Monday, 16 May 2022

VSF Royal Navy and Crescent Moon Naval Forces Clash (with Tong Smugglers)

 Just to confuse matters, we tried a 3-player game with the VSF ships! We used a variant of the scenario I used last time.


 The Royal Navy have had a tip-off about the location where the Tong are picking up contraband and a RN force are heading to the location to intercept them. However, the Ottomans have also discovered the plan, and a Crescent Moon landing party have used a mole machine to reach the location first, where they will rendezvous with a naval launch.

 Layout: Water with a scattering of small islands, jetties etc.

 Place 2 counters of contraband along the eastern edge on islands or jetties and 1 on the island in the centre. They are valued at 10, 20 and 30.

 Place the Crescent Moon mole machine and 4 characters on land or a jetty, anywhere along the Eastern edge. The launch carrying the other 4 characters is placed in the water along the eastern edge. The Royal Navy start within 6” of the NW corner and the Tong within 6” of the SW corner.

 600 point companies.


VP for enemy killed and contraband controlled by the player. To be controlled contraband must be in contact with only one player or on board a player’s vessel.

Game Length 8-10 turns.

Underwater movement.

Characters that can move underwater, move a full speed, but lose ½ action to enter or leave the water. Whilst underwater they can only be attacked by another underwater foe.


The table layout before the players have deployed. The nearest edge is West.

The end of turn one and everyone has their boats on the table (although it's a bit crowded in the Tong's corner.

The Crescent Moon have used their mole machine to seize one of the objectives.

The Dragon Lady and a cannon defend the central objective.

The end of turn two, both the Royal Navy gunboat and the Crescent Moon launch have been bombarding the Tong forces on the island. The RN launch has made a rush for the third objective...

....but so has the Ottoman Iron Man., who got there first. The launch's machinegun peppered the Irom Man but the bullets just bounched off! 

In the meantime the Ottoman launch started firing at the two smaller Tong vessels intent on boarding them. At this point Colin realised that he had boobed by putting the Yeti on the punt, so his strongest close combat specialist was on his slowest boat!

The end of turn three. In the bottom corner the RN boarding party advance after the Iron Man, who has scooped up the contraband and fled. The gunboat slowly moves towards the island to land it's boarding party, the gunner has switched attention to the junk and set it on fire!

BOOM! The Tong fanatic (the sword bearing body next to the cannon) successfully got close enough to the RN boarding party to set off his bomb. This was the third time the Tong had fielded this combination and on both previous occaisions the fanatic had been killed before he could detonate! Unfortunatly he only killed one of the RN party, due to their armour, but he did kill 4 other Tong members who had jumped into the sea to escape the burning junk. 

Things got heated now and I forgot to take pictures of the final turns. The game ended as a RN victory, all the Tong were dead and the RN had the 30 point objective on their gunboat. The Ottomans did have the other two objectives on their launch, but they only had two men left and the tiller had been shot away. As both RN vessels were closing in with 5 men ready to board the Ottoman boat, we called it as a RN win!

Bonus points go to Mark, playing the Crescent Moon. As the RN boarding party closed in on one of the objectives, the Ottoman diver grabbed it and jumped ito the sea, them walked out to the waiting launch leaving the CPO and his men just standing at the shore!

Wednesday, 13 April 2022

VSF STOP PRESS: Black Dragon Tong Sink Royal Naval Vessel

Colin came over and we tried a different game to get all our boats onto the table. We played a variation  of the Recovery scenario from IHMN 2nd Edition.


 Layout: Water with a scattering of small islands, jetties etc.

 Place 3 counters of contraband along the centre line on islands or jetties. They are valued at 10, 20 and 30 VPs each (the Tong player can look at the values).

Up to half the Tong may be placed any where up to the centre line. The remainder, including all boats start on their table edge. All Royal Navy start on their table edge.

600 point companies.

The Tong score VPs for enemy killed and contraband that is on an un-boarded boat or removed from table. Royal Navy score VPs for enemy killed and contraband still on the table.

Game Length 8 turns.

The initial table set up. 

And a view from the Royal Naval side. The Tong have a light cannon set up on the centre island.

HM Gunboat Superfluous, mounting a light field gun and a machine gun.

The Tong flagship, a heavily manned junk with a second light cannon.

And their secret weapon....A Yeti!

After a couple of turns, things start hotting up. Having put two of the boarding party on the smaller island, the gunboats fires on the Tong cannon.

The steam launch lands it's boarding party (heavily armoured Chief petty Officer and a seaman), but comes under fire from both light cannon.

A shot from the gunboat dismasts the sailboat and kills the crewman. The yeti easily swims to the shore but the Dragon Lady dithers.

The gunboat moves up to land the second boarding party, but the Yeti rushes up and leaps on board. By now the field gun was out of shells and when the machine gunner fired at the beast, his weapon promptly jammed! (Cursed double Ones!!!)
At the bottom left of the picture you can see one of the boarding party, having cleared the island of enemies, has leapt onto the prow of a Tong boat.

But after a heroic duel, the Yeti is felled by the dashing Lieutenant-Commander.

Hit repeatedly by both Tong cannon, the steam launch catches fire and starts to sink. The crewmen survive and leap into the water, where one promptly drowns! The Brass Dragon Dog can be seen climbing onto the jetty (as it was metal we decided it would sink rather than swim, but without the need for oxygen it could walk along the seabed at swimming rate).

The end of turn 8.  At the bottom of the picture you can just see the Chief Petty officer after he split the head of the Brass Dragon Dog with a single blow of his cutlass! Apart from the  Dragon Lady on the central island, engaged in combat with the Lieutenant-Commander, the only Tong remaining are on board the |junk and they have already taken casualties from naval small arms fire. With 2 contraband under RN control and the third contested, there was no way they could win now, A Royal Navy Victory!

