Sunday, 8 January 2017

How to add a degree of chaos to your wargames

     I have a selection of cards for science fiction wargames  that I will soon be offering for sale.  I will be posting my random events cards to give you an idea of what I have to offer, there after, my ideas will cost you £5 for the card sets and a free set of my Overkill science fiction rules to give you an idea what I was thinking of when I created my cards.  The sets are produced in two formats:  inoffensive and 18+.  You will have to let me know which set you want when you place your order.
     Parental warning - the 18+ card sets are exactly that, so don't complain to me if you don't like them.  You have been warned!
     Either way, the card sets are written in PDF format so that I will be able to email them to you.  But, you will have to print them yourself.
     Happy 2017.
Mark

Monday, 12 December 2016

Mantic Battlezones - A Guide


Actually, this should be Battlezones by Mantic, a life, the universe and everything guide, but there wasn't room in the title space. So, to start, this is my personal opinion, if you don't like it, write your own! I bought Mantic's Industrial and Urban sectors (so far I've only been allowed to open the industrial sector though!) and the first thing I did when I opened the box was search for a guide as to what is what and what the possibilities were with the set. I then panicked as there is no guide and very little in the box makes any sense at first glance.

I closed the box and put it to the rear of my self, then resorted to Google. Every post I found said the same thing, namely, why isn't there any sort of guide provided with Battlezones? On their site, Mantic states that one is on the way, but as that was written in 2012, I wouldn't hold your breath! Fortunately Mr Anthony Bragg, check him out on Google+, has been a huge help and put me onto The Terrain Tutor on You Tube. Mr T's videos are brilliant and he covers almost everything you will ever need to know about terrain, but he doesn't tell you what is what with Battlezones. Hence this guide.

I've tried to do a bit of a comparison to give you some idea of what Battlezones is like in the wargaming field. The boss of Mantic compares it to Lego in their videos, but personally I would compare it to Games Workshop.



Lego was brilliant when I was even younger than I am now:) It is versatile to the point that if you don't like what you build you can take it apart and start again and back in the day, it offered value for money. However, it is hardly suitable for use in the majority of wargames.



I love GW, to my mind it is the bench mark that all other wargame's businesses have to follow and as an extra bonus, it is English and therefore deserving of our support. Their terrain, like their figures, is of brilliant quality and fits perfectly with the background of their scifi games. Another personal plus is that what you see on the box is what you get. But, to add a more personal touch to the terrain, you need to be experienced and able to add intricate bases to make your customisations look good.



Despite Mantic's claims to the contrary, you cannot reuse the pieces in their sets like you can with Lego. The connectors simply are not strong enough and you do not get enough of them. Neither is the quality of the pieces up to that of Games Workshop, although that is largely down to the fact that whoever takes them off their frames obviously doesn't love what they are doing.

Where Battlezones comes into its own is its versatility. You could buy ten of the same kit and not build the same building twice. It is brilliant. Better still, it is perfectly suited to wargaming as long as you have your background story right. What do I mean? If you are fighting your battles on a planet with millions of years of history, you are probably better off buying Games Workshop terrain. But if your battles are set in an environment like the TV show Defiance, Battlezones is just what you need. It looks functional, rather than artistic, perfectly suited to colonists who want easy to assemble buildings that will provide them with shelter, safety and protection. It also fits in perfectly with what I had in mind when I wrote my wargames rules.

So, onto my review of the Battlezones industrial sector. Yes, I can hear your sighs of 'At last.'


What You Get:
 


90º and straight connectors



Walls and extras



Roofs and extras



Extras 1



Extras 2



Urban sprues



You will need; cutters; long-nosed pliers; a file; Stanley knife and lots of super glue. You will also need something to use as a base for your buildings as they are too flimsy for gaming use otherwise. I used some cork place mats.



You do not get enough connectors and the 90º ones are enough to make a sane person wish to commit seppuko. My first effort, I ended up with more pieces super glued to my fingers than to each other. For my second attempt, I either left them out, or cut one of the pegs down to a triangle, then super glued them. They are a particular pain when trying to fix roofs to walls as

A – they leave the roof section sitting proud of the wall

B – you are likely to wreck the wall and everything else attached to it when you try to push the roof onto the connector.

