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The account of Sub-Lieutenant Vazquez

The Sub-Lieutenant was in command of a platoon of Argentinian marines who defended the middle of the ridge at Tumbledown against the Scots Guards during the fighting for the Falklands.

“At about 23:00 one of my men was wounded by shelling. And I moved over to help him. I left my rifle and ran to his position. While I was doing that, the artillery stopped, and I heard a Sterling light machine-gun firing, exactly at the mouth of my foxhole, it had a distinctive sound and I knew that it was the British. When I peered out of the hole I was in, I could see two British soldiers, one of them smoking, a cigarette in his mouth; they were passing one on each side of my position. With my pistol and a hand grenade, I ran back to my command post, probably right through the British soldiers. They didn’t react quickly enough. They fired at me and I at them, but no one was hit. There was a star-shell at the time. I couldn’t reach my position, so I pretended to be hit and fell as though I was dead. The British soldiers, stepped over me. When the light went out I got up and was able to reach my command post. The British crossed right on top of my platoon position and finished up surrounding us. Some of them were actually mixed up with our own positions; there were a lot of rocks and some empty foxholes. So a fight started all round, at distances varying between ten and fifty meters.”

From Martin Middlebrook’s ‘The Fight for the Malvinas’ which is his companion volume to ‘Operation Corporate’.

On reading his account (which is longer than the quote) it struck me that here is a type of action that probably happens quite often but is rarely described or wargamed. So I felt I wanted to give it a twirl, and also provide solo options. Indeed due to the nature of the fighting, it struck me that even if you had two players, one for each side, the scale and the fact that they have rather lost track of the world outside their wargames table means it’s almost two solo games as each tries to use the unexpected to their advantage.

Now with Hell by Daylight, there is an extra set of rules tucked away at the end after the scenarios. Hell in a Small Place.

After the first edition of Hell by Daylight was published, we did play some games where there was a lot of ‘house clearing.’ Then people played anti-terrorist actions where the Special Forces storm a plane, a school bus, or an embassy. So I ended up tweaking the rules for these actions. So there are some modifications. It’s still Hell by Daylight, some things don’t change, but only a few do. So in Hell by Daylight a move is nominally around 10 seconds whilst for ground scale, 1 inch equals 10 yards. In Hell in a Small Place the ground scale is altered to 1 inch equals 2 yards, (thus making it virtually a ‘real’ scale) and to cope with this the time scale must be altered. What we have done is to give each 10 second move, six phases. So it works well for small actions with small numbers of figures involved.

Back to Tumbledown.

The terrain.

Rough, broken, no trees but still there should be lots of cover and foxholes, a lot of which are not currently occupied. The table doesn’t have to be big, three feet by three feet will work. But it can be bigger.

Then around the table edge place twenty counters, numbered from one to twenty. Spread them equally around the table edge, these are the entry points for troops coming on.  


The fighting took place during a winter’s night. It was dark. Now life has meant that I’ve spent a lot of time outside at night without lights (in rural areas a long way from streetlights.) and it is rarely absolutely dark. You do sort of see some things, but never well.

On top of that you’ll have star shells fired at random. Now the rule of thumb is that these will illuminate a battlefield for perhaps forty to sixty seconds. This is easy enough to work into the rules. The star shell lasts four, six phase turns. On the 5th turn, toss a coin, on heads it’s still working. If it still works, repeat the coin toss on the 6th turn, and if it’s still working at the end of the 6th turn, toss the coin again. If the shell lasts into a 7th turn, that’s your lot. You don’t get an eighth turn.

Each turn after the star shell has ‘gone out’ roll a d6. On a 6 the British fire another one.

So visibility rules are

  • When a star shell is illuminating the area, just treat it as normal daylight.
  • In the move after the star shell has gone out, you see nothing. Everybody has lost their night vision and all you can see is muzzle flashes, explosions, and torchlight. This doesn’t stop you shooting at where you were shooting previously, but now, unless they are shooting back and you get muzzle flash, you cannot aim.
  • The move after that, until the next star shell, you have ‘gloom.’ Moving figures can be seen within ten meters. (moving means travelling from place to place, not just moving an arm to put a new magazine in a rifle.) Also they will be recognised as being either British or Argentinian.
  • Up to 30m moving figures can be seen, but not identified unless they say something (English or Spanish) or fire a weapon only carried by one side (like the Sterling).
  • If the figure is skylined, (for the purposes of the game, if you can draw a line from the observing figure past the figure being observed to the table edge and there is no blocking terrain higher than the figure, it can be seen by the observing figure, at any range.
  • If a figure lies down and doesn’t move it can only be seen by figures within base contact.

The Argentinians

This is you, but in spite of being theoretically in charge, there is, one might say, an element of confusion as to who is where. Place your figure somewhere near the centre of the board. Then place five other Argentinian figures within ten meters of your figure. In theory you might not be able to see them because they are in foxholes or similar. But you have the advantage that you know where they are and know where to look.

Your men, both those on table and those arriving, are decent enough soldiers.

You count as Normal 3, as the Sub-Lieutenant in charge.

On the table, among your five men, you have a machine gun team.

Gunner Normal 3.

Number 2, Normal 2.

Other figures you can roll at random.

1. Normal 2. SLR, 2 hand grenades, two rifle grenades.

2. Normal 2. SLR, 2 hand grenades.

3. Normal 2. SLR, three rifle grenades.

4. Normal 2. SLR, 3 hand grenades.

5. Green 2. SLR, 2 hand grenades.

6. Green 2. SLR, 2 hand grenades, two rifle grenades.

Treat rifle grenades as hand grenades which can reach anywhere on the table. However unlike hand grenades when you fire a rifle grenade it gives away your location.

The British.

The Scots Guards have an edge over your men in both training and equipment.

Just roll at random.

 1. Veteran 2. SLR, 2 hand grenades, LAW.

2. Veteran 2. Sterling submachinegun, 2 hand grenades.

3. Normal 3. SLR, three rifle grenades, LAW.

4. Normal 3. SLR, 3 hand grenades.

5. Normal 2. SLR, 4 hand grenades.

6. Normal 2. Sterling submachinegun, 2 hand grenades, LAW.

Where does everybody arrive?

To try and get some feel for the chaos and fast moving nature of the fighting, each move roll two d20. This gives the point of arrival of one or more figures. It doesn’t tell you which side they’re on, but you can assume that those figures who arrive together are on the same side. Because hostile troops can arrive after them, figures will attempt to get into cover and move in cover.

So each move you’ll get two ‘parties’ of troops joining your little fracas.

Size of the party

Roll a d6.

1,2,3, it is one man.

4,5, there are two men.

6 there are three men.

What are they?
When the troops are in a position to see something and might open fire roll a d6

1,2,3 They’re Argentinian.

4,5,6 They’re British.

+1 to the roll if there are two in the party.

+2 to the roll if there are three in the party.

So during the game, you’ll gradually get more and more British troops on the table, from all directions.

What will troops do?
They will take cover, try and stay alive, but if British will try and advance and clear the area. If Argentinian they are more likely to stay in cover and just stop the British advance.

Which means that whilst there may eventually be fewer Argentinians, they have the advantage of being able to stay in cover.

Shouting out.

Your figure, when seeing a party of troops, can shout orders to them in Spanish. If you already know the troops you are shouting at are Argentinian, then they will attempt to obey.

If you’re not really sure of the nationality of the troops you are shouting at then just roll a d6.

1,2,3 They are Argentinian

4,5,6 They’re British.

The advantage of this is that, if you take the risk, you’re more likely to get more Argentinian troops in the larger parties.

The disadvantage is that you shouted out and everybody now knows where you are.

Winning and Losing.

Basically if you can get the British to fall back, or somehow clear the table of British troops, you’ve done well and can chalk it up as a win.

East Front Miniatures have brought the old Platoon 20, 20mm Falkland War range back into production.

In 28mm Gripping Beast have a range–category–156.html

Old Glory have a range of figures in 15mm

If you want to do the game very economically (and potentially on an even smaller table, Pendraken do the conflict in 10mm


Obviously you can use if for any modern conflict. Indeed with tweaking to allow for reloading you could use it for American Civil War.

Feel free to just use the troops you’ve got and bend the scenario to fit them.


Hell by Daylight rules are available from Wargame Vault in pdf for £4.

They’re also available from Amazon, £4 on Kindle, or £9.50 in paperback

Relying on your technology

On the otherwise insignificant world of Duckfield your military career has obviously reached a nadir. You have been seconded to the Merchant Adventurers’ Guild and have been placed in command of their local levies, garrisoning the fort of Götterdämmerung. The fort sits uncomfortably at the southern end of a valley. It is there to stop the wild tribes debouching out of the valley to raid the rich lands (and more importantly the merchant caravans that traverse these rich lands) which are perhaps thirty miles further south. Were you cynical you might wonder if you were in some respect the expendable tripwire, giving time for proper soldiers to get into position.

The fort has, as tradition demands, a central core with walls, a tower, and everything else a fort demands. Admittedly maintenance has obviously not been a priority. But on the positive side, the fort is surrounded by barbed wire and a mine field.

The barbed wire isn’t as effective as it used to be, as tribesmen are in the habit of sneaking up to the fort during the night and stealing the wire for the metal.

Similarly the mine field may be more sparsely sown that you might hope, because those tribesmen who aren’t stealing the wire, steal mines as a useful source of explosives.

There is a stream that passes through the minefield and wire, but it is your water supply and you keep your cisterns full.

Welcome to a solo scenario for Hellfire.

Your Garrison

There are three companies of Miliz, each of ten bases. Each company has nine bases of infantry armed with a comparatively modern personal projectile weapon and wearing flak armour. The tenth base has a crew served projectile weapon.

Reaction 1,2,3,2,1,2,2,1 14pts

You have a small mortar unit with one base and one mortar. There is another base in a vehicle with communications equipment and they have two small drones to fly from recon, to spot for the mortars. They move at 20cm per move. You need order points to move the drones. If flying together (staying within 5cm) then they can both move on the same order point. You have trained this unit and it is competent. The mortar is large enough to count as ‘vehicle mounted’ even through it is set up somewhere in the fort.

Reaction 2,3,3,2,2,2,2,1 17pts

The outwork.

There is piece of higher ground 10cm south of the perimeter of the fort. Anybody based on that could shoot down into the fort, negating much of the advantage of cover. It is south of the fort so anybody would have to work round the fort to attack it, and it is included within the minefield and barbed wire defences. Unfortunately if the mines have been pillaged with the same efficiency as the wire, they will present little obstacle.

Still there are trenches cut on the top of the knoll, which will provide cover for a full company. It’s up to you whether you garrison it or not.

The wargames table

Look at the rather crude map. Set up the high ground so the tribesmen cannot sit on the heights and fire down into the fort.

Because of undulations in the ground, any figures moving to not count as moving in the open unless they are among the barbed wire entanglements.  

The barbed wire entanglements.

These stretch out 10cm from the fort perimeter and from the top of the knoll south of the fort. They have been so pillaged of wire that troops crossing them move normally, but do not get any advantage of cover, so always count as moving in the open.

The mine field.

If a unit crosses the minefield and is fired at, add an extra d6 bases doing the firing. If the unit isn’t fired at then it is assumed they’re going carefully and following the paths they’ve made.

The Mortar
The mortar can target any unit on the table, provided it can see them. As you will have noticed, because of the contours a lot of the table is dead ground for the mortar crew. Hence the drones.

The Enemy

The tribesmen can enter the table using three passes. A, B, and C. They will make their way towards the fort, trying to keep contours between them and the fort for as long as possible.

Units for A and C will roll a d6 when they leave the last contour. On a 1 they will attempt to skirt around the fort and take the knoll to the south of it instead.

Each move you get d3 units, then roll a d6 for each each.

1,2 the unit arrives at A

3,4 the unit arrives at B

5,6 the unit arrives at C.

There are a maximum of twelve infantry units. At least two of which also have a manportable mortar and team. These can be left behind in cover to get on with their work.

Unless the mortar crew can see their target, (which means they will be immediately visible from the fort when they open fire) they are reliant on targeting guidance from either the unit they came onto the table with, or from a chieftain.

To see what a unit consists of roll a d6+6. The unit contains that number of bases of infantry armed with a comparatively modern personal projectile weapon and wearing no armour. If you get a unit 12 strong, it includes a chieftain.

If you get a unit 7 strong, it gets a mortar.

Note that you’ll get at least two chieftains and two mortars, so if you haven’t got enough through your die rolls, the last units to arrive will make you up to the correct total. But you can have more than two of each if chance so determines.

Reaction 3,2,3,2,2,2,2,1 17pts.

The sole advantage of a commander is that he is an enthusiastic practitioner of falconry and has with him his hawk. If a drone gets within 10cm of him he will fly the hawk at it. (Just measure horizontal distance, ignore any height difference. If there is a contour between them potentially blocking line of site, if the drone is flying high enough to see him, he (or at least the hawk on his arm) can see the drone)

Combat between hawks and drones.

