Saturday 20 April 2024

WHEN NIGHTMARES COME - Egypt 1920s Case - Game 2

 Now for the second game in this case.

The band of Hunters have rushed down an alleyway into the darkened street. The Points of Interest they need to search for clues are again represented by the covered market stalls. This time it will be more difficult as they are in two different streets.

Here is the table layout with the Hunters entering from the top edge.

Turn 1: The Hunters split up and rush towards the two nearest POIs. The two Wardens hang back so as to be able to give covering fire once the Dark Spawn start showing up. Two Minions of Set arrive and charge towards the closest Hunters.

Turn 2: Akil Malik and Doctor Ogley search their respective POIs and each find a clue, while Emmett Swanson moves up to be ready to engage the oncoming Minions, He takes a shot at one but misses. . The Minions of Set move forward, but one is quicker than the other so a gaps forms between them. More Minions make an appearance from portals and move forward.

Turn 3: Onur Turkay cocks his tommy gun and lets rip, taking down 2 of the Minions. With some lucky dice Dr Ogley manages to reach one of the POIs in the next street and perform a quick search. He fails to find a clue but now the Nexus appears, coming out of the well in front of Onur. Emmett takes down one of the Dark Spawn with his machete then he and Akil move to intercept the foes rushing from the far side of the table to allow Doctor Ogley and Onur time to deal with the Nexus. Two Mummified Priests now make an appearance from opposite portals.

Turn 4: Onur and Doctor Ogley move up to the Nexus and the Doctor now starts harvesting Arcana.  Akil and Emmett each kill a Minion but more swarm towards them and they are both wounded. More Dark Spawn enter from portals, thankfully none from the one closest to the Nexus.

Turn 5: Akil drops a Repellent at his feet forcing the Minions of Set to back away. Using the brief reprieve he administers first aid to himself, curing his wound. Emmett pulls out one of his home-made grenades and priming it throws it at the group of Minions. Fortunately, his aim is true and the Dark Spawn and shredded by the blast.  Two Mummified Priests close in on Akil and Emmett, with a further two not far behind.
By the Nexus, Onur steps back in order to get a shot at a Minion of Set that had outflanked Akil and Emmet, dropping the creature with a burst from his tommy gun. Doctor Ogley starts try to franticly close the Nexus, but fails his first two attempts.

Turn 6: Akil quickly administers a healing potion to Emmet and the pair move back towards their comrades, Emmet firing at the oncoming mummies with his pistol and dropping one of them.
Doctor Ogley passes two attempts to close the Nexus, but fails on his third try. This closes the Nexus but unfortunately summons a Temple Guardian. As luck would have it the Doctor still had his free movement action left, so dodges away from the creature, taking a wound as he does so. But leaves Onur with a clear line of sight at the monsters empties the rest of his magazine into it's chest, which is thankfully enough to kill it. 

The Hunters are victorious once again, but by a much closer margin this time. Closing the Nexus and killing the summoned Terror was literally a last minute act. 

All the Hunters now have 5 experience points, except for the good Doctor who now has 6 XPs, which allows him an Advance. He choses to increase his rather slow movement from 3" to 4". Using the harvest Arcana from the previous game the Hunters have managed to max-up on various one-use tokens and amulets. They will need them for the next game as the level of the foes increases as the case progresses. 

The players do actually need to remember that the characters have these goodies of course. After forcing the Minions back with Repellent, Ian was all fixed to run away until I reminded him that Emmett had a couple of grenades in his pocket!!!

Saturday 13 April 2024

WHEN NIGHTMARES COME - Egypt 1920s Case - Game 1

 Got to play the first game in my initial When Nightmares Come campaign/case.

The table at the start of Turn 1, viewed from Emmett's starting position.

Onur Turkay makes his entrance, the ex-Ottoman policeman's tommy gun would dominate the game.

Turn 1: All the Hunters moved forward, Onur and Emmett both successfully searched a POI (Point of Interest) and found a clue. Two Minions of Anubis entered from different portals and moved towards the Hunters.

