30 April, 2013

Inspiring this Gazebo Hunter #4

Preparing some articles for the upcoming fifth issue of the 'all things to all gamers' e-zine for the UK & Ireland The Gazebo; while you're waiting here's my article from #4.
You can view and/or print it from here but if you want to download it instead you'll need an account (pretty quick sign-up though).

I've always been interested in what inspires gamers to break new ground and start another project. This series of articles is a brief overview of things which caught my eye over the last few months - some have already prompted me to try something new, some may lurk in the long grass until their time has come. I hope that something here grabs your attention and calls you to action!


The Anderson Collection is a lovely showcase blog. Every period the author takes his hand to is done superbly, but the latest river crossing set during the Napoleonic era on the Peninsula is a great set piece. Those pontoons look lovely, but so simple.

If landing on a defended shoreline piques your interest, I heartily recommend taking a look at progress over at World War 20mm as they take on Omaha Beach. (You may have noticed more recent photos as this game appeared at Salute!)


Antenociti Workshop continues their sterling line of slick 28mm sci-fi with their civilian anti-grav Matador Aircar. I’m a big fan of their realistic take on urban sci-fi, using quite of few of their cars in my Tomorrow’s War campaign already.
While Gamecraft are better known for their modern-day 6mm and 20mm buildings, they also have quite a collection of 15mm historical buildings. This World War Two office/residential block would be perfect late-war urban battles.

Non-Fiction Book

The Jason Voyage by Tim Severin won’t surprise anyone familiar with his usual approach to the legendary journeys of historical figures. This is his incredibly interesting and informative account of his efforts in building a replica of the Argo and its trip from Greece to Georgia following the route to the Golden Fleece.

Fiction Book

The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie is set in the same world as The First Law, but follows the fortunes of key individuals during the three days of a battle. Excepting the Black Company, I can't think of as anti-war a fantasy novel as this. There are some lovely touches to this work and I wonder if anyone out there will do an adaption of the Saga rules for it…


Going slightly off-piste now, I caught the web series Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome recently. I’m not entirely convinced by the actor playing the young Adama, but the action sequences were done quite well and it seemed to fit into the overall series mythology.

I am planning something along these lines at some stage, but it’s a slow-burner of a project so I think you might see it in early 2014…

Random Site

Michael Yon is an American journalist and photographer whose pieces always impress me. Obviously his work is of importance to anyone interested in Afghanistan and Iraq, but I found two recent posts on mud and tracking incredibly fascinating.

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23 April, 2013

Lead Painters' League - Season 7

Round 2 of Season 7 of the Lead Painters League is underway over on the Lead Adventure Forum.
If you're not familiar with it get yourself over there to see some fantastic eye candy (as well as people going through their lead mountains at a cracking rate!)

In summary, paint up a team of miniatures, you're randomly paired off with another contestant, everyone votes for their favourite in the pairing and then onto the next round. There are ten rounds after which a league table of sorts has been established. There are bonus points for matching themes in three of the rounds. So there were a lot of command teams being used for Round 1. Have a look at the rules.

I'd urge you to join up, take a good look and vote

Like last year, I won't be telling you any of my favourites, but I will highlight a few match-ups where the opponents are very closely matched:

Scooby's Gang vs. Great War in greyscale

Skid Row vs. Masked Cannibals

Ghosts vs. The sorceress and the zorgls

Cracking stuff, and I'm looking forward to seeing what the field cranks out over the next two months.

16 April, 2013

Proof of Life - Scenario

Recently, I wrote up a Force on Force scenario based on the rescue mission from Proof of Life for The Guild. Have a look at the scene on YouTube

Terry Thorne, a Kidnapping and Ransom specialist and former member of the Australian Special Air Service Regiment is assigned to negotiate the return of building engineer Peter Bowman. While overseeing the construction of a dam in a Tecala, Bowman was kidnapped by the country's left-wing insurgency, the ELT.
Through connections with the oil company Thorne has arranged for the army to make a push across the river and draw out the main force (about 100 fighters) of the ELT, while he and a small hand-picked team (Dino’s Panama crew) mount a snatch and grab mission to rescue Bowman and another hostage, Calitri.

