What should I work on next?

06 January 2018

Review of 2017

   Well, it's that time of year again. For those of you still following, if you haven't noticed a distinct downward trend over the past year or two, I'm surprised. Still, while 2017 was not the best year I've ever had in regards to my Victorian Science Fiction gaming, there was a bright spot.

   The biggest thing for me this year was running a convention game. I did this once at Historicon, several years ago, in 15mm using the Battles by GASLIGHT rules. That was an okay experience, but not a rousing success. I do recall that a few of my minis went missing afterwards as well, and several pieces of terrain were damaged in shipping. Both of these incidents soured me somewhat on running a convention game. But, I decided to try once more, this time at a much more local convention, MillenniumCon, back in November. I used the In Her Majesty's Name rules, and cards for the individual model types. It went well, and I got some very useful feedback on the game for possible future conventions. Plus, I finally got the Quadcycle on the table!

   I'm a bit perturbed at what's happening with Dystopian Wars, as well. I played in two games of DW at Historicon back in July, and had a good time. And then the bombshell: Spartan Games went out of business. I know a new company has picked up the IP, but from what I see heading out of their shop... well, I'm not as excited about it as I would like to be. Time will tell. 

   On the painting front, virtually nil in VSF, and little enough in other genres. I can't recall painting a single figure that was specifically for a VSF game. I did manage work on one of the pair of very nice Martian Skiffs I got from Red Vectors. Just needs a bit of finishing work to be done.

   The only terrain pieces I worked on were some nice desert building bits for SAGA that I used for the convention game. They were already colored, all I had to do was assemble and paint the white foam edges. Took a day. The latter third of the year was eaten up by a hurricane, of course (darn you, Harvey!), but still, that level of lack of progress is daunting. Granted, I am working on a few other projects now, most especially some forces for a Bolt Action ruled Very British Civil War.

   So, what about this new year, eh? Well, if we get moved into the new house by end of February, I hope to have my stuff sorted. That would let me work on a few projects that are currently packed away in boxes. I think blog-wise, that I would like to post at least six polls this year, something I haven't done in ages. In fact, I think I will post one today, just to get the ball rolling. So please vote on it.

   Anyway, thanks to any and all who still follow this blog. It's not totally moribund. I just have moved the significant focus of my gaming away from VSF for now. If you want to see a bit more of my wit (the half I have) and wisdom (or lack thereof), I post more frequently on my general gaming blog, The Scattergun Gamer.

Cheers, and happy New Year!

19 November 2017

In Her Majesty's Name at MillenniumCon XX

   The third game I participated in at the convention was the game I brought: In Her Majesty's Name. It's a Victorian Science Fiction skirmish/warband game. 

   I provided four factions: the Society of Thule, the Servants of Ra, Lord Curr's Incorrigibles, and the human Minions of Otto Maton. The mission in this game was simple: escape oncoming death. Having disturbed ancient secrets in the Sahara, a curse of flesh eating scarab swarms is chasing all of the factions. Their only hope is to make it to the river boats.

The village of Ruh Naway and the all important boats moored at the docks.

   In order to escape on a boat, a faction had to have control of it - there could be no members of a different faction aboard. Then, on the following Movement phase, it could leave - but not if anyone boarded that turn. Boats then moved up to 9" in a turn (just off the board was sufficient).

The setup.

Lord Curr veers his Incorrigibles away from the Society of Thule

The Society and the Servants mix it up on the right.
One of the Servants, Sairah the Assassin Queen, dashes far ahead of the rest.
Every cultist would lay down his life for Akhenaton.

Maton's Minions move in a disciplined group along the far left flank,
led by the quadcycle.

   The fellow who played the minions stuck strictly to the mission, and it paid off. He got every one of his forces onto the boat, gaining a game-winning 45 points (plus two kills).

In the village square, "Mad" Mick stands alone against the Jaegers and Todtruppen
of the Society of Thule.

   This is the first time I have managed to get the Todtruppen (zombie jaegers) on the field. They are fun, but slow. Mick was abandoned to his fate by the rest of the Incorrigibles.

The boats casting off. In the lead is Akhenaton.

   Note that one boat is missing: Sairah stole it by being first to the docks. This ensured that one team would not be able to escape. A clever strategy. As it turned out, the Society of Thule was doomed. Even more fun, the mummified priest used his power of the Path of Shadows (essentially a teleport spell) to board the boat after it launched.

   After the game ended, we had a bull session about how to improve the scenario. The best idea was to change the motivation of the Servants of Ra. The suggestion was to use them as a blocking force in the village, and reduce the number of boats to three - or maybe even just two. Most importantly, everyone said they had fun, which was the whole point.

   I want to give a special thanks to Jim Johnson for helping me out by bringing a few pieces of really nice terrain. A couple of those buildings are his, made by Crescent Root, and excellent pieces. 

12 October 2017

Martian Airships sighted...

   Our intelligence reports indicate that the Martians have obtained two additional airships to menace the good people of Victoria's Landing.

   Made by RedVectors in the UK, these skiffs were custom adjusted a bit to work for 15mm. I am in the process of assembling and painting the first of the pair. The price was quite reasonable, I thought, and the shipment was dashed quick.

   Not quite done. It needs a gun on that forward platform, and a crew. I suppose this calls for a visit to Scale Creep for minis...

11 October 2017

MillenniumCon XX Preparation, Part 3: Terrain...

   I have ordered and received several 28mm buildings and a bit more terrain - desert oasis, sand dune, and piers.

   These have several advantages: they are lightweight, they are easy to assemble, and they are already painted. So I just have to glue them together and toss them into the bucket. I bought a total of seven buildings to give the impression of a small riverside village.

   For the base, I am using my Cigar Box Battles desert cloth. I love these things. Again, lightweight and portable, but they drape well, and they don't pill up.

   I'm still working on the layout of the whole setup. And I hope to get a playtest or two in before the convention. Next I think I need to finalize which troops each force will be fielding. I'd like to give most of them a vehicle of some sorts, because if not, I fear the minion quadcycle will race ahead to secure the landing stage with its machinegun. I might be able to use buildings to give cover to approaching companies though.

13 September 2017

Millennium Con XX Prep, Part 2: Quadcycle Stats

   I think I have decided upon the minions of Otto Maton to be the fourth faction in my convention game, just because I like these guys so much. I will probably take the gentlemen of the Sapphire Club as well, in case I need to squeeze in a fifth player.

   And I think they need a vehicle. I happen to have one already painted and good to go - the nefarious All Terrain Quadruple Wheeled Lightly Armoured Autocycle (Machine Gun), more commonly called the "Quadcycle" or even simply "Quaddie." 

You've seen this before, no?

So, I need to stat it up for In Her Majesty's Name. Probably best to treat it as a walker, I think, as far as the rules for hit allocation are concerned. This is what I am thinking:

Pluck: 5+ (2 pts)
FV: +1 (1 pt)
SV: +3 (4 pts)
Speed: 9" (2 pts) - based on Bestiary from HVF
Armour: 10 (4 pts)
Weapon: Machine gun (26 pts)
Equipment: Steam Dynamo (10 pts)
Equipment: Lined Coat (Steersman, AV 8) (1 pt)
Equipment: Pistol (Steersman) (3 pts)
Equipment: Breath Preserver (Steersman) (2 pts)

Note: Can not enter Difficult Terrain

What says the collected wisdom?