Hawks are cunning, fast and lethal. Drones do not match them in any of these categories. So for a hawk roll a d12 and for the drone roll a d6

If the Hawk wins by up to three, the drone is driven off 20cm, heading back to the fort. If the hawk wins by more than three, the drone is destroyed.

On a draw or if the drone wins by two, the hawk misses and will return to its master. It cannot be flown again for three moves.

If the drone wins by more than two the hawk has been killed or injured and is out of the game.

If the second drone is within 5cm of the drone being attacked and is not being attacked itself, the drone being attacked may reroll its d6 if it wishes.

Drones being shot down by small arms.

If the drone gets within 5cm of any tribal unit roll a d6. On a 1 they have shot it down. If there is a hawk in the air attacking the same drone they will not fire.

You will see from this that the drones, whilst very useful for finding targets for the mortar, need to be used very carefully.

Ending the Game

The game ends if the tribesmen take the fort and you are defeated.

For you to win, you have two options.

The first is to smash the attackers so they cannot mount a successful attack. (note that if 12 unit max seems too easy, try 18.)

The other option is to hold out until your supports arrive. On the move when your drones (or if you’ve lost your drones, when the fort can see four different enemy units simultaneously (four in total, not four each) you can send a cry for help. It’s obvious you are under attack as opposed to tribesmen just passing through the area.
Ten moves after this, start rolling a d6 every move. On a 6 your air cover arrives and the tribesmen fade into the hills. You’ve won.


If you’ve not come across Hellfire rules they’re available from Wargame Vault for £4 in pdf

They are also available from Amazon for £4 on Kindle and £9.50 in paperback

Are we the Builders of Dreams?

Apparently it’s somewhere in the contract. If you do a blog then you cannot just do useful things like scenarios. Every so often the blogger is obliged to pontificate about something they don’t really know about. I’m not really sure what happens if you don’t do this, (unlike Bilbo Baggins, I never read the entire terms and conditions) so I suppose I better fall into line.

But Builders of Dreams? How does that come about? It’s the part of the hobby that I don’t think gets enough attention. Or perhaps it’s overlooked for good reason as we all desperately try and pretend we’re proper grown-ups?

It’s just that Ian commented in the Jim Webster’s Wargame Rules Facebook group, “As I’ve been a bit under the weather today I’ve been reading through and plotting the map and forces for The Return of the prodigal to Doggton 3 from the Hellfire rule book. After reading Jim’s how to play on his blog which uses the campaign as an example of a game play I’ve had a look at Irregular Miniatures site and decided on what I’d use for the forces based on Jim’s suggestions.”

Immediately my own memories came flooding back. As a long time ancients player I remembered a youth hostelling holiday where I’d carried with me the DBMM book IV army lists, because my holiday was going to finish in York and I was going to call in at Irregular Miniatures and buy the figures I needed for a Kommenian army. During the holiday I realised that I only needed a few more figures to expand the army coverage another two hundred years. (OK so it was fifty, or perhaps 100 figures, but it’s not a lot in the scheme of things) The sitting, drinking coffee, and daydreaming with rules, catalogues and army lists or scenario booklets close at hand, have to be an important part of the hobby.

Then there are the manufacturers. I have lost count of the number of models or figures which have grabbed my attention and then seductively whispered scenario ideas into my ear.

Not all dreamers or dreams are the same. I must admit I like reading comments by ‘rivet counters’. Whether it’s discussions about which particular version of a vehicle it is (Ausf D but it has obviously been back for repair because they’ve fitted stuff you normally see on the Ausf G) or people discussing the real shades of Napoleonic uniforms, I confess to enjoying them even though I am not a rivet counter myself.

The problem we face is that it can be a pretty rough world at times. I’ve lost count of the number of scenarios I’ve dreamed up doing boring and repetitive jobs. Or how the twists that make the background interesting come when I ought to be doing something more serious.

But in a rough world, we have to take time out. Look back into our past. In ‘Astounding Wonder: Imagining Science and Science Fiction in Interwar America,’ written by John Cheng he discusses the old pulp magazines. In the 1920s writers were paid between 2 cents and 5 cents a word with one publisher of ‘Westerns’ paying 10 cents a word. Rates dropped a bit during the Great Depression, but still the comparison with the rates offered nowadays doesn’t exactly flatter. Some companies are currently paying writers less than they would have earned in the 1920s. Just to put things in perspective, $100 in 1920 has the spending power of $1,200.04 in 2016.

How on earth did the publishers of these cheap magazines (they were called pulp for a reason, the paper was so bad some in sealed packaging can never be opened) manage to pay so much?
The magazines were cheap, ten cents was the common cover price, but some boasted sales of a quarter or even half a million. They weren’t selling literature, they weren’t selling something you could tuck away as an investment (Pulp paper becomes brittle with age, and flakes drop off), they were selling escapism, they were selling dreams.
It’s the same with films. The so called Golden Age of Hollywood was the 1930s which was a time of slump and poverty. But people with no money still managed to find something to get them into a picture house.
People need dreams. Whether your dream is sitting lost in world that is ‘Gone with the Wind,’ or pondering whether you need those amazing figures you’re looking at, they’re still dreams and none the worse for that.

I’m not going to mention individual figure manufacturers here, but just scroll back through the blog and you’ll see the ones who’ve inspired me over the last couple of years. We are blessed, people produce amazing figures and scenery.

But it’s the same with some of the rules and backgrounds out there. Admittedly here, it’s Sci Fi and Fantasy who can really go to town with their background. If you’re doing Napoleonic, the canon is pretty well set. But even then you have Silver Bayonet, a skirmish wargame of gothic horror set during the Napoleonic Wars or Konflikt ’47 for WW2 players.

The 18th century has produced Imaginations galore, which other periods have taken to their bosom as well. Then the 19th century gave us toy soldiers and ‘A Gentleman’s War: or Glossy Coats and Tin Bayonets.’

But with Sci Fi or Fantasy you can really go to town on the background. One good example of this must be 40K. I haven’t played a game of it for years, but you have to admire the quality and depth of the background. The Ciaphas Cain novels take a lot of beating. For the busy, the rivet counter, or somebody who has just fallen in love with their dark future, it’s a background that people can have their dreams in.

But there are other backgrounds. If you’ve come across Xenos Rampant (worth checking out if you’re into larger scales) that is a set of rules which offers army lists and suggestions for several different backgrounds. They cover Weird War which is their answer to WW2, Urban Fantasy, War in the near future, Post Apocalypse, and Space Opera. But you can do pretty much anything.

I confess that for myself, I try to give people a scaffold on which they can hang their own dreams. A set of rules which works, but don’t demand you stick to any particular background.

Some people have asked me why I don’t put photos in the rules. Well normally these are to inspire people with pictures of your superbly painted figures. You look at them and know what a great painter can achieve. Look at photos of my figures and suddenly you’ll feel like a great painter.

Then, I don’t know about anybody else, but to me, the pictures just get in the way. When I’m trying to find a rule section, the picture of four infantry hiding behind an APC that I’ve flicked past a dozen times in the last ten minutes just gets irritating.
But also, if I have to dream up a spuriously high-minded reason (other than ‘do you know what these pictures do to the price of the book’ and anyway there are plenty of pictures on the blog and you can look at them for free) I would say that I don’t want the pictures to cramp your style, to drive your dreams down channels I’ve dug.

So don’t be afraid to dream. It was John Barrymore who said, “A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.”


Good solid dream building material

£4 in pdf from Wargame Vault

Or £4 on Kindle, and £9.50 in paperback

Community Policing, or Trebizond Orbital Spaceport welcomes free-spending Sophisticates.

The Background

Trebizond is a stable and prosperous world. It is not at the cutting edge of technology but it is peaceful. Technically it is in ‘Alien Space’, thus Trebizond was settled by a mixture of races. Humanity has, for no particularly good reason, ended up somewhat dominating the world. Theses have been written on how this happened. Humanity’s initial technological superiority did have something to do with it, but even as other species adopted human and other technology, humanity remained dominant, mainly because they were seen as an honest broker who was above local disputes. Census data of uncertain reliability seems to confirm that Humanity is probably the largest single group on the world but is nowhere near forming a majority of the population.

Politically the nobility, whether human or not, hold power; but traditionally they have been largely content to remain on their estates, supervising their loyal peasantry. Government as such is low key. This bucolic world has excellent biosecurity and veterinary support as part of planetary wide comprehensive animal health legislation. On the other hand, rules with regard to fiscal services, IT system compatibility, or arms manufacture, are sparse indeed. The wealth of this world comes, unusually, from its agriculture. Each estate will have its own specialities, whether wines, cheeses, or various forms of bottled and spiced fruits. These sell remarkably well off world.

The orbital space station rather mirrors the world it services. Not the most technologically sophisticated but for all that, clean, pleasant and often described a nice. A rare combination.

The figures used

I don’t normally put scenarios together in this order, but in this case it was seeing the figures, loving them and feeling there had to be a job for them, which created the scenario.

Now it has to be confessed that I may have something of a bee in my bonnet about the clothes and uniforms we see on Sci Fi figures. Yes, in ‘near future’ they probably will be a bit similar to us. But this gives you the range of men’s fashions over the last two thousand years.

So with humanity scattered across uncountable planets, is everybody going to dress as if they’re extras for a Dirty Harry movie? So, in a cosmopolitan place like Trebizond Orbital Space Station, you will probably see all sorts. Indeed even on Trebizond, not only will humans and aliens dress differently, but social classes may dress differently as well.

So in simple terms, use what you want. Overdressed gentlemen in floppy hats with dress rapiers are every bit as likely as anything else. Indeed on an orbital space station, I think the management would be happy if the belligerent carried rapiers rather than something that, even if it doesn’t threaten the integrity of the pressure hull, can still pass through internal bulkheads spreading chaos in its wake.

Now at this point I want to mention ElastoWit New Era Rubber Toy Soldiers. You can find them at just contact them through the page.

These are larger figures, not cheap but I confess to being a bit blown away with them.

Still there are all sorts of ranges you could use. There is the Time Machine range with Eloi and Morlocks. Certainly the Eloi make nice nondescript civilians making their way around your space station.

If you want the bad guys, they have the Kelly Gang.

Or a group of nobles returning home to Trebizond, these are from the Aventura del’Arte set.

Or a bunch of young gentry who have to change ships at Trebizond and are using the opportunity to catch up on their roistering.

Also changing ships, we have a wealthy lady, her husband, personal physician, and bodyguards.

Perhaps these desperados, with pistols and shotguns, are hunting for her?

There are even Aliens passing through

And of course, the local constabulary

Scenario Background


The station gets really upset with people who carry heavy calibre or high velocity weaponry. They realise that people may need to defend themselves, so they allow people to carry a flechette pistol. In its basic form this is a short barrelled large bore weapon. The flechettes are held in a gel round. When fired, the round leaves the barrel and the gel disintegrates leaving the high density glass flechettes to hit the target. Occasionally, if the rounds have been in storage too long, or have not been stored within the correct temperature band, the gel does not disintegrate and instead of flechettes, the target is hit by a solid slug. The manufacturers say this rarely happens. As I’m writing fiction I can accept their assurances and assume that when it does happen, the result is less messy but equally dangerous. So assume that everybody has one of these weapons unless otherwise stated.

Using one using Hell by Starlight, the pistol has two range bands, band 1 which goes out to 20 yards and band 2 which goes out to 40 yards.

Then at each band, the weapon has a penetration factor. For band 1, the normal penetration factor is 4, whilst in band 2 it drops to 2. I suggest for a flechette pistol it is at 2 in band 1 and 1 in band 2.

Then there is a dice to roll for the weapon at that range. So our ordinary pistol is d6 at band 1 and d4 at band 2. I suggest with a flechette pistol at short range there is no real gain, the flechettes are still too close together. But in band 2, I would increase the dice from d4 to d6.

Bean bag rounds

The constabulary can fire bean bag rounds from their pistols instead of flechettes. These rounds aren’t very big, but do ignore armour.

Roll a d10.

1. You have hit the head, unless wearing head armour (Kelly Gang, we’re looking at you here) they will be knocked unconscious and must get medical assistance very quickly.

2,3,4,5,6,7,8. The target is slightly pained and very annoyed. You have their entire attention and they now consider you their priority viable target.

9,10. The target cannot act for two moves and if given a chance in the two moves after this will surrender.

Constables can start with their pistols loaded with bean bag rounds if you want. It takes a full move to take one round out and replace it with another. During this round you cannot fire the pistol. If you have a bean bag round in the chamber, it is assumed that if you fire the pistol, the next round loaded automatically will be a flechette round.


These are ‘safe’ firing only shot. With slugs there may be a chance of it penetrating a partition but this is covered in Hell by Starlight.


The Kelly Gang count as having composite armour covering five-sixths of the target,

Some of the constabulary have armour of some sort. Treat it as flak and decide how much of the figure it covers. The constabulary robot counts as composite armour covering all of it but for close combat it gets the bonuses for powered armour because it is using the strength of mechanical systems in its struggle.

