Showing posts with label scenario. Show all posts
Showing posts with label scenario. Show all posts

Thursday, 2 February 2017

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

I tried a variant of the 'Release The Kraken' scenario for 'Galleys and Galleons' the other day, with the attackers having to deal with a moving target before the creature appears.

So, a steam-warship heads across the ocean, bound for home.

But danger lurks in the form of the notorious Captain Nemo in the Nautilus.

The ship cruises on unaware, until a lookout spots something below the surface off the starboard bow.

The Nautilus surfaces and fires, and its first shot rips a massive hole below the warship's waterline, crippling it.

The ship is finished off with a ram. It sinks in minutes, with all hands lost.

The action has disturbed a creature from the deep, however - a giant octopus. It immediatle grapples the Nautilus in its powerful tentacles.

Nemo charges his ship's hull with electricity, and injures the massive mollusc, but not before it damages his submersible. He pulls away and attempts to escape.

But the octopus swiftly pursues, and grabs the ship again.

This time there is no escape - Nemo and his ship are dragged to the depths of the ocean, never to be seen again.

The stats for the vessels are as follows:

Nautilus - Q3 C3 - 94pts - Steam Engine, Ramming, Submersible, Reinforced Hull, Chasers, Razee, Marksmen, Unarmed

Warship - Q4 C2 - 23pts - Steam Engine, Bow Chaser

Octopus - Q4 C4 - 72pts - Submersible, Creature, Swashbucklers, Intimidating

The Warship is the equivalent of the Bastion in the original scenario. It starts in one corner heading directly for the opposite corner with its initial speed set at S. May not roll for activations until Nautilus fires on, rams or grapples it, or ends its turn on the surface within L or submerged within M. Until then, the Warship gets one free activation per turn, which can be used to make the minimum course or speed changes necessary to avoid terrain.

The Octopus appears as per rules for damaging the fort in the ‘Release The Kraken’ scenario.

Victory conditions are the same as the original scenario.

The models are from a mix of sources. The Warship is the USS Harriet Lane from my Navwar ACW collection. The Nautilus is a Thales class corvette from Dystopian Wars - I picked up a pack of these for $5 at Cancon. And the Octopus is a 3D print from this collection.

Here's some pictures and details of a similar scenario which I played ten years ago, using a different set of rules. And a Lego Nautilus.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Fu Manchu's Halls of Horror - The Scenario

In the comments on my Fu Manchu vs SAVE game I was asked if I could post the scenario so that others could have a go. So here it is.

Actually that's a lie. The scenario I played was the 'initial draft' and, to be honest, it was broken in a few places. Indeed I changed a few elements of it as I went along, to make a better game. That's a bonus of solo gaming; sometimes you can change the game without upsetting your opponent,

What I'm posting here is the scenario as it is now, after a couple more games and a few minor and not-so minor revisions.

So the scenario, in case you didn't get it from my writeup, is that Fu Manchu is in a big old country house and about to perform a mystic ritual that will do something unpleasant. Envoys from SAVE are rushing to stop him. They must fight their way through his minions and prevent the ritual from being completed.

Here are the forces I used:


The Baron - Brute/Chaos Warrior
Josephine Carfax - Sniper/Rogue
Reverend Philips - Witch-Hunter
Ranjit Singh - Arquebusier
Muscle x 4 - Fighters
Hired Guns x 2 - Shooters

Forces of Fu Manchu

Fu Manchu - Witch/Leader
His Daughter - Familiar (Rogue/Rabble)
Skeletons x 6 (see below, though) - Rabble
Lot 249 - Assassin/Tank
Jack The Ripper - Brute/Rogue
Hassan the Silent - Brute/Monk

As you can see, Fu Manchu's force isn't strictly legal according to the rules, but who cares?

The board is laid out as follows, using GW's Halls of Horror floorplans, or your own facsimile thereof:

The blue counters represent SAVE's three entry points (spawn points, for you kids brought up on video games).

The yellow markers represent the entry points for Fu Manchu's minions.

There are two short corridors linking the doors at the end of the landings to Fu Manchu's chamber of sorcery. the one on the left is short and straight. It is intentional that the one on the right has a turn on it, as it means that it takes an extra turn to traverse.

