Friday, 20 January 2012

"Worms. Big Ass Worms." Free from THW -

With Riverbluff Wargames releasing some great worm minis I thought I'd pass along a free "how to use them" in THW.

Here's the link to the PDF.
Worms, Big Ass Worms for THW

Monday, 16 January 2012

Motor City BC - A supplement to Adventures in the Lost Lands.

Just got the cover. A supplement to Adventures in the Lost Lands. How to use military and civilian vehicles in your Lost Worlds. Will work for any rules set with a little tweaking.

Coming Soon! Motor City BC

Thursday, 12 January 2012

The Chase - The Glade - Muskets and Mohawks AAR Conclusion

Here's the first part
The Glade Muskets and Mohawks AAR

The small party entered the board and the chase was on. The objective was to exit the opposite side of the table before they were caught by the pursuing Indians from the previous battle.
The runners consisted of two Rep 4 scouts, the Rep 5 Lt. and two Rep 4 British Regulars. They two daughters that they were escorting were both Rep 3. 

 The chasers were twelve Indian warriors, eleven Rep 4 and one Rep 5 Leader.
Once the runners were on the table activation was rolled with the runners going first. It became clear after two turns that the daughters were slowing the party down. Testing for Fast Move, their Rep 3 forced them to move slower. I figured it was only a matter of time before the Indians would catch up.

 Desperate times calls for desperate measures. In a fair fight the British were outnumbered two to one. I decided to try and spring an ambush in the hopes of getting the first shots off and evening the numbers. The next time the Brits activated they formed a line at the edge of the woods outside of a small clearing. The girls were placed in the rear ready to run at a moment's notice.

 The Indians were moving through the woods and reached the edge next to the clearing. As soon as the first figure came into sight the In Sight was triggered and a total of five warriors, including the Leader, mov ed their extra 2" into sight.
In Sight was rolled and the Brits opened fire. Some of the Indians would be able to respond at the same time as the last two Brits could act.
 The Brits fired and three warriors went down. The Leader and another went Out of the Fight while one warrior was Obviously Dead. The two warriors able to fire were hit so it was time to take Reaction Tests. Each figure rolled and one caused a Cohesion Test. The test was rolled and because the Leader was OOF and the dice were bad the Indians broke and ran back down the trail!
Make no bones about it, luck, combined with a desperate act, resulted in the British escaping. It could have easily went the other direction and outnumbered 9 to 5 the British future looked grim.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The New In Sight - Part Three - Conclusions

The Cabras now come into melee and casualties are taken. Time for the Reaction Test, Man Down, Received Fire. They are taken by the figure with one set of d6 rolled for each figure and the results applied to all the tests. So I roll 2d6 and go through the applicable tests for the figure. I test Man Down for some, Man Down and Received Fire for others.
The different one is the Cohesion Test where the ability of the figures to stay together will be tested.

 With the Cabras and adventurers both taking tests it's just a matter of time before someone rolls a result of Cohesion Test. The Cabras do and now one set of 2d6 are rolled and the results applied to all of them. This results in pass 1d6 and the Cabras runaway. Here's what it looks like.

 Game over. I timed the game and it took 35 minutes from start to finish. My observations are...
If I play THW games with multiple units where the reactions are taken by group with one set of d6 I'll use the "classic" or unit sized In Sight. (5150 Star Army, Colonial Adventures, Muskets and Mohawks)
But if I play smaller skirmishes where individuals take reactions I'll use the "new" or skirmish In Sight. (Long Rifle, 5150 New Beginnings, even NUTS).

Playing the new In Sight requires a different mind set as the In Sight front loads the mechanics but doesn't increase the actual game time.
Classic or unit size In Sight spreads the mechanics over the length of the game.

Both type of games seem to take the same amount of time.
I'll be posting a free "Unit/Skirmish" In Sight Table that should work with all THW games.
Does this mean that the In Sight is changing? No, it just means the new In Sight Test is another tool in your THW toolbox that you can use if you want. After all, it's your game.

The New In Sight: Part Two - Breaking all the rules?

The play test starts with the adventurers activating first. They move towards the deserted village.
The Cabras now activate and exit the woods.
This triggers the In Sight.
The Cabras now move 2" more.