The 'risers' are brilliant though and are an excellent way of joining walls together. But whatever connectors you use, you are better off gluing everything to give it some stability.



The connectors work by pushing/forcing their pegs into the holes in the walls, etc. It is a good idea to use long-nosed pliers to squeeze them into place after putting glue on the pegs. BUT ensure that you have planned what you want to build first, as you will only get one attempt.

 
My first attempt after judicial use of filler. By this stage I was not a happy chappie and wished I had gone for GW terrain instead.


Luckily my second attempt turned out better because I had come to terms with the limitations on the connectors. If you want to use the conveyor belts though, I suggest you cut the supports in half as otherwise the conveyors are virtually at the top of the doorways.



If you want to do corners with the railings or walkways, you are going to have to do some cutting, as they won't sit together properly otherwise. Not a big deal, but worth bearing in mind.







I haven't finished painting my buildings yet, but I will post a picture of the finished factory once I have. If you want to see some decent paint jobs, see Anthony Bragg on Google+.



Unfortunately I don't have a spray gun any more, nor anywhere to spray without my wife divorcing me, so my efforts are totally with a brush and I think spraying would look a lot better.


I hope you have found this useful and I wish you all happy wargaming.

Mark







 

Sunday, 24 July 2016

War Plan Red part 3 - Heroes and Villains


The George's

(Named after St George)


Archibald Giggles was born in Hong Kong in 1889 and like his birth sign the Ox, is a born leader with something of a temper. His parents drowned when the ship they were sailing in was caught in a typhoon off Kowloon Bay and sank with all hands. Giggles thus moved to England to live with his great aunt, Lady Temperance Chatterley.

He joined No. 5 Royal Flying Corps as a pilot when it was formed in 1913 and is fond of reminiscing about his training: 'training went something like this, 'This is an aeroplane, this is the throttle, this is the bit that makes it go and turn left or right. If you're really lucky, this bit brings you safely back to earth.'

At first, Giggles flew the Avro 504 but he grew bored of doing nothing more than spotting for artillery and transferred to 3 Squadron, then 45 Squadron. In all, Giggles accounted for 36 confirmed enemy kills, most of them while he was flying his Sopwith Camel.

With the end of the war in 1918, Giggles became something of an adventurer, travelling extensively in China, where he was recruited by MI6 to provide information on the budding communist party. He was recalled to the UK in 1935 amid growing concerns about War Plan Red.

With the onset of the American attacks, Giggles was quoted in The Free World Press as stating: “Those damned Yankees won't know what hit 'em. They'll be running home to hide behind their mother's aprons in no time!”


Archibald Giggles – 100 points + weapons, equipment and skills
M
FS
SS
S
T
W
A
R
6
3
3
4
4
3
3
9

Leader of The George's

May add 1 point to 2 stats. EG you could give him an extra attack and a R of 10

May have a single handed close combat weapon and a pistol.

May also have grenades

Has the following skills:

Born Leader – 5 points

Gains +1 R

Dodge – 20 points

Has a 4+ Invulnerable Save


Note – The derogatory use of the word Yankee is attributed to British General James Wolfe. “I can afford to lose all of those damned Yankees, because they have no worth for work nor vigilance!”


Charlie Challenge is the inventor of the rocket powered jet pack that can be worn on a figure's back. Charlie also test piloted his creation, which led to his making several visits to the local hospital. However, by model 13, Charlie had perfected his creation, more or less anyway and has handed over the blueprints to MI6.


Charlie Challenge – 10 points + weapons and equipment
M
FS
SS
S
T
W
A
R
6
4
4
3
3
1
1
7

May swap a single stat from 1 column to another. EG you could make the SS 5 and the R 8

Rocket Pack -

Move - May fly 12” in any direction.