I put an Unearthly Horror in the pentagon in the centre of the pentagram. This is merely terrain, blocking both movement and line of sight through the pentagon. The altar blocks movement, but not line of sight. It counts as cover.

Stairs are obstacles. You stop when you reach them. On the next turn you can move up or down the flight of stairs, and continue beyond them; moving off a flight of stairs is not a terrain change.

I allowed figures on the floor of the hall to shoot at figures on the landing above them, and vice versa. The balustrades act as cover.

A figure must stop when they land on a door. They can then move off it into the area beyond on their next move. Basically a door exists in both 'areas it connects.

The scenario starts with three SAVE envoys positioned on their start points. Fu Manchu gets two skeletons. They are positioned randomly; there are twelve possible entry points so I'll leave it to you to work out how to do that. Only one figure may be on an entry point at a time; in order for it to be used for reinforcements the figure must be moved off it.

Fu Manchu and his Daughter deploy in the chamber, adjacent to the altar. Fu Manchu must remain adjacent to his altar until a SAVE envoy enters his chamber. He may cast spells or use his Leader ability normally, however. His daughter may move normally. Note that, as a Witch, Fu Manchu can trace line of sight from his daughter. I allow him to apply this to his Leader ability as well as spell-casting.

Both sides get reinforcements. These can be deployed on an entry point as an action or reaction by that figure. SAVE can only use the three blue points, and then only if they are clear. Fu Manchu's minions randomly determine their point of entry. If it's blocked, then roll again. You cannot block an opponent's entry points; shuffle figures around if necessary. However figures cannot enter straight into close combat.

Fu Manchu has unlimited skeletons, but can only have up to six in play at any given time. The mummy (Lot 249), Jack the Ripper and Hassan the Silent are lost for good if they are killed, so time their deployment wisely.

Once per game Fu Manchu may bring on a character on the red entry point (the side door into his chamber).

Fu Manchu may never have more than 6 Skeletons in play. However there are unlimited numbers of them available - any Skeletons destroyed are returned to the pile of potential reinforcements.

From turn 11 onwards Fu Manchu may begin performing the Ritual. The Ritual is a spell, with a bid minimum of 4. It can only be cast as an action (not a reaction), so Fu Manchu must have the initiative. Roll a D6 for each point bid. If any of them are a '6' then the Ritual has succeeded. If Fu Manchu casts the Ritual three times, then he wins.

Victory: Fu Manchu wins if he successfully performs the Ritual, or if SAVE have more dead figures than living. SAVE win by killing Fu Manchu.

I have played this through a few times, and SAVE have never won. However in all but one game they have fought through to the chamber and engaged Fu Manchu, coming close to killing him in a couple of times. So if the balance is out, it isn't out by much. It's a hard game to create balanced scenarios for, because it is very random in places. It tells a great story, though, however it pans out. 

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Treasure Hunt - A Battlesworn Scenario

This is the scenario for Battlesworn which we played on Thursday evening.

Use a square board. Place three cairns, statues or similar line-of-sight blocking objects along the centre-line - one in the centre and two on each side equidistant between the centre and the edge. These hold the treasure.

Set up terrain in any way you wish, but it must not be possible to cross from one side of the board to the other in a singe move. In addition it must not be possible for either player to reach a cairn from their base edge in a single move.

Here's the terrain we used:

The cairns are marked with orange counters, which represents the treasure they contain. There is one item of treasure per cairn. As you can see, the one can only be approached by skirting some ruins, one is on a two-level hill (we dropped it to a single level in the second game) and one is on the middle of a wood, entering or leaving which counts as a change in terrain.

A figure in base contact with a cairn, and not in melee, may use an action or a reaction to search it. They roll 4D6 - if any of them score a '6' the they have recovered the treasure. If two sides search as part of the same initiative - via an action and a reaction - they both roll 4D6. The side which score the most sixes finds the treasure first. If they score the same neither finds it.

Any figure can carry treasure. If they are killed then it is placed on the board where they fell and another figure may spend an action or reaction to pick it up. A figure may also spend an action or reaction to take an item of treasure off a friendly figure they are in base contact with, so long as nether is in melee.

If a figure reaches their friendly baseline then they may spend an action or reaction to 'bank' it. It now belongs to your side.

