Sunday 26 February 2012

Here Be Dragons! (Again)

Work and home commitments have meant that I've not had as much time as I hoped to make progress this month, however, I have managed to get everything done that I bought at Vapnartak for VBCW. Not only have I painted a unit of the Wortley & Penistone Kingsmen (yes, I changed the name - not certain I'll stick with this either) but I've also completed their heavy support; the Dragon!

When the Earl of Wharncliffe declared for the king, he already knew that his situation was precarious. Surrounded by steelworks and coal mines, he knew that communist factions would find support in the area. He also knew that he could not expect large scale support from the army which was tied up to the north and west, and his own men were only equipped with a motley selection of firearms. Something had to be done to strengthen the defence of Wortley.

A man called Moore, a veteran of the Great War, mentioned something he'd heard about in the trenches. The Americans had experimented with steam powered tanks. With coal and steel readily available, and using the expertise of railway engineers work began on constructing a 'light' tank.

When the clanking beast lumbered out of the workshop, roaring and belching smoke, it didn't take long for some local wag to christen it 'the Dragon' after the local legend of the Dragon of Wantley, and the name stuck.

Slow, ponderous and unreliable, the Dragon is more of a deterrent than a combat engine. So far, its very presence seems to have deterred the lightly armed socialists in the area from attacking Wortley. Whether their trepidation once they have seen it in 'action' remains to be seen.

I've still got a little bit of work to do on the tank before it's finished, including some form of insignia that I've not decided on yet, but it's certainly ready for the tabletop and will get it's first run out this week.

I've also been doing some gluing last week. These Warlord ECW plastics are not for me, I was saving my dad a very fiddly job. However, their presence here is to prove that I haven't been completely idle.

A Rotten First Half...

This week I took on JP's Nurgle team, the Rottenham Tight 'Uns. Before we went into the game, I knew that the oppostion would play havoc with my passing game, but I wasn't aware quite how bad it would be...

Slann Frogcisco 49ers 2 - 2 Rottenham Tight 'uns (Casualties 3 - 2)

It must have been the stench that distracted the Slann as they were caught horribly flat-flippered by the Tight 'Uns in the first half. The Rotters received the ball and began laying about the frogs and pummelling them into the crowd at a breakneck pace. The 49ers' response stumbled and the team from Rottenham got another turn to flatten some frogs and push another one into the crowd).

When the Slann finally got their act together, they were able to get inside the Rottenham cage fairly easily and send the ball carrier flying. However, they were unable to capitalise as the Nurgle team retrieved the ball and headed for the wing, and ensured that another Slann was stretchered off. Another flying blitz into the cage sent the ball bouncing again, but again the Slann couldn't get to it. Antoher 49er was ploughed into touch and the Tight 'Uns got the ball back. By this time there were only five 49ers left on the pitch, and they were all on their backs. The Nurgle team trotted in to make the score 1-0.

With limited time available on the clock, the Slann panicked and were called for illegal procedure. They then forgot about the effect of the Nurgle Warriors' disturbing presence and a pass into a cage was fluffed. Rottenham closed in again, bt couldn't reach the ball. With time ticking away, the Slann Catchers hopped towards the end zone. The only way to get the touchdown was to go for a throw, again disturbing presence was forgotten and the throw was failed. However the ball came down adjacent to the Catcher who made a spectacular diving catch to score on the stroke of half time. 1-1.

Aware that they'd been lucky to equalise, the Slann decided to go for a calmer approach to the second half...right up until the pesky Tight 'Uns blitzed them. However, the ball was under no pressure as the Catchers flooded down field and a cage was formed in the middle. The Rotters and Beastmen were drawn off to the Catchers, and only a thin line of Warriors opposed the cage which rolled to the flank whilst the Catchers escaped their markers.

However, there was suddenly an explosion. A fireball had decimated the cage and the Slann all lay sprawled about. The Tight 'Uns closed in but their star Beastmen fumbled the ball which bounced to another Beastman. The Slann Blitzer came in to strip the ball away and it bounced amongst the Nurgle players. A Slann Catcher had to dodge into the cage, manage to retrieve the ball from amongst three players but failed to leap out to where h could pass to an open retriever.

The ball scattered off the pitch an was thrown in to the centre of the field. The sure-handed Beastman again went for the ball and again fumbled it in a position where one Slann Catcher could finally grab the ball and pass it to his compatriot in the end zone. 2-1 to the Slann.

