Pound Store Surreal Space Planet Away Team

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Pound Store Plastic Space Marines Away Team  on a surreal planet

Away from home visiting the seaside for a few days over the rainy Bank Holiday weekend, I took a couple of items to improvise a quick away game, should I need one.

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My portable board game hex board with a 2D feel with the map symbols  but 3D figures and stone lumps. Halfway to 3D  or is that 2.5D?

I packed a small A5 tackle box of pound store plastic figures (£1 for 100 30-40mm figs), dice and stuff and the portable hex board cartridge  paper game board from my 2016 Easter away trips.

Pound store figures are good to take as if you lose or leave anything behind on your travel battles, it’s not the end of the world at a penny a figure.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/28/more-pound-store-warriors/

This is my pound store DIY version of the portable war game or Perry Twins’ popular new Travel Battle game.

Semi-Random Terrain Distribution By Featherstone Air Drop

Tucked inside the box lid are some passable or impassable map symbol type hex squares (marsh, river, impassable forest). Once the first river pieces were laid on fairly at random, the other hexes  were dropped from on high to randomise their placing.

This is something I remember as a technique using paper circles scattered from a converted Airfix plastic Dakota kit for scattering paratroops, the Dakota held at a suitable height over the calculated or miscalculated drop zone.

I first saw this in  a childhood borrowed library copy of Donald Featherstone’s Wargaming Airborne Operations (recently reprinted by John Curry). Airfix paratroop figures then replaced  the paper parachute circles wherever they landed, sometimes fatally in water, on rooftops or behind enemy lines.

I would love to try this outside in a back garden / Yarden game. It would even work for beaming or teleporting down  to another planet scenario. Beam ’em down!

The Featherstone Airdrop – Brilliantly odd game mechanic! 

These map symbol coloured hexes were improvised from thin white packaging card on my Easter 2016 holiday trip and can be lightly tacked down (like the game board) with a smidgin of  magic or Scotch tape.

Pretty it isn’t but practical and portable it is.

In my holiday ‘rainy day’ box I usually pack tape, scissors, a few fine liner pens or Sharpie pens and raid whatever watercolours, paints, cardboard or paper I can find to make game bits. Coffee stirrers are really handy and easy to come by, as are bits of stone etc.

These last saw action on holiday in Easter 2016 https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/31/close-little-wars-away-game/

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Ignore the Artemis blurb … look at the picture. No artist credited.  Invest in tiny tin men instead!

For the back drop, I found somebody’s leftover Saturday’s newspaper had an intriguing surrealist landscape advert. With a bit of camouflage (space palm tree cocktail stick stirrers from Tiger.com taped for weight to a spare dice behind gravel stones) to hide the outsize hunter figure, this folded over to form a surreal space backdrop for my improvised Away Team solo game.

I used my Little Close Wars rules improvised and hexed up from Donald Featherstone’s appendix to War Games (1962) https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/close-little-wars-featherstones-simplest-rules/

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For the melee sections I used the fast play Kaptain Kobold’s reduced dice version of Gerald De Gre’s  duelling rules taken from Donald Featherstone’s  Solo Wargaming.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/05/09/more-duelling-inspiration-mexicans/

I roll  a dice to see which side – silver space marines versus red planet natives –  are the Attackers, which the Defenders for the purposes of any Melee dice throws etc. if I ever forget. I use coloured dice for game counters for keeping track of hits (for speed each figure started a melee phase / round of only two combat or life points).

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A pink flamingo cocktail stick marker marked out which side were the Attackers, another nod to a different famous Don Featherstone, inventor of the pink lawn flamingo. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Featherstone_(artist) Another d6 dice was rolled to see what the melee result was on the Kaptain Kobold d6 Dice Table dice table. The other spare dice was busy propping up the space palm trees.

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Silver Space Marine Away Team versus the dancing Red Planet Native Defenders! 

Who won, who lost? The Away Team Silver Space Marines or the Red Planet Native Defenders?

The result is future history …

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I will finish on a close-up of the ‘profit hunter’ from the nonsensical Artemis advert, looking very much like the cavalry or cowboy ‘Rough Riders on Mars’ blog site. I should be able to mock this hunter figure up pretty easily in several scales using Prince August 40mm Holger Erickson cowboy Homecasts, Airfix or various 54mm and OO/HO cowboys.

