Tuesday, 16 January 2018


Day 14
Once the group had returned with their captive back at the farm, it was obvious that she was a liability, so once they’d created a “holding cell” and had her securely locked up for the night, a meeting was held to decide what they should do with her.
During the meeting, concerns were also voiced about their isolated position at the farm, especially if there were groups of hostile people like they'd just encountered at the cabin  - maybe even 'friends of the family' who might be out looking for revenge? After all, the boy had run off into the woods, and  where’d he gone? At this  Rebecca piped up from the other side of the door - "His name's Lee, an' if he's got any sense at all in that thick skull o'his, he'll be headin' to Jacksboro where we've got kin".
The decision was made to head off next day to Jacksboro, where they could drop off their captive, maybe get news about the state of the zombie outbreak,  and hopefully find a safer, less isolated place where they could see this thing through.
Brad spent the rest of the evening poring over his road map and weighing up the options. During the meeting, he hadn’t been keen on leaving the farm, but the argument had won him over and as he sat alone with his thoughts he became fully aware of just what COULD happen if they were attacked out here in the middle of nowhere!

Just before sunrise, they were loaded up and headed South along tracks and minor roads, only taking two vehicles to conserve fuel and avoid splitting the group too much. The back roads meant they didn't see any zombies or road blocks, but the rough terrain took its toll on the RV, breaking the passenger side rear suspension!
The encounter area of downtown Jacksboro. Rebecca's folks live in the brownstone apartment block so this should be pretty easy....
... especially since the convoy is almost right outside the front doors as it enters the table. But then again, a group of six people and two running engines have attracted the attention of 25 zombies!! The zeds won the first activation, but with a "6", only two of the PEF's moved.
The first PEF exits the general store and heads straight for the apartment block,
while the second leaves the laundry building and crosses the street behind the convenience store.
Travis eased out onto the junction to allow Brad to pull up outside the apartment, and spots the PEF, which resolved as 3 citizens. Rebecca's folks had obviously got themselves trapped in the store and were using the distraction caused by the group arriving to make a dash for home!
Seeing their intention, Travis throws a hard right lock and pulls forward and then reverses to be ready to block off the zombies if they attempt to follow the fleeing citizens.
Brad's unaware of why the pickup has suddenly made the  maneuver, but instinctively  reacts - ordering the girls out and heading straight for the doors while he tells Hannah to get to the truck, ending the turn.
Activation produced a double "6", so the day part advanced from 'Mornng' to 'Daytime'
The group lost the re-roll and Rebecca's folks charged round the corner and straight through the apartment doors, totally ignoring the group and not recognising their "kin" standing with the stranger!
The building encounter deck turned up a member of the military........
...... a member of the National Guard meets the extended Miller family inside the apartment block, while outside.........
....... the second PEF appears between the block and the convenience store, and resolves as four more members of the National Guard!
Obviously, theses five guys were part of a unit sent into Jacksboro to assist in the outbreak and had somehow got separated from the rest of their guys!

The third PEF exited McDooms burger joint onto the street and resolved as "a bad case of nerves", as the rest of the zeds (and were joined by five more attracted by the engine noise).
Rebecca pushed her way through the apartment doors to add her voice to the heated "Meet & Greet" taking place in the foyer, and was joined by the NCO in charge of the guys on the street......
...... who were nervously keeping tabs on the advancing zeds.
Travis reversed the pickup against the wall and "closed the gap", crushing the zombified waitress in the process!
Brad smelled trouble brewing and yelled to Hannah to get in the truck, then slid in alongside her - there was no telling what Rebecca would be stirring up in the apartment and the zeds were getting thicker than fleas on a blanket!
Yet another six zombies had been attracted to the engine noise (somehow no shots had been fired - so far!), and winning the activation roll for the first time, Brad told Travis to drive through the zeds and head out of town...
As they sped off past the nightclub, the relief of getting out of a dodgy looking situation was obviously tempered by the loss of the RV (and the supplies in it),
and they could only wonder if they'd done the right thing,
as the walking dead closed in on the apartment,
what do you think?

