This area of the website is my hobby blog, it contains articles about games that I have enjoyed playing together with paining and model making articles.
Last night I got together with Doug and James to play 'The Arctic Rescue'. This was the Pulp Alley scenario of the month back in December 2018 and features in the Pulp Alley Scenario Book.
During a Top Secret test flight an aircraft carrying an innovative new bomb sight veers off course and crashes into the ice pack somewhere in the Arctic Circle. Several organisations and governments send teams to search the wreckage in the hope of rescuing the pilot and the inventor and recovering the bombsight and development notes.
The game was set out on a 3' square table, made up of nine 1' square Terra-Former tiles. Four of the tiles had crevasses modelled into them, these looked pretty realistic, the ability to model features below the surface is one of the big benefits of using Terra-Former tiles. The central tile had some broken ice flow modelled on and the other tiles were modelled as featureless snow and ice.. I used some WH40K crashed spacecraft terrain to represent the wreckage. As the terrain pieces were quite large a counter was placed to mark the point that you needed to be close to, to search the wreckage.
The 3 teams deployed within 6" of their selected corners. Due to a snowstorm, visibility was reduced to 12" and to make matters worse the whole table counted as dangerous terrain, so a peril had to be overcome if you moved faster than 6" in a turn. In the first turn I tried to get my Leader Andropov and his sidekick Carlos moving fast to be within 6" of the search area for turn 2. Unfortunately, they must have encountered some thin ice, as they failed to pull it off.
Eventually my Leader Andropov does get close enough to search. Instead of using the standard 5 card rewards deck, there is a special set of cards for the scenario. The scenario card deck contains cards for the plot points but also a whole stack of environmental nightmares such as the pack ice breaking up, becoming disorientated in a whiteout etc.
One of James’s Ally’s, Barker was the first to search the wreckage, rather than finding a clue however he drew the 'Disorientated' card. At the time this felt like a nuisance as the random D8 move moved him 8" towards the centre of the table, however it was to prove a blessing in disguise.
Doug’s leader, Captain Hendry was the second to search the wreckage, he also did not discover a clue. His scenario card announced that the Ice Pack was breaking up (must be first onset of global warming) and that anywhere within 12" of the table edge was now perilous terrain, meaning that a perilous challenge needed to be overcome every time you moved into or activated within 12" of the table edge. Barker was now rather pleased that he had moved randomly to the centre of the table.
As leagues attempted to move towards safe ground various exchanges of gunfire broke out as characters came into visibility range in the central area.
Captain Hendry continues searching the wreckage and eventually finds a clue about the location of the Pilot.
The pilot is placed on the table D6 inches in a random direction from the wreckage marker.
In this scenario, the environment was certainly proving to be more dangerous than opposing leagues. Suggestions were made that co-operation might be in the best interests of all as more and more team members lapsed into hypothermia induced unconsciousness. However, the co-operative approach was not popular, so constant sniping added to the perils of being out on the Icepack.
Captain Hendrie’s team had the most success and were declared the winners having recovered the Journal and the Pilot...
...but in truth the real winner was the cold and the shifting ice pack. By the end of the game the majority of characters had suffered either permanent or temporary damage from the environment.
This was another great game of Pulp Alley and the first game for James. It was definitely one of the hardest scenarios we have tried, although we were very unlucky to draw the card that made the ice pack start breaking up so early in the game.
We are all looking forward to more Pulp Alley adventure very soon.
Links for further details:
Over the Christmas break, I had some fun building four anthropomorphic female mages for use in my Frostgrave, Saga and Thud and Blunder Warbands
Pictures above is Freda (a Dachshund and 'The Mouse'
The figures are made using parts from the excellent Frostgrave Plastic Wizards 2 box set combined with metal anthropomorphic heads and tails from Albedo Critter Conversion Kits.
Pictures on the bridge are Gwaynor the Fox and Matilda the Badger (I do love that pupeteer arm from the Frostgrave plastic wizard set)
The figures are all mounted on Sally 4th clear plastic bases, so prior to assembly I clipped the plastic bases off using Games Workshop side clippers.
Arms were glued to bodies first using plastic glue.