This advert has great fun ‘alien desert’ terrain, easy to create from some of the more lurid plastic aquarium plants and terrain.

http://chrisminaturewargaming.blogspot.co.uk and the Rough Riders section which starts  here – also brilliantly odd! http://chrisminaturewargaming.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/rough-riders-on-mars.html

What a great hobby. How very Dr. Who! Which planet or time period next?  Where to next?

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A bit of light holiday paperback reading that I took along for rainy day reading, all Imagi-Nation  gaming related, except for The Bronte Project book. This Bronte related quick read by Jennifer Vandever  (‘romantic fiction’?) was one I picked out and read from amongst the ‘left behind’ selection of holiday books and magazines where I was staying. 

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, on my Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, 1 June 2017.

Duelling in the Sandpit – Lunge, Cut and Stop Thrust.

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One of my favourite simple ideas chapters in Solo Wargaming by Don Featherstone is called “Wargaming In Bed”.

Transposed to the garden wargame, maybe this should be called “Wargaming in the Flower Bed”?

Here in this chapter,  there are simple, mostly skirmish ideas, mostly for a few 54mm figures. There is  an interesting short section on the “Lunge, Cut and Stop Thrust” duelling game invented by  Gerard Du Gre of the MGC (Model General’s Club) in America.

 

(Lunge, Cut and Stop Thrust does sound like an odd bunch of solicitors or estate agents.)

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What I like about this card system is that it can be played solo or two handed.

It is almost a card version of “scissors paper stone”, a gaming system used for thousands of years and harnessed for a great caveman / tribal game many years ago in Miniature Wargames. Must look this one out for my Homecast Prince August cavemen!

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Playmobil  Nun defeats a glow in the dark Dracula in this unusual duel. 

A set of cards is prepared with one of the following actions on each.

  • Cut to Head
  • Parry and Lunge
  • Stop Thrust

I prepare a set of three cards for my hand, then a set of about thirty cards for my ‘opponent’ solo games.

Once you gave decided if you are attacker or defender (toss a coin for this), you can turn up the top card for your non-existent opponent’s choice of action at random. Return card to bottom of pile.

Alternatively, you can split the pack in half and play each figure as ‘random’, taking the top card blind from each pack for each figure.

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Lunge Cut and Stop Thrust:  Hit table from Gerard De Gre’s rules in John Curry’s reprint of Donald Featherstone’s Solo Wargaming. 

Lunge, Cut and Stop Thrust – Combat Points

For each successful hit, remove 1 point / counter from the number given.

Featherstone / Du Gre  gives 2 Combat Power points to light foot.

I usually   give 5 points to each of these  unarmoured swordsman to prolong the game.

Featherstone / Du Gre gives 2 Combat Power points to light foot. You can choose your own points table.

  • Light Foot – 2 points
  • Heavy Foot – 3 points
  • Mounted Knights 3 points plus 1 point for horse
  • Light Mounted (unarmoured) 2 points plus 1 point for horse.

In the case of Mounted men, the first hit is against their horse. When their horse is killed, the rider continues to fight on foot.

When all points have gone, this opponent is dead.

The winner can be given an additional point / counter.

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If you both choose or draw the same card, consult the separate hit deck. The cards either say Both Hit or Both Missed.

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To further randomise the opponents cards, I added in a couple of ducks and slips  (either being hit or missed) as chance cards.

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Captain Hook reached his last Combat Point and then draws this card – one dead Pirate captain. 

This is the closest I think I will get to card activation.

Points are kept by scoring pointers – pebbles on the beach, sweets, coins or in the sandpit example, some spare Tiger store flamingo cocktail sticks in homage to the other Don Featherstone.

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Playmobil Navy sailor versus the Kings Guard duelling in the sandpit over the cannon. 

Duelling in Angria and the Bronte books? 

There are lots of examples of the pistols or swords and six paces sort of thing in the Bronte juvenilia Imagi-Nations I have been following up on my Man of TIN blog. Most officer figures with many toy soldier sets had suitable swords.

