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News / Logo
« Last post by SimonHall@TWZ on November 01, 2019, 02:39:28 PM »
Themed to match Men of Steel

Rules / Rules intro
« Last post by SimonHall@TWZ on October 29, 2019, 12:45:04 PM »
Here is the rules document at 291019
Rules / QRS
« Last post by SimonHall@TWZ on October 29, 2019, 12:44:31 PM »
Here is the QRS for testing.
Please give the rules a good go and get back to me.

News / LOGO
« Last post by SimonHall@TWZ on October 29, 2019, 12:39:53 PM »
Here is the logo
Game Concepts / Men of Steel intro
« Last post by SimonHall@TWZ on October 29, 2019, 12:39:07 PM »
The objective is to provide a fast moving and realistic 1-1 WW2 skirmish game using 15/20/28mm figures.  It is one of there "Skirmrish through the Ages" series where the same fundamental rule system is used for skirmish games across several different periods.  You will find the concepts a simple extension of those seen ins my Sci-Fi Historical transition game called Invasion Earth.

The game uses my CCC colour system but in the standard game only uses the Skull Dice and saves the colour command chits for the enhanced game.  You can use a standard plating in 28mm Bold Action or 20mm Rapid Fire as one model represents one man as depicted.

The game is intended to allow a full platoon game with infantry HW and perhaps one or two light vehicles to be played out in 2 hours.  The enhanced set then introduced the command chits for more involved game play as well as AFVs, off-table artillery, aircraft, Airborne ops, Amphibious Ops etc.

The draft rules and QRS for testing are in the rule section below.  PSC will have 20mm figures to go with the game with the first ones available around Xmas.  They look superb.

News / Introduction to Men of Steel
« Last post by SimonHall@TWZ on October 22, 2019, 11:16:49 AM »
Men of Steel is a 1-1 figures fast moving WW2 skirmish game best played with 20-28mm figures and models.  The rules are fast paced enough to allow a platoon level game in 2 hours and a company level game (120 a side) in 3 hours.  The game is intended to be mainly an infantry game and will be released in a Standard Game and then as an Enhanced Game.

Standard Game: uses the dice from the CCC system, but not the command discs. Players make alternate actions with officers being critical to getting your troops moving well. The Skull Dice are used for Shooting, H-H Combat and morale.  The game has a ready made scenarios for The Bridge at Arnhem with British Paras holding part of the bridgehead against German Panzer Grenadiers.  In addition to infantry heavy weapons, it includes rules for light vehicles armed with machine guns (bren carriers, hanomags, LMG sidecars, Jeeps with HMGs, Buffaloes), and for transports.

Enhanced Game: this adds: a) use of command discs and a greater range of actions to enrich the infantry gameplay, b) off table artillery, c) AFVs, d) aircraft, e) paratroopers, f) amphibious landings.  The AFV system is identical to that used in Divisions of Steel allowing easy transition from the 1-1 game to the battle game.  The difference is simply that you are likely to have at most 1-3 AFVs on table in a Men of Steel game (the rules feature a Hunt the Tiger scenario with one tiger, and a 6dr ATG + Bren Carrier).

I will be testing the rules out in Cape Town using our 28mm skirmish figures, while Mark will be testing in Lancashire in 20mm scale.

Please post your comments below so we can perfect the rules prior to publication in 2020.  The rules are going to be accompanied by four army list books, and a book from Mark Bevis on famous infantry actions of WW2.

Simon Hall & Mark Bevis
News / PSC version to be Divisions of Steel
« Last post by SimonHall@TWZ on October 22, 2019, 10:12:00 AM »
I have now agreed that the mainstream WW2 battle rules will go out with PSC and will be called Divisions of Steel with the skirmish set being called Men of Steel.  Indeed the mechanism for AFVs are the same in both games.  Divisions of Steel a base of 3-4 infantry representing a squad with vehicles 1-1; Men of Steel works 1-1 figures in figures and vehicles.

