Thursday, May 11, 2017

News of My Return to Gaming May Have Been Premature

OK, so my other project (I'm a musician) has taken over the lion's share of my free time, and until just recently, I was OK with that. But one can only stay away for so long before the pining for toy soldiers reaches a fevered pitch.

Unfortunately, it returns at a time when money is tight - I unexpectedly had to acquire a new vehicle  just the other day (which I rather like driving, so it's not all bad) - and yet I want to start a new project.

Or rather, revive an old project, but in 54mm: Victorian Science Fiction (VSF)

VSF with its lost worlds, alien invasions, and wild contraptions all in support of adventure and exploration, was my first real wargame's project. It began with French Foreign Legion and lost world lizard men and dinosaurs, and later became the basis for my longest running campaign, the Battle of Helvetica (follow the link and scroll down), between Sauvingnon-Blanc and Riesling, with their lizard men conscripts filling out the respective sides.

That project is a 15mm project and I do not wish to duplicate the set up in a larger scale. Instead I want to take a more British bent to the whole thing, being the Victorian-age after all.

One option is a "lost battalion" type game - where highlanders, hussars (or lancers maybe?) and a gun crew, wander through a lost world as they look for their way home and come face to face with Romans, Greeks, ancient Egyptians, monsters of all kinds, and yes, perhaps one of Riesling's armies

Another option is that the Brits find a "Star Gate" which leads to battles against the same enemies, but on distant planets. It seems almost certain then that they would face off in battle against the green Martians on the red plains of that planet
(AIP Boxers painted green might work for that). Trekking through the thick vegetation of a Venusian jungle, dodging dinosaur-like fauna would surely follow.

Because I prefer to game than paint, ideally, the highlanders would be W. Britain's set 5188 (2 sets even,), and the lancers set 8806 (again 2 perhaps), but reality is that they will be AIP highlanders and hussars. Ditto the gun and crew.

The opponents will mostly be pre-painted plastics, available cheaply on Amazon and elsewhere. This helps minimize my painting efforts.

Rules will be G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. or Portable Wargame, Space: 1889 Soldier's Companion, or quite likely home-brew that blends many of those together, depending on what type of game I decide to play.

With father's day coming up next month, I already know what I'm asking for!

And since walls of text are sort of boring, here's a picture from a very impromptu and improvised skirmish game I played last night.

Team BBC storms the French farmhouse
The scenario was based on the example given in older versions of Nuts! by THW: An MG42 crew is in a farmhouse with a clear shot at the road, making transport hazardous for our troops.Three British paras (Team BBC: Cpl. Hardcastle, Lance Cpl. Deacon, and a young, Pvt. Peacock) are to assault the house and take out the gun and crew.

Figures are Conte (Brits) and Airfix (Germans, which I placed behind the house, though they were, for the game, inside), the wall is from W. Britain I believe (It came with a Waffen SS MG42 team), the house is scratch built (clearly). Rules, as I said, were improvised. They involved card activation, d6s to attack (1 for bolt action rifles and pistols, 2 for SMGs, and 4 for the HMG), saving rolls a la Featherstone, and hit points for Hardcastle (3), Deacon (2), Peacock (2), German Officer (2).

Hardcastle and Deacon both ended the game with 1 HP each, Peacock, who fired from cover most of the game remained unscathed, while the Germans were thrashed soundly and the next transport would make it through unimpeded.


  1. John, it seems to me that your arabs and saracens could easily become an enemy in this sort of campaign. Have you checked out any of the DSG offerings (all in the old deetail style and prepainted) good for browsing and dreaming if nothing else!

    1. Ross,
      Absolutely! It seems like A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court type scenario.

      Thank you for the link, although I'm sorry I followed it! So many great figures. Sadly, for now, daydreaming it is.