The game runs for an agreed number of turns. We played at least 12, but with a random game end after that, but you could fix it a 15.

A side wins if:

  1. They get two items of treasure off the board, regardless of losses.
  2. The other side has more dead figures than live ones at any point (as per the normal rules)
  3. If, at the end of the game, they have killed more enemy figures than they themselves have lost. Treasure which has been banked counts as two enemy figures killed for these purposes.

Killing the enemy warband is, of course, a viable strategy, but if they concentrate on treasure hunting before you inflict sufficient losses they can win that way. The third victory condition covers a game which times out, and rewards a player who has concentrated o collecting treasure in an otherwise even fight.

I don't know how badly Flyers or Cavalry would break this scenario, unless you set some specific terrain restrictions. But it worked fine with the warbands we used.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Random Towns In Missouri

In my previous post I described five ACW campaign battles I had played out. Each had a name which was randomly generated, because I thought that what the world really needed was a method of randomly determining place-names in Arkansas and Missouri.

Here's how I did it. Each name is in two parts, and generating each part uses its own table.

First Part

D12 to determine row, then a D6 for the individual entry: 1-2 gives the first, 3-4 the second, 5-6 the third.

1 - Bethel - Spring - New*
2 - Bald - Wilson - North*
3 - Harris - Liberty - West*
4 - Cooper - Pine - East*
5 - Clark - Park - South*
6 - Bloom - Queens - (Saint Name)**
7 - Prairie - Red - Sweet
8 - Essex - Yellow - Bitter
9 - King - Black - Ghost
10 - Green - White - London***
11 - Honey - Green - Big*
12 - Lake - Union - Little*

*If you get this, roll another prefix for it to apply to. e.g. You roll 'East'. Rolling again you get 'Pine'. So your place-name starts 'East Pine'. If you roll another entry with a '*' then there is no second prefix.

**Think of a name to go with 'Saint'. You may opt not to bother with the second part.

*** I have included 'London' as a place-holder. Pick any British or European city. As with 'Saint', generating a second part is optional.

Second Part

D6 to determine row, then a D6 for the individual entry: 1-2 gives the first, 3-4 the second, 5-6 the third.

1 - Hill - Creek - Grove
2 - Knob - Ville - Woods
3 - Bluff - Town - Church
4 - Spring - Burg - Ford
5 - Rock - Crossing - Water
6 - Ridge - Field - Valley


Part 1 - D12 = 7, D6 = 3. This gives 'Red'.
Part 2 - First D6 = 2, Second D6 = 4. This gives 'Ville'.
So our first battle is fought at Redville.

Part 1 - D12 = 11, D6 = 5. This gives 'Little'. So I roll a second prefix.
Part 1b - D12 = 8, D6 = 1. This gives 'Essex'.
Part 2 - First D6 = 6, Second D6 = 2. This gives 'Ridge'.
So our second battle is fought at Little Essex Ridge.

Part 1 - D12 = 5, D6 = 2. This gives 'Clark'.
Part 2 - First D6 = 5, Second D6 = 2. This gives 'Crossing'.
Adding in a possessive we get the Battle of Clark's Crossing.

I came up with the words in each table from a random perusal of a list of Arkansas and Missouri place-names on Wikipedia. Where would we be without Wikipedia?

Thursday, 8 January 2015

See The Elephant

Over the last week I have been playing more square grid games, mostly based around scenarios in 'One Hour Wargames', but a couple of my own design. This lead me to refine, rework and, I hope, streamline the rules I've been using, both the basic American Civil War version, and the slightly more complex Great Northern War set

In terms of the ACW set, I have now taken my scribbled pencil notes and things that were drifting around in my increasingly overloaded brain and put them to paper. And, what is more, I have found a name for the rules.

So, Version 1.1 of my ACW square-grid rules is now available. I give you:

See The Elephant v1.1

What's different? Well, I have tidied up and organised the terrain rules into their own section, moved a couple of optional rules into the main text (since I was using them in every game anyway) and streamlined the combat procedure so that modifications are easier to apply in the order in which I think they should happen and in a way that's logical.

As a bonus, how about a scenario?

The 1864 Battle of Westport has defied me as a playable game for a long time (although I was 'presented' with a Prussian-Danish 1864 reworking of it as my final game at my UK wargames club before I emigrated), but I managed to strip it down to its bare essentials and stick it onto a chessboard to give me something that played out pretty well.

