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Thursday, 25 January 2018

The Planter's Wife - The Kidnapping

Bryan - we are all thinking of you.

It's raining again here so I'm setting this game in sunny Africa to cheer everyone up, and while doing it the sun has come out, hurrah.

I posted this game on LAF in Feb last year so I apologise if you read it then but if you did - go to the bottom of the post because that is the main reason for me posting this game now.

Life was good for Patricia Cholmley-Smythe, she was married to a successful planter, living in a pleasant part of Africa, it was hot but there was plenty of shade from the big trees surrounding the property, she had servants to look after her, a big raw boned hound called Bruno who watched over her and a husband who was successful, wealthy, and devoted, an ideal life in every way.

What could possibly go wrong!!!!

There had been rumours that the Arabs were becoming more active in the slave trade but this was quite a long way to the north, and anyway they were not trading in white slaves, they were not going to run the risk of antagonising the British or Germans or even the Belgians.

The setting is Banrock Station; a plantation in Africa, there is no overall view of the station, due to the ineptitude of the official cameraman, you will not be suprised to hear he was sacked shortly after the incident. The station comprises 3 main buildings, the Cook House is on the eastern side of the clearing, right hand side, the workers quarters are on the West, left and the main bungalow to the south, in the foreground.

These are the occupants in and around the station at the time of the incident. The Planter and his chums have gone out shooting and will be back later.

From left to right Patricia his wife, Tang Xiao Peng the Chinese cook, Ato the boy, Jaques the man servant, Rakia the Indian maid, Henry Wyncham a chum and Khatiti the cooks assistant.

These are the native warriors (would be slavers) led by the chiefs daughter Jemila. As scary a looking bunch as you're likely to find. except Jemila of course.

Turn 1
The natives enter on the left of the table, Jemila splits them in to two groups, the far one is to make a sweep around through the sheep pens to the north, past the red pickup and block any escape down the road which leads to the nearest town, 70 miles away. The main group led by her is going straight for the Bungalow, where they expect to find the white woman who will make them rich, if she is not there then they will search the station until they find her.

The encounter tokens are green pennies. The nearest one is in amongst the pine cones; I mean Boa and Palm trees.

Unfortunately for Jemela the 1st encounter turned out to be Henry Wyncham who was the only effective opposition to the raid. As the warriors emerged from the bush they both took an insight test, Henry won and pulled his pistol to snap fire at the enemy, for surely that is who they must be, spears, shields and mischief in their eyes, yes - they are the enemy.

His pistol goes ‘click’, there is an ominous silence and then a low sound ‘bugger, bugger, bugger’ as ‘H’ realises that he did not load his pistol last night because of the revelry, the wine, the port, the whiskey, ahh the whiskey, Bunahaibahn, the most glorious malt in the world, mmm he could still smell it, and taste it, or was that fear! Bugger, bugger, bugger, there was that low moan again. Jemila’s warriors were so startled by the warrior in the blue coat, chanting his war cry, ‘bugger, bugger, bugger’ that they halted, failed reaction test and gave ‘H’ the moment he needed.

Turn 3
The moment went on a little longer as they both failed to activate on the next turn, ‘H’ was getting a little worried by this time, he could see at least 5 evil looking faces staring out at him from the undergrowth and one rather nice one, Jemila, but she also had a very sharp looking spear in her shapely hand.

Turn 4
Henry has an empty gun; Patricia needs protection, time to go. An English Gentleman does not run from his enemies and so this was a strategic retreat to the bungalow where he knew there were a couple of shotguns, a very large Elephant gun as well as a couple of pistols, hopefully loaded this time.

Henry runs, I mean retreats into the bungalow in the immediate foreground, closely followed by the locals.

He ran past the maid, shouting for her to shut and bolt the door and went with all haste into the study, pulling the shot gun off the wall, checked and thanked his god that it was loaded. The natives ran into the yard, Jemila gives quick orders to her men, sending 2 to the workers hut (on the left), 2 to the cook house (on the right) and the rest with her to the bungalow.

