that Mortar platoon observer and what he was looking at....

There's one of my Grenadier platoons.

Here's how it played out:

Turn One

Russians - the tanks moved out throwing thirty dice of machine-gun fire at my mortar observer east of the town. My mortar observer tried to look like a shrub. Must have worked because when the dust settled they were alive and well in their little hole.

Germans - No reserves, One plane. I voluntarily withdrew the mortar observer off the table (wouldn't you have wanted to leave?!) also his presence in that particular location would have made it diffeicult for my Stuka to bomb those tanks. As it turned out my Stukas did bomb the tanks and destroyed one and bailed another. The mortars and infantry guns bombarded the Russian infantry in the town, they pinned them but failed to cause any casualties.

Turn Two
Russians - the tanks move, heading for my guns!

Germans - no reserves, no planes.... Realizing they have only one or two more turns to bombard the town (keeping he russians heads down) before the tanks overrun their guns, I started moving my Grenadiers into a position where they could assault from. fired my mortars into town and actually kill one stand of Russians! I pivoted my Infantry guns to face the on coming tanks. Not sure why as they were obsiously going to tear out from behind cover and destroy them before I got a shot off.

Turn Three.

Russians -

Tanks tear out from behind cover and destroy my infantry guns before I got a shot off.

In other exciting news one of the Russian infantry company failed(!) it's motivation check to recover from being pinned by my mortars last turn?!

Germans - NO reserves, no planes... If things weren't looking grim enough at the start of the game, they're looking pretty hopeless now. I can't think of any commander that would try to make such an attack. Oh well. The mortars killed one more stand of Russians before they die. Infantry continue to move up for an assault.

Turn Four

Russians - Reserves (yeah the guy with the "delayed reserves", who really doesn't need anything else on the table, gets reserves before me...).

... and there they are a Recce Company of armoured cars. Here they are lining up firing squad style to kill my platoon of Grenadiers caught out in the open. they shoot them up but only manage to kill the light mortar, a stand of infantry and the platoon commander (who is replaced by the feldwebel).

The Tanks assault the mortars but somehow manage to not kill any. The mortars try to run away. So they died tired the next turn....

Germans - 2 Reserves and 2 planes... I brought on the MGs and the third Grenadier platoon double timing to try and get them someplace useful. The planes blew up a single tank. The Grenadiers in the woods, now somewhat reduced and facing an unpinned, entrenched Russian rifle company to their front and a company of Russian armoured cars to their rear, went to ground and hoped some support might get up and pin the russians in time to launch and assault.

Turn Five

Russians - More reserves; a platoon of towed AT guns. The tanks just shot up the running mortarmen. They died tired. Actually the commander and a single team survived the MGs. Rolling motivation to see if they wanted to stick around... they decided "...Siberia, I hear it's nice this time of year..."

Germans - the last two (completely useless) platoons in reserve showed up. AA(20mm) and AT(pak 36s). Yay. I did get two stukas and they did blow up two more tanks... but I'm still not giving as good as I'm getting.

Turn Six

Russians - Tanks double time back toward the village. the AT platoon makes it into the defensive pocket of the town. The Armoured Cars shoot up the rest of the grenadiers hiding in the woods near the village.

Germans - I get three planes. They blow up the AT platoon and pin the russian infantry company. Yay, now it's only a major defeat instead of a stunning one. The MGs also give the Russians a bit of Dakka-dakka, with little effect.

It's now or never; the remaining two Grenadier platoons move up a bit to prepare for an assault next turn.

Turn Seven

Russians - HMGs kill one of my HMGs. Armoured cars kill one stand of Germans. Infantry kill another two.

Germans - One stuka arrives, it is shot down by the Armoured cars it was going to bomb, but this will keep them for shooting any more of MY ground forces next turn... I move out to assault with two platoons, forgetting only one can actually assault at a time one kills a bunchof Russians in one company before it is wiped out the second one charges in and the russians retire out of range. Conveniently I am within 4" of the other russian company and some woods they occupy - the only cover I could possibly hope to get to so I do a "breakthrough" assault on them. they also retire to take up better positions.

Here's my remaining German Grenadiers at the end of the assault phase.

Turn Eight

Making it to turn eight in this scenario against russians is a victory, of sorts, in itself.


Surround and wipe out my remaining Grenadiers. End of game.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

36 Miles of Barbed Wire: Part 1

...cobra snake for a neck-tie...?

No Savage action to report this week. Only Darrin showed up and the scenario I had cooked up wouldn'y work so good with one person so I shanghaied Darrin into helping me get started making some barbed wire for the Vimy Project (see post below).

Now I figure I want to have enough to potentially make three rows completely across the table. The table for this years scenario (the Fourth Division) is 4'x4'. So that's 12 linear feet of barbed wire in 4" sections.... so 36 4" sections of barbed wire. Good thing I had Darrin to help out, getting started would have otherwise been a rather daunting task.