The Battle of Westport - 1864

If those links don't work, then you should be able to get hold of the goods by going to my Free Stuff page.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Return To Valverde

For some reason one of my earliest square-grid games - a refight of the 1862 Battle of Valverde using a variant of Bob Cordery's Portable wargame - is one of my most popular posts. It regularly features as one of the four most-viewed posts of the week, but for the life of me I can't pin down where the hits are coming from.

Anyway, my games on a square grid have moved on a bit in the last couple of years, so I thought that it might be fun to replay Valverde using my latest attempt at a set of rules.

I used the same terrain setup as before - a fordable river on the Union side, with a small grove of trees just across it, a gully about halfway across the table and an impassable mesa in one corner. The trees restricted movement, and provided cover, the river provided defence against close combat and the gully provided cover from shooting.

The forces were:

Union - Three cavalry, One Artillery, Four Infantry
Confederate - Six Cavalry, One Artillery

All units were Regular, except teh Union Infantry, which were Poor.

On each turn, each side could bring two units onto their base edge, plus attempt to activate any that were already on the table.

Both sides made a move for the obvious cover. The Union moved some infantry into the grove, whilst the Confederates lined the gully with cavalry. A firefight commenced.

On the Union left they pushed across the river with a force of infantry and cavalry. In the centre both sides' artillery faced off in an inconclusive duel.

First blood went to the Confederacy, as a Union infantry unit broke under pressure.

Another fled from the grove after taking steady fire from the gully.

The Union managed to outflank the Confederates' position in the gully, but the boys in grey held them off.

The Confederates pushed into the grove, where the shaky Union militia infantry were not really up to opposing them.

The infantry routed, and the Confederates turned on the Union right

In the centre the Union managed a minor breakthrough, attacking and taking the Confederate artillery.

But the Union right collapsed under sustained pressure, and with four of the eight Union units lost I called the game a Confederate victory.

This was the position at the end of the game, with a strong Confederate left flank and the Union looking a bit feeble everywhere.

The game played quickly. Indeed I decided to play it again, but didn't bother taking any more pictures. The Confederates won again, but it was closer this time as the Union concentrated their infantry, making the most of their heavier fire-power over the cavalry.

The rules worked well for this battle, and it was as much fun to play as the original game.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Sophie and the Algerine

I am currently rereading Patrick O'Brian's 'Aubrey and Maturin' series, having realised that I hadn't reread some of the later books in the series since they were first published. Or, at least, I couldn't remember what happened in them. With a couple of the later books dealt with, I decided to go back to the beginning, and am most of the way through 'Master and Commander', the first in the series.

I thought that it would be quite fun to refight one of the actions from the book - indeed the first action described. This means that, whilst it is not Aubrey's first fight by any stretch of the imagination, it is his first in command of his own vessel.

So, it's 1800, and Captain Aubrey is in command of the 14-gun brig Sophie, operating out of Port Mahon in Minorca. He has been tasked with escorting a convoy and, whilst exercising the crew at their guns, it is noticed that Algerine galley has slipped in and taken one of the merchant vessels, the Norwegian Dorthe Englebrechtsdottir. Sophie speeds off to the rescue.

As a scenario this uses a few rules I'm not that familiar with - merchant vessels, chasers and oared vessels.

The Sophie is an unrated vessel, Hull/Broadside 5, Gun-class E (but with only a +2 at point-blank range, as she is armed with guns). Her crew are Experienced; it is obviousl from the book that they are competent, but not a finely-honed fighting machine. I gave her one crew party to make the scenario more interesting; in a larger game a vessel her size wouldn't rate one. In addition I gave her 1 Bow Chaser, but given that it's a single small gun I decided that it wouldn't inflict any ratings hits. However if its shot scored a 'hit' and it was also a critical, then the critical would count. She has two masts.

The galley was rated as Hull/Broadside 4, although the Broadside factor is virtual and for damage/striking purposes only. I gave it 3 Bow Chaser factors and 2 Stern; the book seems to suggest that it was well-armed with 24- and 18-pounders. I gave it a Gun-class of B, meaning that it could easily out-range the Sophie's 4-pounders. The galley rated 6 Oar Factors, and I made its crew Experienced as well with 3 Parties. The rules don't seem to cover switching between oars and sail, which I thought was odd, so I assumed that the vessel would declare in its Command and Repair phase. Under sail the galley uses a single lateen (fore-and-aft) sail.