Laser Pistol – 1 point

range – 9” strength – 3


Ms Caroline Sheppard is something of a sleuth who has assisted the police and MI6 on numerous occasions. She was born in the quaint village of Ashton-Under-Hill in 1901 and attributes her success to her gypsy mother. Caroline became something of a celebrity when tabloids linked her to solving the notorious Slipper Murders, that had the East End of London living in a state of terror from 1929 – 1931, when she personally apprehended Lord Travis Tee.
Ms Caroline Sheppard– 250 points + weapons, equipment and skills
M
FS
SS
S
T
W
A
R
6
4
4
3
3
3
3
9

May have armour with a total save of no more than 6. EG a flak jacket.

May have a pistol

May use psychic powers from the Fallen Angels rules and the psychic powers cards

Caroline has the following skill - Lucky – 10 points

May re-roll one set of dice once per game, or make the enemy re-roll a set.


Pitbull Mc Dubhgall is the son of a Scottish laird whose family hails from the Isle of Skye. Like his father before him, Pitbull served in the 1st Regiment of the Skye Highland Infantry, gaining the DSC and MC for his service fighting the Hun in the Great War. He put the skills he learnt on his family's grouse moors to good use during his time in the trenches, where he became renowned for his stealth and marksmanship.

After the war, Pitbull felt at something of a loss and travelled far and wide in search of adventure. He became an accomplished martial artist during a prolonged stay in Hunan, China and learnt the skills of the majhong tables during a visit to the Portuguese colony of Macau, where he also became acquainted with Giggles.

Although Pitbull has become a top agent in MI6 and his patriotism is considered beyond question, his handler is still concerned that he may suffer from the little understood condition of post traumatic stress, due to his experiences during the war. His file thus bears the note that he is something of a loose cannon.


Pitbull Mc Dubhgall – 30 points + any equipment and extra weapons.
M
FS
SS
S
T
W
A
R
6
4
3
3
3
1
1
8

Has a sniper rifle and a telescopic sight (included in points cost)

May have a close combat weapon and grenades

May have armour with a total save of no more than 6. EG a flak jacket.

He may not have a shield.

Pitbull ignores SS penalties for being at over ½ range

If he can see any part of a target, he may fire at it without any cover saves applying.

Pitbull has the following skills:

Close Combat Expert – 5 points

+1 FS

Sneak – 5 points

As long as he doesn't come within 3” of any enemy, Pitbull may move through any type of cover without being seen. If he hides, enemy cannot see him unless they come within 3”.


Kara Loft is more formally known as the Lady Bikley, although she has little interest in her title, or the responsibilities it carries. Kara's mother died during her birth in 1906 and her father went missing ten years later, during an expedition to China to find Shangri-la.

Kara claims she learnt more from her gamekeeper, than the expensive school she attended. Since coming into her inheritance, Kara has undertaken several expeditions to the Chinese Himalayas, where she was recruited by MI6.

Kara is described by virtually every man (and quite a few women) who meet her as being 'drop dead gorgeous.' Anyone attacking her suffers -1 FS and -1 SS. Kara always fights first if in base contact with a male enemy.


Kara Loft – 10 points + weapons and equipment
M
FS
SS
S
T
W
A
R
6
4
4
3
3
1
1
7

May swap a single stat from 1 column to another. EG you could make the SS 5 and the R 8

May have armour with a total save of no more than 6. EG a flak jacket

May not have a shield.

May have a pistol and a shotgun

Kara has the sneak skill - As long as she doesn't come within 3” of any enemy, Kara may move through any type of cover without being seen. If she hides, enemy cannot see her unless they come within 3”.


Sergeant Blake of 42 Commando (that's said 4 2) came top of his intake at Lympstone when he joined prior to the outbreak of WW1. He took part in several amphibious assaults, most notably at Zeebrugge in 1918.


Sergeant Blake – 15 points + weapons, equipment and skills
M
FS
SS
S
T
W
A
R
6
3
4
3
3
1
1
8

You may add 1 to a single stat EG you could give them an extra attack.

May have a Save of 6, eg a flak jacket

May have a single handed close combat weapon and a pistol

May have a automatic rifle.

