Saturday, 1 October 2022

Vive la France

They say moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do - and that’s amusing when you consider that I’m both singularly Ill equipped to deal with stress and that I’ve moved 15 times since 1983. Lol. I’ll spare you the rollercoaster hell scape that was my September (this post was originally entitled « for the want of a nail ») and skip right to confirmation that I’m now finally bound for France at last… despite madam Truss and her genius Chancellor.*

Special thanks should go to everyone who’ve kept me entertained via their blogs during this period and an even bigger thanks to master Crook who completely unbidden sent me a lovely big book about Elizabethan England. Essential reading…and just when I needed it. It does make a change to get post that’s not just death threats written in cut out newspaper letters. 

We’ll be departing blight (y) on the 10th October and living in what will be our gîte while the sale on the main French property concludes in mid November - (whereupon we get access to the whole site).

Meanwhile I’ve been stocking up on essentials to see me through the winter.

A bulk order of cravats will provide essential attire while I learn to smoke…

…these…and sneer disdainfully at anyone who has not read this chap…

…in the original French.

Painting miniatures will hopefully recommence in early November and gaming in the Spring when I’ve evicted the last of the family members sucking on the Broom family Christmas teat.

The only thing I’ll be able to report on over this period will be my homebrew Star Trek ship to ship combat rules so it’s going to be slim pickings for a little while I’m afraid!

Toodleooh for now, or as they say in France…erm…Toodleooh.

*Apparently there are three types of people in the world…those that can count…and those that can’t.

Friday, 2 September 2022

A quick march past

Further research into 16th century combat formations (via a whole slew of new books) has forced me to reconsider the size and layout of the English Elizabethan company of foot I’d detailed in my last but one post.

An English Elizabethan company of foot circa 1595. Pikes in the centre, calivers and arquebusses on either flank and a sprinkling of longer range and harder hitting muskets to the fore. Figures are Pendraken 10mm based on 3x1cm stands for muskets and 3x2cm stands for the rest.

Rear view of the same bunch. The central stand at the back is the command group plus a couple of halberdiers to guard the non existant standard - still deciding which one to use!

A contemporary drawing showing several company’s grouped together but still adopting the smaller formation layout.

I’m now going for a 1:2 ratio and a company of about 150 men. The pikes form a solid 3 base block at the centre of the formation with two sleeves of arquebus troops projecting slightly forward on either flank of them. Muskets were not as common as the lighter arquebus until the very end of the period so I have included two smaller stands of them which can be swapped out for longbows (still officially in use until 1595 with the trained bands - though markedly inferior to the archers of the past since very few people took the time to routinely practise with the weapon).

Blocks of troops composed mainly of pikes, like the earlier Swiss, had relatively open flanks that were vulnerable to sword and buckler men or halberdiers. It is conjectured that the flanking columns of arquebus men eventually helped provide some protection in this regard but the length of the subsequent column covering the pikes resulted in a fairly narrow firing frontage compared to later formations. The concentrated use of short arm melee weapons faded away in all continental armies following this development.

Having finished this company and now adapted my own portable rules (top right) I shall be wrapping up further work until I’m on the other side of the channel. It’s anticipated we’ll be moving (all being well) on the 23rd of the month and that’s close enough now that I need to start packing the last of my kit away. 

A last march past before going into their box for transport.

How the men are to be arrayed in column - according to Sir John Smith.

On the march to their camp, which they’ve not yet realised is in a big cardboard box.

The purchase process in France still has a couple of months to run but luckily we will be renting the gîte that comes with the main property - until the acte de vente is signed. I suspect that I won’t be able to get gaming and modelling again until mid October (ish) so for any readers that have blogs of their own I will be getting my gaming fix solely through your posts. No pressure. Lol.

Toodleooh mes amis.