So what follows is part one of How to Make Barbed Wire (....the Tim Brown Way).

So the first thing I had to do was run out to the garage and see if I could find any 1/8" MDF already ripped to 1" wide. I did. This made me happy becaue it is dang cold here this week and I didn't want to spend any more time out there than I had to. It looked like I had a fair amount, three or four stips about 3' long. I wasn't sure if it was 12' but it would be a good start. As it turned out I had plenty.

Part two was cutting the stips down to four inch sections. I did this in the house with a little hand mitre saw as it was too dang cold to stay out in the garage and use power tools. that's Darrin in "the Tick" shirt there.

I cut a big pile.

While I was cutting them Darrin started cleaning them up. This involved running them over a sheet of sand paper to bevel the edges. then he pre-drilled the holes where the posts would go.

When I was finished cutting I stared banging in the 7/8" finishing nails that would be our posts. I also filed down any points that were poking through the other side.

Yeah that's right; finishing nails. So these aren't the kinds of things you want to be clumbsy with and leave on the floor where anyone might be walking around in socks or bare feet... or tin soled shoes...!

There's the pile of them.

The next step is to apply "Base Goop" from experience having made these before it is easier to apply any texture to the base BEFORE you string the barbed wire!

The "Base Goop" is the same stuff I use on my figure bases. It's a mixture of acrylic gel, model railroad balast, and dark brown paint. It gives a rougher etxtre than simple aplying glue and sprinkling on sand. It looks more like earth churned by hundreds of tousands of tons of high explosive shells.

there's Darrin aplying the base goop. He's ninja fast at this, hence the bluriness. No, I'm kidding, it's actually a long slow tedious task. There was just poor lighting and I hate using a flash...

Long way to go. the container by Darrin's hand is what I mix the base goop up in. It's the plastic part from a blister pack of figures. My guess this one came from a battlefront platoon pack... I save them all for mixing goop. I have quite a stack, but as I'm buying less and making more of my own they will over time dwindle away...

...And presto! Bases for three 4' long strecthes of barbed wire. next I think I'll actually do the base highlighting before I string the barbed wire then I don't have to worry about working around the wire.

and I'm going to have to do this all again next year. "WHY!?" you may be asking, when these aren't atached to the table, could I not just use them for next year's scenario? Well, because when live the megalomaniac dream five years from now and do the entire Corps on one big 16' long table... well... I'm going to need enough barbed wire to run the length of the 16' long table aren't I? (BAW-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!)

Stay tuned for part two: Stringing the Wire and Finishing Up.

Friday, January 12, 2007

So... it snowed a bit

On a slightly unrelated topic... it snowed a bit in Saskatoon in the last couple days. Since the blizzard ended we've been enjoying some sunny -40C weather. Yikes!

My winter steed and the snow piled up out front of my house (click on the picture for a larger version).

The city is very white. I wanted to take pictures everywhere, unfotunately it was so cold single shots drained the battery of my digital camera. So I was only able to take the one above when I was heading out for groceries this afternoon. Amanda took the one below when I got back with her own camaera.

Tim returning with groceries.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Vimy Project

The Vimy Project

For about a dozen years or so now, since I read Pierre Berton’s Vimy, it has been my megalomaniac dream to do a large game of the Canadian Corp’s assault on Vimy Ridge on 9 April 1917. This year I will, at least begin, to realize that dream.

This year will be the 90th anniversary of the battle. It seems like the right time to get going on it. I have volunteered to run a Vimy game at Mayday in Edmonton this year. I decided to take take on this project on a more manageable level, however. My scenario for this year will focus on the 4th Division, which was on the left of the Canadians advance.

Perhaps next year I will do the 3rd Division, the following year the 2nd Division, and so on. In Five years, for the 95th anniversary (and again in ten for the 100th!), I will do the entire battle in one big game on a 16’ long table with at least a dozen players and maybe a couple of assistant umpires! (BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!).

I thought this would also give me a goal to help keep me focused on a single conflict/range to work on making figures for, as I’d like to try to start my own miniatures business.

I realize that not the entire Fourth Division was involved in the attack on the 9th. The 10th Brigade was being held in reserve for an attack on “the Pimple” on the following day. Though some of them were committed later in the day some still remained in reserve. Being a completist I am going to model the whole dang Division anyway. I’ll need that 10th Brigade for when I do an attack on the Pimple scenario…. Or other scenarios… Paschendale (again a 90th anniversary coming up this year, just it time for Fallcon and/or Hero’s Gambit..if there is one...)… the Somme… Canal du Nord… Mons… etc.

I will be using a slightly modified version of Contemptible Little Armies. The battalions will be organized into units of 13 figures. This would include 12 men and an officer. One of the men will have a lewis gun. Four battalions per brigade, three brigades in the fourth division means I will need 156 infantry figures for the Canadians (well, for the whole division, which, as I said, I won’t really NEED all of)… All the field/heavy artillery will be off-board, but I should probably make a few machine-guns and trench mortars… I need about half of that for the Germans – Two regiments, three battalions each, is another 78 infantry figures, plus MGs and trench mortars.

