Wednesday 10 January 2024

New Year. New House. New Plans..

New hope...?

Well, we're in the new house at last....

I now have:

A garage to convert into a workshop for, amongst other things, modelling projects (better insulation needed, and more light useful, but no major obstacles).

"The Blockhouse" (our name for it); a basic, brick-built gym/sauna at the end of the garden (currently with roof leak and UPVC door issues but nothing unfixable) which I intend to enlarge with a conservatory-type build-out and convert into a games room.

A dedicated room in the house itself with space to set up (and leave out) campaign mapping exercises/board games and in which to play small skirmishes. No extra work needed here.

If all goes to plan there will be room not only for my usual solo stuff but also for multi-player, two-location exercises on the property, and a spare room and space for friends to stay overnight; like a mini-wargames holiday centre..  

Plenty of ideas bubbling away in the brain box for upcoming gaming projects. Watch this space...

Meanwhile, for inspiration....

Friday 17 November 2023

Move Stopped Play..

 All packed up..

I'm still here and the Blog is still "live"....

Seventeen packing boxes of board games, about twenty cases of figures, plus terrain all in packing mode pre. the madness of the house move, which in theory is end of the month (but this being England, with its "not fit for purpose" system, nothing is certain till the actual day..).

Allowing for at least a month sorting things at the new house I don't foresee any action this side of Xmas (that's the real one, not the one which started here in UK about three weeks ago - pic) but we shall see....

Once settled-in I hope to have a "Campaign Room", for mapping/planning et cetera, where multiple parallel campaigns will be more manageable, and a "Play Room" for the table action (though some works to an existing "summer house" at the new place may be necessary first...), then to get back into the swing of more regular posts here..

Onward and upwards...

P.S. (10/12/2023)

Thanks to a Cyber attack, (apparently the fourth in two years) on a system used by some 80 to 100 solicitors/conveyancing practices in UK, our house move the other week stalled..

A major company called Taylor Rose, handling the far end of the chain, with seemingly no back-up plan for continuing business despite this known threat (or no willingness to use, unlike other practices, a practicable manual process system temporarily) brought everything to a standstill, and has now said the chain might proceed "maybe in January"...

IF they sort themselves out...

So, not only are all things on hold till the new year (including any gaming), but we are living out of boxes and packing cases over Xmas, and the whole mess is going to add some £2,000+ to our costs.... 

Did I say the English house conveyancing system is unfit for purpose already...?

I see above that I did..... 

Tuesday 10 October 2023

Another Stopgap I Fear...

Nothing but Displacement..

The disruption of packing n' planning for the house move, living amongst sacks and boxes, and the accompanying psychological horrors (this is England - so nothing is certain till the final "Signing Day") has meant that the only activity has been the good old displacement one of painting and making things, rather than playing.

The painting/modelling mentioned last post have been completed/semi-completed and packed for the move and all the paints & tools packed.. 

I have finished some silly (the Scoobies) and "sensible" (some 70s army guys troops to back my U.N.I.T. troops, some civilians) bods and terrain pieces.

My first attempt at some Farscape figures was kinda OK..

The "Peacekeeper" heavies will do; the Ka D'Argo conversion is kinda OK. Zhaan (a bit of filing and a paint job) and Aeryn ditto... Chiana
(just paint needed) is a perfect figure vanilla I think. But I definitely "need" a better Crichton....

Hey, ho... Hopefully we'll be back to games soon, but I'll likely set out some ideas and rules thoughts here in the meantime.. 

Tuesday 12 September 2023

Stopgap Post...

With Little To Report... But I'm still here...

Alas, there has been no gaming taking place since my last post due to reenactment, rehearsals for a re-run of last year's Regency-related play, and all the ghastly shenanigans relating to house selling, searching and buying (these last three still being a work in progress).

On the PLUS side I have been planning, researching and modelling/painting, so that  I now have:

Enough 6mm bods painted up to service my planned AWI and 18thC Jacobite and Irish campaigns (including FAR too many cavalry, but there we are..)...

Made a good start on rebasing and adding to my 6mm Ancients (have been reading too much Tacitus and Xenophon)...

A load more 1/72 bods and beasts now fit and ready for African Adventures...

Some figures & vehicles converted for some old - and some new - TV-related 20mm sci-fi silliness...

A lot of 1/72 scenery bits & pieces made and painted up, and a French farm model all but complete.

A bunch of wee medieval ships awaiting painting (Battle of Winchelsea anyone..?).