A small hole was then drilled in neck and back to take the locating pins for the animal heads and tails.
Pictured Below Albedo Critter Conversion Kits. Each pack contains 5 x animal heads and tails for conversions.
The figures were then primed, painted with acrlics and glued onto the clear bases.
Links for further details.
We've been meaning to try Thud and Blunder, the fantasy skirmish rules by the 'Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare' ever since they were published which must have been a good four or five months ago. Last Friday, my son, Lewis came over to visit for a couple of days, and it seemed like a great opportunity to give them a go.
We had both read through the rules when they had been published, and they seemed pretty intuitive and sensible, but as it was a first game we limited it to 300 points a side, which is a pretty small skirmish.
I had my 'Blackstone Heath' terrain set up on the big games table, so we decided it would be fun to play a game set on that (it also meant we could get stuck straight in as the terrain was already set up on the table, down to furniture in the buildings!). A 300 point game plays well on a 3' or 4' square table, so we decided to use the Inn and a single tile around it, which gave us a 4' square gaming area. Lewis choose the scenario, which was an attack and defence style game and choose sides. He chose to play the verminous horde of 'Red Claw' the notorious sea rat captain, which meant I got to play the Redwall mice and woodland allies led by 'Mathew the Warrior'
The defenders got to set up first. It was rather a large area to try to defend with so few. We had taken to Hares from the Long Patrol, Major Whitetail and Harriet, both pretty handy with a bow. They were positioned on the first-floor veranda, as that covered a number of approaches. The mice set up in the Inn the best they could, knowing that they would probably have to redeploy when we saw which approach the rats took.
Red Claw got an extra 150 points to spend on his attacking force, (as if Sea Rats were not a tough enough opponent already), and he got to choose 3 deployment zones.
Red Claw concentrated his forces against the closest side wall of the Inn, with a few diversionary troops approaching from the other directions to keep the defenders spread thin.
In the first few turns the Rats ran to get into position, and particularly to reach the dead ground where they would be safe from missile fire from the veranda. The Long Patrol, proved pretty handy, taking a good handful of rats down as they approached. Harriet was armed with a war bow, and this was really a better weapon than Major Whitetails Crossbow as it did not need to take alternate turns reloading.
Red Claw and his cronies soon made it to the window of the back room of the Inn, sending a couple of scurvy sea rats round to the staircase to silence the aggravating Harriet the Hare. Two Oar Slaves with slings were left to provide covering fire while the assault party moved into position.
The rats make it into the backroom of the Inn. Mathew and Raymond his trusty Lieutenant fight back to back while the mice defending the main area rush to their assistance.
Red Claw directs the combat and urges his crew on from his position on top of the bed, while even more reinforcements come in through the far window.
Lewis moves his troops up and as the fights break up into a handful of smaller conflicts focuses on maximising his advantage.
One of the mice slingers makes it into the fray, and pluckily gets stuck in with her shortsword.
Meanwhile, on the veranda, Harriet the Hare is holding her own. The second rat on the staircase elects to climb the last bit of wall in order to bypass the melee and challenge Major Whitetail.
In the main area of the Inn things are not going well for the mice, but they pluckily go down fighting the tough veteran 'Old Hands' with their cruel two handed weapons.
At the end of six turns, the Redwall mice had notched up a respectable body count, dispatching the two Oar Slaves and all of the regular 'Sea Rat' crew for the loss of three of their own, however victory conditions for the scenario were measured mainly by the number of attackers inside the defended area at the end of turn six. This gave Red Claw a decisive victory of 45 victory points against the defenders 15.
Well done Lewis and the verminous horde!
Rules Used - Thud and Blunder
Figures are converted from various manufactuers using Albedo Critter Conversion Kits
Figures are all mounted on Sally 4th Clear Perspex Bases
Last Friday Doug, Nick, John & I got together for another exciting game of Pulp Alley. Although we all had 'Western' leagues as we are in the middle of playing Vice Alley in an Old West setting as I had recently added a new add on set to our Exotic Location Terra-Former range we decided to base the scenario, around that. The new set is a stage which can be used to extend 'Ricks Palce by 30cm x 40cm adding a stage, wings and a backstage area with dressing rooms, storage and rest rooms. We decided that for the sake of the campaign the scenario would be set across the border in Mexico! The Stage and the other Exotic Location Terrain is curruntly available at a pre-order discount on KickStarter, click here for details.
