Welcome to my blog, the story of my continuing journey into the World of Zombie Wargames.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Ned's Last Chance?

    Card cutter - for that "professional" look to your event cards.
I'm returning once more to a game I played over a month ago. The significance of this particular game was that I had taken the time to re-cut my event cards as some were either significantly longer or wider than others by up to 3mm! This meant that whilst shuffling the cards the same ones came up more frequently than chance would allow (like playing cards with a shaved deck) - mostly the bad ones ! I also used my new card cutter (that rounds off the corners to make them look 'nicer'), shown in the photograph on the right:
Rather feeble looking expedition

Famed archaeologist and failed explorer, Edward Burlington Bt. (Ned)  once more had to set off into the wilds of Jinland with a mere $117 and had to return with significantly more before I had to decide whether or not to replace him.
With this in mind, he was accompanied by Fred (Hunter), Albert (Doc.),  Ebor (Scout), Horatio (Interpreter), two Askari (one carrying a food load) and a mere nine bearers all carrying food, leaving $3 in hand.
The initial plan to go North and East around the lake just North of Jim's Landing was abandoned in favour of a two day journey North again, but West of the Lake to follow the river that had been previously found.

Once more then:
From the Journal of Frederick Cartington

"Day one and, our journey Northwards across the river went without hindrance, even the Natives were friendly.  though  they did bargain us out of our cash, for no return of food".

"Day two brought both a prize and a surprise as at dawn we found a small amount of gold glittering in the morning sun but were later challenged by a not too friendly group of slavers.Their musketry proved inadequate for their chances of victory and of course we prevailed.
The slavers (with hidden rifles), one more interested in the camera than the column!

Let the shooting commence!
Two out of four shots hit  - the column is winning!
Two for no reply, then two more and they were off!
"Day three and the drums from the previous evening seemed to have scared one of our bearers off, coincidentally he was also the one carrying our gold loot! "

"Over the next several days, a combination of bad food, water animal attacks and natives snares and snake pits, cost us two food bearers and both our Askari. We had discovered the source of the 'river', a  large stream cascading down into the swamp sourced by the mountain.
The depleted column, two bearers carrying stricken Ebor
"The rest of the journey home was beset by hunger as all our food reserves were gone, and although I did manage to bring sustenance on two occasions, Ebor, huge man that he is needed carrying for want of food."

"Our return to Jim's landing was somewhat underwhelming and though we had found a new dinosaur species' fossil and yet more new animal species, it was a windstorm (costing the life of a bearer shortly before Jim's landing was in sight, that dampened our spirits"
Ned's route

So had the expedition been a success and would Ned be able to undertake another ?
 Well, the simple answer is yes! The points (cash) scored were substantially beyond his starting expenditure of $117, he now had $249 to spend on another expedition - no need for a new leader!

On a personal note, this adventure  (and the next) were both a consequence of my gaming a real opponent.

In other news, my wife is now home, after a successful hip operation and now requires care and rest, thank you for all your thoughts. It's exhausting work looking after her so not much time left for hobby-stuff, but it'll be OK ib a few weeks and I'll soon get back to being my normal lethargic, unenthusiastic self.

That's it then for another week thanks for taking the time to visit and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Ben's second Adventure

Having been stuck in place by fog, they immediately faced hostile tribals
This is the second adventure in Jimland I've had with a living, breathing opponent and is a follow on from last week's post as Ben (Benoic) having had his first expedition slaughtered, started a second expedition that incorporated the only survivor from the first.
So with three new explorers, six Askari and ten bearers (all loaded down with food), they set of for pastures new.
Here follows a brief report on their exploits.

Hand to hand action everywhere
The natives were no match for the explorers and easily dealt with.
Day 2, more action!
The second action was a very confused affair as I tried "surrounding" the column.
Eight Natives, four rifles and four hand weapons came from North and South.
(Most of the terrain was placed by the explorers)
 A scorpion appeared....
...but soon departed.
Two native rifles took up their positions in cover
Everyone flees to cover or safety
Brave explorer taking on a native in melee
Brave, but foolish.
Elsewhere, there were successes though.
Finally the native resolve was broken.
Final situation (play spot the Native)
With two hostile encounters on the first two days and with an explorer and two Askari lost,  the expedition carried on for another eleven days before successfully returning to Jimland. Along the way they made the usual discoveries , got lost in swamps and such-like but no further hostile encounters took place.

