Uninvited Dinner Guests by John Ewing

So after a spell of playing Daisho I thought it was about time we got some of our IHMN figures out at the Falkirk Club. It was also an excuse to give a first outing to my friend Allan’s new Fu Manchu Company. Our regular villains the Servants of Ra were ably handled by David our Club Chairman in what I think was only his second IHMN game. Meantime I took charge of my Armed Archaeologists, intrepid explorers one and all.
The game was set at 300 points and each player was given the following briefing as background.

The Quest for the Regalia of Ra
The House Party
Having failed so far in their efforts to find the Amulet of Isis, the Servants of Ra have returned in secret to London to track down one of the other pieces of the legendary Regalia of Ra, namely the Crown of Lower Egypt. This ancient artifact is believed by some to be a piece of alien technology once feared by the builders of the Pyramids for it destructive power.
Professor Abir, Akhenaton and Sairah have travelled to the home of their old adversary and renowned Egyptologist and Orientalist Sir William Poppington amongst whose papers Abir believes will be found some ancient manuscripts and other notes collected by Poppington containing information on the location of the Crown.
They now lie in wait in the grounds of the house with some of their supporters awaiting the opportunity to enter the house and search the Library and Study. It is a dark night, but there is a full moon giving some limited visibility.
There are lights in the House suggesting Sir William is entertaining guests. While he is thus distracted now is a chance to enter the House and search the Library.
However, there are others who are in search of the Crown. The darkness also hides the gang of that evil genius Dr Fu Manchu whose ingenuity and ruthlessness knows no bounds.
Who will prevail?
Can London be kept safe while such evil prowls its leafy suburbs?
Where is Sherlock Holmes when you need him?”

Pic 1

Sir William Poppington’s family mansion, with some substitute walls since we couldn’t find the originals. For the game, these were assumed to be of man height. Players could set up inside the walls if they wished.
It was a moonlit night with visibility outside limited to 12″.

Pic 2

The evil Servants of Ra led by Akhenaton and Professor Abir and their fanatical cultists gather outside the walls of the Mansion. They had a cunning plan which slowly revealed itself as the game went on

Pic 3

The sinister and diabolical Dr Fu Manchu with his daughter Fah Lo Suee and an assorted collection of Eastern miscreants. A mix of Dacoits, Thugs, Tong and Boxers all linked by a fanatical loyalty to their master driven by fear.

Pic 4

Our Armed Archaeologists gathered to reminisce over old adventures and plan their next expedition. Sir William’s daughter Lady Jane is opposite her father with her back to the window. Her betrothed Captain Carruthers is to her right while on her left is the intrepid American adventurer Dr Henry ‘Montana’ Smith. To Sir William’s right is his old friend and academic colleague Professor Osman and opposite him the somewhat rough and ready ex-colonial adventurer Ric O’Shea. Farouk the loyal manservant is dispensing drinks, the wine and port have been flowing freely all evening.
As a confirmed orientalist, Sir William has dispensed with the traditional furniture. Naturally we also removed his usual rugs and cushions so that they wouldn’t be damaged in the ensuing mayhem.

Pic 5

Fu Manchu decided to deploy within the garden but sent a small group of boxers along the outside wall. His dacoits with rifles are moving into position amongst the shrubbery to be able to provide covering fire into the dining room.
A couple of Thugs have been dispatched to try to find a rear entrance.
The good Doctor is accompanied by a swarm of his pet rats.

Pic 6

The Tong lieutenant and a Tong Warrior prepare to silently open the front door while Fu Manchu waits.

Pic 7

Meantime the Thugee Pharsingars have slipped the lock on a rear door and are about to slip into the Library. Meantime the Boxers and Tong are covering their rear.

Pic 8

Meantime the Servants of Ra have made no attempt to enter the garden and instead have made the long trek along the outside of the garden wall out of sight of the dining room windows which overlook that side of the garden. What are they up to?

Pic 9

As they reach the corner of the wall Akhenaton signals back to the cultist he has left opposite the far corner of the house who places his lantern on top of the wall and fires his pistol into the air. But why do the Servants want to attract the attention of Sir William and his guests?

Pic 10

Naturally the House Party respond to the shot by moving to the windows and open the door of the dining room to encounter Fu Manchu and the Tong who have just entered the house.
It is now clear that the Servants of Ra are hoping that their opponents will fight each other to a standstill and leave them in peace to mop up any remaining and search the building at leisure.

Pic 11

Montana Smith backed up by Captain Carruthers take on the Tong Lieutenant while the others move to the Windows to see what is going on outside. Fah Lo Suee is about to head upstairs to search the study accompanied by the Tong Warrior as the rats enter the hall.
Meantime in the Library one Thug has been rooted to the spot by the sight of the terrifying Mummy in the corner, but the other is made of sterner stuff and moves to touch the Mummy to see if it is real. Trouble is about to break out big time.

Pic 12

The Boxers and Tong reinforcements arrive at the back door to enter the library, but two remain nervously outside watching the Servants of Ra who have just crossed the wall out of shot. Meantime fighting has broken out elsewhere in the house as the Mummy in the Library suddenly comes to life.

Pic 13

The Thugs make the fatal mistake of attacking the Mummy to no avail only to see it reach out and remove the heart of one of its victims (Heartrending spell) while clubbing the other senseless.
Meantime the noise and smell of rats has brought Kitty, Sir William’s pet hunting cat, up from the cellar into the hall.

Pic 14

Kitty engages with the rats but decides there are more of them than she fancies tackling and high tails it back into the cellar ( failed pluck test).
At the dining room door, Montana is slogging it out with the Tong, neither getting the upper hand and both blocking others from intervening.

