Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Trouble 't Mill!

Being adventures in Victorian Science Fiction using the All New Steamed Harder Than Steel V.1 and Flying Lead.

Act one Scene one The morning room of a large country house in the county of --------------.

“Excuse me Ma'arm, but there's trouble 't Mill!”

“Oh dear! What sort of trouble?”

“Crossbeam's out of skew on 't tredle!”

“Oh goodness, how can that have 'appened?”

“T'is them there aliens what have landed in the lower paddock, 'n all their diggin'n and goins-on ma'arm”

Scene 2, Split shot. Lady on telephone, office in Whitehall, gentleman behind desk, train speeding northward. Territorial Troops marching in stalwart and dignified mode.

Scene 3, Sent by M (or Holmes Senior), the party gather by the side of the road for pictures.

We decided to do a traditional alien invasion. Aliens land at an out-of way spot and promptly start digging.

I went a bit mad and bought a pack of WW1 plastic figures. This gave me more than enough infantry for 3 sections of 8, a couple of grenadiers and a rather nifty machine gun. Another lucky find was a (not black!) Model T and a Peugot roadster or hunting brake.

I'll do the list later! One of my favourite aliens is the IXX from GZG. One of the few 15mm figures that comes in several bits! Any resemblance to the one-shot of the Shadow alien on Babylon 5 is, of course, purely coincidental.

As you can see, I decided to mount mine on a Khurasan Bug as an “IFV”. The bug has a gland on the top (above head) I designated as a flamethrower. IXX don't make war, they hunt (more later), so all their weaponry is in-period.

In marches those sons of fun, the Territorials!

They are spotted (well they are all marching down the road!) The guard goes and engages them in small-arms fire.

A recurring theme of this game is the Ixx inability to hit a barn door from the inside!  An exchange of fire, both sides take cover.

Meanwhile over on the (alien) right, one makes use of 2-failed reactions then 3 activations to burst onto the road at the end of the column!

Small arms drives the rear territorials into the hedge, whilst the flame thrower takes out the roadster and half of its passengers.

The rest flee into a clump of bushes. Rapid fire from the Territorials into the bugs belly downs it!

The surviving crew member bolts for the same clump of bushes – they meet sort of halfway! A scrappy firefight develops.

In the centre the infantry show great stamina in leaping over low walls. The first bug flames the nearest house to flush them out. A mixture of fire and firepower kills about half of the first section.

The third bug creeps down the other side of the road, a pot shot kills Major Harumphing, which has little effect on the TA morale.

Getting close to the burning building, the first bug comes under grenade attack and dies!

The remaining first section poor on the lead, killing the crew.

Investigating, the last bug is riddled by a luckily placed machine gun and goes down. The rest of the infantry, having resumed strategic wall-hopping, fail to engage and the crew escapes via the yard – a gate was opened!

The last remaining bug makes a strategic withdraw. Only able to crew two of their Cavorite spheres, they make their escape!


So Cavorite was claimed for the Empire!

Mixing Flying Lead with HTS makes for a quick game (the HTS mechanism is quicker than FL) so a relatively large game (34, 2 vehicles & MG on one side) was possible.

Having a very cluttered table also helped, most of the infantry never advanced more than 3 moves! Flying Lead handles earlier weapons quite well, although you may feel inclined to slow them down or reduce the range.

We found 3 long for grenades a bit long, and were happy to reduce to 2 long.   Most VSF weapons are an improvement on the earlier models or correspond to a more modern type. I find shotgun a good all-rounder for any period.