The Dorthe Englebrechtsdottir is simply a merchant - 4 Hull, no broadside, or indeed any guns at all. She has a Poor crew with No Crew Parties. I decided that she couldn't set full-sail. Unlike the other two vessels she was Ship Class 1.

The setup. I used a 3' x 3' area, with the a light wind coming from the north. The Algerine could set up anywhere on the south edge. The Dorthe Englebrechtsdottir was placed heading east about a third of the way in from the west edge. The Sophie started off-table. In each British action phase after that in which the galley fired or declared a boarding attempt, roll a dice. On a '6' the Sophie appears at the centre of the north edge and moved normally from then onwards.

I left the striking conditions as in the rules; technically Algerines fight to the bitter end, but I just wanted to see how the scenario played out at a basic level. Victory is really about control of the Dorthe Englebrechtsdottir; if the Algerines can sail her off the south edge then they win. If the British can sink or drive off the galley then they win. If the Algerines sink or capture the Sophie as well as the Dorthe Englebrechtsdottir then they can be considered to have won a major victory.

And away we go!

Here's the hapless Dorthe Englebrechtsdottir

The Algerine rows into sight. That galley needs a bit of a repaint.

The galley attempts a long-range shot at the merchant. A lucky shot; it hits the Norwegian, who hauls down its colours and heaves to.

Unfortunately the long-range shot was a bad idea; before the galley can take possession of its prize, the Sophie comes into sight, alerted by the firing.

The Algerines lower boats to take possession of the merchant, whilst the galley prepares to engage the British vessel.

The galley fires, inflicting no damage. Corsairs board the Dorthe Englebrechtsdottir.

The Sophie yaws, and fires a broadside down the length of the galley. A lucky roll sees the galley devastated - most of its guns dismounted and the bows wrecked.

Ignoring the galley for now the Sophie moves towards the captured Dorthe Englebrechtsdottir, and lowers boats in order to recapture it.

The crew of the Sophie board the Norwegian and in a brisk fight they retake it. Meanwhile the Sophie entertains the galley with another broadside

As the Sophies sail the merchant out of reach of the galley, the Sophie brings her broadside to bear again, and another devastating broadside sees the galley strike.

A decisive victory for Jack Aubrey! The Algerine firing so early was a mistake, as it brought the Sophie into the action before the Dorthe Englebrechtsdottir could be captured. Ideally, and as in the book, the Sophie should appear and be left with the choice of recapturing the merchant or taking the galley.

A second run-through saw the Algerine not make the same mistake. It closed on the merchant, then lowered a boat with a boarding party whilst it rowed to windward to guard against interference from the Sophie. This would have been a good plan, as it left the galley in a good position - between the Sophie and the prize - had the crew of the Dorthe Englebrechtsdottir not driven off the corsair boarding party. However a shot from the stern-chasers caused the merchant to strike, albeit at the cost of its foremast, fouled over the side. The galley sent a second crew party to board it and clear the fallen mast. At this point the Sophie arrived. It sailed swiftly past the galley, hitting it with a couple of shots, before heading for the Dorthe Englebrechtsdottir in order to recapture it before it cleared the fallen mast. However the prize-crew held on for shot after shot, cleared the mast and attempted to sail their sluggish, crippled prize to safety. The Sophie matched course, and fired a few more shots, but still the prize wouldn't strike. The galley had worked in behind the Sophie now, and was causing damage - at which point the light breeze died entirely, leaving the Sophie becalmed. It also left the prize in the same state, and another shot saw it strike, but the Sophie was now at the mercy of the galley - and it had none.

Aubrey made a gallant attempt to bring his ship back into the fight by towing with boats, but the galley was able to out-manuever him and keep up a constant, wearing fire. With no hope of relief, and no chance of escape, the Sophie struck.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

The Return of Rainbow and Avon

Last week I blogged a couple of refights of a Napoleonic naval action between a French 40-gun frigate, La Nereide and two smaller British ships, the 22-gun Rainbow and the 16-gun Avon. After I wrote them I actually came up with, and played, a finalised version of the scenario, based on a closer reading of the action. Basically La Nereide and Rainbow fought first, with Avon coming up later. So I have spaced the entry of the British ships.