Divisions of Steel is a fast paced and realistic WW2 main battle game that can be played using the 15mm figures many of us already have in our cupboards with no rebasing required.  It works in any scale from 6mm to 20mm.  It uses the CCC system for Command & Control and Shooting, Fighting and Morale.

The essence of the game is to bring out two key features of WW2 combat:
1.  Repeat Activation by better troops. The reality was that better trained troops simply did more effective work than poor quality ones.  This is reflected directly in the rules with units being able to repeat activate.  A unit of top quality British Paras (BT1) are much ore likely to be able to do 2 or 3 actions a turn that green Americans in Tunisia (DT3) or early War Russians (BT4).
2.  Combined Arms Capability. The better led armies have much greater capacity for clever moves and combined arms. By having  the options to activate more than one troop at a time and also to keep the initiative the rules allow the historical capability of some armies (SS BT2 Germans) too coordinate artillery and infantry  well while forcing others to rely on numbers, non-tactical moves and courage (early was BT4 Russian).

Of course all this is built into the points system so you will get twice as many DT3s as BT2s.  So numbers will have their own quality in competition games.

A typical 2.5 hour competition game should average two companies a side and a full battalion level game can be played comfortably in a days gaming.

Please post your comments from testing below as we go through the final stage of development prior to publishing in 2020.

Simon Hall & Mark Bevis
Game Concepts / INVASION EARTH
« Last post by SimonHall@TWZ on October 22, 2019, 09:24:01 AM »
Technical Game Concept

A 1-1 skirmish game that uses half of the CCC system initially.  So all we use is the dice.  Alternating actions by the two sides.  Skull dice used for shooting and fighting. Fast and furious.

The game is driven by fundamental characteristics of Humans and Martians:
1. Humans:  are faster and their Martini-Henry rifles are very dangerous if concentrated fire is possible, but squishy and need leadership.  Use of their officers is vital to get mass fire on individual Martians.
2. Martians: much more dangerous individually, far from squishy, and have the ability to drop from the sky to cause chaos.  But they are also dedicated to retrieving the life crystals of any fallen comrades, which can be their downfall if things start going badly.

The game is fast moving and plays in about an hour with a 6 Martians War Group against 27 British Infantry under 2 officers.  The interaction of there characteristics leads to a much ore interesting game that would first appear - it has suprising depth for a game which runs of a simple 1-pager QRS with a set of skull dice.

The later advanced set adds the other half of the CCC system with command discs, a greater range of actions, and with morale based on the colour dice.  This then becomes a more involved thinking game but still plays in about 90 mins.

Historical setting - 1879

The story begins with a mix of historical vs SciFi as Martians land on earth in various places.  This gives us the opportunity to play out Martians vs. the wide range of human warriors of the time: such as .... 1) British infantry, 2) Boers and Zulus, 3). Chinese Boxers, 4) Afghan Tribes, and 5) 7th Cavalry and Sioux Indians.

But as the story unfolds we get aliens from other planets joining the fray, allowing players to move into full Sci-Fi territory with Martians vs Neptunians vs Jupitans vs Saturnites, or to move more into full historical wargaming with colonial skirmish using the same rules.  The core rules for both are the same, as indeed are rules in the forthcoming PSC WW2 skirmish set Men of Steel.

Battle for the Solar System Trilogy

The game is accompanied by a novel in three short books aimed at teenagers.  Book 1 is Invasion Earth.  The chapters will feature in the rules and create scenarios form the story. If there is enough interest, it may stand alone as an independent book to accompany the game and vice-versa. 

Wouldn't it be great to get this in WH Smith to grow the hobby?! A Sci-Fi book with an accompanying game that has a clear path to historical wargaming.  Surely a great marketing vehicle for the hobby.

First chapter is loaded up on this forum to read.  If you like it please give the initiative your support.


Game Rules / Rules intro
« Last post by SimonHall@TWZ on October 22, 2019, 09:02:38 AM »
The starter set of rules and QRS is at the freeware section of the store to download.  The game plays in about an hour on a 4x4 tabletop.

Encourage your friends to have a go.  Hoping we can get enough of a wave of interest to do the game in 20/40mm scale for humans/martians with PSC.  All support appreciated.