So far I have some Canadian riflemen and an officer moulded (you can see some here), about half of them cast, but only one and a half battalions painted so far. I‘m currently working on the masters for the German riflemen. I have a Canadian Highlander or two started as well ( I think two of the battalions of the Fourth Division were kilted highlanders) and I’ve just finished my lewis gun master which I will mould and then make some regular and highland lewis gunners (and later use it for British/Indian/Aussie lewis gunners for the Middle East/East Africa when I’m finished with the Western Front). I think I’ll try and model some staff officers as well. Not on horsesor anything, just guys in greatcoats looking through binoculars, or something like that. As I said I should really do some MGs and Trench Mortars to have a complete line… If I don’lt have time before April or May I may just buy a pack or two from Renegade or Old Glory.

Then I have to make some terrain. I’m going to make them in 2’x2’ sections. The game area I need for the Fourth Division’s part of the attack is only 4’x4’ total. The one thing I am sort of debating is what to do about trenches. Do I model them right into the board or build ones to sit on top of the terrain boards. The reason I am even considering the latter is that the creeping barrage (and possibly mines!) will have some chance of completely obliterating German trenches. This would make it easiest to remove them. Also they could then be used in other games. Perhaps the terrain boards could them be used for other games as a generic really big hill, that could, if there were any at all, have entrenchments laid out in a different pattern. Also could be the possibility of playing alternative Vimy scenarios with different trench layouts. Maybe with the French or the British, or just have the Canadians attack a different defensive network that they actually did – say let the German player(s) set up their trenches anyway they like, then have the Canadians (or other attackers) set up their within a certain distance of the German fire trench.

I’m kind of leaning toward modeling the trenched into the terrain boards and thus making them “Historical Canadian Assault on Vimy” specific. I might just model half the depth into the terrain and have removable sandbag parapets. If a section of trench is obliterated, the parapets could be removed and maybe I could make some removable rubble sections to fill in the blasted section of trench.

The scenario

For this years game (Fourth Division) I’m planning for up to 6 players. I think if there’s up to four I might just play the Germans and have the players play the Canadians attacking. Unless there's someone that really, REALLY want to play the germans.

Another thing I’ve been pondering is how much leeway do I allow for the attackers to create a plan of attack? On one end of the spectrum I could say; “here’s what’s in Fourth Canadian Infantry Division, here’s your assigned divisional frontage, plan an attack and write some orders! Oh, and you need to keep some in reserve o attack the pimple the next day.” At the other end I simply hand them some pre-written orders the spell our which battalions of which brigades are attacking where and in which wave. I think for a convention game that has to be played to completion and cleaned up in four hours the latter option would be best. Also anyone without any understanding of Great War battle tactics could be utterly lost! Maybe in a game without such time constraints it might be fun to give the players the orders and say; “Here’s what they did historically, If you think you can do better go ahead.”

Still more consideration has and must be given to some of the weird and whacky things that effected the outcome of the historical battle that wouldn’t come up in a regular game. I’ve been thinking of dealing with these through Event Cards. That the players could play on each other, or in some circumstances, simply announce that something will happen at this point or a certain point in the game.

For example I believe it was the acting commander of the 87th Battalion (Canadian Grenadier Guards) that requested that the artillery bombardment skip the German front line directly in front of their position. He figured it might be obliterated by the bombardment and he might want that trench to occupy as a foothold. This decision had dire consequences for the 87th, and the whole of the Fourth Division, on the day of the assault. Obviously no player in a game is going to make such a request. How does one incorporate something like that? Just tell the commander of the 87th (and definitely NOT the german players!); “oh by the way there won’t be any barrage on the German Trench on turn one, it will resume when the rolling barrage lifts on turn two…” (this seems like the best alternative so far…). Other ideas I had were that the germans could have an “Event Card” that they would allow them to remove on (possibly random) barrage template on the first turn, or the one directly in front of the 87th’s position (being careful not to let them know which is the 87th beforehand– so they don’t stack that section of trench).

One idea for an "Event Card" would be “Thane McDowell VC”. McDowell (Captain?) was a company commander in the 38th Battalion. He, along with two of his company runners, through a bluff captured 77 German prisoners. The card could be given to the commander of the 38th and would give them the ability, when they came within a certain distance of a German battalion they could sacrifice one model (who would have to escort the prisoners back to their lines…) and all German model within a certain radius of the sacrificed Canadian model would also be removed…? Or perhaps just d6 models from the German unit would be removed.

Giving one card to one player is a bit silly so I’d like to hand at least one card to each player. Maybe some rereading of the action will give me ideas. I’d like for some chance to be involved in them (so the d6 Germans are removed on the Thane McDowell card seems like a better option). Any ideas out there? Obviously when I get around to the other divisions there will be cards for each of the VCs. I know there was one in the 16th Canadian Scottish (though the fellow was originally from Saskatchewan...if I recall..).