You might decide that some other figures have flak armour concealed under their clothes.

Troop Quality

Remember than we aren’t dealing with trained combat infantry. So let us assume that the local constabulary are ‘second class regulars’ with a reaction point total of 20.

Various gentry can be split into groups of four or five figures. One will be designated the superior, the others are in some way their retainers/followers/lesser kin. Whilst the leader is present and not wounded, the unit tests as Feudal Aristocrats with a reaction point total of 16

If the leader goes down, the unit now counts as Feudal Followers with a reaction point total of 13.

Other armed factions can count as militia with reaction point totals of no more than 16.

If you use the Kelly Gang figures, then given their desperation and their standing within their own society I think you can could all three of them as Feudal Aristocrats with a reaction point total of 16.

The Space Station

I wanted something simple. A ring. Around the perimeter are docking bays. Each bay has associated warehousing and similar. Moving through that you arrive at the central concourse. On the outside of the central concourse you’ll get accommodation for travellers.

The central concourse is a ring of open space that goes all round the station. The concourse will be lined with shops, tourist information booths, stalls selling speciality produce from individual estates etc. On the inside of the concourse you have the central hub. I divide this into various clusters.

Cluster 1. Front office with reception etc. Behind it is the Management department which amongst other things does HR, accounts, marketing, sales and reservations, and event planning.

Cluster 2. Restaurants and Bars. Associated with this is Housekeeping, Kitchen and Food Production. 

Cluster 3. Maintenance, life support, IT. Accommodation for staff. Medical bays.

Cluster 4. Security. Safe deposit boxes, banks, finance and investment houses.

When it comes to using the station, you can imagine it as a circle with d20 points on the outside, and four in the inside. In your sketch you can simply divide the central hub into four and each of the quarters is a cluster. So in an encounter, if somebody hits a bank, roll a d20 to see where on the outer perimeter their ship is and then work out the fastest way from cluster 4 to their ship. The clusters will have narrow corridors radiating out through them to the concourse.

Similarly each docking point on the outer perimeter will have narrow corridors leading between warehousing and accommodation. These will run from the perimeter to the concourse. You can add lateral corridors to taste. But keep things simple.


Because there are six in a pack, I’d have six on duty at any one time. But if things get fraught you can call an off duty team to provide back up. I’m not assuming you’ll buy the figures but I like the discipline of building around pack sizes. Use the figures you have but this gives you some idea for balance.

A droid, no firepower, can take part in close combat, counts as powered armour.  but its reaction discourages this.

MeleeSurprisedEnemy VehiclesFirst sighting of EnemyUnder Artillery FireVoluntary
yznot relevantznot relevantnot relevant

Here a y result is, “Act in self-defence. You can place yourself between an enemy and their objective but you cannot attack the enemy.”

A z result is, “Monitor the suspect, and continue to send data to police HQ”.

Of the other police, four have flechette pistols, the lieutenant has a sword as well because there are so many aristocrats about armed with them who object to just being gunned down. He counts as superbly trained in close combat.

There is also one officer with an assault rifle equivalent firing an intermediate cartridge. This is for backup only. If fired and it misses the target, look at that else is in the line of fire. Check to see if any other figures have been hit. Then roll for each partition. These count as improvised armour. If it does penetrate you hit somebody in the room on a 1 on a d10.         

I suggest that you have two police in the HQ, the lieutenant and the backup. The other four can be on foot patrol around the concourse. Effectively each will cover a quadrant facing one of the four clusters.  

Note that each of them has a baton, which in close combat counts as a Specialist close combat weapon. This means that they are not outclassed by ordinary swordsmen.

The trouble makers

This is where I’ll use ElastoWit packs but you feel free to use what you’ve got.

1) The Kelly Gang.

These three desperados will arrive in a small ship. They will walk, carrying carpet bags containing their armour, to cluster 4. There they will quietly enter one of the banks and using code words given them by an accomplice they will start emptying the safe deposit boxes. The fact they can empty so many boxes is going to alert the staff to the fact it’s a robbery but by this time they’re being held at gun point. The Gang, now wearing armour and carrying carpet bags full of loot will walk quickly back to their ship and leave.

2) The trouble making Gentry.
These are in one of the better restaurants. The lady and her companion have been insulted by two other swordsmen. Another group has placed the police robot on a hostess trolley and are propelling it at speed along the concourse which is almost certainly going to cause problems for passers-by. Simultaneously the final group have decided to go one better and they’ve got another hostess trolley and want to put a real cop on it. This they will do by jumping the cop and subduing with unarmed combat.

3) The lady in need of a bodyguard.

Well we had a lady with husband, physician and bodyguard. One can assume that a lady doesn’t go to the expense of hiring bodyguards purely as a fashion statement, so we have another band of four desperados who are here to assassinate her. Roll at random for where the desperados ship berths and where her ship berths. To be sure of catching her they would have to block her exit from the concourse to her ship. But they will then need to get back to their own ship to make their escape.

4) Three peace loving aliens.

These are totally lost. The one person who can communicate with them is the police robot who can join them and escort them back to their ship (roll at random for the berth.)

One has an alien staff weapon, count as sword. One has a flechette pistol, the other knows some strange alien martial art, so counts as superbly trained in close combat

5) Nobles going home

After a long trip away, our four nobles, one with sword, three with concealed pistols, are making their dignified way home. They arrive on a ship at one berth, and travel down the concourse to another berth where they will join the shuttle going down to the planet. Their progress is somewhat grand.  As they advance, the musician plays, the poet recites, and the lady and her husband dance a stately measure. These are important people, do not hassle them.
On the other hand they could get in the way, or alternatively the young gentry might cause trouble by mocking and insulting them.

6) Eloi and Morlocks

The Eloi I would just use as civilians getting in the way. The Morlocks on the other hand are natives of Halson IV who have travelled to Trebizond looking for work. Morlocks are by nature poets, musicians and are also known for their biting literary criticism. Away from Halson IV, as they gather inspiration for their next work, they tend to earn a living working as stevedores. After all a pair of Morlocks can carry a half ton stacker out of a hold and put it on the back of a truck.  They will not cause trouble, but it is not unlikely that the nobles going home, the gentry, or even the lady, her husband and physician might insult them. Morlocks count as superbly trained in close combat due to their powerful physique and natural dexterity.


Gentry will insult anybody, if they roll 2,3,4,5,6 on a d6.

Nobles going home will insult anybody if they roll 5,6 on a d6, but add +2 if whoever it is gets in their way.

The lady in need of a bodyguard (or more properly the bodyguards) will insult anybody if they roll 5,6 on a d6, but add +2 if whoever it is gets in their way.

The peace loving aliens will insult anybody, entirely by accident, on a roll of 1 on a d6

The Kelly Gang and the Four Desperados are too busy to worry about insulting people, but they could upset the Gentry by accident on a roll of 1,2 on a d6.

Shooting First

It has been made clear to members of the constabulary that the space station is supposed to be a pleasant place to visit, and if visitors go away having gained the impression that the police shoot first and ask questions later, this is going to dispel the illusion.

The rules of engagement are comparatively simple.

If somebody is firing at anybody, you may open fire on them.

If somebody is threatening anybody with a firearm, you may open fire on them.

If somebody is attacking you with a lethal weapon, you may open fire on them, provided you have time to draw it. You might be better off drawing your baton, and if you survive their attack, step back and then shoot them.

If somebody is attacking somebody else with ‘lethal intent’ then you may shot the attacker with a bean bag round.

If you are in a situation where lethal weapons are being deployed but is otherwise unlike those situations describe above, it is considered adequate to shout, ‘Armed Police, stop or I will fire.’ Next move, if they don’t stop, you can fire.

Innocent Bystanders

If there is trouble they will move away from the trouble, trying to get as far away as possible, or at least into cover.
If an innocent civilian or at least somebody not involved in the trouble is on the line that connects the constable and the target (which continues past the target until you get to something solid) that individual is also a potential target. Those between the constable and the target are fired at first. Only if they are missed is the target fired at. If the target is missed then roll to hit those beyond the target.

Solo Play

This scenario is designed for solo play. Deploy your police (note in one case circumstances may change your deployment as your robot is hijacked) and then roll a d6 to see which of the six bunches of trouble makers is causing trouble. After three moves roll another d6 to see if another bunch starts causing trouble. After another three moves roll a third time to see if you get a third bunch. Note, if you roll the same number twice, nothing happens on the second roll. But you still roll again in three moves. You can roll for as long as you want, but there are never more than three trouble making groups causing trouble at any given time.


The rules I used are Hell by Starlight, available from Wargame Vault for £4 as a pdf

Also available from Amazon on Kindle for £4 or in paperback for £9.50

Free Farmer’s Trucking Cooperative.

The cooperative is one of those small ventures that has never exactly flourished, but on the other hand it hasn’t exactly failed either. Formed to distribute goods throughout the Free Farmer’s territory it has become a real lifeline for those communities too far from the railway for them to make the journey themselves. It was the Free Farmers who may have produced the first version of the Beast. The Beast is a vehicle of uncertain parentage. Jothrom Industrial Manipulators produce the legs, even though neither their name, nor their company logo, appear on them. Ramos Sisters, who developed the Traktor, provided the engines, each Beast has at least two. Baastruk Unincorporated did some of the design work and produce some of the more carefully machined parts. Various other heavy metal forgings have been acquired and cannibalised. Thus and so, A Beast is assembled.

The idea was originally to provide the Free Farmer Trucking Cooperative with a vehicle with more manoeuvrability than a Mud Maggot. The original specifications insisted that it be no harder to maintain, and to share the general aura of indestructability. Commentators often mention that the legs seem a bit thin. But if they bend they can be hammered straight again by a village blacksmith and any farm workshop could weld extra steel on to brace across any weakness.

The Beast also had to be able to carry a standard container, something the Mud Maggot cannot do. Indeed it is not unknown for a Beast to carry two containers, one set on top of the other. This is something only attempted in the more level areas near the railway. Some claim to have carried three containers, stacked one on top of the other. This is assumed to have been for a bet.

There is some sophistication in the design, there is a rod antenna for a ground sensing radar which ensures the legs know where to move. The sprung pallet forks below the rod antenna are used when the Beast is used for moving timber and similar.

The Container will be loaded onto the Beast at the railway where they have suitable equipment. It is rare that any one client amongst the Free Farmers will purchase an entire container full, so the container is loaded by the railway in a specific order, and as the Beast travels, the container will be opened and unloaded in reverse order. So the packing of the container determines the route of the Beast.
Should the container have to be lifted off the Beast, this is simplicity itself. The container is attached by chain blocks to a gantry built into the village defences, a purpose-built ‘A’ frame, or even a very large tree. The beast then sinks down and shuffles out from under the container which can then be lowered to the ground. Should it be necessary to load a container onto the Beast when away from the railway, the opposite process is attempted. Traktors are often used to pull on the chain blocks to lift the container, although draught animals can be used.

Riding in the Beast

Inside the Beast there is room for a driver and an engineer/mechanic. All cargo, security and passengers ride on top.

It is possible to electrify the legs. This is both to stop people climbing up, but also to deter large herbivores. You do not travel with the legs electrified, as it runs the battery down. But you can switch them on at any time when the crew are aware of a threat.

Note that electrifying the legs when the Beast has two or more legs standing in water, mud, or marsh is not recommended by the manufacturers. In fact it’s one of the few things they specifically tell you not to do.

In spite of the warnings, some have tried it. Roll a d6

1. You just burned out your electrics. It’s going to take d6 hours to get the Beast moving again.

2. Those on the cargo platform are complaining about getting electric shocks from the machine. They have intimated, forcefully, that they would be delighted if you stopped what it is you’re doing.

3,4,5,6 The legs are electrified, you don’t know what all the fuss was about.

Note that if the legs are electrified, nothing will touch them and if something is touching them it will be hurled d6 inches away.

Driving the Beast

It should move reliably faster than walking, but not a lot faster.

If you just drive down a road, everything is fine, the Beast travels along the road. But if you go across country, the ground sensing radar will take over.
Travelling cross country roll a d6

1,2,3,4 go in the direction you want.

5 move one move to the left

6 move one move to the right.

You still end up facing ‘forward’ in the direction you want to travel. It’s just the radar has decided this is a better way. You can override it and just go straight ahead. Roll a d6, on a 1 you get stuck. You do not get stuck following the ground sensing radar. Even if it appears to be taking you through a marsh or a lake, it will guide you through safely. Keep the faith!

To be unstuck you take a move backwards (to where you were before you started the move that got you stuck.) To get unstuck roll 2 dice.
On the first move roll a d10 to get unstuck and a d4 to remain stuck.

If the d4 is higher you remain stuck and next turn you roll a d6 to remain stuck. (If it is a draw you stay with the same dice to remain stuck.

The dice to remain stuck goes up to d8, d10, d12, d20. If you fail to become unstuck by ten or more, you’ll need the help of another vehicle.

