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'...

Tuesday 9 July 2019

Little Wars Adelaide 2019 Review!

Well Little Wars Adelaide 2019 is done and dusted! Overall looked as if it was a huge success. Talking to the top dog the number of games and traders was an all-time high. The crowd did appear less than the last time the show was run though.

Colonel Puddin facing down a Martian Fighting Machine manning the Rapid Fire Artillery piece to the last man!

From my point of view, it looked to be a very successful event! It was good to see a huge variety of games in one location. Also having interstate traders in town so you can see their wares ‘in the flesh’ (so to speak) is very nice!

There were only a few games I was interested in having a go at this time but as my War of the Worlds FUBAR VSF Table was so busy I didn’t get a chance! These included a game on the Glenrowan Siege (Tribal Rules), A Gladiator game (Tribal Rules again) and a game covering a colonial battle set in Adelaide Australia (TMWWBK Rules).

Luckily, I have arranged with George who ran the Glenrowan Siege game featuring the Kelly Gang to catch up with him and have a go at it one evening soon...excellent news!

Regarding Traders I picked up only a couple of items (I am on a strict budget);
- From Victoria Miniatures I picked up some wheels and an ammo box from their ‘parts bin’
- From Eureka Miniatures I bought a 1/72 or 20mm resin & metal Sentinel Tank

My FUBAR VSF table kept me busier than I expected! I was planning on running three games during the course of the day but ended up ‘umpiring’ five complete games and running a three turn rules demo! All the players were interested in the rules and everyone enjoyed their game. The coolest thing was when two players after completing their first game decided to swap sides and play again! At one point during the games the Martian Tripod which thanks to a lucky 'Event' had covered 45 inches of the required 72 in just three out of the eight turns suffered a critical hit! A six was rolled on the Damage Table and the player then rolled another six on the Catastrophe Table resulting in a spectacular explosion and a quick game! In another game the British player seemed to spend more time fighting the Breakdown table than the Martian Tripod! All good VSF fun!

I actually think a few people may download the FUBAR VSF rules and give them a go from their comments. The other thing that was exciting for me was my models attracted positive comments even from some punters who didn’t even play the scenario! That was very pleasing!

At the end of the day the win tally was the Evil Martians four wins to one win for Her Most Imperial Majesty’s Red Coats (keeping in mind that the scenario is biased to the Martians to keep in the theme of the War of the Worlds book where the Tripods were pretty well immune to humanity’s Weapon systems).

Here are a few pictures from my ‘Table’...

Set up and ready to go!

The first game of the day gets under way!

The British attack balloon closes in on the Martian Tripod as the Armoured Steam Wagons deploy...

The Tripod about to exit the table turns and gives the British a final salvo!

Colonel Puddin resplendent in his Dark Continent gear (his last posting) commands the men of the Royal artillery...

More pictures from the day covering the Games and Traders are on the Little Wars Adelaide and Little Wars Australia Facebook Pages!

Next time; Hmm now that’s a good question!

Thursday 20 June 2019

Little Wars Adelaide 2019 - AARs & Game Update

Not long to Little Wars! On Monday we played the Martian Attack FUBAR VSF game in preparation. I wanted to check I had everything required for the day ready and to record the table layout. It all went very well we played two games; one ran for 65 minutes lasting the full eight turns and the other went for only 20 minutes lasting only three turns.

Game One

Dave took the side of the Evil Martians and Al the stout British defenders.

Initially Dave charged forward and was able to score hits with on the British damaging two Armoured Steam Wagons while suppressing their Artillery. The British on the other hand were having issues with their Activation and hit rolls and then when activating hitting their target.

On turn five one of Al’s vehicles imploded due the result of a required roll on the Breakdown Table! Meanwhile the Martian Tripod suffered some superficial damage while effortlessly gliding forward firing at every opportunity.

Turns six and seven the British continued to fire on the Martian Tripod which arrogantly halted for a turn to fire all of its weapon systems causing havoc amongst the British. Then on turn seven came the crucial roll, the Martian failed its activation roll (a one in six chance) giving it a activation penalty for the next turn!

Turn eight and the Martian within easy reach of it’s objective failed to activate, game to Her Imperial Majesty’s Army...”Rule Britannia...”

Game Two

Al’s turn to take control of the Martian Tripod!

Turns one and two the Martian powered forward at full speed firing rockets while on the move. The Tripod scored a couple of hits on the British who took on a strategy of just lining up along the edge of the table and firing for all their worth!

Turn three and the Martian had to consult the Breakdown Table due to encountering rough ground and it resulted in a power surge gaining an extra 10 inches of three turns the Tripod had advanced 48 inches of the 72 it had to cover in the allotted eight turns to win the game with next to no damage. Things were looking bad for the British!

