Sunday, 15 November 2015

HTS Baroque Catching Crabbes inne Cornwall

We marched into Fishewick and got crabs

Back in the day when I had both 6mm and money, I bought a pack of Pendraken's fishmen because I needed the Poseidon. A couple of decades later (quick in wargaming terms!) these were the first figures painted for Flashing Steel. I've added a pack of Khurasan's creatures of the deep as males. Curiously the 10mm figures are bigger than the 15mm. The militia is a mix of Old Glory with officers, sergeants and green jackets provided by Rebel's pirate hunters.





This game is a cut-down version of one planned for HTS proper (job). The inspiration comes from the film The City Beneath The Sea, based on an Edgar Allen Poe story of the same name. Let us presume that beneath the sea are old civilisations hampered technologically by their environment. One such off the coast of Cornwall aids the locals develop bronze technology, (Cornish tin was found in Chinese bronze) helping them mine under the sea and keeping their coast safe from invasion. One modern interpretation of Stonehenge is that it also functioned as a stock exchange. If you want tin from Cornwall, you had to go there first a get a chit.

The industrial revolution and the opening of land routes erodes the areas isolation. Some incident sparks a raid.

Here we have the sleepy little town of Fishewick in the year 17--. That puts this game in the Baroque SF period, which is pre-Victorian with the emphasis on the biological rather than the mechanical. By what means the militia learns of the invasion may never be know but probably has something to do a character who either looks like Vincent Price or the bumbling antics of a Doug McClure.

Readers may remember that I hate roofs, they get in the way and all roofless are modular to contain troops.

The locals
Civilians Q7 A9
Militia Q6 A9 (I'm not going to differentiate other than dragoons go Fast.)

Flintlock Rifle 2M max range. Penetration 2 Must reload, Slow reload (-4-5+25-3) 13

Flintlock Pistol 3S max range Melee Penetration 1 Penetration 1 Must reload Slow reload (+1-3+10 +15-3-5 ) 15

Fishmen Q7 A8 Slow Amphibious

Trident Melee Assault Penetration 2 Melee 2 handed (15+20-4) 31

Net Melee concussive Non penetrating Max range 3S (10-8-3) -1
CONCUSSIVE target hit automatically flinches and is knocked down (prone)

Harpoon gun Devastating No reload Max 2M one shot -10 (20-7-4-10) -1
DEVASTATING A hit from this weapon inflicts two point of damage.

Cannon Blast Burst Max 5M Penetration 2 slow reload (10+35+25-2-3) 75
BURST roll two shooting dice at -2. Any roll of 1 or 2 means reload (misfire).
BLAST an explosion that affects multiple targets. Target unit receives one flinch and two Q4 attacks irrespective of range, size and cover modifiers.

Crab or Lobster Q7 A4
Melee pen 2 Affects only organics -2 (20-2) 18




The Prologue
There are 2 rallying points for the locals. The Seaman's mission near the harbour (just past the pub and the home for fallen young ladies) and the parish church. Each rally point (until over-run) rolls at Q7. The number rolled above 7 represents the armed locals mustered that turn. A natural 10 represents a Leader. Locals without a leader can use reactions only. Damn ingrates's, nary a one made the effort to save their betters property (after the first few turns we sort of gave up). A shower, an absolute shower.

Militia will arrive on a 9 or 10.

Each fishman unit comes ashore at a separate point. Each is presumed to be just under the water, poised to leap.


The locals
Civilians Q7 A9
Militia Q6 A9

Flintlock Rifle 2M max range. Penetration 2 Must reload, Slow reload (-4-5+25-3) 13

Flintlock Pistol 3S max range Melee Penetration 1 Penetration 1 Must reload Slow reload (+1-3+10 +15-3-5 ) 15

(When you measure them out, the difference between 2M and 3S ain't worth the candle.)

