Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Yet another Stop-Gap

Another token Post....

Just in case folks are thinking: "Hello, another Blogger run out of steam..."  tis not the case - just work and painting/modelling and writing been getting in the way....

Leaving work (paid) out of the picture (despite previous suggestions by drinking buddies this is NOT a pic of me with work colleagues...).




I have been painting my 1/72 schilton (Strelets bods, with plastic broom handle bristle "lang spears") and getting bods & buildings converted and painted up for my "Was going to be Summer but looks like Winter" Jewish Revolt project....

The schiltron is bigger than I'd planned (the ol' "mission creep" - a serious fault of mine...) but getting there.

My Jewish Rebel army is apparently going to be, um, an army (mission creep again) - and not just a skirmish-level force (I have around 600 1/72 Romans, legionaries & auxiliaries  - with more half-painted; but no way will I match those numbers in rebels.... We don't mention how many Western Barbarians I have. Seriously. We don't....).

I have (among other things) been sticking Roman heads & shields on good ol' Robin Hood bods and generally going mad; with variants of all types to make the rebels look a hotch-potch.......



The buildings will be a mix of cheapy, self-assemble MDF adobe types & some posh, purpose-built Roman building kits bought online. Plus scratch building.
Cheap palm trees should be en-route. Civilians also being processed (Strelets Roman bods mainly).

I also want to make a more Mid-eastern-looking teddy-bear mat at some stage, but this may wait a few months.

Research-wise I've been reading up Josephus etc. and gawping at Google Street View (pic) and maps for terrain ideas and sketching maps. My campaign map may be in zones, like my "This Ain't Siluira" effort.... 







Writing: I've been asked to put out my House Rules as a PDF, but of course that means I tweak them, then test the tweaks, then tweak again etc. etc .etc........ New rules for schiltrons developed - and also to allow for that that pesky business of why making some formations 8 to 16 ranks deep is a plus (having been squashed into combat impotence in shieldwalls only four ranks deep I DON'T buy into the "they're all pushing" myth.....).

I have also been writing some scenarios - and "Tax Collecting" ("Get the cash - but please try not to kill anyone this time" rules; of which more later...

And so it goes.....




Friday, 16 November 2018

Yet another Interim Post...

Painting for the next big 1/72 project is proceeding. Meanwhile, a quick word about:

Campaigns, Maps & Mapping ...

I like campaigns, though I rarely have time to do them justice. They not only supply a narrative background to my battles, but give me a "reason" for my bods to be battling in the first place. To me this is important; one of the reasons I am largely a solo player is that I have no competitive spirit (in Art , as in Life). Battles which have no narrative drive behind them, unless the rules are themselves something new and interesting or the company is particularly special, can therefore be as personally meaningless (and dull) to me as watching a sports fixture (yes, I really am that person. Sports do not entrance me at all). However, stories grab my attention - and a campaign has all the elements of a story: characters, a plot, a narrative and - hopefully - a satisfying conclusion. Below I am going to run through a few methods I use to generate these stories...




A) From Board to Table: a simple way out.


Table battles fought as part of a board game. Out of the huge range of board wargames out there a significant number lend themselves to producing table battles with meaning with minimal preparation. The strategic map has been done for you. The rules and make-up of the armies are already there. Supply, politics, the backstory etc. etc. has been provided. All you need to do is play the board game, then fight the battles out on your tabletop. You may of course chose to do a little extra research, tweaking or add paperwork re. casualties etc. but that is down to you. Basically the background is already there. Play the game, and fight out any resulting battles on the tabletop.




The trick is, of course, to play the board game solo too. Many of the methods I will have touched on/will touch on in this Blog can be adapted to board games - e.g. attitude of the "players", introducing imponderables, "choice of action" tables based on IMP/political/supply issues/personality of commanders/councils etc. etc. 




 Once you have a battle you can, with Google Maps (see a previous post) and a bit of research, get an idea of the type of terrain in the area where the battle is to take place. Add your normal solo tweaks and you have a battle - and, most of all, the story and strategic reasons for it taking place at all.