The scenario that we played was 'The Serpents Eye'. This was a scenario that DAve Phipps had written several years ago for Wargames Illustrated that featured our Exotic Location scenery. If you missed it in Wargames Illustrated, you can down load the PDF for the scenario by clicking on the link below.
The scenario involves leagues searching for a recently stolen relic. The police are also searching for it, which adds a great complication. In the photo above, the policeman represents the police searching and interviewing witnesses. All characters had to set up within 12" of the police marker and any characters that are 'Wanted' treat an area with a 6" radius of the policeman as 'perilous'. A character became wanted if they shot or brawled and either they or their target was within 6" of the policeman, or if they were unlucky with their draw from the rewards stack!
Four NPC characters were set up around the board as plot point clues. These were 'The Fat Man', 'The American', 'The Inspector' and the 'Rat'. Each character had a specefic plot point challenge associated with them. If this was passed a potential 'Thief' was placed on the table. This was the major plot point. Resolving this gave you a chance to draw from the Rewards stack which contained a 'Red Herring' card that relocated the thief, a 'Framed' card that made your character wanted, and a reward card that represented recovering the relic..
The game was very much a 'game of two halves'. The first half of the game saw our leagues that were deployed as individuals across the whole table making a bee line to the witnesses to either talk to them or intefere with other polayers characters talking to them.
In the photo above, some information has been gained and the character in the white jacket has been placed as a potential 'thief marker'. You can also see a snake under the arch, to make things even more interesting, each player got to place a perilous area at the start of the game.
The presence of the police search area did not keep the piece for very long. The interior of 'Ricks Place' soon became a 'Free Fire Zone'. Doug had anticipated this right from the start and had positioned a couple of guys with rifles in the prime position behind the bar.
This was the turning point in the game. Johns Sidekick has a run of great luck and easily passes the peril and plot challenge and drew the relic card.
The second half of the game became very shooty. Initially all guns were trained on the character that had recovered the relic. He did not las so long and the relic marker was dropped. Not surprisingly, characters were a little hesitant about picking it up and becoming the next target.
In the end the game was a draw, due to where the plot point had been dropped and the position of the other leagues picking it up and surviving was just not going to happen!
However the game was a lot of fun, and all the leagues benefited by gaining a resource point and a reputation point.
The new Exotic Location stage is available to pre-order together with all of the other Exotic Location terrain, furniture and miniatures via our mini'That's Entertainment' at a pre-order discount until 6th December. Click here to take a look.
Perilous Dark is a new supplement for Frostgrave that introduces rules for and scenarios using Solo and Co-operative play modes.
In this video we look at an overview of the contents of the Perilous Dark Frostgrave supplement and then play through the first scenario: Writhing Fumes.
As the supplement has only just been released, and the new miniatures are not yet available, I have used some proxies from my existing collection. The scenario features a pair of Ballista II Constructs which I have represented with some old MageKnight miniatures and lots and lots of large and small vapour snakes which I have used various snake and snake like creatures as stand ins including D&D Naga, the giant snake from Conan boardgame and lots of snakes from Great Escape Games Dead Man’s Hand range.
The scenario calls for a 2.5’ square game board. As all my modular terrain boards are built on Sally 4th 1’ square Terra-Former Tiles, I played on a 2’ x 3’ playing area, which seemed to work OK.
My warband is anthropomorphic. The miniatures are converted from Frostgrave plastic Parts (apart from the Crossbowman who is a metal Wargames Foundry casting) using ‘Critter Conversion Kits’ from the Albedo ACP164 range. The miniatures are based on 25mm clear Perspex bases.
This week I have started working on a new Hobbit Hole model.
The Hobbit Hole will be set into a 1' square Terra-Former corner hill modular terrain tile, although the same technique can be used to set into a piece of polystyrene for a free standing model.
The first thing that I did after assembling the Terra-Former modular tile kit was to shape a piece of 2" deep ploystyrene into a hill shape. This was very easy using a cheap £1 utility knife using the hillside profile of the tile as a shaping guide.