Monday, 4 April 2022

VSF Black Dragon Tong vs Angry Carpathian Villagers

 A few pictures from a recent game using IHMN 2nd Edition, Black Dragon Tong vs some very annoyed Carpathian Gypsies/Villagers. 

I really like the West Wing gypsy miniatures, they have fantastic character, but the IHMN Gothic Carpathian Gypsy company list does not really reflect the models I have, so I'm using the Carpathian Villagers list.

The table set up, the Carpathians must get a secret treasure (carried in the Gypsy caravan) to the dock and load it onto the steam launch.

Another view of the table, note the Carpathians' stealth hound lurking in wait for the unwary Tong members.

A view from the dockside into the town.

Now the trouble starts! The Black Dragon Tong junks arrives and Boxers and other assorted Tong riffraff disembark.

The Tong have immobilised the Gypsy caravan (scared off the horse), using the Dragon Lady's magic, who is hidden in the house at top centre of the picture. But the Carpathian Blacksmith charges forward, the Dragon Lady tries a Mesmerise spell but he is immune to magic!

The Carpathian Elder slugs it out with the Yeti, but the bear is rushing up to support his master, between them they will pull the Yeti down!

The Carpathian witch prepares to launch a Bolt of Flame at the musket armed Boxer who just shot at her...and missed!

Another view of Colin's new Junk, unfortunately most of his crew were unable to re-embark at the end of the game, as they were all dead!

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

New Campaign Book for Sellswords and Spellslingers

 I have just submitted the final text to Ganesha Games for my new campaign book for Sellswords and Spellslingers,  "Night of the Assassins".

Obviously "Night of the Assassins" still requires work on layout and artwork before publication. As Ganesha Games has other books already under production, I do not have a timescale for publication yet, but watch this space.

I have been really pleased at the reception "Last Stand at Mistham" has received from the tabletop gaming community and would like to thank everyone for their support.

A couple of in-game photos for the upcoming book.

Saturday, 12 February 2022

Trying Twisted Steampunk Skirmish

 Kirstie came over for a game last night and brought along two factions for Twisted. This is a steampunk skirmish tabletop game produced by Demented Games in Oz.

Twisted is more fantasy steampunk than the VSF I usually play, lovely looking miniatures but not to my personal taste (and a bit pricy for me). Kirstie loves painting them, I think she bought them for painting originally, then got the game.

This was only my second game, so I am still getting my head around the rules. The basic mechanisms are straight forward, characters have 2 actions per turn, move, charge, shoot, fight etc. Combats are opposed rolls, if the attacker scores higher they hit, then calculate damage according to the weapon and target's armour.  

There are added levels of complexity because each character has different weapons and special abilities, plus use of cards and Alchemancy (magic). As I play more games I will become more familiar with the best use of the various bits and bobs.

Here are a few shots of the game, I played Servants of the Engine against Kirstie's Dickensians. I got slaughtered!

Tuesday, 8 February 2022

VSF Shoot Out


Colin got over for a day of VSF today, which gave me the opportunity to put my Ottoman steam armoured car and clockwork one-man walker on the table for their first game.

A lovely little model from Ironclad.

The table layout, a peaceful scene somewhere along the Adriatic Coast.

The British medium walker stalks through the market square, while Ottoman janissaries take cover and their armoured steam car moves forward into the  bottom right of the picture. At the top right you can see an early casualty, the British armoured steam car. A lucky shot from a janissary with an arc rifle had killed both the crew.
Things start to get close up and personal. The British sergeant and a riflemen charge the Ottoman captain and a janissary. In the background the Ottoman mechanical soldier moves up in support. A bloody melee ensued with finally saw the Ottoman Captain as the last one left on his feet.

The Ottoman armoured steam car moves forward, flanked by two janissaries.

On the other side of the building, the British captain and the sapper with rocket grenades stalk the armoured vehicle. The Ottoman hashashin was lurking in the green house and sprang out, but the Captain put him down with a well-aimed pistol round to the head.

Walkers face off in the square. The Ottoman walker's arc cannon killed both the British driver and the gunner, so the engineer took the driver's seat. He charged forward to try and stamp on the Ottoman walker, but the light one-man walker was more mobile and kept evading the more lumbering British machine.
The two captains go toe to toe. Behind them a lucky shot by the British sniper has just disabled the armoured steam car's machine gun.

We called a halt at this point with an honourable draw. The British had their captain, a rifleman and a walker with a working gun, but only one crew left. The Ottomans had their captain, the light walker and an armoured car with no gun. We had been playing a last man standing game, rather than a scenario as it was the first time we had used armoured vehicles and walkers with IHMN 2ed, so it was an opportunity to get to grip with the rules.

Monday, 10 January 2022

Some More Fantasy Painting

 I've had the time to crack on with some more of the Blacklist Games Fantasy Kickstarter miniatures.

I am very pleased with how these are turning out, whilst not the best minis ever, they are mostly very usable and looking good painted up and great value for money. It is also nice to get a good selection of female characters in the mix as well.

A bandit, Vampire and female human rogue.

A bugbear and a horde of orcs, all the bad guy sword fodder come in a group of 5 of each pose. 5 is enough to be useful for most skirmish purposes, although the single pose is a a little limiting. That said, the Fantasy Set 2 Kickstarter, which I also bought into, will give me alternatives.

A horde of troglodytes.

A half-orc cleric (an interesting concept) takes on a giant spider.

Not from the Kickstarter, but something I picked up on Ebay last autumn (as you do).

Another bandit, a female half-orc rogue and an elf rogue. Why is it I seem to be painting up all the dodgier PC types first? These three will see service as assassins in the new Sellswords and Spellslingers scenario book I am currently writing.