There are lots of good boardgames (or half-decent but tweakable games) out there. For the ancient period my own favourites are SPIs "The Conquerors",
GDWs "Eagles" & AH "Caesar's Legions " but there are others out there. I have also used Robin Hood board games as a basis for developing table-fight scenarios. We are only limited by our imagination - especial when someone else has done all the hard work... 



B) The Home-made Map Method.


My "This Ain't Siluria" posts gave one example of how this can be done, using a stylised zone map, roughly based on real geography, but meant not as an actual recreation of a real campaign, but more as a historical theme (in that case the Roman subduing of a Celtic area). This had elements of a board game approach - and I have used this method before, using home-made hex or square grid maps maps, very successfully. 




I have also used sketch maps/traced actual maps or made maps of real areas; but the type of maps depends very much on what one wants to do. They can be closely detailed, or very basic.

For some years (literally) I ran a Middle Eastern wargame covering the post-Davidic period (from The Brook of Egypt, across to the Euphrates, down to Edom and up to the Anatolian foothills) using a series of hand-drawn & coloured maps traced from atlases.





My actual battles were fought out as boardgames, rather than with figures, but this was a very satisfying exercise; from grand scale politics down to dusty skirmishes. With this type of thing a War Diary is essential. 




C) The "Where The Hell Are We?" method.

Great for exploring games/ventures into the unknown, from Darkest Africa or Darkest Peru to the darkest outliers of the Krikkit Nebula. Start with a known area (a port, a coast, a known and mapped inhabited zone) then set off into the Blank Space; generating hazards or terrain based on cards & tables, drawing the map as you go. 




In the "Spanish Expedition" venture (see below) each day of movement I threw a dice. On a throw of 4-6 there was some change in terrain for that day's movement. The suits were stacked/shuffled separately, I recall, and I threw again to see which suit changed. In the case of draws a card was pulled from all drawing suits. Thus a map was created as I went along.



Ambushes/raids could come from uncontacted minor tribes on rout of march or the "Main Enemy". Ditto Embassies (to allow for allies, delaying tactics by "the "Main Enemy" - or "buying off" of any of my detached forces) .




Your map can be as simple or detailed as your skill or desires run. Warning... This is FUN - and addictive !!!

D) The Unplanned - a tabletop campaign.

Occasionally a campaign will start with what is meant to be a one-off, but an interesting, battle - but I think "Lets leave the table up and refight" continuing the narrative.

An example of this is one from the other year (written up on the FB Groups I've referred to before) - a Roman v Celt scenario; "Rescue the Romanised Rascal" (a simple get in, locate a target, get it out situation). This was going to be a one off game to test and write-up/demonstrate some ideas for one of the FB groups.



The Romans (that is, I ) blew it (unlucky dice/cards; in the dark before dawn my my lads ran into a returning raiding party of locals, and the maroons went up - destroying any chance of a stealth attack), but I thought - "OK, I have the scenario backstory, and the table is set; let's continue".


A second rescue attempt became necessary - but the locals were now alert to the possibility of a rescue attempt. THAT ended successfully for the Romans, but not without them getting a bloody nose; with several units of Romans being treated disrespectfully..

The story then logically progressed of itself. "Would the Romans put up with the loss of prestige involved? Could they afford to, out here on the frontier?" . The answer to that had to be a big fat "No". So a "Butcher & Bolt" punitive mission was launched. Simple idea.... But..

THAT, again, ended really badly for me; the locals had realised they'd overstepped the mark, so had tooled-up and roped in some friends (cards & dice). My lads panicked at an unexpected flank attack - and several Roman units ran from the field. Prestige went right out the fenestram.

In the end the Imperial forces turned up mob-handed in "total overkill mode", set up a camp on the field, caused serious ecological damage and freaked out the locals' allies.





After two skirmishes, a night raid and an attempted assault of the Roman camp (plus a lot of Celtic argument among themselves) the troublesome tribe finally felt the firm smack of Roman retribution (i.e annihilation).




From one table I therefore got eight very different battles & skirmishes, each with their own different objectives and quirks, and a satisfying narrative of a little, local campaign. 




