Sunday, 28 December 2014

Ice Station Thule - Secret Weapon Teasers

Ted has sent these photos out of not so Secret weapons.. As the allies have been copied in on the mail shot these can be disclosed Wikileak like to anyone who passes by.

A strange oversized distributor cap from a 1983 Austin Ambassador  is seen on the horizon

An enormous pencil with what appears to be a turbojet engine gaffer taped to the back. What sort of fool would wish to pilot this sort of fantastical device.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Ice Station Thule - Allied Armoured Piste Basher

The allies will be assaulting Ice Station Thule in the next game. Here are the build photos of the Armoured Piste Basher.

The question is 'Where did that Polar Bear come from ?' 

Monday, 22 December 2014

Ice Station Thule

Yes, we have decided to stage the next game in Arctic Norway. Although the specifics of the game haven't been settled as yet this will be a case of role reversal with the Allies attacking.

The remnants of Von Holensteins Paranormal Division have relocated to Norway. Reinforcements and requisitions from as far away as Italy have been sought  which will introduce new characters into the story. All of us have 'invested' in new figures and vehicles !

The Society of the Golden Dawn will have the opportunity to utilise the Sword of St Godswain and make the most of its special features. This is their reward for victory in Trumpington.

I know the Ice Station is already under construction and Craig has been painting his SS in Winter Camouflage (far easier than pea camo!).

I now have some Finns who will double as Norwegian Linge and we will use my resistance figures to represent Polish slave labourers.

Ted has been constructing a motorised sledge for Allied use and the building of the Ice Station is in hand. There has also been talk of penguins and other wildlife plus Unidentified Foreign Objects have been sighted against the backdrop of the Northern Lights.

More to follow soon

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Trumpington - The Aftermath

This was a really enjoyable game. We all really like the concept of order dice that is part of the Bolt Action system and it did lead to one side or another having a 'run' of orders.

Although points values don't always fit in with our games I think use their Use will help balance out the Axis and Allied 'conventional' units. In our games special weapons can be very effective but there is always a severe downside should they fail so using them is a gamble. In this case my use on the Butchers was too effective as it took out all the people in the building (including my own) rather than the intended unit on the first floor and in the attic. The other end of the spectrum would have involved a catastrophic explosion !

Using the recommended squad sizes will also reduce the number of order dice and will speed things up. Further tinkering with the house psychic rules will probably involve a psychic order dice or two being thrown into the mix. It gives a little more variety without disrupting the main system.

Most importantly we had fun, which is what this hobby is all about. The following couple of days were full of suggestions and wish lists for the next game of which more in due course.

Trumpington - Part 3

Here we see the schoolboys attempting to break into the rear of Jones the Butchers. There was at least one Bren Unit on the first floor hosing down the Fallschirmjaeger in the landing field. Although they broke into the rear by smashing the windows they were prevented from gaining access by the two ladies of the Post Office who happened to be armed with Shotguns and issues of 'Women's Own'

The next stage saw a unit of Fallschirmjaeger  cross the road into  the cover provided by the East Wall of Jones' Butchers. They were followed by the cows who stopped in the middle of the High Street. Von Holenstein and the Paranormal Division crossed the road by the Guest House with their elite 'Werewolf' unit to the fore.

At the same time the Essex Regiment arrived at the south western end of the table. Dismounting from their transport they took up position along the edge of Farmer Giles' field and let rip into the Fallschirmjaeger heavy weapons. Although the paratroops held their nerve they lost the use of all their heavy equipment including the cameraman who had been waiting to record events for posterity!

The view of the front of the Butchers. There is a unit of Home Guard commanded by Jonesey in the rubble on the south side of the High Street opposite the shop. This intrepid band of brothers refused to budge and held their ground from the Fallschirmjaeger on the landing ground. Keeping the Germans in the open allowed the mortar based in the grounds of the church hall to start inflicting multiple pins, forcing them to the ground. Even the Paratroop Command unit was unable to 'encourage' the paratroopers from leaving their hastily dug scrape.

