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Monday, January 27, 2020

The Troglodytes of Mars

Thark Warriors engage the heavily armored Troglodytes of Mars.

From the Journals of Captain John Carter: My distant cousin Randolph Carter communicated to me in what seemed an almost telepathic way (which greatly surprised me as no Martian could penetrate my mental defenses) and directed me to where a discovered portal is, the ancient city of Kaldor. Kissing my princess good-bye, and accompanied by some mighty Thark warriors, we headed out to the unknown to face this deadly peril to both Earth and Mars . . .

Ancient Kaldor with the bubbling portal placed by the Ancient Ones.

 The starting point for John Carter and Company.

The evil Troglodytes of Mars defend the portal of the Ancient ones.

Now this was cool to his Boomer Dad as Honorable Son #5 (The Skirmisher) used is Apple 11 Iphone instead of a measuring tape to plan his moves. Here he is planning on having the troglodyte run (9 inches of movement) through the gate of the ruins.

The completed move.
Dang! Where did Carter come from? Yep, this here Southern Warlord can move.

The green Martians from the Thark Clan move rapidly across the dry and broken landscape.

John Carter, ex-Confederate Cavalry Captain, Prince of Helium, Jed of Thark and Warlord of Mars has outpaced his companions (as usual).

Let me introduce you to my little friend.

Volley fire from repeating crossbow fire makes one of the green martians look like a porcupine. Carter's Company is now down to 3 figures.

The troglodyte uses his shield to block Carter's long sword.

The Tharks scream their horrifying battle cries as they seek to avenge the loss of one of their own.

Of course they have a yeti.

Radium pistols consistently miss as the speedy Troglodytes outmaneuver the Green martians . . .

. . . but not so fast to be out of the reach of a powerful sword!

The other Troglodyte attempts to block with his shield . . .

. . . as he is cut down by the long sword of the vengeful Thark.

The second string back-up to the white apes of Mars does not last long against John Carter's sword.

The mysterious cloaked leader enters the fray as more troglodytes enter the fight.

"Ready to go again?"

He really did not stand a chance against the whirling dervish known as the Warlord of Mars.

The cloaked figure points his finger menacingly and a fire ball knocks down one of the Green Martians. Yep, radium pistols are still missing their targets.

Leaping back to his feet, the littlest troglodyte of them all is caught between the blades of two mighty green warriors.

John Carter leaps over the wall and expertly skewers the leader of the troglodytes.

Blades flash and strike as the troglodytes are cut down.

Cross bow bolts continue to rain down as the Green martians use the available cover.

Carter leaps to the top of the tower!

And is hit in the back by cross bow volley fire. He rolls a "one" for pluck, remembers he has the Fortitude Talent, and rolls another "one". Hmmm . . . maybe it's just a concussion since he can have the Immortal talent for campaign games.

The repeating crossbow volley fire tactic is quite successful.

I was down to one Thark, was satisfied with the play test and conceded the game to Honorable Son #5 (The Skirmisher). Okay, I was hungry too.

The surviving Troglodytes.

Just for fun we tried 2 against 3 . . .

The play test was a success as all of the figures, talents, moves, etc., played out in an exciting, Barsoomian style! Now I need to talk to my beautiful bride (The Chief of Staff and Minister of Finance) about expanding my Martian forces.


Thursday, January 23, 2020

Prelude: The Troglodytes of Mars

From the journal of Captain John Carter: I had long ago mastered the way to travel back and forth between Mars and Earth; therefore, I was surprised that my distant cousin Randolph Carter had also mastered this feat - but in a different way. He traveled in a mystical, almost ethereal manner using what he called the "Silver Key" . . .

Randolph Carter in an abandoned Martian City.

Randolph had come to warn me that not only was my native planet Earth in danger, but a deadly threat to the existent of Barsoom also existed. There were what Randolph described as horrible and evil inter-dimensional alien beings that were older than the most ancient of Martian civilizations. And they planned to remake the Solar System as their own. Randolph had discovered one of their gates in the ancient city of Kaldor, and the enemy was sending reinforcements to Earth . . . the Troglodytes of Mars!

 John Carter, ex-Confederate Cavalry Captain, Prince of Helium and the Warlord of Mars.