The plucky British ignoring the martian good luck opened fire in their half of turn three. Several hits failed to even scratch the Alien Fighting Machine but one hit required the Martian to roll on the Damage Table...a six that required a roll on the Catastrophe Table...another six...BOOM a critical hit, the Tripod toppled over leaving a twisted heap of Illudium on the green fields of Ol' Blighty!

A few pictures from the night...

During our games I found a couple of ‘things’ which needed to be addressed to ensure smooth games on the day;
A Typo on Martian Force Sheet regarding weapon special rules that was amended
A turn grid was added to both Force Sheets
Added the Human available weapon attributes to the British Force Sheet
Created labels for Suppression, Speed and Turn markers
Created a label for the Martian Heat Ray ‘reload’ marker
All set to go now! Given the above I may should be able to squeeze a fourth game in during the day, I need to allow a bit of time between games so I can check out all the Vendors and other Games!

Don’t forget less than three weeks to Little Wars Adelaide so if you can make it roll up on the day and support the show to ensure it’s future! Here's the website...

Little Wars Adelaide 2019 Home Page

and even though I don't use Facebook there is a site there too...

Facebook Little Wars Adelaide 2019

Next Time; probably a report from Little Wars!

Sunday 2 June 2019

Home Made Dice Tray

For years I have been using the top of a photocopier paper box lined with some felt as a dice tray when the tabletop is too crowded to throw dice easily. Well when in an Op Shop the other day I spotted a set of cork placemats decorated with British Army pictures from the 19th Century. It triggered a thought in my mind "You must make a dice tray that would suit all sorts of period games and can include these placemats for VSF games". So I bought the placemats for the princely sum of $3.99 and headed home and to work.

My fancy new British Army cork placemats perfectly themed for my VSF games...

First up I cut a piece of scrap timber from an old chair seat to match my recently purchased placemats and coated it with some stain, I had a base! Then I cut from my 2mm thick styrene sheet a 70mm strip to build the dice trays sides. I glued these together wrapped around the base to ensure a snug fit.

The dice tray parts ready to go...

Okay after the glue had dried I sprayed the assembled sides in black using a cheap rattle can and used some brass nails to fix them in place...job done!

Finished dice tray...

...and with a VSF feel thanks to one of my new placemats...

With all my dice stored...

So now for less than a couple of Dollars (not counting the placemats) using stuff on hand I have a dice tray (which doubles as dice storage when not in use) which I can use in three ways; the classic wood finish, add a piece of green felt into the tray for that cool casino look or insert a fancy British Army placemat for VSF gaming!

Next time: Some gaming stuff!

Wednesday 29 May 2019

Little Wars Adelaide 2019 - War of the Worlds Martian Attack Game

Well my Martian Attack game is finally making it to Little Wars Adelaide albeit a few years late!

Lord Duff commanding his Artillery in the Face of of a Martian Attack..."Don't worry chaps we'll sort out these bally Martian Fighting Machines eh wot!"

Yep Little Wars Adelaide is back in 2019! So I'll be dusting off my Martian Attack scenario, packing up my Tripods, Armoured Steam Wagons, Steam Powered Flying Contraptions and some artillery support and setting up for the day.

I'll have my updated FUBAR VSF rules on hand and a QRS for both Humanity and the Evil Martians!
My Martian QRS

Both my Tripods, 'Red and 'Green' and some other models will be there so if you can come and have a look at them in person and if you're in for some madness join in the game!

Little Wars Adelaide 2019 will be on Sunday July 7, there will be around 20 games on the go and over a dozen vendors attending this year plus of course there'll be the bring and buy table!

Here's the website...

Little Wars Adelaide 2019 Home Page

and even though I don't use Facebook there is a site there too...

Facebook Little Wars Adelaide 2019

Next time; Captain Darling's custom Dice Tray!

Monday 11 March 2019

Scratch Built 'Redoubt'...

Well for 'The Big Gun' scenario I needed a 'redoubt' for the Russian Gorlov Gun.

Here's what I came up with complete with Russians!

It was a simple build using the below;
- Lid of a Ferrero Rocher Chocolates box
- MDF sheet
- Styrene sheet
- Matchsticks
- Flocking stuff
- Glues and paint

So I cut my trench design into the clear plastic chocolate box lid and glued it to an MDF base. Then I cut some styrene sheet to create the interior wood lining (it was scored and lightly sanded to create planks and wood grain) and where the styrene sheets met I glued matchsticks to represent the plank supports...

Once the glue was dry I applied paint and some basing materials and all done...

So the lesson here is chocolates with the right shaped box top are must after diner treats! 😉

Next Time - some new MDF buildings or the scenario details with OOBs for 'The Big Gun' scenario!