So far so good. This is how both In Sights work. Now it gets different.
In the old way the adventurers would roll 2d6 for the In Sight and apply the results. But instead each figure rolls 3-5d6 based on Rep and modifiers.
"Whoa! THATS's a LOT of Dice!"
Yes and no. Here's what I did and it worked real well. I had a pile of dice to my left. I had 3-5d6 in my right hand. Starting at one end I rolled the d6, counted successes and placed a d6 from my pile next to the figure with the number of successes facing up. Check it out. Notice that some figures don't get the In Sight test as they do not have LOS. What happens to them? They are allowed to act on their active move.
Now it was time to resolve their actions. Starting from the highest and working to the lowest number of successes rolled each figure chose an action.  This meant that sometimes more than one figure would act but that wasn't a problem. There was shooting by Rick and the other adventurers, charges by the Cabras, running away by the bearers, diggers, and pigs. Overall a confused melee with opportunities arising as figures moved.  Here's what it looked like after all the actions were completed and before the melee was fought.
 Once the melees were finished it was back to the normal turn sequence. The Cabras and adventurers took the applicable Reaction Tests, Man Down, Received Fire, etc. Once this was finished, as normal, those Cabras that were left were allowed to carry out their active movement. This resulted in some Charge into Melee tests and more shooting, melee and running away. Here's what it looked like after this was over. Notice that once the intial In Sight was taken the game sequence reverts back to normal. Here's the scene at the end of turn one.

 Now the adventurers activate first on the next turn and the Cabras cannot activate at all. The adventurers  retire away to form a firing line. Those that can, active fire and the Cabras take their Reaction Tests as normal. Here's the scene after the end of turn two.
 Turn three begins and the Cabras activate first. As everyone is in LOS no In Sight is taken. Here they come! Charge into Melee Tests are taken, dice are placed next to each figure to help determine who can fire or not.  I've found that it is best to roll for all the figures first when taking the Charge into Melee Tests then resolve them one after the other.
After firing takes place we see the melees shape up. Note that some Cabras never close into melee while some were shot down as they charged.

Coming next...The Conclusion

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

The New In Sight: Part One - Breaking all the rules?

Anyone that has 5150: New Beginnings or Long Rifle knows about the new In Sight Test. The new In Sight is an alternative to the current one found in most  THW rules. With that In Sight the tests are taken by the group, usually but not always by the inactive side.
The new In Sight requires both sides, the active and inactive to roll individually by figure based upon Rep. In the new In Sight the active group moves into view triggering the test, all figures in the group can then move 2", and the test is taken.
This is where it differentiates from the original as each figure on both sides starts with 1d6 per point of Rep, modifies it by two or three possible modifiers, and the modified number of d6 are rolled. Each figure tallies the number of successes they roll (scores of 1, 2 or 3) and each figure is allowed to make it's In Sight action in order, from high to low, with the figure with the most successes going first. Those without any successes cannot act.
This works all well and good when each side has 3 to 5 figures. But how about when there's more? That's what I wanted to find out.
I started the Pulp game with the following sides.
Rick, Evie, Jonathan and Beni from the Mummy.
Four native bearers.
Four diggers.
Alan Quartermain and seven British colonial soldiers.
2 Pigs 
A total of 20 figures.
All of the3 figures were from Rebel Minis except for the two pigs from Highlander Studios.
On the opposite side and hidden from view were 20 knife weilding Cabras also from Rebel Minis.

The adventurers were in a column while the Cabras were hidden from sight.

Coming next...Part Two

Monday, 9 January 2012

The Glade - Muskets and Mohawks AAR

Inspired by the movie, Last of the Mohicans, I set up a scenario where four British units would try and escort the Major's two daughters to Fort New Braunfels. The British force consisted of two units of Regulars, one unit of Colonial Militia, and the escort of Lieutenant Churchill and two scouts. The objective was to enter from the lower right corner of the table and exit the middle left side of the table.
The Brits were deployed in column with the Militia in the lead, one regular unit, the escort, then the second Regular unit.
The game started with three PEFs strung out in front of the column. The first turn saw the far end PEF remain on the ridge while the center revealed itself to be a large war band of 20 Indians. The third PEF moved towards the right side of the column in the woods and was revealed as a smaller band of Indians.
First turn and the battle was starting.