Yet another thing to consider are mines. There were a dozen of so set but only a couple blown on the day of battle. The reason the didn’t blow most of them is they feared it might so totally obliterate the landscape that it would become impassible. There were apparently soldiers that slipped into slimy, water-filled shell-holes and drowned!? I guess the simple way is to say something like: you CAN place mines. You have to preplan their location (i.e. before the German player sets up) and they can’t be more than (say) 12’ from the Canadian fire trenches. When they go off everything in the template of whatever radius is simply gone! However… a crater terrain piece will be set down there and that area will be impassible. I had thought of not making it impassible but saying any models attempting to pass through have to dice and on a “1” the drown… but I think “impassible” will just be easier.

So that’s the plan so far. Check back here for updates. I’m gearing to have all of this ready for a play test on the actual 90th anniversary of the battle; Easter Monday, 9 April 2007. Yeah, there’s a lot to do yet, but I’m a pretty productive fellow when I get focused. Anyone that’s interested and can be in Saskatoon on that day would be welcome to come and help me try it out. It will be played again during the morning slot at Mayday in Edmonton on Saturday 5 May 2007.

More information about Mayday can be found at:

Sunday, January 7, 2007

The Lost Temple of Bo-Nong (SW-Pulp)

The Lost Temple of Bo-Nong

Yet another exciting episode in my Savage Worlds – Pulp Adventure Serial!

Darren Morris as Oscar Carson, Private Investigator,
Joe Westfield as Harold Green, Eccentric Inventor.
Curtis Tessmer as Montana Black, Two-fisted Adventurer.

… and, of course, myself, Tim Brown, as the bad guys; Mason R. Roberts, Collector of Antiquities, Jacques Benoit, Ex-Legionnaire/Tomb Robber, and an assortment of locally hired mercenaries, porters and diggers.

The Golden Idol of Bo-Nong, besides being solid gold and jeweled eyes and the like, is said to have mystical powers that, perhaps, give the owner the ability to raise the dead. Our adventurers have learned that Mason R Robertson, the ruthless and highly-connected American Millionaire and Collector of Antiquities, has come across a map that supposedly leads to the Lost Temple of Bo-Nong (where the golden Idol is said to be hidden – convenient, that…). Robertson, they suspect, is interested in more than it’s value as a collectible and must be stopped!

In their adventures so far they snuck onto the tramp steamer Robertson had hired hoping to find the map or some other clue as to his destination. They did find the map, but were caught in the process. They were bound and left in the hold until the ship was out to sea where Robertson planned to dispose of them. Luckily the clumsy crew missed the Swiss army knife in Montana Black’s back pocket when they were searched and he was able to free himself and the others and they all jumped ship and swam safely to shore.

They didn’t have the map, but they did have a good look at it and so knew the destination; the Island of… uh… Bo-Nong …. (sorry, it was pretty late at night when I thought this one up…). Now all they had to do was get in touch with their friend Captian Joe Blackwell of the S.S. Persephone.

This game was set up as a race to find the Golden Idol. The players started at one end of the table, my antagonists at the other. There were 16 searchable locations marked on the table, in the ruins of the temple and the surrounding jungle, with a yellowish (goldish?) bead. Twelve of those also had a green “encounter marker” bead.

When anyone got within 8” of an encounter marker they would draw a chit out of a cup. Five of those chits said “nothing”. The rest (nine of them) named a creature or other potential foe that was lurking in the area. If it was a foe, they were considered to be on hold and opposed notice and stealth rolls were to be made to see if either side surprised the other. Creatures would be run by the opposing players (because it would be really boring for the players to watch me eat my own guys with critters they encountered…)…. unless one of their own got too close. The critters were, on their action, to simply charge toward the nearest human/intruder/critter of a different species, that they were aware of. So a clever player that could run fast enough, that was near other critters or opponents, could run past them and potentially lure the critter to them. The old “I don’t have to run faster than the monster, I just have to run faster than YOU” trick.

A lot of the critters were solitary big nasties and therefore wildcards. Because there were so many, and quite a few were very, very nasty I decided that none of the Wildcard critters would get bennies.

Anyone (or group) within 2” of a searchable location marker could spend an entire action searching for the idol. On a raise they get to draw a penny from another jar. There was one penny in there for each location. One was marked with an “X”. Draw the x and you found the idol. Draw anything else and the searchable location marker would be removed.

Once the Idol was found it would, of course, be trapped (though I wasn’t about to mention that to the players….). IF looking for traps, the searcher would have to pass a notice and get a raise to notice it and figure out how it worked, then raise on a repair or lock pick test to disarm it. Failure, as well as simply removing the idol, meant the trap was sprung. A cloud of small poisonous darts would fire from hundreds of concealed holes surrounding the area. All models within a large burst template centered on the location marker would take 3d6 damage. Anyone that was shaken or wounded would also have to make a vigor roll at -2 or die from the poison within 2d6 turns…. (BWA-HA-HA-HA!)