The Hobbit Hole kit is easily assembled using PVA wood glue from the 2mm and 3mm MDF components in the kit.
Once the glue had dried, I drew around it, cut out an indentation and used its profile to shape the hill around it.
Here is another Hobbit Hole kit that I made and fitted into a straight hill section a couple of years ago.
I've used it as a handy terrain feature within a 2' square games table for the Battle Companies variant of Games Workshops Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game.
My plan over the next couple of weeks is to finish off the two Hobbit Holes to match the landscaping that I have done around this model Inn that I have made for my Blackstone Heath fantasy village project. The two Hobbit Hole tiles are going to go to the left hand side of the Inn to make an annex for Hobbit travelers, like the Prancing Pony in Bree as described in the Fellowship of the Ring.
I've made a couple of YouTube videos about my Blackstone Heath Fantasy Village build. I've included a link in the link section below:
Over the last few months we have had the opportunity to participate in playtesting of Feudal Patrol. This is a ruleset, currently in development with a planned release date of March/April 2020. The rules are written by Buck Surdu retired US Army Colonel and prolific rules author whose works include Gaslight, Combat Patrol and the Look Sarge No Charts range. Feudal Patrol covers historical periods dominated by melee, so from iron age up to around 1500, plus swords and sorcery fantasy genres. The system is great for small unit actions such as raids, ambushes, escalades etc. Figures are based on single bases. Units are typically made up of between 4 and 6 figures, although it is also possible, as in this game to treat each miniature as a unit in its own right.
Last week, my son Lewis came over from university for a couple of days and we got some terrain and miniatures out to play another game of Feudal Patrol using the excellent set of scenarios that were published for the medieval skirmish board game, Cry Havoc. The scenario that we choose was 'Foraging Party'.
Foraging Party represents an army living off the land, foraging for supplies for men and horses. The horses particularly, require a significant volume of stores to keep them in fighting condition. Sir Richards forces are feeding their horses while he attempts to protect them from Sir Williams force who are intent on stealing the horses and making away with them.
Sir Richards force consists off Sir Richard (a superior knight), a standard knight, 6 peasant horse holders with horses and six spearmen led by a Sergeant. The raiders led by Sir William consists of two superior knights and four standard knights (all mounted). In Feudal Patrol figures are rated for Guts (morale), Accuracy (ranged combat), Melee (hand to hand combat ability), Endurance and Reaction. There are three categories for Guts; Elite, Regular & Green. Accuracy and Melee values range from 1-9 with lower numbers being better. We defined the units for this game as follows:
Superior Knights: Elite, Melee 2, 1 point or armour all over, armed with lance, sword and shield.
Knights: Elite, Melee 3, 1 point or armour all over, armed with lance, sword and shield.
Sergeant: Regular, Melee 4, 1 point of armour head, chest & abdomen, armed with sword and shield.
Spearmen: Regular, Melee 5, 1 point of armour head, chest & abdomen, armed with spear and shield.
Peasants / Horse Holders: Green, Melee 6, Unarmoured, armed with club
Victory Points were awarded:
Each horse captured: 10 points
Each horse killed: 5 points
Each enemy knight killed: 15 points
Each peasant killed: 1 point
Other enemy killed: 4 points
Each attackers horse killed or captured: 10 points
Each enemy knight killed: 15 points
Lewis played the Foragers and set up the horses and horse holders in and around the Inns courtyard and gardens.
The attackers deployed onto the table, from a chosen table edge as they were activated. In Feudal Patrol, at the start of each turn, an activation dice is rolled for each unit. An activation deck is uses that has two sets of numbered cards 1-6 in black and red and an end of turn card. When an activation card is turned, all the units who share that activation number get to move, so depending where the end of turn is, units will activate 0, 1 or 2 times. If a unit gets pinned, through a morale result or being out of command, it only gets to activate on the black numbers, reducing its effectiveness by 50%.
My attackers went for a two-pronged assault. Half made their way around the side of the building and through the kitchen garden to get to the courtyard, with the intent of stealing some horses before they could be moved off table, while the rest of my force charged down the main road to engage the covering force.