The final drive and Rottenham had the ball. The kick was short, reducing the distance it needed to travel to the end zone. A cage was formed and the Nurgle team once again began battering their way down field. The frog tried in vain to leap into the cage to hit the ball carrier, but were unable to slow it's progress. An inevitable drive took the ball into the end zone leaving the 49ers no time to reply. Final result 2-2.

A tough game that really went badly to begin with, however, I'm not going to complain about dice (although I was a touch grumpy at the time) as it swung in the second half and a series of 1's when the Beastmen tried to pick up the ball, really got me back into the game. What I did notice is that the addition of a few skills has really changed the situation with the Slann and they're becoming a very dangerous team. The only way the JP could find to stop me attacking the ball was to knock all my players down. I'm beginning to feel a bit more confident that the frogs can now give any team a run for their money.

My final match of the regular season is against Kelly's Wood Elves. That should prove to be a bot of a shoot out as both teams play in a similar way.

Saturday 18 February 2012

49ers Strike Gold (up to a point)

With the extra time that half-term brings and n an effort to get caught up, I've managed to fit in two games of Blood Bowl this week. On Thursday I played Trevor's Undead team, Rest In Pieces, and on Friday I went to Andy's to play the Stilton Stealers, his Skaven team. Both of these teams are battling for qualification at the foot of the table, however Trev is a wily veteran of several Blood Bowl leagues whilst Andy is a Blood Bowl rookie who has been catching more experienced coaches off guard. I was taking nothing for granted.

Slann Frogcisco 49ers 4-1 Rest In Pieces (Casualties 1-2)

A game that saw the very best of the Slann and the very worst of the Undead began with a pitch invasion that left five players, including both Mummies, stunned. The first drive began with the 49ers receiving the ball and rolling a cage round to the flank whilst Catchers leapt into the Undead backfield. In an attempt to stop the bouncing Slann, R.I.P. sent half their team to cover the Catchers whilst the others tried to stop the cage. However, they learned that the Slann can’t be held back with conventional tactics and Pascal leapt out of the cage and passed to Antoine (who’d shaken off his marker) for the first touchdown.

The teams lined up again, with the Undead intent on causing some pain. However, the slippery amphibians caught them on the hop with a blitz and once again the Catchers were over the line and threatening the ball. The Wight managed to get hold of the ball and punch his way free, but was left exposed to a blitz from a Line-frog. He went down, the ball bounced away and the Catchers once again did their thing, with Gilles passing to Thierry for the second touchdown.

With time running short, the Undead did what they could to equalise. The Wight gathered the ball again and a Ghoul slipped through the 49ers line to be in with a chance of scoring. However, with only one Ghoul as a scoring threat the Slann were able to put him in a position so tricky that he would have to work miracles to escape and score. The brave Ghoul tried to punch his way out of the hole but tripped and fell. 2-0 at half time.

The second half began with R.I.P. beginning to put good play together. The Wight got the ball and ran up the centre to where a cage was being formed out of crumpled Slann Line-frogs. Meanwhile the Ghouls once again ran through the flimsy frog line. Revealing the rather surprising Undead passing game, the Wight passed to the Ghoul and he was away and free. However, in his excitement, the Ghoul tripped on the line, face-planted, broke his neck and died! The ball bounced into the crowd and was thrown back in. Pascal grabbed the ball, threw a long bomb to Antoine who ran for the corner to score. 3-0.

It’s fair to say that the Undead were having a bad day. Unable to cause serious damage and suffering from misfortune after misfortune, they realised that the game had slipped away. However, there was still pride to play for. Once again, the Wight grabbed the ball, the Mummies bashed a hole, the Ghouls scuttled through and a pass was followed by a touchdown. That was how it was meant to happen.

With only a couple of turns remaining the Slann set up for another assault on the endzone. The Undead set up deep, but the Catchers were able to rune free. A cage rolled round the flank again and Pascal passed the ball to Thierry who hopped into the safety of the cage. Unbale to get to the ball, R.I.P. did what they could to stem the green tide, but Thierry was able to hop over the defence to complete an emphatic win.

To be fair to Trev, in the first half if it could go wrong, it did. He also wasn't helped by a complete inability to harm my players until the last few turns. However, for me it felt like something clicked with the Slann and I was finally playing effectively with them. Not risking too much, but relying on them to foil the opponent's cunning plans with their 3D strategies. Next up were Andy's Skaven...could I keep the improvement in form going?

Slann Frogcisco 49ers 2-2 Stilton Stealers (Casualties 2-0)

A game of two halves.

