Battleshed Diaries

Thursday 28 May 2015

IHMN Campaign: Gunfire in the Piazza

The first battle of our inaugural In Her Majesty's Name campaign has been fought!

After all the recent skirmishes, Lord Curr's Company, Q Division - Extraordinary Affairs, have embarked on a major campaign to collect three pieces of vital intelligence they need to complete the construction of a secret Super Weapon. And the target is Victoria's Palace! Lord Curr, with a select few of his company, set off for Italy, where in a Venetian piazza they plan to intercept a courier, who by nefarious means they have learnt may have information that will lead them to the location of the missing intelligence they need.

However, Queen Victoria's extensive spy network as learnt of the maverick peers' plans, in so far as his intentions in Venice at least. What Lord Curr's wider plans are is still unknown. But whatever it is, it will surely be hostile to the Realm. His planned illegal abduction of a legitimate courier must be stopped...

The Piazza, before the battle. Lord Curr's Company approach.

Scenario set-up, objectives and rewards

Lord Curr's Company: seize the courier and return her to the deployment zone safe house. The information she carries will lead them to the missing intelligence they need to construct the Super Weapon

The Victoria Palace Company:  intercept the courier or prevent Lord Curr's men from reaching her. Do not let the information she carries into their rebel hands!

2 VPs per enemy figure taken out of action
5 VPs per enemy Leader taken out of the game
20 VPs for the Company that captures the courier and returns her to their Deployment  Zone

The Courier, Elvira Syng; Pluck 6+, FV 1, SV n/a, Speed +3, Small & Nimble (armour 10). Movement 1d10-2 random direction per turn.

Turn 1 (Initiative: VPC, The Courier, LCC)

With The Victoria Palace Company (VPC) rolling the initiative for the first turn they were in a good position to get a head start intercepting the courier, Elvira Syng, who was still in the centre of the piazza after concluding her clandestine meeting with her employer's agent. So the shotgun wielding HRH Queen Victoria led a relatively small contingent of household staff and Grenadier Guards to the shelter of  the piazza wall, aware that the outlawed maverick, Lord Curr, was also in the vicinity.

Inexplicably, Elvira decided to dally this turn, and was still at the central raised dais in the piazza, presumably deliberating on the fastest route to her destination.

This delay was an unexpected opportunity for Lord Curr's Company (LCC), assembled on both sides of a building on the opposite side of the Piazza.  Lord Curr didn't want to take any chances with this courier interdiction, so he'd brought some of his best ranged shooters and also hoped to take advantage of the Colonel's speedy electro-wheelchair. Crucially, the strongman, Mohan Singh, with his mighty machine gun was deployed from the outset with a view directly through the decorative piazza arches to the raised dais, currently occupied by the unmindful courier, whom all had expected to have departed by now.

Whilst the rest of Lord Curr's company manoeuvred towards the piazza, Mohan and one of the Incorrigibles stayed put. Taking careful aim, they fired off  a combined volley from the machine gun and military rifle, dropping the unfortunate Elvira before her mission had even started! A delighted cheer erupted from the company as Mohan's grinning face resolved from the dissipating smog of burnt black powder and steam.

Queen Victoria, meanwhile, appeared unusually frustrated and pessimistic at this opening display of firepower from her adversaries.

Turn 2 (Initiative: VPC, LCC)

With the courier prone and badly wounded in the centre of the piazza, the strategy was no longer courier interception, but courier retrieval!  This unexpected opening changed the whole dynamic of the mission, with both companies now having to risk a direct encounter if they had any chance of getting the prone courier, and her information, back to their safe house.

With the Grenadiers preparing to clamber over the piazza wall, they send one of their brothers-in-arms to scout ahead, entering the piazza through the open arches, with Bridges and Victoria positioning nearby.

With a nod, Lord Curr sends the Colonel on his way, eclectic motor whining as he zooms across the tiles, his cumbersome Congreve Rocket gun perched precariously on his lap as he ably steers the powered wheelchair. He's soon on the flank of the raised dais and, with practised ease, hand-brakes to a sliding stop. His rocket gun is already primed and, with a few witty remarks, he aims at the startled Grenadier.

