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/

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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.

Report of Constable Arthur Stokes, F Division, March 21st 1895

It being about half-past ten of the evening I was proceeding along the Lambeth Road towards the river. I was some four hundred yards from the bridge when I espied a steam truck driving towards me somewhat erratically.

Ensuring I was well-illuminated by a nearby lamp post, I held up one hand and indicated to the driver that he should come to a halt at my position. As the truck slowed down and eventually stopped I noted that there were, at least, a dozen men and women standing in the back brandishing placards, a large red flag, several shotguns and a couple of rifles.

I approached the driver’s door and engaged him in conversation.

“Where are you going in such high spirits this evening sir” I said.

“I’m not a ‘sir’ and you is a running dog of the bourgeoisie.” he replied, or words to that effect as some that he actually used were not worth recording.

“Don’t get chippy with me sir or I shall have to caution you.” I said.

Realising, at last, that he was dealing with a member of Her Majesty’s metropolitan constabulary he then sat up straight and tried to give me an ingratiating grin.

“Whereabouts are you and your friends proceeding to at this hour?” I enquired.

One of his companions in the back of the truck interjected shouting “None of your damn business, you class traitor!” I gave him a stern look and he fell silent. I then looked back at the driver.

“We was just going to a party constable” he slurred.

Having now experienced enough of his foul breath to determine his state of sobriety I continued my interrogation.

“It looks to me sir like you have already been to a party and are not in the best condition to be driving an eight-ton truck upon the highway. So I shall ask again, where were you intending to go?” I asked.

“I don’t have to tell you nuffin’ constable, I’m perfectly at liberty to proceed wherever I likes.” he stated.

“On foot perhaps sir. Unfortunately, driving a steam conveyance upon the public highway while under the influence of strong spirits is an offence under the Highway Safety Act 1888 sir, and I must ask you to step down for further examination” I said.

“Look out Sid, ‘e wants to check you over, maybe ‘e’s a molly-boy” shouted one of the women who seemed to be having some considerable difficulty in loading a shotgun.

The driver looked suspicious but, under my continued stare, chose to swing the door open and descend to the pavement in a sort of half-controlled collapse. Within the cab. I could see some crates of milk bottles with rags tied around their necks.

Once he had clawed his way upright, using the lamp post more for support than illumination, he straightened his jacket and put his cap back on his head.

“Hello constable, what’s seems to be the trouble then?” he said, as if he had only now noticed I was there.

“It is my opinion sir, that you are steaming drunk.” I said. This brought forth gales of laughter from the assembled throng in the truck. One of the women fell off the back of the truck and had to be helped back on by some of her companions.

“So what is your full name sir?” I asked.

“Don’t tell ‘im your name Jonesy.” said the woman with the shotgun, who had now dropped several cartridges at her feet. I looked at her, she looked at me and her mouth opened wide. I turned back to the driver.

“Sidney Jones I am arresting you on suspicion of driving a steam conveyance whilst under the influence of alcohol, as proscribed by the Highway Safety Act 1888. Are you going to come quietly or flopping like a fish?” I stated loudly and clearly so that the throng could also hear me.

“You can’t do that constable.” he said ” I’s got places I ‘as to be” he said, looking somewhat agitated.

“And where might that be Mr Jones?” I asked.

“Well we ‘ad this caucus see and decided it was time to overthrow the corrupt masters of the Empire and we was going to burn down the ‘ouses of Parliament.” he said. The silence from the back of the truck was deafening.

“Would this be because you are the ‘downtrodden masses’ sir?” I asked, having heard this tripe at the Dog & Duck many a long evening.

“Yes, that’s it son, we shall rise up we shall” and as he said this his legs gave way and he ended up sitting in the gutter.

It was then I noticed that he was fumbling for a service revolver that was pushed through his waistband. I applied the All-Electric English Truncheon to his head as a discouragement and he did indeed flop about a bit.

I then addressed the throng while cranking the charge box for my truncheon.

“Can anyone else drive this conveyance?” I asked.

“I can.” said one of the men, and he made his way to the front of the truck.

“Are you also drunk?” I asked.

