Thursday, 16 April 2015

Lord Curr in the Company of Victoria's Palace



Last year, possibly even the year before, Arabianknight and I discussed running an 'In Her Majesty's Name' campaign. And now, finally, we are on the cusp of that proposition. The Companies are painted and campaign planning is afoot.

Over the last few months my painting table has been occupied with seventeen miniatures from various sources that I committed to painting before I embarked on an IHMN campaign. Only one is still being 'kitted out', Prof. D. Belfry Chuffnell and his Johnson MK XII Cherokee 'Walker', but the professor will be ready by the time the campaign is launched.

I've used the existing 'Lord Curr's' roster from the main IHMN rulebook as the core of my Company, embellished with a few characters of my own invention which will no doubt expand as the forthcoming campaign plays out. I want the theme for this version of Lord Curr's Company to be a specialist section, concentrating on the experiment and demonstration of new technologies and theories - hence the 'Q Division' bit. And it gives me a great excuse to source ever more exotic Steampunk miniatures!

And so the Battleshed hosted the first preliminary battle with my newly commissioned 'Lord Curr'sCompany - Q Division, Extraordinary Affairs'. For their inaugural skirmish they were up against Arabianknight's 'Victoria's Palace Company', as play-test to reacquaint ourselves with the rules and to experiment with our newly formed factions. I set out a basic scenario, capture one or both of the objectives - an arc generator and chemical dump - and whoever had the most characters in base contact with the objectives by the end of play wins.

Well, that was the plan anyway! As it happens, especially when Arabianknight and I have missed a week or so of our regular weekly gaming due to the ever present distractions of 'real life', a good proportion of our allotted gaming time was spent in enthusiastic banter and rule-book thumbing. So much so that the planned objectives became almost a distraction whilst we ruminated on the various phases of the game and the equipment options for our companies. So this is less a battle report, more a prologue to many IHMN battles to come!

We both deployed our companies in on opposite sides of the graveyard, with the arc generator being the nearest objective in the centre of the town. However Colonel Horace F. Burn from Lord Curr's Company had a cunning plan, and so immediately engaged his electro-wheelchair to swiftly whirred off towards the distant chemical dump, "Those blithering servants of Victoria won't be getting their hands on that prize!"

It soon became evident that the graveyard itself would become the focus of the skirmish, as the Victoria Palace Company inelegantly scrambled a contingent of weaponised Household Staff over the graveyard wall. Not to be outdone, Lord Curr, with his American Wolfdog, Dakota, kept firmly on the leash, ordered some of his 'Incorrigibles' to intercept, with backup from the Arc rifle wielding Gunnery Sergeant Hamo Curren-Saul and Mad Mick McFarlane with his assortment of grenades.

Meanwhile some of Victoria's bayonet armed Grenadier Guardsman flanked to ready themselves for a dash towards the arc generator. Once again Lord Curr spotted this development and manoeuvred some of his Incorrigibles to ready their military rifles. not to be outdone, Mohan Singh confidently strolled into position, nonchalantly pointing his new-fangled machine gun in the general direction of the enemy.

But it was one of the Incorrigibles that started proceeding with a speculative long-range shot through the arched window of the ruined church at the red-coated Guardsmen dashing behind. He missed. But not by much.

The skirmish then mostly proceed with a number of desperate shots as the Incorrigibles and Victoria's Household Staff closed with one another in the graveyard. It was going to get physical real soon! One of Victoria's retainers, Groundskeeper William, did relinquish the cover of the tall graveyard wall to chance a shot at Mohan Singh, but to no avail. Incensed at the impertinence of it, Mohan unleashed his machine gun. The unfortunate henchman was riddled with holes and went down before he could even make a sound.

Victoria's House Staff had closed with the Incorrigibles, Mrs Bridges the Cook battering poor Incorrigible Cornwallis Ganon to unconsciousness with a rolling pin. Gunnery Sgt. Hamo had by now managed to get himself and his cumbersome arc rifle over the wall and sighted on an approaching maid Agnes. With a soft click the weapon vibrated and hummed before quickly escalating into a metallic whine. The arc weapon fired its charge directly at the maid. Nothing happened. "Damn treacherous machine!"

By now we were running out of time and having run through all the main phases of the game we called a retreat. This was a wonderfully fun and thematic return to In Her Majesty's Name.  We're both eagerly looking forward to starting a full blown campaign in the next couple of weeks. There is so much scope for invention and adventure with this ruleset. Who knows what mechanical marvels, exotic lands and unscrupulous adversaries will be revealed as the Companies sally forth!