Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Texas Revolution: Scenarios written for One Hour Wargames

The Texas Revolution:
Scenarios written for One Hour Wargames
By Kenneth Van Pelt
Battle of Gonzales
Situation: The Battle of Gonzales was the first military engagement of the Texas Revolution. It was fought near Gonzales, Texas, on October 2, 1835, between rebellious Texian settlers and a detachment of Mexican army soldiers .

In 1831, Mexican authorities gave the settlers of Gonzales a small cannon to help protect them from frequent Comanche raids. Over the next four years, the political situation in Mexico deteriorated, and in 1835 several states revolted. As the unrest spread, Colonel Domingo de Ugartechea, the commander of all Mexican troops in Texas, felt it unwise to leave the residents of Gonzales with a weapon and requested the return of the cannon.

When the initial request was refused, Ugartechea sent 100 dragoons to retrieve the cannon. The soldiers neared Gonzales on September 29, but the colonists used a variety of excuses to keep them from the town, while secretly sending messengers to request assistance from nearby communities. Within two days, up to 140 Texians gathered in Gonzales, all determined not to give up the cannon. On October 1, settlers voted to initiate a fight. Mexican soldiers opened fire as Texians approached their camp in the early hours of October 2. After several hours of desultory firing, the Mexican soldiers withdrew.[1]

Although the skirmish had little military significance, it marked a clear break between the colonists and the Mexican government and is considered to have been the start of the Texas Revolution. News of the skirmish spread throughout the United States, where it was often referred to as the "Lexington of Texas". The cannon's fate is disputed. It may have been buried and rediscovered in 1936, or it may have been seized by Mexican troops after the Battle of the Alamo.

Army Sizes:  Mexican Army: 4 Units. 1 Infantry, 1 Skirmisher, 2 Cavalry.   Texian Army: 6 Units 3 Infantry, 2 Skirmisher, 1 Artillery.


Mexican Army in zones 7,8,9 facing North.
Texian Army 1 Infantry and 1 Artillery zone 2.

Reinforcements:  The Texian army rolls a dice at the beginning of every turn and receives a unit on the North map edge on the roll of 4, 5, 6.  The Mexican army does not receive any more reinforcements.

Special Rules:  The Guadalupe river is difficult to cross and the ferry has been removed by the Texians.  To cross a unit must begin the move adjacent to the river and roll a 5, or 6 to cross. Texians add +1 to their die roll.

Game Length and Turn Order: 15 rounds and the Texians move first in each turn.

Victory Conditions:  Major Victory: Mexicans win if they make contact with the cannon artillery piece located in zone 2.  If they make contact the unit is captured and loses all remaining strength points. Marginal Victory: Capturing the gun and taking casualties or losing a unit.
Failure: Taking any casualties on the Infantry and skirmisher units.
Texians win a Major Victory if they are in possession of the cannon at the end of the game.

Inspiration:  One Hour Wargames by Neil Thomas and the Wikipedia site on the Texas Revolution.

Battle of Goliad Scenarios for OHW

Battle of Goliad
 Situation: The Battle of Goliad was the second skirmish of the Texas Revolution. In the early-morning hours of October 9, 1835, Texas settlers attacked the Mexican Army soldiers garrisoned at Presidio La Bahía, a fort near the Mexican Texas settlement of Goliad. La Bahía lay halfway between the only other large garrison of Mexican soldiers (at Presidio San Antonio de Bexar) and the then-important Texas port of Copano.

In September, Texians began plotting to kidnap Mexican General Martín Perfecto de Cos, who was en route to Goliad to attempt to quell the unrest in Texas. The plan was initially dismissed by the central committee coordinating the rebellion. However, within days of the Texian victory at the Battle of Gonzales, Captain George Collinsworth and members of the Texian militia in Matagorda began marching towards Goliad. The Texians soon learned that Cos and his men had already departed for San Antonio de Béxar but continued their march.

