Armoured Car: Ironclad Miniatures

| Monday, 20 October 2014 | 1 comments |
If you haven't seen them before, you'll enjoy Ironclad Miniatures's great range of VSF vehicles.  I tossed and turned for ages before settling on my initial (and I stress initial) purchase- the 3 wheeled Armoured Car to support my Royal Navy landing force.


 The vehicle comes in 5 parts - resin hull, turret and stack, and metal wheels x3 and the gun barrel.
All parts were cleanly cast and there was not pitting on the resin  A few small bubbles were quickly cleaned up with no damage to detail.

The model itself was very easy to assemble and paint, though I decided I wanted a more experimental look so replaced the stack with a taller one like an early coal fired warship, with a few supports welded on to help keep it place.

I high recommend this mode and the service I received from Ironclad Miniatures was outstanding.  I am ow umming and ahhing over what to get next...

Osprey's New Book - Steampunk Soldiers

| Friday, 17 October 2014 | 4 comments |
Osprey Publishing is releasing a new book in their Dark Osprey series in November. Steampunk Soldiers: Uniforms and Weapons From The Age of Steam.


I received a review copy a couple of weeks back and have just finished reading it. I must admit, when I first picked the book up I wasn't quite sure how much I would get out of it. At a quick flick through there's no denying that it is an attractive book. However, what use would it be to a wargamer, or roleplayer? Clearly, looking at the quality of the illustrations, as with the traditional historical Osprey range, there is plenty of inspiration for a figure sculptor but I am not planning to sculpt any more steampunk figures.

Still I dove into the book and found that it is well written and offers some fascinating ideas for new armies/companies, as well as giving some interesting scenario ideas. The book is written as a guide to the worlds military forces, with the fictional "author/artist" having toured the world and recorded his impressions of the various troops he has seen, both in paint and text.

The illustrations are beautiful and full of flavour. I would have liked to see some more strange and exotic steampunk outfits and equipment, several of the illustrations could easily be confused with historical pictures, however, the aim of the book has clearly been for a subtle deviation from history, at least in most instances.

The real joy of this book though is the text, it offers valuable ideas for new steampunk gaming scenarios, and for anyone who doesn't like the existing fluff from their own steampunk rules systems this will give you a great alternative, at least supplying plenty of alternative ideas to work with.

After finishing the book I have been left with an abiding desire to explore the world some more. I hope the book is successful enough for Osprey to commission a sequel that could possibly explore larger scale military equipment, vehicles, ships, space vessels and possibly even fortifications...


In Her Majesty's Name Gas Grenade Templates

| Thursday, 16 October 2014 | 3 comments |
I played my first game using my new Totenkopf Battalion company last week. It was the first time that any of us had used grenades, and as they use gas grenades a lot I didn't know what to expect. As it turns out they proved extremely effective and laid waste to Jeff's Scotland Yard company.

As I tossed the grenades around I placed a D10 at the impact point with the number of turns it would stay in effect on to. At the beginning of each turn I went around and reduced the turns left by one. It worked out fine, but it didn't really capture the feel of a field covered with swirling clouds of toxic gas. Also rolling D10s on the table while all the gas making D10s were lying around became a little confusing.

So over the last couple of days I have devised a template for use with the gas grenades.


I laser cut the basic disc to the size of the gas cloud and  engraved 1 to 10 on it. I also cut a 10 toothed gear in the middle. Then I added a second disc with a loop to show how many turns the gas has left.


I decided to use yellow and green light gathering acrylic as it  represented the sickly glow of the poison gas rather well. Also, at Del's suggestion I made a couple of the templates with three legs so that they could be placed over other terrain items.

Each turn it is just a case of lifting out the top disc and rotating it to show how many turns the gas has left.

A closer look at some Meridian Miniatures figures

| Friday, 26 September 2014 | 1 comments |
I recently finished assembling and painting a some Meridian Miniatures figures. I am using them in my In Her Majesty's Name game as Prussians, so I decided to use the bodies with long coats and a selection of the separate heads, all wearing variations on the classic Pickelhaube.

