Hated Spy

Last night we played a scenario of Sharp Practice set in the American Revolutionary War.

In December of 1781, Benedict Arnold, now a British General invaded Virginia in an attempt to disrupt the State’s support of General Greene’s forces in the Carolinas.  With a force consisting mostly of Hessians and Loyalists, Arnold landed unmolested in Portsmouth and preceded to raid up the James River until he reached and burned the new capital at Richmond.

Returning to Portsmouth, Arnold turned his attention to securing the deepwater port. This meant defending not only the town but also a redoubt on the road to Portsmouth from North Carolina called Fort Murray (Great Bridge) and Kemps Landing.  Arnold was hard pressed to defend all of this and to maintain his anti-partisan orders with his small numbers.

Virginia was suffering her own challenges.  The state was embarrassed by how little defense they had been able to muster to defend their capital and their fort on the James that was intended to be impassable (Ft Hood) proved little more than an annoyance.  Now, two months later both Generals Muhlenberg and Nelson had raised some militias but mostly they sat and watched.


This interim period, while Arnold sat in Portsmouth is filled with the sorts of actions that make the new campaign style in Dawns and Departures come alive.  The British are constantly moving their forces around their three main garrisons as well as harassing the inhabitants, looking for partisans, destroying American material of war, and foraging supplies and horses.  Two of the main forces of Arnold’s command are the Queen’s Rangers and Ewals Hessian Jagers.  Not only are the colorful and interesting troops both both Simcoe and Ewald have left memoirs which detail some of the action.

The American are more difficult to get specifics on and were mostly just militia forces, but they are under the command of Captain Amos Weeks who appears to be something of a local “swamp fox”.  Probably a relocated Conneticuit man, Weeks was leading a hit and run partisan campaign based out of the Dismal Swamp.

Our scenario was fictional, though it was built around a real event.  Ewald fought at James Plantation in a failed attempt to capture Weeks.  Weeks had been warned of their intentions by a young lady living in Portsmouth.  Our scenario was the rescue out of the rule book.  Some of Simcoe’s rangers had caught Polly and were holding her in the tobacco barn at James’ Plantation as a spy.  They are awaiting Ewald’s return to take possession of her.  In the Meantime Capt Weeks tries a brave rescue.


The Americans had a secondary deployment not far from the tobacco barn, and Weeks had his best troops, Some Virginia State men deployed there amongst the outbuildings of the plantation.



A small group of Rangers try to hold off the Virginians


The first of Ewald’s men to arrive were the skirmishers of the Queen’s Rangers who in a frenzy of spirit disregarded their orders and surged forward at some american militia skirmishers.  Their sargent, deciding that it was better to take advantage of the situtation that to try to regain their control ordered rushed them forward and the devastated one to the two goups.  The others would continue to fight on in a fire fight that continued for most of the rest of the battle.  Both sides fought bravely and hard, but the Ranger Sargent continued even after having been wounded twice.


When Captain Ewald arrived, he ordered one group of Jagers to help the Ranger skirmishers and then threatened the Princess Anne County Militia who were attempting to hold the American route of escape.



The Skirmishers fight by the Quarters while the Militia holds near the Barn

The militia fired a powerful first volley into Ewald’s Jager screen, sending them running but after that the firing between the main forces seemed to be having little affect.   For much of the game the advantage of momentum seemed to be going tpo the Americans and the British force morale was wavering.  Some of this was bad luck of card pulls, some of it was lack of familiarity with the rules some was just bad dice.  The Americans, seeing that the British Force Morale was collapsing decided to change their priority to that.  Figuring that if the drove Ewald off then they could take as long as they like to save Polly.

The British than through it all on one mad die.  They used their “Thin Red Line”.  This allows the British to fire a volley and then rush in with extra movement.  The caused some shock, but the movement left them just an inch short of their target!  It looked like their cause was lost, they were down to 2 or 3 force morale and inch from their target at the end of that turn.  We almost stopped playing, with the opinion that the British cause was lost.  It was decided to play one more turn, and miraculously the first card was Ewald!

The superior abilities of the Rangers saved them now.  Both groups of Militia were routed right off the table and a constant barrage of Bad Things Happen rolls took the Americans right to a complete collapse.








