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Saturday, June 30, 2018

2018 Second Quarter Update

At the end of the Second Quarter here is the 2018 plan update:

1. Two units of Scottish infantry for the English Civil War.  They will portray both Covenanters and Royalists for Montrose's army.  All my English Civil War forces are based for Victory Without Quarter which I think are the best ECW rules out there and they are absolutely free.  They are currently on the back burner but by golly, I will get them done!  At least some tartan got painted!

2. Two units of Scottish cavalry that will both Covenanters and Royalists.  When the infantry is done.

3. One Scottish artillery gun.  Sometime this year?

4. French Foreign Legion company for In Her Majesty's NameDone!  Huzzah!

5. Sky Pirates company for In Her Majesty's NameAnother triumph and complete.  Now all they need is a ship . . .

Bonus Material:

In addition I completed my class for Middle School and High School Students using the book One Hour Wargames:

I also painted some figures for auction on eBay:

The Sultanate of Zanzibar

The Kingdom of Ngoni

French Foreign Legion in White Fatigues

The Legion in mixed dress

Perry Miniatures Afghan Tribesmen

Perry Miniatures Naval Brigade

German African Expedition

The Great Expedition

Ladies of Adventure

Another Expedition?

World War II German Jaegers

 . . . and some Japanese.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

IHMN: The Hidden Kingdom of Natagala

After discussing low tech companies for In Her Majesty's Name, a friend of mine asked me to republish this post from 4/11/17:

In 1890 the famous Professor George Nightengale accidentally discovered the Hidden Kingdom of Natagala.  Our hero journeyed up to the big curve in the Merowe river that flowed out of Batal Colony and then west into the Great Desert, where he eventually found a rich, primitive culture in a hidden valley on the other side of the Great Desert; the Kingdom of Natagala. Professor Nightengale theorizes that the Natagala are related ethnically to the Matabele and Zulus.

The meeting of Professor Nightengale and King Mehluli.

With war having broken out in Chaimbelastan and unrest in neighboring Batal Colony, it is unknown what impact the Natagala Kingdom may have on current events. Though long isolated, they are a vibrant and rich kingdom that is starting to adopt and use modern technology.  The backbone of the kingdom are it's fierce and formidable warriors - and the occasional witch doctor doesn't hurt either.

 Natagala warband on the move.

Name: King Mehluli
Pluck: 2+
Leadership: +3
Speed: +2
Fighting Value: +4
Shooting Value: +1
Talents: Inspirational, Fearless, Tough, Lightning Draw
Basic Equipment: The Royal Staff of Big Whopping (2 handed) +3 Weapon Bonus and -2 Pluck Penalty; Fighting Knife +1 Weapon Bonus and -1 Pluck Penalty
Armor: The Necklace of the Panther (12)
Cost: 91 points
 King Mehluli, his royal bodyguard Lindani and Ntando of the High Temple.  Note the Royal Staff of Big Whopping carried by the king.

Name: Lindani of the Royal Watch
Pluck: 3+
Leadership: 0
Speed: +2
Fighting Value: +3
Shooting Value: +2
Talents: Tough, Fanatic, Fearless
Basic Equipment: Shield, spear, club
Armor: 8
Cost: 45 points

Ntando of the High Temple.

Name: Ntando of the High Temple
Pluck: 4+
Leadership: +1
Speed: +2
Fighting Value: +2
Shooting Value: +1
Talents: Up to 30 points of Mystical powers and up to 2 additional talents
Basic Equipment: Spear and fighting knife
Armor: 9
Cost: 20+ points
 Warriors of the Royal Regiment.

Name: Royal Regiment Warriors
Pluck: 3+
Speed: +2
Fighting Value: +3
Shooting Value: +1
Talents: Tough
Basic Equipment: Shield, spear and club
Armor: 8
Cost: 29 points
 Married Warriors.

Name: Married Warriors
Pluck: 4+
Speed: +2
Fighting Value: +2
Shooting Value: +1
Basic Equipment: Shield, spear and club
Armor: 8
Cost: 17 points

Unmarried Warriors.

Name: Unmarried Warriors
Pluck: 5+
Speed: +2
Fighting Value: +2
Shooting Value: 0
Basic Equipment: Shield, spear and club
Armor: 8
Cost: 14 points
Natagalan musketeers and adventurers.