Firstly we have a selection of standard riflemen. There are a reasonable selection of poses, both active and standing, and the ability to position the heads gives some room for some variation too.The figure at the centre rear is actually the chaplain (carrying the book)


In these closer shots of some of the riflemen you can see the nice level of detail on the miniatures.


Moving on we have a variety of the weird weapons that could only appear in the steampunk genre. There are also a communications officer and an engineer lurking to the left and rear. I gave all these figures a slightly different head, using an upgraded gas-mask design, as I felt that specialists deserved slightly better equipment.


Taking a look at the communications officer, you can see the wonderfully weird design of his equipment.


Finally, the command section. In the middle we have the general, on the left an officer and on the right the medic.

 I am reasonably pleased with the paint job, it was a quick once over with various colours and then a couple of washes (one for the skin tone and then one all over...).

These figures were launched in a Kickstarter last year (2013), so it has only taken me a year to get around to painting them. I may be slightly quicker with the new Kickstarter that Meridian Miniatures are running at the moment, as these were a pleasure to paint.

Check out the new Kickstarter (it only has a couple of days to go), it has some very nice sculpts...



We live in…Savage Worlds!

| Monday, 1 September 2014 | 2 comments |
Product: Savage Worlds
Setting: Deadlands
Publisher: Pinnacle Entertainment Group, Inc. 

A Little History

We play the games that our friends play; its hard to play anything but MMORPG by yourself, after all. When I was living in Ohio, I was particularly fortunate that my friends had very open minds towards gaming, and while we all started out as a D&D group, we would frequently take breaks from our ongoing campaign to try out different game systems and settings. Among the games we played were Shadowrun, Call of Cthulhu (d20 version), UGHS (a system developed by my friend Darryl Nichols who passed away before it could be completed) and Peryton's WHAPS—a shameless plug since the publishers are friends of mine.

One of these various systems stood out as particularly friendly to our genre of Steampunk: Savage Worlds and its Deadlands setting.

About the System

Pinnacle claims that their system is Fast! Furious! Fun! When compared with other RPGs, the rule system is wonderfully simplified. For any task at hand, your Hero simply rolls a "Trait" die and (in addition to) a so-called "Wild Die" to determine success or failure. The Trait Die is variable (d4 to d12) depending on how many build points the player has assigned for that task; the Wild Die is always a d6. In essence, this allows heroes to roll twice to overcome any obstacle.

At the other end, the game master sets a value for success, which is called the Target Number. The Target Number starts at 4, although circumstances may increase that Target Number to reflect certain conditions: shooting an enemy requires a 4, but if the enemy has armor, cover, or modifications, the Target Number may become 6, 8 or higher depending on the specific modification and how many modifications there are.

Savage Worlds (which is the name of the system) allows for "exploding dice," which means that if you roll a six on a d6, you may roll it again. Thus, if you roll a 6, 6, and a 4 with your d6, you would score 16. Hopefully that's enough!

The rule system also provides for a bit of temporary luck called "bennies." Bennies—short for benefits—are chips that are cashed in to alter a particular outcome. Used to reroll a critical failure, for instance, could be the difference between life and death. But each player has a finite number of bennies to use in a session.

Although this is an abbreviated description of how the game is played, it should offer a glimpse into the relative ease that this system provides to both the player and to the game master. Setting up encounters is equally easy and quick to develop.

To go into a bit more detail, the system also provides mechanisms for combat, skills, advancement, magic, and role playing. Its a very flexible system with examples in the core book for a swords and sorcery setting to a futuristic adventure in space.

About the Setting

Pinnacle offers several settings for their system, although the system, as mentioned above, allows for creativity and the building of your own game world with relative ease. In the context of this blog, several settings could be appropriate for your gaming genre and style: Rippers; Space 1889Solomon Kane; Deadlands, which is reviewed below.

