Continuing our preparations before embarking on a In Her Majesty's Name campaign, Arabianknight and I played through another test game using the 'Catch the Pigeon' scenario and the 'Pea Soup' scenario 'complication' from the core rulebook. We both deployed 350 points from our respective companies, Lord Curr's Q Division and the Victoria Palace Company, which allowed us to experiment with new characters - especially me, as Prof. D. Belfry Chuffnell III made his debut at the controls of his Johnson Mk. XII 'Cherokee' Light Military Walker, armed with a rather overstated Steam Fist and a water-cooled machine gun!
An experimental magneto-electric automaton 'courier' is having some difficulty navigating its way through a fog shrouded wood. It's carrying a vital message as well as being a valuable technological marvel itself. Both the shotgun-toting Her Royal Highness, Queen Victoria and the maverick, Lord Curr, have got wind of this marvel in the woods and have set off with their companies to intercept the courier...
The 'Catch the Pigeon' scenario was adapted due to all available courier pigeons being overdue and last spotted heading towards France. Damn traitors! So Arabianknight rustled up an 'automaton' from his extensive miniature menagerie. The automaton would start the scenario in the centre of the woods and at the beginning of each turn it would move 1d10-2" in a random direction. Companies can capture it by moving into b2b contact and returning it to their deployment point or by destroying it. VPs are allocated for automaton capture, kill or enemies killed.
To make things more challenging, the Pea Soup scenario complication had a dense fog descending over the area. At the beginning of each turn the visibility would be determined by the sum of 2d10 in inches, with no figures being able to fire over this distance - as they can't see anything! A roll of double 1 or 10 lifts the fog.
It decided to quickly advance upon Her Highnesses' group, raising its Steam Fist and engaging the rotating feed drums for its water-cooled machine gun, confident that this advanced military hardware would soon make mincemeat of the Royalists.
Military Walker was destroyed before it even got a chance to use its weapons!
Incensed, Gunnery sergeant Hamo Curren-Saul was having none of this. He raised his Arc Rifle, sighted on the smirking Queen Victoria, steadied his breath and flicked the trigger switch. Another jet of white-hot energy blasted the royal personage, her voluminous folds of dress-armour useless against the arc fire. Queen Victoria was dead. Long live the Queen! Her stunned retinue managed to recover enough to exchange fire with the nearby Incorrigibles but their shots went wide, with one of the Grenadier Guardsmen being take out by a keen-eyed response from one of Lord Curr's men.
Turns 6-7 A couple of rounds of frantic shooting followed, with casualties on both sides, particularly with a sharp exchange of rifles between Lord Curr and the flanking household militia. Indeed, Lord Curr was keen to let his wolf-dog, Dakota, off the leash but decided the bayoneted enemy were too dangerous for this excitedly growling companion. By now, Captain Percival Smyth and the automaton
were nearing their exit point, with a scorched, sooty and cursing professor Chuffnell not far behind. The odds were now stacked against the Victoria Palace Company, their losses mounting and any chance of victory well gone as night and the thick mist quickly descended to again shroud the woods, ending the engagement.
A thoroughly enjoyable game, with a simple but fun scenario with our respective companies put through their paces. It's the first time I've deployed a Military Walker, and thank goodness I did as part of a test game before any campaign! Note to self - ware bloody arc weapons!
I used the Figure Reference card system, based on the ones available from The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare; these proved to be very useful, with all my character's information and modified stats contained within individual cards. I will definitely be using these for the forthcoming campaign.