Saturday, 11 May 2013

All the small things...

The glimmerings of inspiration are returning.  I've just spent a rather enjoyable afternoon pottering in the Man-Cave digging out lots of bits & pieces and getting superglue all over my fingers (and occasionally some on the models I'm trying to assemble)

I've trimmed and assembled the three Vezdekhod tankettes I bought last year from Tobsen, an absurdly quirky little vehicle made all the more ridiculous by the fact that it really existed (albeit only a pre-production prototype that didn't entirely work.  They'll make a nice kick start for the Russian VSF army that's languishing primed and ready to go on the shelves of the man-cave.  I also dug out the four GI Joe mole tank toys that I picked up from the bargain shelf last year and started work on converting them in earnest.  They won't require much work - some filling of holes and cracks and a paint job should have them ready to join the Evil Genius faction.  Finally I dug out the two Games Workshop Leman Russ tanks awaiting conversion into heavy British landships.  One will need to be as close as possible to the existing two vehicles I've converted, but the fourth will be going into Imperial German service as a Beutepanzer, following its capture at the Battle of Aldershot back in March of last year.  I'm taking the opportunity of tweaking the conversion a little, with Maxim-style machine guns instead of the Gatling style I usually prefer.  I believe that the real-world Imperial German army did much the same in WWI, re-arming captured Mk IV tanks with their own weapons.

I guess this renewed enthusiasm for VSF comes from the flurry of new products released for this "period" in the last month.  Sarissa have finally put the new Gaslamp Alley buildings on their website, and they are absolutely luverly.  As soon as I have the disposable income to afford them, they shall be mine, huzzah!

There's also a Kickstarter just been launched for a very interesting VSF (technically Edwardian SF) game called All Quiet on the Martian Front. This game posits the return of HG Wells's Martians in 1910, and has a rather nice selection of tripods and Weird War One tanks to play with.  Sadly for me, the game is in 15mm, two years after I made the decision to switch to 28mm for VSF (and promptly gave away all my 15mm VSF bits) and I'm dashed if I'm going to u-turn now. (Not to mention my current struggles with 15mm in other periods)

One new product that I have managed to budget for is the new "In Her Majesty's Name" ruleset from Osprey.  As a refreshing change from the expensive hardbacks that seem to dominate the hobby these days, IHMN is a very reasonable £11.95 for a print copy or £9.95 for a PDF.  I haven't properly digested the rules yet, but at first glance it looks like a well produced book and I've generally been impressed by Craig Cartmell's other rulesets so I have high hopes.

One thing that did catch my eye was a subsection of the "pre-game" section of the rules.  I'm going to risk courting the wrath of the copyright police and quote it wholesale here, citing fair use for review purposes and... well... frankly if I hadn't been inclined to by the rules before, seeing this section would have clinched the deal for me.

Each player should shake hands with each other player at the beginning and end of each game. A firm grip while wishing your opponents the best of luck is considered most acceptable. This may seem strange but it establishes that this is a game for Gentlemen and Ladies, not scoundrels and yahoos.
This is only a game, and although having a certain level of passion is all well and good, intemperate language or behaviour is not the mark of a Gentleman or Lady. Such phrases as ‘Hear, hear!’, ‘Bravo Sir!’, ‘Play up, play up, play the game!’, ‘Tally ho!’ and ‘You are a dastardly fellow!’ are perhaps the limit we aspire to achieve.  If one cannot do this then perhaps less port should be consumed before the game?
Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men. If there is a rule in this book that you and your comrades in arms do not like, or does not fit the scenario you are currently playing, then change it to suit. However, do not do so unless everyone who is playing agrees to the change.
If you encounter a situation in the game in which the rules don’t seem to work and common sense seems to be in short supply, roll 1d10 and give an even chance to each possible outcome. After the game, discuss the situation further and come a mutually acceptable ruling.
This game is an evening’s entertainment, not planning for the invasion of a foreign power. You should carry out your actions with a certain boldness so as not to delay the actions of your companions.

Now is that, or is that not, simply the most splendid thing you have ever seen in a set of wargames rules?


  1. The Vezdekhod look a quirky beast, almost SF in the hull shape. Should make a good addition to a VSF force. I agree totally with the Golden Rules on Courtesy, and I'm glad to say my club follows them.

  2. Splendid indeed!
    (easier when one plays solo, like myself, but a worthy set of guidelines for any refined gamer.)