Here it is.

The ships are:


La Nereide (44) - Superior 5th Rate, Experienced crew, Hull/Guns 8, Gun Class A


Rainbow (22) - Inferior 6th Rate, Veteran crew, Hull/Guns 7, Gun Class A
Avon (16) - Unrated, Carronade-armed, Veteran Crew, Hull/Guns 5, Gun Class E*


This can be fought on a 3' x 3' area. The wind is coming from the south. La Nereide is in the SE corner heading NW. Rainbow is in the SW corner heading NE. Both ships start 6D6cm from their respective corners. Avon is not on the table at the start of the battle.

Special Rules

At the start of each British Action phase roll a D6. On a '6' Avon is placed in the SW corner, heading NE, and moves normally that turn.

On the whole this heavily weights the scenario in favour of the French, who have a chance to take out the smaller British ships one at a time. A game-orientated British player will obviously avoid combat with the Rainbow until the Avon comes up, but where's the fun in that?

And the replay? La Nereide gave Rainbow a right royal battering. Avon took a long time to appear, piled on full sail to get into the fight and was defeated very rapidly, leaving La Nereide to then finish off Rainbow. Much of the battle was fought in a strong wind, which made accurate maneuver difficult.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

The Ionian Mission


This scenario is based on an action described in the novel 'The Ionian Mission' by Patrick O'Brian. It was originally written for the first edition of the 'Form Line Of Battle' miniatures rules, but I have updated it to fit in with FLOB 4.0/5.0.

Obviously if you've not yet read 'The Ionian Mission' then this scenario is loaded with spoilers.

There's a refight at the end of the post.

Background To The Action

In an unknown year towards the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Jack Aubrey is in command of the 28 gun frigate HMS Surprise. He is sent on a mission to force the French out of a port on the Ionian Sea, and involved in negotiations with a minor Turkish ruler. The ruler captures Jack's transports and set out to sea to assert his authority. Jack puts the Surprise onto a southerly course to intercept the Turkish ships.


Surprise (28) - Superior 6th Rate Frigate, Elite crew


Torgud (32) - Inferior 5th Rate Frigate, Poor crew (See special rules below, however)
Kitabi (20) - Inferior 6th Rate Corvette, Poor crew

The Torgud mounted a pair of heavy cannon which gave its broadside an extra punch, but which hampered its sailing qualities. It therefore moves at Frigate speed but turns as if it were a ship of the line (2 points per movement phase). The heavy cannon can be used three times during the game, their use being declared before the dice are rolled. Each use adds one to the Torgud's fire factor for that shot.


Use a table approximately 6' x 4' with the N-S axis being the longest.
            K    T 

The ships are as follows:
S - Surprise
T - Torgud
K - Kitabi

The wind is from the South East.

Torgud and Kitabi should be lined up about 15cm apart heading NNE and about 15cm from the Southern edge of the table.

Surprise is heading South West about 30cm directly NE of Torgud.

Special Rules

The Surprise lived up to its name and initially caught the Turks unawares. To simulate this the following special rules apply. The Turkish ships may not deviate from their initial course or fire until the phase after they are fired on or until they become alerted. They may only move on one dice although they still roll the 4 dice their attitude to the wind entitles them to. In each Turkish command and repair phase roll a dice. If the score is 5 or more the Turks are alerted. Add one to the score if the Surprise is within 20cm and 2 if it is within 10cm of a Turkish ship. On all following phases the Turks may fire and move normally.

It is recommended that the optional rul for Poor crews turning more than one point be used.


If the Turks capture or destroy the Surprise they win a major victory. 
If the Surprise leaves the table they win a minor victory. 
If the Turks leave the table and neither exit via the Northern edge the British win a minor victory. 
If one Turkish ship is captured or destroyed the British win a minor victory. 
If both Turkish ships are captured or destroyed then the British win a major victory. 
Any other result is a draw.