The game began with the 49ers receiving. They formed a cage in the middle of the field and then rolled to the flank as the Catchers flooded downfield dragging Skaven out to mark them. The Stealers tried vainly to block the inevitable leaps, but Antoine ran in the touchdown. 1-0 and all was going to the Slann plan.

The Skaven received the ball and began their move upfield. Typically moving the ball with grace and ease to a cage in the centre of the field. However, the Slann Blitzer leapt into the cage, stripped the ball away from the Gutter Runner and the Catchers moved in to scoop up the ball, pass it wide and run in a second touchdown. 2-0 at half time and the frogs were in command.

The Stealers began the second half with the same plan: pick up, hand off, pass and the ball was once again in the centre of the field. A fluffed blitz by the 49ers new signing (a Kroxigor) gave them another turn to move the ball, and another handoff saw a Gutter Runner scooting down the edge of the field. Although the side-stepping rat couldn't be pushed into the crowd, the Slann Blitzer once again came in to do his work. However, a fluffed block (with a reroll!) saw the Blitzer down and the Skaven free to skip past the last frog and score. 2-1; the rats were back in it.

The Slann received the ball and began the now familiar process from both teams; pick up, hand off cage. A two-headed Skaven then pulled off a deft move and dodge into the cage and flattened the ball carrier and the ball then bounced around to settle outside the cage. Aware that the Skaven had a wizard lurking in the crowd and that they couldn't form a cage properly, the Slann opted for the risk move to go for a long pass to a Catcher waiting in the end zone, however the sunny conditions played havoc with the pass and the ball scattered. The Skaven then did what they do best, the ball was scooped up by the thrower, passes to a Gutter Runner who scooted down the flank again. Only a single line-frog could get to him but the blitz failed and the Stealers ran in to equalise.

Three turns remaining and the frogs were still aware that a wizard was lurking. Once again; pick up, hand off, cage...but the fireball didn't come. The Skaven vainly assaulted cage, still no magic. The Slann rolled left and formed a wall along the edge of the pitch, still not a sizzle. Las turn, the Skaven ran in to close with the frogs and make moving the ball difficult...suddenly there was an arcing bolt of lightning and the ball carrier was down. The ball scatted into three Skaven tackle zones. Without a reroll the Slann began a series of once dice blocks to clear the ball. Only two tackle zones remained when a Catcher went for the was enough as he failed to scoop up the ball and the game was drawn.

As I said, it was a game of two halves. In the first half, everything went to plan and had my Blitzer succeeded in stripping the ball away from the Gutter Runner (literally a 99% chance of success with a reroll) then I think I would have been away and clear at 3-0. I'm more irritated that I broke one of the cardinal rules for playing against Skaven by taking a risk and throwing long. This allowed Andy to do a standard Skaven 'steal & score' move to equalise. I panicked at the ease with which he'd got into my cage and was concerned about the wizard. I should have concentrated on protecting the ball again and risked the wizard. As it was, I not only allowed Andy to equalise, but had he remembered the wizard in time, he would have won. I almost threw this one away.

The upside however, was once again the team functioned as I intended and a fluffed block and a mistake from me were the reasons my lead was overturned. I'm cursing the team any more - I think I've got the hang of the Slann.

However, the good news is that these two results have guaranteed my progression into the play offs. I've now got two games to play to secure league position and a favourable draw. My next opponent is JP whose Nurgle team, the Rottenham Tight 'Uns, are currently on the same points as me (although I have a game in hand). Win this one and I think that I'm certain of being in the top half of the draw.

Tuesday 14 February 2012

For King and Wortley!

And so I continue my journey into VBCW with the first element of the Wortley 'Dragoons' (named after the local regiment from the first English Civil War), a Local Defence Force raised by the Earl of Wharncliffe who has openly declared his support for the King (not the safest move in the heart of coal-mining country). Calling on ancient ties of fealty from the village of Wortley and his estate staff, the Earl has outfitted his militia at his own expense and is determined to hold his family's traditional holdings at all costs.

In the face of overwhelming opposition from the overtly socialist mining communities, the Earl of Wharncliffe has been drawn into Baron Arnold's (of the B.U.F.) fledgling royalist alliance. Although this agreement has secured a stronger ally and better ensured Wortley's position, it has tied the Earl's command to the unsavoury Blackshirts. The Earl is unsure whether the security of Wortley is worth making unpopular friends.