Four campaigns and associated rule thoughts sketched out and just waiting for things to settle done before kicking off (IF we get the house we are after I will have more playing and planning space).

Watch this space...

Tuesday 18 July 2023

Another Solo "Battle Generator" Experiment..

Board Game Solo Protocols ("The 45")

Reenactment season AND visits from prospective buyers have interrupted play, so no game reports, but I've been working on using "The 45" board game as a scenario/battle generator (see previous posts on using AH's "1776" for same).

As part of this thinking I've decided to change (and formalise) my solo methods for such games. This will be yet another experiment, but having recently played some games using "Crossfire" principles and some "searching" board games with "hidden movement" protocols which actually represent forms of "delayed intelligence updates" (for want of a better term) I've decided to play around with these concepts.

Basically the games I've been playing required one player to "search" for hidden parties belonging to another player (these were games based on Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, where the Ringbearer/Fellowship's location(s) clearly needed to be kept secret). To summarise, each move the Searcher failed to locate the target the potential movement range of the target was extended; thus bringing the target closer to its destination. It seemed to me that this process could be applied to more military games, hence......

So, I will begin by working on the following processes.

A) Player Priority and Phases:

Before any action the Priority for Player Move must be determined by a 1x6D test. Highest dice score goes first, but modifier with +1 per Leader token value in play and minus 2 if the testing player was first to move the previous turn.

B) Phase Progression:

Active Player plays/moves as usual, subject to Activation tests for detached commands and Independent Action tests for same where appropriate. Government units within striking range may be attacked, but may evade where allowed in the rules. Government forces may intercept any Rebel forces as usual.

2) Battles arising from the above are fought out as normal on the Table wherever practicable. Post battle retreats will be dealt with by means of ad hoc tables.

3) A new Phase for the Rebel Player will be introduced after the reinforcement Phase. This is a Test for an Intelligence Update (Modified as follows: +1 per major battle won,+1 for -2 per major battle lost, +1 each Major Port and Fortress held, +1 (cumulative) for holding Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Carlisle, York, Bristol, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Sheffield, Hull and Liverpool, + 1 per SP dedicated to scouting, +1 per cavalry unit Rebel controlled, -1 per Government cavalry unit known to be deployed on the board).

Throw 3x6D. On a throw of 10 or above Intelligence has been updated. A failure to update intelligence counts as a free move accrued to Government Forces (see successful updates).

The test is Modified as follows: +1 per major battle won,+1 for -2 per major battle lost, +1 each Major Port and Fortress held, +1 (cumulative) for holding Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Carlisle, York, Bristol, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Sheffield, Hull and Liverpool, + 1 per SP dedicated to scouting, +1 per cavalry unit controlled, -1 per Government cavalry unit known to be deployed on the board.

If successful first check for any change in Government Policy (see below) by throwing 2x6D.

On a throw of 10 or more Government Policy may have changed.

Then throw 4x6D to check on what any Government Policy Change might be (Modified cumulatively as follows: -4 per major battle won by Rebels, +3 per major battle won by Government, -1 per English Port held by Rebels, -1 per English Zone held by Rebels, +2 per Scottish Zone held by Government, + 1 per French SP in England, -1 per French SP in Scotland, +1 per Sea Action won by Government.

"Och.. Away wi' ye, ya wee Lithuanian dwarf that ye are..."

C) Government Policy: This will determine Government action/movement.

a) Minus Result; Negotiation: Counts as a Move. Neither side may take any military action in England. Zones outside England are unaffected UNLESS a stack contains French units (such a may not move/act at all). Rebel/French Fleets must return to Port of Origin. Rebels (only) may suffer Attrition. Reinforcement/recruitment can take place.

b) Result of 0-5; Hesitation: Does NOT count as a Move for Government Forces to accrue movement. No Government movement except to garrison in the event of a French Intervention rise. Reinforcement/recruitment can take place.

c) Result of 6-9; Containment: Normal rules apply. Government will attempt to close/control routes towards London (in order of distance from nearest Rebels to London, shortest routes first) by occupation and digging-in. Government may move to within 3 Zones of Rebel forces but may not attack. If already within three Zones of rebels Government forces will dig in. March ranges determined by time since last Intelligence Update.

c) Result of 10 - 12; Consolidation: Normal rules apply. Government will concentrate forces (March range determined by time since last Intelligence Update) to form as many armies to match the largest Rebel Army strength and dig-in at points of concentration.

d) Result of 13 - 17; Indirect Action: Normal rules apply. Government will attempt to move armies past Rebel forces and press towards (in order of priority):
i) Any ungarrisoned but Government-held English port/fortification.
ii) Any Rebel controlled English port/fortification.
ii) Any Rebel controlled English city/town/zone (in that order of priority)
iv Edinburgh.
v) Other Rebel-held zones in the Lowlands.
vi) Rebel-held strong-points in the Highlands.