Name: Musketeers
Pluck: 5+
Speed: +2
Fighting Value: +2
Shooting Value: 0
Basic Equipment: Muzzle loading musket, one can upgrade to military rifle (+ 3 points), fighting knife
Armor: 8
Cost: 14 points

Saturday, June 23, 2018

IHMN: So you have a low tech Army?

 In Her Majesty's Name is one of the most versatile and innovative rules out there in miniature gaming land. Though designed for Victorian Sci-Fi it works equally well for purely historical skrimish scenarios of the late 19th or early 20th Century.

 British Infantry company for a 2nd Afghan War scenario and not a Mystical Power in sight.

 In Her Majesty's Name was published on May 20, 2013 and I was one of the gaming geeks that pre-ordered; not only the printed version but also the electronic version for my tablet.  After 5 years of gaming and devising my own companies for In Her Majesty's Name I wanted to pass on some lesson's learned especially in fielding what may appear to the casual observer a low tech army. I'm not going to comment on the Supplement Gothic yet as we have not played enough scenarios with it but . . . look out for those cursed weapons!

At first low tech companies look like they were going to be overwhelmed by Arc Rifles, Steam Fists, modern rifles and other scientific marvels of the late 19th Century.  But a low-tech army has some unique strategies that can frustrate the most high tech and well trained company the 19th century has to offer:

1. Numbers.  Generally with a low tech army (Natives, Dervishes, Swords and Shields, etc.) the points costs for your rank and file tend to be low.  Your advantage is Fighting and there is nothing like mobbing or outnumbering that 120 point figure with 4 of your own and taking him out.  In addition, if the super character is knocked down you gain a bonus of +2 on future attacks.  Also if he tries to disengage from a fight, it is -1 for each figure he is fighting.

 Mahdists breaking into the British square at the Battle of Abu Klea on 17th January 1885.

2. Run as much as you can.  There is nothing for me more frustrating than trying to take out these sword and speared armed warriors with disciplined firing when they are running.  By virture of them running (think Kipling's Fuzzy Wuzzy and they broke a British Square) the shooting penalty is -3; and if you moved more than 3" tack on another -4 to that die rule.  Volley fire can be effective to counter, but you only hit one figure and there are a gazillion more coming at you!

 All of the figures were running and only one was killed; the rest made it to the barricade for hand to hand in the Fighting Phase.

3. Shields.  Get a shield!  It adds +1 to your armor.  That extra +1 can really make a difference.

 Shield armed, running Waziri tribesman get ready to overwhelm an Imperial Chinese soldier.

German Imperial Marines are desperately trying to hold on against overwhelming numbers.

4. Talents.  Depending on the amount of points agreed to in your game the following Talents are useful for low tech companies and/or key figures in your company: Beserker, Fanatic (personal favorite), Numb, Skirmisher, Stealthy, Terrifying, Meticulous Planning and Tough.  The leadership of your force should be at least a +2 Leader though I recommend a +3 and give them as a minimum the Inspirational talent.

  Running Shield armed natives with the Stealthy Talent are attempting to overwhelm the Explorer's Club.

Terrifying and a Beserker.  Check.

5. Mystical Powers.  Whether they be a dread overlord, witch doctor or shaman, Mystical Powers can greatly enhance your low tech company.  The power that has frustrated our "modern" companies the most is Water Bullets which adds +2 to Pluck rolls against bullet hits until one of them is taken out of the game by a bullet.  Other useful Mystical Powers for low tech companies are Dragon Breath, Harden, Mesmerism, , Spitfire, Strengthen and True Grit.

 The Witch Doctor uses a Mystical Power against the Explorer's Club.

Did someone say they needed Water Bullets? 

Have no fear!  A low tech Adventuring Company is here - boy are they ever!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

IHMN: To Trap a King

Captain's Log October 26th, 1894.  Soon my crew and myself will jump by luft harness from the HMS Swordfish onto the mysterious island of Astragard.  I have familiarized myself with the files provided by Doctor Watson on this "Witch King" and have planned appropriately. Our species can only survive if we have obstacles to overcome. Without them to strengthen us, we will weaken and die. I will stop this obstacle. Sometimes a feeling is all we humans have to go on . . .

Captain J. T. Kirk and the crew of the damaged USS Audacity.

