Wednesday, 8 January 2020

An Incident at the Dloser Pyramid…FUBAR VSF Scenario AAR

Members of the S.O.E. Team Queen Victoria as they explore the plain of Dloser in search of ancient Egyptian artefacts...

Time for the Christmas FUBAR VSF game! After a hearty BBQ had been consumed the teams were allocated and the order of play was randomly selected;

Faction Queen Victoria, The Queen's Men: Al, first each player turn.
Faction Evil, Doktor Von Hades Minions: Dave, second each player turn.
Faction British Imperial Museum: George, third each player turn.

We had a quick run through of the rules and then hit the dice! Unfortunately I took a lot of the pictures for this game on my partners smart phone and they looked like crap (washed out by the flash?) so the pictures are a bit limited for this AAR.

Righty O off we go chaps!

All the teams started play the same distance from the Pyramid and were advised there were artefacts to be found across tabletop and dangers to be encountered. 

Everyone took advantage of the dawn reduced visibility during turns 1 to 5 which kept to a minimum the likelihood of clashes to make a beeline for the Pyramid while searching the ruins and terrain on the way. Team Queen Victoria got the better of this phase of the game reaching the foot of the Pyramid first and acquiring a golden statue on the way. In the meantime Team Evil collected a stash of Egyptian Jewels and a crate containing two Canopic Jars while the British Museum's Explorers plodded along slowly in the wake of the others empty handed!

Initial turn and Captain Long-John's men of Team Queen Victoria quickly advanced on a wide front while the closely grouped team between the pond and cat topped column was Team Evil which cautiously edged forward... 

Team Victoria searching the ruined Egyptian Boulevard of columns, they were to find a golden Pharaoh's Head at the base of one of them!

Von Hades Minions discovering the Pharaoh's Jewel stashed in the pond, this brought them to the attention of a couple of Royal Skeleton Guards which they dispatched with ease (DOH picture of that was washed out!).

Steel Balls leading his evil scum into the archaeologist's camp where they stumbled on a crate of Canopic Jars and more Skeleton Guards, these too were dispatched with ease!

Overall view after 4 turns; on the left Team Queen Victoria are approaching the Pyramid, Team Evil has defeated the Skeletons at the archaeologist's camp and are looting it while the British Museums explorers are lagging behind!

Close up of the archaeologist's camp and Team Evil!

Turn 5 and the British tried to break into the Pyramid only to draw the wrath of a horde of (well four) Skeletons from the Royal Guard! In an odd bit of kindness Team Evil in their turn shot down two of these skeletons as they approached the imposing edifice (i.e. the Pyramid!).

The British sorted out the last two, Riflemen Asquith and Chamberlain are seen here giving the Skeleton Guards the BAYONET!

Okay for turns 6 to 9 we are in the picture free zone! here how it played out...

Turn 6 Team Queen Victoria find their way into the Pyramid and begin hostilities firing on the British Museum's Explorers. They find in the Burial Chamber the Royal Conifer Tree still alive after all these centuries (spooky music!) Team Evil arrive at the Pyramid and the British Museum's Explorers start a firefight with the British redcoats.

Turn 7
Team Evil engage Queen Victoria's redcoats and beat them in some hand to hand biffo clearing them from the exterior of the Pyramid. Team Queen Victoria begin an orderly withdrawal one group retiring with their remaining artefacts, Riflemen Asquith and Chamberlain are sent searching for more treasures and  Gunner Smith trapped in the Pyramid's burial chamber girdered his loins and awaited the worst! The British Museum's Explorers leaving the others to duke it out spread out searching for more artefacts!

Turn 8
Team Queen Victoria continued their advance to the rear. Team Evil dealt some severe blows to Gunner Smith rendering him hors de combat and relieving him of the Royal Conifer Tree. George Livingstone discovers an artefact, some Cultists one of whom he dispatches with his sword cane and moved off to continue his quest.

