Salute 2016

A little after dawn o’clock Charles, Lorna and I departed our secret lair in the leafy suburbs of Surrey in a car laden to the rafters with our equipment. The M25 was eerily quiet, like in a post-apocalypse movie and the mood in the car was subdued. It was silently agreed that there is not enough caffeine for this time in the morning.

By the time we reached the Docks the world had woken up and it was time to get our war faces on.

As we have found before the Warlords team are cheery, helpful and, above all, efficient. The car was in and out of the hall in under five minutes and, while Charles went to stable it, we set about unpacking and getting ready.

We were soon joined by our friend Matt and the serious business of assembling Billy’s latest masterpiece – a cemetery in old Budapest – was accomplished.

The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare had been planning for Salute for several months. Charles’ organisation and checksheets ensured that nothing was forgotten and, that everything was in its assigned place.

The set-up included:
1. The village of Kattegat from the TV series ‘Vikings’, for Blood Eagle,

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2. The Shrine of Dog-e-bite for Daisho, and

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3. The old cemetery in Budapest for IHMN Gothic.

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Three battlefields, three masters of the games (cough) and our Maitre ‘D, Lorna on front of house.

We stood back to admire our work but only had moments before the starting gun was fired and the horde descended upon us.

Over the next seven hours, we ran at least nine games of Blood Eagle, seven of Daisho and six of IHMN Gothic. This may not seem much until you realise that each game took 30-45 minutes, required us to instruct and entertain forty-four people from eight to seventy years old, in a hall with the acoustics of an aircraft hanger and several thousand people in.

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Some players were already aficionados of IHMN but most were playing their first games. The preparation we put into the figure cards and reference sheets really paid off here, making it much easier for people to get their heads around the rules. In most games people were up and running by the end of turn two, and everyone seemed to have a great time. Indeed, some of those manning adjacent tables were rolling their eyes at the amount of laughter and shouting going on in our small portion of the arena.

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As before the youngsters and the non-gamer partners really gave their regular gamer parents/friends a good run for their money. Every battle was closely fought with many going to the wire. We still had people playing when the Warlords began gently ushering everyone out.

  • It was really great to meet new people catch-up with old friends. Here are just a few of those we met:
  • Viv Chandra of the gamers YouTube channel Rubbish-in, Rubbish-out. He came all the way from Australia to see us (and friends, family and others).
  • Mark Byng, the creator if the IHMN Boardgame, and his friend Richard.
  • Craig Thompson of Tiny Terrain, who provided so many great photos for the Blood Eagle book.
  • Annie Norman of Bad Squiddo Games. A young lady who has a growing reputation as a trader and figures manufacturer.
  • Simon Miller of To the Strongest! An old friend and fellow independent designer.
  • Karl and Mick from the White Hart Gamers. The original gang who demo’ed IHMN at Salute 2013.
  • Nick Eyre of Northstar Miniatures, our friend and distributor of our rules.
  • Dave WIse of the Games Club Network, the man who has put on more games of IHMN, at more shows, than anyone else on the planet.
  • Tony Yates, friend, artist and all round good egg, with his regular opponent Alec.
  • And in the dying moments of the day Ben and Lloyd from Beasts of War.

There were so many other excellent ladies and gentlemen who stopped by to chat, ask about the games and even ask us to sign their copies of the books. This, I assured them, would double the value of the books should we suddenly and tragically die.

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Each of us managed to get a few minutes away during the day and do a quick walkabout. I must admit mine was a bit of a whistlestop as I rushed between the stalls selling Blood Eagle. Two fo the three sold out by lunchtime and even Northstar only had a handful left by close of play. I did not see much in the way of steampunk going on despite the theme, but that is more because I was rushing than any actual lack.

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We eventually made it back to the lair around seven and collapsed to partake of too much pizza and wine. Despite feeling like beaten men we agreed that we’re coming back next year.

So a heartfelt thanks to all of you who managed to make it to Salute and say hello to us. It means a lot to us talking face to face with players. To those that didn’t we hope that this report and the photos, help give you an idea of what a frenetic and wonderful experience it is.

Salute 2016

Ladies, Gentlemen and you at the back.

The great pilgimage to Salute 2016 begins here.

I have been up since oh-six-hundred printing, cutting, laminating, packing, checking the checklist Charles thoughtfully sent me because he knows me so well, breathing in and out of a small brown paper bag, rechecking, repacking and drinking numerous level 6 coffees.

This afternoon we shall journey down to Murton Towers arriving in time for the time-honoured pizza and wine. What you might not know is that we live a good four hours drive from one another and that 95% of our writing and collaboration is done through the auspices of the world-wide web.

We have one full participation game prepared for Blood Eagle, for Daisho and, for IHMN Gothic. Thus, we could be running three games and six gamers simultaneously. So please be patient with us if you have a question to ask or rulebook to sign.

My ever-patient wife Lorna shall also be on hand to assist you, a task she performed admirably at Vapnartak in York a few weeks ago.

We shall be on table GF17 so if you do not have a map to hand, proceed directly from the main doors to the centre of the hall and turn right. We are down that alley on the left. You shall be able to recognise us through our natty black polos bearing the Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare logo fore and aft.