May also have grenades

Blake has the following skills:

Born Leader – 5 points

Gains +1 R

Close Combat Expert – 5 points

+1 FS

Royal Marines Special Rule – Pain Is Only Weakness Leaving The Body – Because of their training, marines count as being stubborn. This means they have a R of 10 for morale tests


Marine Smith, 42 Commando. Smith joined as a gunner in the RMA but was transferred to RMLI when they were amalgamated in 1923. As he can no longer 'play' with artillery, Smith likes to use a machine gun, 'Because it still makes a loud noise.'


Marine Smith – 15 points + weapons, equipment and skills
M
FS
SS
S
T
W
A
R
6
3
4
3
3
1
1
8

You may add 1 to a single stat EG you could give them an extra attack.

May have a Save of 6, eg a flak jacket

May have a single handed close combat weapon and a pistol

May have a LMG.

May also have grenades

Smith has the following skills:

Close Combat Expert – 5 points

+1 FS

Marksman – 5 points

+1 SS


Marine Jones, 42 Commando. Jones is something of a loner and one of the best snipers the Royal Marines has ever produced. He was on secondment to MI6 when the Americans invaded Canada.


Marine Jones  – 15 points + weapons, equipment and skills
M
FS
SS
S
T
W
A
R
6
4
3
3
3
1
1
8


Has a sniper rifle and a telescopic sight (included in points cost)

May have a close combat weapon and grenades

May have armour with a total save of no more than 6. EG a flak jacket.

He may not have a shield.

Smith ignores SS penalties for being at over ½ range

If he can see any part of a target, he may fire at it without any cover saves applying.

Smith has the following skills:

Close Combat Expert – 5 points

+1 FS

Sneak – 5 points

As long as he doesn't come within 3” of any enemy, Pitbull may move through any type of cover without being seen. If he hides, enemy cannot see him unless they come within 3”.





The Villains   (Hiss!  Boo!)



General Elmer. Nicknamed Elmer Fudd by the Brits, the General is exactly what you would expect an American hero to be. To quote Pitbull Mc Dubhgall 'He's all wind wrapped up in a fancy leotard.' The Americans consider him to be their secret weapon and he certainly does have a very definite “effect” on his opponents.

To his fellow Americans, Elmer is the epitome of everything that makes America great. To everyone else... he looks quite different. His red, white and blue costume has the stars and stripes picked out in sequins which the designers think makes him look very dashing.

Enemy trying to fire at Elmer or engage him in close combat suffer a -1 FS and -1 SS penalty because they are laughing so much.


General Elmer – 100 points + weapons, equipment and skills
M
FS
SS
S
T
W
A
R
6
3
3
4
4
3
3
9

Leader of the Americans

May add 1 point to 2 stats. EG you could give him an extra attack and a R of 10

May have a single handed close combat weapon and a pistol.

May also have grenades

Has the following skills:

Born Leader – 5 points

Gains +1 R

Dodge – 20 points

Has a 4+ Invulnerable Save

Boomerang shield – this offers a +2 save and has a range of 6”.

Chuck Bodgers. Bodgers began his career with CIC in 1920 and was quickly recognised for his skills with technology. He really came into his own when a special agent managed to steal a working model of a rocket pack. Unfortunately for Bodgers, it was an early model 9 and he spent eight months in hospital before he managed to work around the design flaws.


Chuck Bodgers – 10 points + weapons and equipment
M
FS
SS
S
T
W
A
R
6
4
4
3
3
1
1
7

May swap a single stat from 1 column to another. EG you could make the SS 5 and the R 8

Rocket Pack -

Move - May fly 12” in any direction.

Laser Pistol – 1 point

range – 9” strength – 3


Puppy Bountiful. Puppy was christened Helen Patrice. She learnt at an early age that sex appeal can get her almost anything she wants, but that a Colt .45 is a handy backup. She began working for American Intelligence (☺) in 1931 and was posted to London early in 1933 after a scandal with her section chief.