They failed their fast move and so this gave ‘H’ the breathing space he needed.

The bungalow’s interior is missing and wrong scale – sorry, so this plan will have to do. It’s only a game after all. :-)

Kiambu was 1st through the door into the bungalow, the poor Indian maid hadn't had time to shut this after Henry the whirlwind had passed through, she screamed as Kiambu hit her with the side of his hand, she fell, striking her head on the door post and was unconscious (OOF) before hitting the floor.

Note the encounter markers, a target rich environment I think it is called.

Turn 5
Henry picks up a box of cartridges and hearing the maids scream steps back into the main living room and mindful of the fact it is a double barrel shot gun fires the right hand barrel at Kiambu, hits him and the Impact of the weapon is 2 – dice roll 2 Kiambu is dead before he can blink. The rest of Jemila’s group halt outside the bungalow, they failed receiving fire, man down tests, one or the other, can’t remember which. It did not seem a terribly good idea to go rushing into a small house with an angry Englishman blasting away with a shotgun. They were proved right.

Bomani and Okang charge into the cook house, Tang Xiao Peng the Chinese cook is alert and waiting with his meat cleaver at the ready, as a Rep 3 character I had not expected him to hang around but he surprised me by killing Bomani dead in the 1st round of combat.

Okang fails his man down test and retires back into the yard.

The 3 guys in the sheep fold find Bruno, or rather he finds them and attacks, he has not read the rules, and shield and spear armed warriors are more dangerous than the local postman, he takes a wound and is OOF. Or should that be WOOF.

Mbiya and Karanja rush into the workers hut and find it empty. 1st none event.

Okang stamps his foot in frustration, who would have thought a cook could be so fearsome, and a Chinese cook at that. He’s obviously not seen any Jackie Chan films recently, anyway he fails to activate as does Jemila’s men, she is hanging around on the veranda and the others are fearful of more body parts coming flying through the door, theirs if they enter.
Mbiya and Karanja rush across the yard and discover bales of food, not the would be white slave woman, but at least we will have full bellies tonight they think. The dog killers come into the yard and discover a load of ivory, all crated up by the Red Pickup. Henry loads his pistol and waits for the onslaught.

Tang, with time on his hands does something stupid, what can that be, oh I know he thinks, I’ll go outside, leave the safety of my cook house and see what is happening in the world.

Turn 7
The dog killers charge towards Tang and he promptly runs away. Wise man.

Jemila finally plucks up courage and charges through the door only to receive the left hand barrel of the shotgun and drops dead on the floor. H passes 2D and reloads this move, “bring it on”. Or should that be “top hole old thing”, whatever, he is ready and confident that the next one through the door will ‘make his day’.

Turn 8
All warriors inactive, Henry waits.

Turn 9
3 of the warriors pull a barrel over to the window of the dining room and as there is no one in the room, (2nd none event) they climb in, the last man by mistake knocks the barrel over, they are trapped and will have to go through the door into the sitting room where that devil ‘H’ is waiting patiently. The dog killers search the cook house and find Ato hiding under some sacks. The 2 men who were with Jemila contemplate what they will tell the Chief when he asks after his daughter, not a pleasant thought, they are inactive.

Turn 10
All inactive, except H who waits.

Turn 11
Mbiya opens the door to the sitting room, Henry passes insight test and fires 1 barrel, knocks Mbiya down but fails to hurt him. Mbiya shouts to the other 2 in the room to kill the white dog, but they think, bugger that for a game of cowboys, i.e., they fail their receive fire test (the big 12 bore strikes again) and hide behind the door, the others fail to activate.

Turn 12
Jemilas men still thinking what to tell the chief, Mbiya stands up, H shoots him with the other barrel but misses, whupps.

Turn 13
Henry passes 2D and loads the shotgun immediately, this is a good job because everyone charges him, Mbiya gets the 1st barrel and dies quickly, he had lived a charmed life up until now, Babu coming in from the veranda gets the 2nd barrel which knocks him back through the door. Mbiyas group duck back but Idi pushes past Babu and stabs at Henry, who turns the shot gun around and uses it like a club, after a long drawn out fight they both take a breather.