I've really enjoyed painting the models, I'm officially a Muketeer Miniatures fan. The models are packed full of character and humour. I took a step away from the B.U.F. because of the lack of humour, and I'm already amusing myself with these chaps. The banner was created using the Keep-Calm-O-Matic (with a quick print screen and crop in MS Paint) and it has helped me to decide that all the banners in my VBCW force will be based on the union flag (representing Edward's refusal to accept the break up of his realm).

I've also done a tiny bit of conversion work. With a spare standard bearer I spotted an opportunity for something just a little bit daft. Nothing says VBCW more than a chap in a tin hat, draped in a curtain, popping a shot off at a passing socialist whilst calmly having a cuppa!

Supporting these two are the rifles; who are destined to be removed as casualties before the more important figures. The chap in the tank top is probably my favourite model in the unit.

Then there are these chaps. 'A sergeant' toting a shotgun, an officer (who may be promoted to being the Earl himself given time), a lewis gunner, and a messenger on roller-skates funnily enough I feel this model is a bit too daft).

Next up is some heavy support for the Dragoons. And I mean HEAVY!

Friday 10 February 2012

So close...

This week saw me begin my push to catch up on the Blood Bowl League games I’ve fallen behind on. It’s a bit embarrassing that as League Commissioner I’ve played less games than anyone else, however, I am limited to one game per week and the leagues been so well supported that folks have been getting game sin throughout the week.

However, despite a decent start, the slip up against the Vampires and the bore draw against the Dwarfs had seen my progress halted. Additionally, other teams had used their additional games to overtake me in the table. It was time for action!

Sadly, the game I’d arranged for this week was against the run away league leaders, Crouching Vermin, Hidden Rodent; Stu’s Skaven. Stu has been trouncing everybody, and not just in results. His rats have been giving good account of themselves in casualties as well. There was almost a 250,000 difference in team value and I was doubtful of my ability to compete…

Slann Frogcisco 49ers 1 – 1 Crouching Rodent, Hidden Vermin (Casualties 0-2)

The Slann got the first drive but an all too familiar handling error saw the ball turned over deep in the Skaven half and the rats scurrying back up the field like lightning. They seemed certain to score. However, a trip on the line caused the ball to scatter into the crowd for it to be helpfully thrown back up field by the crowd into the waiting flippers of a Slann Catcher. A hop, a skip and a jump saw the ball carried to the edge of the end zone, but a quick check over the shoulder saw not enough Skaven within reach so the frogs stopped for a chat (to howls of derision from the Skaven coach). The Skaven scurried back in tie to see the Slann hop over for a touchdown. 1-0 to the 49ers.

The Skaven had limited time to score and the Gutter Runners burst down field. The 49ers got as many players close to the shifty little rats as possible and a lightning bolt arced out of the crowd to fry the fastest. The remaining Gutter Runner was unable to escape the amphibious net and the 49ers took their lead into the break.

A determined Skaven team set up to receive the ball again, secure in the knowledge that there were no more wizards to contend with. However, they were caught off guard by a blitz and one of the 49ers' Catchers hopped over the line, grabbed the ball and almost succeeded in passing it into a cage on their left wing.

The Vermin grabbed the ball back and set of at pace down the opposite flank, a lone Gutter Runner breaking free. A single Slann Linefrog was in reach; he hopped after the scurrying rodent and slammed him in the jaw, knocking him flying. The ball once again bounced into the crowd and was once again helpfully thrown long to where the rest of the Slann team was.

Scooping up the ball again, the Slann began a slow cage walk up their right flank, each turn doing just enough to keep the greasy quick rats from the ball. However, the march was costing them and they seemed to be losing a player every turn. The Blitzer and a Catcher broke free, however, the blitzer sprawled on the floor after failing a leap and the Catcher was suddenly the only target for the rats.

The Vermin pounced and the Catcher was knocked flying and the Skaven thought momentarily that their end zone was safe and surrounded the cage again. However, they'd reckoned without the Blitzers ability jump up and he leapt over his markers and looked set for the end zone to receive a game winning pass. To gasps from the crowd, the Blitzer failed to dodge away from the last rat and suddenly the ball carrier was vulnerable.

Knocked flying into the crowd the ball once again was flung back in, however, with only four Slann players left on the pitch there was nowhere that was helpful for them and the Skaven duly picked up the ball and ran in for the equalizer; the only consolation being that there was no time for either team to score again.

The 49ers proudly managed what no other team has this season, they held the rampant Skaven in check. They were helped a bit by the crowd, a wizard and a Skaven shoelace, but could also look to their own missed opportunities and feel somewhat heartened that they were the team that had come closest to winning the match.