Deadlands is far and away the most successful product in Pinnacle's lineup. Originally a game system unto itself (Deadlands Classic), it provided the working basis for the Savage Worlds system. Since then, it has been reworked as Deadlands Reloaded (the setting under review), Deadlands Noir (1930s pulp), Deadlands: Hell on Earth (a dystopian future), and a line of novels. Reaper Miniatures even has a line of miniatures corresponding to specific characters in the official line of adventures. Clearly, this is a successful franchise for Pinnacle!

Get to the point already!

Deadlands is a Western setting in which the supernatural has arisen, fantastic gizmos utilizing Ghost Rock technology are common, and the dead sometimes walk again. The world is on the verge of apocalypse shortly after the American Civil War (circa 1880), and the heroes, armed with gatling guns, strange elixirs, and powerful—but potentially dangerous—weapons created by mad scientists do battle with various horrors as the game master sees fit to throw at them.

Pros

  • As a game system, Savage Worlds lives up to its claim: Fast! Furious! Fun!
  • As a game system, Savage Worlds is a very flexible set of rules that allows for quick and easy design of encounters and adventures.
  • Deadlands can be a very scary and exciting setting.
  • There are too many splat books to count if you'd like to expand upon options for Deadlands. Personally, not only do I have the Players Handbook and the GM guide (Marshall's Handbook), but also several of the canned adventure paths and books on encounter ideas—which are easy to toss into any adventure that you're running.
  • Reaper Mini has official figures; personally, I use my imagination for figures.

Cons

The biggest complaint that I have of this—and most gaming systems—is that it should have a better index. Rules on resolving attacks and injuries are in two separate chapters, and when players are trying to learn the game, the back-and-forth method of finding which rule covers which situation can bog down an exciting fight.

Epilogue

I would really love some feedback from those of you who read this blog. My personal experience is with old-school RPGs such as D&D (starting with AD&D through 4.0 and Pathfinder). I approach my articles from that point of view, but I would love to hear from other points of view as well. What games do you regularly play? What games have you tried? Do you prefer RPGs or are you more of a wargamer?

In so doing, you'll expand my horizons so that I can provide better articles to you, the reader.

Thanks!

-Ken

Postscript

Images liberally pilfered from Internet Archive Book Images.

Mounties to the Rescue!

| Monday, 18 August 2014 | 2 comments |
Pulp Figures by Bob Murch
Product: The Scarlet Patrol
Line: Yukon Menace: Northland Adventures
Manufacturer: Pulp Figures
Designer: Bob Murch
Where to buy: Pulp Figures

The Scenario

While running games, I frequently like to ask myself "What if…" questions. Which leads us to today's post.

Victorian Science Fiction as a genre often takes place in and around London or within Great Britain. Influential literature supports this assumption—from Bram Stoker's Dracula to Gordon Dahlquist's Glass Books of the Dream Eaters. A frequent visitor in this genre is, of course, is the local constabulary; the Metropolitan London Police and their ubiquitous "bobbies" make regular appearances to either save the day or to mess things up for our heroes.

But with Jack the Ripper, Moriarty, and Edward Hyde prowling the streets, London really must be a crowded place to do nefarious business. Move to Canada, of course! Natural resources, industry, railroads, gold…and Mounties. But do they always get their man?

If you're thinking that the Canadian Mounties are not Victorian enough, think again. Established in 1873 as the North West Mounted Police, by the 1890s the Baden-Powell styled Stetson was being introduced as a more practical alternative than the standard pith helmet normally used by cavalry units (Mounties, after all, were "mounted").

About the Figures

Three members of the Scarlet Patrol on stakeout!
Bob Murch is a relatively well known designer—having done a fair amount of work for RAFM in the past. He sculpted their Call of Cthulhu line, and won several awards in doing so.

Over all, his designs are sturdy and solid; while some sculptors excel at abundant detail (Werner Klocke being a good example), Murch amply demonstrates elegance in simplicity. The details that define each character at there; extraneous and distracting embellishments are not. Some of the other lines DO have substantial detail, but I will review those at a later time.