Friday, 26 August 2022

The day of the rat

Do you remember those bri-nylon trousers you could buy from catalogues back in the sixties and seventies. Drip dry, stay pressed, always came in beige…or grey, gave you crotch rot apparently.* Yeah them. I mention them because in the UK they’re called « slacks » a word which along with « flesh » makes me shudder with distaste whenever I’m forced to utter it. 


Anywhoo. Fortunately in the interests of balance there are two words I really do like, the first being « mellifluous » because it just sounds nice, and the second - which is linked to the subject of this post is « malfeasance » with its suggestion of dark fiscal naughtiness and general wrong doing. 

Yeah I love that word.

In the absence of anything meaningful (wargaming wise) to put on the blog this week I’ve chosen to offer up this semi humorous tale of thwarted ambition and animal cruelty instead. It doesn’t reflect well on me, but it does involve malfeasance (oooh…love it) and it might just give you a chuckle (once again) at my expense. 

We’re going to need to jump in the acme Broomco Timetunnel (pat pend) again for this one. 

Right. Stand over there and keep still for a minute.

(Queue swirling psychedelic lighting effects as we fall deep into the unwinding aeons).

Bollocks that’s a dinosaur - we’ve gone too far. Hold on. We need to go forward a tad.

(Queue more swirling psychedelic lighting effects and for some reason a floating image of Einsteins head).

Ah here we are. Thank goodness. It’s 2013. Remember 2013? A lost halcyon age - a time before you could order a pint of milk to be delivered within ten minutes by a zero hours contract wage slave on a bike, a time when shops had a plentiful supply of exotic goods like groceries on their shelves, that you could afford to actually buy. Honestly; I tell my grandkids and they think I’m making it up.

Okay 2013. At this point I was busy accounting at an art company in the centre of Birmingham, an art company that had just been taken over by a bigger outfit called Castle Galleries. 

They were, (and probably still are) a big concern in the art world and thrusting dynamic me** could smell the sweet smell of opportunity in the air. You see Castle Galleries had a network of outlets all across this septic isle and for some time there had been the hint of fiscal malfeasance (did I mention that I love that word?) around some of them. The talk on the underground grape vine was that they needed a diligent go getter to root out such malpractice, someone with a forensic approach to accounting who could travel the land and descend with righteous fury upon any gallery suspected of cooking the books. I could see it clearly. Me a fiscal cowboy, tough, mysterious, riding into town to meet out my own brand of pecuniary justice on the bad guys. The purchase ledger girls would swoon over me of course but they would know that their love was doomed for I would always be the mysterious stranger who was just passing through. 

Ahem…where was I? 

Oh yes. Fortunately for Castle Galleries I knew just the bloke. Waddya mean who? I’m talking about me, goddamit.

As luck would have it the new groups head honcho, Udi  Shelleg***, was coming to our branch in a whistle stop tour of his new acquisitions. As a provincial nobody (company wise) this visit would probably be my one chance to meet and impress him - an essential step in securing the talked about role.

On the morning of his visit I’d arrived early in my best bib and tucker, only to discover that the auditors who’d been working late the previous evening had left boxes of documents out all over the office. With Udi’s entourage already pulling up outside I pushed some of the boxes under my desk and hurried to carry the reminder downstairs to our big roller shuttered warehouse - where Mick the store man held court. 

Mick was an ageing ex para but that morning I found him in a right old two and eight. He’d somehow managed to trap a big brown rat inside one of the industrial bins at the back of the building but was scared stiff of it and didn’t know what to do. 

The bin men were going to be on their rounds that day so the simple solution was to get the bin outside into the street and make it their problem. Charming eh. What seemed like an easy fix quickly became a nightmare however when we managed to jam the shopping trolley like wheels on the  bottom of the bin and then contrived to tip the damn thing over. As we both backed swiftly away a very large and very angry rat emerged to reclaim his freedom. Seeking cover it ran right over Mick’s feet and straight back into the warehouse. 

Yeah it’s a rat. First rule of blogging - chuck in a picture or two.

