“NO I SAID A PINT”
Cain couldn’t believe how loud the explosion was and that his ears were still there to ring.
The Ersatz Bolshevik at the bar gave up and ordered a pint for him, when he brought it back to Cain he placed it on the table and crashed back into his seat.
At least the bar was fairly cool seeing as every window in the place was smashed, he glanced outside and could still see pools of fire where the burning rain had dropped.
How on earth had it gotten to this……………….
Game 27 of our VBCW campaign
Raid on a train
Each player had either eight men/ladies in a truck or seven cavalry. Most players went with Cavalry.
Rules used were modified BA but with one dice per man/woman.
After painting up my first 28mm horses the despicable Andy, genius behind our part of the VBCW universe decided I would actually ride in the train so back in the box they went.
Mission I heard was get the train back to the sidings whilst the rest of the gang tried to hijack it to get the supplies, thoughts on what constitutes a train went through my head.
The train currently consisted of the engine and tender with two tankers of fuel, possibly some of Petrov’s home made vodka possibly something less flammable like petrol. At each end was a coal hauler that had been converted into a flatbed gun platform.
Random cards were drawn and went to a random player on a D6 roll off, Cain couldn’t have written a better on himself
No sooner had the game started and cavalry units came on from all sides, it looked like a story from the pulp magazines of the wild west, in the far distance a truck burst out of cover.
Gunfire let rip but was hit or miss, pardon the pun, as everything was bouncing around either on a horse or something with more horse power so to speak.
The BUF forces closed on the rear of the train where machine gun and rifle fire held them off, up in front a gang of unknown maniacs in a lorry charged forwards and several occupants could be seen with grenades and molotovs. From out of the bushes to the top left hand side came a unit intent on blocking off the train and an unholy alliance was joined between them, some fake Bolshevik types and the young ladies from the finishing school. The young ladies had left their hockey sticks at home in preference for lances they had obviously found laying around in the school theatre.
Blury pics due to the high speed of the train, 4″ movement per turn with -1″ on a D6 roll of 1-3 and +2″ on a 4+, with the first red dice of the turn I drew always being allocated to the train and a number of 4+ rolled it started to head up track. A random turn length dice also added to the bag came out fairly quickly on a number of turns which also helped our brave hero’s dash forward. Dash may be going it a bit as an infantry man could walk faster than the train but what the heck we wanted chaos and battle not trainspotting from afar.
Brave guys and gals started assaulting the train, which due to it counting as a defended obstacle and everyone being inexperienced left several dead train riders and an equal amount of riderless horses. Others jumped aboard in undefended places, needing a 5+ to jump on board, once on the roof they started heading towards the locomotive. A few were left winded on the ground.
Whilst troops continue to close in from all sides up ahead two men get to the points intent on changing them forcing the train from its intended direction of travel. Being a borrowed coal transporter Cain hoped it would get past the points before they managed to change them as he didn’t want to end up being diverted to the coal yard explaining why large chunks were missing from old Bessie. Those same chunks were being taken to Butchers scrapyard by Anastasia. During most of the game Andy the GM looked on bemusedly from the side lines, no doubt wondering if just once everyone would play the mission as written and not just ignore it and start blasting away at everything that came close. TBH for once there was little crossfire and double dealing with most firepower being aimed at the train.
The BUF who were loosing men fast decided to start taking pot shots at the tankers now leaving the crew in the rear flatbed covered in a horrendously foul and stinging fluid, perhaps it was Petrovs finest anyway. Whatever it was all cigarettes were immediately thrown over the left side of the wagon, we were not told how many shots were needed to potentially cause an explosion.
So far the points would not budge, no 5’s rolled, so the train was on track………or was it?
Fed up of sitting in the front wagon getting grenades thrown at him Malek jumped onto the lorry to fight back, a grenade had just blown up the field piece which turned out good newsfor the escape plan. It has previously hit the track by scattering off its aim point and damaged it, we use a system whereby someone shouts out if inches or centimeters are to be used to guess the aiming point. This is complicated further by swapping between centimeters and inches, even then it scatters. Try guessing a range to something in cm’2 minus 8 inches doubled in a few moments, no wonder my poor lads have hit their own tracks and even one of their own trucks once.
The guys at the points had now managed to change them and looked on smugly. They obviously were not used to train tracks as unknowingly the points had been set up in the wrong position when the terrain was placed on the table, Cain grinned manically and roared with laughter as they had now set the train right where it wanted to go. It’s true check the pics of the tracks before and after. I am ashamed to say I did laugh mightily but everyone knows I am a poor winner.