Turn 9
Team Evil hunker down in the Pyramids burial chamber. Team Queen Victoria continue to advance away from the action and some of the British Museum's Explorers keep searching the plain of Dloser for more goodies alas in vain while others tried to stop Team Queen Victoria from getting away.

Turn 10 Riflemen Asquith and Chamberlain discovered yet another golden statue, they then head back to their base of operations. Team Evil wile away their time playing whist in the Pyramid's burial chamber and the British Museum's Explorers try one last time to stop the British getting away with their bounty but their aim is woeful!

Riflemen Asquith and Chamberlain discovered yet another golden statue.

Turn 11 and The British Museum's team leader, Fred of India after moving quickly across the table with the assistance of his robotic legs dealt with one of the roaming Cultists. Next turn he collected the second crate of Canopic Jars! In the background George Livingstone can be seen searching for further artefacts!

At the end of the 12 turns Team Queen Victoria's survivors and their treasures were safely aboard their river gunboat, the remnants of Team Evil were cowering (as evil types do) in the Pyramid's burial chamber their hands tightly wrapped around the artefacts they had discovered and 'acquired' and the last of the British Museum's explorers were scattered over the plain of Dloser but they were now in possession of some artefacts! The victory points were tallied and Team Queen Victoria won the day (as of course in the age of VSF they should!)

Victory Point Tally
Faction Queen Victoria, Alan: 9
Faction Evil, Dave: 7
Faction British Imperial Museum, George: 5

Well an enjoyable evening was had by all! The actual game did not play out at all like my play test but it still worked okay, the point totals were very competitive. Also of note the booby traps had no effect a couple were triggered and caused no damage I've noted that for next time, more lethal booby traps! Now that all the TSOG guys have experienced the FUBAR VSF Pulp rules the next time we play I'll give each player a couple less figures each but use the full Hero Point rules and include many more steam gadgets. Woo Hoo!

And thanks to Dave and Al for supplying the Palms Trees, Skeletons, Cultists and Mummies!

Next Time: Good question that one oh and Happy New Year!

Monday, 30 December 2019

An Incident at the Dloser Pyramid…FUBAR VSF Scenario Forces & Special Rules

Christmas 2019 so time for some FUBAR VSF action! This year we're going down the PULP theme get ready for more; brave redcoats, nasty villains, heroic actions, ominous creatures, exploding steam driven devices etc...

‘An Incident at the Dloser Pyramid…’

Scenario Background;
After the discovery of the Long-Lost but recently discovered Pyramid of Dloser S.O.E. dispatched a Team lead by Captain Long-Johns with Royal Navy support to survey the structure and recover any items of importance.
But little did intrepid the force’s leader, Long-Johns know but the Pyramid’s location had been leaked by a double agent of the Tsar posing as Fakir in S.O.E. Agent Bigger’s entourage. His task was not going to be easy!
June 20 and after a perilous journey the British Expeditionary Force disembarked from their transport ship, the Shastah and despite warnings of a pending sandstorm moved off toward their objective as soon as the sun began to rise. At the same time two other Teams of intrepid (and not so intrepid) men were carrying out exactly the same mission, the groups Doktor Von Hades and the British Imperial Museum had co-incidentally arrived that very same day!  

The Forces;

S.O.E. selected a group on upstanding members of Her Most Imperious Majesties Army to comprise an Expeditionary Force to be sent to Africa and investigate the Pyramid of Dloser and its environs. These well-equipped “Good Guys” disembarked near the Pyramid from the River Boat Shastah in darkness and awaited the sun. They were men of valour and honour and in true British tradition will kill anyone who gets between them and their objective…the Queen’s men stirred into action at first light and approached the Pyramid from the east, the time was 4:30am local time.

Captain Long-Johns - Hero Type - Revolver Sword
Professor the honourable Sir Cumfrence - Trusty Chap- Revolver
Sergeant Churchill -Trusty Chap -Galvanic Rifle
Rifleman Asquith -Average Bloke- Repeating Rifle
Rifleman Chamberlain -Average Bloke -Repeating Rifle
Gunner Smith -Average Bloke- Flamethrower
Gunner Johnson -Average Bloke-Tesla Cannon - One-man portable version!