Scenario Information
Duration of Game: 6 Turns
Initiative: Asymmetric – Rescue Team has the initiative throughout
Table Size: 3’x3’

Rescue Team Mission
Rescue the two hostages and get them safely to the LZ.

Rescue Team Victory Points
Each hostage recovered safely: 3pts
Each hostage to LZ: 5pts
No team members left behind: 3pts

Rescue Team

Rescue Team Basic Attributes
Confidence Level: High
Supply Level: Abundant
Troop Quality/Morale: D8/D10

Terry w/M4 (D10/D12; Hard to Kill)
Downtown 2 w/M4
Downtown 3 w/M249 (Lt. Support, AP:1)

Dino w/M4
Uptown 2 w/M4/203 (Lt. Support, AP:1)

Uptown / Downtown: Rescue Teams
1-3: ELT Groups

ELT Mission
Protect the ELT’s base by turning back the attackers and keeping control of the hostages.

ELT Victory Points
Each hostage still under ELT control: 5pts
No hostages reach LZ: 5pts
Each rescuer seriously wounded/KIA: 1/2pts

ELT Forces

ELT Basic Attributes
Confidence Level: Confident
Supply Level: Normal
Troop Quality/Morale: D6/D8

ELT Group [1]
1x Rebel Leader w/AK
4x Rebels w/AKs

ELT Guards [2]
2x Rebel w/AKs

ELT Groups [3]
1x Rebel Leader w/AK
14x Rebels w/AKs


Dino has been over this mission a thousand times, it’s FUBAR but he’s up for it! At the start of each turn (except Turn 1) roll a D6:

1 Breakfast Place one rebel outside the door of each hostage location. They’re heading back to the barracks. Ignore this result if the alarm has already been raised
2 Morning Stroll Place one rebel halfway along either the lower or upper path (rebel player’s choice)
3 Straggler Place on rebel at the LZ exfiltration point
4 Lame Bowman has an injured foot. Terry cannot move rapidly with him.
5 LZ Secured The rescue team have some extra time; game length is 7 turns
6 Ammo Dump Explosion Heavy fire leads to an explosion in the ammo dump – AP:3 in a 3” radius. Reduce ELT supply to abysmal.

Buildings provide a Solid Cover bonus (+1D). All buildings are rated at 3D6.

Surprise Attack
Having taken out the nearest sentry silently, the rescuers haven’t been spotted yet. The ELT groups can’t be activated until either the group at the barracks or at the farmhouse spots the rescue team or someone opens fire.

Sparse Jungle
All of the open ground in the area is semi-cleared jungle. While not enough to count as solid cover in-and-of itself, it will count as intervening cover.
Before the camp is alerted, rescue teams moving at tactical speed can make a TQ check to avoid detection by rebel groups.

Parade Ground Chaos
Once the rebel camp is alerted the group playing soccer on the parade ground spring into action. Roll three D6 separately and break the 14 rebels into groups of that size and deploy each group on one side of the ground. Place the leader with the first group, and any additional rebels (out of the 14) with the leader’s group.
Numbers exceeding 14 exit the Officer’s Hut a turn after the camp is alerted in one group.
e.g. a 4, a 3 and a 5 are rolled – the leader attaches to the first group of 4, and three other groups: of 3, 5 and 2 (the remainder of the 14) are formed.

The Hostages
Bowman is inside the structure marked ‘Peter’s House’ on the map. Calitri is inside the ‘Farmhouse’.
Both hostages will stay put until their Terry or Dino reaches them. It’ll take a TQ check to convince them to trust their rescuers.

Kidnapping & Ransom
Terry is an experienced K&R specialist – he ignores the -1 die of firepower and may make a quality check to move rapidly when with a dependent.

The Ammo Dump
A rebel group with a leader can equip itself with a LAW (Med. AP:2/AT:1(M)) if it reaches the ammo dump and makes a TQ check.

