Sunday, 15 March 2020

As one Project Ends....


Moving on...



I have had a LOT of fun with the "Not North West Frontier" project and can see that this will come out to play again, as well as providing thoughts on other movie-themed games (a list is already bubbling away in my butterfly mind).
The PDF of the rules I used for the Journey is available on the Solo Wargames With Miniatures Facebook group or if you send me a request via "comment" (which I will not publish) with an e-mail address I'll send a copy.



If I'd had more time the rules would be shorter and I'd have done a QRS but they work for me. I used my "House Rues" for the on-table shooting. Nothing fancy.


Putting this together reminded me of MacDonald-Fraser's short story "Night Run to Palestine" train from the McAuslan stories, about another OIC train.... Totally recommended reading...





NOT I hasten to add, an inspiration for another solo venture - rules for a junior officer coping with possible terrorists while overseeing choleric Colonels, Flighty WAAFS, military prisoners and babies emitting noxious substances from both ends would test even my rule-jigging patience....Before I put the Station table away I had a couple of quick games to work on my "Colonial Skirmish" house rules using bods from my old "Sanders of the River" campaign (pics).. I really need to revive that sometime.....











While doing so I realised I needed to put together some unobtrusive markers for Pinning and Morale.
For my Ancient and medieval games I use ikkle spears, shields and bodies (pic) as morale markers (I like my markers to blend with the scene a bit) but was stuck for more modern stuff..





Have thus been messing with twigs and coloured  "tufts" from the
excellent "Boontown Metals" scenics range....





.....and scratchbuilt "pinned" markers (Hollywood style bullet puffs).





Both seem to work, but watch this space...

I note that Blogger is being ridiculously unstable this morning, so apologise for what appear to be unchangeable font variations and spacing above..

The next couple of weeks may prove problematic, with all hands to the pumps at work due to the virus thang but there are lots of thoughts bubbling away in my brain..

An always, comments & queries welcome...




Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Another Test Game....

"Not North West Frontier" Second run-through....

The train, again, got to Bivandi-Pura without an issue, but while the station was being checked out, first one, then another sniper took pot shots at the soldiers and the train. Both rebels were neutralised (one by Cpt. Scott on the Maxim, one by the doughty Khamal) - but not before Cpt. Scot was badly injured (leading from the front)....



Once the train was watered (and this time, what with the shooting, nobody had the stomach to do any sightseeing) the party moved on as quickly as possible...

Once away from the station Victoria was halted and the Battering Ram taken off (BEFORE the hills this time).

After a false alarm in late PM the train slowed as (at 20:00) rocks were seen on the line ahead, and had to be cleared. No enemy appeared and things went well.

During this time Cpt. Scott asked Dhaktar to learn how to operate the Engine, as the train approaches the hills.


The hours to midnight pass peacefully, then, at 02:00 fire signals were seen on the bluffs above the track (this means that on the next "Rebel Activity Test" two cards will be drawn instead of one). Before three hours have passed there is a call to test again, but all that seems to be happening is another signal fire lighting the hills.... The natives are evidently restless, but thereafter the night is uneventful..

By dawn the train is clawing towards the plains, but now a heliograph can be seen signalling (again, doubling the next test draw). The train's presence has been noted, but still it remains unmolested... "Victoria" steams on, approaching Mara in the early afternoon. So far so good..

But.... Just outside Mara another tests is called; "Sabotage"; a rail has been deliberately vandalised. All (male) hands have to get out and help...



The dice say it will take an hour to clear - but Lady luck is still with the Train. No snipers or enemy appear.. (! Seriously, the dice are being VERY kind..)

Job done the train steams of and reaches the Mara Watering Stop unhindered....... 


At this stage the "Romance Score" is +2 (giving Mrs. Whyatt orders - bad. Being heroic, giving responsibility to Dhaktar and being wounded - good).

Cpt. Scott's Victory Point Score a meagre +1 (killing one of the snipers personally) but Mr. van Leyden's a fat zero....

The watering stop at Mara proved uneventful and, again, everyone stayed on the train - possibly because of the fear caused by the sniping at the previous stop.

The train moved on from Mara through the afternoon without any Events (!!) and into the second night.



At 11pm a couple of volleys of shots hit the train (Wandering marauders? Angry residents - the timetable is getting really random...?), but nobody was hurt and the rest of the journey to dawn was again peaceful. Lady Luck seems with the party (but we know from experience how swiftly THAT can change..).


Towards Midday the train approached the Kupra Bridge, over the Kala-Ab River gorge...




There is a test, and the ever-watchful Gupta spots a problem ahead with the bridge.
A decision is made. Cpt. Scott decides the passengers will go ahead of the train on the rails (there ARE other options) and they are disembarked...They will have test individually to both gee themselves up for the attempt and then try to cross using the one good rail without falling off..


(Technical note; I scribbled out an oversized "Kupra Bridge" plan and used the tables below. Folks have to test for the "rail-crossing gumption", then for how successfully they manage to cross - with or without others holding their waists/ supporting part of the way. )



Cpt. Scott and the two soldiers cross without incident.




Mr. Peters crosses without a problem....

However, while Mr. Peters is crossing the gap, there is a call for an Event test on the Events table.. Bad luck.. This activates Mr. van Leyden.




Mr. van Leden tests on his Action table. He will move Kishan away from the group, with evil intent..
Mr. van Leyen persuades Kishan to move away from the others to "look at the view". He is spotted by Lady Windham and Mrs. Whyatt, who, both already being slightly suspicious, follow him.



However, will his resolve hold...? 

Next move van Leyden activates first and tests for resolve; he will try to kill Kishan "accidentally" even if there is a risk he will seen by the others.

Moving more quickly than either of the women, van Leyden shoves Kishan - who resists in vain - towards the edge of the bridge. Kishna stumbles - reaches for the handrail, misses - and falls into the gorge below....

The women screech - too far away and too slow to intervene. Mr. van Leyden loudly protests it was an accident - a terrible, terrible accident..

Meanwhile Cpt. Scott is involved with helping Mr Bridie over the gap, but with a supporter on only one side Mr. Bridie hesitates, twice, and only succeeds on his third attempt. Because of this Cpt. Scott has missed the whole incident with Kishan..
By the time Cpt. Scott rushes back across the gap, but the damage has been done.. Kishan lies dead on the rocky floor of the gorge, the women are making wild allegations, but nothing more can be done for the Prince...

HE'S DOWN THERE SOMEWHERE......

All the other parties cross the rail without issue - as does the train....

On the strength of the accusations by Lady Windham and Mrs. Whyatt, Captain Scott places Mr.van Leyden under arrest and the train moves off. No further Events are encountered and the train steams into Kalapure without incident..



For Captain Scott the whole episode has been a professional disaster; Mr. van Leyden's VPs total 20 - the evidence against him is pretty strong, but with a good brief and the press behind him...? Who knows..?  Cpt. Scott's score is a meagre 9. Plus any chance of a romantic entanglement with Mrs. Whyatt is RIGHT off the cards....

And so the journey ends.... Again..


Once more this was a tense little adventure which could have gone either way at any time. I will have another run-through; I may have missed some necessary tweaks here and there, but it seems to be working... 


Run For Your Life...

A "Naked Prey" Exercise... Another movie-themed game, this time based on the old Cornel Wilde piece - one of those recalled from...