We had played, with only a slight ten minute break, for about four hours and the time went very swiftly.
Playing as the natives was fun, but far more difficult than  I'd envisaged as my human opponent's terrain placement was far different than I'd expected.

Even though I've enjoyed playing solo, playing with an opponent was a far more rewarding experience and one I hope I'll have again soon.

In other news, time has been of the essence in this last week as real-life has eaten most of what I have had, leaving me very tired and lethargic, so sorry if my comments on any blog posts has been brief or missed! I can't see it get any better this week as more hospital and clinic visits are imminent too and hobby-related activities have taken a back-seat.

That's it then for this week, thanks for taking the time to visit and as always,  your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Adventuring with Ben

I was lucky enough to entice my mate Benoic (Ben for short) into visiting me for a game of something or other and as I had "Jimland" all ready to go he chose to chance his luck in the depths of adventure.
Ben had read a couple of my own adventures, so had a general understanding of the rules and plumped initially for a three man party, led by a prospector, "Edward Winsor" (he chose to name his characters, as mine, from the streets where he had lived in the south).
So with $317 in hand he led an expedition of three explorers, the leader (Prospector), a Scout (John Coalway) and a Hunter (Mark Phillips), a soldier, five Askari and nine bearers (all laden down with food), he set of along the south-east coast from Jim's Landing into "Terra Incognito"
So rather than give a blow-by-blow account of his adventure , as I have done, here is a picture account of his first expedition.

 Through, heat, an animal attack, a mysterious disappearance and a poisoned plant, the column is swiftly depleted after a mere three days."
The depleted column, after a mere four days!
The first encounter in the swamps! (three pygmies bottom centre left)
and more unfriendly pygmies to their rear (bottom right)
The column prepares to fend off the upcoming attack.
The natives close in on the column
...from both directions
The swamp may be their saviour
The familiar sight of bearers seeking safety.
The rear firing line, as the pygmies keep coming.
One pygmy bites the dust (erm, swamp?) and a wandering croc is wounded, whilst hand to hand fighting breaks out (top centre)
Slaughter everywhere, but the pygmies are reduced to 50%
Only the Hunter a an Askari survived the debacle in the swamp, but could things get worse ?
Well, yes they did, the Askari was found to have fled the next day having heard drums in the night!
After being lost in the swamp,  on his way home the now leader of the expedition and sole survivor, John Coalway successfully made his way home.
John Coalway's route
So with his return to Jim's landing, his less-than-successful adventure was over, but Ben had seemingly thoroughly enjoyed it., so much so that he wanted to undertake another adventure immediately. (which, of course, I was happy enough to do

So that's it then for this week, needless to say I had fun playing against a real-life opponent as the natives and I'll report of Ben's second adventure in Jimland next week.

Thanks for taking the time to visit and as always your thoughts,  questions and comments and greatly appreciated and welcomed.

Monday, 23 July 2018

Pirate Treasure Hunt (Part 2)

Where the yellow and cyan lines cross, marks the spot to dig for treasure..
In my last post my Pirate crew were headed towards their objective of a treasure site and as it wasn't completely obvious how and why they had the objective, here's a more detailed explanation.
Mt crew were following two clues, "the Treasure lies in a line East-West of the Monkey God" and "the Treasure lies in a line North-South of the Cairn" (from the two clue cards I drew).
The photograph on the right shows where the treasure could lie, from the first clue card about the Monkey God in yellow).
In light blue is where the treasure could lie in respect of the second clue, about the cairn.
Where these two lines intersect will be where the treasure must be,
The crew triggering another Event.

My crew were headed eastwards towards the rough ground, just north of the Cairn where the treasure lay.
Another  Event card had to be drawn

These were predetermined as being only spear armed.

So my crew had a fight on their hands, it just remained to determine where the Natives were (16 inches a random direction from the centre of the square).
"Great, they're behind us!"
"Great, we're behind them"
So the next bit should have been easy, a quick in-sight test (I was using my version of THW rules), charging, shooting and hand-to hand, reaction test etc.
Unfortunately I'd all bu  forgotten how THW rules work (and the odd times when they don't !).
In this situation I had two crew facing rearwards with pistols, so were out of range.
I threw for initiative. which according to the rules, if the Pirates win then they duck back, they are out of charge range and pistol range of the natives.