Well, there we are. A "proper post" working in a "proper scale" will be produced shortly. meanwhile, as always any queries or thoughts are welcome.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Intermission Post...... More "out Of Scale" action....

"A long Walk on a Small Planet" or "In space, no one can hear you scream at the bloody dice...".

Just for a change, and a bit of a filler twixt 1/72 scale projects; something sci-fi I posted on the the FB Solo Group last year...

Basically this was an experiment in "dealing with unknown quantities, with a monkey on your back".

Backstory: 

Terra-forma Station "Trefusis-12", on the semi-terraformed planet Char-Li Karoli, went off-line a week ago. A maintenance team dispatched to deal has not reported in, so a section of Alliance troopers have been sent to investigate........

Who knows what they'll find....

The troopers are bound by Standing Orders and First Contact Protocols.  This means that a gung-ho "Shoot first and worry about an interstellar diplomatic disaster afterwards" exercise is NOT on the cards... In theory....




Interference from the (insert explanatory sci-fi mumbo-jumbo phenomena here) has prevented the section landing close to the station. However, a short cross-county yomp should be no problem.....
Two four-man teams and the command team debus....

Activation will initially be by drawing tokens for Team Leaders and Troopers.  However, there are other tokens in the mix. This token will bring "something/s" onto the field at p
re-set Deployment Points...

Rules are my "House Rules"... Basically think Sharp Practice meets Space Hulk....

At this small scale action I Activate individual troopers/team leaders with Activity Tokens (drawn randomly from a tin). However, amongst the activity tokens are several blanks, a "Tiffin" token (as per SP) to end the move and a couple of "Hostile Blip" tokens.

The hostile "blips" will appear at the board edges as per deployment points & move "Zombicide style" following noise/sightings. A scenario table will decide what those "blips" are once in "LoS" of my guys...

The weapons my guys have are bog-standard automatic projectile weapons, but Command team has a comms. guy (to call in support fire) and a target-seeking missile launcher... Nothing fancy re. the shooting rules, except a very high hit chance if firing aimed at target stationary & in the open.

Guys have three move or fire actions per activation. Can be put into "overwatch" etc. etc. . Pretty simple rules...


Things proceed without incident. By move three Beta (left flank) and Charlie Team (right flank) have moved forwards.  Of Alpha (command) team only one grunt gets an activation.

Suddenly a "blip token" turns. I throw a 12d for the table side, then another to find the deployment point for the blip location An Ave. die throw decides the number of "blinds" which appear per blip token (in this case 4 no. blinds). The Blinds can represent a false alarm, or up to 5 "somethings".

Beta team react to the blips on their head-up screens and take cover in some rocks, using Activation points to go into concealment, with two troopers also going into overwatch...




One of the problems with the Alliance Terra-forming Program is that near Earth-like planets, and worlds where life is already present, tend to be prioritised - and works actioned in a manner that might best be termed as (ahem) "somewhat rushed"; with pre-forming planetary surveys suffering as a result.... Sometimes there are life-forms in situ we didn't know about......
 T
hanks tokens... The blip "blinds" move and.. "WHAT THE SMEG...!!!??"


The survey teams sure fouled up THIS time.... We have NO idea what these things are - nor how sentient they might be - nor what their intentions are (nor where they bloody live/hide etc.)...

Assuming that something ugly, fast, 12ft high with foot-long talons and fangs is going to be hostile smacks of species-prejudice....

They have not seen the troopers (concealed) and are moving towards the Station... The chaps are on overwatch... To shoot, or not to shoot....?

Or radio to get confirmation of invoking "First Contact Protocols".... Hmmm.....



For the record: the table deciding what each batch of blip blinds will be is based on a 6d roll... Result of 1-2 = More of the Creatures.   3-5 = something else (don't want to spoil the surprise), 6 = Ditto.

Now we have a "decision" as to what might be here, for every subsequent "blind reveal throw" 1 will be taken from the dice score . If an unmodified "6" is thrown thereafter, then I throw again. A 5 or 6 thrown on this second dice means option 6 above "Something Else") is invoked on the blind....

Brave team leader orders his chaps to hold fire while he asks for direction from Section Command. Overwatch opportunity is lost....