Faction Evil, Von Hades Minions!
On hearing of the discovery of a new Egyptian Pyramid Doktor Von Hades dispatched a group of his “evil cronies’ to find and recover any mystic items from the Pharaoh’s final resting place. They were the type of men whom could be found in the slums and dens of iniquity of the world so basically have the same mode of operation as the men from Queen Victoria’s Faction i.e. they will kill anyone who gets between them and their objective. They arrived in the vicinity of the Pyramid and advanced on it from the west at around 4:30am local time.

Doctor Mal Icious - Trusty Chap – Tesla Hand Gun
Mad Eye O'Leary - Trusty Chap - Repeating Rifle
Slasher Thompson - Average Bloke - Repeating Rifle
Jack the Knife - Average Bloke - Shotgun
Johanne ‘the German’ Schmidt - Average Bloke - Light Rapid-Fire Rifle
Mustafa Bey- Average Bloke - Grenade Launcher

News of the unearthing of the Long-Lost Pyramid of Dloser became the topic of conversation in every Public House of London despite S.O.E.’s attempt to keep it a secret. It was while planning a new Safari under the patronage of the British Imperial Museum at the Bucket of Blood drinking establishment the famous Fred of India overheard the news. Being a man of action (and fortune) and willing to destroy any antiquity in search of loot and lion skins Fred was spurred into action! He gathered his loyal Safari companions and native attendants and departed for Egypt post haste. He would search the site for any items of interest (i.e. value) and flog ‘em off to the highest bidder, plus there may be some native wildlife he could shoot and get stuffed for his collection…the Safari arrived at the location of the Pyramid neared it from the south at around 4:30am local time.

George Livingston - Trusty Chap – Sword Cane he has Sword Skill
Andrew Stanley- Trusty Chap - Sniper Rifle
Mewarinmehattoo - Average Bloke – Big Rifle (Elephant Gun)
Mahatsontoo - Average Bloke – Big Rifle (Elephant Gun)
George Bingham - Average Bloke - Light Rapid-Fire Rifle
Jon Smithers - Average Bloke - Grenade Launcher

The Extras;

Lord Richard Puller - Hero Type - Revolver Sword
His loyal Native Attendants Bob and Richard - Average Blokes - Rifle
The Donkey!

Cultists - Average Blokes

Mummies - Average Blokes
Picture of the Mummies was one that was unusable! DOH!

Pharaoh’s Skeleton Guard - Average Blokes

Character Ratings:
Hero Types:                Trusty Chaps:             Average Blokes:
Activation 3+               Activation 4+               Activation 5+
Expertise 4+                Expertise 4+                Expertise 5+
Wounds 3                    Wounds 2                    Wounds 1
Hero Points 7              Hero Points 3              Hero Points 1
Save 4+                       Save 5+                       Save 6+

Scenario Special Rules;

Scenario length is 10 Turns, with 2 more optional turns allowed for by Umpire.
Turns 1 to 5 are played during dawn light conditions so the visibility is only 10".
Doorway cost 0".
Descending/ascending into/out of the Pyramid of Dloser burial chamber costs 1 action
The tributary and Pond of Dloser can’t be entered.
ignore Standard Hero Point rolls for this scenario they can be used to;
assist with character save rolls
assist with character to hit rolls in both firing and close combat
decrease booby trap to hit rolls
Characters can carry only one artefact and can do so at no penalty. The process of finding an artefact includes ‘picking it up’. Dropping an artefact cost no action but can be done when the Character activates, picking up a discarded artefact takes an action after the Character moves adjacent to it.
Artefacts: when discovered;
Place the discovered Artefact adjacent to the Character and roll for a Booby Trap 
a 6 results in a 2 dice attack hitting on 3+
a 5 results in a 1 dice attack hitting on 3+
Note - Characters may play a maximum of 2 Hero Point that give a -1 modifier for the To Hit Number per Hero Point for these attacks
Finding the Pyramid of Dloser entry point;
Move adjacent to the base of the Pyramid of Dloser and then for every complete action i.e. not straight after initial contact roll
a roll of 5,6 Doorway discovered
a roll of 2,3,4 Nothing of note discovered
a roll of 1 and Character has tripped on rubble and takes 1 hit on a 3,4,5,6
If successful the player immediately attempts to open the Pyramid door, further attempts cost an action
Pyramid of Dloser doorway booby trap;
Remove the doorway block and roll for a Booby Trap 
a 5,6 results in a 2 dice attack hitting on 3+
a 4,5 results in a 1 dice attack hitting on 3+
Note – Characters may play a maximum of 2 Hero Point that give a -1 modifier for the To Hit Number per Hero Point for these attacks
Ant unfriendly characters moving within 12 inches of any part of the river boat Shastah automatically receive 1 hit and halt for the turn after rolling their saving die.