QRS attached here .... rules a bit big for forum.

Link to download all is http://lurkio.co.uk/lurk10live/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=176_181

Extact ... full chapter attached ...

THUD!  A massive sound this time.  Much closer.  And behind us.  Landing so close we felt the shock of impact as well as hearing the sound. Instinctively from our training we scattered and took cover, as if under artillery fire.  Turning from behind the trunk of one of the oak trees I saw, about three hundred yards down the road, a massive dust cloud was ballooning in the road.  Pieces of debris from the road fell to the ground about half-way between us and the cloud, bouncing of rooves and windows.  Slowly I could make out a distinct blue colour within the dust. 

CRASH! THUD!  This time an ear-shattering sound, and I turned to see the roof of our barracks suddenly collapsed with beams broken in all direction, tiles smashed all around, and flames licking the dry joists.  It looked as if it had been crushed by a giant rock from the sky.  Dust rose from the inside and an eerie blue glow could be seen through the now shattered windows. 

Sarge was decisive as ever, "Corporal Denham, take Section 2 down the road towards the cloud ahead. Keep in cover in case this is artillery of some form and watch out for that blue gas.”  Denham was up and had his soldiers moving off with him moving from wall, to hedge, to tree trunk.

Clarke continued, “Section 1 with me, face the barracks and keep to cover."  With that command our training cut in, giving temporary relief from the fear now building inside us. In a matter of seconds, our ten riflemen are in good position, rifles at the ready.

More crashes from inside the barracks and the blue colour is more obvious. As we wait there is also a definite but quite sound – a sucking sound as if inhaling deeply. 

Suddenly part of the walls either side of the main doorway start to crumble. Pointing and mortar began to crumble from the gaps between stones.  I glanced down the road to see the dust cloud starting to clear and deep within its blur the shape of a man was forming, but not a man.  It was larger and bulkier, and stood as tall as a nearby building. 

Sergeant Clarke was now looking puzzled, “this isn’t artillery and there is something in there.  Whatever comes out fire a volley on my command. Ready rifles.”

The wall of the barracks leaned outwards, wavered and with a sudden crash it fell forward creating a wave of dust that rolled over us.  A vague shape of a giant humanoid was visible through the dust.  "Fire!" 

The deafening blast of ten Martini-Henri rifles followed as ten 0.45" bullets explode from their barrels. My ears felt numb from the sound of the blasts and I could hear Sarge yell "Fire at will!" and the sounds of gunfire from behind us as Denham and his section opened fire.

I swear that I have never imagined such a thing as came at us from the wreckage of our barracks.  Two arms and legs it had - just like us - but little else did it have in common with us. 

CRYSTAL ALIEN with BG by Simon Hall, on Flickr

It stood more than 10 feet tall and its body had massive stocky proportions. It was thickset at the shoulders with no neck to speak of and a single giant glistening white eye in the centre of its forehead – rather like the cyclops I knew from an ancient Greek myth. Its body looked to be made from a red rock-like material with an indented surface, appearing almost as if little streams of black ink were running through red rocks.

The beast barely faltered its step as it smashed its way through brick and stone that would have required a dozen men and a battering ram to damage. The ground quaked as it moved steadily towards us, carrying half of our barracks door in one arm, and a hammer that was larger than me in its other hand.

Behind the beast a trail of blue smoke poured from its back, giving a sort of blue halo effect around its head.  I was reminded of the gold halos often used around angels in churches - but this was no angel.

The unearthly creature, at the same time terrifying and majestic, threw aside the remains the doorway and continued methodically towards us a little faster than walking pace.  Every few seconds a bullet struck it chipping away pieces of red and leaving patches of black showing, but its pace didn’t slow.

The ground shook with its every step, it was clearly very heavy indeed.  Three bullets hit almost at the same time and it was encouraging to see it stagger slightly from the impact.  For all its size, it clearly wasn't impervious to a bombardment of lead.   Another wave of bullets truck home and I could hear Sarge egging the boys on.