The Witch King is still on the island of Astragard but has not found the mystical Spear of Odin and has decided to return to his foul secret hideout through use of a Way Point.  Unfortunately for the Witch King, Engineer Jack "The Kid" Prescott and Aviatrix (Helmsman) Fia O'Sullivan have dropped by luft harness right on top of the Way Point.

 This jurry-rigging bomb won't last for long!

Aye, the hagis is in the fire now for sure!

Honorable Son #5 (BWAH HAH HAH) and myself decided to play a 300 point game using the Witch King of Sokur versus the Airship Pirates of Captain J. T. Kirk.  Since we still had the village of Børglum on the table we decided to use the same terrain but to play the Breakthrough scenario from In Her Majesty's Name. 


We decided on a 12 turn game (hey I wake up early and have to work!) and the Witch King and/or minions must escape to the other edge of the table before overwhelming reinforcements show up from the warriors of Astragard.

Note:  I do not know what I was doing with my camera but these are possibly the fuzziest shots I have ever taken.  Be forewarned!

New Die!

The Troglodytes are led by the Destroyer through Børglum.

Left to Right:  Crewman Aiden O'Sullivan, Crewman Felicity Gimble and Number 1 block the bridge.  Number 1 has the Meticulous Planning talent which comes in very handy in keeping the Witch King out of most of the fight.

The rest of the crew, led by Captain Kirk outflank the putrid minions of the Witch King.

 Another view as they move to the right flank.
 Lieutenant Rupert Scrivner, late of Her Majesty's Royal Marines takes up an excellent position for cross fire . . .

The Witch King is moved by the Meticulous planing skill away from the crew. 
Cover and firing positions will be key early in the game. 
 The Blocking force.

 Crewman Giles "If it was good enough for my pappy it's good enough for me" Oldershaw Smith charges into the fray.  At 18 points he is technically the weakest crewman.

 "Feel the wrath of the Destroyer!!!"
 Special Agent George Curtis, US Secret Service, defends against 2 of the troglodytes.

 "Keep moving!"
 The blocking force continues to fight the Destroyer.
Crewman  O'Sullivan kills one of the Ruga-ruga guard from the high point of the bridge with his radium rifle.  Most importantly it breaks the "Water bullets" spell that the Witch King had cast earlier.

 Number 1 moves the Witch King into the ruined building.
And they will be fighting in the streets.

Number 1 is knocked down by the destroyer.

 The Witch King, who is really put off by not being in the fight, makes his move and starts to move toward Captain Kirk.

 Nothing like a good radium pistol shot to knock down a Witch King!

Number 1 successfully gets up and Gunner Joachim Ziemssan nails a troglodyte with his radium rifle.

 SA Curtis falls to the blades of the troglodytes . . . 
 . . . while Crewman Smith kills a troglodyte with his handy saber.

 The Witch King successfully gets up and engages Kirk in hand to hand combat.  Of course Kirk does a body roll and avoids the first swing of the cursed blade after missing with his radium pistol.

The Destroyer overcomes Number 1.

Smith is attacked by two of the Witch Kings minions and kills another troglodyte. "Yeah", Smith muses, "these troglodytes were much tougher in the old days."

 In a dastardly move, a troglodyte sneaks up on Kirk and klunks him on the head. (Yep, rolled a 1 for pluck!)
 O'Sullivan is knocked down by one of the Ruga-ruga guard.  Events are starting to go the Witch King's way.
Gunner Ziemssan also falls to the Destroyer as Crewman Gimble is the only one left blocking the enemy from getting to the other side.

 A Ruga-ruga guard falls to Lieutenant Scrivners radium rifle.

 Smith kills another enemy!  Is there nothing that can stop this geriatric warrior of a man?

 The enemy attacks Lieutenant Scrivners.

 Another view.
"You shall not pass" yells Crewman Gimble as she repeatedly fires her radium pistol.

 "What's that noise I hear behind me?"

 Time is up for the Witch King as the warriors of Astragard advance in overwhelming force.

 Doctor Watson arrives just in time to save Kirk.

Another great game and the Airship pirates held up suprisingly well against the Witch King.  Kudos to the Meticulous Planning talent which kept the Witch King out of most of the game.  The other hero was Crewman Smith who at 18 points was amazing with the Grumbling talent (Erudite Wit) cutting down foe after foe with his saber.  Now that the Witch King is trapped, what next?  And whatever happened to Professor Nightengale?