The garrison at La Bahía was understaffed and could not mount an effective defense of the fort's perimeter. Using axes borrowed from townspeople, Texians were able to chop through a door and enter the complex before the bulk of the soldiers were aware of their presence. After a 30-minute battle, the Mexican garrison, under Colonel Juan López Sandoval, surrendered. One Mexican soldier had been killed and three others wounded, while only one Texian had been injured. The majority of the Mexican soldiers were instructed to leave Texas, and the Texians confiscated $10,000 worth of provisions and several cannons, which they soon transported to the Texian Army for use in the Siege of Béxar. The victory isolated Cos's men in Béxar from the coast, forcing them to rely on a long overland march to request or receive reinforcements or supplies.

Army Sizes: Mexican Army: 4 Units Infantry.  Texian Army 3 Units Infantry 3 Units Skirmishers.

Deployment:  Mexican Army all 4 units in zone 5, the presidio.  Texian army may deploy on any table edge.

Reinforcements: No reinforcements.

Special Rules: The Mexican Units cannot fire or move until they activate with a roll of 4,5,6.  Once activated they are active and will fight the remainder of the game. 
The presidio should have four gates marked on each fort side facing.  These have a hit point value of 5 and will stop unit traffic until they are opened by the Mexicans or destroyed with combat by the Texians. Firing into the presidio target units take only half fire effect.

Game Length and Turn Order:  The game is 15 rounds and the Texians move first in each round.

Victory Conditions: Texians score a major victory if the capture the presidio.  Mexicans score a marginal victory if they get 2 units off the table.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Missing Mummy

The night of the Missing Mummy

Gotham by GASLIGHT
From clockwise, the Penguin and Bop-Gun Gang, the Gotham City Police Department with military attachment, The Museum of Antiquities with Bruce Wayne, Julie and Professor Martin., the Concrete Kowalski gang and the infamous copper Tucker Torpedo.

Again, from clockwise, Batman makes his story arch debut and is embarrassed by the 20 sided die.  The Batman would roll three failures of 20 during his first four encounters for the evening. That's Batman tripping on his cape as he entered the museum back door.  He was attempting to arrest Vinny the mad bomber.  Vinny had just thrown a bundle of TNT into the middle of the museum crowd.  Next image with the Penguin is the moments just after the bomb went off.  Oswald Cobblepot could be seen ducking under an armored umbrella and living through the explosion.  Bop-gun was shredded by the explosion and only regained consciousness after the scenario.  The crowd was litterally shredded into clouds of red mist.  This triggered an otherworldly encounter as the rafters of the museum disgorged an unholy flock of impish batlike blood sucking horrors. Next image, GCPD respond to the explosion.  Last image we can just make out Bop-gun blown out of the main hall of the museum into the breezeway between galleries.
The Batman and his horrible rolls.  Batman witnessed the kidnapping of his girlfriend Julie and her father by two separate gangs.  Seems the Polish mafia made off with Julie and killed almost all of the gallery visitors while the Penguin and Bop-gun kidnapped the professor (Julie's dad.)  Which way will the Batman go?
Nine civilian casualties from TNT.  The Batman makes it into the open passage between galleries only in time to watch the kidnappers take the professor out of the museum and into waiting vehicles.

Blood Imps are feasting on the carnage and eating the dead gallery visitors!

Scene right we can see a women and some bloodsuckers forming up to wreak havoc on the balance of the museum visitors.  Who is this mysterious woman?
The Museum of Antiquities.  the scene of a gallery opening featuring a collection of ancient artifacts from  Cathala Province in the Dess Mountains of the old world.  Also the scene of a double kidnapping and bombing.
Man did the Batman disappoint!
One of the neat things for this campaign is that the players all have a comic book to track character progress and story-line development.