Turn 2: Onur easily cuts down the nearest vermin Dawn Spawn with his Thompson. Emmett despatches another then moves up to another POI. Akil Malik searches a POI with no effect and Doctor Ogley slowly moves to join the rest of the group (3" move and failed two activations!).
Two pairs of Dark Spawn enter through Portals and rush towards the Hunters.

Turn 3: Onur guns down another two Minions of Anubis with ease. Akil is almost over-run by the other two vermin, so drops a Repellent contraption at their feet, forcing them back, then uses his free movement to re-join Emmett. In the meantime, Emmett has found another clue, with three POIs searched, the Nexus appears., right next to Doctor Ogley. The good Doctor rushed into contact and immediately starts collecting Arcana for conversion into useful amulets for future use.
Two more Minions of Anubis make their appearance.


Turn 4: The good Doctor rushed into contact with the Nexus and immediately starts collecting Arcana for conversion into useful amulets for future use. Onur bags another two vermin Dark Spawn then moves to join the Doctor. Emmet takes out a Minion of Anubis with ease on his way to link up with the rest of the group. Akil also reaches the Nexus and collects some Arcana. Four more Minions of Anubis show up and rush into contact with the Hunters. In the ensuing fracas both Emmett and Akil are wounded (Akil twice!).

Turn 5; The Doctor casts two Healing spells, one each on Emmett and Akil, then starts closing the Nexus. Akil drops a Dazzler which knocks the Minions of Anubis to the ground, then starts helping the Doctor with the Nexus. Onur blasts down the two Dark Spawn rushing towards the party, then helps Emmett to finish off the stunned foes.
Two Mumified Priests (Horde class, tougher than the Minions of Anubis) now appear and one gets into contact but does no damage.

Turn 6: Onur and Emmett fight off the Mummified Priest, eventually killing it (re-killing it? Is a dead mummy dead, or de-undeaded??). The Doctor closes the Nexus, Game over before any more Dark Spawn arrive via the portals.

Thoughts on the first game? We had fun and enjoyed it. We will certainly be playing it again, whether it will prove to be a regular favourite, or something we just play on an occasional basis will wait until we have completed this first case. We did really like the dice pool mechanism. With a d6, d8 and d10 to activate, do you save your d10 for combat and perhaps not even get into place to take the shot, or use the good die to move and set the shot up, but have less chance of success when you fire?

This scenario seems quite easy at first, the first two turns were a walk in the park, easily finding clues and taking out the Dark Spawn with ease. But then in the early games you face up to the weakest opponents, the tommy gun will not be quite so deadly against the Terror class Dark Spawn. There was a feeling of jeopardy towards the end, when two Hunters took 3 wounds in a single round of combat!

Apart from that one combat we were very lucky with dice, we quickly found the clues, we grabbed loads of Arcana (36 points! but at one point three Hunters were harvesting the Nexus), and it only took 4 rolls to close the Nexus in the end. 

Saturday 6 April 2024

When Nightmares Come - Cast List Egypt 1920s

 Here is the cast for my 1920s Egyptian case.

Firstly the Hunters

From left to right:
Emmett Swanson, Warden. Body: d10 Mind: d8 Spirit: d6
Primary Fighting = Melee, Pistol and machete.
Onur Turkay, Warden.  Body: d10 Mind: d6 Spirit: d8
Primary Fighting = Ranged. Thompson smg
Doctor Kingsley Ogley, Weaver. Body: d6 Mind: d8 Spirit: d10
Baton (steel-reinforced umbrella)
Akil Malik, Wright. Body: d18 Mind: d10 Spirit: d6

Now the Dark Spawn
From left to right:
Minions of Anubis - Vermin class
Mummified Priests - Horde class
Temple Guardian - Terror class
Mummified Pharaoh - Atrocity class

And a shot of the Hunters getting close-up and personal with some Mummified Priests.

