Thursday, 2 December 2010

Brainstorming some wargames scenarios

With Xmas approaching, and the weather conditions here in Sussex worsening - we're snowed in today - I've started brainstorming some ideas for wargames scenarios. I really should be focusing on my Cold City adventure for Saturday evening, but I'll leave that for later, as not sure who will be coming along. I suspect as many as three of the regular RPG group will be out of the picture. We shall see.

Meantime, my friend Greg M. will potentially be stopping by en route to his six month pediatrics assignment in Oslo. The mad loon is thinking of DRIVING to Norway. But as ever, he is interested in getting some gaming done in Brighton if he can fit it in.

Consequently, I'm looking at what sort of miniatures wargames scenarios can be readily staged in short notice, and here's what I've come up with.

WW2 Skirmish

This would be an ambush scenario in the ruins of Stalingrad, circa December 1942. The Russians, because I have more of them, will be doing the ambushing. The aim here is to have a three player scenario, as Sebastian will likely want to be involved too. I'm going to give Iron Ivan's Disposable Heroes skirmish rules a go, keeping it an infantry battle with no armour.

I'm thinking of giving the Germans a command squad, plus two full Grenadier squads. This would then require having the Soviets deploy two squads per player, possibly with no command squads, but maybe with a sniper team and an HMG in support. I might give this a dry run over the next few days with Sebastian playing the Germans and see how we go, and then tweak sides accordingly.

Gothic Horror

I've not yet decided on a scenario for this one, but I'm planning on using the Rippers - the Horror Wars rules from Pinnacle, which employ the Savage Worlds rules as their engine. I envisage another three cornered battle, with two posses of bad guys and one posse of good guys. The only twist here is that the objective, whatever it is, can only be achieved by one team, ergo the bad guys may end up having to duke it out.

In terms of factions, I like to mix and match my Rippers posses according to availability of miniatures. I've got some new posses on the painting bench, including a Frankenstein's monster, a very nice vampire, and a whole passel of ghouls, but given time constraints I'll have to go with what I've got.

I'm pretty sure I can field a decent group of werewolves, and one of vampires, and then the good guys will have a random selection of dudes, mainly comprised of wild cards and some other characters. I'm not sure I'll have any decent mooks for them, but will see.

Colonial: Zulu War

Thirdly, I'm working on a night attack scenario, with Zulus attacking a small Boer farmstead. This will be more of a four player game, but essentially it has the Zulus sneaking up on the farm under cover of darkness. The farm may/may not be on alert, but sentries will have been posted.

The farm's occupants will be a small detachment of British soldiers and some colonial volunteers. The Zulus will have the advantage of surprise, and being able to attack under cover of darkness, will not necessarily be cut down too easily by the rifles of the opposition.

I'm painting up some nice Zulu musketeers for a future larger scale battle, involving a bigger Rourke's Drift style battle, but want to give my British a nice cannon and some more troops. I'm just too busy at the moment to get these dudes painted up.

For the above scenario, entitled 'Zulu Night Attack', I'm going to use the Flint & Steel colonial skirmish rules.

Colonial: bigger Zulu game

I'm also working on a larger Zulu game, this time with a British column seeking to burn a Zulu kraal. This will use Colonial Adventures by Two Hour Wargames. Again, it will need play-testing, but my idea is that I'll split the Zulu commands and the British commands into two groups each, allowing for a fun four player game. We shall see how it pans out. I will report back to this blog on progress with playtesting!


  1. well - count me in if there is space for multiple players - and don't forget we could have a one-shot of something with whoever can make an extra session.... I would suggest something simple like 2e WFRP or CoC etc..... :) When is El Greg coming down these parts before departing to saner climes?

  2. We don't have to do Cold City if we don't have the right player mix. What else we might do, I don't know, although Ben did volunteer me to run Swords and Wizardry...

    I know it is folly, because I'm not going to have the time or money to build an army and I don't know anyone who plays it, but I've been intrigued by War Machine. Do you have any experience of it, Stuart?

  3. War Machine: I'm afraid I've had no experience of that. It looks like you need fewer figures than for Warhammer, so quicker to paint. The miniatures are glorious, but all metal, and therefore expensive (I seem to remember hearing plans for War Machine plastics, which might be interesting - I HATE building large metal kits). It is more of a skirmish game than Warhammer's battle game.

  4. Yes, a quick investigation suggests that while armies are smaller, the miniatures are even more expensive. I mocked up a skirmish-level battle force last night, and it came to £60! You can say a lot about GW's gouging, but you'd get more for you sixty quid. Not a lot more, but still.

  5. Oh yes, and that's Fire & Steel, not Flint & Steel, for the Zulu war game. Flint & Steel is a set of American War of Independence rules originally published by Pinnacle back in its pre-Savage Worlds days!