In another part of the city the police and military component of the game were fighting it out in a Gotham side street.  The Kowalski gang t-boned the police car to keep them from getting to the museum to stop the kidnapping.  Unbeknownst to them the mummy/vampire? was not there and had been previous episode stolen by the Bop-gun Gang.

Next episode:

Ransom, Ransom, Boom

Friday, February 2, 2018

Something's Gotta Give

The Secondhand Lions convened for a Chapter of the Gotham by GASLIGHT this last Thursday.
This is the city layout for the dockyard scenario called, "Something's Gotta Give."
The gang war that has been raging in Gotham has been decided to have a major throw down here at Gotham's shipping center.  This night the S.S. Gotham City, ex-WWI supply steamer, would be unloading mothballed munitions from the war.  Talk about a powder keg!
The local garrison troops and dock workers can be seen loading a box of Thompson sub-machine guns into the back of that panel truck.  In the center distance we see the Tucker Tornado of the infamous crime boss Louis "Concrete" Kowalski.
The steamer, S.S. Gotham City, is being unloaded.  The cargo should have been just munitions, but something strange was secreted aboard the ship under an old canvas tarpaulin.
Gotham proper.  The shipyard.
Two crime bosses sharing a toast to the evenings combat.
The east side gang under the direction of "Bop Gun" Jackson open the night once again with the first act of villainy against the population of Gotham.
The harbor.
Squealing around the corner is the Tornado preparing for a drive by shooting?!
One block west the gang is thumping a police cruiser.  This vehicle would get carjacked.
Soldiers dutifully loading the cargo to transport to the armory.
Pulling into the harbor is an unidentified tug.  No real threat right?
Shots are exchanged and the troops defend the ship and cargo.
Wide view of the city.
Don't go near the playground or park.  
There are some mean girls there that don't mess around.
Views like this make projects like this all the more fun.  I get drawn in...
The gunfight at the ship yard.
"Bop Gun's" gang try some schmoozing shenanigans and try to bluff there way onto the ship!  It worked.
The gunfight rages on.  Who is that coming up from below decks on the tug?!
The millionaire thug, Oswald Cobblepot!  This must be his gang that is threatening the military munitions and perhaps the unknown long iron box.
Cobblepot's thugs attack the ship.
Bodies are floating in the water.
Using his deadly umbrella gun to good effect!
The soldiers break open a case of grenades and use one on the tug!  
Multiple casualties as expected and more bodies are a floatin'

We all know you saw this Nick!

It is discovered through great trepidation that a vampiric sarcophagus was stowed away on board in the bow of the ship.

"Concrete" Kowalski's gang comes down on the transport truck like a ton of bricks.  They capture the first third of the items unloaded by the soldiers.
The "thing".
The steamer cuts lines and begins to fire the boiler to leave port.  The soldiers do not want to risk the loss of further munitions.

Tune in next time to see Chapter Three: The Missing Mummy!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Gotham by GASLIGHT

This was last Thursday's exploration of the city of Gotham. All of the events transcribed under the watching eyes of the Batman. As he reminisced from his rooftop perch on the evening and the events surrounding his parents death.
As darknesss falls on Gotham the night shift heads out to their beat assignments.  Each night brings with it it's challenges for the detectives and policemen of Gotham. (All miniatures in this scenario are Heroclix, and vinyl personalities from SNL Trivial Pursuit, and Clue.)

The campaign game that we are starting in the Secondhand Lion's club is Gotham by G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T..  I am using the core rules, parts of To Be Continued..., and Expeditions GASLIGHT.  I have a unique character advancement chart that I have created based on the progression of a character development in the world of comic book heroes of old.