Neither Charlie Team nor Alpha team can see the creatures. Section Command fails activation - so no decision is made. Three more - blips arrive alongside those already on table (very close, so will automatically match those on the field), then two more unidentified appear blips way away far right...

The next move is very short.... Charlie team moves forward. More blips arrive next to the ones already on the table.. Whatever they are there are lots of them... The ones in the open see Charlie Team and make a bee-line towards the nearest trooper (on overwatch).

The future of relations between "Unknown Species CK-1" and Humanity rests on the trigger finger of Trooper Huìqì 131313.... Oh, dear......






But Trooper 131313's training cuts in (morale test) he holds fire..

Next move: A Command point for the Alliance turns up. Alpha Team Leader makes a decision (dice) - "First Contact Protocol" to be followed pending orders from the Mother-ship. Another lucky Activation chit - Instructions passed to all teams by Alpha; Order passed "No team to fire without instructions/overt hostile action by unidentified species...".  An update with request for orders gets passed "upstairs" to the Mother-ship. 

Charlie Team gets an activation and the guys pull back.

Meanwhile the visible aliens likewise get activated again - and make a decision; will they run towards the "strange grey creatures", run towards the waterhole, run towards the Station... ?

Their throw decides that they will run to the waterhole.. Little darlings.. Maybe they're just gasping for a drinkie..... Tiffin - end of this move.....





Things rumble on... So long as the guys keep hidden, the "whatever they ares" don't go looking for them... Charlie Team swing round the swamp, soon to be followed by Alpha. The bunch of aliens mooch half-heartedly around the centre and the other blips seem to go into paralysis....





Alpha Team gets a response from Base (each move after an update/request to the Mother-ship I dice. on a throw of 6 a response is received): "Continue mission but Command confirms First Contact Protocol active pending BWV assessment of alien lifeforms. First Fire Situation prohibited at ALL costs. Repeat FFS prohibited. Report on assessment Trefusis-12 ASAP".

The group (herd?) of aliens wander back and forth in the centre, as if searching for something. Bravo Team finds their nerves stretched as the creatures come within yards of their positions - two team members only holding their fire because of their team leader using (handy) Control Points.

Alpha Team holds to support Bravo in case something goes wrong - the woods to Bravo's left is FULL of blips.....

Over the next few moves Charlie team moves up to the Terra-form Station, getting within yards without incident until.........




Suddenly two "blips" emerge from behind the Station, revealing two of the alien beings. The creatures race towards the Team with claws outstretched. The Team's fire discipline holds and not a shot is fired as the move ends with the strange entities only yards away............. 





The first token drawn happens to be C team... Team Leader passes a morale test, as does trooper 131313 (nearest the "things"). Trooper 131313 lays down his weapon... The two troopers furthest from the aliens go into overwatch, just in case.....

Next token drawn: THIS pair of aliens are activated... They test for attitude... Maybe bending down and putting something on the ground is thought to be a pre-courser to an attack in their culture..? Maybe they're just ravening beasts....? Or simply unpleasant bastards..?  Anyhoo, they charge and barge Trooper 131313, who is knocked to the ground...



The two team members on overwatch test for THEIR reaction - and fire...... The two aliens drop.....

Aliens 1 - Troopers 2.  First Contact Protocol - Ooops....!!!!


That moves ends.... The following move Charie Team gets an early chit and runs to get into the Terra-form Station, dragging 131313 with them......


But the alien group in the centre react - making a bee-line for the Station - and the noise...



Suddenly the tokens bring out the group of blips in the woods on Bravo Team's flank... Another 16 creatures (!!) - who (dice decision) also make for the station, drawn by the noise....?   B Team dice for reaction at seeing the Horde of The Things, but pass it, so do not open fire...




Though it is tempting.....

Each trooper has their own token in the pot. If drawn - and in a situation where they have a choice - the drawn trooper has to test to see if they shoot or carry out any other action..

