Convention

The Return of Pumpkin Spice!

pumpkin.jpg

Yesterday was day two of new local Wargaming convention, Call To Arms, here in Williamsburg.  It being October, I thought it might be fun to play a Pulp Alley game in honor of Halloween.

On the Pulp Alley YouTube page, I found the perfect idea.   Already a variation of their printed scenario Into Darkness from their Lost Worlds of Lemuria campaign.   This is a great example of how open this game is. The original is designed to be in a lost world and probably in jungle terrain with the random bad guys being robots and the plot points are just common plot points.   In the video, Dave places it in “King City” a Gangster film noirish environment in the late 20’s or early ’30s.  He replaced the plot points with horrific pumpkins, with Pumpkin Jack as the major plot point.  He replaced the robots with zombies.

I kept some of these features myself, but I had a backup plan if I didn’t get my terrain finished.  This could easily have been in a forest, desert, cowboy town or Mexican village all of which I had terrain fo already.  You could set in on an alien planet or an old medieval village just as easily.  Frankly, it was a good excuse to finish painting my Mad Dogs with Guns terrain.

I also replaced the zombies.  I created a system to randomly generate pumpkin Cultists or Pumpkin Monsters.  Had I more time I would have actually created a mixture of standard Halloween ghouls.  You know, ghosts, vampires, werewolves and yes zombies.

Johnny S

I provided four pre-generated leagues for my players, but in the end only three participated.  This was wealth little Johhny Silver with his Sister and loyal servants, District Attorney Denton and his girl Missy from the Herald defended by a handful of brave police officers and Lastly Gangster Corky Gallagher with his mob, right out of the Vice City campaign book.

 

DSC_1281

Pumpkin Jack

 

According to ancient legend,  Indian prophecy predicts that when the stars are right, Pumpkin Jack will return to terrorize the living.  Young Johnny Silver knows these legends and decides he must stop the creature.  Unbeknownst to him, however, local petty mobster Corky Gallagher overhears the boy talking and decides to try to manipulate the monster for his own gain.

Meanwhile, D.A. Denton’s inquiries into the gang raise his suspicions.  He decides to stop Corky’s probably illegal intentions.

 

DSC_1285

Johnny Silver’s robot Newman 

 

The leagues spend most of the first turn creeping up the streets and suffering a number of failures due to the creepy nature of the horrific pumpkins.  The silence is broken however when inexperienced Officer Macoy challenges the gangsters.  He is rewarded with hot lead and falls to the ground.

 

DSC_1282

Blood in the Streets

Soon the Police and Mobsters find themselves in a fierce firefight in the middle of the city.  A well-placed Tommy gun burst from Myrna, Cork’s cold-hearted Moll knocks many of the police to the ground.

 

DSC_1284

Denton surrounded by fallen Police Officers

Meanwhile, Johnny Silver’s foolish little Sister is running around with Patches discovering the Pumpkins which oddly have little effect on her. Still, ever vigilant Nanny watches over her, just in case!

 

DSC_1283

Actually at this Pumpkin Sis was nearly knocked out, but Nanny saved her

Sis might have had little trouble with pumpkins, but the same was not true for poor little Patches.  Not only did he take the first Pumpkin plot point, but he also finished off a large number of Pumpkin Aberrations, but eventually too much squash in his little hound belly was more than even this brave dog could take.

 

DSC_1288

Enter a caption

After a while, all of the action gathered around Pumpkin Jack in the middle of the street.  The Gangsters and the Police had spent most of the night fighting while Johnny stayed on task capturing three of the minor plot points and then with disappointingly unclimatic peril cards taking the Pumpkin King himself.

DSC_1289

DSC_1287

Enter a caption

In the end, all three players found the game enjoyable.  I, on the other hand, would change some things if running this again.  I would use a different selection of Leagues.  The Police ended up aiding Johnny Silver in a way that was certainly true to genre, but probably served to unbalance the game.  Two Mobster gangs would have been better I think.  Lastly, I would not leave Pumpkin Jack as the Major Plot Point, but rather have him a Terror.

Anyway, another successful game of this great system!

 

Cheers,

Ron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
Categories: Call To Arms, Convention, Pulp, pulp alley, Wargaming, Williamsburg Legati | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Hell and Heroism at Hannut, by way of Historicon 2018

DSC_1214 (2)

Today brought the end of the 2018 Historicon up in Lancaster, PA.  As Lard America was participating with a Lard day, with guest of honor and Lard Meister Richard Clarke himself attending OI though perhaps I had better go.  Glad I did.