Here’s how it played out….

Set up

I set up Mason Robertson, Jacques Benoit, a unit of 6 mercenaries and a unit of 5 diggers in the jungle on the east side of the table, Harold Green, Oscar Carson, Montana Black and four crew members from the S.S. Persephone that were accompanying them set up on the west side of the table.

I also informed Joe that it was particularly rainy and wet in the jungle today and that if he wanted to take his G.N.O.M. he should know that if he went bust on a weird science or shooting roll with it (rolled a one on either) it would short out and give him a shock in d6 damage dice equal to the number of power points it had remaining… and… if there was anyone nearby (within 2”) it would arc and shock them for one less die of damage and do the same to anyone else standing near them and so on… Despite this Harold bought along the G.N.O.M. “That’s what bennnies are for” said Joe….. Is this sounding like famous last words to anyone…?

Turn One

Oscar Carson went first, striding into the jungle and triggering the first encounter location marker. He drew “Fire Lizards”. There was four of them. Doing opposed Notice and Stelth rolls, Oscar raised on his stealth totaling 12. The Fire Lizards aced TWICE scoring 14! No sneaking up (or away from!) the Fire Lizards for Oscar! As they were on hold they also did an opposed Agility check to see who got to go first. Oscar did and he shot one dead! POW! Nice quick start to the game.

Then the Fire Lizards went. Of the remaining three two first tried to belch flame at Oscar (and Montana, who was standing close behind). The two heroes either dodged or were only slightly singed. The third Fire Lizard trompled in close to bite Oscar. Oscar ducked.

Then it was Harold’s turn. He sparked up the G.N.O.M. – passed his weird science roll – so far so good. Aimed the blaster end at a Fire Lizard and ZZZZAaaaaap! Rolled a one (on his d10 shooting die…) potentially electrocuting himself. “That’s what bennnies are for” said Joe again, burnt one and promptly re-rolled his shooting. He rolled another one.

Well… 8d6 damage roasted Harold causing five wounds. He soaked, of course. That removed two of them. So that left Harold in the game with three wounds (-3 to everything he tries to do…). The 7d6, 6d6, 5d6, and 4d6 that the crew got zapped with, them not being wildcards and all, finished them off in a quick and crispy sort of way. The 3d6 that Montana got zapped with caused two wounds, which he successfully soaked. Joe got just a tad sulky for a bit at this point.

Things were not looking so good for our adventurers. Three activations into the game and over half their number were gone and on of the three wildcards was severely wounded. Considering the critters I knew to be lurking out in the jungle I figured they were pretty much effed at this point.

Robertson strode forth into the Jungle triggering an encounter of his own, drawing a Giant Constrictor! We gave the constrictor to Joe to play. Again with the opposed Notice, stealth, and agility tests… Robertson went first and shot the Constrictor shaking it. The snake went next but was unable to recover.

Jacques Benoit then charged in stabbing and shooting the snake (Two-fisted!) wounding it!

The mercenaries and diggers moved through the jungle towards the temple avoiding encounter markers.

Montana Black charged in to fight one of the Fire Lizards with his two bowie knives flashing in the occasional shaft of sunlight that pierced the jungle canopy. He only managed to shake the Lizard, which shocked Curtis as he was getting quite used to watching black “Turbo-Ginsu” all opponents.

The Heroes just after Harold Green's G.N.O.M. backfired! Harold (in the lab coat) and the crew (lying down) should look a little more blackened at this point... You can also see Montana Black at the top left and Oscar Carson fighting the Fire Lizards off to the right.

Same thing taken from the othe direction

Mason R. Robertson fighting the Giant Constrictor.

Turn Two

In some one-two tag-team action Benoit wounded the snake again and Robertson finished it off. Joe looked a little more disappointed and mumbled something about being cursed.

Oscar “grim-reaper-with- a-.38” Carson shot and killed another fire Lizard. Those buggers have a 12 toughness. I thought they were doomed when those brutes were the first to be drawn and Harold roasted over half the team. Darrin just kept acing every time he shot one.

The mercenaries moved up top the edge of the temple. The diggers moved into the area where the snake was to help search for the idol next turn.

The Lizard fighting black recovered but was unable to act. The other tried to chomp on Carson but had a salad of ferny underbrush instead.

Harold recovered from being shaken, miraculously, and began gathering up weapons from the crispy crew members.

Montana Black finished off another Fire Lizard.

Turn Three

Harold surged forward with suicidal fervor. He triggered the next encounter location revealing a giant scorpion. Harold let fly with a burst from the tommy-gun he picked up and managed to score a hit causing the scorpion to be shaken! The scorpion recovered, but not well enough to react.

The Scorpion.

Carson took another shot at a Fire Lizard hoping to go three for three, but failed. Black joined in stabbing it twice but not wounding. The Fire Lizard, in turn, munched on some more ferns.