Your ‘crew’

Driver. Normal, shotgun (capable of firing slugs).

Mechanic. Normal, shotgun (capable of firing slugs).

The only time you should see either of these two is if you’re going to abandon the vehicle.

Supercargo, Normal, shotgun (capable of firing slugs)

First Hand, Normal, shotgun (capable of firing slugs)

Second Hand, Normal, shotgun (capable of firing slugs)

First New Recruit, Green, shotgun (capable of firing slugs)

Second New Recruit, Green, shotgun (capable of firing slugs)

When riding on the Beast they count as Second Class line with 17 reaction points. If dismounted and deployed on foot, they count as Militia with 15 reaction points.

The Scenario.

This is set up to work solo, but obviously once things arrive on the wargames table, you could hand one force to an opponent.

You and your team have a delivery run to do. The container is lifted onto your Beast and you are given the inventory. Cases of livestock worming products, concentrated fabric detergents, ewe colostrum, machine parts, bundles of working clothes (purchased in bulk from a failed theatrical costumer who won the contract to produce uniforms for some long forgotten epic, only to have the media company collapse into fiscal oblivion after tens of thousands of antique uniforms had been made but before they were delivered) speciality grass seeds, electronic control boxes, and the usual impedimenta of commerce. You will drop off your goods at six communities. At the 6th you will fill your container with produce from the village and return home.

Movement and terrain.

At the start of the game you draw seven cards from a well shuffled pack. Lay them out in front of you. Each card represents the distance/time taken, and the terrain you’ll face.

Hearts. Rocky ground, firm going, some scrub and occasional trees.

Diamonds. Steep rocky ground, firm going, some scrub and a lot of trees.

Spades. Wet ground, perhaps half counts as marsh or open water, separated by rocky areas.

Clubs.  Wet ground, half counts as marsh or open water. The rest is firmer ground but is largely covered by trees.

Each card does have a road across it, after all this is a well-known route. The road isn’t so much paved as cleared.

The number of the card is the number of hours (and the number of wargames tables you will cross) it will take to reach the next community.

When you set the cards out, you might realise that your sixth village is closer to the start than the first village was. This is not your problem, your travel plans are pre-set by whoever loaded the container. If you did them in the wrong order you’d be forever emptying stuff out of the container to get to stuff that’s behind it.

Destinations in the order you visit them.

The railhead. Triggdelve, Hassletonville, Beaumonton, Clappergill, Fishendenfalls, Stanhopeside. The railhead.

Each of these communities had d6x10 inhabitants.

Half of these inhabitants will defend the community perimeter if it is threatened. They count as

Villager, Green, shotgun (capable of firing slugs). When defending the community they count as Militia with 16 reaction points.

A quarter of the defenders (defenders, not inhabitants) can form an ‘expeditionary force’ to go out to rescue the Beast if it is on a wargames table adjacent to the community. This quarter counts as Villager, Normal, shotgun (capable of firing slugs). Otherwise they’re the same as the rest of the villagers. If the village comes under attack you could keep this quarter as a separate force.

Finding Trouble

Here it depends entirely on how much trouble do you want to find?

If you have an opponent then there is more pressure to get onto the table and provide a game than if you’re running it purely as a solo mini-campaign.

I suggest that each ‘hour’ as your Beast travels, you roll a dice, and on a 1 you get trouble. You might want to make it 1 or 2 if you want ‘more action’.

Between the railhead and Triggdelve, and between Stanhopeside and the railhead roll a d10. These areas are pretty safe. If you get trouble, you roll a d6 on the trouble table.

Between Triggdelve and Hassletonville or between Fishendenfalls and Stanhopeside roll a d10, but if you get trouble, you roll a d8 on the trouble table.

Between Hassletonville and Beaumonton or between Clappergill and Fishendenfalls, roll d10+1 and if you get trouble, you roll a d10 on the trouble table.

Between Beaumonton and Clappergill roll d10+2 and if you get trouble you roll a d12 on the trouble table.

Remember that you will roll multiple times between destinations, depending on the card you draw. So you have more chance of finding trouble in the long journeys through empty wilderness.

Also notice that as you get further from the railhead, things get worse, and then better as you make your way back.

Trouble Table

1,2 You don’t realise but a zombie, sitting in a tree, has been watching your passage. It lopes off to find friends. Get +2 on all rolls on the trouble table from now on, until you reach a community.

3, A group of five zombies is randomly on one table edge, making its way across the table to the opposite table edge, and moves to intercept you.

4,5 A group of five zombies appears out of cover within d6 inches of the Beast and attempts to attack.

6,7 Two groups, each of five zombies plus a group of five cultists are placed randomly on one table edge, making their way across the table to the opposite table edge, and they move to intercept you.

8, a group of five cultists is hidden in cover within slug range of the road and they will open fire on the Beast. There are two groups of five zombies which appear at random out of the cover, within 6d6 inches of the cultists.

9, Three groups, each of five zombies plus two groups of five cultists are placed randomly on one table edge, making their way across the table to the opposite table edge, and they move to intercept you.

10, two groups of five cultists are hidden in cover within slug range of the road and they will open fire on the Beast. There are three groups of five zombies which appear at random out of the cover, within 6d6 inches of the cultists.

11, A controller, three groups, each of five zombies plus two groups of five cultists are placed randomly on one table edge, making their way across the table to the opposite table edge, and they move to intercept you.

12+, a controller and two groups of five cultists are hidden in cover within slug range of the road and they will open fire on the Beast. There are three groups of five zombies which appear at random out of the cover, within 6d6 inches of the cultists.

Attacks on the community

If you fight a running battle against the attackers on the wargames table next to the community you’re stopping at next, the attackers will carry on their attacks, provided they know they outnumber the defenders.

Calling for help

You have radio contact with all the communities. If you’re on the wargames table next to a community, you can ask for help and they will send out their ‘expeditionary force’.

Stopping for the night

I would suggest that for simplicity you allow for 12 hours of daylight. You can have an extra hour of dawn and dusk where it gets gloomy but if you’re forced to fight, just count is as daylight but make cover a bit better. You don’t want to be caught out in the open, travelling or camped out at night. Whilst the Beast can travel safely, zombies might climb trees and drop down onto you in the dark.

  • With regard to timings, it’s one hour to cross a wargames table. If you have to fight on that table, assume you somehow lose an extra hour.
  • It takes a minimum of one hour to drop off cargo at a community. They don’t mind you taking longer or staying the night.


When the Zombies have to react, roll a d6 and read off the appropriate column.

Factors to add or subtract to Default Table:

 -1     Under fire.

 -1     Suffered casualties.

+1     Controller within one move.

a  Attackers advance directly to attack enemy

b  Attack enemy, unless enemy are moving towards you, in which case hide and pounce.

c  Stick to cover and try to work around the flank of the enemy without being seen.

d  Hug terrain and try and disappear from sight

e  If enemy advancing, spring on them, otherwise try and hide.

f   Fall back and try and hide

g  Try and remember what you were told to do, and do that.

h  Fall back for two moves to try and shake off the enemy. Keep to cover as much as possible.

i   Flee, keeping to cover as much as possible, leave the table.

j   Flee, ignore everything, just flee.

The Zombies only take part in close combat, they don’t use missiles. Personally I would treat them as;-

Superbly trained in close combat.        2 Dice shifts up

Let’s be honest, they aren’t trained at all in close combat, they just have a natural affinity for it. But they have no scruples and an unhealthy appetite.

Acrobatic Zombies

Rather than have zombies mill about helplessly as the driver electrifies the Beast’s legs, it’s perfectly possible that a fit and agile zombie might be able to jump. The attacking player can have one zombie standing within an inch of the Beast and another zombie, within two inches of the first, can run, and use the first zombie as a springboard. Roll a d6

1, Hits the side and falls embarrassingly back to the ground.

2,3,4,5, Hits the side, grabs it and can climb up next move.

6 Lands on the platform and can strike anybody it is in base contact with.


They have a mixture of firearms and older weapons. Their firearms count as slug firing shotguns. If they have a bow or crossbow, treat it as being similar. Some have only got melee weapons. All count as ‘Feudal followers’ with 14 reaction points. They wear limited flak armour covering a third of the body (so a roll of 1 or 2 means the weapon fired at them hits the armour). They move as ordinary humans.

They are in groups of 5. On a roll of 1,2,3 there is one who is ‘Normal’ in charge, otherwise everybody is ‘Green.’

Winning and Losing.
Just deliver the goods and get home seems like a plan. You’re not there to conquer the world, just cross the table and leave them in your wake.


The Controller, the Cultists and the Free Farmers are from Knucklebones if you have a printer. Or Iliada Game Studio has a licence to sell them ready printed

The Beast is from Iliada Game Studio.

Ali at Iliada is under the weather at the moment and has had to take time off. Go across to his page on Facebook at and offer him grapes.


The antics of the Cult of the Magus Geneticae are set on Caldoom.

For rules I set this up for Hell by Starlight (which are designed to be generic)
They’re £4 as a pdf from Wargame Vault

Alternatively they’re available from Amazon on Kindle for £4 or in paperback for £9.50

Counter-insurgency games and campaigns.

Over the years, counter-insurgency has provided a background to my wargaming. Indeed it’s provided a background to my life. I cycled home from school to watch the retaking of Hue on the TV news. Friends of my parents served in Malaya, Palestine, and Cyprus. We had ‘the troubles’ and if I had joined the army I would have ended up with tours in Northern Ireland. It has to be said that to me, ‘counter-insurgency’ is almost the normal face of war. So it’s something I’ve tried to tackle on the wargames table.

Actually, the wargames table is perhaps the easiest place. We fought a lot of games using Hell by Daylight. Works well, but it’s important to not merely get the scenario right, but to get the ‘rules of engagement’ and the victory conditions right as well. And it is when you think about these last two you realise that counter-insurgency warfare is political.

This shouldn’t be a surprise, as Carl von Clausewitz wrote, “We maintain, on the contrary: that war is nothing but a continuation of political intercourse, with a mixture of other means.”

But counter-insurgency differs from ‘war’ because of the politics within the country in which it is fought.

If we have war in the UK, then it can bring people together to face an obvious common enemy. Up to 50% of the economy can be turned over to war production, massive numbers of people are conscripted, into the forces, into vital industries. As an example of this, people forget that between 1943 and 1948, nearly 48,000 young men were conscripted into the mines. They were chosen by lot from all male conscripts aged 18–25. The Bevin Boys.

But during a counter-insurgency the ‘enemy’ is within. The resources of the state are brought to bear, but not necessarily through the barrel of a gun. Even now, UK government per capita spending is higher in Northern Ireland than it is even in London, never mind any of the other UK regions. The government has to win over the people. If people are enjoying prosperity and their civil rights seem to be not merely guaranteed but actively protected, it makes it difficult for a terrorist/insurgent group to encourage people to cast off their chains.

So in counter-insurgency, even more than in ‘conventional’ warfare, ‘war is nothing but a continuation of political intercourse, with a mixture of other means.’ The role of the military might still be to seek out and destroy the enemy, but in reality, it might be far more important for them to ensure the village nurse can still do her rounds, or that people can travel to work without being dragged off a bus and gunned down because they’re ‘the wrong sort.’

On top of that, both sides are staging ‘performances’ aimed at the population not caught up in the area where there is fighting. Governments will aim for photos showing happy children, prosperous peasantry, bedraggled and demoralised insurgents handing themselves over to government forces, glad to be part of the civilised world again. The insurgents will hope to get footage on the evening news showing government forces beating civilians. I suspect we all remember the photos of the ‘napalm girl’. Phan Thị Kim Phúc, she now lives in Canada. For real gold, an insurgency needs photos like that of Nguyen Van Lem summarily executed in Saigon in the street by Nguyen Ngoc Loan, the national police chief of South Vietnam. It is arguable that that one photograph did more to undermine US support for South Vietnam than did the temporary successes of the Tet Offensive.

The soldiers can win a hundred minor skirmishes, ensure that peace and prosperity reign in a hundred nameless villages nobody has ever heard of, and one photo, as provided by Nguyen Ngoc Loan, will weigh more heavily on the scales than all the good work the soldiers have done.

It’s at this point you can start to understand why in some countries faced with long running insurgencies, army officers finally take power to stamp out corruption (which is one of the factors feeding the insurgency). Unfortunately it appears that army officers, who might have risen due to their political connections, are not immune to the same corruption.

That’s one reason why I wrote Hell and Uncivil Disorder. Troops were poorer, armies less professional and less well trained. In the rules I produced a counter-insurgency campaign to go with the rules. Here the insurgents are racketeers, because a lot of insurgents drift into organised crime to support themselves, and of course organised criminals drift into insurgency because it opens new doors for them. Indeed criminals, pro-government death squads and terrorist organisations can end up recruiting many of the same sort of people who might, over the years, move from one organisation to another depending on circumstances.

But what I did in Hell and Uncivil Disorder was to include Media (plus mobs and demagogues) as part of the core rules. Also in the campaign, battles occurred in threes as players deployed their assets. But each three battles automatically generated a fourth, the media battle, and winning that was just as important as winning one of the other three.

