Battleshed Diaries

Wednesday 11 November 2015

IHMN Campaign: The Inventor's House

The penultimate battle of our In Her Majesty's Name campaign. 

Brace yourself, this is going to be long and messy!

It's a hot day in the park in the small town of Sintra, nestled in the foothills of Portugal’s Sintra Mountains, near the capital of Lisbon. Many of the locals are enjoying the cool ornamental fountains and the shade of the tall trees. Others are enjoying the entertainers or taking a stroll amongst the delightfully maintained formal gardens. Overlooking the park is the walled Casa Ciência belonging to the inventor and business consultant, Duarte Cavaco, a specialist in chemical propulsion technology.

It was at a fundraising Grand Ball in Geneva a month earlier, hosted by the banker Lambert Trémaux, that Lady Felicity and the Afrikaans Incorrigible, Luuk Hoetjer, were tipped off that Cavaco may be a useful contractor for The Company's plans to progress the development of the Super Weapon. It was also at the ball that the British double agent, Elvira Syng, was shockingly discovered on the arm of Lord Curr's erstwhile friend and ally, Csong Bolayi.

Lord Curr decided to follow up on the tip-off but he is convinced that the main entrance to Casa Ciência is been watched - either by agents of the British Royalists or the Hungarian polymath, Csongor Bolyai. He is suspecting spies everywhere. Paranoia is stalking Lord Curr's Company.

For the complete campaign back story and to find out the story between battles I recommend you visit my campaign page before continuing.

But if you wish to just get straight to the battle report then read on...

Landscape:  The City Park

Scenario: King of the Hill (Casa Ciência). Both companies deploy on opposite sides of the battlefield, closest to the furthest edge from Casa Ciência.

Lord Curr's Company objective is to traverse the city park and reach the inventor's house. Once there, at least one character must spend a single, complete turn B2B with the house to contract with Duarte Cavaco, and at least one member then must return to the deployment area to be successful.

The Victoria Palace Company's objective is to stop Lord Curr's company at any cost!

Casa Ciência, Portuguese home of the inventor and business consultant, Duarte Cavaco.

Scenario Complication 1: Collateral Damage [modified]
There will be many civilians enjoying the pleasures of the city park. If any shooting trajectory passes within 1" of a civilian, they will scatter 6" in a random direction. If a company accidentally kills 3 or more, they will have lost the game regardless of any VPs

Scenario Complication 2:  The Authorities. [modified]
By the end of turn 4, the local Guarda Nacional Republicana (the rozzers!) has arrived after reports of criminal behaviour in the local park.  They will arrive at random table edge and, moving towards the centre of town, will attempt to arrest the nearest figures. They will continue until the game ends or no figures remain. They have the Tough talent.  Any figures they take down will be considered to be unconscious, not dead, and handcuffed.

Victory Points & Funds:
2 VPs for each enemy figure taken out of the game
5 VPs per enemy Leader taken out of the game
20 VPs for any recovered documents that prove to be useful (5-6 on a D6)
Company win, D3x10 £s
Company lose, D3x5 £s

Game length: 2 hours

Scenery: provided by my opponent, the talented Sam Pate of Wee Blokes!

Turn one - Lord Curr's Company (LCC) has the Initiative

LCC: Lord Curr's small group enter the park using a side entrance at the opposite end from Casa Ciência. He plans to split the group and mingle casually with the locals as they make their way towards the objective.

Lord Curr, with Dakota tight on the leash, leads Mohan Singh, Dr. Newell and the young Incorrigible Murray Straw in the general direction of the ornamental garden dominating the centre of the park. 

Lady Felicity, limping slightly from her exploits at the Grand Ball and with a small scar visible on her cheek, despite heavy application of mascara, leads the Incorrigibles Burton Cartwright and Captain Smyth in a more direct route, although using the cover of the buildings lining the park.

VPC: At the opposite side entrance, Victoria's Palace Company also deploy into the park after Elvira Syng has revealed Lord Curr's intentions. Queen Victoria wisely decided it would be rather pointless to attempt to appear inconspicuous with a party consisting of Household Staff, a contingent of Grenadier Guards and a mounted tricycle team with a hidden Gatling gun!

The British Mounted Tricycle Gun Team!
LCC: It is not long before Lord Curr detects the red-jacketed tricycle team quickly pedalling into the park, to the delight of the local onlookers. After a quick scan through his Monocular Targeting Array, he also spots the rest of the British company deploying. 
 'Damn and blast! This going to get ugly, fast! Murray, use your rifle. Scatter some of those locals!'
Murray uses his Military Rifle to fire over the head of the nearest civilian, panicking the unfortunate individual. 

Turn two - Victoria's Palace Company (VPC) has the Initiative

VPC:  The Royalist forces continue to deploy with a contingent of Guardsmen heading straight for the large ornamental fountain in the centre of the park, others are sent to intercept Lord Curr.