March ranges are determined by time since last Intelligence Update. Government will attempt to concentrate into Field Armies meeting largest Rebel Force value at move end. May Force March. Potential Overruns and interception options may be tested for by means of ad hoc tables.

e) Result of 18 - 24 or above; Direct Action: Government will attempt to concentrate a Field Army of at least equal strength to any Rebel force in order of strength (strongest first) and, in order of the following priority, and move to attack (within a march range determined by time since last Intelligence Update). Where there are multiple targets possible this will be decided by ad hoc test.
i) Any Rebel force potentially outnumbered and containing Prince Charlie.
ii) Any Rebel force in England.
iii) Any French (only) Force in England.
iv) Any Hostile Force in any Friendly Continental Zone.
v) Any Rebel/French Force in Lowland Scotland.
vi) Any Rebel Force in Highland Scotland.

Government forces may Force March. Overruns and interception may be tested for.

3) Successful Update/Government Move: Government forces may move in line with the Policy being adopted (above) using any or all accrued Movement Points up to maximum distance accrued (see below).

D) Government March Ranges:

Government forces can move up to the maximum move distance for ALL moves since their last move/the last Intelligence Update. I.e. if three Government moves have been "missed" due to lack of Intelligent Updates Government units may move three move's worth of distance. Government forces may be intercepted. Where alternative targets of equal priority present themselves then an ad hoc dice throw must be made to decide.

E) Government Targeting: Should normally be clear through the Policy being adopted. When in doubt use an ad hoc table test.

F) Government Reinforcement decisions: When relocating units to meet garrison demands (as a result of French Intervention rises) the NEAREST applicable units will be chosen. In any case where two or more suitable units are at an equal distance to the region needing garrisoning then a dice test will determine which unit moves.

G) Weather: At the start of each Player Movement Phase weather must be tested for on a 1x6D throw for each region where Player Field Forces are present and each Sea Zone.

On a throw of 1 or less (modified by -1 in any Winter Turn and a cumulative additional -1 for Regions in Scotland, -1 for The Hebrides Regions (all) and Central North East, -2 for the Western Isles and North Sea zones) NO movement can take place in that Region/Zone for that PLAYER move (exception Forced March - treated as Winter for losses, with + 1 to the Losses Table if actually Winter and Interception).

However, IF there is a 1 or minus result for the
First player in any Game Turn these provisions affect BOTH players for the duration of that entire Game Turn.


We'll see how things go over the next week or two. Any thoughts/queries, as always, welcome.

Tuesday 6 June 2023

An Old Game Reprinted

Interim Post

The moving house/reenactment/sewing season and getting the decorators and the carpet men in having curtailed my gaming for a while, I have re-hashed a post from a few years back and originally put on the FB Solo Wargame Group...

My methods have changed over the years, but this may still be of interest. As usual, all queries welcomed.

The Table

The board is set up as pic. ("North" is at the far end) . What do we see?

Mixed terrain of open ground, fields, light woodland, some areas of dense, unmanaged forest (the latter being the stands of trees with thick "scrub" at the edges) and a small patch of marshland.

A small, shallow river with several crossings (a bridge, a ford and two sets of stepping stones) cuts across the scene. There is a small scatter of  isolated buildings (the two in the middle of the board are "The Bloody Boar" inn).  A wagon-road crosses from North to South. There are a number of tracks crossing the area, some of which cut through the dense forest areas.  

All the points where tracks/roads leave the board are potential Deployment Points.

There are already a scatter of "in view" potential blinds (annotated pics). No hostiles are in sight.

Most important for this scenario: the board is "live" - ie. it is not a nicely-cleared battlefield, for guys to bash each other on, which can be ignored as "just a playing field" - it is an active "living environment".  There is wildlife. There are civilians. There may be road & track traffic. All of these will/may have an effect... There may be enemy out there, in the form of outlaws, bolshie peasants. Who knows..... 

"MAY" ???!!!! I hear some folk scream (or maybe that's just me..). Yes.... "May"....... I sometimes play games where, due to the scenario and the play of the dice & cards, no enemy appear at all........  Sounds a bit weird I know, but stay with me on this.....