Game Characters
Mummies, Cultist and Pharaoh’s Skeleton;
Controlled by the Umpire BUT must attack the closest Player Characters by charging, they have no ranged weapons.
A total of 12 pairs are available, a pair will appear on a roll of 5 or 6 (Umpire’s discretion here too) when any terrain is entered or moved adjacent to. Once the pairs have been deployed no more will appear (okay there is Umpire discretion at call here as well!).
Mummies, Cultist and Pharaoh’s Skeleton: 
Activation: Automatic with 1 Action only
Expertise: 4+
Wounds: 1
Hero Points: 0
Save: 6+

Victory Conditions:
Locate and extricate to their side of the table as many of the hidden artefacts From the Plain and Pyramid of Dloser and kill as many of the opposition as possible. Artefacts can be removed from the play area and the Character can return to the table the next turn to ensure the Faction retain it, artefacts on the tabletop at the end of the game are deemed owned by the Faction (if any) that possesses it.
Pharaoh’s Sacred Conifer (what we'd call a Xmas Tree) 2 VPs
Pharaonic Statues x 4 1 VP each
Crate of Two Canopic Jars x 2 1 VP each
Crate of Ancient Scrolls 1VP
Pair of Rosetta Stones 1VP
Royal Jewels 1 x VP
Royal Gold Stash 1 x VP
Opening the Pyramid earns that player 3VPs
Entering the Pyramid first earns that player 1VPs
Killing any other opposition Hero earns that player 2VPs
Killing any other opposition Character earns that player 1VP (game Characters not counted!)
Highest total after 10 Turns wins (the Umpire at their discretion may add up to 2 extra turns)

Next Time; the AAR of course!

Thursday, 5 December 2019

1879 - The Royal Navy's Newest Armed River Boat, The Shastah! - Includes making a 1/56 Riverboat?

Building a stylised gunboat is a project I have been considering for quite a while and with this year’s FUBAR VSF Christmas scenario being based along a tributary of the River Nile I bit the bullet and decided to build one! I checked out some period pictures and looked at what others had created and barrelled ahead…

A picture of Her Most Imperious Majesty’s Navy’s newest River Nile gunboat, the Shastah with the crew posed 'ready for action' in June 1869.

The Shastah (pronounced shaz-tar) was Britain’s newest addition to her mighty Eastern Mediterranean Fleet. This River Nile gunboat boasted a shallow draft allowing it the flexibility to sail on virtually any waterway and it featured a wide hull making it a very stable gun platform. It was armed with a single aft mounted cannon, two rapid fire ‘machine’ guns and two dozen modern rifles were aboard in the armoury. The steam driven single screw drive ensured it was the fastest and most manoeuvrable vessel available to the British in Egypt.

