Thursday, 16 February 2017

Battle of Rooty Hill - FUBAR VSF AAR

It's always good to get my VSF figures and models onto the tabletop so "Tally Ho Chaps!"

The Battle for Rooty Hill reaches its climax as Captain Darling (foreground bravely fighting with sword drawn) fights to reach his nemesis Doktor Von Hades (cowardly lurking in the background waving his cap in an very evil manner)!

We have our two major protagonists on the field of battle this time Captain Darling and Doktor Von Hades. Now even though characters like the Captain and Doktor are in the long term indestructible they as vulnerable as every other figure in the action and can be killed by failing a save on any hit just like any other figure...BUT this means they are 'just' incapacitated, they are carried from the field by the closest friendly figure and then taken to the nearest exclusive Health Resort on the sunny Mediterranean coastline so they can recover and carry on the fight for good/bad in future games.

This game also features what FUBAR call 'Hero Points' which are allocated to the characters and they can be used to re-roll dice, get bonus movement etc so could be crucial in the outcome. Anyway enough babbling from me...

The Situation

Rooty Hill, Channel Coast 7 October 1876

Spurred into action by a report from top S.O.E. Agent Edward Bigger the British launch a surprise attack on Doktor Von Hades Life And Structure Eliminating (LASER) Facility near the sleepy village of Rooty Hill.

The attackers are led by none other than Captain Darling who called to his men as they went forward "Tally Ho Boys let's make this a quick affair I have an appointment with the Mayor's daughter for morning tea and biscuits..."

The Forces

British (Purveyors of Enlightenment)
Captain Darling
Lieutenant Longbottom & 1 x Armoured Steam Automaton with HMG 
1 x Section Armoured Royal Naval Special Brigade commanded by Captain Choke
1 x Section 95th Galvanic Rifle Regiment commanded by Lieutenant Smythe
1 x Section Royal Engineers with Transport commanded by 2nd Lieutenant Bowell
1 x Sopwith Steam Blimp from 266 Steam Blimp Squadron

Von Hades Minions (Evil Nasty Guys)
Doctor Von Hades
Steel Balls
Nobby Johnson
1 x Unit African Imgoingtoolootoo Body Guard
1 x Unit Evil Henchmen
1 x Rapid Fire Light Steam cannon
1 x Unit Mercenaries Swiss Infantry

Victory Conditions

A British Victory is recorded if they capture the LASER Facility
A Von Hades Evil Minions Victory is recorded if they break/destroy all the British Units

Special Rules

This game has no fixed number of turns
Doktor Von Hades in a non combat figure, he is captured as soon as any British figure contacts his base
Captain Darling, Steel Balls and Nobby Johnson are all characters with 3,1 and 1 Hero Points respectively
The Light Steam Cannon fires every turn even with only 1 crewman with 3D6
The African section has a -1 modifier for firing and a +1 modifier for melee to their Expertise Value
Optional units are available for scenario balance on the players mutual agreement (no play test)

The Story

Doktor Von Hades and his two top Henchman were surprised as they enjoyed their morning tea and crumpets by the appearance of a force deployed by the British Army at their doorstep. They immediately summoned all their available troops to their action stations!

Captain Darlings troops attacked the LASER Facility from three directions stretching the defenders thin but Steel Balls assured Von Hades their men were up to the job...were truer words ever NOT spoken!

The British advanced at a steady pace firing as they approached and firing with great accuracy, it wasn't long before Von Hades African Body Guard and Henchmen twere aking casualties and wavering! Steel Balls and Nobby Johnson were quick to move up rally them and urge them on to hold their positions.

Meanwhile the Doktor's fearsome Light Steam Cannon jammed again and again firing only a few shots between making horrible wheezing sounds accompanied by the hiss of escaping steam!

The stout British troopers were quickly up to the Evil Minions defensive position only to find them occupied by piles of dead Africans. Captain Arty Choke commented to Darling, "Not much chop these evil fellows eh what!".

Captain Darling could see his quarry, Von Hades standing in the open before him and urged his men forward! Enthused they moved forward.

Von Hades had one last card to play though and he called up his nearby Swiss mercenaries..."Switzers to the front!" bellowed Steel Balls and in a matter of moments the clear ground between Darling and Von Hades was occupied by a section of well trained and superbly equipped Swiss mercenaries!

Unfortunately for the Swiss they had no time to fire their special weapons before the armoured Britishers were among them! The swirling melee was deadly and men fell to the left and right, Captain Darling amid the thick of action was singled out by a couple of the mercenaries but they paid the price for their impudence!

