Sunday, 21 April 2013

COW2004: Heroes of Victoria's Empire (HoVE) (or Carry On! Follow that, Kemal)

HEROES OF VICTORIA’S EMPIRE (HoVE) was a set of generic colonial wargames rules that I had been working on during 2003-4. The rules had been playtested in several face-to-face, one-on-one games, but they needed to be tested in a multi-player game, and COW2004 was the ideal opportunity to do so.

The scenario: Carry on! Follow that, Kemal
Deep in the desert of the Arab Kingdom of Khemed, a party of archaeologists, led by Professor Ronald Crump and his assistant Dr. Reginald Syde, is excavating the lost tomb of Tutankumup. The tomb is reputed to contain a vast treasure as well as evidence relating to the ancient methods of temple building.

The ruler of Khemed – Sheikh Abdul Abulbul – has 'lent' Professor Crump (for the princely sum of one thousand gold Sovereigns) a detachment of his army to guard the site. The Captain commanding these troops (an ex- Foreign Legion sergeant major named Marek Clotski) has also been given the secret task of ensuring that any discoveries are reported to the Sheikh. The Sheikh has also sent a large detachment of his army (commanded by another ex-Foreign Legionnaire, Major Michel Le Pice) to an oasis near the archaeologists' camp. This is supposed to be there to guard the water supply, but its real task is to make sure that the Sheikh gets his share of any gold and jewels that are found in the tomb.

A local Bedouin chieftain (and rival for the throne of Khemed) – Sheikh Ahmet Ali – has heard that the 'infidels' are desecrating the holy tomb of Tutankumup, and is determined to stop it. With the help of a renegade British officer – Captain Lawrence 'Kemal' Keene – he has gathered together his most loyal warriors and is determined to attack the archaeologists' camp. Once the archaeologists have been driven away – or killed – he intends to use the fact that Sheikh Abdul Abulbul has given his support to the 'infidels' to advance on Khemed City and overthrow the Sheikh


The area of operations.

A close-up of the profile mountains used during this game. They were built of thin plywood and balsa wood. The design is based on those built by David Gelber (AKA   Major General Tremorden Rederring).

The action begins!

The archaeologists set up their camp next to the ruins ...

... where they seemed to spend a lot of time talking ...

... about what they were going to do.

In the meantime, Sheikh Ahmet Ali and his tribesmen advanced on the unwary 'infidels'.

Sheikh Abdul Abulbul's troops moved forward to meet the threat ...

... but it was sometimes difficult to work out who was friendly and who was not!

Definitely unfriendly!

14 comments:

  1. This is a great scenario - very inspirational!

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  2. Looks like an excellent setup, scenario, terrain and figures! I have some hills like those as well.

    I've downloaded the rules in case I ever get around to trying them. The unit sizes fit in just right with the figures I have, except mine are 28mm. That's easily accounted for, though.

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  3. I like your profile mountains. I'll have to try building some one day.

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  4. That does look like fun. 'Reggie Syde' - I wish I'd thought of that one. I like those mountain profiles, and all. Looks the part, and functional as well. Some food for thought there.

    If Abdul Abulbul is anything like the Emir of the same name, Sheikh Ahmet Ali might do well to hire the services of that Russian hero of legend and song, Ivan Skavinski Skavar...

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  5. Marvelous! Very evocative of the Major-General. I've been thinking about 2d (or 2.5?) d terrain lately for use on a grid. This adds fuel.

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  6. Great pics and report Bob, I like your take on the hills too. Could work them into my games too I reckon... for Central Asian mountains.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

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  7. Might I mention two other fabled Russian heroes: the ever-restless Ivan Awfulitch, and his effervescent young ward, Igor Beevor...

    Chris

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  8. Legatus Hedlius,

    Thanks for your kind words. We certainly enjoyed it … and there were lots of opportunities for players to double and triple cross each other.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. Fitz-Badger,

    I am very glad that you enjoyed this blog entry.

    I like to keep unit sizes quite small so that players do not have to spend loads of money to try out my rules … and can also collect several different armies without having to take out a bank loan!

    The rules should work just as well with 28mm-scale figures as they do with 20mm-scale ones … and I look forward to hearing how you get on with the rules.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  10. Sean,

    The profile mountains are a great invention … and are not too difficult to make (and store!) as well. Give making some a try; you won’t regret it!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  11. Archduke Piccolo,

    I am pleased that you found so much to interest you in this blog entry ... and I like your suggestions
    as to who the Sheikh should hire!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  12. Ross Mac,

    That is exactly the ‘look’ I was trying to achieve … and they can easily be used with gridded terrain. I know … because I have done it!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  13. Pete,

    The profile mountains are a great idea that I copied from the old Major General Tremorden Rederring website, and they should be capable of being used to represent almost any mountainous terrain.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  14. Chris,

    My favourite Russians were Admirals Nokisblokov and Rippanikasov.

    All the best,

    Bob

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