As with the law, so with the criminals.  Each night brings on a "shift" of sorts where all manner of depredation will be plied on the citizens of Gotham.  This scenario or Chapter 1, is entitled "Park Boulevard - Rebels Without a Cause.'  I started our players out as common thugs involved in a gang.  The gangs would compete to see who could commit the most crimes in the scenario and thus be declared "Ruling the streets" of Gotham.  GASLIGHT is a card driven system and we were dealt cards and played out our team from high to low.  I would play as the police this evening and I was facing three criminal gangs commanded by Mr. Tim, Mr. Terry, and Mr. Ted.
The first crime on the film roll was this double hit in China town. Down went a fry cook and a sushi chef.  The red chips denote a successful crime vs. a citizen.  The gang would then need to bank these chips in their hideout to keep a running score of the crimes committed during the game.  Terry's East Side Hoodlums were on the board.
A nice view of the full Gotham environment.  N. Park Blvd at the bottom of the image with S. Park Blvd in the background.  Terry scans his comic book character sheet and Ted scans the streets of Gotham looking for an easy score.  In the mirror on the back wall we can see the North side crime boss Timmy also sizing up his chances to get this city under his thumb.
The West side gang lead by the criminal element of Mr. Ted would find that some citizens had a bit of bite in them.  Take as an example this effeminate Park Blvd. performer: Citizens 1, Criminals 0.  He was a Scuffle:7 and didn't take crap from the  armed thug trying to rob him.  The gangs were lead by a rolled up character personality with a higher Shoot, Scuffle and all the attributes in TBCBG.  Their extras were common thugs with a Shoot, Scuffle of 8.  As they died the director made an on camera decision that if the police got to them they would be arrested but if another gang member could get them back to the gang hideout they could be revived and back in the game.
Cue background music as we ponder the Gotham billboard. (Made from refrigerator alphabet magnets.)  Thomas and Martha Wayne can be seen strolling with their son bottom right.....)
My detective with backup tries to make sense of the crime scene he is witnessing.  The director declared that all gang leaders were known wanted fugitives and could be pursued with deadly force on sight.  Gang extras would only be pursued if they were committing a crime or were in possession of a red chip from a previous crime.
At a certain point I have a saying that goes, "when the cat hits the fan," things got crazy out of control in West side!  Look in on our flamboyant stage actor as he knife fights another thug and then an arresting policeman!  The pink bloodbath would become a moment of legend in this game!  The other policeman on the left of this magenta conflagration was downed by the prone thug.

Back up north things were progressing and to a large extent looked like the game was going to go north.  Look in on the middle left and see criminals high tailing it back to hideout in possession of some "loot".
Ted's crime boss and my detective go toe to toe in the streets pretty much not wanting to get near the stiletto bloodbath.
North town police station and a view down N. Park Blvd.
And then it happened....Thomas and Martha Wayne were shot and bludgeoned to death!!!!

I made Ted roll a Sense check on his character and his success meant that his criminals could feel a sense of being watched and then fear came over them.

At this point I described to the players that this was the night that the Batman's parents were murdered in Gotham.  And that on the anniversary of that event the Batman always revisits the spot of the crime.  Here tonight the Batman has been watching and reminiscing about all the things that went on that night - when his parents were killed.  Everything that took place on the game table was part of that night.  Duhn, duhn da dahhhhnnnnnn!!!!!
A cool way to make the origin story of the Batman part of our campaign game.

These two miniatures in my collection have been marked on the base as having been at the scene of Batman's parent's murder.  What lies ahead for them!!!!
The gruesome scene in all it's horror!!  It is enough to drive a man mad with rage and make them want to seek a lifetime of vengence!

The East and West side gangs tied for the score on crimes.  Seven each.  The climactic scene was enacted.  The North town gang was really faring well and then they shot at a detective outside the front steps of the police station so the director activated the police and the result was a crushing blow to North town gang.

So faithful reader if you have made it this far here is what is in store.

Chapter 2 "Something's Gotta Give"  The streets of Gotham have become a madhouse.   The gang war between east and west will be the focal point of the next chapter but what attention will this draw from the law?  What attention for that matter will it draw from crime lords with significant power??!!

Who is the "Park Blvd Pink Stiletto"?!!  and who the hell is "Swing Chain Jane!!"