Some of the tokens on the "live" field. The traveller on the track (below) will move, based the turn of the cards in conjunction with a Movement Loop (see below). The inn folk are static until contacted. The building MAY contain other folk (neutral, friendly or hostile).

Inns/pubs(among other things) can also distract troops - but more of that later...

Wildlife - like other "blinds" - will be activated by cards & activities and moved based on the "Movement Loop" table. Basically the "wildlife" kinds represents "disturbed wildlife". Could just be "normal" freaky-deaky inter- animal stuff, could be a disturbance caused by a body of chaps.. Who knows.. ?

The fire in the woods could turn out to be anything, the locals (just everyday peasanty people) or hostiles. Their hut could be empty or.......?

Again, we all know that inns are notorious outlaw hang-outs.. or maybe not...

The Scenario: (As you may know, I am addicted to backstories).

Mercenary captain Ruari O'Niall of the Fiach Dubh is taking his lads to the coast - and home - after the expiry of their contract for the Bishop of Hereford.

Two years of public service, helping bring the firm smack, slash and gouge of Norman Government to the good Bishop's fief have been rewarding. Ruari and his crew of kerns and gallowglasses must make their way, along with their lawfully-gotten gains, across to the far side of the board. Shimples.......

[Technical stuff: The mercenaries' moves are controlled by me/Ruari - if still in command range of the C.O. - but activated by the card pack - as in Sharp Practice.. However, Ruari may have his own ideas..

The Movement Loop is as follows:

I use my home-designed "Shaft Practice" cards for activation of personalities, Blinds and other figures. At the start of this scenario the deck contains a card to represent Ruari, his three sergeants, a card for "scouts" (all sides - should any enemy scouts appear), two cards for the "blinds", one card for "civilians" (which may be "blinds" themselves), one "enemy" and one "friendly" Event card (which requires the picking of a card form the separate "Events Deck"), a "Table Event" card (to potentially activate Deployment Points) and two "End Turn" cards (the equivalent of the SP "Tiffin" card).

There are presently no "enemy personality" cards in the deck as there are no enemy personalities on the board. 
Cards will be added to the pack as personalities appear.

I used an Action Loop for the AI. My Loops, when I use them, are modified by scenarios etc. - and will sometimes be "tweaked" for situations. When a decision not on the Loop - or a questionable one - needs to be made I make a list of options (based on IMP), set proportionate dice targets, allocate modifiers (if any) then dice.]

The Game

First move: Ruari is activated by his card and moves. Ruari's scouts (in his command radius) do not leave the road to investigate the peasants by the hut (or the "charcoal burners?" in the woods behind the hut) , but press on down the road, followed by the rest of the party.

Next card is one of the "Blind" cards.

[Technical note: Movement of "Blinds" is based on my "Movement Loop" chart. I dice for those Blinds where dicing is appropriate.]

In this move a couple of the far-off Blinds move and the rider on the road moves (turn of the "Civilians" card). Nearer Ruari the peasants by the hut also activate, make a decision (see the "Actions Loop") - and scurry off to cross the river.

Ruari has already moved all of his men this turn, and there are no morale or other actions necessary, so no further turning of any more of his side's cards. A turn of a scout card allows his riders an extra move of 1x6d. He also gets one "Event" card (a bad one: his guys have used up all their water).

Turn ends. Had no "Blind" card been turned all Blinds which did not move during the turn could dice to activate as per the Movement Loop. 

Next move most of Ruari's guys press on - but Himself sends one of his sergeants & command to investigate the cottage and fleeing "peasants".

The scouts reach the pub. A dice check (see the "Actions Loop") to check if it is safe (i.e not harbouring hostiles) is inconclusive. His scouts also have to check to resist stopping for a drink. They succeed in this, so when a "Scout" card comes up later in the move they can move off.

Again, some Blinds get to move and the civilians get to move.

The peasants by the hut go across the river and into the trees. - and the turn ends.

Following move: cards allow the main body to move forward, the sergeant loses control of his guys at the hut - and they loot and burn the place down.

Suddenly two of the blinds in the woods to the East of the inn rush towards the scouts...... My chaps duck, as I dice on the "Actions Loop", as a huge flock of birds tear out of the woods, over their heads and away (phew)....

The scouts move off.

Ruari arrives at the inn. He fails a reaction test. Twice - presumably the ale is good there. Also, his lads can re-stock on water.

Nothing untoward so far.

[OK. Technical recap:

All blind movement was as per the Loop.

The two blinds (birds) from the woods got scores of 3-4 on their "reveal" die, were found to be neutral wildlife, and removed from the board.

