Monday, 20 May 2013

Three, it's the magic number.

So Sheffield Triples was a fun and productive day out.  I'd gone with three main objectives, of which I managed to complete two.

First stop was Irregular Miniatures, where I procured two 54mm figures, one a 7 Years War officer, the other a Greek hoplite, for use as Victorian-era statuary.  The officer looks quite splendid atop the column I have, while I think the hoplite deserves a slightly lower plinth.

The second, secret objective was to call at Empress Miniatures and procure the Mutton Chop "Sidney 'Dirty Laugh' Cohen & Sidekick"
 Regular readers may remember that I run a  house rule that GASLIGHT characters for whom a custom figure has been explicitly painted or converted, do NOT die permanently on failing their last Save roll.  I did this mainly to preserve my mini alter-ego that I'd painstakingly converted, but left this retroactively open.  At the Battle of Aldershot, Mi Hermano Morituri Jonesy had lost his favourite GASLIGHT Main Character, Sir Roger d'Ars, modelled after Sid James. The above pack made a nice thank-you gift for driving us to the show, and hopefully we may see Sir Roger return to our games.

The third objective, visit the Black Pyramid stand and wobble my lower lip at the lack of Home Service Helmets, was thwarted by the big empty space where their stand ought to be.  Clearly I shouldn't have warned them I was coming.

Other things to see at the show - a fairly spectacular remote-controlled tank battle arena, with an adjacent trade stand selling the very reasonably priced tanks like hotcakes.  £60 for what looked like about 1/12 scale tanks, up to double that if you wanted a metal shell instead of plastic.  There were also a few old-school demonstration games, tying into the Little Wars anniversary. An 18th century game recreating the Battle of Plattsville using Don Featherstone's rules caught my eye, and we had a very pleasant chat with one of the fellows running it, discussing the merits of simple rules, toy soldier aesthetics and home cast figures. Jonesy obviously preached to him the merits of gaming with Lego, but meh, you can't take him anywhere!

I did call by Ironclad Miniatures stand, and lo and behold they didn't have the steam tanks I wanted with them but offered to post them on 'later in the week'.  Long term readers might recall a similar promise back in 2011, which turned into a month's wait with pretty poor communication from Ironclad.  Let's see if things have improved a little since then.

One other thing that struck me was how ubiquitous Zvezda kits are becoming.  They seem aimed at gamers, since unlike many other plastic kit manufacturers, they produce simple models in wargame scales (e.g. 1/100 for 15mm).  Every other stand seemed to have a dump basket full of the 15mm vehicle kits at £2.75-2.99 and either 4 for £10 or 5 for £12.75 offers.  They have me once again seriously considering 1938: A Very British Civil War in 15mm using the Portable Wargame rules.

I'm told that the show was quite busy Saturday, but on Sunday when we went, while there was a good crowd, it wasn't painfully packed out.  For the first time in a long while, I didn't have to fight my way through crowds to get to the Bring & Buy table, which made for a refreshing change.  Sadly there weren't any bargains there to tickle my fancy.

Anyway, 'twas a good day out indeed.

Today Jonesy and I played our first game of In Her Majesty's Name.  But that, as they say, is another story....


  1. And a story I look forward to hearing :)

  2. Part 1 My company was based on the British rifle company by way of Star Trek and Bond. So it was led by Commander James Markham, Captain with Inspirational, Duellist (Sabre) and Arc pistol for 76 pts; Sergeant “Jock” McDonald with Bayonet drill and Tough for 36 pts; Nurse Lizzie* Church with Martial artist for 18 pts and 5 Red shirt Marines with Bayonet drill for 24 pts apiece, a total of 250 pts exactly.
    The mission was rescue a VIP (an important scientist) on a 4’ by 4’ table, with my start point being 12” from the SW corner along the South side and DrV’s being 12” from the NE corner along the East side.
    So my plan was to split into 3 teams with Jock and 2 marines (Pvt Anders and Pvt Bromhead) heading for the building holding the scientist, Lizzie and 2 marines (Pvt Croker and Pvt Douglas) moving forward and setting themselves up on the roof of a Sarissa building to give covering fire, and finally Commander Markham and a marine (Pvt Everett) hooking round to the East and North to cover DrV’s exit point. Like any plan it failed when confronted by the enemy, DrV’s female sniper (based on the big game hunter + marksman – knife and pistol) nested up on another roof 30” away from Lizzie and proceed to drop one of her 2 marines every turn leaving Lizzie to patch them up with her actions, until they eventually failed their recovery pluck rolls. The Commander and Pvt Everett dealt with 2 ruffians before he charged after the sniper who had returned to street level , he made it half way (not being able to run from his medium armour) before being hit and having rolled a 1 for his pluck roll he knew no more. The sniper advanced forward to help secure the scientist and came in sight and range of the Pvt Everett, who fired, hit and took her out of the fight leaving her lying next to Commander Markham.

  3. Part 2 In the meantime Jock and Pvt Douglas waited outside the tenement while Pvt Croker secured the scientist and started escorting him to the exit point. DrV’s Ironman ponderously carried on advancing on the building ignoring the few hits it received. Now came my biggest mistake, I knew I would have to spend a shooting phase in sight and range of the sniper as I tried to get to my exit point, but knowing I was going to be hit I hesitated allowing both Mad Mick O’Hooligan to get into combat with Jock and Pvt Douglas, and the sniper to start advancing down the street, this hesitation allowed the Iron man to get into close combat and easily deal with Pvt Croker. In the meantime I was easily hitting Mick, but could not put him down as he kept making his pluck rolls, before disaster struck and Pvt Douglas fell in combat. With DrV himself having control of the scientist, and the only members of my company still standing being Jock, Lizzie and Pvt Everett, I was happy to call it there and congratulate my opponent for a well played, and deserved victory. After the ritual of shaking hands, we checked on the status of our fallen heroes with the resulting deaths of Pvt Anders and Pvt Douglas, while all the other casualties recovered. We did decide that there must be previous relationship between Commander Markham and the mystery sniper and after a die roll it was determined SHE left him at the alter, and we both look forward to further revelations in their relationship in further encounters between the 2 companies.

  4. Part 3 Overall this was a great fun game. A few points:
    As posted earlier we both prefer to hand wave the armour away and just call it defence, however I forgot a couple of times that as such Markham is unable to run (SRC = medium armour) so we are thinking what to do.(Sudden idea we could just raise cost of medium armour by 3 to compensate for running?)
    Speed at 1 pt per increase is possibly too cost effective, +1” movement AND +1 defence in melee makes it a no brainer if you are creating your own companies.
    The sniper at +5 SV, +3 for Hunting rifle, no modifiers for cover or shooting into combat and 36” range was awesome, but she was as bad (or good) in the earlier Flying Lead game she first appeared in.
    Page 63 Reference Sheet: under 4. Fighting it Says Roll 1d10 + SV + Weapon + other modifiers, it should be FV. Also personally I would add – opponents Speed.

    * A no-prise awarded to anybody who works out where the 2 names of the nurse come from, and who or what links the names of the marine privates.

  5. OI! Git yer own bleedin' blog! :-)

  6. Love the blog, one middle age gamer to another!

    Trying not to spam, but I am trying to spread the word. We have a project to produce pinup miniatures based on the art of Andrew Bawidamann and would love to have you let your readers know. Check it out if you like what you see, tell your readers and know we are thankful for the help. Contact us and I can send a full press kit with a release and some handy dandy graphics. Thanks! -Torin