So whilst I could feel pretty smug about my ability to do counter-insurgency on the wargames table, the real difficulty is running the campaign. Because the military part is only part, and may not be the part that decides who wins. After all the UK has managed to control counter-insurgencies by doing a deal with the leaders and bringing them into power. Those who know who I mean by Lord Vetinari, Patrician of Ankh-Morpork will know the deal he did with the thieves’ guild which restricted crime in his city. After the deal, as things settled down he called them in and said, “I know who you are, he said. I know where you live. I know what kind of horse you ride. I know where your wife has her hair done. I know where your lovely children, how old are they now, my doesn’t time fly, I know where they play. So you won’t forget about what we agreed, will you?” And he smiled.

The British way is to ensure the ‘victorious’ leaders become influential and prosperous and then point out that the biggest threat to their safety and the safety of their families comes not from the forces of the Crown, but from those they once led but who now think they sold out.

Campaigns are difficult. One problem is countries are so big and complicated. Just look at UK spending in the pie chart. If you shift 10% of a budget to win hearts and minds in an area with an insurgency then welfare, pensions, and health are all tipping in an awful lot more money than defence. To quote Marcus Tullius Cicero. “The sinews of war are infinite money.” To which I would add, ‘Just don’t spend it all on soldiers.’ So in reality any campaign worth its salt has to cover these factors. In fact these might be the important ones. After all, it could be argued that the French won the counter-insurgency battle in Algeria and lost the war.

So where do I stand with campaigns at the moment. Many years ago we ran a campaign where the board game Junta provided the politics of the republic, and we fight out the insurgency in the countryside around the city. For a Vietnam type insurgency it didn’t work too badly. It allows for government corruption undermining the army and you have good political infighting.

With the campaign for Hell and Uncivil Disorder I did things differently. As the campaign progresses, society can start to fall apart. So what was unthinkable at one level of political stability, now becomes standard operating procedure at the new, lower level of political stability. You are staring into the abyss.

The thing about these campaigns is that they work because, in reality, they’re small, set in fictional states which are limited by design.

Currently I’m working on another, solo, counter-insurgency campaign. I’ve made it (low tech) Sci-Fi using Hell and Uncivil Disorder, but again, it’s limited. I’m trying to allow the various states to build loyalty through investment. If you spend enough on bread and circuses perhaps you won’t have to incur the expense of bringing in the army? In fact, permanent investment may lead to long term growth in local loyalty.

But I’m still chipping away at the edges. The sheer complications of picking a ‘proper’ country and trying to have an insurgency/counter-insurgency there are overwhelming. I think that you’re in board game territory, where you merely commit military forces to an area to bring down the level of violence which will allow your doctors and teachers to win the war for you.

I did once run a game based on an Israeli incursion into Lebanon as part of the Lebanese civil war. The game was fought out at three levels at our wargames club. At the top level we had two players representing the US and USSR who were actually playing a board game but also played a simple card game which represented their interests in Lebanon. Discarded cards represented support going down to the next level.

The next level had Israel and various Lebanese and other factions sitting round a map of Lebanon and surrounding territories. They were doing a little fighting and manoeuvring. They kept occasionally harassing the US and USSR for more supplies. Supplies were vital if they wanted to do anything.

The third, final level, was one area on the map of Lebanon where there was actually a wargame being fought. There was fighting around the refugee camps and cities and the players on this table kept hassling those with the map to send more supplies. You didn’t need much in the way of units, but you needed supply to fight but also you could burn supply to ensure units didn’t get destroyed. Starting running short and your men started dying.

So what you got was the wargame became a ‘black hole’ which showed a tendency to suck in assets (ammunition and supply more than men and machines) which meant that the other players around the map were really handicapped in that they never had enough supply to do what they wanted. And they kept pestering the US and USSR, but they weren’t all that important compared to what the two big powers were really doing. As an example of how unimportant, the US was pumping large amounts of supply into the Lebanese Christian forces mistaking them for the Israelis. So the Israelis were having to go cap in hand to draw supply off their Lebanese allies.

Hopefully the digression might show how a counter-insurgency campaign could be fought. At the highest level you’d have the core of government. Rather than factions playing cards, a spinning roulette wheel might be more appropriate. At the next level you’d have the various government departments move money about to boost the various areas, and the military might be concentrated to keep the peace.

The third level will be where you have your campaign map and your wargames table. Your objectives would be reasonable. Something similar perhaps to that I used in the Hell and Uncivil Disorder campaign where your aim was to break the insurgency and built political stability.
But the roulette wheel and the political largess would continue to flow, and they would determine who won in the big picture.

Me? I’m still guessing.


If you’ve not come across Hell and Uncivil Disorder, the rules are available from Wargame Vault for £4 as a pdf

They’re also available from Amazon, on Kindle for £4 or in paperback for £9.50

The overly portly controller

Previously, when discussing the Cult of the Magus Geneticae, I mentioned ‘Controllers’. This was only in passing, because I felt that they needed to be covered in reasonable depth, not just fitted in as an afterthought when discussing Zombies.

There again, given that the Cult is a somewhat secretive organisation, how much do we really know about it. I confess that I feel a little reticence is a good thing. To quote Lord Dunsany in ‘The Avenger of Perdóndaris’.

“Then someone sang quite near us in the darkness to an instrument of strings telling of Singanee and his battle against the monster. And soon we saw him sitting on the ground and singing to the night of that spear-thrust that had found the thumping heart of the destroyer of Perdóndaris; and we stopped awhile and asked him who had seen so memorable a struggle and he answered none but Singanee and he whose tusk had scattered Perdóndaris, and now the last was dead. And when we asked him if Singanee had told him of the struggle he said that that proud hunter would say no word about it and that therefore his mighty deed was given to the poets and become their trust forever, and he struck again his instrument of strings and sang on.”

Just as with the slayer of monsters, so it is the duty of scenario writers not to say too much, but instead hand things over to our player, thus it becomes their trust forever.

What savants, observers; and those who interrogate such cultists who have ended up in the hands of the proper authorities, (such as they are) have metaphorically delved into the Cult. They paint a picture where the bulk of Cult activity takes place underground in abandoned mines under the mountains. Given that the original inhabitants of Caldoom are the Pyzeans who evolved and still live happily in the deep ocean, nobody is entirely sure who did the mining. Some have pointed a finger at the Ataman. These are space farers, a recognised race whose members are ‘welcome’ to trade freely in what might be loosely described as Human space.

In those mines that have been examined, the consensus is that they show no sign of the Ataman. Students of semiotics see no similarly between even the most ancient Ataman scripts and any graffiti or signage cut into the tunnel walls. 

It is within the mines that the Cult has its laboratories and breeding chambers. Here they are safe from intruders.

[As an aside, this is safety comes with the possible exception of the Free Miners who have evaded the surveillance of both Bretag, and to a lesser extent, Grelfarl. These two mining companies make desultory efforts to maintain their join monopoly, but candidly the Free Miners grub in holes looking for pockets of ore which are too small to interest a major company.]

But back to the cult. There is an assumption that the descendants of Magus Geneticae Maxwell Jessan are somehow still in charge. These may still look human, they may even walk among us. Then we know that there is an administration of some sort, who are tasked with the smooth running of the Cult, ensuring everybody is fed and supplied with what they need. I think we can assume that the administrators serve their usual purpose of acting as the mastic in the wheels of governance. But equally I think we can assume that they exhibit a hgher level of literacy and numeracy than has been found amongst the rank and file cultists.

But the researchers and technicians working within the laboratories and other examination facilities are the Controllers. They are the ultimate expression of humanity, the envelope pushing, cutting edge; which will help lead man into a fresh paradigm. Or something like that. They are the Cult’s largest single expense (the cost of maintaining researcher, research programme, and laboratory never seems to get any less) but the result of their researches is the cult’s main source of income.

Because of their much vaunted intellectual superiority, they tend to be used as commanders of what small forces are deployed. They can dominate cultists, control Zombies, and one suspects the Jessan family regard controllers to be far more expendable than Jessan family members. What the administration thinks is unknown, but administrators are celebrated for their willingness to die for the cause, ideally in a rear echelon clerical position. 

The Controller evolves throughout life, shedding more and more biological parts, trading them in for mechanisms which whilst ideally nanotech, or at least electro-pneumatic, do sometimes look as if they were made by a local blacksmith. Human legs are apparently unreliable and tend to be the first to go. They are replaced by a mixture of tubes and micro-repulsor systems which means that the Controller can both walk, pick up small dropped objects, and hook directly into various feed lines built into the laboratories simultaneously. Many will also acquire a full suite of cone sensors with built-in shoulder mounted data-packs. These data-packs are connected directly into the central nervous system, ensuring that the sensors become part of the controller’s sensorium. Due to the sheer volume of data generated by the various sensors, this can be also be fed simultaneously to another controller who is safely ensconced in a distant laboratory.

This does have issues. The other controller, or data-partner, may be so delighted at the quality of data you are collecting on the electrical signals nearby plants are generating in micro-reaction spaces of their cell membranes that they forget to mention the man sized life form hiding behind cover ten yards away from you.

In an attempt to ensure that data-partners have appropriate priorities and regard threats to life and limb with proper seriousness, the data-partners are encouraged to lodge their consciousness in the shoulder mounted data-packs carried by those venturing forth. So what appears to be a single Controller may in point of fact be merely the physical presence of as many as five entities, four of whom are ‘along for the ride.’ This is not a complete success. The constant chitter of up to five controllers, each trying to commandeer instruments for their own purposes can end in an instant when danger is spotted. Those who can then transfer themselves back to their own bodies, leaving the owner of the original body muttering to themselves, ‘It’s quiet, it’s too quiet.’

Still, the Controller, when plunged into combat, will not necessarily be defenceless. They have a sensor suite which reaches out to 18” from them.

  • Their sensors will detect concentrated energy outputs. So they will spot, with pinpoint accuracy, energy weapons, vehicles (unless, for example, horse drawn) and even projectile weapons as they are fired.
  • Using thermal imagining, their sensors can also detect less concentrated heat sources, such as living creatures.
  • They have a full Lidar suite.

So these combined mean they have reasonable night vision.

They have no armour as such, but have a personal force field. For those not familiar with Hell by Starlight, this armour counts as composite armour. It has the advantage of not ablating if hit by energy weapons, and you aren’t knocked down if hit by a projectile weapon. However your position is always known to anyone who has any sort of energy sensor in line of sight. Also whenever the armour saves it acquires a considerable amount of surplus energy which it has to shed. This it does by radiating it out as heat and light, so you glow in the dark for the move after. If you are saved by your field for two consecutive moves, dry inflammable objects nearby start to smoulder, and have a 50% chance of catching fire, 90% on the third consecutive move.

Most Controllers will carry some sort of personal weapon, normally an energy pistol. In close combat they can administer a severe electric shock, which counts as them being ‘armed with specialist close combat weapon.’

In combat they are Green but have a Reaction point total of 16.

They use the Feudal Followers reaction table.

They can dominate cultists. This isn’t a design feature, it’s just that they have a very casual attitude to inflicting electric shocks on cultists who irritate them or appear to be failing in their duties. So cultists learn to keep out of their way in corridors and look busy whenever one is passing. The cultists accept them as officers and commanders, and get a +1 when a Controller (any Controller) is within one move. Also if a Controller is with a unit of cultists it can goad them into action with various levels of electrical stimulation. So they will always roll on the Reaction Table as if advancing.

They do have some sort of control over Zombies. When preparing for an operation, they can, by an effort of will, instruct the Zombies not to attack cultists who are part of the operation. This takes time but is entirely effective. The Zombies have been known to occasionally lick a cultist, which is believed to be somewhat disconcerting, but otherwise the process is entirely successful and is believed to last several days before it wears off.

If a Controller is within a move of a group of Zombies the controller gives the dice bonus as their commander. But if a Controller is with a group of Zombies and dislikes the result of their roll on the reaction table, it can blast one of the Zombies with electricity (effectively knocking it out and meaning it is left for dead) and can then pick the result the Controller wants, without the indignity of rolling further dice. But if this is done, there is a chance that this will cause the Zombie’s conditioning to break down. Roll a d6 and on a 1 the Zombies attack the Controller. Add 1 to the dice for each time during the game the Controller has used this technique.

A Scenario. Bought and Paid For.

This is designed to be played solo or multiplayer.

The Cult of the Magus Geneticae survives, economically, by selling items of high technology that they have manufactured, and/or repaired. There is talk of technology derived from ancient artefacts recovered from the mines but in all candour much of their technology comes from reverse engineering devices which they have been asked to fix.

Butal and ‘the lads’

There are entrepreneurs who are happy to deal with the cult. They run a shuttle service backwards and forwards to the spaceport at Liberty. It’s not a lucrative trade but it’s steady. Butal has been doing this run for some months. He has four crew who act as security. They count as composite aliens, are normal and hard wired to their intermediate cartridge rifles.  They have a reaction total of 18. Their flak armour is comprehensive enough to effectively count as full armour.