I decided to put on  Hell and Heroism at Hannut by Ben Fiene.  This was a three scenario mini campaign printed in the Too Fat Lardies Christmas Special from 2013.  These are three linked by theme only scenarios depicting some of the action at Hannut.  It also is rather atypical of Chain of Command.

Chaos and Confusion.jpg

Enter a caption

The first scenario Chaos and Confusion, has an interesting beginning set up.  Basically it is May 11th 1940.  A recon platoon of  of 3e DLM is ordered forward to probe the area around the Albert Canal.  Unbeknownst to the French the canal was already seized by the Germans about 24 hours previously.  The platoon’s commander,  Sous Lieutenant de Vasselot dismounts from his Panhard to speak with a Belgian officer.  As he approached he realized the uniform is wrong, this is the enemy!  They both go for their sidearms but the French man is a little faster and the Hun falls.

So begins the battle.  The French have three Panhards and a squad of motorcycles, the third panhard and the motorcycles are detached and will arrive later.  The French , must hold the ground waiting for the missing armored car to return and then they must report back by exiting from the side they entered on.

The Germans  have a Panzer Grenadier platoon but their Commanding officer begins the game dead.   To represent their confusion over this misshap, they not only are limited to one Senior Leader but they also are operating on only 4 command dice.  Their orders are to stop the French from reporting back.

This is clearly a hard task for the Germans as most of their weapons will do little against the Panhards.  Playtesting by Matthew Mattic on Facebook caused him to suggest the addition of a PAK 36 and requiring that the French were at force morale 4 or higher when exiting to win.  This advice was heeded.

DSC_1215

Germans maneuvering through the orchard

Turned out the Anti Tank Gun did little.  The village on the French side of the table provided sufficient cover, blocking the gun’s line of sight.  Shots were exchanged on both sides but casualties were light.

DSC_1219

Panhards Holding the Crossroads

 

DSC_1222

Germans reach the Outskirts of the Village

DSC_1223

Enter a caption

When the missing French detachment arrived this would change.  The Panhards were immune to most of the German fire power, but the poor motorcyclists were not.  Heavy fire was thrown on them, disrupting their cohesion, routing one of the bikes and causing another to dismount.  The French took some hits to their Force Morale, but it was to late.  They got a double phase not far from tables edge and made good their escape.  The French had one, but it was close.

Hannut 2.jpg

Enter a caption

The next scenario was Den Ganzen Lieban  Langen Tag.  A scenario designed around the fighting at Crehen.  The scenario’s name comes from a quote of Panzer Captain Von Jugenfeld who said the fighting continued all the love longed day.

DSC_1227

Crehen

This was a far more typical Chain of Command game with two platoons fighting for possession of Crehen. The French were aided by two Hotchkiss H30s (one with an upgraded long SA 38) two Belgians gates and one minefield. The Germans had a Panzer Grenedier platoon with 6 command dice supported by two panzer IIs, a Panzer III, a pregame barrage and a mine clearing team.

DSC_1228

This looked rough for the Germans.  Most of the village is well over on the French side of the table.   There was also a series of walls and stone structures forming a formidable looking barriers across the field.  The French placed the Belgian Gate and the mine fields in the most prominent gaps.  The Germans however were far more aggressive than the French in the patrol phase and managed to get jump of marker very far forward, allowing them to take some of the buildings easier than might have been imagined.

DSC_1232

Firefight

One of these positions was a house just across the road from the petrol station and a fierce firefight began.  The Germans never really committed their rifles to this action, but the MG 34s were doing fine as it was.

DSC_1231

On the German’s left, they sent their two Panzer IIs to rip into the other primary French position, again to very good effect.

DSC_1229

Enter a caption

The French responded by dividing their Hotchkiss tanks.  sending one forward to support the firefight at the Shell, and the other to deal with the Panzer IIs.  Another squad was also ordered into the Petrol station to support that first squad which had taken heavy casualties this was a huge error.  As the darted across the street, the Germans played their Chain of Command dice and interrupted the action, catching that squad flat footed in the road at close range.  The were ripped apart.  In two phases, the French Force Morale crashed from an already unsteady 5 to 0 and the Germans took the town.

Hannut 3.jpg

Enter a caption

The last  scenario deals with the crazy actions of Lieutenant Le Bel, who on the 13th of May would drive his Hotchkiss through the German lines surrounding Jauche not once, but THREE times.