In a desperate attempt to rescue their colleagues south of the High Street the paratroops on the East side of the Butchers run into the road attempting to break in from the front, all the while  driving the cows ahead of them. They take damage from the Essex Regiment jeeps and scout car who had turned into the High Street  by the church. Damage was split between soldiers and cows with the remaining bovines heading into the rubble opposite. One could see Jonesey licking his lips at the potential profit from these cows conveniently slaughtered for him outside his own Butchers Shop

Disaster! A sneaky  murder hole in the eastern eaves of the attic in the Butchers allowed the British to fire a snap shot at the Paranormal unit. Lucky hits meant that some of the technicians were struck in addition to the unfortunate Oberst Heinz Beanz who was pushed in front of Von Holenstein by Her Fleck as he was ordered to 'Take one for the team'

Winding up the Vaksomaticpsychicflayermaschinen, it was targeted at the troops in the house. Unfortunately the machine worked 'too' well and it had the effect of turning the brains of all the occupants of the building into jelly, that included the Fallschirmjaeger who had recently sought cover there. The last reported words of Gefreiter Schultz were reported to be ' Dear God, he's slimed me !'

The werewolves made a rush for the eastern end of the churchyard where they were met by Colonel Blakencroft and his fellow explorers. Fortunately for them the good Colonel opened up the carry box to reveal that he had indeed collected his elephant gun and other firearms as opposed to the similar looking carry case that contained his butterfly nets. Ultimately it made no difference as the werewolves routed the small band of adventurers

The werewolves run along the alleyway to support their colleagues south of the high street but are sniped at by the few remaining concealed troops hidden in buildings opposite the church.

The Essex Regiment vehicles hurtled down the High Street supported by a Vickers MkVI light tank that churned its way over the fields obliterating and routing the remaining German Parachutists. The column seemed to be heading straight towards Von Holenstein. The Daimler Scout car and Jeep then strafe Von Holenstein and his command team.

The Vaksomaticpsychicflayermaschinen is targeted at the vehicles but the consequence  of frying the minds of the vehicle crews is the loss of control of their respective vehicles and Von Holenstein being hit by a rogue riderless motorcycle.

Given the near decimation of the German Command Team, what was left of the assaulting unis were withdrawn back to the Z-Boots and Von Holenstein made his way back across The North Sea to their  base in Norway.

The Society of the Golden Dawn retain the sword of St Godswain and now have time to study its properties. Jonesey offers steaks all round as he carves up the dead cattle outside his butchers. Steiner was captured and Her Fleck now has a permanent limp. Pike did absolutely nothing from his perch in the church tower. He didn't't even spot a swarm of paratroopers and a glider land nearby as on every occasion he was 'looking the other way'.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Trumpington -Part 2

Whilst the Bootleggers and the Police were embroiled  in their own internal infighting another group of Fifth Columnists arrived to clear the landing field of obstacles and set up the landing lights. Unfortunately for them the cows took a deep interest in their actions and accompanied their every move.

Having laid out the Orange Target Landing panel the Fallscirmjaeger started to arrive. All of the 'sticks' landed safely and they were able to converge and start to collect their weapons from the canisters.

With the Bootleggers making a hasty getaway the Metropolitan Police Unit continue to the Church Hall where they are to meet The Society if the Golden Dawn. The bus contains members of Special Branch assigned by Scotland Yard for this purpose.

Corporal Jones' section make their way to the ruins opposite the Butchers as part of their patrol. APR Warden Hodges goes with them. At this time no alarm has been raised.

Fallschirmjaeger recover their weapons and form into sections. The cows are still following the Fifth Column schoolboys mid photo.

ALARM ! A little old lady cycling along the High Street is, in fact, an SOE agent and spots the Fallschirmjaeger in the fields to her left. She races towards Frazer to raise the alarm and alert the Home Guard.

Realising that he is 'doomed' Frazer abandons the checkpoint and scuttles back down the High Street. Damned coward!

As the alarm is raised the GPO  team are rumbled. They are detained by Special Branch officers leaving the last phone line uncut and intact. The call is sent out to Colonel Blakencroft and also to the Essex Regiment calling in reserves. Will Colonel Blakencroft arrive with Guns in the back of his Roller or Butterfly nets ?