The Natives on the other hand, if they lose the initiative, must also duck back!This certainly needed looking at.
The fight starts
Moving on, the Natives won the initiative and charged the pirates, the pirates go their two pistols shots off, before being enveloped in Natives spear.
 After the crew reacted and joined in. one pirate had been forced back and one killed as well as one native.
Two more natives and another pirate fall
 After two rounds of melee the Natives morale failed them and they fled the scene, allowing the pirates to carry on eastwards toward the rocky outcrop (and yet another Event)
The first mate (bottom left) fells the Natives' Leader.
Onwards towards the treasure site and another Event...

...which was the Shamanic Beads, to be given to Umbopa, if encountered
The event turned out to be an item, which helps in the interaction with a character.
The a counter is put on both the card and the character that has it.
Captain has the beads and two crew dig up the Treasure.
So there can't be any events as I don't move from this place until the treasure was dug up.
Once dug up, I needed to dig out some treasure chests (one of the many things I forgot)
Luckily I had some half-finished chests  handy
And of course, with the treasure came two new clues.
The treasure has to be in the Lonely Grave!
Cross-referencing the Lonely Grave East-West line (it's on the top row), with its North-South line, means the treasure is in the Lonely grave.
We set off westwards, to the column the Grave is in , then Northwards, meaning we would have three more Events before we could dig up the treasure!

West, to where the crew had just come from...
...then North towards the Lonely grave, triggering a new Event.
Another item
Another item, another pair of counters (blue this time)
Moving North to the sallbit of jungle and yet another event...
Yet another Item (yawn)
Through the jungle...
and out the other side to...
...the Lonely Grave  and another Event.

The Event turns out good for us.
 A quick "meet and greet" later and my smooth-talking captain convinced the woman to help us read the runes on "Lookout Rock" (with the aid of the flowers she'd obviously just dropped in the forest).
 We dug the treasure up, and backtracked with the woman south, then west towards "Lookout Rock"
"Yo ho HO etc."
With just the Captain and 1st mate not carrying any treasure, our journey to "Lookout Rock" was merely for curiosity.
The runes were read and the treasure too far for us to contemplate going for - there were after all, three groups of natives out there still to be encountered!
Walking over ground we'd previously trodden meant we'd get no more Events and so I called the game there and then.
The idea had worked, but would have been far better of course with two or more crews. Eight crew was probably not enough to get two treasures and fight the natives and another crew (or two!)

So, what can I conclude from this venture ?
Firstly the game worked as proof of concept, the cards etc. worked fine and as expected.
The Event cards, which were really an afterthought, worked but need a little more thought as they were put in place to substitute for another pirate crew. They could of course be put into a stack and drawn each turn, perhaps on the result of a die roll, thus not having the ;safe; avenue of retreat ?
My smoke markers for those that need to load their weapon.
The size  of force and forces to be met, need tweaking and I should really sort out rule interpretations as the THW rules didn't really cut it, despite my best efforts.
Having all the relevant bit to hand would have helped - how do you signify when a figure has fired and needs to reload before he shoots again ? I used some cotton wool 'smoke' on 1cm square bases (re-purposed) and two can be seen in use in one or two of the photos above.
 Finally would I play this again?
I would, but I would like an opponent and would have to have  simplified rules.

My latest acquisition - for about £6 from Hobby Craft
I've also acquired this :

It's a card cutter, that puts those neat rounded corners on cards.
The more observant amongst you will see that the 'used' cards have rounded corners whilst those still to be drawn have not.
As the cards were laid out before I purchased this I cut them as they were drawn.
 As an aside, I've also re-cut all my "Jimland" cards and rounded their corners too - with some not-too surprising results, which will be explained in more detail in the future.

So that's it for this this week's post, one which should have been posted on Friday last, but like many others real-life reared its ugly head and thwarted my best efforts to post, despite being 90% finished! (the dog ate my homework too).

Thanks for taking the time to read and as always, your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.