With the melee going badly and more British advancing Doktor Von Hades thought discretion the better part of valour, he ordered a withdrawal, "Runaway! Runas" shouted Nobby and with the handful of remaining Swiss mercenaries covering them Hades, balls and Nobby fled.

The successful British cheered to their victory and taunted Doktor Von Hades and his Henchmen as they skulked away from the battlefield.

With the smoke of battle clearing Captain Darling, twirled his moustache, straightened his tunic, shared a pinch of snuff with his fellow officers and as he headed off to the town of Rooty Hill saying "Shouldn't keep the Mayor's daughter waiting eh chaps..."


The battlefield on turn one, Von Hades Evil Minions are dug in around his LASER facility, the British are advancing in three groups with the HMG armed 'robot' moving to the high ground to cover the advance.

The view from the opposite side of the table, the first turns fire from the Evil Minions is ineffective while the Light Steam Cannon fails to activate!

Turn two and the British continue to advance the dice see 1 Britisher in the open fall to 3 Africans in good cover!!!

Nobby Johnson in the red tunic joins the Africans who failed their morale test, he uses his Hero Point to re-roll the result and they pass so can hold their ground.

Also on turn two the Engineers disembark from their amoured transport and the mortar fires at the Evil Minions gun, it was a near miss one crewman is felled.

Turn three the British Riflemen fail their activation leaving them exposed to the Evil Minions gun which also fails to activate its had one shot in three turns now DOH! Darling and the Naval section start closing in on the Africans position.

Turn four the Naval section reach the African's position finding it full of bodies. Also in turn 4 the Evil Minions deploy their optional reserve and by sprinting they get between the British and Von Hades!

Same turn and the Henchmen are taking casualties from the advancing Engineers, they failed their morale too and Steel Balls used his Hero Point for a re-roll which they passed. All the Evil Minions characters Hero Points are gone art this point.

The Swiss mercenaries and Nobby Johnson deployed for action...

Th view of the Swiss defence line from the British side...

Also on turn four the Light Steam Cannon had a chance for a great shot at the advancing Riflemen and yet again it failed its activation...3 fails from 4 tries...grrrr...curse this new modern fandangled equipment give me a muzzle loading cannon any time!

Turns 5 and 6 the game is decided in a grand melee between the armoured infantry and the Swiss. Captain Darling failed a hit save but thanks to his Hero Points was able to re-roll and bounded back into action!
Turn five melee...

Turn six melee...hmm fewer men...

Von Hades and his Henchmen skulk from the battlefield in the distance Captain Darling can be seen taunting them!

End of game positions...

Next time, some more on the VSF Zeppelin/Airship project...or maybe something else not sure...

Friday, 20 January 2017

Doktor Von Hades Life And Structure Eliminating Ray [LASER] Machine!

October 1876, the British Empire’s SOE (Stealthy Overseas Executive) Agent Edward Bigger became aware of an extraordinarily large Electric Bill that had been issued to a small nondescript installation on the Channel Coast near the sleepy town of Rooty Hill. Spurred on by this information and discretely disguised as a vagrant travelling organ grinder with monkey Bigger travelled to the outskirts of Rooty Hill. What confronted him confirmed his worst fears this facility was indeed he work of Doktor Von Hades!

Nonchalantly Bigger sidled closer to the facility with a sketch book upon his organ and a camera secreted in the hat of his monkey! The daunting looking guards who appeared to be from the Dark Continent paid the vagrant travelling organ grinder no heed allowing Bigger to fulfil his task safely.

This is believed to be an actual picture of Edward Bigger in his discrete vagrant travelling organ grinder with monkey disguise...
picture source Wikipedia

With details of this mysterious facility recorded Bigger engaged in  a brief conversation with a couple of the Doktors henchmen who could not dectect any note of English in the organ grinders thick eastern European mutterings. A master of guile and cajolery Bigger had in no time discovered this evil looking machine was Doktor Von hades latest invention and was known as the Life And Structure Eliminating Ray, the LASER for short! He also gleaned from them that a test of the weapon involving the destruction of a whole town was anon so prompt action was required by the forces of good!

Bigger decamped for SOE Headquarters with alacrity and also sixpence in his alms tin!

SOE Agent Edward Biggers photographs...

Doktor Von Hades taking air beside his Life And Structure Eliminating Ray facility accompanied by his closest henchmen, Steel Balls and Nobby Johnson.

Doktor Von Hades fierce and loyal African Native Body Guard was on hand.

Von Hades uruly mob of Henchmen guards, a collection of dregs of society but each one dangerous and not to be trifled with!

