31 May 2011

French & Indian Cthulhu... wait what?

I did not only get around to play Flames of War last Saturday, I also got to try out my modification of the Strange Aeons ruleset.

What could be more fun than fighting off inbred fish people with your Colt 1911?
Well, shooting at them with your smoothbore musket and stabbing them in the stomach with a bayonet!

This really sums up what my modification is all about, I want to have more uses for my French & Indian War models which are my favorite miniatures in all my wargaming collection. The best thing to crossbreed French & Indian War with fell on my Lovecraftian miniature wargame Strange Aeons from Uncle Mike’s. I knew I would have to rewrite some stuff but wanted to keep the backbone of the rules intact.

As such the basics of Strange Aeons still play the same, and you still use a D6 to hit, roll psychology tests etc. But, I’ve compiled a completely new weapon chart mixing those old weapons that could have existed in the 18th century with 18th century weapons such as smoothbore muskets, bayonets, rifles, old time hand grenades, polearms etc.
The new weapon table is similar to the old one in its layout, with the range, damage, special rules and cost but I’ve mostly removed the weapon close combat bonus in most cases and instead merged the basic combat statistics and the bonus number to use either a D8 or a D10 instead. There are still a lot of weapons that use the basic D6, and even some that use a D4.

Close combat bonus to weapons only exists on a couple of items such as the Bayonet and knifes. Swinging a knife you hit on your Dexterity and deal 1D4 + Dexterity in damage.
Swinging a musket in close combat deals D6, if you mount a bayonet you get a D6+D4.
I also rewrote the rule “Ready”, weapons like Crossbows and blackpowder weapons take 1 action to fire, and have to be reloaded if you want to use them again. Reloading takes 1 action as well. What is different to the original “Ready” rule is that all weapons start the game loaded and ready to fire, but the status of your weapon carries over to the next turn. Whether loaded or empty.

My goal is to keep this modification on Strange Aeons simple enough, so at this time it is only 1 page of weapons and 1 page of rewritten rules. I will try to keep it to that as I fine tune a few small things.

I will also need to check with Uncle Mike before I post the modification on my blog since lots of the stuff is based upon Strange Aeons original work.
With the increased lethality of some weapons the Build Points are also increased. Grenades for instance are 2BP each, you buy grenades individually so it is no longer an infinite weapon option like the Dynamite. Grenades work just like Dynamite in that you have to light the fuse and throw them which all in all takes 2 actions. Each grenade deals  4D4 to every target model under the blast.

I replaced the extra gear of “remote detonator” with “extra long fuse” allowing the grenades to be thrown 8” instead of 6”.

I’ll look over the traits you can give your characters and see if anything else need changing, most of it is actually very generic and could be used for almost every era.

Testing experience,  I got two friends to play the game while I supervised them. This allowed me to see whether the rules are easy or hard to pick up on for someone who have not worked on the modification. It would seem they area easy enough to grasp if you have the weapon table crib sheet printed out.

The scenario generated was Fight! And 19 Build Points were assigned to the Treshold team as well as the Lurkers. The Treshold team was made up of a Character with +1 Constitution on a heavy warhorse with a sword, 2 “Agents” with +1 Dexterity each.  And 2 Civilians. Both civilians and Agents were armed with regular muskets.

The lurkers were led by a mummy and his zombie servant, backed up by 3 cultists with crossbows and 1 cultist with a Torch and Club.

The table was had sparse amount of terrain, just a few groves a small wooden shed and bits of a stone wall. Enough to try out the modification. In every other aspect the game worked the same, command radius to activate multiple models etc. The Lurkers started and the fun thing was that the Mummy would scare everyone within 5” (except the zombie, God bless your rotten brain). So the Cultists with crossbows moved up and the Agents and Civilians took up position in the groves.

Soon enough the cultists were in musket range but the agents failed to hit them due to the wall they used as cover.  Cultists moved a bit closer and fired off crossbow bolts into the grove against the character riding the horse but failed to hit him as well. The mummy moved up to command his minions, driving one of them into a psychopathic frenzy out of fear (this happened twice) making the crazed cultist move towards the Treshold units.

A bolt fell one of the Agents in the Grove and musket fire killed one of the crossbow cultists, the mummy charged out with a roar and scared off the character – having civilians fire at him with their muskets out of sequence but then being left with unloaded weapons!

The mummy was hit but no damage was dealt. The mummy followed the Treshold character and started to fight him in close combat, defending himself bravely his sword didn’t manage to do any damage against the undead monster  and he ended up cut down and his horse butchered. Nervously firing and reloading his musket the last Agent stoically held his ground as the mummy romped into his hiding place and cut of his head with a wide swoop. The civilians having watched their more able friends getting killed soon got under crossbow fire. One of them was killed by a bold, and then the mummy and another cultist charged the tree line and finished the last one off with little effort.
Thoughts, I think the “Ready” rule for muskets and crossbows worked rather well, most of the weapons did too. I might increase the lethality of the Swords or somehow teak that item further. I didn’t get around to try out the bayonets, but the basic idea is that you use 1 action to mount or dismount the bayonet and it cannot be done in close combat.  Shooting with a mounted bayonet gives a  -1 to hit penalty.

I had also written how you can score critical hits (limited to D6/8/10 – D4 being excluded), you still get a Critical by rolling 1 or the maximum number. Though I think instead or rolling the same result AGAIN to see if the critical goes through I’ll make it a Dexterity check. If you pass your dexterity you avoid a critical miss/succeed in doing a critical hit.

I hope to tweak this modification over the next week and will check with Uncle Mikes about putting the finished product up on my blog for those of you who would be interested. I have also ordered the Shocking Tales of Madness and Mayhem volume 2 which should include a few new rules to the core SA game, I'll see if I can incorporate some of that once I have the book in my possession.
If you don't know anything about Strange Aeons you can check out my overview of the rules and how it plays here http://anatolisgameroom.blogspot.com/2010/11/strange-aeons-game-blog-special.html

All further modification notes and battle reports using this modification will be put under the Strange Aeons 18th century label here on the blog.


  1. Sounds very different but interesting.

  2. Very different...French Indian Wierd War? FIWW :)

  3. Just wanted to let you guys know that I've edited my original rules document it is now 2 pages of new/rewritten rules and 1 page consisting of a weapon chart. Had to rewrite some of my new stuff to make it much more clear and easy to understand.

    Emailed it to Mike at Uncle Mike's to get his permission to post version 1.0 :-)

  4. Great looking start. What make are those colonials? I'm in the market for some and these look great.


  5. Perry Miniatures AWI range, the officer on horse is Front Rank Figurines General Montcalm.


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