This scenario is problematic.  The idea sounds  kind of fun, at Le Bell’s story is great.  as written however, the French are only required to drive two Hotchkiss tanks across the board.  Now that might not sound so tough but all the German’s have to stop them is part of a Panzer Grenadier platoon, a Panzer I, a Panzer II and a PAK 36.  The only weapons really likely to do anything to a Hotchkiss is the possibly the PAK 36 and to a lesser degree the Panzer II and the platoons Anti Tank Rifle.  I decided to give them a panzerknacker team as well.  Little damage was done to the French tanks, though there was some success in slowing their progress.

The Panzer I was mostly useless.  Or so I thought.  In the end, with the Hotchkiss tanks a good deal of the way to their objective, the obsolete little German tank raced forward and rammed one of the French vehicles.  I didn’t even know their were rules for this in Chain of Command.  The Panzer suffered more from the crash than did the Hotchkiss, as one might imagine, but in a ram the victor still rolls on the plus 2 net hit chart and the result was an immobilized Tank.  As the victory conditions called for both tanks to make it this gave the German’s the victory!

DSC_1236

Enter a caption

Every one seemed to have a good time and the majority of my players were in all three games!  Thanks for playing and thanks to Lard America for this little taste of Yankee Lard.

Until next time, Cheers!

 

Categories: Chain of Command, Convention, Fall of France, Historicon, Lard America, Too Fat Lardies | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Reckoning for Lone Rock, A Pulp Alley Adventure!

Yesterday afternoon found me off enjoying my local convention, guns of August, where I ran a Pulp Alley game of wild West Cowboy Action!  This is the first time I have used Pulp Alley for a cowboy skirmish.

cowboy

I decided to use the Crime Spree adventure in the Vice Alley campaign book.  This is of course designed for 1930s gangsters, but one of the greatest aspects of Pulp Alley is how easy it is to do whatever you want with it.  Because I was playing at a convention I decided to allow 6 leagues (and therefore 6 players) rather than the usual maximum of four.  Because I was allowing six players I decided to allow a larger playing area as well.  Pulo alley is usually played out of a 3″x3″ table, but I decided to use a full 6″x4″.

Page_1

I can’t really give as much detail as I might like in an AAR.  The number of inexperienced players, the tight quarters of the gaming hall, and the roar of the fans trying so hard to cool the hot air all conspired against me for properly documenting the game.  I often wasn’t really sure what was happening myself.  Another great advantage of these rules is that while they can be difficult to explain, they are very easy to learn.  Very quickly the players were able to help themselves very ably.  This allowed me to prepare for another game I was planning on running directly after this one. Similarly, I had only a small number of photos to use here.  Many of these, most of the non-antiqued ones were taken by one of the players

Similarly, I had only a small number of photos to use here.  Many of these, most of the non-antiqued ones were taken by one of the players

Page_2

Again, borrowing from the notion of Vice Alley, all of my leagues were intended to be classed as criminal or vigilante.  The leagues consisted of El Guapo and his banditos, The McBroom gang, Marshall Harris and the Pinkertons, Sheriff Silas and his Posse and of course Preacher Harris and his Evangelical Vigilante Suffragettes.  I had planned a sixth league which of cowboys but I ended up with just the five players, that’s fine.  I think in the environment we were ibn even five was probably too many.

Page_3

The plot points consisted of Major Plot point:  An active Bank Robbery

Minor Plot Points: A witness

An assault

A burglary attempt

An informant

Page_4

Page_5

The game was a lot of fun.  Some of my players had no experience with gaming at all let alone with Pulp Alley, and two were children ( though one of those was probably getting close to adulthood).

Categories: Convention, Pulp, pulp alley, Uncategorized, Wild West Skirmish, Williamsburg Legati | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

War of the Roses and Sharp Practice 2

So a project that I have been working on for some time now has been a War of the Roses game using Sharp Practice.  The original idea for this comes from Pat’s blog Wargaming With Silver Whistle. The Idea was later added to the Too Fat Lardies’ Summer Special 2013. This excellent article with it’s inspiring photographs and the availability of The Perry Brother’s figures certainly called out to me, and I started to build for it.

So I began to buy figures and build, soon I learned that my local wargame show Guns of August,  intended to have a medieval theme.  The die was cast.  Only one problem, Sharp Practice 2 was released…

Obviously, I could have left matters alone and used the old rules, but I decided to revise the old Of All Base Passions  to version 2.  this I have done with no permissions requested or granted so apologies to all concerned parties.

 

DSC_0002

Yorkist Troops Approaching Greenstead from the east

In a similarly unoriginal fashion, the scenario I ran was also from the Silver Whistle blog.  This is a pretty simple scenario.  Completely equal forces approaching an uncontrolled town and the opposing Lords territories.