Mick was having none of this and refused to re enter the building so duty bound I picked up his knackered old store mans broom in order to chase the buggering thing back out myself. 

The rat was smart and the rat was fast - but he’d awakened the hunter gatherer in me and after a lot of cursing and crashing around to get near him I trapped the bugger in a corner. This was the point at which the rat looked at me and I looked at him…and I realised I’d made a terrible mistake. Only one of us would be leaving the warehouse alive that day.

Backed into a corner and with no way out he hissed, bared his ratty teeth and jumped straight at me. 

I’d like to say that possessing the reactions of a panther I deflected his attack, but in actual fact a panicky but timely swing with the broom caught him in mid air and dashed him against the wall. At which point I’m ashamed to say the red mist descended. 

Now I’m not sure if it’s just me but when the intruders in the Nazi castle clonk a guard on the head and lower his conveniently unconscious form gently to the ground I find myself shouting at the telly. I know that the buggers going to wake up again just after they’ve gone down the corridor and the first thing he’ll do is start shouting « Achtung Englanders! » It’s not bloody cricket chaps, it’s war. Slot him while he’s down. It’s been scientifically proven that when breaking into a Nazi castle you should never ever give a sucker an even break. Oh and while you’re at it for the love of God chuck that crappy pistol and take his ruddy MP40..!

I mention this at length because the mind set of, « when they’re down make sure you finish them » is more or less hard wired into me and it certainly informed the shameful 30 seconds or so that followed.

In the last few nano seconds of sentience before a vinegar like tide of animal rage engulfed me I realised that though the rat didn’t have an MP40 I could take, I still had to make sure that it didn’t wake up and raise the alarm

Those of a nervous disposition should probably skip to the last paragraph about now.

Taking no chances I struck the recumbent creature again, and then again, and then some more, until the bristle bit of the broom flew off and I was left with what looked a lot like a broken pool cue.

With the blood smeared end of the broom I picked up the pathetic piece of gore and matted hair that I’d created and with glasses askew I turned to find… most of the buildings admin staff who’d come out of their offices to see what all the commotion was in the warehouse. Pushing his way through the crowd was my line manager and directly behind him an incredulous looking Udi Shelleg.

For some reason I never got the roaming accountant / inquisition role which went to Tracy in Leeds as I recall.

Now I’m aware that my violent reaction to the rat, even in self defence, does not paint me in a particularly good light, but I’d remind you of a certain book that suggests we judge not lest we in turn be judged.

B’sides…it’s not like I punched a dolphin in the ruddy blow hole is it. That’d definitely be wrong.


*No me neither.

** translates as opportunistic obnoxious prick

*** Google him. It’s only half of the story I promise you.

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Hey nonny nonny

Yes it’s a “LOOK IT - I PAINTED SOMETHING POST”…(as per Stew over at at the terrible loss of lead and wealth blog).*

I’ve already started packing away toy stuff in an effort to avoid the damage I did last time we moved (chucking things in boxes at the last minute is not a great idea) so games will now be off the menu until mid November (ish). Rather than go totally cold turkey I will be retaining a limited painting and modelling capability and to that end I’ve already started work on my new Elizabethan wars project.

Compared to the ECW the period doesn’t seem to get a lot of attention outside of the skirmish sized border reiver games or naval themed Spanish Armada stuff, which is surprising when you consider the potential for campaigns set during the Dutch revolt, the wars in Ireland, the wars of religion in France and so on.

I’ve really taken to 10mm as a scale and Pendraken’s sculpts in particular. Fortunately they do a very comprehensive Elizabethan range, (or unfortunately if you were to take a look at my current bank balance). It’s fair to say that if you see the owner of Pendraken driving around in a Ferrari it’ll be because of my recent pre move splurge.

The only downside to the Pendraken figures is the length of the period they cover - leading inevitably to some fashion issues amongst the rank and file. Typically the start of the era sees the big balloon trews, fancy hats, ruff collars, cod pieces and long stockings, but by the late 90’s they have started to give way to something you’d recognise as thirty years war ish. 