I hope to start the case next week sometime.

Friday 5 April 2024

When Nightmares Come - First Campaign Ideas

 When Nightmares Come – A Short case set in the 1920s Egyptian Desert.

I recently got my copy of When Nightmares Come, the latest Osprey Blue Book, by Patrick Todoroff. It is essentially a monster hunting game, in the vein of Buffy The Vampire Slayer meets Call of Cthullu.

A Full Case (mini-campaign) normally consists 6 games, or Incidents, but I wanted to run a smaller campaign, just to try the rules out and familiarise myself with the mechanisms. I will play this solo over the next few weeks, although I might involve one of my gaming buddies in one or two games.

When Monsters Come is set in the modern world, but I am setting this in the 1920s, mainly because it fits with my existing collection.

First of all, to introduce the Hunters.


Emmett Swanson: Warden (Fighter)

Of Anglo-Egyptian heritage, father was a nco in British Army, who had remained in Egypt after the Mahdist Wars and married a local girl. Spending several years as a guide/translator/bodyguard for various archaeological expeditions, Emmet has seen some bizarre things in his short life. After a few drinks just ask him about what Howard Carter really found in the tomb of Tutankhamun!

Onur Turkay: Warden (Fighter)

A former Ottoman policeman, stationed in Judea, Onur is the only survivor of his police outpost, who were bloodily massacred in the last months of the Great War. The official report blamed Arab guerrillas for the attack, but Onur was convinced that the attackers were not human. His account was dismissed and he was given a medical discharge. Since then he has devoted himself to hunting down the creatures that killed his comrades.

Doctor Kingsley Ogley: Weaver (Magician)

Studying the History of the Occult at University, the young Kingsley discovered a rare ancient tome and inadvertently summoned a demonic creature at his graduation party. Blaming himself for the death of several of his colleagues, he made a deep study of ancient mystic lore, as a result most of his academic acquaintances consider him “a bit odd”. Kinsley divides his time between his academic research and hunting down the other worldly monsters that have come through into our world.

Akil Malik: Wright (Researcher/Artificer)

Tracing their lineage back to the times of the Pharaohs , the Malik family have been fighting demons and monsters for over 2000 years. Akil learnt from his father and uncle the skills required to create devices to use against the monsters that creep around the edge of night!

Campaign Background

During his latest research at the British Museum, Doctor Ogley stumbled across a reference in an ancient papyrus to strange events occurring at a little-known pyramid, deep in the Egyptian desert. They seem to recur every couple of centuries and his calculations indicate it is due again in the next few weeks. Travelling to Alexandra, then on to the town closest to the pyramid, he learnt of strange sightings at night in the desert, and even sometimes in the town. Several local people had mysteriously disappeared and the local police are baffled. Whilst there, he met the rest of the party who had all been drawn to the area after reading reports in the press.

Scenario One: The Meeting

Following reported sightings of strange creatures, the party have all congregated at the site of the most recent sighting.

Location: A small square at the edge of the town.  At the edge of the table are small buildings, mostly with walled gardens/compounds. In the centre is an open space around a fountain/pool, used for watering animals. There are a scattering of carts, wooden crates and pottery urns etc, proving areas of cover.

Time: Early morning – Lighting conditions are Well Lit

Deployment: As the party have arrive independently, deploy one Hunter on each edge.


Scenario Two: First Blood

Agreeing to cooperate together the Hunters returned to their lodgings and gather their possessions, arranging to meet up at a café that evening. The Hunters have spent the evening sharing information and planning their route to the pyramid. Just as they had decided to call it a night, a sudden shrill scream rang out. A pale-faced woman ran from a nearby alley, screaming that monsters were killing her neighbour. Grabbing their kit, the Hunters rush down the alley.

Location: A side street running parallel to the main thoroughfare. Buildings line either side   of the street with narrows alleyways between them. There are a scattering of carts, wooden crates and pottery urns etc, proving areas of cover.