The battle was over but not the game. In Muskets and Mohawks you can't just run off the board to safety. The escort would now play a Chase Encounter and try to escape the pursuing Indians. As there aren't that many figures involved I decided to use Long Rifle, the man to man skirmish rules.
Coming up next...The Chase!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

“Bowling With Claymores” an FNG 2nd Tour AAR

"You know, I never thought I’d be back in The Nam. But, here I am. After 60 days back in The World the call of the jungle finally broke me down. The First Sergeant thought I was nuts, told me I’ve done my tour. He told me to sit back and just collect a check for a little while, without anyone shooting at me. I guess that’s just not me. I think he would rather have given me a Section 8, but rubber stamping my request for combat was far less paperwork…”

So here we are, back In Country! Since FNG 2 will be released just in time for Tet, I figured I would through out some AARs of my current solo campaign, and highlight some of FNG 2’s new mechanics along the way.

My story begins with one of the men from my previous campaign returning to Nam for a second tour. He was a REP 5 Jr.NCO with the Medic and Agile Attributes when he left in early ’67 (my last campaign was actually set from January1966 to January 1967), so I figured he’d get a promotion to SGT upon his DEROS and then decide to come back for another tour (for whatever reason). That would make him a squad leader. I usually start my Stars from REP 3 bottom-rung riflemen and work their way up, but since it is 2nd Tour…

In order to get the campaign going, I had to first generate my entire platoon. Yep, I said it: the whole platoon. The reason is simple: there will be times that a reinforcement roll may call for the rest of my unit to come on table, and rather than wasting time mid game to roll them up, it’s easier to do it ahead of time. Since we track not just REP in FNG 2, but also DEROS (how much longer a soldier has in their tour of duty) we can now show how a unit changes over time with the veterans leaving (hopefully) for home and the FNGs coming in to fill their slots. Now, I like a detailed game, so I gave Attributes to all of the HQ personnel and attachments as well as all of my squad members.

I got reasonably lucky with the rolls, with my LT being a REP 5 marksman and his RTO being REP 4 and fluent in Vietnamese. This will come in handy in encounters with civilians. My LT also has 5 months left in his combat command, so he’ll be around for a good while. My platoon sergeant is somewhat less impressive at REP 3 and 3 months till DEROS, but he is Tough.

For the rest of the platoon I rolled a total of 26 men, splitting them with 9 in 1st squad (my squad), 8 in 2nd, and 9 in 3rd.

My Squad rolled up as follows:

NCO: SGT Star, REP 5, Agile, Medic, DEROS 12

Jr.NCO: CPL Andrus, REP 3, Slight, DEROS 10

Jr. NCO: SPC4 Brookes, REP 5, Stealthy, DEROS 5

LMG: SPC4 Carlton, REP 4, Unlucky, DEROS 4

Gren: PVT Durant, REP 3, Quick Reflexes, DEROS 10

Gren: PFC Ellis, REP 4, Lucky, DEROS 5

Rif: PVT Flint, REP 3, Trap Finder, DEROS 8

Rif: PVT Giles, REP 3, Crack Shot, DEROS 11

Rif: PFC Hill, REP 4, Pointman, DEROS 6

With my Star now acquainted with his new charges, it was now mission time. Just 364 and a wake-up…

The FNG 2 campaign breaks down into a 12 month tour (13 months for USMC) with each month divided into 2 turns. At the start of each turn you roll to determine if your squad makes contact with the enemy during the course of whatever it has been ordered to do. It is actually possible to go several turns without contacting the enemy, which is great for survival, but probably not all that fun… If contact is not made, you move on to checking who has hit their DEROS, checking for Short Timers, and trying to fill vacancies within your platoon.

However, if you make contact you must first run a mission before running administration!

My first turn is Early April, 1967, and I do indeed make contact! Now, there are a number of things you have to decide upon for your FNG2 campaign, such as where your unit is stationed. My campaign is taking place in III Corps, as I like the variety of possible terrain, and I figure they are (at this time period) probably posted near Saigon, counting their AO (Area of Operations) as III Corps Interior on the terrain tables. Why is this important, you may wonder… well, your AO determines what possible missions you may be assigned. I mean, you’re not very likely to be inspecting civilians in a Free Fire Zone, right?

Ok, so I’ve made contact. Now I determine some important factors: my AO turns out to be Contested, but not populated (this means no Civies will appear in this mission). My Support Level is 2 (not all that great, as though I have some support I can call on, nothing is dedicated to my mission) and I will be facing MFVC with am Enemy Activity Level of 3. Hmm, this means that there is a better chance that enemy reinforcements may show up in the course of the mission than help for me. My mission will also be taking place just before dawn (3 turns of night before full daylight) with clear skies. I check for possible attachments from my HQ section, and get none. To top things off it appears that my mission is Ambush. Uh-oh. This could be bad, as this mission has a chance that I may be the ambush-ee rather than the ambush-er! Luckily, it’s Charlie that will be on the receiving end this fine morning! As the platoon RTO is not with me, I decide that my troops would most likely be issued a radio for this operation, so I let Andrus hump it.