One of the best bits of a new historical period (for me) is the research. Here are some of the sources I’ve consulted to get the low down on formations and tactics:

With Pike and Musket - Wesencraft. An oldie but a goody. Basic information on organisation of English and Irish units and written from a gamers perspective. Some useful Irish scenarios in the back too. Long in the tooth but still relevant, unlike me. 

Portable Pike & Shot - Bob Cordery. Great source of inspiration for gridded gaming in the period, especially Alan Saunders’ version of the rules.

Osprey, The Spanish Tercios - Lopez. Written from Spanish sources so very useful info on organisation, page 12 asserting that smaller brigade sized groups of 3-4 companies or “Coronelia” were often used instead of the larger Tercio.

Osprey, Dutch Armies of the 80 Years War - De Groot. Great background on the English involvement in the Dutch revolt against Spain.

Osprey, Pike and Shot Tactics 1590-1660 - Roberts. Dwells a lot on the ECW period but still useful in parts.

Elizabeth’s Army & The Armada - Tincey. Fascinating “booklet” containing a lot of original muster and organisational critiques from the Armada period. In effect it is an analysis of English preparations to counter the Armada and an analysis of their deficiencies. In general the authorities at the time seem to have had a better idea of their capabilities than I ever gave them credit for. If Johnny Spaniard had actually got ashore he’d have had a ruddy hard time of it I reckon. 

The Art of War in the 16th & 17th Century - Oman. Finally ordered a reasonably priced copy but God alone knows when it’ll arrive.

The Works of Sir Roger Williams - Williams. The day to day experiences of a soldier in the Dutch Wars. Ordering it when I get paid!

On the inter web there are of course a lot of useful sites for background info but advances some interesting thoughts on the effectiveness of the Tercio and perhaps controversially many of the advantages it continued to hold over the wider but thinner Dutch battalions. Discuss.

I’ve resolved to use a very mildly tweaked Alan Saunders set of Pike and Shot rules to game the period (including disruption  and a card activation system) and I’ve pitched the whole shebang at company level, sort of, there being about 100 blokes in a company. Units are composed of umpteen 3x2 cm bases which will allow me to deploy them in column if required.

Pictured below are the four stands of pike in an English company circa 1588. There are a variety of weapon choices and indeed ratios of weapons to choose from, the relative organisation of the ECW being a thing of the future. Despite the variety, a company seems to have fought as a single mixed unit. Regiments, when created, resembled nothing more than a scaled up version of a single company - just with a lot more men. 

Finally - small miniatures but without bendy pikes! The start of my first English company.

Same bunch with an indication of the units frontage in cm. The 3x2 stands down each flank of the central pikes will contain six arquebus per stand and the narrow pill shaped bases at the front will hold either muskets or longbows (when they’ll be placed at the rear). The single stand at the back is for command and an honour guard of short arm melee weapons. 

Depending on where and when it was raised a company might include longbows, melee weapons and even an increasing number of the all new “muskets” alongside the pike and shorter range arquebus.

I’ll be covering Irish and Spanish troops in later posts. 

Right it’s probably time for me to sling my hook. 


* Waddya mean you’ve not been over there for a look see? Stews blog is ace and merely from reading it I can safely award him my highest accolade - namely “I think I could actually stand being trapped in a lift with this bloke.” Yeah. I know. Praise indeed.

Monday, 18 July 2022

Full circle

Sometimes the best laid plans of mice and men go awry. Sometimes the cyclical currents of the cosmos carry you back to a place or a position you were always destined to occupy, whatever foolish ideas an individual might have held otherwise. Sometimes you’re just pissing against the wind.

We journeyed over to France last week, house hunting in Normandy, Brittany and Cote d’Amor, but unfortunately every property we fancied had a queue of Dutch folk outside…Dutch folk carrying Intermarché bags stuffed full of 50 euro notes. Mmmm. 