Seeing events unfold, Sir Richard rearranged his defenders to form a solid wall across the road.
Lewis decided from the start, that the best way to ensure victory was to save the horses. As a scenario rule, a unit on foot can use its activation to add a horse or mule to a train. This is what he is doing now to free up some horse holders to assist with the defence.
Sir Jacques, the other knight in the foragers force organises the defence of the courtyard to buy time for the horses to be withdrawn.
Here we see the first of the foragers horses making it to the safety of the tables edge.
…while the main raiding force still has a way to go to make contact with the defenders.
First blood goes to the raiders, with Sir John incapacitating Sir Jaques for 15 victory points.
Sir William takes a diversion to attempt to engage the defenders in the flank.
Here’s an overview of the whole gaming table. Terrain construction is covered in my Blackstone Heath series of articles and videos.Click here to take a look. The scenery is built on 1' and 2' square terra-former modular terrain tiles. The buildings are 3D printed. Full details of what has been used and where to get it from in the Blackstone Heath article, linked above.
Sir William and Sir Richard fight with chivalry. Eventually Sir Richard prevails, and Sir William is incapacitated.
The foragers manage to get the rest off there horses off table...
While the defenders fight a brave rear guard action.
At the end of the game, the foragers had well and truly won having incapacitated 3 enemy knights for 45 victory points, while the raiders had not managed to steal any horses and had only collected 20 victory points for incapacitating one knight, one spearmen and a peasant. So well done Lewis. In hindsight, I would have done a lot better if I had deployed from the opposite table edge, as I had to far to move and it was too easy for the foragers to exit their horses.
However, the game was a lot of fun, the scenario was a lot more fun than a line up and advance to contact game and I would certainly play the scenario again and hope to do better by learning from the experience.
The miniatures are mainly from 1st Corp and have been mounted onto Sally 4th clear Perspex bases.
Click here for Blackstone Heath articles and videos about building this gaming table.
Over the last couple of months Mark, Nik, Jon, Richard and myself have been busy putting the finishing touches on the miniatures, vehicles, buildings and rules for the Whiteout Arctic Kickstarter project.
This post will be updated over the coming weeks as we get all of the models cast and painted.
Update 21st November
Jon has just sent me photos of the last packs of new White Out, Classic Movie Miniatures this morning.
All figures sculpted by Mark Fuller and painted by Jon Atter.
USAF Arctic - Inspired by the 1950's version of 'The Thing'
US Marines Arctic Pack 2 - Inspired by Ice Station Zebra
Soviet Paras Arctic Pack 2 - Inspired by Ice Station Zebra
The other breaking news is that if you missed out on the Kickstarter, for this stuff you will get a second opportunity very soon.
We will be running a mini one week Kickstarter from 29th November, titled 'Thats Entertainment' This is based around a couple of packs of entertainers, one with a snowy and seasonal link.
We will also be making all the existing Classic Movie range, including 'White Out' available as part of the campaign for shipping in Febuary.
Update 18th November
Over the weekend I have been working on 8 additional terrain boards for upcoming photo shoot for the White Out rulebook, these have been four crevase boards, three plain boards and a mysterious hole in the snow board!
I've just put the snow texture on them and they are outside drying, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to take some snaps of the recently cast Arctic wildlife. Photos are taken on my phone, outside as I was trying to catch the feel of long arctic shadows.
A scientist taking meterological readings next to the mysterious hole in the ice is surprised by a pack of Arctic Wolves looking for scooby snacks.
Wolves take an interest in the campsite. I love the animation Mark has got in the wolf pack, especially the wolf that is landing on front legs and the other that is leaping off it's hind legs.
Close encounters of the bear kind!
Scientist check out the crashed sattelite camera while keeping a wary eye on the wildlife... she looks friendly ehough!
Dont step back! Scientist, Walrus and Crevase.... what could go wrong!
I'd been amazed at the size of the sculpt, when I'd first seen it, however since discovered that an adult Walrus can grow up to 12' and weigh 2,000 Kg!