Pulp Figures are generally sold as units of five unique miniatures, each with its own personality, pose and style. Although designed for use in the Rugged Adventures RPG (free to download), these figures would be a great addition to any RPG in which North American character would be welcome.

Bob Murch's love of the Pulp genre and of gaming in its own right show through in each of his figures. Along with the standard pulp-style heroes and heroines, there are also plenty of military units to satisfy your next invasion of Istanbul with Rocket Troops.

Pros

Come out with your hands up!
(The house is Flying Tricycle, now defunct.)
  • Superb casting. One could almost start painting straight out of the mail.
  • Economical. At $15.50 per package (usually five miniatures), the cost is quite reasonable.
  • Personality. Personality goes a long way. From expressions to pose, each figure—despite the fact that each is part of a police unit—is completely different from another.

Cons

I've tried hard to find fault with anything from Pulp Figures. When I do, I'll post it here first, but in the meantime, be confident that you'll be getting first-rate service and products from Pulp Figures.
Looks like I forgot to paint a few! Fresh out of the package, these figures require very little prep work.

British Naval Brigade: Ironclad Miniatures

| Saturday, 16 August 2014 | 2 comments |
UK based Ironclad Miniatures makes a range of 28mm VSF figures.  In particular they have a great range of resin vehicles inkling submarine and aeronefs but more on those another time.

Today's review regards their British Naval Brigade Boarding Party figures.  These differ from other manufacturer's figures in that are heavily armoured - in steel plate carapaces and Ned Kelly style bucket helmets.  I think they look awesome!

There are 3 packs in the range, namely:

British Naval Brigade Boarding Party No.1: Four different figures equipped for close combat with pistols and cutlasses

British Naval Brigade Boarding Party No.2: Four different figures equipped for ranged combat with carbines

British Naval Brigade Boarding Party Command: Two stout looking leader types

I purchased a pack of each to give me a 10 man unit.  I like that all the poses are different and give good variety to the boarding party.  The figures were clean, crisp and easy to paint.  The nature of the armour means that there isn't a heap of detail on the figures, but neither is it needed.  I was very happy with how mine came out in winter blues styled uniforms, though the Ironclad site has some in tropical whites (pic at the bottom of the post).
Shortfalls: None other that there are no other figures available like support weapons.  The moustache on the Officer bugs me a little too, instead of a naval styled beard - but thats just me being pedantic!


If you are after something a little different for your Naval Brigades then I highly recommend these figures.
Party No2 from The Ironclad site here

Rise of the Automatons!

| Monday, 11 August 2014 | 0 comments |
Product: Automatons
Line: Secret Science and Victorian Science Fiction
Manufacturer: Parroom Station Miniatures
Designer: Robert N. "Bob" Charrette
Where to buy: Brigade Games

In keeping with the theme of reviewing miniatures, I would like to present a few automatons to tickle your imagination. Whether you are playing Victorian Science Fiction, Steampunk, or Pulp as your genre in whatever your favorite game system happens to be, I find—as a Game Master—that throwing an unexpected foe that doesn't look like something your players have encountered before is a marvellous way to provide a bit of shock value and sets them scrambling for solutions.

While there are many terrific foundries out there that provide affordable miniatures in volume, I would really like to showcase some of the smaller enterprises that produce some high-quality work. I hope that you can find a place at your table for these products and by doing so, encourage these and other designers and foundries to continue producing great products.

Backstory

Parroom Guardsman
Guardsman Automaton on strike-breaking duty
I wanted to introduce a new—to my friends—game system and setting; my friends are pretty much tied to the D&D/Pathfinder fantasy genre, whereas I'm not particularly dogmatic and I love trying new things. My experiment met with mixed results—I may review the setting and rule system in a future post—but I'm left with many great figures.

For the particular adventure that I ran, I needed several automatons in a few different configurations. For the standard sentries, I chose Parroom's Manikin Automatons and for the last battle, I chose Parroom's Guardsman Automaton.