Time: Night – Lighting conditions are Dark (ranged attacks limited to 6”)

Deployment: The party arrive together, place all the Hunters in the central alleyway.


Scenario Three: Oasis of Blood

Grateful for the party’s assistance in the previous night’s attack, local people have been offering information on recent sightings. Dead animals have been found on repeated occasions at a small oasis that lies mid-way between the town and the pyramid. The Hunters decided to inestgate the oasis first, them travel on to the pyramid.

Location: a small oasis, currently deserted. Around the central pond are a scattering of palms and clumps of vegetation. There is a low-walled stock enclose next to the pond.

Time: Mid morning - Lighting conditions are Well Lit

Deployment: The party have split up to approach the oasis. Place 2 hunters on each of two opposite table edges.


Scenario Four: The Pyramid

According to Doctor Ogley’s calculations, the next manifestation will occur around sunset that same day. The Hunters rapidly move on to the pyramid, hoping to prevent the manifestation from occurring.

Location: The approach to the pyramid, an area of scattered ruined walls, statues and broken columns.

Time: Early evening - Lighting conditions are Well Lit for turns 1-3, Gloomy for turns 4-6

Deployment: The party arrive together, place all the Hunters on the table edge opposite the pyramid.

I now just need to decide on what their opposition will be. Dark Spawn come in 5 classes and I am inclined towards the Restless (Undead), as mummies are bound to feature at some point in the campaign.

Sunday 31 March 2024

Wild West Gunfight....with Zombies!!

 I haven't had my Western town out for a while, so I invited some of the guys over for a gunfight last weekend.

Here's the scenario for the day:


Last Chance City is a small, isolated mining town, essentially run by The Last Chance Mining Company (LCMC). Over the years LCMC has seen a small profit from the mine, which produces poor-quality copper ore and a few other minerals.

Two weeks ago, the mine manager telegraphed head office to say that they had made an important discovery, something the manager had never seen before. That was the last message sent from Last Chance City, there has been no work from the town at all.

LCMC have employed a group of former law enforcement officers to travel to the mine and find out what has happened. They must be quick, a rival mining company, Grabem and Grindem Minerals Incorporated, have also sent agents to try and steal the LCMC’s secrets. Other dangers lurk, reports have come in that the notorious Mexican bandito known as “El Chihuahua” and his gang are in the area.

OBJECTIVE: Locate the manager’s office and secure the mineral reports and samples from the mine.

The view from the south.

And from the north (players entry end).

It start off as your usual, run-of-the-mill gunfight. Running around, shooting people in the back, that sort of thing.

The Mexican banditos rushed ahead and managed to gain a head start on their rivals, moving towards the manager's office.

But then things went a little, um, strange. I'd forgotten to mention that I had started painting up some of the minis from the Zombicide Undead or Alive Kickstarter I got back in the tail end of 2022 (18 months to get started, not bad!!!).

A Mexican bandito thought he'd grab this civilian and use her as a shield....

.....he got a shock when she started biting him!!!

Now a few more random pictures of the game. The Mexicans did get to the documents from the manager's office first, but ended up all dead, either eaten by zombies or caught in the crossfire between the other gangs. 
The Grabem and Grindem agents snatched the reports from their cold, dead hands, and quickly escaped off the table.

And finally, the "Family Photo", a line up of the zombies I have painted so far.

Wednesday 20 March 2024

Under Sea VSF

 Now I've got them painted, I'm trying out some underwater VSF games. The first couple of games were just solo ones, trying out different rule systems. So far I've tried In Her Majesty's Name and Mutants and Death Ray Guns, so far I'm inclining to IHMN.

I need to get some of the guys over to try these out now, to get some outside input.

Here are some piccis from the test games. The minis are mostly 3d prints designed by Mr Big Tong, plus a few older metal divers from Tiger Miniatures.

All the kerfuffle has attracted the (unwanted) attention of some other inhabitants of the deep ocean!