The chaps looted the hut because they threw a "reaction test" of 5 on a 6d, this was higher than their sergeant's command level & die (despite modifiers of -1 for professionals).

(I have a list of incidents/potential incidents/terrain and figure/situation effects with dice throws etc etc. Some are dictated by Event Cards, some by proximity to figures of "places of interest").

Ruari (unlike his scouts) also threw two high scores (5 & 6), both above his own command level & die, when testing against the temptation of the pub. Maybe he was demob-happy? Maybe he has a drink problem? Anyhoo, he stayed put.. (and who wouldn't...?)

In the distance the scouts pass the traveller. He throws a 2. No issues there (on the Actions Loop). However, the traveller is not a "normal blind" (he is a "civilian," on a road & has a pre-set destination/target), so does not move away from the patrol, but continues on his route.

Note: had he been a "wildlife" blind, not a civilian, he would have moved away or, on a throw of 3-4 been revealed as neutral and removed from the board. As a civilian, had he thrown a 3-4, he would remain on the board, but now be neutral (no further testing). Note also; the Inn & staff all threw 3s & 4s on their "reveal" dice. Neutrals can go either way on a later test - or stay neutral..... ]

Ruari gets the drinks in. The scouts keep moving off. The traveller arrives at the inn. Off picture, at the top, three blinds ("wildlife"?) are rapidly approaching, but what the heck.. It's a pub... It might be miles till the next one..

Next move: the blinds moving in towards the inn, now in clear view, do their check - 1 neutral (4), but two hostiles (5s) - which turn out to be 40 angry, angry peasants (dice out as two stands. For this scenario the rule is throw 1x6d for each hostile blind. 1&2= one stand of troops, 3-4 =-two stands, 5-6= three stands).

They are "Bold" and under command of bold commanders.....They make for the Irish lads........

Worse - remember that neutral traveller. He checks again and turns out hostile; Sir Richard at Lee, ex crusader and all-round good guy - in disguise (scenario possibilities)...

OK... Now Friar Tuck, John Tenpenny (no relation), one of The Hood's minor henchmen and Richard at Lee's command cards are added to the pack.

The pub is also re-checked at this change of situation - but proves to be just a pub (throw 1: phew - nobody hiding in the cellar then). The inn-keeping staff run off while Sir Richard (somewhat unchivalrously) gets a free hack at Ruari - who goes down.

Now things start to kick off. Another blind, spotted by the scouts, North of the inn turns out to be another hostile - 20 peasants, with Little John (his card now added to the command pack)....

The cards are really against me today.... Next move Sir Richard get first go, and plays a couple of accrued "Event"cards... One enemy unit gets an extra move and Sir Richard can "hold" one of my units in place...... He does so. My attempts to form a line against the incoming peasants are hampered....

My only "lucky" Event card so far; a wild boar emerges from a thicket & (by chance) charges Little John's guys..... Takes out one of them & inflicts some shock, but then scampers ( Runs? Trots?) off and away (eventually vanishing into cover.

When not being actively hunted wildlife will run for the nearest cover to where they ended in their first rush (itself controlled by directional & movement dice).

If actually being hunted (yes - I do do tiny "pig-sticking games") movement is more random.... Boars turn on a groat... Excited knights can take waay longer to turn....

The outlaws charge home. My guys' dice are rubbish, and (despite the enemy accumulating shock) I take casualties - must be those scythes & flails.. Or that beer..... Combat is (basically) adapted Dux Britanniarum rules.. The mercenaries get pushed back...

My Irish lads are beaten back to the river. Meanwhile the scouts have run into more peasants right by the far board edge, have got freaked and will sit this out on a hill, close to the board edge....... Morale is going, casualties mounting.
Meanwhile, cards and dice force Two Deployment Points on my flank and one at my rear to spawn more blinds.... Lady Luck is acting like a woman scorned. Have I forgotten an anniversary..?...

The situation really got messy quickly..

Sir Richard got into some cut & thrust with Ruari's bodyguards, taking down one before being forced back towards the North.

The cards dictate the next sequence of actions: moral checks by the mercenary sergeants are not good - they are shaken, but form up to face the nearest bunch of peasants. - who charge home to meet the galloglasses, while the kerns skip out of the way.

There is a round of hand-to-hand, but it seems that the dice are against the Fiach Dubh today, and the gallowglasses are forced to fall back towards the bridge - while the kerns form up behind and along the Southern river bank.