Fishmen Q7 A8 Slow Amphibious

Trident Melee Assault Penetration 2 Melee 2 handed (15+20-4) 31

Net Melee concussive Non penetrating Max range 3S (10-8-3) -1
CONCUSSIVE target hit automatically flinches and is knocked down (prone)

Harpoon gun Devastating No reload Max 2M one shot -10 (20-7-4-10) -1
DEVASTATING A hit from this weapon inflicts two point of damage. (It's a big bolt that can go right through one or more target.

Cannon Blast Burst Max 5M Penetration 2 slow reload (10+35+25-2-3) 75
BURST roll two shooting dice at -2. Any roll of 1 or 2 means reload (misfire).
BLAST an explosion that affects multiple targets. Target unit receives one flinch and two Q4 attacks irrespective of range, size and cover modifiers. (I had hoped this represents grape shot or similar, as a good hit could effect 6)

Crab or Lobster Q7 A4

In use, the trident always rolled low. Nets, I got one entangle. Guns killed a couple but not the devastation I'd hoped for. The cannon got in place and I would have got away with it if it wasn't for those pesky dragoons. Lobsters and crabs went down to decent volleys.


The Caste
The South Cornish Unaffiliated Militia
De Volved's Dragoons 8 troopers and the Hon. Charles De Volved.
Picked Men skirmishers 8 chaps plus Sergeant Plucker and Captain Prikk (Prikk's Picked Own)
Militia, 16 men with Sergeant McNasty and Major D' Issaster. (Who can trace his ancestry back to the Spanish Armada, wot).

Tribe 1(Right) Cannon & 3 crew, 2 mixed (trident, net & gun) bases, Leader & 2 guns

Tribe 2 (Centre) 2 lobsters plus team 4 handlers, 2 mixed with 1 extra unarmed, Leader and 2 guns

Tribe 3 (Left) 2 crabs and 3 handlers including dominant female leader 1, 3 mixed, one with extra shooter, 1 with extra trident, Leader with mixed.

The Game.

I got the initiative and started streaming up the beach like snails on speed. Tony decided to split his forces by type and did well using up my failed rolls to advance.

I split off the cannon and moved it into position to thump his infantry, but his dragoons came in 'ard and killed the crew, cutting a swathe through my right tribe. I got a few of the cavalry, enough to divert them back towards their infantry. This took them over my lobsters, who gave chase and nearly caught the leader by his hacks hocks.



(I didn't give the dragoons any plus in combat as they were not trained for assault. I thought he would have dismounted them in the buildings and snipe)

Unfortunately that put my poor things in front of Tony's left squad who blew them to bits.

On came my remaining centre tribe, who stopped and shot, then charged into a volley that broke them.

My right tribe had suffered most from the cavalry now faced the fury of the light infantry, who trotted up to the drop and pored in the lead, breaking my second tribe.

They frantically reloaded as the now-detached crabs came on strong. A volley brought them down bar two of the handlers who not only stood but charged in, killing one and shoving the unit back, which allowed them to reload and finish the job. By this time the cavalry had gone full circle and were ready to lend more support.

On came my last heroic amphibians, even though Tony lost a couple of troopers I was doomed I tell 'ee, doomed!

Next time I'm going to try a more renaissance approach of halberdiers protected by guns and net skirmishers.


This was a more “us” test of the HTS beta rules than before. I liked the play, leaders had more effect with lower Q units. Maybe I should have made rifles Penetration 1. We got through this in an unhurried 3 hours of eating chocky bikkies.

Tony won because he was able to use my reactions to get his quicker troops into position and deliver a real sucker punch to my cannon – before it could do same to his infantry. I repeatedly used leaders to turn around double fails and keep some impetus going. My “fiddly” shooting was fairly easy to handle, but produced nothing like the full crashing volley that Tony could command. But, I wanted a different approach and in smaller (pre blog) Flying Lead and Flashing Steel games they had done better.

Flying lead could have done it, but would have been a lot slower with group activations.
Comments on other rule systems would be welcome.


Advancing in 3 columns Tony took the risk, but it paid off
Note the strategic chocky bics


































Other ranks get crabs, Officers get lobsters



Note abandoned cannon