Sunday, 9 May 2021

Hyboria Now! Episode 2: Border Shem

 So, having had several posts with nothing to say, here's an actual game!

You'll of course remember that Princess Zenobia was dramatically rescued from the proscribed organisation known as the 'Children of Doom' in a hastily organised  (and hastily criticised), border incursion into Kush. Turanian appears, are none too pleased.

'We interrupt your favourite soap opera for a news update...'

'Thanks Belit...the firing you can hear behind me, is coming from Turanian forces who have engaged our own 'Task Force Eagle' overnight, with fighting going on until this morning. This task force is formed from the Poitanian Guards Armoured Cavalry regiments operating out of of Fort Shamar south of the capitol ...and have been based in Eastern Shem on peacekeeping operations for the last three years - keeping the so called 'green zone' between Shemite and opposing Turanian forces 'intact'. That ended this morning with a surprise attack by a Turanian task force, with T80 tanks and Hind helicopters opening fire against Aquilonian peacekeepers at the border research station. 

I'll bring you more information as I have it, though I am assured by Colonel 'Hammer' Verentius, that the peace treaty is not at risk...and that Shemite forces need not become involved directly on their own border. Colonel Ari Harish of the Shemite Defence Force is due to hold a press conference this morning.

Turanian Official State News Agencies are calling this 'direct action' against the non-sanctioned Aquilonian / Nemedian operations in Kush that resulted in the rescue of Princess Zenobia, who we understand is still ill with a bad flu... '

In order to keep things fluid and moving, in a modern (albeit alternative reality game), and due to the fact that I am very keen on GDW 80s rules tech right now, I've used the 'Battlefield Europe' variant of the GDW First Battle series. Roughly similar to what we know about Team Yankee etc. - the main changes are use of a d10 vs a d6 for variability in combat, platoon scale rather than single vehicle, and introduction of variants such as reactive armour vs missiles (which needs to be 'blown off' , though can still be defeated with the right dice roll). As with most of these rules, new variants do not overcomplicate the rules. Morale is based on a 'yield' point of sorts, where enough damage will initiate a retreat.

A sound system based on a very logical, yet difficult to master, turn sequence. You 'gotta know when to hold em' as Kenny would say.

'Begin the attack..hehehhehehhhhh!'

So I used the hexes at half scale - i.e. all rules are in place, though my hexes represent 'two' in terms of the boardgame mechanics. I used actual counters at the side of the table to keep stats right.

Unbelievably, despite having been in a state of readiness for years...Force Eagle is surprised. Overnight movements have remained undetected, even at the Forward Ops Post ...something has gone badly wrong in terms of intel here...   
'Ranger 6...this is FOP Alpha...permission to engage ...permission to engage over!!!'

'This is not a DRILL!'

'What the hell! MOVE PEOPLE!'

Surprsied in turn 1, Force Eagle begins to wake up.

Turanian Red Air takes out soft armour on the high ground - one less ITV to worry about...

Despite not having permission to engage...Force Eagle forward operating troops know when they are being shot at...

T80s have reactive armour...which helps vs tac misslies

'Get to Point Alpha NOW!'

Accurate Turanian firing, and the rapid movement of Red Air, is playing havoc with the surprised defenders

Here they come...

Horrible casualties on both sides at the forward Aquilonian position on Hill 611

A good defensive position on the high ground

Despite holding their left flank, Aquilonian armour now needs to engage with the larger threat on their right

Not looking good on the Aquilonian right, though Turanian forces could reach their break point quite rapidly if the defenders get organised.

Aquilonian armour moves to reinforce from the high ground on their right flank...just in time, and with Blue Air now (finally) ready to engage with Hellfires

Turanian massed assault on the Aquilonian right...

Turanian motor rifle troops flood the factory and research areas, despite having lost most of their armoured support to Aquilonian attack choppers

The Battle for Research Station Gamma becomes a hell of fight, with remnants of both sides becoming embroiled in bitter infantry actions within the station and factory... Luckily for the defenders - Red Air is taken out by Stinger fire.

Blue Air - saves the day on the Aquilonian right flank

The Aquilonian left: a wasteland of smoking metal...

Turanian forces are eventually driven off, but they were in the Shem/Aquilonian research station for a long time, before being driven out with heavy casualities...

...but it has not been a good day for either side...

'We held them off this time ladies and gentlemen...but things are going to escalate very quickly...stay frosty!'


  1. Wow, some Cold War-style imagi-nations, I’m digging it! A great fight, thanks for sharing; super intense, great looking kit, and a cool idea to use the board game as a basis for the concept.


    1. Thanks Jack - it's modern day Conan vs cold war vs GDW mechanics vs 1/300 kit - whats not to like?

      You should recognise some of that WarPac kit on display ;)

    2. Not nuthin' to not like! ;)

      And I'm very glad to hear you're getting some use out of that gear, excellent news indeed.

      More, sir.


    3. Yes - so I've been polishing up the British to act as Nemedians :) ......

  2. Replies
    1. I know right? haaa
      It's been staring me in the face for 40 years :))

      all I had to ask was what if?..

  3. I love the idea of jumping the timeline so far forward. The battle looks like it was a blast.

    1. Yes mate - all seems so obvious now - wait 'til you see episode 3 - there may be zombies - NO , I've said too much already ...

      It was sore for both sides - I nearly ran out of smoke.

      I have so many ideas for the podcast now - I must get my IT mate onto it.

  4. Fantastic! Shows how a good idea can transcend the ages. I wonder what happened in the 18th century?

    1. Aha - yes, I've been wondering what Aquilonian and Nemedian Line and dragoons might look like - dammit, another rabbit-hole!!!