Well that certainly didn't go the way I'd expected, but as ever the ATZ:FFO rules produced yet another tense and enjoyable (if short) game, with plenty to think about for the campaign ahead.
I'd better get back to painting terrain, but after this encounter I won't be leaving it very long before finding out what the group are up to.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

The Hare and the Tortoise

This week's post just HAS to start off with a big shout out for the first rate service at "Col Bills" - in fact, if it wasn't for the superfast arrival of my recent order, there might not have been a post at all this week!
Things have been fairly hectic work-wise, and then to really eat into my available hobby time, my guitar effects unit went on the blink and I've had to spend hours fixing and servicing that. So much for my planned game! However, since the 4Ground "Fabled Realms Backstreet Hovel" arrived on Saturday thanks to the efforts of Colonel Bill's I thought it would be rude not to tackle it straight away!
These kits are a joy to build and come totally 'pre-coloured' including the interior detail.
I decided to omit the "high fantasy" curved ridge supplied, and simply capped the roof with a length of square section strip, which means I'm also re-painting the roof.

Another building I got at Christmas is the Timeline Miniatures "Market Hall". This has been occupying the bench and getting bits done whenever I've had the chance, and is just about table ready.
I had to be a little creative when it came to accessing the interior for gaming with this building. As you can see from the photo, it's a two story structure, but the kit hasn't been designed with the usual "horizontal split" between the ground and upper floor.
I'll be working on the interior next, so I'll show you the solution I came up with when I've done that. (What a tease eh?!)

So, I get the "Tortoise" award this week, while Col Bill's rapid response team take the "Hare" title for this brief offering.
I'm off to make sure the effects unit is in working condition for the weekend, (and dig out my old 'spare', just in case). Thanks for dropping in, and with a bit of luck, I'll have a game report for the next post!

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Let the old year out and the new one in!

Happy New Year!
2018 already, so what's in store for the year ahead here at TWA Towers? The scrying glass is playing up a bit, but it tells me that the "Witchfinder General" campaign will gear up with more rules trials, and the related English Civil War project is set to continue apace.
The ATZ campaign will see a reboot, as Brad, Hannah and the group decide what to do with their captive and reconsider their position at the farm.
On the fantasy gaming front, 'The Dark Conspiracy' Dragon Rampant/D&D campaign is to resurface and I haven't abandoned the sci-fi "Blade Runner" project either - it's simmering on one of the back rings while I continue adding the required ingredients.
This month "Brittania" starts on Sky Atlantic, and I've been looking forward to this since it was first advertised, but I fear it's going to be difficult to resist the urge for a bit of quasi-historical "ancients" action on the table top!

On a 'negative side' I'm unsure whether "Winter of '79" will continue, as it seems to have stalled after the scenic boards were badly damaged, and we were discussing the morals of  'gaming' scenarios which are perhaps more than a little unsavoury (kidnaps, hijackings and car bombs etc).
I'm considering getting rid of the figures and vehicles as part of my planned 'Operation Spring Clean', but just might hold on to them for some Cold War skirmish gaming.

Now, the main festivities may be over, but the trimmings are still up, so here's the second wave of my 'Yuletide Output'.....
The Timeline Miniatures church has had a bit of weathering applied to tone down the raw base colours.
I've also made a start on the rest of the mdf buildings that arrived in Santa's sack. Here's the TT Combat cottage (note the "wide doors" are obviously a feature not limited to their modern range of buildings!),
and here's the Timeline Miniatures cottages (semi detached, but I'm not sure the term had been invented in the 17th century).
None of the above have had any work done on their interiors yet, as I plan to get all the new buildings exteriors done first so they can be used asap for gaming, then revisit them to finish them off.
Finally, as a break from the terrain, I've managed to add another gun as a step towards raising two opposing ECW armies.
I hope everyone managed to welcome the New Year in fine style, and that 2018 proves to be happy, healthy, prosperous and productive for us all!

Friday, 29 December 2017

Happy Twixtmas

I hope everyone has enjoyed a Cracking Christmas and Cool Yule, that you've all been suitably rewarded for twelve months of "being good", and that no-one has over indulged (well, not TOO much anyway) on festive fayre, and are ready to go forward into the New Year!
This was my first Christmas as a gaming blogger, and I've learned that "Christmas", "gaming", and "blogging" are not the best of bedfellows - well, not when they're all in the same time and relative dimension in space! Their interaction seems to speed up the hands of the clock, to the extent that the days pass by in a blur, and so I've developed my own 'coping strategy' and visited each activity in it's own 'time zone' which seems to have worked OK, and will only need a few tweaks in the future.