'Historical' Outcome

The Surprise initially engaged the Torgud in attempt to mask the fire of the Kitabi. After a fierce exchange of fire, the Torgud attempted to close on the Surprise in order to board, but was out-manouevered. This left the Surprise in a position to engage the Kitabi instead, forcing it to disengage. Both Turkish ships ran to the North West with the Surprise in hot pursuit. Kitabi and Torgud collided in their haste allowing Jack to use the corvette as a bridge to board the frigate and capture both vessels.


I first developed this scenario more than ten years ago, and have played it a few times over the years. It's actually a tricky one for the British, as FLOB can sometimes be a bit random, leaving their one ship vulnerable to a couple of unlucky rolls or card draws. But, I guess, that's how the fortune of war works.

I played this game using my ancient Navwar 1/1200th ships.

Here's the Turks, sailing along blissfully unaware that their treachery has been discovered by the British.

HMS Surprise sails nonchalantly into view.

The Surprise suddenly turns downwind and fires a devastating initial broadside along the length of the Torgud.

With the Torgud damaged, Surprise turns on the Kitabi, but she manages to cut across the bows of the British vessel. The Surprise is damaged, but poor Turkish gunnery means that it's not too bad.

The Torgud tries to turn back into the action, but damage and the heavy guns means the ship is unwieldy and its slow going.

As the Kitabi turns the Surprise cuts tight under its stern, and fires its previously unused starboard guns. In a single broadside, Aubrey's well-trained crew smash the Kitabi, forcing it to strike.

Whilst the Kitabi drifts, the Surprise and Torgud close on each other.

Another devastating broadside from the Surprise.

The Torgud returns fire, and starts a fire on the British ship.

However the elite British seamen are well-drilled in extinguishing fires, and the Surprise fights on. The Torgud almost manages to cut across the British vessel's bows, but the Surprise turns to avoid this, and a final exchange of broadsides sees the Turkish ship strike.

In fact at the end of the game Surprise only had one broadside factor remaining, but the with Torgud in a similar state it was always going to boil down to the massive difference in crew quality; the effect of Torgud's larger size had already been neutralised by the damage it had taken earlier on in the battle. The British victory was helped by being able to knock the Kitabi out of the fight in one shot, avoiding a sustained engagement there.

Monday, 23 June 2014

A Nice Morning Drive

As promised, here's a playthrough of my Red Barchetta scenario for Machinas.

The Red Barchetta itself is a repainted Hot Wheels Corvette; the best I could find at short notice. The MSVs are two suitable cars from the collection I now have.

I chose Deep Treads and Speedster as my traits, giving me reasonable capabilities on both curves and straights.

I generated sections one turn in advance, so I knew what was coming next, but not beyond.

And away we went.

Section 1 was a curve. Both MSVs moved into position to pass.

I saw an opening and moved to block the Grey MSV (this is a variant random event I am using at the moment - I have scrapped the bonus pass attempt you get on a '7'; now you can now choose to change one lane either to the left or right).

Unfortunately the MSV managed to move over as well, but in doing so nearly collided with the other one.

It zoomed into position, and ...

... passed me.

The Brown MSV also had a go, but I held him.

Section 2 was a straight. I drafted, and Brown tried a pass, but suffered a temporary brake lock and dropped back out o the running for this road section.

In Section 3 - a straight - I decided to draft the Grey MSV, and the Brown MSV moved in behind me as well.

But, again, the random events gave me an opening, and I took it.

Foot hard down on the accelerator I pulled ahead of the Grey MSV.

Section 4 was also a straight. Both MSVs moved to make a wide pass ...

... and almost collided again. They failed to overtake me.

We swept into a long curve in Section 5. I suffered issues with my brakes, and nearly collided with the Grey MSV behind me.

The Brown MSV made an attempt to head me off ...

... but couldn't manage it.

Sections 6 and 7 were also curves, and both MSVs made desperate attempts to pass me, but I kept my nerve and held them off again and again.

Section 8, and Grey makes a wide pass. Once again I see him off and ...

... reach safety!

The scenario was fun to run, but probably a little unbalanced in favour of the Red Barchetta. I possibly need to up the quality of the MSVs to make them more dangerous; whilst the Red Barchetta is weak in a bash situation, the MSVs never really got the chance to line one up because I was too quick and agile for them.

Still, it was great to bring one of my favourite songs to life.
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