Update 1st November
Snow Patrol, Ice Station Characters, Soviet Paras - Sculpted by Mark Fuller, Painted by Jon Atter in front of Conning Tower designed by Sally 4th with accesories from Nik at N-FX
The Scientists and Explorers hauling sledges - sculpted by Mark Fuller, painted by Jon Atter in front of Expedition dome tent and crashed spy camera sculpted by Nik @ N-FX
1950's and 1980's scary 'Things' sculpted by Mark Fuller, painted by Jon Atter in front of alien spaceship fin sculpted by Nik @ N-FX
This is for a size comparison. The Thing is a towering brute holding his last meal (husky dog) in one hand and a length of 2"x4" in the other. He is standing next to a 28mm figure for comparison. As the original film is black and white, I was not sure how to paint him so I went for green skin as he is of vegetable extraction!
These five items have been designed for use with Pulp Alley or similar plot driven miniatures games. They represent the pivotal moments or clues in the storyline of 'The Thing'
The plot points are The fin of the crashed alien ship. Reporters camera on oil drum, alien plants being fed with blood plasma, radio desk, and block of ice (containing The Thing) on a sledge.
Here we see the 'inside' plot points in a building together with the model of 'The Thing' and a standard size 28mm miniature for comparison.
3D printing is becoming more and more popular in the miniatures gaming world and the amount of 3D designs that are available either for free through services like Thingiverse or through Kickstarters and Patron schemes is astounding. I have been 3D printing scenery for gaming for many years, my latest project is Blackstone Heath which involves combining 3D printed buildings and accessories with Terra-Former modular terrain boards. I have printed all of this myself using an extruded plastic 3D printer. However, I also have a lot of files for 3D miniatures and they do not print very well on an extruded plastic printer as you can see the lines for each level. Miniatures and small detailed pieces print far better on a resin based 3D printer. I don't have one of those, and a figure that there must be other gamers who do not have one, so I've set this service up so that we can take our 3D files and get them quickly and easily printed and posted out to us. A 28mm foot figure tends to cost around £2.50 - £3.50 to be printed from grey resin. I have tried the service myself and have been very pleased with the results.
How to get a 3D Miniature Printed
Click on 'Upload New 3D File'. You need to have fist brough the 3D file or downloaded a free file from a website such as Thingiverse
Select the file that you would like to print from your computer or other device.
Your model will be loaded into the 3D preview part of the tool, where it can be turned and resized using your mouse (or other pointing device) to confirm that it is ready for printing.
Select the type of material that you would like your model to be printed with. I always use Resin for miniatures and PLA for buildings and terrain.
Select the colour you would like. I'm a bit boring, I always choose grey, figuring that I am going to undercoat and paint the model, however their is always a choice depending on the material that you have choosen. I do keep thinking it would be good to print a Halfling wearing a ring or a telephone box using clear resin at some point!
When you are happy with your selection, click 'Add to Cart' You can see your model added to the list of models within the order.
Click the big green 'Upload New 3D file' to start the process again to add additional models to your order.
When you have added all the models that you want to be printed, click 'Checkout' and add your name, address and payment details and then sit back and wait for your new miniatures to arrive. Obviously the figures are printed to order, just for you and the turn around is about 10 days. You can go back to the tool to check the status of your orders.
Here's some photos of some 28mm miniatures that I have had printed in grey resin using this service.
Over on Lead Adventuers Forum, I came across a great new project that I am very, very tempted by. 'The Lazy Forger' has put together a whole range of medieval miniatures for building 6mm or 10mm armies as 3D print files.
The set includes infantry armed with full range of melee weapons for the period, spears, swords, pikes etc, missile troops with bows and cross bows, various types of cavalry plus siege equipment and terrain including a lovely burnt out church. The complete deal is $34.99 / £27.92 and that includes pretty much everything you need to build two armies and some terrain for medieval gaming in 6mm or 10mm scale.
Once you've got your files, you then need to print them out. I've still only got an extruded plastic printer, and I want to have the extra detail of resin prints so I am going to use our 3D printing bureau service.
I've just checked that it all works with these files and that it come out as a reasonable price. I loaded up the siege mantlets and found that it worked perfectly and that I could get the set of 4 printed in resin for 28p.
On that basis, I think I'm going to buy the bundle deal and get a couple of new armies underway!