That's enough of the amateur philosophy, and since this is a modelling and gaming blog, this is what I've been up to over the Yuletide period......
My Witchfinder General campaign map shows a stone circle ("The Nine Ladies") , so I've set about modelling it on a pizza base - very much a work-in-progress at the moment, but shaping up.
Once the witches have their "summoning spot", there's every chance they'll need a demon of some description. I've put one on my shopping list, but for now I've painted up the gargoyle from the Ravenloft board game as a proxy
This unfortunate lass is a 'captive' from Black Cat Bases, in the photo she looks like a suitable offering for the demon, but will also be useful in several other "rescue" scenarios
At long last, I've finally got around to painting my old GW 'Garden Of Morr'...
.... which should make for some suitably "Gothic" looking encounters - as demonstrated by this recent skirmish between Stickler Michael and an EM4 Miniatures werewolf
I also painted the three zombies from the Ravenloft game, and used the crypts as a backdrop for their photo
Also, I was lucky enough to receive some mdf buildings for Christmas, and have made a start on the first of them. Like the stone circle, it really is still work-in-progress, but here's the "Timeline Miniatures" Norman Church supplied by 'Hoka Hey Wargaming', assembled and base coated......
...... the goats and sheep are straight off the painting bench (and will no doubt feature in next years Christmas Card nativity photo!!!)

I'll be gigging down in Whitchurch on New Years Eve and up in Leeds on New Years Day, so I know it's going to be busy and will take this opportunity to say that  I wish you all the very best for the year ahead, and hope your brushes are busy and you have games galore!

Happy New Year 2018

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Seasons Greetings

Since I got seriously back into gaming and started this blog, I've really neglected my garden railway (as described in the "Interlude" post in November), so it's nice to know that the inhabitants of Hedgebottom bear no grudges, and have in fact sent a 'Greeting card' !

To be honest, normally when I'm out maintaining the railway is the only time I tend to the garden - so it had got into a bit of a state, and I've been forced by the "household authorities" to get it tidied up before Christmas. Spending some time out there prompted me to post an appropriate photo.......
 ..... and I couldn't come up with a game-related theme for a card!!

How much hobby time I manage to squeeze in over the unpredictable weekend is anybody's guess, so just in case I don't manage another post before the big day, MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone out there. I hope you all have a good one!

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Half Century

I don't know if it's customary, but I'm celebrating today since this is my 50th blog post and I thought it should have a bit of a "bang" to it................ so here it is..............

The first two guns and crews for the ECW project got painted and based this week, and a few more trees that I picked up from the Games Emporium shop in Mansfield have also been based up and are table-ready.
The trees complete the "bottle brush style" forestation that I'd started for battle style games, and any additions from now on will be the more "realistic" looking variety to try and visually enhance skirmish games.

Now then, here's a pleasant surprise - I've managed to get a (late night) game in, and here's the first AAR using the Witchfinder General rules!
As you may have previously read, a group of angry villagers from Bradshaigh  have taken umbrage with the "foreigners" over at Fernbeck House and have marched off seeking retribution.
Unfortunately, their path takes them through Hadden Wood in the vale of Crimbledyke, where an unfortunate "surprise" awaits them!

The "mob" makes its way through the wood, now 12 strong with 7 'ordinary' villagers and 4 'trained' musketeers following the 'veteran' ringleader

The villagers at the centre of the encounter area while the 'Abominations (6 Nocterlinger and 6 Barghests) have entered six inches from the edge - the villagers have won the roll for the "Upper Hand" and will act first.

The encounter is taking place at night, so "Gloomy Conditions" apply, two D10  determine visibility in inches (19 inches - it must be a full moon and a clear night!)

Seeing the advancing Nocterlinger on the track, the villagers attempt to bring their muskets to the fore, but another of the foul creatures has been spotted  to their right!

Shots ring out in Hadden Wood!

Shooting is straightforward, rolling a D6 against the firer's ability, in this case 'Trained Clubmen' who hit on a 3+ , so they managed to score two hits from the members of the Trained Band, while the game keeper missed abysmally!
A second dice is rolled for damage with any "hits", but unfortunately, the  musketeer who'd hit with a "4" only caused a flesh wound (Tis but a scratch!) and the Nocterlinger came on!