The glider lands and slides to a halt near Denzils Hut. Heavy weapons are deployed from the rear  of the glider together with the Paranormal Section under the Command of Von Holenstein. They make their way to the hedge line whilst the Fallscirmjager start to deploy closer to Trumpington village centre. The Paranormal Section are reliant on the regular troops securing the Church before they can enter and try to recover the sword of St Godswain.

Having secured the Guest House the Kriegsmarine head towards the woods that will allow them to cover the North side of the church. The traitorous schoolboys run across the road and flatten themselves against the end of Jones'  Butchers shop. For some reason (probably a 1 on a D6) the cows follow them.

At this stage the game is in the balance. The Germans have secured the landing grounds and beach and have started to move into the village but the Allies are now on full alert and can act independently of their standing orders.

Here is a photo of the chart we used to mark progress of 'known' units. Game rules were a mixture of Bolt Action and House Rules with Freestyling thrown in when it seemed appropriate.

Trumpington - Part 1

The Trumpington Game has been and gone over a couple of really entertaining evenings. Here is a summary of events ( from a German perspective).

The start of the game commenced with a weather check. I had been hoping for poor weather, enough to keep the Home Guard inside the church hall and not particularly alert but not so bad that our Fallschirmjaeger would be scattered to all parts of the compass by strong winds. The die roll was favourable for the allies with good visibility and low wind. Whilst this did mean that all checkpoints and bunkers would be manned it also allowed us to plan the approach of the glider with some hope that the troops would actually land on the table. Private Pike even decided to keep lookout from his position on top of the church tower as opposed to reading his comic.

Mad Peter took his alcohol test and staggered off towards the beach in order to call in the Kriegsmarine through signalling with his storm lantern. The Home Guard had strewn Farmer Giles' field with anti glider obstacles and a roaming herd of cows (of which more later).

As Peter approaches the Beach a group of Fifth Columnists arrives along the Sea Road. Their job is to secure the Beach and hold it so that our assault troops can be evacuated.

The Home Guard on exercise. Their ' random'  patrol mainly consists of wandering towards the churchyard and then heading back to the Church Hall. I don't think they ever got out of the compound!

On reaching the sand dunes Mad Peter misjudged the edge and falls head first onto the Beach. This delays the arrival of the Kriegsmarine and Peter has to be helped to his feet by the Fifth Columnists.

Black Sam the Bootlegger arrives in a lorry with his gang intending to deliver contraband to the Beach View Guest House. He is stopped by PC Grabber. Unfortunately for PC Grabber he recognises the gang for who they are, is then overpowered, trussed up like a turkey and thrown in the back of the lorry.  The lorry then changes direction and accelerates back along the High Street. Black Sam has been 'made' and decides to quit the seaside town.

Confusion reigns. The lorry containing Black Sam almost rams the Metropolitan Police in their armoured van ' Holmes' as the bootleggers turn left from the High Street onto the Maldon Road. Slamming on the brakes they reverse at speed in the opposite direction and collide with a GPO van. Unbeknown to either the Police or the bootleggers the GPO crew are in fact traitors attempting to cut all the phone lines out of Trumpington.

Pike looks on at the firefight between the Police and the bootleggers. All thoughts of an invasion or raid are forgotten as this sideshow plays out..

Meanwhile the Z-Boats arrive. Appalling conditions overturn one of the boats. Their experimental status is indicated by the fact that the undersized of the assault craft have not been painted !

The Kriegsmarine finally make it to shore albeit wet and bedraggled. The fifth columnists have recovered Mad Peter from the sand dunes and have also found that the beachfront bunker is unoccupied.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Trumpington - Starting positions

I thought I would outline the general plot and layout of the game we started last Friday night.  The game itself surrounds a German attempt to recover the Sword of St Godswain which is an occult item and is held in the church in Trumpington.

To do so they intend to land paratroops,  a glider containing heavy weapons and equipment as well as utilising Fifth Columnists and a Kriegsmarine amphibious section. The British just have to stop them !