“Probably.” he said, so I charged him with intent and left him flopping in the gutter next to his erstwhile comrade.

“Anyone else?” I said.

There was considerable muttering and shuffling of feet.

“Right then.” I said “I suggest you all dismount and proceed to the number seven omnibus stop by the bridge. There should be a late Bus along in a few minutes that can get you back to Brick Lane. No madam you can’t take your shotgun with you. Carrying one of them, and those rifles lads – put them back please, while intoxicated is also an offence. So be off with you before I consider charging you with Riotous Assembly”.

They looked at Sidney and his comrade who were, by now, in the drooling and shaking stage, then quietly got down off the truck.

Most staggered away towards the omnibus stop, but one younger man lingered a few moments.

“You’ll be first against the wall when the revolution comes copper” he said.

So I charged him with threatening an officer of the law and laid him down in the gutter with the others.

This is why, Sergeant, I have three unconscious men, a steam truck previously owned by Abel Caine Imports & Exports Ltd., eight Lee-Metford Rifles, six shotguns various, two-hundred assorted rounds of ammunition, a Webley service revolver, two crates of a dozen Brick Lane bottle grenades each, two pairs of ladies unmentionables, a 12lb carton of blasting dynamite (no fuses), a nun’s habit, sixteen shillings and sixpence, one wrapped fish supper, a red flag, nine placards, two policemen’s helmets and, forty copies of a revolutionary manifesto in the station yard.

 

The Steel Bonnets – A Borders Adventure

Our Scottish correspondent John Ewing, has reported on a game he put on using the Blood & Faith genre pack that you can find on the Genre Packs page.

So, over to John:

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Our game and display in the centre left.

We had an excellent day out today at the first Scottish Battlefields Trust Wargames Show in Prestonpans. This inaugural small show was intended to illustrate various episodes from Scottish history. For our contribution the Falkirk District Wargames Club presented a Border Reivers game using the “Blood & Faith” genre pack for IHMN. It’s a credit to the flexibility of the core rules that the game worked perfectly even with a transposition of 300 years. I thoroughly recommend them.

For our contribution, the Falkirk District Wargames Club presented a Border Reivers game using the “Blood & Faith” genre pack for IHMN. It’s a credit to the flexibility of the core rules that the game worked perfectly even with a transposition of 300 years. I thoroughly recommend them.

The Steel Bonnets – A Borders Adventure – the player brief

“It is a dark and moonless night in the depth of winter 1586.
The bairns are hungry, the spur has been served and the Lairds have put out the call to arms.
“The Elliots and Hendersons will go a’reiving tonight.
Let the Robsons quake in their hovels. We ride!”

Dare you don your steel bonnet, take up your lance and ride with your family, neighbours and friends across the Border hills to lift the black cattle and sheep from the hidden valleys of Tynedale?

Can you face the fearsome Robsons in their lair or will you ride back empty handed to your family?

Life in the Borders was hard, the area devastated by repeated wars and large scale raids between the forces of the Scottish and English Crowns. Hardly surprising then that the people turned to cattle rustling, sheep stealing and extortion to make a living. Loyalty to family was all. Raiding and feuding are a way of life.

Our game today is a public participation event which gives you the chance to learn a little of what it was like to ride with the Border Reivers in the 16th Century. Take charge of a small group of mounted Reivers as they try to lift the cattle and other livestock from a homestead in northern England. However, the defenders have been alerted to your approach and stand ready to protect their homes.

Some photos of the game

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The village is very quiet, perhaps too quiet…

Only the sentries are on duty but other defenders wait in the shelter of the hovels. The Reivers make their appearance.

Only the sentries are on duty but other defenders wait in the shelter of the hovels. The Reivers make their appearance.

Some of the protagonists from the Elliot family. Not that there are mounted and dismounted versions of each figure.

Some of the protagonists from the Elliot family. Not that there are mounted and dismounted versions of each figure.

More Elliots - mounted and dismounted versions.

More Elliots – mounted and dismounted versions.

Some of the marauding Hendersons.

Some of the marauding Hendersons.