Pic 15

There followed a confusing series of moves for which there were no photos taken.
Briefly by this point the Tong at the door had been struck down before Montana fell temporarily to a blow from Fu Manchu. As the evil genius held his opponents up, his daughter successfully found Sir William’s notes in the study at the first attempt and both have fled from the mansion sacrificing one of the Tong members who has just succumbed to Sir William’s night stick while covering their retreat.
Meantime the Mummy has quietly slaughtered all the Thugs and Boxers sent against him and is just about to dispatch the Cultists sheltering in the corner.
Professor Abir and Sairah have used the Path of Shadows to enter the Library where they are engaged by Montana. While Akhenaton and Ambullah are both delayed outside by a little Tong Warrior who simply refused to die.

Pic 16

Pic 17

Fu Manchu and the remains of his gang flee the scene with their notes.

Pic 18

All that was left of the Yellow Peril Gang at the end of the game.

Pic 19

With the single exception of the Tong Lieutenant, this was the Mummy’s haul for the evening.


After months of development between the excellent chaps at 4Ground and our good selves, we are proud to announce that you can now purchase a set of Laser-cut MDF counters for use with our games.

We took suggestions and advice from players around the world and using our KISS furnace boiled them down to what people actually felt they needed.


You can find a guide to what each counter stands for on the Bonus Material page of this blog (scroll down to item 27).

If you would like to purchase a set our friends at Northstar are now selling them here: http://northstarfigures.com/prod.php?prod=7786

An interview with one of the authors

Our good friend Billy Salazar interviewed me last night about Daisho, our other games and our future plans. You can watch it here:

A little over a year ago he interviewed me about In Her Majesty’s Name and I must admit I found the process disturbing as I am a fairly private person and unused to all this newfangled technology. But, I wasn’t mobbed in the street by hysterical fans and the sky did not fall in so I thought I’d give it another go.

One thing I shall do if interviewed again is lock my chair upright, there are times in this interview that I look like a bobble-head :)

Penny Dreadful, the conclusion of our search

What seems like millennia ago, but is only a few weeks, I challenged the IHMN community to produce a decent set of statistics for the characters of that most excellent televisual diversion Penny Dreadful.

There was much discussion, some debate, and a few decent stabs at it. Then our good Captain Christopher Leonidas Sheets stepped forwards with a well-thought through and thorough interpretation of the dramatic personae.

You can find them here, upon his own web journal:

It is worth pointing out to the committed interwebulist that Capt. Sheets blog is a sheer cornucopia of surprises and well worth a leisurely afternoon’s browsing. You are sure to come away with some snippet or treasure to enhance your games.

What is missing from IHMN Gothic?

As many of you know by now Charles and my objectives for the coming twelve months are to complete and publish:
1. Blood Eagle: skirmish wargaming in the legendary Dark Ages, and
2. IHMN Gothic: the third unique supplement for our original milieu,
in that order.

Gothic will include all the elements you currently see in the free section on the blog (https://inhermajestysname.wordpress.com/ihmn-gothic/). This comes to about 25,000 words and the book will need at least 40,000 words as it will be the same size and format as Daishō.

Now we have already covered a wide range of gothic companies, beasts and equipment, yet we are not going to be the sole arbiters of content for Gothic. Is there anything you think that we have missed, which you would like to see covered in our own inimitable style?

Note that we are not asking for fully-worked up examples with lists and points, more a number of concepts and elements. So take a look at what we have produced so far and take into account that IHMN Gothic is presently a European and mostly [u]not[/u] anglo-centric book.

Any ideas we use shall be credited to the originator and will get their name in the acknowledgements in the book.

Style vs Substance

The Art of Gaming

Since the advent of effective digital printing and publishing technology, and the influx of money from Kickstarter/Indiegogo into the market, there has been a tendency amongst some wargames and roleplaying companies to value production over content.

Every week as I trawl through the various hobby magazines and news sites I look with envious eyes at the glossy, high-art productions of the big companies. Then I look at the prices of their books. Even with the economy that comes with the scale of production, the prices are way higher than ours, and that is because they feel they need to compete on eye-candy. Whether this then translates into a good gaming experience is for each of you to determine.

Now I like a well-produced book, with high production values and decent graphics, as much as the next man, but I value the content of the game more. After all, if it does not play well then all the marketing input in the world shall not make it better.

Yes, it will sell well initially, but the sales will quickly tail off as people realise that it is a turkey. Look along your bookshelf and count the number pretty books that you have tried once, but have never actually played again. I can see at least a dozen on my own.

Either the systems are clunky/over complicated, or they were obviously never play tested, or even that the layout is the victim of a graphics overload. If you can barely read it you won’t be able to play it.

The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare

One of the things Charles and I agreed on, right at the beginning, was that the KISS principle had to apply to the rules and the book had to be clean, clear and well-referenced. From this came our numerical cross-referencing system. I like to think that we succeeded.

Now, as independent publishers, we are standing by these principles, with the added realisation that art costs a lot of money. As the son and brother of artists I believe in paying them what they are actually  worth. Which means, other than covers, we shall not be including a lot of original art in our books. Instead, we will include lots of photographs of the games in play.

We also took the decision, once we were independent, to go to A4 size pages and a decent-sized font. Clarity is not just about style, it is also about actual readability.

Our first book, Daishō, was late because we were so picky about the layout. Now we know what we need to specify, and how long a layout artist needs, we shall factor this into our future works.

So the essence of the Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare style will be clarity. We hope you like it.


I have wrought my simple plan

I’d like to introduce IHMN players to one of the most interesting player blog currently on the scene.

Set Up 8

‘I have wrought my simple plan’ is the blog of Gordon Richards, a player who combines his obsession with aquarium scenery with an inventive approach to IHMN. The link below takes you to just one of his more recent efforts. You really need to look further back at all the other projects and battle reports he has published.


Set Up 4