Butal has had to make a forced landing in very rough territory which is ‘disputed’. He has radioed the Cult and they have promised to send a team to help him.

Cult forces.

Controller Cephas III Pinch is in charge.

He has under his control three, five strong, teams of zombies.

He has three, five strong teams of cultist. They have a mixture of firearms and older weapons. Their firearms count as slug firing shotguns.

Two groups have the shotguns, they count as ‘Green’ but each team has a leader who counts as ‘Normal’ having done this sort of thing before.

One group has only close combat weapons. These all count as ‘Green’ and have been brought along mainly to do the fetching and carrying. They have two pack beasts, one of which carries Controller Cephas III Pinch’s tools that he thinks he’ll need to fix the air raft. If he cannot fix the air raft the pack beast and the cultists without fire arms will carry the boxes back to the cult territory on their backs.

They arrive on the northern table edge on move 1.

The Order of Malthus in his Aspect as the Personification of Self-Restraint.

The Order has its people out, looking for the downed air raft. They come on from the left table edge (the west). Divide the edge up into six zones and roll at random to see which zone they arrive in. Initially there is only one squad, part of a larger force which has spread out to search a wider area.

First Squad. Second class regulars, 18 reaction points.

Brother Almoner, Veteran, flak jacket under robes. Power mace, hard wired. 

Lay Brother, Green, flak jacket under robes. Energy carbine, hard wired. 

Lay Brother. Green, flak jacket under robes. Energy carbine, hard wired.

Lay Brother. Green, flak jacket under robes. Energy carbine, hard wired.

Lay Brother, Normal, flak jacket under robes. Energy carbine, hard wired. 

All your brethren get one dice shift in their favour because whilst they are not superbly training in close combat, (which would give them two dice shifts) they have some martial arts training meaning they get one shift. Brother Almoner has a power mace which gives one dice shift because it’s a specialist close combat weapon.

Each move roll a d6 and on a 1, the first squad arrives. Next time they roll a 1, they have another squad arrive at the same point they did. Once they have two squads on the table they roll a d10, still needing a 1. When their third squad arrives, they then roll a d20 for the 4th, still needing a 1.

Note that whilst the search parties were initially flown into the area, their superiors have noted that they are searching for an air raft which may have been brought down by hostile activity. Air rafts are expensive, they can search on foot.


The mining company has its security teams coaming the area looking for the downed air raft. They come on the right, eastern, table edge.

Squad leader, Normal, flak jacket under coat, sword and pistol.

Soldier. Normal, flak jacket under coat, Heavy man portable automatic. To fire at over assault rifle range, firer needs to be prone or resting the weapon.

Soldier. Normal, flak jacket under coat, assault rifle

Soldier. Normal, flak jacket under coat, assault rifle

Soldier. Green, flak jacket under coat, assault rifle

The squad leader’s sword gets one dice shift because it’s a specialist close combat weapon.

One squad, the first to arrive, has a civilian employee who has apparently acquired the ability to dominate zombies. Nobody knows why, but Zombies will not approach within a move of her unless a controller with a group of zombies blasts one of the Zombies with electricity to encourage the others.

The Civilian. Green. Unarmed, no armour.

She isn’t entirely convinced about her ability, it worked once, probably, and she is sure it works even better if there are infantry between her and the zombies.

They are First class regulars with a reaction point total of 18.

Each move roll a d6 and on a 1, the first squad arrives. Divide the edge up into six zones and roll at random to see which zone they arrive in. Next time they roll a 1, they have another squad arrive at the same point they did. Once they have two squads on the table they roll a d10, still needing a 1. When their third squad arrives, they then roll a d20 for the 4th, still needing a 1.

Initially they arrived in the area by air raft, but these are precious assets and there is a general feeling that Bretag Infantry, being infantry, ought to walk when searching. The air rafts have returned to base.

Free Farmers.

The erratically descending air raft has attracted attention. The rafts are reputed to supply the cult, so they’re fair game. All over the area hunters and others are packing extra ammunition and a few sandwiches and setting off to see it they can pick up any useful loot. They will arrive on the south edge.

Huntsman leader, Normal, shotgun (capable of firing slugs)

Huntsman, Green, shotgun (capable of firing slugs)

Huntsman, Green, shotgun (capable of firing slugs)

Huntsman, Green, shotgun (capable of firing slugs)

Huntsman, Green, shotgun (capable of firing slugs)

They count as Militia with 15 reaction points

Each move roll a d6 and on a 1, the first squad arrives. Divide the edge up into six zones and roll at random to see which zone they arrive in. Next time they roll a 1, they have another squad arrive at the same point they did. They continue to roll a d6, however many squads they have on the table.

The Terrain

The air raft has come down in the middle of a lot of rocky terrain. It has made a decent landing but it is right in the middle of the table. The crew can deploy out into cover to defend it. Their only allies are the Cult of the Magus Geneticae. Everybody else is happy to just loot the raft and their dead bodies. Note the zombies are likely to regard them as fair prey.

The rest of the terrain is very broken. Feel free to cover the table with random piles of books and throw a cloth over that before adding more rocks and plenty of trees and scrub. Being able to see much more than a foot should be a real novelty.

Who can shoot at who?

  • The Cult of the Magus Geneticae and the air raft crew are on the same side.
  • The Free Farmers and the Order of Malthus in his Aspect as the Personification of Self-Restraint are allies. At the very least they’re not going to shoot at each other, but they both want the air raft and cargo.
  • Bretag can shoot at anybody, and anybody can shoot at Bretag, because they’re the outsiders here.

Playing it solo

The forces of the cult and the air raft are run by the same player. The aim is to get Controller Cephas III Pinch to the raft. When he arrives at the air raft he will make an assessment. Roll a d6

1,2,3 it is comparatively simple. It will take him 6 moves to fix.

4, there are complications he hadn’t envisaged, it will take d10 moves to fix.

5, he’s never seen one do this before. It’ll take d10+5 moves to fix.

6, In d6 moves he’ll be able to get it airborne. He reckons it’ll carry him, the cargo, his tools, and at a pinch, Butal. His plan is to take it straight up and let the wind take it because at height it’s blowing in approximately the right direction.

Notes to the table. The task of a mechanic is never an easy one. Roll the dice to see how many moves it takes to fix the air raft. But when you get to that move toss a coin, on heads it has been fixed, on tails, not quite, toss the coin again next move.

Abandoning everybody and letting the wind take you. In theory all the people attacking should just say, ah shucks’ and go home. Unless of course they’re angry, or want to loot your bodies. With the air raft crew to stiffen them, the cult force should probably be all right.

Also note that even if the air raft is fixed properly, the crew would probably be able to carry Cephas III Pinch and his tools as well as the cargo. But unless the cultists have suffered a lot of casualties, they won’t be able to take them. And there is no way at all they’re having the Zombies on their air raft.

The Order, Bretag and the Free Farmers, when not controlled by players, will attempt to capture the raft and the cargo. This means they will move in that direction and will attempt to achieve fire superiority before advancing to close with the target. They’re not going to charge across the open without good fire support. If another force looks like it is going to get the raft away first, they can open fire on it (if allowed above).

Victory conditions for the factions

  • Butal and ‘the lads’ win if they fly the air raft out of there without suffering more than one or two casualties (and they can their casualties onto the raft as it leaves).
  • Cult forces get a winning draw if they can fly the air raft out of there without losing Cephas III Pinch and his tools. It becomes a win if they get a majority of their cultists and Zombies off as well (not necessarily in the raft.
  • Order forces win if they get the raft and cargo.
  • Bretag forces win if they get the raft and cargo.
  • Free Farmers win if more than 50% of cultists and Zombies are killed (it doesn’t matter who by), the Free Farmers get the two pack beasts, and suffer 10% or less casualties. They can take 20% casualties but need the cargo as well for that.


The merchant and his crew are from

All very reasonable if you have your own printer, Iliada has an agreement to print if you don’t.

Bretag and the Order figures come from CP Models

The Controller, the Cultists and the Free Farmers are from

They are from Knucklebones if you have a printer. Or Iliada Game Studio has a licence to sell them ready printed

The Air rafts are from Iliada Game Studio.

The Controller, Cephas III Pinch.


In case you don’t know Hell by Starlight rules, they’re available from Wargame Vault, in pdf, for £4

And from Amazon, on Kindle for £4, or in paperback for £9.50

That is not dead

‘That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die.’


It has to be said that I was rather bemused when the whole Zombie genre appeared. Why?
Slowly it dawned on me. Zombies may be the only ‘people’ you are allowed to gun down cinematically anymore? Obviously in that distant benighted time when I was young, John Wayne could gun down all sorts of ethnicities. But now? Zombies it is then.  

So who’s speaking up for zombies then?
Now I’m not knocking zombie games (zombie movies on the other hand I confess I’ve no time for). I’ve played several of them and they tend to be well put together and it’s obvious that a lot of thought has been given to getting the balance right. I’ve had a lot of fun.

But on Caldoom I have slightly different issues to deal with.

In the blog post ‘Running in, please pass,’

I mentioned the Cult of the Magus Geneticae. The cult has cultists who provide bands of not entirely convincing fighters. But also there are other, less pleasant creatures, which appear to have escaped from either the laboratory or the charnel house, the difference appears nugatory. The bulk of these are known, colloquially, as zombies.

Perhaps this name is given to them by locals who don’t want foreigners with ways different to their own moving in next to them, and certainly don’t want their daughter to marry one. Or perhaps it’s merely an honest assessment of the creatures from people who have to deal with them in real life.

When it came to dealing with these zombies I didn’t want mindless creatures who just blindly attacked into overwhelming firepower. I wanted something which displayed at least a degree of elementary cunning. My spurious scientific justification for this was simple. Whatever was managing to keep the body functional obviously allowed some brain functions. I just allowed it slightly more.

Now I am not privy to the inner councils of the Magus Geneticae so I cannot claim to know what exactly they do to create these creatures. Perhaps they are infected by some sort of modified plant life, a gene edited yeast, or a vaguely sentient alien fungus. But whatever it is, this ‘extra ingredient’ lives in some sort of symbiotic relationship with the body it is currently animating, and I assume that the result of this symbiosis wants to keep the show on the road. Whatever its plans for the future, getting smeared over the road by a passing vehicle is unlikely to further them.

Now with Hell by Starlight I had a secret weapon which is also present in Hellfire. (This means that you can play the scenario in 6mm using Hellfire, but you’ll have to tweak things a bit. A bunch of five figures will become a bunch with five bases.) It is the Reaction Tables. Now in the rules I give several Reaction Tables to cover various troop types. But these tables are not the last word. It’s more a case of, ‘these are the ones we used and they worked for us.’ There’s no reason why you shouldn’t create your own. Similarly with the Results, which run from a to v, you are perfectly at liberty to dream up results which fit for the troops you’re trying to model.

One thing to bear in mind is that when you create your new Reaction Tables with new Results. You better label things properly as there are only so many letters available and if you’re not careful you could have your disciplined marines react according to the screaming alien horde results. Proper headings at this point can be your friend.

But still, I decided to do a separate reaction table for the Zombies. They also have different results to everybody else.

When the Zombies have to react, roll a d6 and read off the appropriate column.

Factors to add or subtract to Default Table:

 -1     Under fire.

 -1     Suffered casualties.

+1     Controller within one move.

A note here about a Controller. I’ll bring them into a separate blog post/scenario so I can look at them properly, you don’t get one in this scenario.

So looking at the table, when faced with a chance of melee, our Zombies will take it, but are less likely to attempt it if they are under fire and taking casualties.

If they’re surprised they have a fair chance of responding by hurling themselves on the enemy. But they may also try to stick to cover and work their way round the flanks.

Only if nervous will they take to terrain and hide or fall back

They’re wary of vehicles (the dozer blade on the front of that pickup looks less than inviting) and they’re upset by artillery, trying to hide or fall back. Not sure about you but that strikes me as entirely sensible.

When they first see the enemy, they’re far more likely to attempt something sneaky than just hurl themselves at the target.

Finally with the Voluntary column, this is for when there is no reason to test but you want to get them back on track.

So hopefully our Zombies will be a bit sneaky and perhaps even cunning.

But there is no reason why it should stop there. You can randomise their arrival. If you assume they have been sent out by the Cult of the Magus Geneticae one assumes it is done as part of a plan.

Scenario. Perhaps it wasn’t a plan.

This is a solo game.
Given the cultists are widely regarded as feckless and workshy, this scenario assumes that some fool has left a gate open and the zombies have wandered out.

Anybody who has worked with livestock will know the feeling as they see that the yard is empty and the gate hanging open. The usual procedure is to simultaneously start hunting for those who have gone astray whilst simultaneously summoning everybody available, ideally on your phone unless you can shout really loud.

For our cultists the problem is that admitting the zombies have escaped is likely to lead to people getting disciplined. This, I suspect, is a ‘bad thing’ and ought to be avoided at all costs.