In this case; B Team have heard shooting & radio traffic indicating an attack on C team. A large bunch of aliens have emerged heading towards C Team's location. B Team is on overwatch & concealed, so could shoot. Any trooper whose individual token comes up BEFORE the Team Leader token will be tempted to shoot (so has to pass a simple  "restraint" test)...

But First Contact Protocol is in force, they have orders to hold - and no local instructions from the Section Leader to support C. These are trained Alliance troopers - not Hollywood mavericks. The two troopers who have to make a check pass - and remain concealed...


Next move; Charlie & Bravo gets a chit drawn. Bravo holds. Charlie Team gives a sitrep and hunkers down in the Station..

There is also a Command chit drawn. If I wish this could be used to add to a moral'"do I shoot" check. However,; this isn't necessary, so I use it to radio in to HQ to update & seek instructions...

More tokens come out (lower image).... Trooper 3 takes a "do I fire" check. The other guys whose chits come up are not in firing position/range. The aliens make no further move.

The second Command chit is used by Alpha Team to verify instructions to all teams - "Hold. Await Instructions"...

The third Command chit is pulled just before End Turn.. This is used to check Trooper 131313: he is ok - walking wounded but alive...



Next move: Group 4 of the blips (not revealed yet) move - they dice & go towards the station.... All visible creatures are heading that way already..... Oh, dear....

The tokens continue; Troopers 2 &4 of Bravo Team test, but remain in control of themselves. Troopers 6 & 7 are not in LOS of any aliens and are with their Team Leader so need not test.

A Command Chit is drawn... Transmission from HQ (diced decision) to Team Alpha leader....

"Section is to withdraw from planetside pending further assessment. Return to shuttle immediate. Do NOT engage alien lifeforms except in immediate self defence. Repeat do NOT engage except in immediate self-defence".....

Next move: will my Alpha leader obey and pull A & B teams off-board...? In which case what will happen to Charlie Team....?

Charlie Team, in the Station, are probably wishing there were blinds on the windows.......


Endgame...

Next move more aliens move up to the Station, but nothing else...

The following move The bods of Bravo team ALL get individual tokens turning up - inc. the Bravo Team leader - but their training holds, and they stay under cover and do not fire...

Charlie team radios in (their command token got drawn). Charlie Leader acknowledges the "pull-back" order, but is surrounded and does not want to trigger an incident. 
The Station door has been barred from the inside. There are no firing loopholes, so Charlie Team cannot shoot UNLESS the aliens break in.  The Station seems secure and Trooper 131313 does not need  Medevac. - he is only slightly wounded. Charlie Leader will hold pending instructions.... (All decisions decided by dice).
Alpha Leader gets his token come up and decides (dice) - duty, orders and the strategic aim, or concern for Charlie Team...? Again, the Alliance training and discipline hold. He controls the desire of his men (and himself) to go get their mates, all guns blazing....

Bravo Team get their token and run to meet up with Alpha, as instructed..

One last move sees the members of Alpha and Bravo teams gather, and return to their shuttle...

Meanwhile, Charlie Team watch (and film & relay to HQ for assessment) the mass of alien creatures circling Trefusis 12 - while listening to their chittering....

And their talons scraping at the plexiglass.....


Rules;
A) For the Alliance - nine numbered tokens ( 1-9; one token for each trooper - they being themselves numbered) , three (home made) "leader tokens" (marked "A", "B" & "C"), three "command tokens" (for special actions). 
B) For the aliens/hostiles: Four "blue command" tokens; each time a blue command token was drawn this represented a number of "blips" (ave. dice decided the number of blips). These blips were then placed on the board as a "unit" out of LOS from my guys. I had allocated on the the board 12 "deployment points", so just diced for the placement of each "Unit". 
The drawn blue command taken and one blank were removed each time a blue command token was drawn/unit placed and a numbered token for that unit was placed in the Token Bag.

The "blips" I used were the old Space Hulk blips face down (I couldn't be bothered to make my own). These were drawn randomly from their tub. Each blip could represent from 1 to 5 "whatever they ares". The number - and type - would not be revealed until in sight of my guys... Sentient/RPG enemy enemy would have got a blue "command token" placed in the bag for each 4 figures up to 4 such tokens.) 