With a whoosh and blooming smoke the rocket is loosed, but the Grenadiers elaborate whiskers are only singed as the projectile continues out past the arches, its demise indicated by a muffled explosion as it obliterates a flower garden somewhere beyond the piazza confines. Damn!

Moham Singh, still in position, also chances a long range shot at the forlorn Grenadier, but his chances of a hit are limited as the target is moving and partially obscured by the raised dais . He takes the shot anyway, the spray of lead from his machine gun gouging tile and stone but missing the soldier.

Turn 3 (Initiative: VPC, LCC)

The main contingent of the VPC's Grenadier Guards had by now scrambled up and over the high wall, the hours of relentless training on the assault course now actually paying off!  One decided only cold steel would quiet the wittering Colonel and ,without any sensitivities to the disabled, engaged the wheel-chair bound veteran in melee.

Her Royal Highness and Head Butler Mr. Bridges, with forward support from another Guardsman, cautiously entered the Piazza aware that her company were outnumbered by Lord Curr's men, who were using this advantage  to quickly fill the piazza and fan out, covering the approaches of the VPC.

One of the Incorrigibles runs to the centre of the raised dais and sets about lifting the unconscious Elvira. Two Incorrigibles also take a bead on the Queen, using volley fire from their Military rifles, but she luckily survives this relatively close range attack.  

Lord Curr, with an almost imperceptible command, unleashes his faithful American Wolf-dog, Dakota, who swiftly closes the short distance and pounces on the Grenadier advancing forward of Her Highness.  The Guardsman coolly defends against the ferocious, snarling  attack from Dakota, using his training to push the beast back, the wolf-dog only narrowly avoiding being bayoneted.

Queen Victoria and another Guardsman have no option but to try and take out the Incorrigible trying to lift the comatose courier before it's too late. They volley fire, the combined lead from HRH's shotgun and the Guardsman's Military rifle unfortunately miss.

Meanwhile the Colonel quickly discards the rocket gun and draws a pistol from a pocket built into the side of the electro-wheelchair. With the long blade of the Guardsman's  bayonet inches from his face he pulls the trigger but with all the noise and tumult around him the bullet only grazes the Guardsman's flapping tunic. Damn and Blast! Now desperate, its all the Colonel can do to avoid the lethal steel blade.

The Guardsman lunges, but the Colonel shifts in his seat and the blade embeds itself into the cushioned fabric and board half an inch to the side of the Colonels head! The Colonel, being a renowned pugilist back in the day grabs the Guardsman's tunic and, drawing him forth, unleashes a frantic burst of well executed punches. The Guardsman taken by complete surprise, is soon caught by a particularly nasty upper-cut to his chin and falls dazed to the ground beside the electro-wheelchair.

Turn 4 (Initiative: VPC, LCC)

With more Grenadier Guardsmen readying to attack and some clearly priming grenades, the Colonel decides he has a very important appointment elsewhere. He engages the electro-wheelchair motor once more and with practised ease escapes the piazza via a side entrance.

The unconscious courier is now awkwardly slung across the back of an Incorrigible who draws on all his strength to heavy foot away from the piazza as fast as he can manage, directly towards Lord Curr's safe hose. With the courier now in their clutches, Lord Curr's remaining men continue their rear-guard action.

One of the Grenadiers engages the red-coated Incorrigibles, Captain Smyth, in hand-to-hand, whilst Queen Victoria, in a fit of vexation decides to join her Guardsman fighting Dakota. Another Guardsman seizes an opportunity to lob a sizzling grenade right between Lord Curr, the medic Angus Remington Newel and another Incorrigible. But fortunately, as per previous encounters with Victoria's Grenadiers, the fractional moment of trouser-loosening time for the intended targets was relieved by yet another dud grenade!

Lord Curr now turns, raises his Hunting Rifle and aims at the melee involving his wolf-dog , the Guardsman and Queen Victoria. He trains his sights on Victoria, holds his breath and takes the shot.