The situation quickly forced The Current Mrs Broom and I to reconsider our options. We wanted seaside. We didn’t wish to be as isolated and out in the sticks as last time. We wanted quasi Parisian ish sophistication, the chance to discuss Flaubert perhaps, with learned individuals at a special symposium. I wanted to wear cravats for gods sake. 

However, like I said. The unseen forces of the cosmos are forever at play, quietly nudging you onto the path you were apparently always destined to travel.

Our plan B turned out to be the « C » word. No not that one. C for Creuse, the department that is the butt of every sophisticated Frenchman’s humour. Bucolic, enormous and largely devoid of anyone other than these folks:

It is of course where we used to live, and as far from the sea and sophistication as it’s possible to get. It’s about the size of Wales but it’s population is probably no bigger than Droitwich. It’s a five hour drive, minimum, to any stretch of coastline. 

So to recap. Near the sea? Nope. Sophisticated? Erm…nope!

The few things it does have going for it though are well, lots of buildings like this:

I made a cheeky offer on the tower but they were having none of it. Bugger.

and this:

The current Mrs Broom makes a rare blog appearance.  She’s wondering how many curtains she’d have to make if we bought the tower in the background. I’m wondering how many years I’d have to spend as a male prostitute in order to pay for them. 

Bourganeuf. First town in France to have had a domestic electricity supply, and boy don’t they go on about it.

Bourganeuf central. Without our two massive heads blocking the view.

So we did the six hour drive down to the département and saw this, amongst many others:

In a town, so sort of sophisticated, massive, and emanating that especially french sense of faded and slightly tragic former glory. It was also dirt cheap.

You’d definitely need a goodly selection of cravats if you were going to live in it. 

Along with a masters degree in household electrics. The house was rewired in 1926. This was a clumsy recent attempt at grafting it onto a new supply. Oh yeah there was an asbestos and boiler problem too. The diagnostic report on the property ran to 14 pages.

From a Broom disaster narrative perspective this property had everything going for it. An expensive money pit in which I could regularly electrocute myself. Unfortunately I’m not getting any younger so despite the prospect of generating good stories for the blog, we eventually settled on this:

An architect designed barn conversion with an attached gîte. 

Our offer has been accepted and if all goes smoothly (it never does) we should be in it October ish. 

Sublime to the ridiculous. There’s seven bedrooms to choose from to turn into a games room. I shan’t miss  the box room I’ve been confined to for the last two and a half years that’s for sure!

So that’s the « what I did in my holidays » bit over and done with.

Gaming won’t really restart until we’ve moved and most of my toys will shortly be packed up ready for the removal chaps.

Post move I’ll be returning to my Strike campaign, plus working on some pre dreadnought naval action and these chaps:

Pendraken 10mm Elizabethan’s. Pike and shot - but not as you know it. 

I’m a bit torn at the mo between doing a Low Countries campaign with them or maybe an alt history Armada invasion one. The enforced lack of gaming will at least grant me a little time to make that decision I suppose.

Right then, I’d best sling my hook I suppose.

Toodlooh for now mes amis!

Friday, 8 July 2022

Be careful what you wish for…

This post was originally going to be called «The Day Of The Rat» a humorous tale of thwarted ambition and animal cruelty - but events have sadly overtaken me. 

You may recall a previous mention of my nipping over to France in September to have a look at Brittany, Cotes d’Armor and Lower Normandy - with a view to moving back there one day. No rush. Let the idea settle in. Do a bit of prep work…you get the picture.

Having taken our time to consider things in the round and presumably become comfortable with the concept I thought we might eventually put our house on the market and have a punt at it.

Again…no rush.

I had of course forgotten that the Current Mrs Broom is a force of nature - a woman who brooks no delay in anything. A week or so back she suggested that we got a valuation of our current gaff, so that we’d have an idea of what we’d be able to buy when we went over there. Seemed quite reasonable. Couldn’t argue with that. A valuation was duly booked. It turned out to be a good one. Very good in fact. Good enough that I couldn’t think of a valid reason not to put the house on the market straight away. 