The non bolshie and the lady who had worked together to uncouple the train grinned at each other as they finally got it to part, a few had fallen to their deaths trying. This blossoming love story turned sour as they realised that they were on opposite sides of the break and slowly moved apart as the train sped off and the now un-powered back half of the train slowed down. It should be noted the girly one was waving her hat as they parted, some wondered at her true feelings.
Tim’s lads in the lorry had just managed to get their truck into reverse, following a bad run of cards that caused it to stall, they now regretted it as they were speeding away from the tankers
Bill had managed to climb aboard and break into the cab and shot the driver in the back in a dirty trick only he could be proud of. Bill was surprisingly quiet throughout no doubt confused not to have a number of troopers in drag as usual.
The BUF realising they had very few men left now decided to take up rustling instead of train robbery, this was turning into a great episode of Westworld.
Cain narrowly missed death as a bullet from the truck struck the man next to him, thanks to the card from earlier, he made a jump to get to the loco that was now speeding helplessly towards the buffers. Misjudging the gap he fell from it but landed on his feet and made for the safety of some bushes, heroic leap to save the train or cowardly attempt to save his own scalp maybe we will never find out.
Two more of his men tried it, one was shot by our lone love bird but the other hung on edging closer to the black hat that had killed his mate in the cab. The train was now judged to be out of control as the driver had fallen on the lever when he was shot in the back.
The train survived a 5+ roll to derail where the artillery piece had damaged the track and sped on towards a very solid looking siding.
As the tankers were about to be taken and the guys in the back had been told not to let it fall into enemy hands they turned the machine gun around to make good on their orders. Four shots needing a 4 and obviously nothing. Four hits we were now told were needed to potentially set one of the tankers off on a 5+.
Getting carried away in the moment one of the last surviving guards tried to jump onto one of the BUF riding past the now nearly static wagons. Obs a miss and onto the floor he fell surviving the fall but dying shortly after under the horse, he did manage to take out some BUF so his dear old ma will still be proud of him.
Cains last man on the loco managed to kill the black hat, get into the cab and slow it down enough to make it stop a nats nads from the buffers. That is no photo shopped image, he manged to get it slowed down 8″, 4″ then 2″ per turn and brought it to a dead stop just as shown. Realising they were in deadly peril the two opposing militia members left on this side had stopped shooting at each other, eventually, allowing them to concentrate on slowing the out of control train.
As Cain looked on from the cover of the treeline he was pleased to see the locomotive had made a perfect stop beside the station, he watched as who from this distance looked like Daddy Two Feet stepped onto the track and squared off with one of the traitors to the cause. A high noon shoot out was obviously going to take place as it was clear neither man fully trusted the other now the immediate peril was over.
Glancing back Cain saw there were actually more of his lads left alive than the enemy and there was a good chance to get the tankers back, he decided he had to try to stop the fools killing each other at the station or at least club the scum from behind to save Daddy who he was sure was about to blow off one of his own feet so they could go back. He had just started towards them when there was a huge explosion and noise so loud he thought it would rupture him completely, fortunately he did not have time to ponder on this as he was lifted from his feet and thrown several feet away. As he stared vacantly into the sky he was amazed how pretty the rain looked as it flamed down from above and landed in perfect pools of death around him.
That couldn’t have just been petrol
In the Station Hotel he downed the pint with Daddy and his new bezzy ops, after surviving that horror they had decided a firm non aggression pact was now in place. Down the track the miners had just started to get to the area to see what had happened, they were sure to be pleased when Cain told them the tale of how he had managed to save their train from what looked like some kind of industrial accident. Nothing for several hundred yards was left alive to tell anything different and only the glaziers had done particularly well out of the evening.
Cheers to Andy, Bill, James, Gary, Tim and John for what I consider one of the most cinematic games of anything I have ever played.
Yes I know I am a big kid but, Man jumps from horse to train, girl jumps from horse to train, girl jumps from carriage to carriage, boy throws grenade at train, boy jumps from lorry to train, boy falls from train under lorry, boy jumps from train to horse and falls under horse, boy steals horse, boy kills driver, another boy kills boy who killed driver, points are changed to the right direction, boy and girl get together, girl leaves boy quite literally, commissar accidentally falls from train, tankers jump from track and finally flaming rain covers up all signs of activity.
What’s not to like?