Robertson searched the area raising on his notice check and so got to draw a chit. No Idol.

Benoit then ran forward into the temple (triggering the next encounter marker) finding it inhabited by Cannibal Natives! Unfortunately he wasn’t in a position to shoot at them where he ended up and so just awaited their arrival.

We handed the Natives card to Joe. The natives charged!

The mercenaries, which were on hold, tried to interrupt at this point , but failed. The natives surrounded Benoit and clashed with the mercenaries.

The natives charge Benoit and the Mercenaries!

The big melee begins!

Joe decided to do wild swings with everyone. Of the four that ganged up on Benoit, three hit! Number one wounded, unable to soak! Number two also wounded, again, no soak. Things were looking bad for Benoit at this point. They got worse. Number three caused FOUR wounds and that was if for Jacques Benoit!

The natives also took down one of the mercenaries.

Joe perked up a bit at this point.

The mercenaries got to react but most were involved in close combat now and had to use their rifles as clubs. One did get to shoot one of the natives that had been fighting Benoit. Despite having lower parry scores due to the wild swings only one native was successfully clubbed by a mercenary.

Turn Four

Robertson moved up to the Temple to see what the commotion was about and shot one of the natives.

Black finished off the last of the Fire Lizards.

Spending all that time loading his dice really paid off for Joe as Harold just kept acing on his shooting rolls (trying to make up for going bust in round one, perhaps). 13 & 18 to hit, even with -7 (-3 for wounds, -2 for full auto, -2 for cover…) is still a hit and a hit with a raise! Equally lucky damage rolls finished off a rather tough scorpion.

Carson searched the area for the idol without success.

Back at the other end of the table the Natives killed three more Mercenaries. The mercenaries shot another native. The diggers then joined in the melee killing one and shaking two.

Turn Five

Carson and Black both spent their turns searching without success. Harold carried on to the temple and watched the melee at the other end.

In th melee the tide began to turn as the Diggers bashed another native with their shovels and Robertson shot another.

Turn Six

Black continued his search and concluded there was nothing to be found there (raised and drew a blank chit). Carson moved on to the next search location where the scorpion had been. Harold went on hold.

The melee started to wind down. Robertson shot another native. The natives killed a digger. The enraged diggers exacted their revenge on two natives in a most brutal way involving a pick and the flat of a spade. The remaining native (of 10) failed a motivation test and was duly shaken.

The end of the big melee! Bodies everywhere! Diggers ganging up on the remaining native.

Turn Seven

Black ran through the jungle towards the Temple. Carson searched without success. Harold remained on hold.

Robertson moved into the Temple dashing from cover to cover amid the ruins.

The diggers ganged up on the last of the natives and beat him to a messy pulp.

Robertson taking cover in the Templt. Harold and Montana can be seen in the bacground.

Turn Eight

Black ran into the Temple ducking into one of the ruined structures.

The diggers tried to flank around the north and of the Temple. This brought them within 8” of, not one, but TWO encounter locations. One was happily one of the “nothing” shits in the bag. The other, however, was the DIPLODOCUS!!!

Oh dear...

The Diplodocus!

The Diplodocus I decided to handle a little differently. Being very nearly impossible for any one on the table to kill I had decided he would charge in the direction of the first intruder it noticed and simply trample on in the same direction until he left the table.

Everyone suddenly got very, very quiet.

The Diplodocus and the diggers did their opposed stealth/notice checks and the diggers turned out to be sneaky like ninja (aced a couple times totaling 18!).

Carson joined Harold at the edge of the temple while Robertson searched the ruin he was in.

The next couple Turns Robertson and black searched their respective ruins and determined there was no Idol in either. The both ended up on hold and hiding behind cover.

The diggers tried to look very, very small and tried to crawl away from the Diplodocus.

The remaining mercenary tried to flank around in the Jungle to the south of the Temple. He, too, triggered an encounter location. It was a swarm of Vampire Bats. They ate him and remained lurking in the jungle until something else attracted their attention.

Bats eat Mercenary.

Carson and Harold remained on hold watching for Robertson to move yet hoping he wouldn’t as shooting at him would surely attract the attention of the Diplodocus.

Harold decided to break the stalemate. He charged out from cover around the corner of the Temple and let fly with a volley of hot lead at the diggers who were still crawling through the jungle trying to look very, very small. Despite having a -9 to hit (-3 for wounds, -2 multi-action penalty for running, -2 for cover, and – 2 for full auto) he hit and killed two of them.

The Diplodocus noticed.

On the next turn the diplodocus went before Harold. He charged in his direction and trampled him. Scored a hit with a raise. D12+d6+12. He did five more wounds that Joe couldn’t soak so Harold Green, Eccentric Inventor, ended up as a grease stain on the bottom of the Diplodocus’ foot.

Diplodocus steps on Harold.

Everyone else, more or less stayed on hold for the next couple turns as the Diplodocus trampled off the table.