On Monday (7th October) I was joined by Doug, Nick & John for a playtest of Feudal Patrol, a fantasy - medieval skirmish ruleset due for publication first quarter of 2020.
We were playing the first scenario that appears in the introductory section of the rules, 'Gallic Revolt'.
The scenario is described in terms of Romans and Gauls, but as we did not have any of those miniatures mounted on single bases we set our game in Tolkien’s Middle Earth with the men of Gondor standing in for the Romans and Uruk Hai Orcs standing in for the Gauls.. Below is the scenario setting from the rule book.
Romans under Greggarious Pribus are marching through a rural part of Gaul. Having established a marching fort, Pribus has sent Prefect Ignavus with a small group or Roman Legionaires to scout the nearby countryside. Tired of Roman domination and taxation, the local Gallic chieftain, Chikflix, has rallied the local men in pursuit. Ignavus sees that he is in a precarious position and orders his patrol to retreat to the comparative safety of a small farm enclosure. Chikflix launches an attack on the Ignavus and his men with the intent to wipe them out before reinforcements can arrive. All units begin the game on the table as indicated on the map.
The encounter was set in a valley, with wooded hillside sloping away at each corner, a stream meanders through the valley floor, bisected by a road with a bridge. On the far side of the bridge a small farmstead has been built. The men of Gondor are deployed to defend the farmstead, with reinforcements hurrying down the road. The Uruk-Hai attackers are closing in from all directions.
Control of the bridge over the stream features highly in the plans of both sides. Looks like Gondor has got there first. Feudal Patrol is based on a card-based action resolution first seen in the WW2 Combat Patrol and the Sci-Fi ACP 164 rulesets but rewritten to give more detail to hand to hand combat which plays a central part to fantasy and medieval combat. Feudal Patrol also uses a double-blind activation system. At the start of each turn, each leader rolls a D6. This is the leader’s activation number for this turn. The activation deck contains black cards numbered 1-6 and red cards numbered 1-6 plus an end of turn card and some optional special action cards. For each phase a card is turned from the activation deck, all leaders whose dice value matches the card drawn can activate in this phase. Higher leaders can swap their dice with subordinate leaders to get the important units moving first.
When a unit is activated, the members of the unit can move and or shoot. If movement brings a figure into base contact with an enemy figure, a melee is fought. Distance moved ranges from 2"-10" and is determined by turning an action card. The action card gives three movement values for light, medium or heavily armoured troops. Here we see the Uruk-Hai sweeping down the hillside to engage the Gondorians in a melee.
At the bridge, the Gondorians had arrived first which was advantageous as there were far more Uruk-Hai on the table, so this move limited the amount that could attack them at any one time. It also put both units into close order, which gave them an advantage in melee. To be in close order you needed to have at least 4 bases touching and to be in two ranks.
The first round of combat on the bridge was inconclusive, however the Uruk-Hai were pushed back and had to take some morale test markers. The Uruk-Hai sent additional troops wading across the stream with the intention of attacking from both sides.
The Uruk-Hai had left their archers behind when they charged. Their bow fire had managed to cause a few wounds, stuns and morale markers before their comrades charged home.
As the battle lines engaged, the melee was broken up into a number of smaller 1:n combats which are each resolved separately.
Here we see the Orcs massing for another charge across the bridge.
The card driven mechanics of Feudal Patrol are very different to other fantasy / ancient / medieval games we had played. Basically, a card is turned to see if you hit, and if you hit a second card is turned to see who is hit and how much damage and does cover or armour stop or reduce the damage. This is all fairly quick and intuitive. Your chance to hit is based on how well you are trained with the missile or melee weapon. These qualities range from 1 (god like) to 9 (abysmal). This base chance is modified by tactical factors such as range, movement, being stunned, wounded or out of command.
We will be playing lots more play test games for Buck over the next few months. If the concept of the game sounds interesting you can download the free introductory Combat Patrol WW2 rules from here, or the ACP164 Sci-Fi rules from here.
Miniatures shown are from Games Workshops Lord of the Rings range.
Buildings are from 1st Corp / Curteys Miniatures
Modular terrain boards are built using Terra-Former Modular Terrain System. Click here for details.