Friday, 2 December 2016

Scenery - Building A Statue or Two

Hi All, I need a couple of statues for the FUBAR VSF PULP scenario I'm working on, I had a look in the Dollar Stores and online and decided to make my own, here a couple of typical Victorian English Gentlemen Explorers with the result...

These are easy to make and I had my two ready to go in less than half an hour, here's what I used...
  • A suitable 'statuelike' figure, I think it's a 28mm Elf I trimmed it here and there
  • Some PVC pipe
  • Some thick plastic sheet
  • Black and Grey spray paint
Glue all this together give it an undercoat of Matt Black from a rattle can then mist over that with Grey and you're sorted...

Next Time...I'll negotiate a peace in the Middle East...well not really...

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

VSF Landships Clash - Battle of Denmark Crossing FUBAR AAR

This is the first game I have played where I pit Landship against Landship with my FUBAR VSF Lanship rules in effect! I've tested the rules for Landships in games where there is one is involved and they seem to work fine so given we needed a game in a hurry for our regular group catch up I hurriedly put this together.

The Forces

Battle Squadron from the 1st Steam Legion
1 x USLS Lexington
1 x Amoured Steam Wagon Mk VI
4 x Triambulator all armed with a Light Cannon
1 x Steam Blimp

Elements of the 1st Landship Squadron and the Queens Own Dragoons 
1 x HMLS Hood
2 x Armoured Steam Wagons Mk I
1 x Armoured Steam Wagon Mk III
1 x Steam Blimp

Game Length
8 Turns (options for up to 10 turns)
Turn 9 occurs on a roll on a D6 of 3+ after the completion of Turn 8
Turn 10 occurs on a roll on a D6 of 4+ after the completion of Turn 9

Victory Conditions
At the end of the game tally the number of destroyed, wrecked and abandoned (crew dead) guns each side has 'suffered' and the side with the smaller total 'lost' wins, a tie is a draw.

Special Rules
* There are no AA eligible weapons available to either side
* Each Steam Blimp has 1 Bomb that attack with 6FP
* All vehicles are automatically 'activated ' for Turn 1
* Include special Rules for Lexington Class Landship i.e. weaker side armour allowance

The Situation...

During the Second Great Steam War the two great democracies of the world, Great Britain and the United States of America fell out over the arrogant British Navy's suspect inspections of American merchant vessels utilising European Ports and more importantly their practise of press ganging members of American ship crews!

The American President, Arthur at the advice of the War Office declared war on Great Britain after the British Parliament willfully disregarded the USA's entreaties regarding the Royal Navy's vile and unlawful practises. Within days of the commencement of hostilities small groups of Americans troops invaded Canada but it was several weeks before the first great assaults were launched in early June 1882. By this time though the British Government had dispatched several well trained and experienced units to support their Colony, forces that would have been much better employed fighting the tyrannical Crowned Heads of Eastern Europe and thwart their greedy land grabs! 

July 4 1882 to the north east of the small township of Denmark Crossing, Ontario Commodore Folly aboard his Flagship the HMLS Hood led elements of the 1st Landship Squadron and the Queens Own Dragoons against a strong force of American vehicles from 1st Steam Legion under the command of one of their hero's of the American Civil War ,Lieutenant Commander Hanley...

Let the carnage begin!


Turn 1 and both the British and Americans barreled onto the battlefield at top speed. The Americans entered in a solid phalanx and the British in two groups, one Armoured Steam Wagon peeled off from the main force to attempt to flank the American's Landship. 

Turn 2 Saw the Landships fire long range salvos and the USLS Lexington scored hits on one of the British Steam Wagons damaging its steering while the HMLS Hood put one of the Yankee Triambulators out of action, first blood to the Brits Huzzah!

View of the battlefield at the end of Turn 2 the British in the foreground...
Turn 3 and the both sides continued to close the range so the vehicles with lighter cannons could get into action, during this time the British were at a disadvantage with only two heavy guns bearing on the enemy while due to the design of their Landship the Americans had four heavy guns available!

Two views of the battlefield at the end of Turn 3 the British again in the foreground...

Turn 4 and the HMLS Hood swung to bring its full broadside into action and it loosed a salvo. The trained crew were spot on target registering 13 hits on the USLS Lexington which manged only 6 saves the 7 hits wrought terrible damage, 2 crew killed, a heavy gun was knocked out, 2 steering hits were scored, a speed hit was registered and a wreck hit recorded! A note here that on a Landship 3 of any of these type of special hits are needed for the full effect of the hit type to kick in i.e. 3 wrecks are required to kill a Landship any other type of vehicle and one does the trick! The other British vehicles fired ineffectively while their Steam Blimp manoeuvred closer the the Lexington now shrouded in smoke. This turn much to the Americans dismay both their Landship and Steam Blimp scored stall breakdowns while all their other vehicles moved into cover to avoid fire from the HMLS Hood!

HMLS Hood fires a salvo, the Lexington is in the distance!