Babu stands up and Idi continues fight with Henry, big mistake, H clubs him down and another one bites the dust.

2 of the dog killers group climb into the bed room, no one there, (3rd non event)

Turn 15
All the warriors pass morale for man down but only Babu activates and charges. Henry has miraculously not broken the Purdy shotgun, yet again he passes 2D to load and fire in 1 go and blasts both barrels at Babu. I think he must have either been getting a little jittery and pulled both triggers or he was so confident that he would be able to load quickly again that he did not care. Good job he fired twice because the 1st shot missed, probably a bit rushed, however the 2nd shot did the trick and Babu went down OOF.

Turn 16
Everyone stunned by the noise of both barrels and failed to activate.

Turn 17
Henry recovered 1st and loaded both barrels, he was right to be confident, natives failed to activate.

Turn 18
The guys who had broken in to the bedroom finally managed to build up their courage and charge Henry who only passed 1D and they were on him before he could get off a shot, having killed 4 and OOF a 5th he must have been getting tired by now. Jojo gets a lucky break and stabs Henry in the side, he goes down OOF but what a hero, Jojo respects that he has beaten a great warrior and does not take revenge for his fallen comrades and the Chiefs daughter by killing him while defenceless, this may be a mistake, who know what the Chief will think, a quick salute with his spear to the fallen hero is all he can manage, Okang who was following Jojo nips into the 2nd bedroom, no one there, (4th Non event)

Planter and chums arrive on the table.

Turn 19
Planter and chums fail to activate, Jojo enters last bedroom, gold dust there is Patricia Cholmley Smythe, the prize, she is unarmed, I needed 70% for her to have a pistol and threw 74%, no luck there, the fight is fierce but short and he wins Patricia is knocked down and they have their prize, let’s get out of here shouts Karanja who is outside guarding the boy, he can see the planter in the distance, we are with you replies Jojo and they pick up the wounded Babu, the Indian Maid and Patricia and set off for their village.

The bad guys make their escape with a rather wild eyed Rakia, must still be stunned from the blow to the head. Nothing to do with the painting.

This really is a disaster for the natives 5 dead including Jemela the Chiefs daughter and 1 wounded, they did achieve their objective which was kidnapping P C-S to be sold to the Arabs for a slave but the price agreed is not going to cover the head price on the lost warriors.

This scenario was intended to be an introductory scene to a chase across Africa with the planter trying to get his wife back.

It should have been a walk over, 11 native warriors against Henry Wyncham and Patricia Cholmley-Smythe supported by a cook and servant who both only had a small chance of fighting, and not doing it well even if they did.

Henry or ‘H’ as he became known, turned it into Rorkes Drift, I don’t ever remember rooting for a little lead man so hard before.

Will the Planter call on his chums and give chase; of course he will. No one would leave a good looking woman like Patricia Cholmley-Smythe in the hands of slavers. There is revenge to be extracted, and honour to be saved.

Will Henry recover quickly enough to help with the rescue or will he and Bruno have to stay behind.

Please note, although 3 of the warriors were known as the dog killers, no animals were actually harmed in the making of this film.

A final look at Henry the Hero, with the enemies he defeated.

Animal Alert
I am in the process of buying and painting animals to use in various settings but principally Western and Ice Age games and having spent a small fortune at Christmas I came across these in B and M a discount store.

This is the Safari set, you get 4 of each animal all the same pose for £3.99, scale is a little loose depending on how picky you are but this is my opinion.
The Moose left is just about right as is the bear depending on which bear. The tiger which I've painted as a cave lion is probably a bit big but cave lions and American lions were bigger than today's African lion. The Lion is too big but I painted it as a test for the tigers. The zebra which I painted as an ancient horse, can't spell it's name off the top is a little big but ok. the ape unfortunately does not have a gorilla's head or it would be spot on.
At the back the unpainted ones are a bit more off scale, the cheetah is way too big to use and is going to a charity shop. the elephant is fine for a calf, I'm not sure about the rhino camel, hippo and giraffe but as I am using these for the ice age and things were a little different then - before global warming.