General orders direct that the German players outline their plan which had the the following general structure. Fifth columnists are to secure a landing ground and guide in the Kriegsmarine seaborne unit.  They have to meet Mad Peter who has been bribed with booze to show the safe route to shore. German paratroopers are to land at the same time to provide support and help clear the landing field.  Once the glider has landed the Germans make their bid for the sword.

The British have several villagers that are umpire moderated and additionally have a little control over where the Home Guard are placed. Poor weather and they will be inside the church hall, clear weather and they can employ random patrols as well as man checkpoints and pill boxes.  Once an alert is sounded they can then bring on reinforcements in the form of regular troops.

The gaming consists of using Role playing and written orders for the first stage. Once an alert is sounded we move over to using Bolt Action rules but with special rules for, shall we say, 'non standard' equipment.

View from the East looking along the High Street. Laurence of Maldon  is cockle picking down on the  beach, Denzil the Village idiot (Chair of the Guild of Village idiots no less !) is chatting to the cows to the mid left of the photo. Fraser mans the checkpoint near the beach phone box. Mrs Faulty waits for her husband outside the guest house. Old Harry can be seen heading West back up the High Street towards the Church.

Another view just showing off the skills of Ted in making the beach and seafront. You also have a better view of the obstructions put up in a Farmer Giles' field. Mad Peters hut is rear left just in front of the Cornfield.

Another view from the Southern edge. Denzil is in the foreground and the church is at the far end of the High Street. Pike and Sponge are on top of the church tower. Even if the weather is good there is still a chance that Pike will want to read a comic rather than keep lookout !

Both Craig and myself had to submit written orders to Ted in advance of the game. Mine had to say where my 'traitors' were coming on the board from and detail the overall plan of attack and the scheduling for the arrival of the Germans.

I assume that Craig wrote standing orders concerning how the general alarm is sounded and who was doing what in the village including patrolling etc. I can't say more than that as the game is still ongoing and I simply don't know. I have no idea what other orders Craig has built in to his plan.

Next post will be the opening moves

Thursday, 6 November 2014

The Trumpington Glider

Ted has sent me the following photos of his 'Gotha' Glider we will use for the Trumpington Game tomorrow.

The pictures tell the story, the back of the glider is hinged to allow Jo's troops to disembark.  I feel rather awkward that this humble blog showcases someone else's skill.

Glider from the front starboard side.

View of the rear with the hinged door open.

Gotha Glider displayed above the table. Boy does that look good !
On the downside I note the sentry box and checkpoint that wasn't' displayed on my pre game map ! Checkpoint is visible just below the nose! The GPO have also strung another phone line down the High Street. Blast the Grand Plan is already compromised.

I will try and upload the generic game plan and map I received on which I based our cunning plan later

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Residents of Trumpington

I really hope village life is not actually like this, especially as I plan to retire to one in due course. Enclosed are pictures of assorted Trumpington Villagers and neighbours. Some may have special rules and others won't. The beauty of an Umpire moderated game is that the Umpire is allowed to toy with both sides and can maintain some sort of game balance. This is particularly true if you are using new or character specific rules.

Mr and Mrs Faulty, owners of the Beach View Cafe and Guest House. It also has a full 'On' Licence allowing it to act as the village Pub.

Here Miguel the Spanish waiter can be seen waiting to make a long distance call to Bilbao. Arthur Streebe-Reebling looks on. He is very suspicious of foreigners.

This is the village Postmistress and her very special friend. Her ambition is to pump a bad guy full of lead as he tries to rob the Post Office. She is a very big fan of James Cagney.

Colonel Blakencroft, his daughter Penelope and her boyfriend, Roger, the Scoutmaster. Colonel Blakencroft's Gamekeeper is far right.

East End 'heavies' who might be meeting 'Black Stan' to do a bit of business.

Mr & Mrs Giles plus their two sons, Bill and Ben. Does everyone in the village have a firearm?

A local cockle picker. If the tide is out he will be on the beach.

Adrian, a fisherman from nearby Chilkley on Sea. His fishing boat was blown up by a stray mine.

Meanwhile on the other side if the Channel, Oberst Heinz Beenz prepares to pilot the Gotha Glider.