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Battlefield Salvage

We all know about fighting battles, it’s what wargamers do best. But what about tidying up the battlefield afterwards? Some of this equipment can be fixed and returned to service. At the very least some can be broken for spares. But it’s not just that, at the moment decent steel is £1,300 per ton. A serious heavy tank could be worth well over £120k cashed in over the scales for metal weight alone. Not bad if you can just hitch a couple of industrial tractors to it.

The town of Silsburg has been fought over and finally the front has moved on. A small garrison were left behind by the advancing Confederacy to maintain order and to protect stores which were stockpiled there during the fighting. There is also a knocked out heavy tank which they’re keeping an eye on.
Finally you arrive with a salvage team to collect the tank and other stores. As far as you know the garrison is to provide you with security.

Unfortunately no sooner do you arrive than the Captain in charge waves a casual arm at the various piles of stuff and says, “It’s all yours, Bud.” With that he climbs into the lead APC and leads his force out of town.

This shouldn’t be a problem, the front is a hundred miles away now, but even as you assess the situation you are certain that you’re being watched. Here is a 6mm (or if you’ve got suitable figures) a 15mm scenario for Hellfire.

The potentially hostile parties.

The Silsburg militia

As forces fought their way backwards and forwards, that part of the population of Silsburg who didn’t get a chance to flee, hid. They would creep out at night or during the quiet times to forage for food and water. Battlefields being what they are, they picked up quite a bit of military equipment and have used it since to stop the scavenger gangs that try creeping into the town at night.

They are armed with a mixture of energy rifles. None of them wear any armour, but because this is their town and they’ve been slinking round it trying not to be seen for some time, they count as ‘gone to ground’ even when moving.

There eight groups of them, each eight bases strong.

Reaction 2,3,2,2,1,2,1,2 15pts

Their aim is to hold the town and to keep any food and fuel in the supply stockpiles.

They also have a group of porters, unarmed, ten bases strong, which will strip the stockpiles and carry the supplies to safety in the buildings.

Brattan’s Boys.

A mixture of deserters from various units and from both sides, they have survived by scavenging. They are armed with a miscellany of energy rifles, and their force has four crew served energy weapons they’ve managed to keep working. These are mounted in four of their trucks.

There are eight groups of them, each six bases strong.

Reaction 3,3,2,1,1,2,1,2 15pts

They advance on foot but they have ten trucks. These are to cart away any supplies they find. Note that the trucks were stolen from Tango’s Heavy Haulage, Battan ambushed a convoy of his and massacred the crews so Tango probably doesn’t know who has them. But if he sees them he will know and will not be happy.

Battan’s objective is to both seize stockpiles, but also to sack some of the tower blocks because there will be food in there as well.

Tango’s Heavy Haulage.

Tango is a reasonable respectable scrap merchant (amongst other things.) He’s turned up with trailers, tow trucks and similar. He has five groups, each six bases strong, each with a tow truck, and lorries and trailers. The six bases can ride in on the trailers and in the lorries but they don’t get any cover if anybody opens up on them. Each tow truck has a crew served energy weapon for defence.

His men are armed with energy rifles, ablat armour.

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

If Tango sees the trucks that Brattan’s Boys are using, he’ll see red and attack to get them back.

Otherwise he’s here for the disabled tank and any of the stores he can collect.

The Recovery team

You have one large recovery vehicle, one medium recovery vehicle, and two small recovery vehicles. The vehicles count only as improvised armour. Each vehicle has a crew of one base. They work the vehicles and each vehicle has a crew served energy weapon.

Reaction 3,3,3,3,2,3,2,2  21pts.

You also have a security company. This consists of eight bases with ablat armour and energy rifles.

Reaction 3,3,3,3,2,3,2,2  21pts.

You have to get the tank, any other stores are a pure bonus.

Things to put on the table.

Obviously it depends entirely what you’ve got. Also I have no doubt people can improvise and scratch build.

But for the stockpiles, Perfect Six Miniatures produce oil drums, jerry cans, crates and similar.

For Battan’s Boys, assuming they’ve gone to seed a bit since they were in regular units, you might like to look at Microworld Games, Citizenry of the Wastelands.

For Tango and his crew, it could be worth going through various ranges looking for equipment.

Brigade have their Wrenchmobile

Shapeways have a heavy towing vehicle at
It’s the Soviet “AT-T” artillery towing heavy vehicle based on a T54 chassis. Other companies have all sorts of towing vehicles in their WW2 and Modern ranges which are worth a look.

For the Recovery team vehicles I was much taken by some Iliada Game Studio has produced. He has a mobile workshop, utility raft, and a ‘fixer’ which are all worth a look.

The wargames table.

I suggest a central ‘square’ where the tank and stockpiles are located. The player who has the The Silsburg militia decides which buildings his people are defending. Then outside that central square put enough buildings and miscellaneous terrain to keep things cluttered.


How does the game last and how long does it take for things to happen? Well I assume a table that is about six feet by four. But the main part of the timing is decided by the recovery team.

The game starts on move 1 with the militia already in place, the recovery team landing their vehicles next to the tank, and Tango and Battan’s first figures being placed on opposite table edges.

Then as the game progresses

  • Each move the recovery team rolls a d6. On a 6 they have got the tank safe to transport. This means there are no live rounds jammed in the barrel or the fuel cells aren’t split and leaking highly inflammable substances. You can drag it onto the heavy recovery vehicle without worrying about it exploding.
  • Then as you try to load it, roll 2d6 per move. On 10, 11 or 12, it is loading and will be loaded next turn. But if you get an even number, 11 or 12, you’ll need the assistance of the light vehicles to achieve this. For each light (or medium) vehicle assisting) roll a d6. When your total is ten or more, they’ve deal with the issue and next move the tank has slid safely into place.
  • Finally, there is one move of strapping it down.
  • After that you can leave. Because you are fully loaded it takes three moves of climbing to get out of range of small arms and crew served weapons.

Playing the game

It’s best played by up to four players. At the start of the game it’s obvious that the Recovery Team cannot succeed unless they ally with one of the other factions. Realistically the Recovery team and the Silsburg militia should be able to work together. One takes the tank, the other takes the rest. There could be some tense moments towards the end should the Recovery Team bug out with the tank and leave the Militia in the lurch. Battan and Tango will get on perfectly well, until Tango spots the trucks. At that point he’ll declare war on Battan for massacring his people.

Playing Solo

Here the solo player takes the role of the Recovery team and the Silsburg Militia. Tango and Battan can come on opposite sides of the table. The reaction system with Hellfire means that you’ll soon lose control of them anyway, and the little issue of the trucks means that they’re not going to work together. But even as they fight, they’ll still try and get the stores and tank.


If you don’t know Hellfire rules, they’re available from Wargame Vault for £4 as a pdf

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

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