Later that same day in the office of the second in command of SOE known as Number Two Edward Bigger shared his sketch and photographs with Number Twos(!). The perils this instrument of terror threatened the world with triggered an immediate response. It was promptly decided that Captain Darling was to personally lead a military attack on Doktor Von Hades facility forthwith! Darling's inclusion in the operation was deemed neccessary as with Von Hades known to be on site there was no better man Captain Darling to apprehend him!

Number Twos dismissed Bigger and had his private Secretary summon Captain Darling...

Next Time, an AAR of the game based on the raid on Doktor Von Hades LASER facility, The Battle of Rooty Hill!

Monday, 16 January 2017

Home Made 'Flying Machine Stands'

Last year I purchased a very nice Laser Cut 'Flying Machine Stand' but now with 8 flyers requiring stands I decided rather than spend $'s on more stands (the money would be better budgeted to figures) I would build the stands from 'bits and pieces'!
These stands are approximately 55mm square and are very stable I have used them several times now.

Okay so the parts required:
Some left over ABS plastic
Wire coat hangers
Green 'Rattle Can' spray paint
Some flocking material

I cut two squares of ABS plastic, one 55mm square the other 30mm square I drilled the centre of each to tightly take a length of Coat Hanger wire. I then glued the three parts together I used a double thickness of the ABS for stability.

I then masked the wire and sprayed the base green.

I then flocked the base and inserted a VSF flyer contraption.

I repeated this 7 times for my TOBSEN77 flyers,  the Laser Cut 'Flying Machine Stand' won't be wasted I'll use that for my new scratch built flyer which hopefully will be ready for my VSF Wings of war game that's coming up soon...

Next time...back to that airship!

Saturday, 7 January 2017

1/56 VSF 'Zeppelin' Bomber Build - Part One

My VSF Avionic Conveyances are continually growing in number and I'm planning a 'Steam Battle in the Sky' soon. I am actually just going to use WoG/WoW to run this. I'll match each of my flyers with a set of cards from these rules and go for it nice and easy...the VSF 'Zeppelin' Bomber will use the cards from one of the bombers but using only the two MGs it has on board! Anyway without any further ado onto the 1/56 VSF 'Zeppelin' Bomber Build.
This is my take on on VSF Airship Bomber, I have used Renaissance Miniatures Santos Dumont Airship #9 kit as a basis for it. I picked the kit up at an okay price through a Kickstarter. Having the kit has saved me a lot of work as I was considering building something similar from scratch but the wonders of laser cutting and a few bucks has saved me a lot of man hours.

The kit itself is good, cut from plywood rather than MDF as the other laser cutting companies seem to use. You get fabric to cover the balloon/envelope and wire for rigging in addition to the plywood parts. If I was actually building the Santos Dumont Airship #9 I would still be making some improvements to the kit (i.e. Adding a base to the basket, using a bit of dowel for the fuel tank, make a one piece engine block with better details using the kit radiator etc). Anyway a good kit not cheap and not for the feint hearted. 
Anyway I have now completed the gondola and yes you now know what my simple steam engine was for!

I used the main fuselage from the kit and added some sewing pin rivet detail. I built the simple steam engine. I replaced the kit propeller with a Lego one and used a plastic round tube for the drive shaft. I added to the existing ballast struts a bomb rack on each side (TOBSEN77 bombs) and a bit of coat hanger wire to connect them, why because it looked pretty good to me! I capped the wire ends with goggle eyes painted black. I may paint the wire brass but as I said I think it looks cool as is. The last this I did was build the crew cabin and this was made with sheet styrene, the MGs are again from TOBSEN77 and the cockpit edging it natural Yellow Milliput. The pilots are TOBSEN77 (I must order more down to my last two).

I didn't take may WIP pictures of this build as you can see the Santos Dumont Airship #9 instructions for those parts and the only other build bits were the cabin and steam engine and there is already a post on that.
The crew cabin built from flat styrene sheets, Captain Smith seems to be hanging around this build!
 The crew cabin with MGs and of course Captain Smith next to the Gondala for a size comparison...
The underside of the Gondola showing the eight bombs in place...  
The Gondola complete the crew are painted and in place, their cockpit padding has been added to...
Here's the balloon/envelope frame completed exactly as pr the kit instructions. Part Two of this build will be about my adventures of revisiting my youth as I try to cover a frame with tissue and dope...oh yeah there were many tears then and I suspect there'll be more to come! I know it's an old fashion way to do this but I think it will give a better finish than using the kit supplied fabric.
Next time...errr I'm not sure...