This duelling card system an also be used to sort out Melee in an interesting way in Solo games and otherwise. Once troops are engaged, time stops whilst an individual skirmish is played out. Morale, Retreat or disengage cards could be added for variety.

Fantasy Gladiator type skirmishes are possible.

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The addition of life or hit points means that you can give a combat / defence / life points value to anything from a dinosaur to a mounted knight. Or even in the Heroscape box, a Mounted knight on a dinosaur …

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Pound Store plastics knights suitable for duelling and gladiator games. 

 

Quick Samurai version? 

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Heroscape Samurai figures against Heroscape hex tiles on my portable play board that can be taken out into the garden. 

I am slightly jealous of the attractive cherry blossom in the new Samurai Game Test of Honour featured in Tony’s Tin Soldiering On  blog,

http://tonystoysoldiers.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/first-painted-samurai.html

although i think its mainly the cherry blossom and not the rules system. I remembered I had some ‘free’ Samurai swordsmen in the couple of  Heroscape starter sets which I bought for the hex tiles.

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This works equally well in the garden with appropriate Japanese plants like this lovely Acer (Japanese Maple).

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And the equivalent of Featherstone’s swoppet knights that  as a convalescing invalid he hopes to “Bribe a nurse or browbeat your wife into bringing to your bedside a couple of those plastic 54mm Swoppet armoured knights and position them at either end of the Bed table.”

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Lego Ninjago duelling Ninja Samurai type figures with suitable Lego shrine. 

Maybe suitable figures can be found in their modern equivalent Lego mini figures or Wilko bootleggo mini figures,  or pound store bags of knights or pirates.

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A wide range of periods and genres amongst these duelling Lego mini figures – musketeers, clansmen, gladiators, pirates and knights. 

Interchangeable weapons, heads , legs – Lego type minifigures are the modern version of Britain’s / Herald or Timpo type  Swoppets.

I even found Lego minifigure fencing figures and do by chance or blind bag luck own two fencers, but could only find one for the photograph.

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Somewhere I have Lego Star Wars and also metal figures of duelling Jedi figures with their lightsaber  laser swords – these rules would also work well for this!

Featherstone mentions that “Minor actions can be fought: half a dozen Airfix men can try to capture a Bellona pillbox manned by a German machine gun team”. Well, having seen handmade trench raid weapons in museums and visited trenches like Dixmuide the Trench of Death on the Yser in Belgium, I can see that  a World War trench raid is about as close to medieval foot combat as you can get, especially in the dark.

Not sure, having researched my village war memorial, if  a trench raid is a bit too close historically to have the gloss or romance of history and fiction that makes pirate sword fighting or duelling an enjoyable card activated game  though …

Airfix OO/HO sets like Robin Hodd / Sheriff also feature lots of swordsmen or men with quarterstaffs suitable for the Lunge Cut and Stop Thrust card game.

Pound store or seaside store pirates have useful duelling 54mm pirate swords men. These proved good fun to try out these rules in a recent family visit to the beach, though the cards get as soggy at the edges as you can see in the sandpit. Sandcastles have to be built and defended!

More elaborate and attractive laminated /sticky back plastic game cards could be made that would last longer in the garden or on the beach.

Jousting rules are also included in this chapter “Wargaming In Bed” in Solo Wargaming by Donald Featherstone but that’s one for another blogpost.

And finally … who was Gerard De Gre of the Model Generals Club who invented these Lunge Cut and Stop Thrust rules?

http://vintagewargaming.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/wargamer-of-month-professor-gerard-de.html

Bob Cordery in Wargaming Miscellany tracked down more information about him:

http://wargamingmiscellany.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/gerard-de-gre-lost-pioneer.html

http://wargamingmiscellany.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/table-top-battles-early-edition_17.html

http://wargamingmiscellany.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/table-top-battles-early-edition.html

http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=159835

It appears that he was born in 1915 and he died in 1987.

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Crossing the millienia – when the Royal Navy fought Romans! 
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Duelling lady pirates 
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Early stages of setting up the garden sand pit (sand Table!) with seaside castle above the harbour. Coins as combat  point counters were quickly replaced by pink flamingo cocktail sticks, easier to find in the sand! 

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN blog, April 2017.