Obviously it’d do no harm. I mean; finding a buyer takes months doesn’t it?

Apparently not. 

Within a week we had an offer of the full asking price and my carefully curated risk averse dip of a toe in the French property market had come apart at the seams. As proof, (if proof were needed) that we will soon be leaving, we were finally accepted onto the local Welsh NHS dentist list last week, (it’s only taken them 2 1/2 years to get around to it). 

All of that means that there’s been no gaming or even painting possible over the past ten days since everything has had to be squared away. The viewings have now stopped but thoughts are turning to packing stuff up for a move - or more likely putting stuff into short term storage. 

Without any gaming to report on blogging activity will naturally be sporadic for a bit and probably comprise of little more than place holding updates - so please accept my apologies in advance.

Suffice it to say that the lovely Elizabethan Pendraken 10mm army I’ve ordered will probably get little more than a cursory glance when it eventually arrives and the AVBCW project along with little a pre dreadnought flirtation I’d been working on will have to be shelved for the moment too. 

The removals men unloading my crap on Gold Beach

The whole thing’s pretty exciting - but more than a little bit scary too. Hopefully we made all our mistakes last time we lived on the other side of the Channel…gulp.

Toodleooh, or more accurately perhaps in future, «à bientôt mes amis!».

Sunday, 3 July 2022

The Bagley Field heist - Part 2

I ran the game today and was very pleased with the way TaM worked, though it’s definitely designed for more units on the board …and a different era of warfare!

The background fluff for this game was laid out in the previous post, so if you want to go back and look at that I’ll wait.

Up to speed now?

Okay then, the whole shebang took 7 turns and about an hour to play but there were enough potential alternative outcomes that I’ll probably run it again (off blog) at some point. 

Here’s a few piccies of the action.

Turn 1. The workers « assault » busses rattle their way up the track to the Nissen huts on the aérodrome, one of which is chock full of guns and ammo. Major Clanger (left of picture) had his lucky hat on, but he still rolled a 1 which meant that his chaps couldn’t arrive in his allotted portion of the turn. I had previously established it would take thirty minutes for the local coppers to respond to the alarm being raised by the caretaker. Worryingly for both parties the game clock advanced nine minutes on this, the very first turn. Ooh err. Better get my skates on!

T2. My workers leap out of the busses, pause to light a fag, then remember they’re meant to be searching for the weapons cache. One section heads to my ordered target the other lot wander up the lane towards the northernmost Nissen hut. In the background Major Clanger is grinding his teeth. In his portion of the turn he rolled high enough to bring his lorries onto the board, but the hex they occupy failed an activation die roll so they just had to sit there and watch as the blue collar types finished their snouts. As a bye the bye I rolled for which one of the Nissen huts the good Major was going to send his men to search and found that it wasn’t the one nearest to me, which was a relief. The end turn admin phase die roll saw another 8 minutes of the available raiding time disappear so my lads were clearly enjoying their fag break. That’s 17 minutes out of the 30 before the rozzers are destined to turn up by the way.

T3. The workers on the left of the picture burst into the Nissen hut and the busses move around a bit to prevent them becoming a lucrative single hex target. All of the hexes containing my units activated as required. In a normal TaM game at least one and sometimes two hexes (depending on troop type and command capabilities) will always be assured of an activation. I restricted it in this game because none of the men involved are professional soldiers and command and control would be almost nonexistent. Of course on the workers side the whole « command » thing is a bit of a sticky subject in itself…! Seems they’ve become a bit averse to having a boss telling them what to do. Clanger’s trucks inch forward down the track, perhaps spooked by the unexpected presence of an opposing force. Worried about the safety of his transports the pink one orders his men to get out and make for the nearest hut. No one knows at this point which hut contains the goodies of course but in the later admin phase a die roll determines that they are actually in mine. Woo hoo! Sadly I can’t type what Clanger said at this point. Alarmingly the game clock is advanced by another 9 minutes leaving only four minutes before the peelers of K division show up.