 

DSC_0003

Yorkists crossing the Bridge

 

 

DSC_0001

Lancastrian Forces approaching from the West

 

 

From the start, luck smiled upon the Yorkists.  Both the command cards and the dice luck seemed to smile upon them.  Actually so did the terrain.  There was a walled field that should have been placed a few inches further to the west.  Its location ended up giving the Yorkist forces a real advantage,

 

DSC_0006

Yorkist Archers Take the Field

I should have placed this field with its center equal to the Town’s main entrance.  Doing so would have been fairer.  This error allowed the Yorkist to take the wall and in the following archery duel, they would not have had such an advantage over their enemy.  The Archers in formation began a long range duel with one another, but with the Yorkists in cover and the Lancastrians exposed the former were slowly getting the worst of it.

 

DSC_0005

Yorkist Billmen Make Their Way to the Side Gate

Oddly, neither Lord realized at first that the walled town had gates on the sides.  Upon this epiphany both sent forces towards those weaker entrances.  The bad luck with command cards, and with their dice for movement prevented the Lancastrians from reaching theirs.

 

DSC_0009

Billmen Break Down the Eastern Gate!

Not so the Yorkists.  After just a few turns they broke through the wall and quickly dealt with the weak defense of the townspeople.  Gisborne, the Town’s mayor was still getting his forces together.

 

DSC_0011

The Lancasters   Reconsider Their Targets

 

The Lancaster Archers realize the weak position but also notice that the enemy’s Men of Arms have been approaching the Town’s front gate and are well in short range.  This proves wise, and while little blood is spilled the foot knights find themselves becoming a little shaken.

 

DSC_0008

Grand Melee!

Seeing that the Yorkist knights are close to having excessive shock, the Tudor commander ordered his billmen to close with them.  While the idea had merit, it failed to recognize the differing quality of the troops involved as well as the armor advantage of the knights.  As would be expected by their Noble Liege, the men at arms suffered very little from the scrape. They were forced to withdraw having received some small addition to their shock, but they lost only one man to the Lancastrian loss of 5.  Not only were the forced back by losing the fight by four, but they were now broken as well.  they routed back from whence they came with a tremendous amount of excessive shock.  The problem is this took them right through a group of their archers with enough excessive shock that they two now were broken.  The Lancastrian luck continued to plummet when an enemy arrow pierced the armor or the Lancastrian’s second in command.  He fell dead.  In a frighteningly quick fashion, the Lancastrian force morale total went from 10 to 3.  Lord Oxford was forced to order his men to pull back fearful that otherwise, they would simply rout.  The only good luck he had was when a random event (and perhaps the Yorkist soldiers breaking through the gates) caused Master Gisborne to place himself and the townspeople under the protection of the Lancastrians.

DSC_0004

So, in the end, I had decided to not make use of deployment points but rather to follow the original idea of marching forces into the game.  Partly I reached this decision due to the scenario predating the new rules and partly because I don’t imagine this period to be one of great stealth.  This was an error, however.  Far too long was spent getting the troops into action.  In fact, oddly the fight went march,  march,  march, shoot a little, charge and then suddenly it was over.  I am also not convinced that there may not be a better way to do armor.  Presently it is a saving throw, but as all hits already have a saving throw for cover it seems redundant and the game starts to feel a little like a Warhammer.  More thought may be necessary there.

 

Cheers,

Ron

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Convention, Sharp Practice, Too Fat Lardies, Uncategorized, War of the Roses, Wargaming, Williamsburg Legati | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kellogg’s Pirate! Sharp Practice in Williamsburg

Last weekend brought the opportunity to play another Sharp Practice game at one of my local conventions, Williamsburg Muster.

Williamsburg Muster is a small but growing local convention which in concert with Guns of August provides the Pennisula with some much needed Wargaming activity.   These conventions are both run annually by the Hampton Roads Wargamers.

 

Poster

Kellogg’s Pirate was lifted rather liberally from Too Fat Lardies excellent product THE COMPLEAT FONDLER.  This is a scenario where the hero finds himself aided (or perhaps hindered) by the Royal Navy while attempting to rescue Portuguese civilians taken into slavery by Barbary Pirates.  In an attempt to weaken the Anglo-Portugeuse Alliance, the wily French have provided these pirates with British Redcoats, an obvious attempt to confuse the poor people of Portugal!

