About Me

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I'm a bit of a born-again wargamer! I played many of the Games Workshop games when I was in my teens and early twenties, but left the hobby behind when I went to University. Over the last few years I have gradually got back into it and am literally having a ball! I'll play pretty much anything now, ranging from ancient historical to the far future! I think that I get more out of the painting side of things than actually playing, but that might just be because I get more opportunity. Hence the title...this blog is all about the colour of war!!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The Fists of Lo Chan Fu

Played my first game of In Her Majesty's Name tonight and it was really fun! I'll talk a bit about the rules in a while, but first, here's how Dr. Lo Chan Fu's first appearance went.

It is the turn on the century and the Brotherhood of the Fist has found an enigmatic and shadowy new leader, known as Lo Chan Fu. Rumours abound that this sinister figure is far older than he appears and, in fact, there is truth behind them. However, it is dependent on a very rare and expensive herb, which he has been having difficulty in getting. The reason behind the shortage is the activities of an organised criminal gang that has been controlling shipping out of Alexandria. 

From his lair, deep in the deserts of Egypt, the reincarnated spirit of the ancient pharaoh Akhenaton has been leading the cult known as the Servant of Ra on a campaign to reclaim Egypt's ancient glory. Their gangs have descended on all the major ports in Egypt and have been extorting the merchants and sea captains for all they can get. The effect of this has to dramatically raise the price of the herbs needed by Lo Chan Fu, so he has personally arrived in Egypt with his daughter and a cadre of Fists from the Brotherhood to deal with the bothersome cultists. And with him has come a crate that the dock workers are afraid to approach due to the grunting and thumping coming from within...!

The mission we picked was a simple Last Man Standing one, where the two factions simply try to eliminate each other. George and I felt that was the easiest way to get to grips with the rules. So, without further ado, roll credits...!

The Fists lead the way towards Akhenaton's lair.
But the reincarnated Pharoah is not alone within!
As they spot movement in the temple, the Fists take cover. Lo Chan Fu leads his pet Yeti forwards!
And Akhenaton sends his Servants of Ra surging out to face the enemy.

But the Dragon Warrior skulks in the shadows to pounce on any unsuspecting cultists.
A swirling melee ensues, but the Yeti's appearance sends one cultist scurrying away (seen in the distance). Akhenaton strides forward unphased, though.

Meanwhile, as Xiufang approaches the temple, a deep moaning is the first sign of danger as a hideous mummy attacks!

But she has some Brothers on hand to help out!

The cultists are no match for the Yeti and the Dragon Warrior and, sensing victory, battle is joined with the pharoah himself. He would prove a far tougher nut to crack, though!
While the action was going on in front of the temple, the mystical Professor Abir levitates to the roofs to get a better view of targets for his mesmerism. However, a bullseye from a lurking Fist with a musket catches him full in the chest and he falls to his death on the temple floors!

And with that, all defence collapses! The Yeti pounds on Akhenaton's head and he succumbs to the onslaught. His body crumbles to dust and his enraged spirit flees to the safety of a sanctuary from where he will surely rise again! 
This was a really fun game and had a really strong narrative, despite the simplicity of the mission. The rules themselves are really simple to get to grips with and within a few turns we were rarely looking at the book or even the QRS! But, being simple doesn't mean shallow and there are plenty of tactical decisions to be made, particularly with the alternating activations. I'll not go into detail on the rules as a Google search will throw up all the info you need, but essentially, what you have in IHMN, is a pretty elegant ruleset that provides you with a framework to create whatever factions you want and is easily adapted to the figures you have and the concepts you want to convey. In a time of huge, hardback books that cost a small fortune, In Her Majesty's Name is an absolute bargain for the price and I would highly recommend it if Victorian Steampunk skirmish gaming is an itch you have to scratch! I'll certainly be playing it again!

Friday, 5 July 2013

Hold Your Breath - Black Hat Hopping Vampire and Hunters

A couple of posts back I showed some photos of the figures I had bought from Black Hat Miniatures' Tales of the Dragon Kings range and compared them against the North Star In Her Majesty's Name figures. Seeing as we've now seen the latter with some paint splashed on I think it's only fair we see the Vampire Hunters likewise pigmented! So without further ado...
The assembled gang!

I. Love. These. Figures!! I think that some people might find them perhaps a little caricatured, but I just reckon they are bursting with character and were an absolute joy to paint. The detail is just right for my style of painting: not too detailed but not too bland either. All told, I'm delighted with these and will definitely be painting up more. I actually have the Chinese Ghosts pack to do next and then I'll be trying a wee adaptation of 7th Voyage to play a 'Mr. Vampire' game. So stay tuned for that and rest assured that holding your breath will feature heavily! :)
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