Queen Victoria, Mr. Bridges and Sir James Reid head towards Casa Ciência whilst Groundskeeper William looks for a suitable sniping position from one of the nearby buildings. 

The Tricycle Mounted Gun Team, with its elevated line of sight, frantically pedal to take up a commanding position covering both Casa Ciência and the general park environs.

Victoria's Palace Company deploy
LCC: Lord Curr spots Captain Paton and a British Rifleman assembling near a park bench and tries to find a clear line of fire between a nearby copse and the low hedgerows. Mohan Singh flanks around a building to find a line of fire onto the duo but the damn civilians are running all over the place! Murray Straw joins a small group of civilians nearby hoping to use them a tactical advantage to get closer to the Guardsmen.  

Lady Felicity and Burton Cartwright dash between two large buildings on the park's periphery, whilst Captain Smyth uses the cover of another bench to cover the centre of the park.

[Top, in distance] Lady Felicity and Burton Cartwright dash between buildings
VPC: The Guardsmen near Lord Curr don't have a clear line of sight so one of the soldiers uses his Military rifle to shoot in Lord Curr's general direction, scattering yet more civilians. It appears both sides are using civilians for tactical advantage!

LCC: Lord Curr fires his Hunting Rifle at the Guardsmen crouching behind the park bench but the shot only manages to splinter the woodwork.

VPC: The Guardsman atop the tricycle has a good view across the low shrubbery and hedgerows of the ornamental gardens and soon spots the red jacket of Captain Smyth. 

He quickly unties the canvas sheet covering the Gatling gun and sights across the park. The multiple barrels spin and the Gatling gun opens up, clumps of lawn and shredded shrubbery sent flying as the rounds smash into the area around Captain Smyth. The wooden bench he's using as cover is badly splintered but, miraculously, he isn't hit!

Turn three - Victoria's Palace Company (VPC) has the Initiative

VPC: A couple of Guardsmen led by Sergeant Blake are now ensconced behind the relatively good cover of the large fountain in the centre of the park, dubbed the 'Citadel' by Lord Curr's Company. They have a commanding position, now able to support their colleagues on all flanks.

The 'Citadel'
LCC: Lord Curr knows he has to clear out Captain Paton and the Rifleman before their colleagues can support. Time is short. Pointing at the Rifleman, he unleashes Dakota. The snarling wolf-dog eagerly bounds over the gardens, leaps over the bench and lands between the two startled British soldiers. Dakota charges the Rifleman.

Mohan Singh is still desperately trying to support Lord Curr and recklessly decides to leave the cover of a building to re-position, unaware of the Guardsmen now in the Citadel!

Dr. Newel is close on the heels of Murray Straw, both attempting to come to the aid of Dakota. From past experience, they are anxiously aware what Captain Paton can do with his sabre. As does Lord Curr, who kneels down, taking aim.

VPC: The hulking form of the strongman, Mohan Singh, in his bright native clothing and hefting a large machine gun provides an easy target for a Grenadier Guardsman in the Citadel. Using the cool stone of the fountain to support his Military rifle, he takes careful aim and squeezes the trigger.

The rifle kicks and almost instantaneously there is a loud crack. Mohan Singh continues to break cover for a couple of seconds, then stumbles. He pauses and with a look of complete surprise, he slowly crumples to the floor with a sickening thud, the machine gun clattering on the stone pavement. A bright pool blood slowly congeals around his twitching body.

Mohan Singh, gunned down!
LCC: Lord Curr aims for Captain Paton, who is drawing his sabre to aid the Rifleman, He squeezes the trigger of his Hunting rifle. The shot grazes Captain Paton's cheek but goes wide, smashing into a hedgerow. He's missed! Dakota is in imminent danger unless Murray or Newell can arrive in time!

VPC: Captain Paton quickly recovers from the near miss from Lord Curr's shot. He turns towards Dakota who is baying and snarling at the Rifleman, desperately trying to fend off the vicious beast by using his rifle as an improvised club. With a cry of 'For the Queen and Country!' he slashes the razor sharp blade at Dakota, cutting a vivid red wound across the animal's thigh and hind legs. 

Dakota howls in pain and turns towards this new threat and lunges in rage. Right onto the Captain's outstretched sword. Dakota's howl is suddenly cut off as they both fall to the floor. Captain Paton hastily scrambles from underneath the heavy, twitching beast, covered in blood and mucus. The sabre has pierced Dakota's heart.
The wolf-dog, Dakota.

Turn four - Lord Curr's Company (LCC) has the Initiative

With all the shouts, screams and gunfire echoing amongst Sintra's buildings, it's not long before the Guarda Nacional Republicana arrive on the scene. They enter from a side road flanked by the walls of Casa Ciência and a residential building - right behind the British tricycle mounted gun team.