Turn 5 and the Yankees gain the initiative but due to the stall the USLS Lexington fails its activation roll! luckily though the men on board the HMLS Hood are busy toiling to reload their heavy guns so the Lexington may still get a first shot in next turn. To add the the American woes their steam Blimp remained inactive too! Meanwhile the British Amoured Steam Wagons targeted the Lexington and it acquired more damage but nothing significant. With the last activation of the turn the American Amoured Steam Wagon entered the action and took a pot shot at the Hood with it's light cannons, seconds later everyone was stunned...the Hood was required to take two damage rolls the first disabled one if it's rapid fire light cannons but the second though was a critical hit...from a distance onlookers saw on the deck of the Hood a flicker of orange and then that was followed instantly by a giant ball of red flames as the HMLS Hood had suffered a critical hit and was totally destroyed! The game balance had changed in a moment. To add to the British troubles one of their Steam Wagons was too near the blast and suffered damage too resulting its steering being locked.

The wreck of the HMLS Hood!

The American forces at the end of turn 5 the vanquisher of the HMLS Hood is in the foreground on the right!

Turn 6 and the USLS Lexington fires on two of the remaining British Armoured Steam Wagons inflicting minor damage on each while their Steam Blimp attempted to catch the flanking British vehicle with no luck. The British Steam Wagons scored a couple more hits on the Lexington knocking out another gun on it and injuring more crewmen they also hit a Triambulator which bursts into flames!
View of the battlefield at the end of Turn 6 the Americans are to the left...

Turn 7 and the British Steam Blimp lined up and took a run at bombing the Lexington, the Pilot smiled as his bomb hit the Landship but his expression turned to a frown as it bounced along the deck and rolled onto the ground with no effect! The last real British hope of getting 'back into' the game had passed. Meanwhile the Triambulator that caught fire from a hit in turn 6 was engulfed in flames and put out of action! The Lexington hit the flanking British Steam Wagon and it ground to a halt its remaining crewmen were killed and the American Steam Blimp with its quarry destroyed moved after a new target!

The USLS Lexington fires in 'anger'!

The British Steam Blimp 'bombs' the Landship Lexington with no effect...

Turn 8, the last two British Armoured Steam Wagons despite only having two functioning light cannons between them continued to engage the USLS Lexington hoping for a lucky hit but none was forthcoming! In desperation the British Steam Blimp even strafed the mighty Landship with its HMG also to no avail!

View of the battlefield at the end of the game the Americans are to the left...

So Victory to the New World as the Americans win 'destroying' 14 weapons to the lowly British total of 4! 

A big lesson was learnt in this game...

Okay the Landship rules simulated a battleship action on land quite well for me; the USLS Lexington ended the game with several dead crewmen, 1 Wreck hit, 2 Speed hits, 2 Steering hits and two guns knocked out so it took quite a bit of punishment but was still hanging in there, whereas the Hood on the other hand took only two hits (from light cannons to boot) and it was obliterated by a critical hit...PERFECT. So the rules worked well with two Landships on the table, I have enough of these to get five on the table at once so I'll have to work out a 'Jutland' scenario! First up though this scenario needs a replay hopefully without the devastating explosion of the HMLS Hood it may be a bit closer!

Next Time hopefully the AAR for Scenario 5 of 'The Russians are Coming' Campaign!

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Campaign Game 5 Set Up Details & Special Rules

Here are the set up details and special rules for the fifth of the The Russians Are Coming campaign scenarios. This game won't require more than a single play test I hope as its a situation I've used several times before. A map of the play area is included. Please feel free to try this scenario with your rules (I am using an adaption of State of War) and if you do please let me know how you went!

The Forces:

Russians four units:

Siberians including NCOs fire and melee as Trained
Fleet Sailors fire and melee as Raw, their NCO fires and melees as Trained
Staff Officer fires as Veteran and melee as Trained

1 Army Staff Officer (Captain Pushkin)
Army Section 1 NCO (Sergeant Fyodor Keller) 8 Privates
Army Section 1 NCO (Sergeant Andrey Korf) 7 Privates
Army Section 1 NCO (Sergeant Sergi Kamensky) 6 Privates
Army Section 1 NCO (Sergeant Nikolay Krasnov) 8 Sailors

South Australians four units:

Uniformed Privates fire as Trained and; melees as Raw
Plain Clothes Privates fire and melee as Raw
Officer and NCOs fire as Veteran and; melee as Trained

Unley Company Section 1 Officer (Lieutenant Alan Murray) and 7 Privates
Unley Company Section 2 NCO (Sergeant Norman Wakefield) and 7 Privates
Norwood Company Section 1 Officer (Lieutenant Peter Torrens) and 7 Privates
Norwood Company Section 2 NCO (Sergeant Reginald Finke) and 7 Privates


South Australians: All units must enter Turn 1 along the eastern board edge

Russians: All units must enter Turn 1 along the western board edge

Game Length:

The game ends after 8 turns then victory conditions are checked unless a sides units are all broken before this

Victory Conditions:

At the game end count up the number of figures each side has within 25cm of the 'marked centre' of Bill's Hill the side with most wins, if it's a draw the side with fewer wounded figures wins, if that's a draw extend the distance by 10cm and repeat the count keep doing this to you get a result. On the extreme circumstance this still results in a draw still roll a die (reroll ties) until someone wins!