Cards move the blinds - and the dice are really "unfair": one blind appears in the woods to the East of the Irish, one behind them on their line of retreat, and another comes on at the North edge - only for the scouts to spot it as being Robin Hood himself (dice & cared controlled) , and another 60 peasants & outlaws - some with bows this time......

Next move, and it looks like a stand-off at the bridge - but oh, the Blinds... The one at the Irish rear on the road reveals itself as just another traveller (at the moment) - but one in the woods on their flank manifests itself (Action Loop) as another body of bows & peasants (1 stand ordinary, one stand bows.... Oh, dear.... Right on my right flank....)....

Next activation cards and the situation prompt morale checks for the senior sarge. and one of the junior sergeants. They fail.

Luckily for all concerned the next personality activation is Sir Richard - senior man in this part of the field AND of "Nobility Status" (a kind of "trump" when dealing with commanders - friendly or otherwise - of equal command value but lower social status)....

One of his special characteristics is the ability to force a "Parley" without an Event "Parley Card" - and he is a trustworthy egg (well, apart from being in disguise immediately before cutting down Ruari, but we'll draw a veil over that...). A quick check (dice) on his attitude and he offers terms, which are accepted by the pragmatic mercenaries (me - but morale is shot to ribbons and my senior sergeant & one of the others have already lost their bottle....). Game over.....

Who knows, my guys might even get SOME of their cash back..... 

Technical points/Summary:

Hopefully the charts should be self explanatory. 

The cards are an activation deck (like SP) plus an "Events Deck" (a bit like SP 1) both of which I got made up online, but SP type cards, playing cards or event tables work just as well (that's how I started this project).

Casualty markers are prettied-up Warbases dials and the bodies are Ykreol (1 body =10SP). Twigs work just as well.

Well, there we are. A short, but eventful, skirmish. I was kept guessing all the time - at first I really did think my guys would just walk across the board and I'd have to go again to demonstrate things. Instead, my guys got well and truly bashed.. I blame the drink m'self.... And the dice, obviously..

Once again, all queries welcome...

Tuesday 7 March 2023

This Ain't Space Hulk.....

 A Bit of Quicky Sci-fi.

An idle day between house-horrors, so a quick game, thinks I... However, the curse of "Mission Creep" cut in and I ended up sorting my Space Hulk bits then making a big layout (DOH!)...

Mission One:

An exploratory game; a squad of troopers poking around to try to find survivors on a previously attacked vessel and bring them back to an Access Point. Scattered around the board are tokens which may represent survivors in "Safe Chambers". These must all be checked. 

Potentially hostile "Blips" arrive on a "6" each move (test for placement with a 12x6D and 1x6D for location coordinates, then throw 1x6D for number of Blips).

Blip/Alien movement decisions are dice-dictated based on ad hoc probability tests unless Rescuers/survivors have been seen or are in LoS.

 Among the Blip token mix are some "survivor group" tokens (I used the mutant/hybrid tokens for this). These guys may be stationary or even lurking around Alien groups (hiding in ducts/whatever and moving on the basis that Aliens may, like the survivors, be seeking the Rescue Party). When seen by the Rescuers a 1x6D test tells how many survivors are in the group. 

All main security doors are locked and can only be opened by the Tech. Crewman on a test throw [+10 on a Dx12D with a modifier of +1 to the throw per previous attempt. Ordinary crew using the Tech Crewman's equipment must get a 12 to succeed and gets no modifier).

Otherwise rules are pretty much as Vanilla Space Hulk.

So to the game... 

The guys poked about, but pretty soon some Blips appeared. It was decided to keep the group together as they headed up towards the crew and command area.

But things started to get pretty complicated pretty quickly and the team were quickly attacked.

They managed the initial assaults well enough, but on approaching the command Area more and more enemy appeared [Unlucky dice]. Casualties were taken.

Some survivors were unearthed (Blip)..

But then the Aliens attacked en mass.

In no time at all folk were running for their lives - and only one person (one of the survivors) made it back to the access point. 

A quick and bloody game with my guys trounced but the rules worked well and kept be on edge throughout. The Space Hulk basic game rules, though very simple, always give a lot of fun. You don't need excessive chrome or several score pages of rules for that....

Mission Two:

A bit more complicated. A ship (coincidentally the same design as above) wandering along, minding its own business. The c
rew are scattered over the ship, going about normal tasks in "soft" kit. They carry basic weaponry as standard but are not "on alert".

But then the vessel comes under attack - via the two vents.