Puppy Bountiful – 10 points + weapons and equipment
M
FS
SS
S
T
W
A
R
6
4
4
3
3
1
1
7

May swap a single stat from 1 column to another. EG you could make the SS 5 and the R 8

May have armour with a total save of no more than 6. EG a flak jacket

May not have a shield.

May have an automatic handgun

Puppy has the Femme Fatale - Any man attacking her suffers a -1 FS

The Mask. Tony Q is an ex cop that was blinded during a raid on an illegal chemical works in New Orleans. The loss of his sight and the fumes he inhaled during the raid, have left him with unusual abilities.


The Mask – 250 points + weapons, equipment and skills
M
FS
SS
S
T
W
A
R
6
4
4
3
3
3
3
9

May only wear a Flak jacket or equivalent, maximum Save of 6

May have a pistol

May use psychic powers from the Fallen Angels rules and the psychic powers cards

May have a pistol

Tony has the following skill - Dodge – 20 points

The figure has a 4+ Invulnerable Save

Payback. Richard Hedd is a master of disguise who seeks vengeance against anyone he perceives as being a threat to the great American way of life.


Payback – 10 points + weapons and equipment
M
FS
SS
S
T
W
A
R
6
4
4
3
3
1
1
7

May swap a single stat from 1 column to another. EG you could make the SS 5 and the R 8

May have armour with a total save of no more than 6. EG a flak jacket.

May have a single handed close combat weapon and a pistol.

May have a SMG

May have grenades

May have the following skills:

Marksman – 5 points

+1 SS

Infiltrate – 10 points

Payback may deploy anywhere on the battlefield as long as it is in cover. But he doesn't have to be positioned on the battlefield. Write on a piece of paper where he is, then he can be positioned at the start of any of his turns, or when the enemy gets within 6” of him.


The Spectre. Nothing is known of the early life of the Spectre and few would dare to ask him about it. He is a skilled martial artist and rumours claim that he has been trained in the ways of Japanese ninjitsu.


The Spectre – 15 points + weapons, equipment and skills
M
FS
SS
S
T
W
A
R
6
3
4
3
3
1
1
8

You may add 1 to a single stat EG you could give them an extra attack.

May have armour with a total save of no more than 6. EG a flak jacket.

May have a single handed close combat weapon and a pistol.

May have shurikens (throwing stars) Treat them as thrown knives.

May have grenades

May have the following skills:

Close Combat Expert – 5 points

+1 FS

Sneak – 5 points

As long as he doesn't come within 3” of any enemy, he may move through any type of cover without being seen. If he hides, enemy cannot see him unless they come within 3”.


Special agent 'Quick Draw' McGraw. Dan McGraw gained his nickname because of his passion for westerns. He spends hours everyday in front of a mirror practising drawing his Colt .45. He is a crack shot with any handgun.


Dan McGraw – 15 points + weapons, equipment and skills
M
FS
SS
S
T
W
A
R
6
3
4
3
3
1
1
8

You may add 1 to a single stat EG you could give them an extra attack.

May have armour with a total save of no more than 6. EG a flak jacket.

May have a single handed close combat weapon and an automatic handgun.

May have a Laser Pistol – 1 point range – 9” strength – 3

May have a SMG

May have grenades

May have the following skills:

Marksman – 5 points

+1 SS


Agent William 'The Kid' Ford. The Kid joined CIC as soon as he was able to and has been on active service in Europe for the last eighteen months.


William Ford – 10 points + weapons and equipment
M
FS
SS
S
T
W
A
R
6
4
4
3
3
1
1
7

May swap a single stat from 1 column to another. EG you could make the SS 5 and the R 8

May have armour with a total save of no more than 6. EG a flak jacket.

May have a single handed close combat weapon and a pistol.

May have a SMG

May have grenades

May have the following skills:

Fast – 5 points

May move an extra 3” each turn. The normal terrain penalties apply though.

Lock Smith – 5 points

Can soundlessly pick any lock.


Agent Jean Mortenson. Jean has only recently been assigned to London, but has already been able to gather useful information for Operation Killjoy. Her colleagues are all jealous of her as they are certain she is set to be a rising star in CIC.