We were finally ready to do our play test of the John Carter Adventuring Company for In Her Majesty's Name. I re-read the first three volumes of Captain Carter's adventures on Barsoom and I wanted to reflect his prowess and abilities accurately for In Her Majesty's Name. On Mars John Carter is a force of nature, and I was concerned at 158 points he might be too powerful for skirmish game like this. But in reading the journals, there were numerous skirmishes that he was involved with, and not all of them did he win. So with the play test we decided on 250 point companies (which ended up being about 265 for each company). Since I didn't really have any other Martians we thought, "Why not put it in the context of the 'War of the Witches' and fight around the source of the Witch King's Troglodytes. So here is our play test!

 The ruins of Kaldor where a deadly portal from Mars to Earth exists.

John Carter's allies: Mighty Thark warriors.

 The evil Troglodytes of Mars. No, that is not the Witch King of Sokar - just a Trog leader. And yes that is a yeti because we have not figured out White Apes yet.

For the play test we decided on a simple scenario: Protect the portal (in other words it was really the Last Man standing scenario).

The entire battlefield.

Next Time in our Play Test we learn:

1. Wow. John Carter can jump.
2. Darn repeating crossbows.
3. Let's stick with the long swords instead of the radium pistols.
4. Why do I have to fight the Warlord of Mars by myself? 

Sunday, January 19, 2020

The Conclusion: Thugees and Tigers and Sikhs! Oh My! (Episode 6.1.4)

Where is Mowgli when you need him?

Here is where we are after 3 turns: 

The Sergeant's Three and Gunga Din have located the Mad Guru's hidden Thuggee Temple where they have found some "treasure" but are trapped in the tower. Subedar Bikram Singh, IOM and the 14th Sikh Special Action Company (SSAC) have been sent to rescue them. Needless to say, the Mad Guru is a bit put out that his secret temple and plans were discovered and is now attempting to destroy the Sergeant's Three, Gunga Din and the 14th SSAC. Oh . . . did I mention that the Chinese Si-Fan Tong under the leadership of Fu Manchu's daughter Fah Lo Suee also want the treasure and brought a tiger too? All sides have taken serious losses as we mourn SGT Cutter (whose heart is no longer in it), the mighty warrior Sardi who was beaten to a pulp by a Sikh Sapper and other supporting cast members.  And why is Fah Lo Suee hanging back (other than her lousy die rolls)? Let's conclude this 4 player game:

The 14th Sikhs continue to advance toward the Thugee Temple with hand to hand combat.

Subedar Bikram Singh, IOM, rushes to the aid of his arc gunner.

With the heart breaking death of Sergeant Cutter, the Sergeants Two rush the Mad Guru and completely ignore the treasure token.

Grab the treasure my loyal followers.

Snake? What snake?

Continuing to inspire the troops!

Another Thugee taken out by rifle fire.

Fah Lo Suee, with her Meticulous Planning talent moves SGT Mac out of the way.

And another one bites the dust.

Subedar Bikram Singh, IOM kills the endangered species.

Losses at the end of turn 4.

The Tong member grabs the treasure as SGT Ballantine engages the Mad Guru.

Mac is still kept at bay by Fah Lo Suee Meticulous planning and Unearthly Beauty.

These odds don't look good.

Polishing off the followers of the Mad Guru.

Where did everyone go?

The Mad Guru reaches for SGT Ballantine's heart . . .

Inspiring! Toot, toot a toot. SGT Ballentine hears the dirge played by Gunga Din for SGT Cutter.

Kapow! That's for Seargent Cutter. (Note the Tong member with the treasure token)

Another Sikh falls.

But revenge is swift as Havildar Japji Sahib takes out the thugee.

Only one left . . .

The 14th SSAC take care of business. The last of the Mad Guru's followers bite the dust!

Another agent of evil falls to the Khanda Sword of Justice.

Fah Lo Suee has the treasure and escapes.

Not a good turn 5 for two of our players; especially losing the Mad Guru.

Only one loss, but Fah Lo Suee and one Tong member got away with the treasure!

The surviving members of the Imperial Forces.

Now that was a great game of In Her Majesty's Name with four Adventuring companies and different objectives. Points were normal IHMN totals; 5 points for leaders, 2 points for other figures and 20 points for the treasure token. Here is the tally:

1. 14 SSAC: 30 points
2. The Sergeant's Three: 9 points
3. The Mad Guru: 17 points
4. Fah Lo Suee: 20 points

In other words: Good Guys 39, Bad Guys 37. What a close game!

 AFTER CREDITS SCENE: But who was the real winner?

"Well done daughter. Lo Pan has confirmed that the map hidden in the gold is the map that leads to the Sword of Genghis Khan. BWAH HAH HAH!"