Notes

Just a few thoughts and comments as to what I did and why. If you're curious, I used N-gauge railroad decals for numbers. Since automatons are mass-produced, each should have a serial number, right? Besides, I could never paint them as nicely.

Parroom Manikins
Parroom Manikins. Note the different heads and exhaust pipes.
I planned on using the Manikins in the Deadlands setting in which railroads often employ automatons as guards and sentries. With that in mind, I painted each of these with the idea that each should liveried and as railroad work equipment, each should look beaten to hell. After all, work train consists only appear shiny on the day they're delivered…after that, they rust, become dented, and lose paint here and there.

Each figure has a plain flat base. Using epoxy resin, I mounted each to a slotta base for stability and custom basing details.

Pros

  • This may seem like a minor issue, but these are all remarkably well cast. From the almost lack of flashing to the perfect alignment of the molds, the appearance is nearly flawless straight from the mail and these minis require only a minimal amount of prep work before painting.
  • The automaton figures from the Secret Science line (Manikins and Guardsman) also feature several heads and exhaust pipes to allow for a bit more customization. Of course, you could make all of them look the same if you desire, but sometimes competing railroad companies have their own standards and requirements.
  • Each figure has a great deal of personality, all the more impressive given their mechanical structure.
  • Manikins come in packs of five if you need to build a fireteam or a squad quickly.
  • Each figure is produced in white metal. Some may prefer resin or—Great Scott!—plastic, but in my mind metal is far preferable. Besides, using metal is in keeping with the Victorian theme; Wikipedia suggests that their use would be more appropriate in gaming applications set after 1936. At the very least.

Cons

Parroom Clockwork Soldier
Clockwork soldier with union organizer.
Honestly, there are so few cons that I had to scrape the bottom of the barrel for these. Take each with a grain of salt and a tongue in cheek.
  1. Gluing the smokestack exhausts was a pain in the neck when they did not stay in place. There's nothing more frustrating than gluing ones fingers together only to find that the little pipe falls right off of the figure and lands somewhere on the floor. Perhaps this speaks more to my technique and skill rather than the product itself. I'll let you know when my fingers separate…
  2. If you need it tomorrow, that's not going to happen. Lon at Brigade Games often does not have the parts in stock, which means that he needs to cast them the following weekend. On the other hand, he casts each of those figures just for me. ME! They're special, dammit!
In other words, there are no cons. 
Parrooms Automatons
Parroom's Automatons

Svarog Miniatures Bolshevik 800 Level

| Sunday, 10 August 2014 | 0 comments |
I recently spotted this figure. Looking at the rest of Svarog Miniatures range, it appears to be aimed more at the "Gothic Sci-Fi" market, but I think it has real potential for use in a Steampunk game...


Kickstarter Infantry Support Weapons

| Wednesday, 30 July 2014 | 1 comments |
Zinge Industries and Curious Constructs have partnered up to launch a Kickstarter campaign to produce a series of Support Weapons with a Steampunk flavour.


Well worth a look for anyone gaming on a bigger than skirmish scale, in fact even in skirmish games these pieces could make for some very nice table decoration and objectives...






Curmudgeon Reviews

| Tuesday, 29 July 2014 | 6 comments |
I was born in the White City, the City of Broad Shoulders, Hog Butcher to the World. Chicago’s fantastic growth from but a Midwestern swamp to the world’s greatest railroad hub, a sprawling metropolis of over a million residents by the time of the World’s Columbian exposition of 1893 epitomizes the Steampunk genre, particularly one set within the United States.

All told, I lived 36 years in what later became the Rust Belt—a memorialized region built on the coal, steel, steam, and industry of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Today, much of the region from Pittsburgh and Rochester to Milwaukee and St. Louis lies in abandoned ruins, scarcely recollected monuments to that former glory of progress, industry, and optimism.

It was these roots that probably led me down the rabbit hole into Steampunk.


What is Steampunk anyway?