Turn Thirteen(ish…)

And so we were left at a stand off. Everyone was on hold hiding in cover.

Curtis decided to end the stand off. Montana Black leapt out from behind cover and charged towards the ruins Robertson was hiding behind. Robertson decided to interrupt, so he could shoot at black while he was out in the open. They did an opposed agility roll. Tied! Carson then tried to interrupt Robertson prompting another opposed agility test. Robertson aces, twice, totaling a score of 13. Carson then does the same thing, only coming up 12.

So… Robertson and Black shoot at each other simultaneously. Black misses. Robertson hits Montana causing two wounds but they’re both soaked! Carson then shoots at Robertson and misses. Darrin decides to burn a benny, re-rolls, and hits causing two wounds. Robertson can only soak one.

The Bats take note….

Turn Fourteen

These bats, I should mention, I figured were a bit bigger than regular creatures you’d come across in a swarm so I allowed attacks against them but said damage from anything but area effect weapons was halved.

The Bats attacked Robertson and black severely wounding both. The diggers get up and decide to come to the aid of their boss and start to make their way across the Temple. Black and Robertson both miraculously recover from being shaken and make wild swings at the swarm. Black caused them to be shaken, Robertson caused one wound.

Turn Fifteen

Montana can’t recover from being shaken and retires from the combat.

Carson shoots one of the diggers!

The bats recover from being shaken. I decide to have pity on all I decided to have them return to cover in the jungle to feed on the piles of fresh corpses. Killing off everyone with bats just wouldn’t have been fun!

Turn Sixteen

Carson starts moving up from cover to cover and shouts at Robertson; “If yez gonna leave, I’ll let yez…!”

Robertson can’t recover. He remains in cover to try and pull himself together.

The remaining digger, shaken by the loss of his last comrade can’t recover either and so seeks cover.

Montana continues to reel backward, still shaken…

Turn Seventeen

The Digger recovers his wits.

Montana reaches cover but remains shaken.

Carson continues to move up from cover to cover, finally gets line of sight on Robertson, and says; “Grab some sky, fella!”

Robertson recovers.

Turn Eighteen

Robertson gets a Joker. He must have the Idol. It’s now or never. Do or die. He gets up and charges Carson firing his pistol as he runs in. He misses.

Carson takes a swing at Robertson. He misses.

Black finally recovers.

The Digger joins in the melee between Carson and Robertson.

The last stand in the Temple.

Turn Nineteen!

Carson misses again!

Robertson misses again (no real surprise there being -3 on everything now…).

Black hobbles over to the melee and makes a wild attack at Robertson stabbing him in the back. Twice. For four wounds.

The digger surrenders.

That wrapped up combat with all the know foes out there so Oscar Carson, Montana Black and their prisoner spent some time hanging out in the ruined Temple patching themselves up and searching for the Idol. Luckily the found it within the Temple (and thus didn’t have to worry about trying to search for it outside the Temple where there was still potential nasties lurking about).

I just realized that I forgot about the trap… Ah well they’re pulp heroes, they would have figured it out, or dodged the hundreds of little poison darts…

Searching the pile of bodies where the melee between the natives and the mercenaries took place they couldn’t find the body of Jacques Benoit (DA-da-dun!) nor could they find any remains of Harold Green, other than the charred remains of one of his shoes (with no foot in it) and his very singed lab coat…. !

The Figures

Harold Green is from Pulp Figures..

Oscar Carson, and Mason Robertson are also from Coppelstone Castings.

Montana Black, Jacques Benoi and the Diggers are all from Westwind

The “Mercenaries” and the “Natives” are some old Minifigs.

The Fire Lizards are from Reaper Miniatures

The crew of the S.S. Persephone was a mix of Foundry and Westwind WW2 French Resistance.

The Bat Swarm was, I believe, from Chariot Miniatures….?

The Snake, the Diplodicus, and the Giant scorpion are all Dollar Store junk toys that I stole from my son.

Friday, January 5, 2007

SHMW Game Night Report - EVA Napoleonics

I'm a little sleepy, it's been a long day. Or, rather, yesterday's been a long day... and now that it's today I really should go to sleep... but I thought I throw up some pictures and a quick report of this (or last...) evenings Saskatoon Historical Miniature Wargamers Game Night. (You should be able to click on the pictures below to see a bigger version).

This (last) evenings game was a Napoleonic era game put on by Mr. John Bertolini. John brought out his beautiful 30mm Russians and French, which are a mix of old Scruby figures and his own castings. I couldn't tell you which is which. Maybe the Horses and the guns are bought while the infantry he modeled and cast himself...? Maybe John will post a comment/reply and set me straight.

The game we used was Ever Victorious Armies published by HLBS Publishing.

The players were Gary, Mr Miller, and myself. Because Mr. Miller is very clever me and Gary ganged up on him because two half-wits makes one full one, right? or do they multiply and make a quarter...?

John gave Gary and I the French. That was a bit of a switch for me because previously I think I have only played the Russians. I'd had a bad day and so I told John I wanted to charge something with cavalry. So he gave me the French.