By the way if you get really close to the picture and listen carefully you might just pick up the feint jangling bells of speeding police cars.

Tell me you didn’t just do that.

T4. The driver of the bus and his mate begin frantically stowing wooden crates containing rifles and ammo. The workers leave them to it (due to job delineation concerns) and head out to confront the approaching middle class mob.  I didn’t tell Clanger that I’d found the weapons cache - so his men continued on towards his target hut. At the end of turn 4 the game clock only advanced by two minutes when a double 1 was rolled. Phew. For anyone still counting there are only two minutes left before the rozzers arrive.

T5. The good news was that Eric the bus driver managed to get the last crate on board, the engine started, and a hex worth of progress down the track to the south. The bad news was that none of the other hexes containing my chaps managed to activate. (I’m assuming they’d stopped short in order to shout ribald comments at the oncoming capitalist lackeys. We’ll probably never know). Meanwhile Colonel Bagshaw (retd) - one of the leading lights of the aforementioned capitalist lackeys, had brought along his shotgun, a cartridge for it, and a face puce with rage. The Colonel wasted no time leading his shopkeeper and clerk cohort into a round of fisticuffs with the communist oiks. Harsh words were traded and manly uppercuts attempted. At some point the shotgun went off with a bang, scaring everyone witless. The OMS pulled back… shaken. Clanger had entered into close combat rather than fire with little hope of success from an adjacent hex - but it had all gone wrong. (It really wasn’t his day) Taking a hit in the melee his section had been forced to pull back and become pinned. In the end admin phase there was more bad news. The game clock had advanced past 30 minutes and the fuzz had now shown up. Originally I’d intended that this would end the game but I’d got a truck full of goodies and a clear road to get off the board. Maybe I should continue (I thought) and see which road hex the coppers would turn up on; north or south? I rolled a dice.

T6. Bugger it. A bloody great idea that turned out to be!  “Allo allo allo, what’s goin’ on ‘ere then?” The skull crackers of K division had spread out across the south road, blocking the busses exit. Dammit. There was only one hex that activated for my side but thankfully it was the bus hex. Eric gunned the engine and released the handbrake. 

T7. At a blistering 10mph Eric smashed through the police cordon and set course for freedom. There were unsurprisingly no TaM rules for this eventuality but I reasoned that even at that crazy speed some of the coppers might just have managed to jump out of the way in time.

T7. Contd. “You’ll never take me alive copper” shouted Eric, but unfortunately he was wrong for Inspector Knacker had taken the precaution of arming his bobbies with rifles. Despite the speed of the passing vehicle the guardians of law and order had time to discharge their magazines, reload and then have another couple of goes. Some of them got so excited they kept on firing even after the busses tyres blew out and the engine caught fire. Braving the flames inspector Knacker did a bit of unnecessary trunchening on poor old Eric’s noggin before shouting the traditional K division victory cry of “Your nicked sunshine.”

The outcome: Well it was a draw I suppose, since nobody got what they came for. On the wife’s insistence I diced for the possibility of the busses cargo exploding (she was passing by at the time) but it didn’t… and she also asked why none of the protagonists had used the dinky little machine guns on the back of the parked up plane. 

Bloody women. 

After arresting Eric and securing the munitions the police swept the site. Inspector Knacker was surprised to see the number of « workmen » apparently digging holes and a party of the better sort seemingly practising their golf swings behind the hangers. 


The TaM rules worked really well, though with more units it will really come into its own. Playing with a game clock is a first for me (for some reason) but it added a definite frisson of tension to proceedings and will be included where possible in other games I play. 

It was a practise game of little consequence but I thoroughly enjoyed it and as usual found I could construct enough of a narrative to keep myself amused. 

Hope you liked it…there’ll be more of it coming soon enough.