Jean Mortensen – 15 points + weapons, equipment and skills
M
FS
SS
S
T
W
A
R
6
3
4
3
3
1
1
8

You may add 1 to a single stat EG you could give them an extra attack.

May have armour with a total save of no more than 6. EG a flak jacket.

May have a single handed close combat weapon and an automatic handgun.

May have a SMG

May have grenades

May have the following skills:

Lucky – 10 points

May re-roll one set of dice once per game, or make the enemy re-roll a set.

Born Leader – 5 points

Gains +1 R
 
 
All of my rules and scenarios are available from  www.1poundrules.website    Each set of rules only costs £1






War Plan Red part 2 - Operation Killjoy



Operation Killjoy


Background


King Edward VIII is probably the most misunderstood person in this whole sordid affair. MI6 had cracked American military codes in the early 1920's, so were fully aware of their intentions toward England and her allies. MI6 also knew all about Mrs Simpson being one of CIC's top operatives and had asked his majesty to encourage a relationship with her in order to feed her bosses false information.

Everything, including his abdication in 1936, was staged for the sole purpose of misleading England's enemies, a policy that worked far more successfully than MI6 could have dared to wish.

Although Wallis was assigned by CIC to engineer a relationship with King Edward, they did not foresee that she would actually fall in love with him. She willingly agreed to work for MI6 when they approached her and has been helping the English cause by feeding false information to her bosses.

With the abdication of King Edward VIII in December 1936, his younger brother Albert took over the throne as King George VI. As American military plans to overthrow the British empire fell apart in Canada, the Counter Intelligence Corps put Operation Killjoy into effect. This involved a team of special operatives kidnapping, or if this failed, assassinating King George, in a final effort to throw England into a state of confusion that CIC could then exploit.

Even before the invasion of Canada began, CIC's team were in place in the US embassy, using standard cover stories that they were embassy staff. Virtually as soon as their tenure began in the 19th century, the Americans started constructing a labyrinth of secret tunnels that allowed them to access the London drainage system in order to carry out acts of espionage. 
The success of Killjoy hinges upon US agents being able to access Buckingham Palace through the underground tunnels, whereby they will attempt to kidnap King George. Should their efforts fail, they are to assassinate the king at all costs. The destruction of Buckingham Palace is considered an extra bonus, as long as it does not jeopardise taking the king.


The George's are tasked with foiling this contemptible plan.


All of the underground areas in these scenarios are illuminated with electric lights.



The Tunnels
The first action takes place in the underground tunnels beneath the streets of London. Use the tunnel rules from Fallen Angels to determine what the tunnels are like. The George's can deploy anywhere they like on their side of the table, the Americans start at their table edge.

The George's may have the first turn if they wish and can wait in ambush for the Americans.


Ambush – For the purposes of this scenario, those figures in ambush can hide behind any available cover. They may attack the enemy whenever they wish, even during the enemy player's turn.


The Americans must reach The George's table edge to win. The George's must drive the Americans back to their start positions.



The Pumping Station
The fighting has moved to a large underground pumping station. This is still in use and should have a large pump in the middle of a room with lots of consoles, an office and a small kitchen. There is a raised walkway that runs above the pump, with a ladder leading up to it. There is also a ladder that leads to a higher level, possibly the outside, although this is unclear to the combatants unless they climb it. There is a tunnel entering the room from either side

Each force can start anywhere on their side of the table, including the raised walkway. Whoever won the last scenario can choose to go first, or second.


The Americans must reach The George's start position with at least half their force and destroy the pump in the process. The George's have to stop them performing both actions.




The Air Raid Shelter

This shelter was built to keep the royal family safe during World War 1. There is a staircase leading up to the ground floor of the palace, on The George's side of the table. There is lots of furniture dotted around the room for cover.

The George's can deploy anywhere on their half of the table, the Americans start at their table edge where a tunnel enters the room.


At least 2 Americans must reach the stairs to win, The George's must stop them at all costs.
 
 
All of my rules and scenarios are available from  www.1poundrules.website  and each set of rules only costs £1.