I have 16 animals that I'm very happy with, plus 24 may be ok at a stretch and 4 that are useless, so my cost per good animal is 25p each. I paid £4.00 for 1 bear in lead.

Having the lion and bear nearer toi the camera has distorted their size a bit - sorry.

I'm not sure Tumak fancies his chances!!
Cave lions I think were about 2.1m long exc tail Tumak would be apx 1.7m high.

These are from the farm animal set, again 4 of each and far fewer usable figures, the goat on the left is a stand in for a female moose, but I'm going to have to use my imagination, quite a lot. If anyone knows of another animal it might stand in for I would like to know.
The 2 different sorts of cows are stand in Aurochs or cows depending on setting, and the horse is a horse for western games. The rest of the stuff is hopeless for scale but if you have kids they will like them, mine again are going to the charity shop.
There is no hair texture at all on the cows and horses but there is for most other animals.

So realistically you have 8 cows and 4 horses so £0.33 each, I bought 8 cows for £14.00 at Xmas, £1:75 each which I thought was a bargain!

The 3 animals in the front are the ones out of the box, they are not bigger it's just the photo but I put this on so you can see how they come, please don't tell me they are better than my re-paint jobs.

Frank this is for you, it shows the desk and the black backdrop. Hope it doesn't spoil the illusion too much. Yes I do need 4 lamps or a very steady hand to get the photo's, I live in an old cottage with small windows and not a lot of natural light.

Well that's all.

If there's anybody out there please let me know and if you are still here - Thanks for reading.

Friday, 19 January 2018

The Adventures of Becky - The Mean Streets of Penrith


The first episode in the Adventures of Becky, following her father’s footsteps into unknown perils, and so on to Penrith, that well known haunt of sheep rustlers, jay walkers and even after hours drinkers.

Complying with her father’s wishes Becky catches the train to Penrith to try and find George Phelpps and collect her father’s legacy, but this is no ordinary legacy, and will lead her into considerable danger. The 1st post setting the background is here http://vagabondswargamingblog.blogspot.co.uk/2018/01/the-adventures-of-becky-red-jade-budha.html

This is a re-post of the 1st part of  Becky’s story that I posted on the LAF back in  Jan 2016 so if you saw it then I would advise you to continue reading, because if your memory is anything like mine you will have forgotten it all by now...

Before I start this post I just want to thank you guy's who have been so welcoming into the blogosphere Martin, Frank, Bryan, Roy, Greg, d.G.G. Idle, Joe, Doug, Mark, A.B. and Unknown!!!!

When I knew I would have regular internet and the time to be able to follow some of the new (to me) Blogs that I had come across, as well as old ones I knew, it seemed the right time to start my own Blog, My intent was just to put all my game reports in one place and have a place to get notifications of your new posts at the same time.

The thing I hadn't even considered was that there would be dialogue - contact with like minded mad beings and as a solo wargamer I am finding that invigorating, instructive, interesting, and enjoyable.

So I suppose that's it - THANKS

Game Conditions

If you are not interested in this go straight to the start of the game at the 1st Photo.

Becky arrives in Penrith, a rough market town in the north of England and has to work her way from the train station to the local Post Office where she hopes to get the address and directions to George Phelpps house, there are a number of encounters on the way down the board which if friendly enough may also have this information but may not be all they seem. 

Possible Encounters

There are 10 encounter markers on the table, using a shuffled pack of 10 playing cards that corresponds to the following:-

Ace - Meet a biker gang, Roll 1d6 = 1 to 6 members, Roll a 2nd D6 and a roll of 1 = Friendly will help if asked. 2 = Friendly but will not help. 3 = Neutral with no help. 4 = Unfriendly and no help. 5 = Unfriendly and will attack. 6 = Very Unfriendly and will attack.