Merry Christmas to All…

While I realize one can not tell by this blog, but the Williamsburg Legati are still very active.  This year has seen some Altar of Freedom games, an increase in some of our boardgaming,  an introduction to Blood and Plunder, Guild Ball, and Battlestar Galactica.  Chris is excitedly preparing for Rommel.

An unexpected home repair disaster has seen us temporarily convening in a storefront (thanks, Joe) but we expect to return home soon.


Last Thursday saw a return to our seasonal game celebration.  We played 7TV.  A variation of their Search and Rescue episode starring Department X and Shiva casts, with a special guest appearance of St. Nick himself!


Both sides had 60 some points.  The set up was that Santa’s sleigh had crashed/ been shot down over the Greendock area of London.  Both Department X and SHIVA were in a race to recover Santa who was the McGuffin for the episode.


SHIVA pulled the “setting the scene” countdown card which allows a piece of scenery to be moved.  They used this to great advantage to move the main warehouse in the center of the table enabling Kali to easily capture Santa.  This and a failed attack by the single shot rocket of the X Track gave SHIVA’s dastardly plan a very successful head start.  The took this advantage and pulled back with much of their force to a lockup in an arch deep in one of their corners.  As Chris said, “this was to be their Alamo”.


This did prove to be, however.  The episode did seem to begin to sway in Department x’s favour. Hugo Solomon defeated the Guru in a very quick fight.  The X commando support by their Xtrack and Pandora King (not Stryker as printed in the comic) made quick work of SHIVA’s minions.  It looked like it would, in fact, all come down to a fierce fight for the lockup.

SHIVA, however, had been burning through the countdown cards trying to end the episode early.  With luck they got the “PLOT TWIST” allowing them two more Countdown cards, one of which was “Cliffhanger” thereby ending the episode prematurely, with Santa in their clutches.  Vince suggested that SHIVA was injecting Santa with the Krampus virus, to turn him evil.  Hmm, I do have a Krampus model on the way here, I think I see next years Holiday special!

Until Next Time, Cheers and Happy Holidays!




Wiliamsburg Muster 2017

DSC_0012The club participated as we always do in another Williamsburg Muster.  Though this one was different in a number of ways.

The Convention itself was held over Memorial Day Weekend (May 26-28) rather than its usual time in February.  It was not just a wargaming miniatures convention, but rather reached out to our local board gaming and roleplaying game communities to help expand the convention into a greater or more universal gaming convention, and lastly, it was at a new venue, The Doubletree here in Williamsburg.

The hotel was a great improvement, and one attendee stated that “it was nice to have a hotel with hot and cold running water for a change”.  If you attended last year’s Guns of August you will know he wasn’t entirely exaggerating!

The convention was different for the club as well.  Chris had planned on running some games but his business demands (The Phalanxe Consortium) and his convention duties got in the way.  He was present as a vendor of course as well.  Poor Peter found himself laid up at home with an injured back.  This left me to carry the Legati flag as far as running games and reduced the number of games supported by the Legati in years past.

My first game was intended to be a “Big Chain of Command” game, using TFL’s expansion for multiple platoons.  It was based on a scenario for Mud and Blood in an older TFL special, “Midnight at the Oasis”.  This was part of our ongoing commemoration of the World War One centennial.


Only two players wanted to participate, however, and so the game turned into “regular” Chain of Command with just two of the original four platoons.  One of our long lost Legati, Andrew Frantz participated and gained victory with the Turks holding the supply depot.

I also provided two 7TV games.  Both were set in 1970s London and played on the same table.  That made it far easier for me to run two games on Saturday, but it also gave me the opportunity to show off the versatility of the game.


The first game was “The Beat” a gritty London detective show involving a security van robbery.  The game was undecided.  The criminal firm successfully pulled off the heist but the Met did manage to nick some of the baddies including one of the stars.


The second game was a more outlandish spy-fi game.  Department X was escorting a VIP when attacked by the mysterious SHIVA. Al and Kerry played and the VIP was safely delivered.

Overall the convention seemed successful to me, and the new venue has a lot of promise.

Until next time Cheers,




A Link to Last Thursday’s Game Report

Thursday night the Williamsburg Legati played another Spy Fi game of Crooked Dice’s 7TV. More of the miniatures are painted, and we are playing around with different scenery ideas. Our newest member Geoff brought a lot of jungle foliage by, so we decided to set the game in the jungle. We also shook things up a bit on […]

via Bungle in the Jungle! A 7TV2 Episode. — Cry Havoc and Let Slip the Dogs of War!