We all know what steampunk is right? and when it took place?

If you have your own definition already, then you may be sorely disappointed with my personal definitions, which I generally keep fairly loose and broad. I’m not a particularly dogmatic person to begin with, and my contributions will reflect my personal sensibilities. I’ll back up my beliefs and opinions based on my sense of history (my BA degree), geography (my profession is cartography), and technology.

To me, Steampunk reflects the age from about 1860 to very roughly 1925. The American Civil War was the mother of invention for many of the marvelous devices and weapons that make up the Steampunk world. In 1863, Jules Verne—the father of science fiction—wrote “Paris in the Twentieth Century,” one of the first science fiction stories. That war brought about many technological advancements from the gatling gun to the gun turret. Photography and the telegraphy, inventions from the previous 20-odd years, became widespread in a way that could not be imagined prior to the war. I probably won’t receive very many arguments regarding this date.

But the 1920s?

World War I is rightfully the end of the steampunk era. It was the time when the horrors of technological advancement replaced the optimism that technology represented. Mustard gas, the Paris Gun, tanks, Zeppelins and airplanes became the reality that steampunk era hoped for. It was the end of empires, the end of innocence, and the end of imperialist expansion.

The Russian Civil War (1918–1922) was the last conflict in which cavalry played a major role, and much of it was fought along isolated railroad lines through the expansive taiga. Following in the footsteps of Burton, Speke, Livingston, and Stanley, Percey Fawcett was the last of the great Victorian explorers; he disappeared in the Amazonian jungle in 1925. And while H.P. Lovecraft was finally starting to write his best known works in the 1920s, they often reflected the more innocent times before the Great War.

BORING! What about gaming?

Unlike my co-contributors, I don’t play IHMS. Frankly, there are so many other systems that I just haven’t wandered into that realm. Not that I won't. I just haven't up to this point.

Fear not, however. My experience is a bit more old-school. I’ve tried to adapt Deadlands (with the newer Savage Worlds system) into a more Steampunk setting and I hope to do the same with D&D 3.5/Pathfinder rules. As long as I find victims…er…willing participants, I’ll try almost any game system, and I’ll be happy to report it here.

But what I really love are the miniatures themselves. North Star, publisher of IHMS, has a number of very fine miniatures. But there are numerous other foundries out there that produce terrific minis that perhaps you might not have heard of. I hope to expand the horizons of what is possible instead of simply illustrating what is. Given my background, most of what I intend on reporting upon will be about 28mm (25-32mm…because I'm not dogmatic!) and suitable for individual RPG rather than armies vs. armies.

Lastly, while there are many systems and minis that I would love to cover, every thing that I’ll report on will be with a budget in mind. Come September, I will be entering graduate school here in Maine, and my playtime budget isn’t where I’d like it to be. Unless a generous manufacturer chooses to share their wares, I will necessarily be forced to report on what I can afford. That might even suit most of you, the readers of this blog. That will also limit the game systems that I will be able to report on as well.

Unlike Paul, I don't know French. I can't offer a White Wine Sauce, but I do enjoy a good ale. I hope you'll all enjoy what I present.

auf Wiederspielen,
-Ken GroƟ


Reviewed in a White Wine Sauce

| Saturday, 26 July 2014 | 1 comments |
Erudite followers of the Steampunk Miniatures Review will have noted David's recent request for additional contributors.  I have answered his Call to Arms and have now joined the team.  Thus I thought it timely for an introductory post.


I have my own VSF themed blog, Yours in a White White Sauce, which has been running since early 2006.  My interests have historically run along the smaller scales of VSF gaming such as 2mm/6mm, but not exclusively, and I have co-authored a few VSF gaming titles.  I am also a book lover and have a number of period alternate history literature as well as more modern VSF themed novels in my library.  At the moment most of my VSF gaming is centred around the fun In Her Majesty's Name rules, for which I have a number of companies in 28mm...and more I'd like to make of course!  But I have a few other projects in the pipeline too...