[Technical Notes: ; 1x6D attacker blips arrive at either or both vents on a throw of 5-6 (reducing to a 6 after three moves). The Blips want to prioritise as follows:

1) Accessing the airlocks (at "A").  If they access these then they can let their fellows in. Once an Air Lock is broken open 1x6D additional blips arrive each move at that airlock.

2) Killing the crew.

Where there is no clear advantage in a choice of routes or victims in sight then the route is decided randomly by dice throw. Some choice tests may be "loaded" for priorities in an ad hoc manner.
Opening an airlock sends out a general alarm across the ship and allows "space" in (or air out). 

This airless zone moves at 12 spaces per move. Aliens can survive this decompression and air loss, but any crew-person without a survival suit finding themselves in an airless zone MUST reach air/be behind a sealed door/in a survival suit within four MPs in the same move they have been exposed to space or die.

Survival suits are found in the five Survival crates scattered about the ship. On opening a crate throw 1x6D. This is the number of suits therein up to a total of 12 per crate. On a throw of 6 when testing for suit numbers throw once again. THIS total is the number of suits in said crate. 

It takes 2MP to put on a survival suit. Each crew-person can carry two survival suits (even when suited-up or carrying weapons; these are flimsy, crisis survival suits - not armoured or deep-space kit).

However, bad for the aliens; opening any airlock sets off an alarm automatically sealing all doors to unauthorised personnel. Therefore, once the aliens open an airlock all doors thus far unopened lock.  Such doors can be opened by crew-persons, but aliens can only access such a door by forcing it open (on a throw of 6 - one attempt per move). 

On the sounding of an Intruder Alarm or the Air Lock Breach alarm the Captain* must remain in the control room and test to see if he gives any instructions over the Tannoy (he does so on a throw of 5 or 6 on a 1x6D test made once per move).

Once he has issued such instructions he must test again (and remain at his station) to see if he broadcasts beyond the ship for help (on a throw of 6).

(*If all this seems odd, remember the captain here is a civilian on a routine flight and could panic/shut down at this unexpected turn of events)

IF the Captain fails to issue instructions after an alarm then all local supervisors (blue caps) and individuals or work parties without a supervisor test to see what they do.

On a throw of 1 they flee to try to reach the Command Area OR the nearest safe space/survival crate.

On a two to five they remain put, securing the area they are in.

On a 6 they go bug-hunting.]

And so to the game....

From move one the Blips started pouring into the ship from the port-side rear and central ducts, triggering an Intruder Alarm. 

Two crewmen were cut off in the port cargo bay by the sudden ingress. They killed a few attackers, but were cut down within a few moves. 

The Captain froze - and issue no orders as he tried to assess what was happening.

A couple of isolated crewmen, Barry and Jules, in corridors on the starboard side ran towards the command centre. 

Supervisor Charles, in a room centre rear with a work crew, held his ground and put his men in Overwatch to repel any boarders heading his way. 

On the Upper Corridor, repairing a floor breach, were Old Mac and Jimmy. They stayed put - Mac couldn't see the point of running about without knowing what was occurring and who was where. He and Jimmie simply drew their blasters and went into Overwatch.

Crew-woman Lillie was alone in the Stasis Chamber (port central). She made for the Command Area, but in her haste forgot about the blocked and bulkheaded passage forward of her - losing three moves as she realised her mistake and returned to the Stasis Chamber - just as Aliens entered it. 
[Note: for Command Points sergeants/supervisors and the captain got a 1x6D's worth per move each. Isolated groups/individual outside the Command Area tested individually/per group on a 1x6D. On a throw of 5 or 6 for a group or 6 for an individual they could dice for CPs themselves on a 1x6D.]

The Aliens poured into the ship, swarming through the port cargo bay and heading towards starboard, while others pressed towards the central air lock. A group of others chased Lillie into the Stasis Chamber and/or headed for the forward Air Lock. 

Crewman Jones was alone in one of the port cargo bays. He ran towards where Supervisor Charles was holed up. 

In the Stasis Chamber Lillie clambered up the ladder to to the Upper Corridor, and opened fire on her pursuers.

The sound brought Mac and Jimmy running in Lillie's direction, guns blazing. It was a close thing, especially when Lillie's blaster jammed, but together they dealt with the few Aliens chasing Lillie.

The remaining Blip in the Stasis Chamber pushed on towards the forward Air Lock.

Jones ran towards Charles's room, but luckily for him kept his head (dice test) - stopping and shouting before he rounded the last corner of the corridor leading to the refuge. Had he run out unannounced into the view of someone on Overwatch without warning there was a likelihood (test) that they would open fire on him.

