It is with immense satisfaction that we announce the release of Sir Tim Thompson’s Company Enumerator. Tim took up our challenge to the assembled host to improve the Company Cost Calculator, and he did, by some considerable margin. This new calculator not only calculates figure and company costs, and presents them in a most pleasing manner, but also calculates the costs of Vehicles, Mechanized Walkers, and Creatures. To assist the user there are comprehensive guidance notes and four fully completed examples for: the Society of Thule, Lord Curr’s Incorrigibles, the Servants of Ra, and the Royal Navy Landing Party. You can find this device in the Game Materials section of the In Her Majesty’s Name page on this blog. Just scroll down below the cover picture.
If you have any comments, or your eagle eyes spot a small typo or two, let us know in the comments below, or engage with us directly on the IHMN Facebook page.
As you can imagine, with eight published books across five genres, I have played a fair few skirmish games. Add to this the other author’s skirmish games I have played, and I have been around the block a few times. With all that experience one might expect me to be a masterful player. In fact nothing could be further from the truth, I lose far more often than I win, so what is going on here? Well, let’s go back a bit, to the last century (that sounds very dramatic). When I first stumbled into wargaming it was nearly all historical. You lined up your carefully prepared armies, then went head to head with the intention of annihilating your opponent. My armies were painstakingly engineered to win, squeezing very last drop of advantage from the rules and the army lists. I led my Anglo-Danes, Samurai, Yorkist War of the Roses and ACW Union forces to victory on many occasions. I did this for more than a decade, but eventually grew jaded by the whole experience. There was little creativity in my victories, it merely was an exercise in technical rules application. When I looked around the club room I began to perceive that although there were game engineers like me getting some small satisfaction from our wins, at least half the players were disappointed, frustrated or downright miserable. They were ‘losers’. It was a seminal moment. I was also a roleplayer, having picked up D&D in ’76, and still play to this day. The attitude there is quite the opposite of that in traditional wargaming. It is about cooperation in creating a heroic narrative, guided by person who has created the world in which you play. I think that you can now see where both Charles (a fellow roleplayer) and my influences have come from for our skirmish games. So, I no longer play to win at all costs. I play to exercise my little grey cells, enjoy the narrative I create with my friends, and for fun. I experiment with force combinations and fit-outs that have little chance of success, but explore the possibilities of a game. Thus I lose, a lot, and thoroughly enjoy doing so. Welcome to narrative skirmish wargaming.
As soon as he has hardback copies he shall be offering a bundle with the digital edition.
This has been crafted as a PDF so that it will work on all your devices. Within it, very single cross-reference and the contents pages are hyperlinked to make it easy to navigate.
The digital edition is half the price of the hardback book and comes with a further offer. The incredible digital sculptor Duncan Shadow Louca, sculpted two mechanized walkers for us. The STL files for 3D printing these amazing creation will be available for a limited period for those who wish them when they buy the digital edition.
Our most excellent friends at OTT have featured In Her Majesty’s Name Second Edition on this week weekender broadcast. You can find it here.
Just scroll to around minute 33,and you’ll get five minutes discussion of the book and The Ministry in general.
They have also dedicated an entire page to the new game here.
It should be pointed out that they did get a few things wrong. For example although we have released a free pamphlet on updating IHMN Gothic to second edition, we have not done so for the original two supplements: Heroes, Villains & Fiends, and Sleeping Dragon, Rising Sun. We intend to address these later, possibly with full digital supplements.
Despite that we are excited and grateful that Ben and the chaps continue to support us small independents producers.
So, dear readers, we are moving onto the last page of our contents review of IHMN2. This is a bit of cheat because it also contains the last part of page 3.
In this article we shall be looking at Scenarios, Complications, Landscapes and Campaigns. In other words, the where and the why you play your games. As with all parts of these rules these are just examples, as we always encourage players to be creative.
The first part of chapter 10 deals with potential Scenarios. Detailing how to set the scenario up, what the objectives are, and how you score Victory Points (VPs). We have worked to provide a wide range of scenarios, each which presents its own challenges. Many of them come from the first edition, reworked to fit the updated rules. So, favourites like Bad Jack and Catch the Pigeon are in there, alongside new ones like ‘The Q-Bomb’ (fan points for anyone who can say what inspired that one).
The second part is the Complications, things like The Cloak off Night, Crumbling Ruins and the ever popular The Authorities. Each of these apply extra conditions on the game, that make it more challenging. There are seventeen of these, so if you apply one complication to each scenario, that increases your number of possible games to two-hundred and seventy-two.
As with all these rules, it is best to agree the scenario and any complications with your comrades before the game.
Now we understand that not everyone has a terrain collection the size of our friends Shaun and Terry. Also, that people might want to set their games in many places around the world, and often to suit their figure collection. In IHMN we have always detailed possible landscapes for games to be set in. This includes a general description, a list of the benefits such terrain brings, the hazards it may pose (including suitable complications), and the terrain types we suggest you may wish to deploy to represent it. There are four categories of landscapes including Urban, Rural, Ancient, and Fabulous Vehicles, which between them cover thirty-nine landscapes. Now who doesn’t want to fight through ancient temple ruins in old Siam, or aboard the Hindenburg far above the castles of Bavaria?
Overall, that is about ten thousand game combinations, and these are just the examples. We are sure that you can create many more. Over the last nine years I have only explored around two dozen of these.
The final chapter in the book tries to encapsulate the holy grail of wargaming, the functional Campaign. We did touch upon this in the original IHMN book, but only had space to fit in a few paragraphs over a couple of pages. This time we have given it the space it deserves.
The secret to running a functional campaign, i.e. one that works, is that the mechanics involved in planning and maintaining it are as simple as possible. KISS being one of our core design principles we applied it with gusto. We still produced over two and a half thousand words on such subjects as Structure and Narrative, Points Pools, Captures and Ransoms (what does happen to chaps you leave hors-de-combat on the field?), the Rewards for Success, Grand Finales, Victory and Player Awards and the Campaign Journal. We even included an example campaign straight out of Kipling; The Green-eyed Yellow Idol.
The word we would like to highlight in that last paragraph is ‘Narrative’. When you run a campaign with your friends, you are embarking on creating a compelling story of derring-do, foul villainy, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, and heroism. Every decision and roll of the die, weaves a web that you shall remember for years to come. In this regard, we hope, we have given you the tools to achieve it.
There you have it, one hundred and ninety-six pages, over eighty-thousand words, lovingly crafted to produce a game we have always wanted to play ourselves and can now share with you all. This journey has taken us nine long years and we regret not a single step.
As I write this, the first delivery of books is heading across the Baltic Sea and should be with our distributors in fair Nottingham next week. VSF is coming home.