The shot grazes past her headdress and thunks into the wall behind. Whilst Lord Curr is distracted, a second grenade lands at his feet. Again, the pause and then...nothing! Where did the Grenadiers get these dodgy grenades?!

Moham Singh, having not move from his sniping position now takes yet another long range at a Guardsman. This time the soldier his caught by the expanding spray of machine gun lead and is taken out of the action.

Angus Remington Newel, Lord Curr's company doctor, now in the thick of the fighting as he initially thought his particular services were likely to be required  by the Colonel earlier, raises his expensive and newly acquired Lancaster Patent Machine Pistol and gives a burst to the nearest Guardsman. All the bullets go wide. Damn traitor device! 

Whilst Captain Smyth is battling hand-to-hand with a Guardsman, Dakota is on the back paw. Outnumbered and dodging bayonet thrusts the wolf-dog catches a thunderous blow from Queen Victoria's shotgun, whom is using it as a improvised club. with a forlorn yelp Dakota falls to the stone floor.

Even with the consolatory immobilising of Lord Curr's mutt, Queen Victoria knows the odds are heavily stacked against her. Two of her Grenadiers are down, the courier is being rapidly carried away and her company are outnumbered and outgunned. She sounds the retreat. Not risking further injury, Captain Smyth and his opponent mutually break of their challenge and join their respective comrades exiting the piazza.

The skirmish is over. Lord Curr's men have the courier, Elvira Syng, and although she's badly wounded, her injuries will not detract them from extracting the information they need. Whatever it takes. Wherever it takes them. The construction of the Super weapon is one step closer!


ROSTER: Lord Curr's Company - Q Division - Extraordinary Affairs

LORD CURR: pluck 2+, FV3, SV3, speed 1, armour 8, points 71
Hunting Rifle, Combat knife, Lined Jacket, Leadership 2+, Fearless, Hunter, Tough
DAKOTA (American wolfdog): pluck 5+, FV3, SV-, speed 0, move 12"/18", armour 7, points 16
Big Teeth, Stealth, Tough
MOHAN SINGH: pluck 4+, FV3, SV2, speed 1, armour 8, points 36
Machine Gun, Sabre, Jack, Strongman
ANGUS REMINGTON NEWEL: pluck 5+, FV1, SV2, speed 1, armour 9, points 31
Lancaster Patent Machine Pistol (range 12", WB 1, PM -1, 1 hand)
Combat Knife, Brigantine, Medic
COLONEL HORACE F. BURN: pluck 3+, FV0, SV3, speed 0, move 12", armour 7, points 32
Congreve Rocket Gun, Pistol, Civilian clothing, Electro Wheelchair (trike), Erudite Wit
THE INCORRIGIBLES (x4): pluck 5+, FV1, SV2, speed 0, armour 9, points 16
Military Rifle, Brigantine

POST BATTLE: Dakota - full recovery, VP/XP: 24, Funds £10, Result: Win, Vital Intelligence: 1/3

ROSTER: Victoria's Palace Company 

VICTORIA: pluck 2+, FV1, SV2, speed 0, armour 9, points 45
Shotgun, Leadership +3, Inspirational, Brigandine
MR. BRIDGES: pluck 4+, FV1, SV1, speed 0, armour 8, points17
Shotgun, Stealthy, Lined Coat
CAPTAIN PATON: pluck 3+, FV4, SV4, speed 1, armour 9, points 46
Arc Pistol, Sword, Leadership +2, Brigandine
SERGEANT BLAKE:  pluck 4+, FV3, SV3, speed 0, armour 9, points 42
Knife, Bayonet, Military Rifle, Bayonet Drill, Marksman, Grenadier, Brigandine, Explosive Grenade x1
GUARDSMEN (x3): pluck 4+, FV2, SV2, speed 0, armour 9, points 33
Military Rifle, Bayonet, Bayonet Drill, Grenadier, Brigandine, Explosive Grenade x1

POST BATTLE: Guardsmen (x2) - full recovery, VP/XP: 2, Funds £15, Result: loss


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