[Top, left] The Portuguese rozzers arrive, the Guarda Nacional Republicana
LCC: Lady Felicity and Burton Cartwright have reached an alleyway between the tall brick wall of Casa Ciência and a local residence. They can see Casa Ciência 's main gate; and casually leaning within the shelter of its stone arch is Elvira Syng!

In rage, Lady Felicity unholsters her pistols and starts to run at her nemesis. Burton Cartwright realises the danger of Lady Felicity being enfiladed by both the advancing Queen Victoria and her retinue and the tricycle team. He grabs her arm and roughly pulls her back into the alley just in time.

Captain Smyth has gained entry to the residence (he kicked in the back door) and has taken up a position at a window overlooking the park and the advancing Royalist forces.

VPC: Captain Paton, his blood up having skewered poor Dakota, raises is blood-dripping sabre and charges Lord Curr.

Sergeant Blake leads his Guardsmen at a run from the Citadel and intercepts Dr. Newell as the medic starts to aim his Lancaster patent machine pistol at the Rifleman. The Doctor, enraged by the vicious slaying of Dakota doesn't see that danger and finds himself surrounded by the Guardsmen's long, bayoneted rifles.

Dr. Angus Remington-Newell in a tight spot!
LCC: Desperately trying to hold back Lady Felicity, Burton Cartwright strains to raise his rifle with one arm and aim across the gardens to the British tricycle team. He chances a shot, the bullet ricocheting off a front wheel and hitting the driver, who slumps unconscious in his seat. But the gunner is unharmed.

VPC: The tricycle gunner mistakes Cartwright's shot as coming from Captain Smyth, partially obscured behind the wide window of a building across the park. He again opens up with the Gatling gun, rounds smashing into the window, sending up a crescendo of brick, woodwork and flying shards of glass. Captain Smyth is blasted backwards across the room; his uniform riddled with multiple, smoking entry wounds.

Captain Smyth at the wrong end of a Gatling gun
Groundskeeper William, who's proved to be handy with a Military rifle, tales a long range bead on the unmistakable figure of Lady Felicity in some sort of argument with her comrade at the head of an alley. From his position high in a building opposite he aims, grins and then takes the shot. It misses. The bullet thunking into Casa Ciência's wall just behind Lady Felicity.  

One of the British Guardsman lunges at Dr. Newell with his bayoneted rife. The forlorn doctor manages to lurch out of the way of the vicious blade, only to be remorselessly bayoneted by the second Guardsman. The doctor is dead. Sergeant Blake stands over the unmoving body and recovers the Doctor's Lancaster patent machine pistol. He turns it over admiringly a couple of times and the casually pockets the weapon.

Turn five - Victoria's Palace Company (VPC) has the Initiative

VPC: The Portuguese rozzers make their move! They swiftly advance, mob handed and surround the British mounted tricycle team and make the arrest, reading their rights to both the the gunner and the unconscious driver.

LCC: Just as the sabre wielding Captain Paton makes his move, Lord Curr cunningly throws a handful of soil into the Captain's face. Momentarily distracted, Lord Curr makes a break for it and runs as fast as he can, crashing through a large hedgerow and out of sight.

Burton Cartwright forcibly cajoles Lady Felicity to make a run for it, after he's discovered the fate of Captain Smyth. Lady Felicity is delirious with rage and remorse but the steadfast Incorrigible bullishly knows the only thing they can do now is attempt an escape.

VPC: Captain Paton, suddenly without the opportunity to finish off Lord Curr moves instead to intercept the last of Lord Curr's men. He's joined by the still shaken Rifleman.

Incorrigible Murray Straw, surrounded and facing his end
LCC: The last man standing from Lord Curr's company is the young Incorrigible Murray Straw.

He's facing two Guardsmen, who are soon joined by the Rifleman and Captain Paton. He's surrounded. The young fighter is terrified. He attempts to break away but there is nowhere to go. All hope fades and Murray slinks to his knees, discarding his rifle and pitifully pleads with the grim-faced British soldiers. The Guardsman glance at Captain Paton, awaiting his order to finish off the Incorrigible.

But instead the captain sheathed his bloodied sword and with a mocking wink orders his men to fallback, leaving the sobbing Murray Straw on his knees.  


Lord Curr, Lady Felicity and Burton Cartwright barely escaped with their lives.
Dakota, Mohan Singh, Dr. Newell and Captain Smyth did not. RIP.
There is no word of Murray Straw.

Lord Curr's Company failed to engage the services of Duarte Cavaco and the British Monarchists appear to be unstoppable. Lord Curr's sponsors are threatening to withhold funds and insist the Super Weapon is completed on time. It's now all or nothing for the forlorn Company.

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