Movement/actions:

Once activated each Alliance figure/leader had three "actions" per move - occasionally added to by Command Tokens. . These could be used to move (one dice per action used), shoot, go into overwatch, give orders, communicate etc.

Random movement for the aliens in this scenario was based on a dice-based "movement spider, supplemented by IMP/visual sighting factors etc. The aliens moved in their groups/herds. If the aliens had gone truly hostile then "Zombicide" rules (go for those in sight 1st, then for the noisiest) would come into play.

Shooting was very simple (basically Space Hulk rules).

Things would have got more complicated if the "blips" had turned into other types of actual hostiles.

Well, that was fun. Simple rules, basic decision tables, lots to keep me guessing.... I had expected a "shoot 'em up", but it didn't gel that way...

The alien "things" (still undecided if they are sentient or "just" animals) were just one of the three possible options for encounter... Could have been MUCH more hostile (and tooled-up..).

Need to weight down my Genestealer bases though; obviously used to racing along corridors - a bit too light for a Teddy-Bear fur environment.


Next post should be news of a "back to 1/72" project.... As always comments & queries welcome..... 



Friday, 26 October 2018

The Hunt for Red Octavia....

Another 15mm Three Musketeers Adventure....

 Scarlet woman and all round, naughty-but-nice, egg-about-town Octavia d' Eté, mistress of the influential Comte Tes-poules (and currently sought by His eminence the Cardinal for certain compromising correspondence concerning the relationship between the good Comte and herself, letters which she is believed to have about her - ahem - person) has secreted herself in the small town of Petiteville while awaiting a rendezvous with the Comte.
The Comte has arrived in this town this very morn, and he and his suite are currently using the cover of "enjoying" the (limited) pleasures of the town's weekly market.


The Musketeers intend to find Octavia, and ensure that she is safely escorted to the presence of the Comte himself, whereupon she may personally hand him the documents of concern - thus removing the chance of the Cardinal having access to items likely to increase his leverage re. the Comte...



Meanwhile, His Eminence the Cardinal, along with a number of his personal guard, have also arrived to attend the town festivities. Pure coincidence, of course.....
The Game set Up:
The Musketeers and various search parties of the Cardinal's Guard will be moving through the town, speaking to the civilians (of sundry types) around, in the hope of finding Octavia's hiding place.



There are also five of the Kings Musketeers in town (NPCs). Two are attached to the Comte's party, but three others are also searching for Octavia...
I will play the Four Musketeers and servant Planchet . The various other patrols & personalities will move randomly; making make random (dice) choices at waypoints/junctions UNLESS:

a) They contain elements who have previously obtained “info”. Such search parties will make their way towards a relevant/associated “info point” by shortest route. If more than one info point is involved/there is a conflict over which info point should take priority then again dice for this.

b) There is a gunshot: a gunshot will attract all non-player search parties, wherever they are on the table, to that location for three moves. If there is nothing else to draw them to that spot (more shooting, shouting or someone in LoS) within three moves of the original shot, they will resume patrolling.

c) There are sounds of shouting/sword play. These will attract all search parties within LoS or within 9” (as the crow flies) to that location. If the fighting/shouting stops, and there is nothing else to draw them to that spot (more shouting, shooting or someone in LoS) within three moves of the last sound of shouting/combat, they will resume patrolling.

d) There is a target or sus activity within LoS.




Most townsfolk are at the Fair (off table) and those civilians still about are divided into "ordinary/random folk", beggars, barmaids, filles de Joie and foodpads. Each type will react to questioning in different ways, and the reliability of their intel. will vary....

Neither side are actively seeking a fight UNTIL Octavia is discovered. However, tempers CAN erupt if, for example, there is an encounter in a narrow passage ("We do NOT give way, M'sieur") or if parties from either side are actively checking intel. too close to each other.

The Musketeers need to take Octavia to the Comte. The Cardinal's men need to take her to the Cardinal.

The scene is set.. On with the play.....

The Musketeers and Planchet spilt up - and start quizzing civilians.... Including footpads....