So overall, I think my interests are both sufficiently similar and different enough to provide content here which I hope others will find of interest.

Votre dans une sauce au vin blanc!
Paul



Help Wanted!

| Tuesday, 22 July 2014 | 0 comments |
Ok, so regular followers of this blog will have noticed that I haven't posted very regularly for some time. Work commitments and other projects that I am involved with have impacted on my blogging time.

I am still playing steampunk games, and collecting the miniatures, but to be honest I don't get anywhere near enough time to spend on them. Consequently I can't offer fair reviews of rules as I struggle to get time to play IHMN, let alone any of the other systems out there...

So, I am putting out a request to anyone who would like to become a regular contributor to the blog. I am looking for one or two bloggers who can help me keep the momentum, by reviewing steampunk and VSF rules and figures. I would be happy to see the occasional review of non-gaming related steampunk items too such as book and films etc. as long as they offer some kind of inspiration to the Steampunk/VSF gamer.

I can't promise vast amounts of glory, I would just like the blog to be the go to place for any gaming related Steampunk news and reviews!

If you are interested in joining the Steampunk Miniatures Review team, please drop me an email at ironmammoth (AT) gmail (DOT) com.


In Her Majesty’s Name Game 2!

| Thursday, 3 July 2014 | 0 comments |
After last weeks learning game, we were ready to try a one on one game with a proper random scenario.
I have rejigged my Company (now titled Charles Farthingworth and the Angels of Islington, along with the pet gorilla Bosley) for this weeks game. Reduced the points on my robot and added a 6th member. An 8pt Soft Contractor (the most basic character I can add). As well as adding an extra pistol to my company she brings with her some Mystical Powers, being able to shoot through cover, and also treating all her attacks as poisoned.
The table was fairly full of terrain, although very different from last week. Running through the middle of the table there was a river. The river had three crossing points, a ford and two foot bridges.
IHMN game 2 - 00
The scenario that we rolled up was Catch the Pigeon. This caught us somewhat be surprise, but Del came to the rescue. As he uses mainly Malifaux figures, he happened to have three clockwork birds, nicely painted and ready to go, so we picked one and placed it in the middle of the table. Jeff was acting as referee for the game so he did assumed control of the pigeons movements.
IHMN game 2 - 01
Del and I started in opposing corners and spent the first couple of turns running towards the pigeon. The table we use is 3’ x 5’, the rules recommend a 3’ x3’ table, so to save time next time we may well just us the the 3’ square…
I reached the pigeon first, with two of my figures, but it managed to evade capture and escaped to the top of a wall. At this point I felt that Del’s company was getting a little close, so I charged my gorilla at them, this scared one off and I persued him into the middle of his company.
IHMN game 2 - 02
Del did manage to get one figure past and was close to the pigeon, so I sent the robot in to deal with her.
IHMN game 2 - 03
The robot scored a hit on Del’s figure, but unfortunately for me she had the Numb ability, which meant she was able to ignore the first wound. When she attacked back my robot was eviscerated… Del mobbed up against my gorilla and managed to take him out as well…
IHMN game 2 - 04
This left my party looking very outnumbered. Del shot the pigeon, which landed at my feet. If I had won the initiative on the next turn I may well have been able to scrape a victory, but Del got it (again) and rather than watch my last two figures being ripped to shreds I conceded defeat.
Another good learning session and I think I am about ready to redesign my company from the ground up… I originally designed the robot just to get used to the point construction system. It worked well, but I feel that I need a few more bodies in my company rather than having mainly high cost members, who can still be killed fairly easily…
With the holiday season coming on, it is unlikely that we will get another game for around three weeks. This will give me time to re-do my company, and possibly prepare my alternative (a Prussian force).