MoGW Location plan

We look forwards to putting faces to all of you who have corresponded with us about our games over the last year and hope you find the time to drop by and say hello.

Blood Eagle

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Just a short post to commend to you our latest production based on the IHMN core rules – Blood Eagle, skirmish warfare in the legendary Dark Ages. You can find out more about it here: https://bloodeagleskirmish.wordpress.com/

Blood Eagle Cover 72dpi

The Whitechapel Specials

Whitechapel Specials

The “Whitechapel Specials” are a police unit formed to deal with the uncanny goings on in the city’s underbelly. Where regular police units and the Watchmen deal with common criminals the Specials are called in to deal with the more unusual crimes: anything from escaped Martian prisoners of war to the risen dead or just your common-or-garden demonically possessed. The Constables are equipped with the latest weaponry, rubberised coats and breathing masks to allow them operate in the city’s more hazardous environments.

The Constables are equipped with the latest weaponry, rubberised coats and breathing masks to allow them operate in the city’s more hazardous environments.

The full company listing can be found as Item 28 on the Bonus Materials page.

The figures for this company are available through Northstar Miniatures at the following address: http://www.artizandesigns.com/prod.php?prod=2029

Rot and Drivel indeed!

Occasionally in my meanderings around all things VSF, Victorian and even steamed punk (?), I come across an artisan and a master of his craft. When I do I like to share their works for all to wonder at and aspire to emulate.

So let me introduce you to Mr Michael McGraw esq., master of the Articulated Rot & Steam Launched Drivel blog.

He first appeared to me about a year ago through the aegis of the telegraphic face book and I wandered the mean alleyways of his world in awe. What I never did was document his doings here on the IHMN blog. Thus, I am sharing it now on the principle of better late than never.

Herein are a few of his photographic plates, the remainder reside at his workshop the address of which is: http://rotanddrivel.com/alchemist.html

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Steel Bonnets – Scenario Notes

Ladies and Gentlemen, below are John Ewing’s notes from the Border Reiver game described previously.

Introduction

For anyone who might be interested in trying out the Border Reivers scenario I posted about earlier, here is a copy of my scenario notes. At its heart, it is a pretty generic “raid on a settlement” game which could be used in other eras or settings.

By way of explanation, we use a group activation method when playing multi-player games to speed up play. Also, we draw chits rather than roll dice for initiative because then I have a chance of remembering the order of play when it changes from turn to turn. Particularly useful when we determine initiative order before each phase of a turn, as we often do in Club games to add to the chaos.

The changes to movement rates and ranges were purely to facilitate the use of the nice wooden measuring sticks produced by Warbases ( a la Saga). We’ve found these to be very useful in running public participation games, especially when youngsters are involved who are unused to tape measures and Imperial measurements. Avoids blank looks when you tell them they can move 6″ and saves my poor addled brain the effort of converting inches to centimetres.

Finally, a couple of pictures of the Robson Heidman and the lads gathered before the Bastle House for their pre-game briefing. (Mad Mick is on the left in the blue jacket and fetching skull cap.) and the objects of everyone’s desire – the coos and sheeps.

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The Robsons assemble before the Bastle House.

Steel Bonnets Scenario Notes

Setting: Robson hamlet in North Tynedale, a cluster of houses, pig stye, grain store along road, with Bastle House, stable and barmekin at one end. Cattle and sheep ingathered to fields near hamlet. Scattering of woods.

Time: Shortly after dawn, early morning mist rising.

Forces:

  • 4 Reiver players each with 6 mounted Reivers in 2 groups of 3 figures.
  • 2 families ( Elliots & Hendersons) each led by laird with 3 Veterans.
  • Robson Defender has 15 defenders on foot initially led by Heidman and 2 Veterans, plus 2 foot patrol groups of 4 figures who may turn up later.

Deployment: Defenders split between Bastle House and 3 cottages with 2 sentries on road, one at each end of village. May emerge from hiding places on alarm being raised after passing “pluck test”. Score equal to pluck rating means can leave building but not move further that turn, higher can move.

Attackers deploy on long table edge on opposite sides of hamlet, mounted.

Raising Alarm: Sentries will move randomly along road until enemy spotted. Spotting roll equals “pluck test” if LOS to raiders at end of movement. Modified by pace of raider movement +2 if gallop, -2 if cautious walk.

Reinforcements: may arrive at umpire’s discretion after successful pluck roll. One group each of 4 additional foot defenders at either road end. Roll separately for each group. Represents returning patrol or neighbours attracted by the noise of the fight.

Victory Points: 10 points per base of livestock removed off own table edge.
2 points per enemy figure “taken out”, 5 points per veteran, 10 for laird.

Rule Modifications:
Order of activation determined by drawing chits with names of player’s leader characters ( e,g, “Sim the Laird” Henderson, “Mad Mick” Robson).

When chit is drawn, player may activate a group of 3-4 figures to move or act. Shooting and combat still one figure at a time but complete all individual group combats for both sides before moving to next group.

Movement rates amended to 15cm walk, 25cm run for foot; 15cm walk, 30cm trot and 45cm for mounted. Moving more than 10cm incurs a shooting penalty.

Weapon ranges – Dagg (pistol) 10cm; Latch (hand crossbow) 30cm; Hackbut (arquebus) 30cm.”

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The objects of the game.