Footpads lurk here and there.... They will run from the Cardinal's men and non-NPC Musketeers, but speak to the Musketeer characters. If cornered by the Cardinal's Guards they dice for attitude (fight or yield). If they yield, and cooperate, they are let go.

 
 
Friendly barmaids are a good source of intelligence.... The green token below shows Planchet has some intel from the lass.... (Green = barmaid intel, Brown = civilian, Black = footpad. Blue = ladies of the night, Yellow = beggars) I haven't yet tested to see where this particular bit of info.might lead...




Also potentially helpful are ladies of negotiable affection...


Even respectable ladies can respond, if asked nicely.... But they're not as responsive to servants as they are to gallant musketeers........



Rochefort and the Cardinal's officers will do their share of quizzing too....




The game proceeds with various leads being uncovered - by both sides, but the Musketeers seem to be getting most intel. 

Meanwhile - a patrol of Cardinal's Guards and NPC Kings Musketeers come face to face at the north end of town. The Cardinal's men are up for a fight - but the King's men are discrete (tested for).. Intent on keeping the king's Peace they grudgingly give way..... This time.........


My lads question everybody..... Any news Gaffer..? The Intel. is suggesting the areas around the two town squares are looking the likeliest target areas..... 



The data is building up. The SW quadrant appears to be collecting possible leads...... My lads should be concentrating there....



But they are not alone.. The itel. is clustering there for both sides.... Rochefort and his men come face to face with my lads. There is some rapid dicing for attitude. Both sides seriously suspect the other of being up to something - but neither pass enough "aggression" tests to start a rumpus....



Lucky for me... I'm seriously outnumbered in this square at the moment...

They do, however, test their intel. This was one of the early moves, where I neglected to identify on the table which token was associated with which side (I did this later to save confusion)

The intel for the Cardinal's lads is no good, but the Musketeers have a possible lead...... They will dice for a detailed location within the quadrant..


The Cardinal's boys move off to do some more quizzing (they do not know about my lad's good intel). My lads move off too, as a bluff - but Octavia seems to most likely hiding in the brothel.........


The Cardinal's men carry on searching. The Cardinal himself gets involved - using The Force - of his personality - but gets nowhere.....

Meanwhile, the Comte takes a promenade into town.....



Watched by a footpad...... But he has bodyguards.... Footpads may prey on rich, vulnerable targets....



Up at the North end of the town things are kicking off.... Some cornered footpads make a fight of it (attitude dice) with the Cardinal's men.. Casualties ensue - and the shooting draws the patrols..... This is good for me, as my action is in the south....



After a tussle, two footpads and one Guard are down. But "Yay!" for the Cardinal. Some intel. for THIS quadrant from the captured footpad........

My lads hustle Octavia from her hiding place, while the Comte considers the inn......


Rushing Octavia, unseen, across town is tricky. Luckily the Cardinal's lads - for the moment - are being drawn by the shooting towards the north.... We watch them carefully....


We bide our time, but not for too long, they may come back... "Come on missy.....".

But the Comte decides against a drink, and moves deeper into town.. This is good news for me, as it brings him closer... The dice are being kind......




But suddenly -  not so good..  Rochfort changing his mind (there has been no more shooting from the other end of town) and leading his boys back into the square with the inn is a pain.... They ignore my lads, as they are on a mission to get to the square, but that was close thing....I rush Planchet up to block the northern alley with his mule. Athos and Aramis run and block the alleyway to the square where Rochefort has led his boys, while Octavia, Porthos and D'artagnan scuttle towards the Comte's party.......


We run Octavia from cover, taking here face to face with the Comte... Contact is made. The documents are discretely passed over.... Job done - and no fighting....!!!!!    (Well, not with my lads...)


I love the stench of barely-washed French aristos in the morning.. It smells of.......Victory.. !!!!!!!

And after...? Well, the "Little People" have done their scurrying about and dying.... At the top it's game over and all friends together, as the Cardinal smiles away his frustration and the Comte breaths a secret sigh of relief......

Politics, politics. Toujours les politiques...........



Yet another Stop-Gap

Another token Post.... Just in case folks are thinking: "Hello, another Blogger run out of steam..."  tis not the case - jus...