Gary and I got secret orders in an envelope ( I always like that about John's games). They read as follows:

To French Commander:

The wily Russians have stirred from their winter topor and siezed the Slovenskaya Heights. You must counter-attack. Your forces are arriving from their far flung winter quarters You are the first to arrive accompanied by two regiments of light cavalry. A Brigade of infantry, a battery of artillery, and more cavalry are to follow. From where and when you do not know.

Take the height. Issue a sharp poke in the nose to the Russian Bear!

Tactical Notes

#1 Only troops deployed as skirmishers may pass through the tree lines on the hill.

#2 Cavlary may only access the heights via the old cart route. All other parts are too rough for cavlary.

So gary and I got to start with two regiments of Hussars. I to the ones that looked like faeries in the baby blue uniforms. They smelled prettier.

Mr. Miller had two battalions of infantry and an artilley battery deployed on the table to start. One was on the east side of the hill, the other was below the heights on the south west side. the artillery was set up above them on the heights. Neither were in skirmish order, so my initial inclination was to charge my hussars up to the top of the heights and sit there. Not being in skirmish order it would be difficult for them to maneuver and dislodge me as there was much woods between them and the middle of the hill. Also the gun battery would be on the other side of the church yard and also difficult to maneuver to fire upon me. I was convinced that that would be silly by... well... everyone...

My second inclination was to head straight over the heights and skulk around the rear to cut the troops off from any reinforcements that might arrive. That's what I set up to do.

Gary set up to flanks waaaaaay around the west side of the table.

One the second turn I decided to wheel off to the left and hopefully charge the infantry under the heights. Didn't quite make it. They formed a square and the next turn Russian cavlary arrived anyway so I tore off after them. Yay! Cavalry battle! Never mind that the two of those russian regiments totaled three times my own number....

the next turn we got some reinforcements of our own. A regiment of infantry and an artillery battery. We decided to give me command of the cavalry and Gary took the infantry and guns.

Here's my gay (by that I mean "happy", of course!) looking french horsemen galloping off after some Russian Cavlary that just arrived as reinforcements.

The newly arrived French infantry reinforcements. In the background are the other french light cavlary on their westward flanking maneuver.

I can't remember what happened over on the west side of the table... I think some russian infantry came on right in front of those french cavalry and I tried to run them down and the buggers formed a squared and I bounced...? Then some Russian cavlary came on over there and I might have chased them off but was eventually rode down by their cuirassiers that came on over there..?

I was more excited about the faerie blue boys charging these two regiments of Russian cavlary that vastly out numbered them!

There's Gary's infantry charging down the Russian infantry below the Heights.

Then the second French Regiment of Infantry arrived. As they were over by me I took them over. I formed one battalion up in a skirmish line to hopefully take the heights and the other three in columns to advance rapidly and deal with the Russian infantry that had just arrived opposite and deal with any cavalry I didn't manage to scare off with my hussars.

The big mess in the west. Gary did charge and wipe out one Russian infantry battalion, and later took the guns on the hill.

More of the mess in the west.

More of my Infantry regiment advancing. In the back ground you can see My Hussars chasing off some of the Russians. In the initial contact I charged, his second regiment counter charged my flank. Somehow I managed to scare them off. Must have been the blue. I pursued one, and caused it to ride off the table. I continued my pursuit.

Three French infantrymen on a stand all alone on the left foreground in this picture are all that was left of the first battalion that tried to charge the Russian guns after the Russian guns got to fire case shot at them.

There is a messy cavalry battle going on in the background. I think, at this point, Mr. Millers cuirassiers are in the process of riding down my (originally GAry's) hussars. They pursued throught then into the French Cuirassiers and scatered them to the winds. Again pursuing through into a French infantry battalion which also was scattered. Things started falling apart for Gary at this point. Two Russian battalions carged a French infantry battalion and wiped them out. I think when we called it ther only thing left on the table on the west side of the hill was one French infantry battalion sitting on the west side of the hill (the ones that overran the Russian guns). Facing them were the Russian Cuirassiers, and maybe three Russian Infantry battalions. there were the french guns too, but they were feeling a little vulnerable...

On my side three of my battalions advanced in column, then line, opposite two Russian battalions opposite. Two formed square for a bit as the surviving Russian Cavalry regiment galloped past heading for the French guns to the rear. The infantry had just started giving fire when we called it.

The battalion I deployed as skirmishers had been highly successful however. They dashed across the open in their extended line, charged up the heights and through the woods. They took cover in those woods and brought fire upon the original Russian battalion, that had been parked on the eastern slopes, eventually whittling them down to nothing while suffering only two casualties themselves!

Fun game! Thanks to John for running it and thanks to Mr. MIller and Gary for coming out to play. For the next SHMW Game Night, two weeks from tonight (well... last night...) Gary will be running a WW2 east front scenario.

Feel free to post comments below...