Up at the command Centre the captain still failed to act as the Blips ranged through the corridors and cargo bays.

Suddenly the Air Lock Breach alarm sounded - the doors locked - and there was a drop in pressure; the Aliens had opened the central airlock to their supports. More Blips poured in via the Air Lock as the reduced pressure wave tore along the corridors. Isolated groups of crew now tested - most  in Command Centre rooms went into Overwatch.

Supervisor Charles ordered the doors to his room sealed.

Lillie, Mac and Jimmie ran to the central chamber of the Upper Corridor and closed the doors at either end.

In the Command Centre itself there was still inaction - and no commands from the captain.

The Aliens now had free range in the unpressurised sections of the ship, breaking down doors to get to the Command Centre or forcing bulkheads and debris to get to the forward Air Lock. 

In his refuge Supervisor Charles ordered the Survival Suit crate opened - six suits; one for each in the room and one to spare. This was good. Struggling into the suits his men could soon open the doors - giving them a wider field of fire if the Aliens approached. 

Mac opened the survival crate in their room - one suit between three. Not good.

Barry & Jules got into the Command Area - nearly getting shot down by trigger happy guys on Overwatch - just as the captain decided to take command. He ordered Barry & Jules back to the Survival Crate in starboard forward. Nine suits were found. Over the next two moves eight of these were distributed among the non-operational crew-persons in the Command Area.A  Distress Signal has (finally) been sent out, but there has been no pick up from anyone within range [Test each move 2x6D. Result of 12 means a response].  

Meanwhile, Charles's group came under attack, they fired back - but crewman Wills overcharged an Assault Cannon, which exploded - killing everyone in the room. Disaster !! And just as things seemed to be going Charles's way.... 

Mac Jimmie and Lillie decided who would have the suit; the idea being that this crew member could make their way to safety. Mac (test) wouldn't take the suit. Jimmie wanted the suit, but (test) bottled out of leaving the room. Lillie (test) volunteered to take the suit, but instead of heading to the Command Centre she would try for the Port Cargo Bay and search the Survival Crate there, bringing back any suits found for Mac and Kimmie. She clambered into the suit and set off. 

By now the Aliens were pressing on the Command Area - there would be a prolonged battle, as the eight suited-up crew members set up fire lanes to control enemy access. Aliens fell by the dozen in frenzied attacks - though there were some close calls. By now the number of enemy making their way into the ship had dwindled (tokens had been exhausted), but nearly two dozen Aliens plus half as many Blips remained - and nearly half the crew in the Command Area were unprotected if the doors breached and the life-giving air lost. 
In a now quiet part of the ship Lillie made her lonely way to the cargo bay - dealing with one lurking Alien e-route and discovered four suits stashed away in the crate. Taking two of the suits she made her way back towards Mac and Jimmie - while being stalked by another lurking Blip - taking about seven moves to do so. All three now have suits. But what should they do...? 

Once "suited up" the trio decide to go and see if they can help the Command Crew [dice tests]. They do so, drawing off some of the attackers, but then they themselves have to withdraw, eventually making their way to the central air lock, followed by the enemy. 

Meanwhile the Aliens continue to throw themselves at the Command Centre. The attackers get whittled away, but eventually they both breach the defence perimeter and break through to the Command Room.

The decompression kills the unsuited crew. The Aliens cut down the suited defenders. Only one crewman (sent to shut off/control the forward air lock in case of rescuers arriving ) gets away from the massacre, but is hunted down in the corridors. 

The Aliens now have control of the ship. No Distress Signal has been answered.

Despite success in taking down the few stray Aliens in their area the prospects for the trio in the central airlock do not look good....End game.


Well, that was another fun, furious game with lots of imponderables to make things interesting. Simple rules. The game is almost MADE for solo. Will have to dig out the old Space Hulk tiles more often. 

As always, queries and comments welcome.

Apropos of which....

I put a poll on the Solo FB page about my making links to/continuing this Blog.

The jury seemed to think it worthwhile me keeping-up that practice and the Blog itself) up.

According to the Stats. I seem to have a lot of "silent viewers", which is nice as at least I don't feel that I am crying into the void (they can't ALL be Bots.. ;) ) but as I have said before, any critiques and queries about the Blog itself, expansion on the methods used or even wanting to bounce ideas off of me (such as  "how can I solo-ise this rule set/do you have any ideas to help me/how would you go about this project?") are always welcome...

New Year. New House. New Plans..

New hope...? Well, we're in the new house at last.... I now have: A garage to convert into a workshop for, amongst other things, modelli...