Terry is armed with a single claymore mine. Use the standard rules (pg. 76) but he only gets a single TQ check to use it.


Here's a copy of the scenario on PDF if that's helpful
Will post a full report and any amendments I make when it happens...

09 April, 2013

The Last Redoubt

With the Sakhan cordon outside WuWei barely holding on, a strike has been planned to overrun the central PRC compound inside the city. A large vehicle-borne IED has been primed and will explode at the inner gate.

Art by UkitaKumuki

A large hand-picked force of Sakhan mercenaries will attack and attempt to rescue a rebel leader and kill any high-ranking officers inside while destroying the command centre.

The first 'Hellburner' (as the rebels call the VBIEDs) rocks the redoubt with a gigantic explosion
The nearby infantry are sheltered by the blast wall, but the light tank standing at the entrance is destroyed outright (the crew bail out, but all are wounded)
A automatic grenade launcher atop one strong-point opens up on the rebels as they show themselves from behind rough ground
The sentries at the main gate open fire as more rebel infantry round the corner behind an armoured car
The APC, previously idling alongside the main bunker, surges forward to add its firepower to the defence
Intense missile fire is directed at a building being occupied by the rebels, and  it's demolished. A power armour trooper knocks out the armoured car (destroying its missile launcher and immobilising it) with his plasma cannon
The other power armour team take the high ground in the strong point and  wreck havoc amongst the rebels below
A second hellburner makes its way towards the gate, but it draws an enormous amount of reactive fire as it comes into view and it's knocked out of action
The rebels take the strongpoint in a frenzied assault, taking out the power armoured troopers who were put down by the rest of their squad's fire
Now they're firing on PLA units inside the compound and eyeing up the main bunker - time is not on their side however as they've left it too later to do anything other than fire into the command center and hope they get lucky
Tying to drive back the other nearby rebel units, the APC's machine guns are taken out by a rocket launcher and the crew disembark to take on the rebels with their sidearms!
The government forces have held out, just long enough...WuWei still stands and the rebels must regroup and hope international pressure gives them victory on the negotiations table.

02 April, 2013

Cut and Run

With the relief force inbound, the Sakhan Liberation Army has stepped up its efforts to take WuWei, and has already overrun several strongholds on the perimeter.

Art by UkitaKumuki

One PLA officer has courageously decided to make a run for the main lines. His attempt to bring supplies vital to the continuing defence may do his cause more harm than good however...

The route to safety, seems pretty clear, but there are well-equipped rebel outposts scattered along it
The PLA enter cautiously, one of the few remaining tanks backs up a squad of infantry
The APC noses around the corner, eyeing up an abandoned pick-up
A rebel armoured car rounds the corner and lets off a powerful anti-tank guided missile - it hits the bullseye and the APC bursts into flames. Four of the infantry still aboard are killed or seriously wounded
The light tank trades shots with the armoured car - the sports car the rebel vehicle is using for cover comes off the worst initially, but after they take a second bite at the cherry the light tank destroys the armoured car before it can rethink its strategy
Feeling under pressure, the PLA lieutenant puts in a high priority call to some interface craft overhead, and  a precision-guided munition lands on top of one of the rebel pill-boxes, taking out an entire squad alongside it
The two trucks shimmy past the wrecked APC, with infantry giving them covering fire
Two rebel teams with anti-vehicle weaponry try to avoid the tank, and manage to take out one of the trucks with a lucky shot
A regular squad assaults a building overlooking the road, forcing  rebels out of it - the rebels draw back further, taking themselves out of contact
Their new position completely enfilades those two road-side rebel groups, and between them and the tank make the position untenable.
With the road clear ahead, the PLA commander tells the remaining truck to floor it and break through, the tank and infantry will cover it from behind. They neglected to take into account the last remaining rebel group still fighting. The anti-armour guy in that squad takes his split-second shot and destroys the truck before it can zip past!
A close one, at things looked like a photo finish until that last rush of blood with the truck made it an clear rebel victory

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