2 – Have a run in with a drunk, Roll 1D6 and 1 = amorous. 2 = noisy. 3/4 = Aggressive. 5/6 = Very Aggressive, and calls on 1 to 3 other drunks to help. To do what I hadn’t decided.

3 – Meet local gang, Roll 1/2D6 to give 1 to 3 members, 1 = Friendly and will help if asked. 2 = Friendly but no help. 3 = Neutral and no help. 4 = Unfriendly and no help. 5 = Unfriendly and will attack. 6 = Very Unfriendly and will attack.

4 – Meet local Law, Roll 1/2D6 to give 1, 2, 3 officers, pass Charisma roll to avoid confrontation.

5 – Nothing happens

6 – Meet a little old lady who tells her where George lives.

7 – Find local post office who tells her where George lives.

8 – Nothing happens

9 – Meet George, who takes her home and gives her Henrys books and papers on the Red Jade Buddha, although he does not know what they are because they are wrapped and sealed with a wax seal.

10 – Nothing happens

For each encounter roll yet another D6 to see if they are in the pay of Count Jacques Spaarks and if so they will inform him as soon as possible.
On a dice roll of 1/2 they are good citizens and speak to no one. 3/4, they will pass on information to anyone who asks but do not work for the Count. 5/6 they are actually in the pay of Count Jacques Spaarks and will inform him of the encounter as soon as possible.

The Game

Overview of Penrith town centre, Becky has to traverse down the road from the near to the far side, the final building on the right hand is the post office.

Penrith’s High Street, the encounter markers are the small pieces of card marked 1.

At the far end of town the Oriental couple are outside the post office. Augustus Dingle on the left has just staggered out of the hotel bar, he needs that umbrella, not for the rain but to keep himself upright as the pavement seems to be moving under his feet.
Sidney the portly gentleman is closely examining a very nice Alfa Romeo, I’m not sure if it’s his or he is looking to steal it. We may find out later.
Slightly out of focus in the centre (Augustus is my usual camera man) are a couple of local land owners and a rather disreputable looking seafarer.

A nice moody shot of them.

Enough of this artistic stuff, down to business - here’s Becky walking down the High Street, you can just make out the 1st card encounter marker in front of her.

It turns out to be a rough looking biker, Fat Willie, there could have been up to 6 bikers so a good result for Becky with a 1 thrown. She asks him if he knows of a George Phelpps in town but although he is friendly enough, her long blond hair probably helped here, he says he doesn’t know of the man but gives her directions to the post office which is only just down the street.

There is another encounter marker across the street and she sashays over to it, watched by most of the townsfolk.

This turns out to be a mean mother of a gangsta. Hummm shouldn’t that be a mean mother's son of a gangsta, or should it be a mother's son and a mean gangsta. Well you get the drift.

Everyone is watching intently, Big Willie hasn’t taken his eyes off Becky, I wonder why.
Rufus ‘Bling’ King has been having a very intense conversation with Amelia Frost the local historian about Celtic remains found just beyond the town. No - not really he is the only supplier of weed in Penrith and her local dealer.

Becky approaches him and naively asks the same question, soon everyone will know the stranger in town is looking for George Phelpps, Rufus is helpful. Yes I know of Phelpps and he gives her directions to get there. As she is a young woman she listens to what he says and has no trouble in finding the house.
Of course if she had been me she would have glazed over the moment he started speaking, nodded a few times out of politeness and gone off, striding out purposefully but actually none the wiser where she should go.
Well that’s what my wife thinks is the difference between men and women when asking directions. I know better, there’s no way in hell that a man would ask directions in the 1st place.

Becky striding down the road towards George’s house, she does seem to be turning heads, even Sidney has stopped admiring the Alfa.

Sorry but I had to include this shot of Augustus with his monocle popping out of his eye.

George is pleased to meets her once he has verified that she is indeed Henry’s daughter and invites her to stay overnight but she has booked the night train to Inverness in Scotland to meet up with her school friend Roxanne. They have a brief conversation about her father and George gives her the package he has been keeping for Henry.
Becky then makes her way back to the train station and heads north.