Now it’s time to generate terrain. Rolling on the tables gives me a bit of an odd scattering of terrain so I do a little “common sense” fudging and end up with a table that looks like this:



The clear area between the hills is a bit interesting, but I reason that when it rains, the paddy probably overflows and drains along this swale between hills. Also, I combine the hills on the bottom left so that we end up with a two-tiered hill, the lower part forested and the higher part scrubbed. As instructed by the mission a d6 roll determines that I setup in sector 6, in the best cover. I choose the forested hill, as it has a good view. I then lay out my claymores (I have 2, as well as 3 LAWs) within 12” of my troops with one out front and another at the rear with a pair of troops to watch my back as a rear-guard (this is important, as you never know from where reinforcements might arrive in an Ambush mission!). I know that according to the mission the ambushed must be setup in the worst terrain, as well as within LOS of ALL of my troops, so this tells me they will be on the paddy dike, just ditty bopping along… I now roll for how many PEFs there will be, and I will be facing 2. Not too bad. …BUT!… The mission says that I since I setup with both sides already within LOS there are no starting In Sight rolls! So, the PEFs must be resolved and placed. Well, when you first contact the enemy you must roll for their posture, and I roll badly with the EAL going up by +1! This not only ups their chances of reinforcements, but also allows the MFVC to roll from a different table. My little squad could be facing 2 platoons of MFVC!!! Luckily I will be encountering a ½ squad and a Political Officer and his 2 bodyguards. Political Officers are VERY interesting, as they sometimes take command of nearby units, even if their leader has a higher REP than the P.O.s! It can make things very… interesting!

Ooooo! I smell a story line!

Mission brief:

“Intel has come down that a VC bigwig spends his nights in a nearby vil, returning to his unit before first light. He has a small detachment guarding him, and there are always enemy units transiting through the area so there is no chance of some spooks being able to snatch him out of bed. Your platoon is to divide up and ambush likely approaches to the village complex in hopes we can catch or blast this sucker.”

With this in mind, I set up the bad guys along the dike, 12” from my ambush position on the hill. I figures that with an EAL of 4, the VC would be feeling pretty confident, and that this daily jaunt was probably such old hat that they’d be a little lax, so their line of march is: Guard 1(REP 4, SKS), Political Officer (REP 3, pistol), Guard 2 (REP 3, SKS), then the squad with SKS (REP 3), NCO (REP 3, AK47), AK47 (REP 4), Medic (REP 5), LMG (REP 4), and finally another SKS (REP 4).

US position above the paddy

The little triangles are the claymores (there is 1 extra on accident)

So here is how it played out:

Turn 1

Activation: US 5, MFVC 3

This is good, as my troops are all lined up as a group and can activate based on my Stars’ REP of 5. It also means that the MFVC won’t get a chance to try and spot my ambush before I can hose them. I must now nominate the targets of all troops (before shooting starts!), so I’ll start from my positions left and move down the line to right.

Hill will target the first 2 men, Durant will lob a 40mm kiss towards the PO (man #2), I will fire my claymore, Carlton will spray 3 and 4, Ellis will bloop at #6, and Giles and Brookes will take the tail 2. Andrus and Flint will watch the rear.

The unsuspecting VC column

The claymore fires off with a roar, blasting into the enemy column! The VC NCO is obliterated (OD) while Guard 2 is mangled (OOF) by the blast. The Politico finds himself knocked down and breathing his last (KD, resulting in OD), and the medic and an AK troop are also taken out (KD resulting in OOF). An SKS troop caught in the blast is miraculously untouched, just knocked down and stunned.

Almost got them all!

Before their compadres can react my squad takes the cue and blasts away at the kill zone. Hill kills the leading Guard while the stunned SKS troops is minced by the M-60. The VC machine gunner is killed by a burst from Giles, but misses the last man in line, who ducks back behind a nearby paddy dike and out of LOS. Oddly, both M-79s land well long of their targets.

In just a few seconds, the MFVC patrol is down to just one man.