A good game, and sadly for the rest of the league, it was clearly Stuart's duff game for the season, his next opponent can look forward to a drubbing. We both suffered from duff dice, but I feel that Stuart experienced his at more crucial moments, and the crowd were clearly on my side with the throw-ins. I at least feel like I've got back a bit of the pride I lost for losing to the Beaten By All Ravens.

My schedule is now due to pick up with Trev’s Undead and Andy’s Skaven next week. Both teams have been struggling to find form so I can’t look forward to any magical trickery helping me against them. On the up side, my team have begun to pick up skills at last and I now have Guard on a Lineman. Trev’s going to discover what the implications are of a Slann with Guard…

Monday 6 February 2012

The B.U.F. Are Flagging

This is the first of my purchases from Varpatnak this to be painted. I didn't go to the show with any intention of buying a B.U.F. standard bearer, but when I found out that Gripping Beast had not brought and Woodbine Designs stuff with them (my intended purchase were some Chaps on the Hunt), I had a good peruse of the Musketeer Miniatures VBCW range and decided to buy some British Militia. However, two packs of four did not a suitable unit make and I was stumped unti I saw the standard bearers pack. Two of the models are suitable additions to the militia unit (one as a standard bearer and one as...well more on that later...) and the third was this chap, and he's more than appropriate to finish off my B.U.F. force.

The flag is from the amazingly inspirational blog of 6milphil which has given me countless ideas and is packed full of VBCW eye candy; well worth a visit. I had felt that my Fascists were short of a flag or two (to be honest I was suffering from flag envy against Matt) and so I feel like I killed two birds with one stone by adding this chap and being able to field a full 10 man unit of milita once they're painted.

As for the model itself, I may be a Musketeer convert as after the bland lack of detail of the Plastic Soldier Company models (you gets what you pay for) this guy was an absolute joy to paint and arguably this model is the one with least character of the models I've bought. I've already decided to paint the militia unit in ones and twos as I think that they deserve better than a production line approach.

As a footnote, if you're wondering what Mr Cheaphammer is doing buying new figures, it's allowed. Due to the fact that I'm too fat to ride any of the horses at the stables my wife and I bought each other riding lessons at for Christmas, I got twenty five quid back to spend on my present. Thus were the funds found to allow me to go shopping! I've not only bought the militia, but I've also got something a little special that will be showing up here in a couple of weeks.

Sunday 5 February 2012

PaK up your troubles...

Just a short post today showing off my new PaK 40 Anti-Tank Gun section for Flames of War. These represent my first ever attempt at painting camouflage, and I'm quite happy with them. I reckon that this will be a good unit to place in ambush in order to catch tanks by surprise.

I still need to paint and add a couple of shells and ammo boxes to liven up the bases, but that won't take long to do.

My Germans now only need their Mortars and a few more stands of Panzergrenadiers and I'm at the point I was aiming for with them. I managed to pick up enough Mortars today at the Vapnartak show and I've had some infantry kindly donated to me so I'll soon be able to leave the Germans alone for a while and consider whether to collect some British to oppose them.

Saturday 4 February 2012

The Battle of the Crossroads (A VBCW Battle Report)

There were upheavals across the country caused by King Edward's series of shocking decisions, every part of the British establishment was shaken to it's core. The Royal Navy was not exempt from this disruption as the Admiralty swore loyalty to the King, Scottish Captains sailed north to join the move for independence and crews mutinied to join the revolutionary movement that had sprung up.

However, caught in amongst the chaos were many sailors who simply wanted out. One such group hailed from Liverpool and whilst at anchor outside Hull, two dozen seamen lead by Chief Petty Officer Jack Tarr slipped ashore and disappeared into the naval dockyard buildings along the seafront, intent on going home. Skilled in the art of scrounging, the sailors set about 'liberating' and 'adapting' several vehicles for their dangerous journey. The looting of dockyards furnished CPO Tarr's men with what amounted to an armoured column including three armoured cars (one of which was equipped with a 37mm gun) with which they intended to cross the war-torn country and get home to their families.

The column made good headway across Yorkshire, trying to avoid trouble as much as possible. The armoured strength of the column helped with this, but CPO Tarr also ran a tight ship and made sure that the Liverpool men paid for what they couldn't steal unnoticed to avoid armed confrontations with local militias.

All went well until the Navy men were passing south of Sheffield. They had almost passed through a quiet village and ahead of them was a three-way fork in the road which offered different routes over the hills when they noticed that somebody had blocked the road with a ramshackle barricade.

