A blog about miniatures, wargaming, and the people driven to ruin by them....

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Horror: Shadows over Little Germantown


We had a club mini-convention this weekend.  I ran a Colonial era Gothic Horror game set between the French and Indian Wars and the American Revolution, in the sleepy little hamlet of Little Germantown.  This dreary village is the center of a region that sprawls across the westernmost Pennsylvania / New York border, within striking distance of the French in Canada, vulnerable to attacks from native peoples, and... many things much, much worse.  I am using a Where Heroes Dare! variant, and my miniatures were West Wind and Blue Moon figures from various horror sets, with Old Glory FIW and AWI miniatures for the Indians and troops.

Several bands of adventurers converged on Little Germantown (Sir Bartholomew Simpson and Ichabod, Jack Manleigh and Brom, Dr Van Helsing and Mina... all with accompanying troops, either British soldiers, colonial riflemen, or militia).  Game play involved interacting with Encounters (townsfolk and locals, with either information, help, or simple Victory Points), Mysteries (specific terrain features that have to be "solved" to earn Victory Points), and, of course, Creatures (which represent anything that might be harmful... though sometimes these are just humans too).

The setting....


The parties...
 Everyone arrived in Little Germantown at the same time, but soon spread out to collect information (and earn VP).  Here, my group, Jack Maneligh, Brom, and some colonial riflemen hurry towards the house of the Burgmeister.

Unfortunately, an unrevealed token was revealed to be a pack of ravenous wolves, who swept down on Brom.  The riflemen were able to dispatch the wolf pack, but not before Brom was torn to bloody pieces.

A group of ghouls emerged from the cemetery, but after reloading, my colonial riflemen shot them down too.  I failed to take a good image of the ghouls, sorry!  While I was busy clearing the way into the village, Van Helsing and Simpson ransacked the hay stack, cemetery, and interrogated the good Reverend Steedwyck (who bestowed special items that might prove useful against the foul beast).

A war party of Indians showed up, quickly engaging and eventually eliminating Van Helsing's militia amidst the ruins of burned out cabins...

Once all of the Mysteries and Encounters were revealed, the face of the beast was finally known.... the fouls Baron von Leech and his blood sucking family, served by their faithful evil Cossacks!

While van Helsing garnered additional militia from the Burgmeister (van Helsing first soothed Jeeves, who in turn assisted van Helsing in his negotiations with the Burgmeister), he also made the mistake of trying to negotiate with Lady Archer.  Archer showed her true colors, by unleashing an additional party of Indians (evidently secreted away near the Burgmeister's house).

While the middle of the town turned into a massive melee quickly, the Baron and his consort swooped down upon Ichabod and the British troops assigned to Sir Simpson (you can see one of the Ghouls killed earlier in the game to the far right).

Their firing failed to bring down either Vampire, and melee ensued....

Back in the middle of the village, the various friendly forces were having a slightly better time dealing with the foul brood of the Baron....

... as the hostile Indians were dispatched, and one of the Vampire children was also eliminated (but not without casualties to my colonial riflemen!).

In the end, the battle ended just as swiftly as it had begun, the Baron spiriting away, "licking" his wounds, but hardly diminished in strength.  The friendly forces stood breathing heavily, counting their losses, and giving thanks for their survival.  Both sides knew the war had just begun, and this battle was only the opening skirmish of a long struggle.

The game was a bunch of fun to put on and run.  I am designing this system so that the scenario writer can actually participate in the game, without the need for a GM.  As both the narrator of the story, and a player, I started the game with a deficit of Victory Points, and the other players received "Rumors", types of clues, to help them out.  This seemed to work perfectly well, as at the end of the game, my VP total was in the same range as the others.  I do believe that some end of game scores by Sir Bart Simpson put him in the lead.

The players act cooperatively, but use game mechanics to confound each other (so that while the miniatures act in unison to achieve the over all goal.... the players get to kick each other under the table, so to speak).

Expect more of this to come....

I also participated in an excellent Pulp-Crawl as designed and put on by our dear Doctor Merkury....

My character Jack Manleigh teamed up with Professor something-or-other, as we found ourselves sentenced to death in the catacombs of the Mole People....

We promptly shot our way past the guards, only to run foul of a dinosaur..... Jack Manleigh mowed this one down.

Of course, after battling past more pale skinned ancients, we found ANOTHER dinosaur.  Our combined boom-stick fire brought the beast down.... but how much more could we take?  The labyrinth seemed to go on forever!

 Finally, we found the exit.  We were set upon by a mob of guards, led my their vile champion.... both porters were killed, and Jack Manleigh took a wound, but eventually our superior wits (and firearms) decided the issue.  As we clambered to the light above, would we ever feel safe again?

Once again, Doc Merkury delivers fun and excitement in a neat little package.  Thanks to Doc, and his sidekick, Mongo!








  1. I was fascinated by both of your games yesterday. If I had not been running the SAGA demo I would like to have tried both. Like your blog. Here is mine. Hope you enjoy.

    Tom Keegan


  2. Thanks. The Dark Ages game looked nice... I always seem to miss out on the DA games (I think the regular one I the club is Raven's Feast).

    Your FIW stuff looks great. We use This Very Ground typically, used to run it all of the time, been a bit slower lately. One of the things I obviously am doing with the Colonial Horror is multi-purposing my FIW and AWI terrain and miniatures.... its a great way to save time and money :)

  3. What a great idea! A few of my usual gamers like FIW/ACW but are wary of Where Heroes Dare. This could be a great cross-over game. I'm "borrowing" the idea!

  4. Very enjoyable report with eye-candy: thanks for sharing!
    Great to see 'Horror' games set outside the perpetual Victorian era -for me I specially appreciate such 'Lacepulp' setting