Our first game of In Her Majesty’s Name

| Thursday, 26 June 2014 | 1 comments |
I finally got to play a game of In Her Majesty’s Name last night and I must say it was great fun…
This was our table set up.
IHMN Game 1 - 01
The scenario: A scientist working in a lab in the centre of Kew Gardens, has developed a rapid growth elixir. Several foreign powers have shown an interest in getting hold of it. A troop of suspicious circus performers have been asking to many questions about the gardens! The winner would be the company that managed to get the scientist (hidden in the large pump building at the back of the table) off of either the front or a side edge of the table…
IHMN Game 1 - 03
There were three of us playing. I was playing a British Secret Service Grey Section company (with a few special tweaks). Del had his circus performers (mainly Malifaux with a few Warmachine figures mixed through), and Jeff was using the North Star Scotland Yard set. Del was trying kidnap the scientist, Jeff’s Scotland Yard were trying to rescue him, and my orders (come down from the Ministry) were to destroy the secret formula and make sure that no-one could produce it again…
My company was made up of only 5 figures. Probably not a great idea, but as this was our first try out session… From left to right we have Colonel Plum, a well travelled extremely skilled gunfighter. During her days in Africa she adopted a baby gorilla, which has grown to be her constant companion  (Colonel Plum is the Guild of Harmony miniature – Zara Craft, the gorilla is the West Wind Productions Circ du Noir Man Ape). In the middle we have a Guard Robot and the Grey section Quartermaster, who is running this experiment droid to see if it has practical uses (both Wolsung Miniatures, Alice Tinkerly and Security Golem), finally we have the Watch Commander (West Wind Productions Professor Erazmus)
IHMN Game 1 - 02
Unfortunately I didn’t take mug shots of the other companies, so you will have to make do with another shot of the table set up…
IHMN Game 1 - 04
As line of site is quite important to the game I dug out the gamin periscope that I made a few years ago, and also my laser pointer (cat teaser).
IHMN Game 1 - 05
Initial set up was fairly straight forward. Del at the top of the table and Jeff and I opposite each other.
IHMN Game 1 - 06
The game started and Del advanced his Circus Company along the table. I responded by sending Colonel Plum and her Gorilla in to slow them down. Unfortunately, I didn’t charge them with the great ape (I should have run, oh well I’ll know next time), stopping 3 inches in front of them this made something of a good target for the circus folk to use to practice their trick shots…
IHMN Game 1 - 07
Colonel Plum, using more discretion lurked in cover (we had decided that all vegetation stands were counted as dense jungle, so she benefited from a 3 point cover bonus. From here she started a very effect series of shots that wittled down the dastardly enemy.
IHMN Game 1 - 08
Jeff split his Scotland Yard company and sent most of them to deal with the circus folk, while the rest advanced on the scientist. Del continued to advance up the middle of the table.
IHMN Game 1 - 09
I sent my Guard robot out to take a central stand and block further advances. However Del had a Marksman with a hunting rifle and she managed to take down the robot. This meant that I had to get my quartermaster into contact with the prone machine so that she could attempt to us her Engineer skills and effect a repair next turn…
IHMN Game 1 - 10
While all this was going on, my watch commander was making his way around the back of the building to try to deal with the scientist, before his secrets could be revealed.
IHMN Game 1 - 11
The circus company finally encountered the forces of Scotland Yard, in the middle of the table. This lead to quite a lot of hand to hand fighting and there were several casualties on both sides.
IHMN Game 1 - 12
My watch commander got half way up the stairs (denoted by the orange running counter) when he spotted a police officer at the top. This could not be allowed to proceed, so he made his way to the top of the stairs, where after a short tussle, the noble police constable took out my watch commander.
IHMN Game 1 - 13
In the middle of the table, my quartermaster managed to repair the robot, and as he stood up he took another shot to the head and was finished off this time.
IHMN Game 1 - 14
At this point we had to call a halt to the proceedings as we all had work the following morning. We decided that as Jeff had several figures in close proximity to the scientist he had the best chance of winning, so we declared it his game. To be honest, this session was all about getting our heads around the rules rather than anything else. We are happy that we have done that, and next week I will be taking on Del’s Circus company in a one to one encounter.
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