A second abomination had appeared on the right flank, and the remaining musketeer with a loaded weapon aimed and gave fire. The white dice shows that his aim was true, and the red dice next to it indicates that damage should have been inflicted (a 4 would have been a "body shot" and removed 1 constitution point, which would be enough to kill a Nocterlinger) - however, since there's a bank in the way, the abomination was allowed an "Avoid Harm" roll, and his red dice indicates that he ducked just in time! Reducing the fatal shot to "a mere scratch!"

"Fisticuffs" then broke out on the road, as the Nocterlinger charged through the black powder smoke and wass met by a pitchfork wielding villager (+1 to his 'Defence' roll). The white dice are the 'Attack' and red are 'Defence' scores.
The Nocterlinger attacks with a factor of 2+1D6 (his white dice) =4
The villager defends with a factor of 1+1(pitchfork)+1D6(his red dice) =3
So, the Nocterlinger scores one "Blow" against the villager who's response is a factor 1+1D6(a 2) =3 against the abomination's 2+1D6(a 3) =5, failing to land any Blows.

The "Blow" is then checked against the fisticuffs table with 1D6 per success - the villager died from a terrible head wound!

Moments later, the ringleader is attacked and bravely holds off the vile creature in the first round of fisticuffs (Neither combatants landed any successful blows)...........

...... but the situation is looking grim for the defenders as the ambuscade progresses and a "Loose Formation" of Barghests smell blood and close in..........
........ before bursting from the trees upon their hapless victims!
Here's how the combat went :-
The two lower Barghests have awful attack rolls, so use their "Rage" ability to re-roll....
..... MUCH better! Now, the musketeer is "trained" so his combat base value is 2, the other two villagers are "ordinary" with base values of 1, and the Barghests have base values of 3. Adding the attack and defence dice and comparing the results as per the previous example sees the 'Hell Hounds' delivering 3,3, and 4 "Blows.
Normally only the highest score is used to deal damage, with the exception of double 5's or 6's when both are used on the "Fisticuffs Result Table"
All three villagers receive mortal wounds, and in this scenario the Barghests must attempt to turn that  result into 'knocked unconcious'  (by scoring 3+ on a D6) so they can carry their victim off alive for their undead master.....
..... the musketeer is heading for the vampyre's larder, but the other two villagers are torn to shreds!

The next turn saw the villagers win the "Upper Hand" again, and more fisticuffs ensued (apart from the hapless musketeer who'd been desperately trying to reload and finally succeeded!). The villager with the club forced the Barghest to drop its prey when he attacked the horror, while his neighbour with the bill hook single handedly tried to protect the group's flank. 

The ringleader was still locked in combat with the nocterlinger, and stared in horror at his dice rolls -
- he too was destined to be vampyre fodder, so it was small compensation when the musketeer's aim was true and his shot hit the target (but only removed 1 point of constitution from the monster's total of  3). The clubman also inflicted a wound on his opponent before being savaged by a flurry of claws and teeth.
The brave flank defence had been in vain, as the Nocterlinger dragged the unconcious body off towards the treeline.

Things were not looking at all good for the remaining villagers, as three of their number were being carried off into the woods and four of their friends lay dead on the track.......

.... unsurprising then, that when the foul creatures pushed their advantage........
..... and rendered another musketeer unconcious.......
...... their will was broken! (In fact, they'd now lost 75% of their starting number, and had to take the "Self Control" test - and failed miserably!)
Poor Tom, who'd now completely forgotten about his stolen cows, attempted to flee....
..... but Earl Lichtenfels servants had been instructed to leave no survivors!
The last to fall was the gamekeeper - a case of the hunter becoming the hunted?!

I stuck with the "basic" rules, and made a bit of a hash of the sequence in the first turn (but that's what play-through's are for isn't it???), and really enjoyed the game. I still intend trying out some other sets of rules for the campaign, but these are definitely "in the running" for now.
I've tried to explain some of the mechanics in the batrep, and hope it's not too long winded (or gobbledigook), but it's been a long old day and I'm wilting!! Please don't hesitate to ask me for any clarifications.

Finally, many thanks to all the bloggers out there that have helped me make it to this 50th landmark, and I hope everyone's Christmas preparations are going to plan!