Turn 2

Activation: US 3, VC 5

In the deathly silence that follows the initial firing I move most of my squad down to check the bodies. Carlton and Durant stay on the hill to provide cover while our rear guard stays in place. The lone VC can do nothing but cower behind the dike. For now.

Turn 3

Activation: US 2, VC 4

The surviving VC crawls south along his dike, keeping low in the dark. If he pops up, my troops are close enough to see him, and probably pop him. When I activate, my guys start to gather up and disarm the wounded while searching the corpses. As the game length is only 6 turns it’s just about time to get out of dodge.

Turn 4

Activation: US 3, VC 1

The sun rises! This is a mixed blessing as now I can see the last SKS troop, but most of my guys are out in the rice paddy, and any baddies nearby have a good view of their rear ends hanging out in the breeze.

So, the increased LOS means that 2 of my guys on the hill can see the last VC (the rst cannot as he is too close to the paddy dike from their angle), and he can see them! In Sight is rolled with the VC losing a d6 for my guys being in cover. Carlton scores 3 successes, Durant only 1, and the VC scores 2. Carlton goes first and goes on rock-and-roll, firing all 5d6 worth. He riddles the unlucky VC to death, but also runs out of ammo! With that taken care of we continue to police up the kill zone.

Turn 5

Activation: US 6, VC3

No big deal. I cannot activate, but there are no bad guys around to bother me either. My LMG reloads, but that’s about it.

Turn 6

Activation: US 3, VC1

I was worried here for a minute. If a PEF had appeared, we might have had a real fight on our hands and an extended game, as at EAL 4 the chances of an enemy platoon appearing are pretty good. Luckily though, none arrive. I have my guys on the hill come on down and link up, just in case. Also, it’ll make it easier to extract, as I expect a helo will probably be dispatched to collect these POWs.

So, that’s the game. My first mission is a success! Let’s tally up the Victory points for this mission and see what the result is:

5 confirmed kills @2 VP= 10 VP

3 wounded POWs @3 VP= 9 VP

1 unconfirmed kill @ 1VP= 1 VP

total= 20 VP

Well, that’s a pretty dang good score! No WIAs or KIAs on my part, but it doesn’t cut the grade to count as a Good Mission, so no perks for us. However, in the after game administration I do discover though the platoon gets no replacements, PFC Hill has increased his REP to 5! That is good news! A REP 5 Pointman is as good as gold.

As we saw, being ambushed is not something you want happening to you. It could very easily have been MY squad caught in that tempest and left shredded.

Stay tuned for more AARs!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Canoe who? Muskets and Mohawks AAR

Muskets and Mohawks and Long Rifle are compatible and you can shuffle characters from one rules set to the other. I decided to play a one unit Scout mission with British Allied Indians. I set up terrain as pictured below. The three PEFs (Possible Enemy Forces) were in the hills in the upper left corner (Green) and two in the woods to the right. These are placed after my forces enter the table.

 The British Indians activate first and move down the river. The plan is to scout the sections across the river first then come back and check the ones on this side of the river. I want to hit as many sections as possible on the same turn. The White PEF activates first, comes into sight and is resolved as nothing but nerves.
The Orange PEF doesn't move. The Green one comes down from the cover of the hill and into sight in the clearing. This is resolved as a large war party of two units.
Now that the PEF is resolved I have to find out what they are doing. It appears that they are on a Raid mission! This will make them much more aggressive than if they were defending or scouting.

The next turn we activate first and I decide to beach the canoes. This will allow me to reverse them and head back down river should things go wrong. One enemy unit opens fire at us while the second moves towards us to the right. My Indians are shaken from the fire, take a casualty and retire away. The Orange PEF starts to move towards the river but is still out of sight.

 I decide that at least one canoe has got to make it back to warn the others about the war party heading this way. As they slip into the river my other Indians rally. As the other band is getting into range I decide it's time to retire. Okay, run.
 The second band now activates and fires, taking out another of my warriors. The first band starts to move closer to the river edge while the Orange PEF splits into two! This has become an ambush.
 We activate and all return to the canoes to head away. The Green PEF activates and is nothing but nerves, the Orange one stays out of sight. Both war bands fire at the retreating canoe and the three men in the last canoe all go down.
 As the final canoe leaves the battle is over. We take five casualties and never fired a shot! Checking the Campaign Rules I see that having failed on the scouting mission means my next mission will be a Raid: Defend with the French Allied Indians attacking. I send braves to the neighboring villages and to Fort New Braunfels in hopes of getting help.