Unbeknown to her, asking complete strangers on the street where George Phelpps lives has triggered alarms and one of the men was actually in the pay of Count Jaques to keep an eye on George in case anyone came asking for him. This will probably have repercussions.
The 1st Encounter has gone well for Becky, she is armed and has Henry’s notebook, she has already made contact with Roxanne and Gabrielle and they will meet to discuss her father’s strange letter and see what if anything they should do about it.

The game was quite short the two encounters she had were the most dangerous ones, bikers and gangstas but she was lucky to throw the right dice at the right time and not get into any trouble, which really satisfied my criteria for the game. On to the next scene.

If there's anybody out there please let me know and if you are still here - Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

The Uranium Handoff - A Game of Two Parts

Two suitcases of enriched uranium have been stolen by an international criminal, Alexandria Lorne and are to be handed over to the buyer Joe "Boss" Cotton. Each suitcase contains 7Kg of enriched uranium, shielded by a steel pipe with a lead lining, dangerous stuff, but very profitable.

This is the industrial area downtown, there's not much happening on a Sunday morning at 6:00 am and that’s just how Alexandria and Boss Cotton want it.

Alex was the driving force behind an international gang of thieves, it was said that if you wanted it badly enough and had the money, she could ‘obtain’ it.
This wasn’t altogether true, she had turned down jobs in the past but not many, if the price was right she would steal it.

It was rumoured that a rich Russian Oligarch wanted Big Ben, not just the clock but the whole damn bell tower. She had been tempted although there were quite a few logistical problems that needed to be worked out. Unfortunately he came up short with the deposit, her fee was too high even for a Russian Billionaire, however depleted uranium, well that was no problem for the right price.

Joe Cotton was known far and wide as ‘Boss’ Cotton and he had the right money. He was a middleman with no morals and world wide contacts with some very insalubrious characters. If there was profit in it, little risk or hard work then he’s your man. He had a cash buyer paying 50% up front for the uranium, this was good business for him, what did he care how they would use it.

The Game then is simply a meet between these two gangs and an exchange of uranium for cash.

Unbeknown to the two principals there was an informer in one of the organisations and the security services have sent in a crack team of marines, led by Jethroe a freelance expert in these situations. I was taking the part of Jethroe with the object of stopping the handover, retaking the 2 suitcases of uranium carried by Alexandria's gang and arresting or stopping with appropriate force (shooting dead sounds about right) the criminals.

The rest of the characters were dice driven.

The Scenario Mechanics

The next section details the game encounter system, if you are in a hurry or not interested, skip to the next picture and the start of the game.

In this game I used encounter tokens spread randomly around the board, when one is ‘discovered’ I turn over a card from a standard deck of cards, this then relates to a specific Encounter, pretty standard stuff. In this game the encounter deck was 13 cards representing :-

Ace = Alexandria, if this is drawn before the Jennifer card, then all 5 gang members are together, if it is drawn after the Jennifer card then it is the remainder of the gang. There are 5 members of the gang including Alex and Jennifer.

2 = Jennifer Ryan – Alexandria’s 2nd in command she will have 1 or 2 henchmen with her if drawn before Alexandria, if the Ace has already been drawn this represents nothing.

3 = Joe ‘Boss’ Cotton and 2 henchmen.

4 = A stray dog, roll 1d6 and a result of 1,2,3 = dog ignores it's discoverer, 4,5 it barks and moves away, 6 it barks and stays with it's discoverer, continuing to bark.

5 = Jack Handsome an independent character.

6 = Chardonnet an independent good time girl on her way home after a night on the town.

7 = Charlene and 0,1,or 2 Gangsta’s looking to roll some passer by.

8 = A woman? In a Birka with a child.

9 = A TV Crew who will want to film any action.

10 = An aggressive dog roll 1d6 a result of 1,2,3 it barks and stays with it's discoverer, 4,5,6 attacks it's discoverer.