Building a Generic River Nile Gunboat

I’ll start with a parts list…
0.5mm,1.0mm and 2mm thick styrene sheet
Styrene tube
Gap filler tube nozzle
Kebab skewers
Paper Clip and Coat Hanger wire
Bits from the ‘Parts Box’

Firstly, I laid out the deck. I had to make it large enough to include a decent sized superstructure yet allow room for up to 25mm figure bases to be deployed on it. This is what I came up with; an MDF base and a deck (The build pictures feature my 28mm Captain Smith figure)

Next using 0.5mm styrene I created the hull sheets and painted the hull grey. I didn’t add any rivet detail or portholes as this will double for a more modern ship hull!

I built the lower superstructure with front and back cabins and a boiler sort of thingee…

Then built a top deck and wheelhouse.

The funnels ‘decorative’ top was cut from the end of a gap filler tube nozzle.

Okay I now scratch built;
A cannon
An armoured turret for said cannon, the base from this was from the parts box
Two HMGs on pivots these bases were old 1/35 Pz V wheels
The deck supports and mast are BBQ skewers
Here’s all the bits laid out for painting

The completed vessel all crewed up.

The Shastah afloat!

Okay so that’s now ready for the Christmas game I hope it looks the part.

Next Time; scenario details for the FUBAR VSF Christmas game!

Thursday, 10 October 2019

The ‘Affair of the Long Lost but Now Found Pyramid of Dloser' - Includes the Making of a 1/56 Pyramid!

During June 1877 the northern Egyptian plains experienced the worst sand storms in living memory. On the morning of the 30th thanks to the shifting sands a small group of lowly Arab camel herders were surprised to see the ghostly image of the apex of an ancient pyramid emerging from the dunes. It was the long lost Pyramid of Dloser last resting place of the Pharaoh Butwejustmet that had been revealed by the fierce winds (insert dramatic music). One of the scruffy camel herders with a decidedly European complexion and displaying amazing British spunk inquisitively approached the edifice...

Later that very same day at S.O.E. (Stealthy Overseas Executive) Headquarters in London...while the Head of Operations was enjoying his afternoon cup of tea and slice of lemon cake a junior secretary looking rather bothered burst into his office. "Sir, an important Marconi message has arrived from Agent Edward Bigger in Egypt...” and after a short pause to catch his breath he continued, “while he has been there acting for us in the guise of an unassuming Arab Travelling Camel Salesman he has come into the possession of vital information! The long lost Pyramid of Dloser has been discovered!” He handed over the missive. After briefly glancing at the contents of Agent Bigger’s communication the Head of Operations roared, “By God Man summon Captain Darling and Professor Tangent immediately this is just the break we’ve been waiting for, we are now one step ahead of that Evil Genius Doctor Von Hades! We must organise an expedition to the Dark Continent post haste...”

So began the ‘Affair of the Long Lost but Now Found Pyramid of Dloser’...

The  Pyramid of Dloser can just be made out in this the first photograph taken of it by S.O.E. Agent Edward Bigger.

Okay so there you have it another 'Pulpy Search' Scenario in the making! Now what do you need when your scenario is based in Egypt and specifically around an ancient Egyptian Pyramid? Well an ancient Egyptian Pyramid of course! Okay off to the workbench Robin! Now I didn’t take any WIP pictures of this quick and nasty project but I can give you an outline of what happened! I started out with a piece of Masonite, a whole batch of foam packing bits in various cuboid shapes, a tube of gap filler and some old house paint. I simply glued the foam blocks together roughly on a piece of Masonite then let the gap filler dry overnight. I then painted the lot and added some sand to the edge of the base...nice and simple. I didn't overdo it as this will probably be a once of use item!

The starting point!

The finished product...I've include  my S.O.E. Agent Edward Bigger figure (1/56) so you can judge the size of this 'edifice'...

Some of the details; the pyramid has a hidden doorway...

...which leads to the secret burial chamber! 

Well they don't build them like that any more (thankfully!)...

Not sure when we'll get to play this scenario but I'll get the background blurb and the OOB up in a post soon. I suspect it will turn out to be the FUBAR VSF Christmas game for the year! Now I gotta work out a Christmas twist...DOH!

Next Time...Hmmm maybe more about The ‘Affair of the Long Lost but Now Found Pyramid of Dloser'...