Changes I made from the scenario as written?  The scenario called for 80 redcoated figures to use as pirates.  Lacking that number, my pirates were represented by a mixture of Darkest Africa Baluchi, Spanish Irlanda, and smattering of French Dragoons as well as the redcoats.  The location was also changed.  The site is supposed to be a North African port, due to a lack of proper buildings I decided to place it on a small, unnamed Portuguese Island, allowing me to build the town from my Mediterranean buildings.  Lastly, I changed all the names.  too Fat Lardies leans towards humorous but often off colour names which I feared might offend some of the more puritan Americans I am like to find at a convention.  Oh, my rifles are also 60th American rather than the 95th.  That fact that I am an American is partly the reason for this last change but it isn’t the only one.  I find the 95th  overdone thanks to the success of Bernard Cornwell and the 60th is so odd.  They serve in the British Army, they are called the Royal Americans but they are made up mostly of Germans!

The 60th moves forward

The 60th moves forward

The pirates were played by Mark and his son Armand, until the younger one was distracted by his new Imperial Assault game.  The British were Malcolm and Alfred.  As it fell out all of the players are friends of mine and Mark and Al have played some of my other Sharp Practice games.

The fight began with the rifles landed on the beach right on the flank of a group of pirates on patrol.  Shots were fired and the alarm was raised!  Sargent Hoffman, one of the British Bigmen, was seriously wounded by the first Pirate volley!

DSC_0011

The riflemen spent most of the fight in firing upon the house of Pirate leader, the notorious Qadar A’sad.  The house was defended by the pirate and his bodyguard and remained so throughout the fight.

DSC_0012

Finding no luck on their frontal assault of the Pirates home, the rifles began to move to the flank.

DSC_0013

Not satisfied simply firing from the firing steps of their fort, the pirates began to send sorties out after the surrounded riflemen.  This made a great deal of sense as the small fort was quickly becoming chaotic and overfull as the hung over pirates continued to wake up and flood the courtyard.  While nothing very dramatic was happening the rifles were gathering shock quickly.

Lt Porter Arrives!

Lt Porter Arrives!

On the third blank card Lt Porter arrived with a landing party of sailors.  By this time the riflemen were pulling back.  One group and lost its bottle and ran back into one of the warehouses by the beach.  The pirates had also, by poorly designed firing ports apparently, managed to set fire to their fort.  Upon the arrival of the sailors, the pirates forced the burning wall down.

DSC_0016

the pirates took advantage of the collapsed wall to charge forth into the sailors.  Though out numbered the sailors fought well and pushed the pirates back, their victory would be short lived however….

DSC_0017

Soon pirates began to flow out of the fort, completely overwhelming  the sailors on the flank.  Lt Porter himself was seriously wounded and no doubt fell prisoner to these diabolical pirates!

DSC_0018

 

Sensing their opportunity had passed the riflemen raced back to the boats to return to the ship.  They would have to row themselves as in the end very few of the sailors survived!  No slaves would be rescued this day…..

All in all the game was enjoyable and everyone had a good time, well except perhaps the Portuguese civilians.

Until next time, cheers,

Ron

 

 

Categories: Convention, Napoleonic Wars, Sharp Practice, Too Fat Lardies, Wargaming, Williamsburg Muster | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.

The Renaissance Troll

Wargaming in Williamsbrg, ,Virginia

Skirmish Supremacy Blog

Wargaming in Williamsbrg, ,Virginia

Miniature Soldiers & Stuff

Wargaming in Williamsbrg, ,Virginia

Singled Out - A Guild Ball Podcast

Mob Football in the Free Cities

Blogorovka

My attempt to chronicle the largest toy tank battles in the history of manchildren.

Barn Burners Slot Car Club

Come out and Join the fun and relive the Golden age of auto racing.

JOHN BOND's WARGAMING STUFF

Wargaming in Williamsbrg, ,Virginia

Gentlemanly Wargaming

A blog about playing games with toy soldiers (formerly called El Granadero Loco)

Meeples & Miniatures

The longest running UK tabletop gaming podcast

The Immortal Jukebox

A Blog about Music and Popular Culture

"Fishy Fashion and Maritime Modes"

Seafaring Dress in the European Age of Sail (1750-1800)

Dispatches from a Hanoverian Kriegspieler

Wargaming in Williamsbrg, ,Virginia

LEGIO XXVIII LILIPVTIA

Wargaming in Williamsbrg, ,Virginia

Earl the Bard

Wargaming in Williamsbrg, ,Virginia

A Damsel in This Dress

My life in stitches - adventures in the world of costuming...

Past Pleasures

Wargaming in Williamsbrg, ,Virginia

Compleat Napoleonics

My gaming group's re-fight of 1792-1815.

ubiquematt

This WordPress.com site is the cat’s pajamas

Foodways Pilgrim

It's not just the food, it's the ways