Jack, Queen and King = nothing.

The hand over is due to take place in the bar at the centre of the board, once the game starts all the encounter tokens will move randomly but not away from the table centre, the intention is that they will gravitate to the bar.

In addition there are 3 roving PEF’s, (Possible Enemy Forces)

There is an encounter rating for the area of 3, so when a PEF is revealed (sighted) I roll 1d6 and a roll of 3 or less means something is actually there, if roll is achieved then a 2nd roll 1d6, with the result as follows :-

1- 2 it is a group of Boss Cottons thugs between 2 to 4 of them.

3- 4 it is Tiny and Dan Barry, both part of the Marine squad, they had got separated from the main group.

5- 6 it is the Yakuza, between 1 and 6 of them who will try and take the Uranium from whoever has it at the time.

If shooting starts, the encounter rating is increased by 1 to 4 so a roll of 4 or less reveals a live PEF, each time a PEF is revealed not to be real, the encounter rating is increased by 1 so eventually one or more of them will be real.

The PEF’s move in a more coordinated manner towards the bar or the sound of gunfire.

Each turn, each group, encounter marker or PEF rolls for activation against a required score, and does not move without meeting it.

The Marine fire teams start to move on turn 1 and everything else starts to move on turn 4, so potentially I had 3 turns to get into position and out of sight before anyone else moves. To make it more interesting I decided they would actually start 1d6 from turn 1 and each team would roll separately.

When shooting starts Alexandria will contact Jennifer by phone and the thieves will leave the area with the rest of the gang. They still have the product and can rearrange to sell it, but take no unnecessary risks, be smart.

When the shooting starts the Boss will forget about buying the uranium if it appears to be getting away from him and take it however he can. Greedy and stupid.

When shooting starts the PEF’s will move towards it or the uranium if that is known.

When shooting starts the Marines will do as I decide (or not) or as the dice roll.


My plan was to split my force into 2 teams, entering from the north, the 1st team of 3 men coming down the NE side taking cover from the wall by the road and then taking up a covering position by the cross roads where they can see the front of the bar and anyone approaching up the road from the SE.
The 2nd team of 2 men were to come fast down the road from the N and enter the Building through the back door and move to the front to observe the bar and see anyone approaching up the road from the SW. I thought both approaches would get my men into position fast with the maximum amount of cover. They would then have good angles of observation on the door to the bar, there was only the 1 door, no back entrance.

Here are a couple of shots to get the feel for the board.

Ok on with the game. Text relating to the pictures is below the pic, I know that is probably obvious to you but I get confused reading other peoples reports and keep scrolling back and forth before I get it. Probably old age and too much wine! Is it possible to have too much wine?

Turn 1 I rolled to see when my teams would arrive, Jethroes team got a 2 and Bryces team arrived on turn 4, bummer, same time as everyone else starts to activate, I'm not expecting to surprise anyone now.

Turn 2 Jethroes team moved along the hedge.

Turn 3 Ditto and took up firing position by the cross road.

Turn 4 Hopefully you can see Jethroes team on the top right of the picture by the cross road. At this point everyone else starts and I placed all the encounter counters, they are the green dots, and the very indistinct white rectangles are the PEF’s.

Note the encounter markers on the yellow van and in the building that the 2nd fire team are to occupy, looks like trouble straight away, hope it’s nothing too serious.

Jethroe could see 1 encounter marker and a Queen was the 1st card drawn – false alarm, nothing there.

Turn 4 the 2nd fire team have made their move down the road and are just about to enter the building. I resolved the encounter in the van, an Ace, that was Alexander and all her team. Bryce and Danielle the Marines both failed to see the guys in the van, some crack Marines they are.

This is how they were sat in the van, They all passed their Insight tests and would either fire or snapfire depending on the roll, I decided the 3 guys on the left could all fire and 1 from the right. With much shattering of glass they opened up on the Marines, Bryce was hit twice and Danielle once but all hits were fatal.

Two dead Marines.