Special Rules:

* The Russians have played their 'Staff Officer' option in this game morale effect for this are in play
* Figures on the hill may spend an action to go prone and when prone they increase their protection from fire by one level but melee against a standing figure at -2, it takes one action to get back up again
The Bill's blocks line of sight and give those uphill on them a melee advantage, it costs no extra movement to climb as the slopes are gentle
The rough ground areas cost double movement when actually traversing them and offer no cover
The dense scrub areas cost triple movement when actually traversing them and offer no protection
The map below of the battlefield deployment compiled from dispatches regarding the battle issued by Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Downes staff including a Legend:

 Next time the Hills Are For Heroes AAR...

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Campaign Game 5 - Hills Are For Heroes

This is the background to the fifth of the seven scenarios of the 'Russians Are Coming' campaign I'm playing through following a hypothetical Russian Invasion of the Colony of South Australia. This is a meeting engagement as both the South Australian and Russian forces attempt to occupy a piece of high ground to the west of the City of Adelaide, it's day ten of the invasion...
A picture of Staff Officer Putin posing with one of the invasion force's Gorloff guns manned by naval personal. Note these "Gorlov" Guns are actually British made Gatling Guns with Broadwell Drum magazines and ammunition bought through arms dealers in Hong Kong while the Russian army was preparing for the invasion at Vladivostok.

Much of the terrain between the Russian beachhead centred on Henley Beach and the City of Adelaide was relatively flat and underdeveloped lowlands. This meant that any piece of high ground without regard of its actual elevation was invaluable to both sides.

With Port Adelaide secured and Russian fleets remaining warships, the ironclad Petr Velikiy and two monitors Admiral Spiridov and Admiral Chichagov now past the block ships and safely within the confines of the harbour Lieutenant-General Lazarev began rolling out his plan to envelope the City of Adelaide and wear down the defenders. Beginning Monday August 25th his army launch strong company strength sorties to the north and south of the City of Adelaide. These raids targeted farms, rail lines and telegraph poles and their cables with the intention of drawing the defenders out of their cover so they could be engaged in open ground and defeated piecemeal. Lieutenant-Colonel Dawes however do not take the bait and held his troops back preserving them while the Russian's exertions were wasted.

During the nightly Russian Command Conference Laverez let all know he intended to change tactics and start to drive the South Australian defensive perimeter in with assaults this way their militiamen would be force to engage his regulars and they would be defeated in detail. To help facilitate this he decided that all the high ground that was unoccupied and overlooked of the South Australians was to be captured forthwith. He reasoned such positions would be invaluable to cover the advance of his troops on the South Australian defensive line surrounding Adelaide as they could act as observation posts for his ships forward observers or be ideal positions to locate his fearsome Gorloff guns.

One such small elevation that drew the attention of the Russians as it had a controlling view of Lieutenant-Colonel Downes South Road defensive line was Bill’s Hill. It was in fact not a hill at all but merely a low rise, still it was noticeably higher that all the surrounding terrain. The 'mound' was man made with the dross from the nearby fields and the South Road excavations. It was known as Bill’s Hill simply because it was located on William Copley’s farm, William was popularly known as Bill! The summit of Bill's Hill though not very high with gently slopes running down from its apex in every direction so it would be an easy location to occupy as it was undefended.

A detachment of regulars led by Staff Captain Ivan Putin from the combined East Siberian Rifle battalion was assigned this task of occupying Bill's Hill. It is interesting to note that even in this relatively early stage of the campaign to make up for shortfalls in troop numbers sailors from the fleet vessels were being incorporated into units to flesh them out so Captain Putin's command included a section of such troops. Jump off time for his men to launch their attack was Wednesday August 27th at noon!

At the same time as Lazarev decided to send troops to capture all the high ground surrounding Adelaide's defences including Bill’s Hill Lieutenant-Colonel Downes had coincidentally decided that this elevation was of importance to his defence of the City of Adelaide. Orders were drafted for it to be occupied, fortified and artillery to be emplaced post haste!

Wednesday dawned hot and as the sun reached its apex the heat of the day increased. The thirsty and sun burned soldiers of the East Siberian detatchment may not face any defenders but they still needed to move forward under the eyes on a well-armed enemy force which they expected would attempt to interdict their advance in every means at their disposal. They did not expect they would become engulfed in a tense engagement with the South Australians which was exactly what was about to occur. As Putin the Russian commander signaled his men to advance with a shrill tweet from his whistle the South Australians from the blooded Unley Rifle Company that had been skirmishing with the Russian for over a week now and supported by the fresh and eager men of the Norwood Rifle Company, noted for their flamboyance and √©lan began their advance on Bill's Hill too. The time the South Australians planned to move out and establish their defences on the mound was noon as well!


Next Time the Scenario Set Up Details for Hills Are For Hero's!