A final scene with the Robsons scattered in the north as the Hendersons lead off some cattle from the field. However, in the south the Robsons have driven off several Elliots and recaptured the sheep who are returning to the fold.

A final scene with the Robsons scattered in the north as the Hendersons lead off some cattle from the field. However, in the south the Robsons have driven off several Elliots and recaptured the sheep who are returning to the fold.

I meant to say for those interested in rule mechanics we made full use of the flexibility of the “Pluck roll” mechanic to require Reivers trying to cajole unwilling livestock to make a pluck roll. Failure meant they had to test again, at best the animals ignored them but if they failed a second time they were deemed to have been knocked over. A bad failure, i.e. rolling a 1, meant they were injured and out of the game.

In our games, there was much hilarity as various Reivers struggled to stay on their feet midst cow pats and pig dung. While in one game the pigs “took out” a veteran Reiver, in the other it was the donkey in the stable who did for one. Dangerous things these “domestic” animals!

Vapnartak 2016

Vapnartak 2016 @ York
Sunday 7th February
10:00-17:00hrs

Charles and I, along with our glamorous assistants, shall be attending this year’s show.
We’ll be running participation games of Daisho on two boards for you to come along and try.
We shall also be happy to talk to people about In Her Majesty’s Name and its future, as well as our upcoming project – Blood Eagle.
Look for the team with the natty black polo shirts bearing the Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare bowler hat logo.

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A Short Tactical Treatise

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Gentlemen, Ladies, Colonials and Americans 😉

Over the last few years, I have seen numerous company commanders bemoan the ability of high pluck, elite troops to waltz through their lowly hordes with apparent impunity.

Well chaps, this downheartedness must cease immediately! As a Working Class Hero of the Brick Lane Commune with a 50% victory rate, I feel it is my duty to enlighten you as to teach these toffs a lesson.

So stiffen your upper lips with the following:

1. The Mob effect!
So your enemy is wearing a breastplate or the Oil of Horus, pfft! It matters naught when you have the numbers?
Take him down with a mob of brave fellows, especially if you can give some of them the Tough or Fanatic traits. The Mobbing rule (IHMN 3.4.4) will give your chosen champion up to +3 extra to his attack roll. Remember that if you are mobbing your champion still benefits from the Outnumbering rule (IHMN 3.4.3) for an extra +1. Make sure that your champion has the best weapon of the mob.
And if you have the guns do not forget the Volley fire rule (IHMN 3.3.5).

2. Everything counts in large amounts!
Even for those with a 2+ Pluck, the more hits you inflict upon them the more saves they must make and the bigger chance they will fail. Say you hit Akhenaton six times in a turn… the odds will eventually make even that Lord of Death pause to test his immortality.

3. Armour, what armour?
“Feel the strength of my new SRC Breastplate.” said Captain Napier, beaming his best victorious grin.
“I see no breastplate.” said Feldwebel Krieg, pumping up the pressure on his flamethrower.
Remember those weapons that ignore armour completely – flaming weapons, arc weapons, icy blast, resonant touch. It is not for nothing that the enemies of the revolution fear my incendiaries.

4. Down with Pluck!
Look down the list of weapons your horde can take and look for the Pluck -2 ones.
Hey, Akhenaton! your 2+ pluck save is now effectively a 4+…

Another thing worth noting is that in the back of HVF and SDRS are Backward Compatibility tables to allow earlier companies to enjoy some of the newer weapons and equipment created in these supplements. This is why the anarchists in my Brick Lane Commune company are so feared. Which one is the martyr carrying the bomb (4″ radius effect, +4/-2)?

So armed with this, go forth and make those elitist commanders rue the day they sneered at your low-born hordes!

Beasts of War Gaming Awards 2015!

Ladies & Gentlemen,

Time to make our voice heard again as the Beasts of War open up their nominations poll for the 2015 Gaming Awards.

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Just follow this link: http://www.beastsofwar.com/awards-2015/nominations/ and add In Her Majesty’s Name to the Best Miniatures Game of 2015.

Last year we were nominated as a minnow amongst giants and surprised a lot of people. We can do it again!

Cheers,
Craig & Charles