On the positive side, unlike lost livestock, where neighbours phone in and explain that your cattle are currently rampaging across their garden/vegetable patch/forty acres of wheat, it is most unlikely that the Free Farmers are going to pick up the phone to complain to the Cult of the Magus Geneticae.

So you are going to have to find them.

Let us make some reasonable assumptions.

  • The Zombies are probably hunting, and some of them have been deployed before. So they’ll go in the direction of their last good hunting.
  • Whilst your cultists may not be the greatest of trackers, the Zombies aren’t trying to hide their passage. So you should be able to work out where the bulk of them are going.
  • The Zombies haven’t been given orders, one of the most important ones (strengthened by the Controller who deploys with them) is not to eat Cultists. So it is entirely possible that the creatures will regard you as the prey. So Zombies hiding in the terrain and letting cultists walk past could well leap out and attack them with fatal consequences to those attacked.
  • Ten Zombies have escaped and ideally when those in charge glance into the pen as they pass, they’ll see ten Zombies in there. Shooting them is probably not going to help.
  • Whilst ten is the perfect number, let us be honest here. You could get away with nine as how many people count them that closely. Indeed you could probably get away with seven or eight if you shifted Zombies from another couple of pens and fudged the records.
  • Once in the field the Zombies will split into two groups, each of five. They will tend to go in the same direction, and the groups will probably stay within a foot to eighteen inches of each other. But it is perfectly possible for the player to inadvertently increase that distance.

Your assets.

You have fifteen cultists. Their firearms count as slug firing shotguns. All count as ‘Feudal followers’ with 14 reaction points. They wear limited flak armour covering a third of the body (so a roll of 1 or 2 means the weapon fired at them hits the armour).

As well as the usual firearms, your cultists each have a stun prod. This has two settings, one knocks the Zombie out cold, the other setting merely shocks it. A group of Zombies in contact with a bunch with Stun Prods who have been shocked react as if they were under artillery fire. You can guide their slinking off, fleeing, by placing cultists with stun prods to guide and direct the flight in the right direction. If the cultists are attacked by surprise, they cannot ostentatiously gesture with their stun prods and don’t get a bonus.

Zombies will flee directly away from a group of cultists that hit them with stun prods.

They will veer away from another group that has stun prods without coming within six inches. Imagine the group of cultists is a flat plane, the Zombies will ricochet off that flat plane at the same angle as the ‘hit it’. They won’t actually hit it, they won’t go within six inches of it. But the ricochet effect is the same as if they had.  

Mark a point on one edge of the wargames table, this is the ‘route home’. If the Zombies leave the table at a couple of inches from that point, they’ll make their way back to the pen, realising that it’s probably close to feeding time.

Zombies who have been knocked out cold have to be carried, two cultists per Zombie.

Zombies in Close Combat.

The Zombies only take part in close combat, they don’t use missiles. Personally I would treat them as;-

Superbly trained in close combat.        2 Dice shifts up

Zombies facing ostentatiously gestured stun prods 4 Dice shifts down.

Let’s be honest, they aren’t trained at all in close combat, they just have a natural affinity for it. But they have no scruples and an unhealthy appetite. What else are they going to do, “Shoot ’em all down with the flash of your pearly smile?”

Playing the Scenario.

I suggest that there is a time limit on this. To start with the Zombies aren’t in any particular hurry, they’re bumbling along, sniffing the flowers, trying to mug rabbits and generally enjoying their freedom. But all the time they are heading towards where they remember there being good hunting and food.

On the other hand the Cultists, driven by panic and the knowledge that somebody is going to get really really angry about this, are moving a lot faster.

Roll a d10 for the cultists and a d6 for the Zombies. The Zombie score is the number of moves they’ve travelled. If the cultists roll is less, they haven’t caught up and you have to roll both dice again and add this to the previous total. Eventually the cultists will accumulate a biggest total and have caught up.

If the total is 20 or more, the Zombies have arrived at a Free Farmer farm, a small fortified house and buildings with five defenders, men and women.

They will be one bunch, Militia, and armed with shotguns capable of firing slugs. They are also green troops, (they’re not really soldiers at all) but they are defending their families so we’ll give them 15 reaction points.

They will defend themselves and obviously are going to shoot at Cultists as well as Zombies. If a Cultist has something to make a white flag, they can stand in the open waving it and explain they’re taking the Zombies away. The cultist can roll a d6, the Free Farmers a d10, and if they roll less than the cultist they don’t believe him and stop shooting. If they roll the same at least they tell him to run before they open fire. If they roll more, they just keep firing.

If the score is 15 to 20, there is a bunch of 5 hunters, these are the same as the other Free Farmers, and will try to get away off table. But they’re perfectly capable of causing problems even as they do this.

Otherwise the number is the number of moves that have already happened. It also the number of moves it will take to get the Zombies back when you get them off the table.

When the Midden hits the Windmill.
At some point somebody important is going to walk past and notice the empty pen.
This will happen in d20+10 moves. Do not roll this until you have got the Zombies back under control and off the wargames table.

If the Zombies are not back by the time somebody notices, try the following excuses.

  • Yes, we moved them so we could clean the pen.
  • Exercise time your Sanctity.
  • Zombies. There? Was there?

The first time you use an excuse, it wins you d6 turns extra.

The second time you use an excuse, it wins you d3 turns extra.

The third time you use an excuse, it wins you 1 turn extra.

Your mission is to get ten (ish) Zombies back in the pen before you run out of time and excuses.

And the figures?

They are from Knucklebones if you have a printer. Or Iliada Game Studio has a licence to sell them ready printed


Hell by Starlight is available from Wargame Vault for £4 as a pdf.

It’s available from Amazon on Kindle for £4 or for £9.50 in paperback.

And if you want to know more about Caldoon

Running in, please pass.

The Mud Maggot is built on a number of worlds, but it is found in many others where rugged functionality at remarkably low cost is considered more important than speed, grace, or standard safety features. Doubtless there are new Mud Maggots out there, some may even have the original paint (or paint of any sort) but few admit to having seen one lest they be suspected of hallucinating, perhaps under the influence of self-prescribed mood altering substances.

On some worlds it is traditional for a young woman to totally rebuild a Mud Maggot, prior to presenting it to the man she has decided to marry. Tradition suggests the marriage lasts as long as the Mud Maggot, but given the machine can go a century between major rebuilds, I beg leave to doubt this claim.

Another issue is that you can never really own a Mud Maggot. You are merely the current user, one of a long list of equally indigent entrepreneurs which stretches back down the centuries. It may well be that a Mud Maggot did once come with an owner’s manual and proper documentation, but that, unlike the machine it claims to enumerate, cannot cope with the inevitable passage of the years.

Obviously Mud Maggots have appeared on Caldoom. They are a comparatively popular vehicle in those areas where the environs are less carefully manicured. There are records of one sinking in the swamps that make up the perceptively named, ‘Swamp Kingdoms.’ The crew climbed out, closed the hatches behind them and swam to the surface. Six years later, after a remarkably dry summer, they went back, dug a ramp down to the front of their Mud Maggot, started it up and drove it out.

Another phenomena we see on Caldoom are various cults and religious groups. Tourist offices recommend that when on Caldoom, you really ought to take the monorail west of Liberty. Thus in perfect safety you see a little of the world. Stopping once in Liberty, at the station in the Administrative area, it heads out, passing though the outer suburbs without stopping, until it arrives in Clarence Junction. There a northern spur goes out onto the Great Plains where the great serf plantations send their produce down the line to feed Liberty. Sometimes fleeing serfs ride the rails, hidden in grain or between crates of vegetables. The main line continues west through the Free Farmers, then the Theocratic Republic ruled by The Order of Malthus in his Aspect as the Personification of Self-Restraint.

Now in Liberty, the Order of Malthus doesn’t have a good name, and even along the monorail, people make snide comments. But never among the Free Farmers. Given that a lot of the Free Farmers are descended from people who, as escaped serfs, fled the Order, this is surprising. On the other hand it becomes less surprising as you travel north from the monorail through either Order, or Free Farmer, territory. Their territory south of the monorail is prosperous, and indeed for thirty or so miles north of the monorail it is thriving. But further north the ground starts rising and the land is harder and less fertile. As you continue north the ground continues to rise and eventually you reach the mountains. These stretch north and east. In the east they are rich in ores and are mined assiduously by the major mining companies. Elsewhere in the mountains are old workings which pre-date the arrival of humanity.

But in the area controlled by the Free Farmers and the Order, as you get into the mountains, one sees little ploughing but a fair number of grazing livestock.

It is from the mountains that problems arise. Nobody is entirely sure what happened or how. Magus Geneticae Maxwell Jessan had apparently set up a research laboratory in the region a number of centuries ago. He purchased food from the predecessors of the Free Farmers, who delivered to him on a monthly basis. Other materials seem to have travelled by air raft, direct from the spaceport at Liberty. A generation or so later, there was talk of disappearances, both people and livestock. Finally the most northerly and isolated farms were found abandoned. Efforts to contact Maxwell Jessan were unsuccessful.

In the Mountains now you will find bands of fighters, members of the Cult of the Magus Geneticae. There are also other, less pleasant creatures, which appear to have escaped from either the laboratory or the charnel house, the difference appears nugatory.
Nobody outside the Cult (and perhaps few from inside it) know what the Magus Geneticae was trying to achieve. Some claim it was to create a new, superior, humanity. The general feeling, looking at the cultists, is that he comprehensively failed.

They are generally regarded as feckless and workshy. Other cults train their members in martial arts, this cult expects its members to go out and steal other people’s vegetables.

The Scenario

This is designed to be solo, or played by two players. The idea is that a foraging party from the cult has gone out looking for food. They’ve approached one village and realise that the furthest vegetable patch is out of range of the defenders. So they’re heroically loading cabbages into the Mud Maggot.

The terrain

At one side of the table you have the village. It can be a row of houses on the table edge. Most of the defenders start off there.

The edge of the cabbage field is just over 200 yards from the village. With Hell by Starlight rules, one inch equals ten yards, so that’s at least 20 inches. The area between the garden walls that mark the edge of the village and the hedge is covered with bushes/low trees which produce fruit. There is some cover, especially if you use bushes, but it is cover that only stops visibility rather than blocking bullets.

On the other hand the hedge has a good solid bank that counts as hard cover and will stop bullets and on top of that there’s the foliage bit which is just soft cover. The garden walls which form the village perimeter also count as hard cover.

The cabbage field is 200 yards square. The hedge means that people in the field who are not within six inches of the hedge cannot be seen from more than three inches outside the field. Obviously anybody on guard who is using the hedge as cover, and who might move or open fire can be seen.

On the far side of the cabbage field, (Outside the hedge, the cultists have suddenly become solicitous about ‘their’ cabbages’) is parked the Mud Maggot. There is a vehicle track that runs alongside the cabbage field wall, running from the village to the far table edge. Beyond the cabbage field is a mixture of close and open woodland used for grazing pigs and goats.

The cultists

They have a mixture of firearms and older weapons. Their firearms count as slug firing shotguns. If they have a bow or crossbow, treat it as being similar. Some have only got melee weapons. All count as ‘Feudal followers’ with 14 reaction points. They wear limited flak armour covering a third of the body (so a roll of 1 or 2 means the weapon fired at them hits the armour). They move as ordinary humans. Note this means that when they are lining the hedge, they are out of range of the village wall.

There are ten of them and they have the following jobs.

  • One stays in the Mud Maggot. The others pass cabbages through the hatch to him and he stacks them inside.
  • At least two stay at the hedge line and watch the village to make sure the villagers don’t interfere.
  • The rest pick cabbages. Each cultist can pick a row of cabbages, two inches long and as wide as the figure’s base, and put them in a sack in a move. They then move back to the Mud Maggot. When they get there it takes a move to hand the cabbages up to the stacker and for him to turn, move, and stack them.  They then have to move back to the field where they can continue picking. You might want to put down a counter for each figure so you know how much of the field they have picked.

If those on the hedge line come under fire, they will call for help. (This is if playing solo. If there are two players, one of them is in charge and will take a tactical decision) D6 pickers will join them as guards. If the guards are still under fire from a greater number of opponents, they’ll call for help again, and another d6 will join them. If the fire slackers, or the enemy come no closer, d6 will go back to pick cabbages.

For reaction and tests treat the pickers and the guards as different groups, even though men move from one to another.

The Villagers (If you’re playing solo, this is you.)

You have 10+d6 defenders. Divide them into three roughly equal bunches. Each bunch will be Militia, armed with shotguns capable of firing slugs, (unless the figure has something else you really want to use but still doesn’t have a range more than 15 inches). They are also green troops, (they’re not really soldiers at all) but they are defending their families so we’ll give them 15 reaction points. Two bunches are in the village defending it. The third bunch is in the woods foraging, and are in radio contact with the defenders.

The role of the third bunch is to steal the Mud Maggot. They can try and get close to it.