Hells teeth, the jobs blown shouts Alex to her crew - lets get out of here.

Hells teeth the jobs blown shouts Jethroe (Me) - lets see what is happening.

Hells teeth the jobs blown shouts Joe Cotton – where is my uranium.

Turn 5
No Picture – Alex starts van. Jethroe takes stock of the situation, thinks what the gun shots might mean and twiddles his thumbs – he failed to activate.

Turn 6
Alex sets the van in motion, driving carefully, so as not to attract too much attention. The missing glass on one side of the van and lots of gunfire might have been a bit of a giveaway but hey ho.

Driving down the road south out of town she sees 1 PEF which turns out to be Boss Cottons thugs, 4 of them, also a number of encounter markers – Chardonett, with the long blonde hair, a lady in a birka with a child and across the road Charlene and Rufus the gangstas ( you can see Rufus and also Charlene's base) A nice tight shot by the cameraman, many more like this and he gets replaced.

Everyone takes an insight test as soon as they see each other, deciding what to do. Everyone except the thugs decided in view of the shooting that it would be better to be out of the way and so duck back off the road into the best cover they could find.

The thugs decided to stand their ground. At this point I thought that the thugs might recognise Alex and so rolled against their Intelligence factor, they needed low to pass and threw double 6, obviously this must mean they are going to do something stupid, draw their guns and open fire seemed stupid enough.

Alex also took the test and got carry on, so seeing them start to draw guns she accelerated straight at them, hummm good I thought I can test the ‘run them over’ rules.

This started a general firefight as the van came fast down the road.

Shots were fired, guns jammed, gangstas jumped out of the way of the speeding van, the windscreen shattered, Alex kept herself and the van under control and nobody got hurt in the filming of this movie. Well apart from the forces of good - and I don't think they count.

A couple of other encounter markers were revealed as Alex sped past. An angry dog, he tried to bite the tyres but was too slow, and Joe Cotton himself emerged from the hut, top left in the picture. He was apoplectic, first at his men for shooting at the uranium and I suppose Alex, and then at Alex because she didn't stop, just kept on driving.

Still on turn 6, another PEF was revealed to be a gang of Yakuzas, they saw Jethroe (the one without a beret), still behind the wall and opened fire first, Jethroes team duck down out of sight. Real tough cookies these Marines are turning out to be.

Turn 7
No picture but Alex and the van drove off the board headed south, followed quickly by ‘Boss’ Cotton and his men. The Yakuza realizing the prize was gone also pulled out, and eventually the marines popped their heads up and there was nobody there.

It all went wrong from the beginning, I got soundly whooped by a set of pre determined random encounters but at least the uranium didn't get passed over so there may be another chance for Jethroe to redeem the situation, I hope the informant stays safe.

Most of my games are run solo, I never have any disagreements with my opponent over rule interpretation, the objectives, how long we game for and if  I’ve had a good time so has my opponent. I use 2 Hour Wargames – Chain Reaction Free Rules, I have modified them to suit me and I think they give a brilliant solo game. The reaction test system they use means that the unexpected happens a lot, if you come under fire your little lead men will often hide, may run away or could surprise you and return fire.

Characters have a Reputation score and most tests involve rolling d6 under this score to achieve a positive result. I have extended this to include other character aspects, the obvious being shooting, fighting, intelligence, bravery, strength, constitution etc the only characteristic that I use that I think is unusual is Affinity.
This basically is a score of 1 – 6 and so if the character wants to do a bad deed they have to roll over this score and if they wish to do a good deed they have to roll under it. I started an All Things Zombie campaign recently and my hero (Captain H - Me) had a knife. On meeting his 1st Zombie, I rolled on his affinity to see if he would draw a knife on someone who might just be a drunk, his affinity score was 5 a good guy and I threw a 4 and so of course he did not draw the knife, the Zombie promptly killed and ate him on turn 3 of my campaign, an example of the unexpected and in this case very disappointing things that can happen.

If there's anybody out there please let me know and if you are still here - Thanks for reading.