The creature reached down with its left hand and pulled a blue globe, a little smaller than a football, from its waist and threw it underarm towards us.  It rolled quickly towards the right hand of our firing line, my fellow soldiers unaware of it as they quickly opened, loaded and closed their breech rifles.  In its other hand the brute lifted its hammer and accelerated towards our line. 

Coming to my senses (I realized I had been stunned into inactivity), I yelled a warning: "look out for that blue globe."  I called just as the blue ball came to a stop close to the right hand of our line.  I ducked out of the way to the left and couldn't stop myself from dragging Sgt. Clarke and Hendie a little away. 

I recall seeing one of our privates, hearing my warning, look down at the blue globe just before it exploded.  I will never forget how he raised his eyebrows, as if amused by some trinket of a pretty present, before the blue flash consumed him. 

Searing heat knocked me to my knees.  Dazed I look up to see three of our soldiers on the ground and two staggering injured on their knees, scorched and bleeding.  Sarge was face down on the paving stones; Hendie was on his knees pointing the flag defiantly towards the beast.

The creature pushed on towards us. Now only about 10 paces away I could see two bright yellow spots shining underneath its single large white eye, looking like the stripes of native American Indian war paint. The creature veered left towards our wounded and prone comrades, clearly intent on finishing them off before dealing with the rest of us.

Reaching our stunned and wounded comrades, with a single sweep of its giant mace it smashed the two wounded privates into the air above us. I was startled by the feeling of warm blood hitting my face and was transfixed as their two crumpled frames crashed to the ground behind me.  Still in shock and expecting nothing but death to come soon, my eyes focused into the distance to see section 2 being similarly mauled by another of the giant beasts, this one wielding two of the horrible hammers.

I turn back in time to watch the beast crush the skulls of our three stunned soldiers one after another, just using its feet to do so. Three brief stamps and three lost comrades.  It turned towards me and its single white eye seemed to burn into me.  I felt a hand pulling my sleeve, Hendie was dragging me away while unloading his pistol, putting six bullets into the creature’s body.

As it came close to us our one remaining rifleman, Private Smith, fired a 0.45” straight into its chest at close range. The beast slowed and was showing several wounds where large chunks of its surface had been blown away by bullet strikes. 

10ft, 5ft ... I stood frozen with fear.  In a desperate act, I threw my drumsticks at the beast; for all the good that would do, I do know not.   Then Hendie was at my side wielding the standard like a spear and thrusting it into the creature’s body.  The tip bashed around the hard exterior but seemed to find a black weak spot and penetrated a little.

I see the giant mace swinging in a wide arc towards me and I freeze expecting the crushing impact and darkness. But instead I am suddenly tumbled to the ground.   Clarke has recovered and thrown himself at me pushing me out of the way of the deadly strike, but I can hear that Private Smith has not been so lucky. 

Clarke rolled off me and was back in his feet in instant.  The back of his tunic was torn, but his rifle and bayonet were up and at the ready.  "Hendie, aim for the black patches between the rock bits.  For Queen and country.  Let's take it down laddie!" 

With skill and speed defying his age, Clarke ducked under the swinging hammer, finds a black patch with his bayonet and pushed with all his strength.  Hendie found a similar gap and pushed the spear, which bent close to breaking before suddenly plunging its way deep into the creature.  The creature raised its head as if in pain but made no sound at all. 

The creature could not lift its club anymore - somehow, we had damaged it.  With a swing of its free hand it swept Sarge away and he flew ten paces off to the side rolled and lay still.  With a scream of "die you demon," I threw myself at the stock of Sarge's rifle, which was still hanging from its body, and drove it in to the full depth of its bayonet.

The creature stalled and started to shake - gently at first like shivering, but then so violently that I let go of the rifle and Hendie did same with the standard. The flag is beginning to burn from the heat.  The shivering within seconds became shaking and with a shudder the creature’s body begins to crumble, large chunks of red rock falling from its frame. Blue smoke spread in all direction from it, and it was then that the strange smell in the air registered with me, a smell rather like sour milk.  As we both rolled away, we watched its demise.  It crumbled down to a red and black dust within a cloud of blue.

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