  • The man inside the vehicle stacking cannot see them unless they appear in front of him.
  • Men picking cannot see them.
  • Men on guard cannot see them, even if looking, because they’re screened by the other cabbage field hedge.
  • The only people who can see them are men who are walking back to the Mud Maggot with their sack of cabbages. They’re potentially looking in the right area. But even they have to be within three inches of the hedge to see beyond it, or looking through an open gateway or some other gap.

If somebody is looking in the right area, then roll a d6. Note that their line if sight must not be blocked by something solid, like the Mud Maggot.

They see the person they’re looking at on a 5 or 6

+1 on the dice if the person they’re looking at is moving.

+2 on the dice if the person they’re looking at is in the open.

-1 if the person freezes.

Getting into the Mud Maggot

  • There are hatches at the front where they’re loading cabbages.
  • There are hatches at the back, but they’ll be shut and need opening.
  • There is a hatch on the roof which is normally left open to allow light in and engine fumes out.

It is possible to climb up the back of the Mud Maggot, especially if you have a comrade to give you a bunk up. It takes two moves to get up and to the hatch. It takes one move to reach up and open a back hatch from outside, if you have a comrade to give you a bunk up.

The chap stacking cabbages might hear you climbing, trying to open a hatch or walking across the roof. They roll a d6.

They hear the person on a 5 or 6

+2 on the dice if the person the person is trying to open a back hatch.

+1 on the dice if the person is walking across the roof.

-2 on the dice if the chap stacking cabbages is taking a sack of cabbages from one of the others outside.

-1 on the dice if the person climbing freezes and doesn’t move.

If the chap stacking cabbages does hear something, when the person trying to enter, you have a gun fight as both of them use what hard cover they can find to pot away at each other. Others from the third bunch of villagers can take part in the gunfight, or could instead go on the roof of the Mud Maggot and shoot at the other cultists to stop them reinforcing the fracas.


If the villagers capture the Mud Maggot and drive it away, they’ve won. Indeed they’ve even had some of their cabbages picket.

If the cultist keep control of the Mud Maggot and pick all the cabbages, they’ve won.

If you suffer 10% casualties it cannot never be more than a winning draw.


From the point of view of the villager player, the more of the village defenders who are pushed forward into the soft cover, the more cabbage pickers have to act as guards and the fewer are available to protect the Mud Maggot.

But obviously the more you push forward, the more chance you have of suffering casualties and that is bad news.

Figures etc

If you like the figures, they’re printed from files supplied by Knucklebones. If you have a printer then seriously, take a look at their website.

If you don’t have a printer, Iliada Game Studio is a merchant for Knucklebones and is selling the printed figures

Obviously the Mud Maggot is from Iliada as well.


You may have noticed that the world of Caldoom is slowly growing, mainly has Ali at Iliada has new ideas and I somehow have to fit them in. Written for Hell by Starlight rules which are available from Wargame Vault in pdf for £4

And from Amazon, on Kindle for £4, or in paperback for £9.50.

You might want to check out


Just look after this bridge.

Our scenarios often concentrate on commandos or similar who are superbly trained and have to hit and destroy a particular target during a game. But what about the poor saps on the other side? So this scenario is a solo attempt to celebrate to poor beggar who just has a job to do. Because I’m a nice chap, it’s set on the Western Front.

Dig through your scenery and find a bridge. Ideally it’s quite a long one. If you don’t have one, it might even be worth improvising something from cardboard for this scenario. It’s wide enough for two cars to cars to pass, but a lorry going one way and another lorry or a tank going in the other direction will have to slow down. If not in the middle of a town, there are undoubtedly houses on both sides of it, but the river itself could well flow through a relatively open ‘valley’ as our ancestors had the wit not to build promiscuously on the flood plain.

You have the following.

Sergeant. Veteran 2. SMG. You are a veteran. You were at Verdun, so you’re not as young as you were and you’re not entirely impressed that they asked you to come out and play in this war as well. This is you and you are supposed to be in charge, day and night.

You have two squads, one for day and one for night.


Corporal. Veteran 1. Rifle. He was at Verdun as well.

Machine gun team one.

Maschinengewehr 08 set up on one side of the bridge, (yes the gun was at Verdun as well, are we seeing a pattern here.)

Machine gunner 1 Technically in charge, he’s the one who sits and fires it. Normal 2

Machine gunner 2 He’s the one who feeds ammunition. Green 2

Machine gunner 3  He’s there to help with the other stuff. Green 2

Machine gunner 4 He’s the one needed if you move the damned thing but otherwise you can borrow him for other jobs.

Machine gun team two

Mle 1914 Hotchkiss machine gun set up on the other side of the bridge. This gun uses different ammunition to everybody else. (8mm)

Machine gunner 5 Technically in charge, he’s the one who sits and fires it. Green 2

Machine gunner 6 He’s the one who feeds ammunition. Green 2

Machine gunner 7  He’s there to help with the other stuff. Green 2

Machine gunner 8  He’s there because heavy machineguns need four crew apparently, but he’s probably spare and you can borrow him for other jobs.

Foot patrol

Corporal Normal 1, rifle

Soldier 1, Normal 1, rifle

Soldier 2, Green 2, rifle

Soldier 3, Green 2, rifle

Soldier 4, Green 1, rifle


There are six panzerfausts which you can distribute as you feel makes sense. They will be put in locations and then used by whoever happens to need them.

In the interests of simplicity, assume that both day and night shifts are identical, the one person in common is you who is responsible throughout the entire period.

You only have the two machineguns, the guns remain emplaced and the crews are changed. If you have two bunkers, use them, otherwise an improvised sandbag emplacement will be fine. And some sort of hut where the sergeant can do his paperwork and doze.

The working day and night

I suggest you assume twelve hours of daylight, just for ease. Split a pack of cards into the four suits. Black cards travel from left to right (towards the hopefully distant front) and red cards travel from right to left (away from the hopefully distant front). This will give you four decks of cards.

Hearts and Clubs are military traffic. Diamonds and Spades are civilian traffic.

Each daylight hour draw a card from each of the four decks which will give you the relative traffic flow.

As an example our morning starts with the Ace of diamonds, three of hearts, two of clubs and three of spades.

So we have not a lot of traffic at all, just a little military and civilian traffic.

Tot up the total points on the cards.

Traffic points 
Less than 20Quiet, everything is running nicely
20 to 29Manageable
30 to 39Now it’s getting busy
40 plusManic. It’s madness out there

What do points mean in actual vehicles?
This is where we come to the vexed questions of scale and time. When combat looms, it makes sense to drop into a larger scale, 15mm upwards. But I realise your collection of vehicles could be somewhat constrained. So when looking at traffic, artillery, and air attacks, I’d recommend a 6mm table on the grounds that you’ll probably be able to manage the vehicles.

So when you have to go to the wargames table, in larger scales I would suggest that at that moment there is one vehicle for every point on the card. The vehicles can be cars, trucks, APCs, military lorries, tanks, whatever. If you zoom out to a larger scale you might want two or even three vehicles to a point. That would certainly give the effect of a traffic jam. Especially if the houses are right up against the street and there isn’t a lot of room to get off the road.

How does traffic flow

At the manageable level traffic is running nicely. Even if there are heavy vehicles trying to cross there is enough space for drivers coming the other way not to enter the bridge at let them through.

When it’s busy, there is a chance that that things will sort themselves out. It’s when it gets to manic that everything is gridlocked and nobody is going anywhere.

Adding traffic points.

Each hour roll a d10

  1. Somebody with incorrect papers, add 1 traffic point.
  2. Somebody with entirely forged papers, add d6 traffic points.
  3. Junior officer lost and needs directions, add 1 traffic point
  4. Senior officer lost and needs directions, add d6 traffic points
  5. Civilian vehicle breaks down on bridge, add 3 traffic points
  6. Tank breaks down on bridge, add d10 traffic points
  7. Military unit crossing bridge is ordered to cancel crossing and cross back again, d10 traffic points
  8. Major paperwork infringement, add d6 traffic points
  9. Really major paperwork infringement, add 2d6 traffic points
  10. One of your men thought there was a problem with papers but there wasn’t, add 1 traffic point.

If the previous move was manic, add 2d6 traffic points.

Obviously you get victory points for dealing with paperwork problems. The number of traffic points they add is the number of victory points you get for sorting them out.

So once you’ve rolled the d10, add any extra traffic points and see where that leaves you. So in our early morning example where you had nine points, if you get a really major paperwork infringement, roll 2d6 and in this case get 10. So you’re only up to 19 points. The total is still less than 20 so things are still running nicely. Plenty of time to sort out the paperwork and bank 10 victory points for yourself.

Calming things down.

If it’s busy or manic your job is to calm things down. So, for example, if you’re on 35 points and you get a major paperwork problem you can just wave the chap through and ignore it. Keep traffic rolling?

You can also manage traffic. So you could stop all traffic and let military traffic going to the front through, then let military traffic coming back from the front through, and then do the civilian traffic. By definition this always upsets somebody, so you’re going to get aggravation.

If you stop military traffic, look at the point’s value on the card you have stopped. (Yes, Kings are 13) and roll more than the points total on a d10. If you stop civilian traffic, roll more than the total on a d20. If you fail, the difference between your die roll and the number you’re attempting to beat is the number of aggravation points you get.

Aggravation points can be divided into three areas. At least one must be added to the traffic points for the hour. At least one must be knocked off your victory points, at least one must go into a complaints file. Note that if there is fewer than three points, this is the order they must be allocated. But other than that, the allocation of points is entirely up to you.

The complaints file.

This is a running total, at the end of every day roll d100 and if you score less that the total in the complaints file, you’re upset somebody special and the military police arrest you. Game over.

Night time

The night shift has it easy, ask any day shift. Carry out the same performance with cards and suchlike for the 12 hours of night, but all cards count as 1, other than military court cards. These are still quite large military movements.

The Allies interfere

As you may have noticed, up until this point, there enemy is actually your own side, you don’t need Brits and Yanks turning up to make things difficult.

But we do really need to bring the proper enemy into it.

Here’s a few tables for you. Roll a d6 every hour. The event will happen, inevitably, at the most embarrassing moment during that hour.

Days 1 and 2

1, Enemy fighter bomber attacks and strafes the bridge.

2,3,4,5,6 Nothing happens

You can respond with machinegun fire. If you do shoot a plane down your complaints file is immediately emptied. The fact that the bridge might just be strewn with burning and exploding wreckage is not necessarily held against you.

All Nights

1 A single rifle shot rings out, pick a target at random. The firer is Green 3 firing from under 400 yards away with a bolt action rifle.

2,3,4,5,6 Nothing happens.

Obviously if you get the rifle shot you wake up and the night shift are fully alert (and probably in cover).

If you are now awake and in cover, roll another d6

1,2 Another rifle shot, perhaps from the same place. You might have figures placed to see it and return fire.

3,4 5 Nothing happens.

6 Somebody notices there a d6 dark figures below the bridge near one of the piers. (That’s why you have foot patrols, to be out there and see that sort of thing.) There a d6 Green 2 infantry, half with rifles, half with submachine guns. There is one more figure, Normal 3 with submachine gun and an explosive charge. Each move that figure is next to a bridge pier and is not hit or forced to move, roll a d6. This is the running total of how close he is to completing the work. When he has finished or abandoned the job roll a d20, and if he scores less than the total, the bridge is damaged. The number of points less than the total you roll is tripled and that is the number of hours the road will be closed as the engineers’ frantically work on it. Keep a track of the work, and every hour deal cards for traffic which obviously cannot cross but just keeps building up.

Note this attack only happens once.

If you’ve had this, replace it with random firefights, or trucks driven onto the bridge to be set on fire. (d3 hours to clean up)

Day 3

All civilian cards are actually travelling from right to left (yes they’re all going away from the front.) Then roll your d6

1, Enemy fighter bomber attacks and strafes the bridge.

2, The bridge is the centre of a 25pdr barrage. This is map fired to the centre of the barrage will deviate by d6 inches in any direction

3,4,5,6 Nothing happens

Day 3

There are no civilian cards.

Then roll your d6

1, Enemy fighter bomber attacks and strafes the bridge.

2, The bridge is the centre of a 25pdr barrage. This is map fired to the centre of the barrage will deviate by d6 inches in any direction

3,4 a column of d6 tanks, plus d6 lorries loaded with allied infantry comes down the road. They are very happy to open fire if they see any signs of anything hostile.

5,6 Nothing happens

Day 4

There are no cards at all.

Don’t bother rolling a d6. A column of d6 tanks, plus d6 lorries loaded with allied infantry comes down the road. It is headed by a jeep with draws up and an allied officer gets out and explains that the allied forces have crossed the river elsewhere, that the front is now behind you and if you would be kind enough to hand your weapons to his sergeant, he will arrange for a truck to take you on the start of your journey to the POW camp.


Everything for the discerning wargamer

From Wargame Vault, as a pdf, for £4

Or from Amazon, on Kindle for £4 or in paperback for £9.50

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