One Bad Apple, a 7TV Episode



          With DC Falstaff disguised as a member of the firm,

      the Beat unleashes a sudden raid.  Unfortunately, it’s

      less of a surprise than expected.  Is a member of the

      squad bent?  DI Skelton has to find the culprit and

      nick the villains.

   So last Sunday the Williamsburg Legati began a new project.  7TV  second edition is a game by Crooked Dice based upon cult TV shows of the 1960s and 70s.  The game was really intended as a practice to help familiarize the players with the concepts and the rules.  Are table is not quite finished yet, so some of the scenery is a little sketchy, and in the excitement, I paid a  bit too little attention to the camera’s focus.  My apologies for these deficiencies!


This was an episode (game) of “THE BEAT” which was fictional TV Channel 7TV’s hard detective action programme.  Both casts (Sides) were built on 50 Ratings (points) and we had four players.  A random roll decided that this would be a Battle which is the simplest of the scenarios.  The Law got to choose if they would defend or attack and they decided it made more sense that they would be attacking. The coppers would be unleashing a raid on a criminal firm’s hideout in a factory complex.  Everything sounds fine so far….


A very interesting feature of 7TV is the “count down” cards.  these cards act as a turn counting device, but they are divided into three groups (Acts One, Two and Finale) and have special events that escalate as the acts progress.  The coppers had initiative and peeled around the corners in an impressive collection of vehicles.  The villains however, all had one free move due ot one of the character’s special effects.  Clearly they knew something was up.  Than a countdown card ( I think, it might also have been a special effect) caused one woodentop to activate under the villians control.  Choosing the driver of the police van, the bent copper smashes into Skelton’s flash motor, wrecking it!  these event crfeated at random a new narrative.  Obviously the villains had someone inside the squad!


This accident caused the police raid to stop further from the crooks than intended.  The coppers fought hard, but the disadvantage of firepower (all the PCs armed just with their truncheon) and the surprising toughness of slag aiding the Geezers eventually caused the Old Bill to pull out.  Occasionally crime does pay I guess.

Everyone enjoyed the game, which took longer than it should have since we didn’t know the rules as well as we might.  They are not difficult, but a number of the concepts are a little unusual.  Clearly the challengs of the game are knowing your cast (and perhaps the opponents) and determining how to spend your plot points.  These are used not only to activate your characters but can also be used to acctivate special effect or gadgets and to increase your attacks or defense.  I look forward to playing again.


Nice Mention By Our Guest Mike Whitaker as well as a review of Altar of Freedom and interview with Chris…

Download Episode 175 Welcome to Episode 175 of the Meeples & Miniatures Podcast In this episode, hosts Neil Shuck Mike Hobbs & Mike Whitaker discuss Mike W’s recent trip to the USA, including a day at Historicon. Our main feature in this show is an interview with Neil Fawcett, owner of Spartan Games, as we […]

via Meeples & Miniatures – Episode 175 – Halo Ground Command & Historicon 2016 — Meeples & Miniatures

Blood Sacrifice, A Pulp Alley Adventure!!

So last week brought about another installment in our Pulp Alley Perilous Island campaign.  Chris and the Rogue legionnaires continued against Peter and the Red Shambala to take themselves closer to finding the whereabouts of Lord Darrow.  Peter’s son joined us for the game with the “Knights of the White Rose”.  This legion consists of some high ranking veterans of the Imperial German Army, trying to stop Hitler’s rise to power.  Mostly they do this by thwarting his collection of occult and mythic relics.

This episode begins with the players being drawn to the cries of a distressed island girl.


The Germans were aided by a friendly local (a level 1 scout) and the French choose to bring a gadget x and a utility belt.  This is the first game that we were able to use the new resource cards and everyone was pleased with them.




I lost some of the action and didn’t take enough pictures so the comic does suffer a bit in accuracy this episode!  For example, there was more fighting in this adventure than we have seen in some time, if ever.  Gonga the terror proved far more capable than any other Terror we have encountered so far!




Of the minor plot points, the Germans took Shugenja and the relic, the French took the Periliniuim and the Russians had the remains and the Major plot point the Tropic Maid.  An enjoyable time was had by all.  Join us next time for “The Sinister Swamp!!”