The Handsworth Militia had gotten news of the Naval convoy and had assumed them to be royalist troops moving to reinforce the government troops in the hills. Grabbing what transport they could, the Handsworth men raced ahead of the column and divided to set up ambushes on the roads that the column might take. The plan was that whichever squad saw the column first would slow the Sailors down and send news to the others to converge on their location. Their aim was to destroy the column and secure the vehicles and arms of the convoy to help in their continued struggle against the Fascists.

However, those very Fascists, had also set up a series of roadblock to secure the routes across the Pennines to the B.U.F. stronghold in Manchester. The roadblock on the route the Navy men were taking was commanded by Lieutenant Nigel Chuffington-Smyth. With two routes to block he had split his command, with his riflemen blocking the southern route with their vehicles, and his SMG assault group led by Sergeant Jack Boot waiting in ambush on the northern route. Having recently captured a consignment of Russian weapons destined for some socialist mining community, Chuffington-Smyth's commanded were well armed and determined to not let anybody through.

Alert to the arrival of the column, the Handsworth men sent word to their comrades and sprang their ambush. The seamen were caught completely off guard; a powerful burst from the unit's LMG immediately wrecked one of the armoured cars leading the column and further blocked the road.

However, remaining cool under pressure CPO Tarr ordered his two well-armed squads to disembark on either side of the road and the LMG mounted on the armoured flatbed returned fire. He also directed the armoured car with the big gun to begin to blow through the barricade to allow the column to escape the bottleneck.

Rushing to their comrades aid, the rest of the Handsworth militia came quickly. One unit arrived on foot from the south and began trading fire with the sailors by the road. The others, further away to the north, scrambled aboard their improvised transport and raced towards the sound of the guns.

Able with far more fire power to hand the Navy men slowly drove back the Handsworth reserves arriving from the south and moved towards the ambush position in the buildings. The big gun blew through the barricade and the column began force its way past the ambush.

With the blockage on the road cleared, the 37mm gun was loaded and ready when the second unit of Handsworth reserved appeared further down the road. As the turret swung in their direction, the militia disembarked in the nick of time before their transport was wrecked by the pinpoint accuracy of the big gun.

Meanwhile, Chuffington-Smyth had heard the sound of gunfire further down the road, and despatched a squad of motorised rifles to investigate the disturbance. Seeing the black vehicle bearing B.U.F. marking appear round the bend, the Handswoth men thought that they had been caught in a trap and opened fire on the oncoming vehicle.

Completely unaware of the danger, the B.U.F. drove straight into a burst of LMG fire. One of the bullets must have pierced a fuel line and the vehicle exploded in a ball of flame. Only a single bedraggled legionary crawled out of the wreckage alive: the seemingly cursed Private Milligan, still traumatised from the beating he had received at the Battle of Cable Street.

The final element from the Handsworth Militia, Captain Lilley, had gotten lost on the back roads as he rushed to take command. Eventually working out where the battle was happening, his car travelled at speed straight into the ambush laid by Sgt Boots SMG squad. A burst of fire caused the car to flip and Captain Lilley was taken captive. A good day's work and after interrogation, perhaps the right level of prisoner to secure the release of the lovely Miss Brown.

Although the Handsworth men had managed to wreck another armoured car, unsupported they were unable to prevent CPO Tarr's men from assaulting their position and capturing the building. With all of their reserves driven off, the ambush had failed.

With their enemies defeated, Jack Tarr looked westwards from his vantage point. He could see burning vehicles blocking all the roads ahead and could make out figures moving amongst the hills and trees. Fearful of another ambush, aware that he had lost two of his armoured cars, and concerned for his wounded men who needed care, CPO Tarr ordered his men to form a perimeter.

The men from Liverpool would hole up here, repair their vehicles and recuperate before pushing on towards home.

This game was played using a cobbled together set of rules based on Warhammer 40k, using weapon stats from the free downloadable QRS for The Great War by Warhammer Historical, with a sprinkling of chance cards from the Gentlemen's Wargames Parlour and character upgrades based on Pulp Miniatures' 'Rugged Adventures'. The game was completely devoid of balance, points, or any sense of competition and we allowed the game to tell a story to us.

A great time was had by all and we have a couple more plot hooks to inspire further scenarios. The Handsworth militia may be keen for a prisoner exchange, the Royal Navy might make another push across the Pennines, and the B.U.F. know that the other factions have been bloodied and are probably planning something dastardly...