Saturday, 9 January 2016

Battlefield

Notes

Battlefield is one of my favourate late Who episodes. However whilst its production values generally were pretty good by the standards of the decade, the sci-fi elements were poor thanks to an unimaginative BBC props department. Fortunately this can be rectified on the tabletop.

Introduction

In the English countryside, near the village of Carbury, a nuclear missile convoy under the command of UNIT's new commander, Brigadier Winifred Bambera, has run into difficulties. Lying on the bed of the nearby Lake Vortigern is a spaceship from another dimension containing the body of King Arthur, supposedly held in suspended animation, and his sword Excalibur.

Ancelyn, a knight from the other dimension, arrives on Earth to aid the King, but is followed by his rival Mordred, and the latter's mother, a powerful sorceress, named Morgaine. They all recognise the Doctor as Merlin - a fact that the Time Lord attributes to events in his own future.

When Bambera reports the finding of a blue police box, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is brought out of retirement to assist in the crisis, and stop the Destroyer - an awesomely powerful creature unshackled by Morgaine - from devouring the world.

Morgaine - Moderately Wicked Witch


MOV
DEF
Hits
STR
AGI
INT
Morale
6
3
2
3
3
9
9

Weapon
Range
Notes
Magical Attack
6”
Special

Information

Morgaine is a sorceress from another dimension, where she has been engaged in a long war with her former lover Arthur, who is aided by a wizard called Merlin. She is assisted by her son Mordred and although intent on conquest is, an honourable foe who fights in a chivalrous manner. She will not steal, will respect truces and ceasefires, will keep her word and usually avoid using weapons of mass destruction.

Notable Appearances Battlefield

Special Abilities

Luck (1)
Invulnerable (2) - Morgaine catches bullets in mid flight and deflects swords
Magical Attack - Morgaine attacks by matching INT v INT with a target within 6 inches. If she wins the target looses a Hit. Morgaine may attack more than one person, with her applied INT being reduced by one for each extra target. Alternatively Morgaine may inflict a single Hit of damage on any machine within sight.
Summon Destroyer - If Morgaine has Excalibur she can use two Activations to summon the Destroyer. If she then uses two further Activations - she can unchain him leaving him free to destroy the earth.
Activate Missiles - If the Destroyer fails Morgaine will use the Nuclear Missile to start a nuclear war. This requires her to spend two activations in the control room and the missiles launch two turns later. The launch can be stopped by Morgaine or any Hero Faction figure with access to the controls.

Mordred - Mummy’s boy


Information

Mordred leads his mother’s knights in battle. Although he wears advanced space armour and hi-tech weaponry, he is still bound by the knightly code of chivalry. He is more ruthless than his mother.

Special Abilities

Parry - Swords get a free saving throw for melee hits equal to the roll ‘to hit. If successful the figure is not hit, but retreats 2 inches.
Leader (1)

Notable Appearances  Battlefield

MOV
DEF
Hits
STR
AGI
INT
Morale
6
5
2
4
3
7
9

Weapon
Range
Hit
STR
Notes
Sword
Melee
3+
5
Parry

The Destroyer - Does what it says on the tin


Special Abilities

Invulnerable - The Destroyer can only be harmed by silver weapons
Devour World - Once summoned and unchained The Destroyer takes six activations to destroy the earth


MOV
DEF
Hits
STR
AGI
INT
Morale
6
3
1
4
3
9
9

  

10 Knights - Dimension shifting swordsmen


MOV
DEF
Hits
STR
AGI
INT
Morale
6
5
1
4
3
7
8


Weapon
Range
Hit
STR
Notes
Sword
Melee
3+
5
Parry
Blaster
12”
4+
4
Pistol



Knight Commander 

As above but Morale 9, Leader (1) and grenades

Merlin - Arthur's Wizard

Stats for Seventh Doctor

Special Rules

There will be no battle here! - Because of the respect all sides hold for Merlin the Doctor may force a temporary truce by force of will. He must match INT v INT with the target and if he wins the target may take no aggressive action for 2 Activations. Merlin may influence more than one character at once, by reducing the INT by one for each extra target. Merlin can also use the same skill to persuade Morgaine not to use the nuclear missiles.

Ace - Lady in the Lake

MOV
DEF
Hits
STR
AGI
INT
Morale
6
3
2
3
3
7
8

Weapon
Range
Hit
STR
Notes
Brawl
Melee
4+
3
Stuns
Nitro 9
8”
4+
4
Blast 2”, Scatter

Special Abilities

Luck (3)
A Good Offence - Ace may re-roll one To Hit or Damage roll each turn

Ancelyn - Courtly knight


MOV
DEF
Hits
STR
AGI
INT
Morale
6
3
2
3
3
7
9


Weapon
Range
Hit
STR
Notes
Sword
Melee
3+
5
Parry

Information

Ancelyn fights for Arthur and Merlin. He is chivalrous and honourable. He no longer has power armour.

Notable Appearances - Battlefield

Special Abilities

Luck (1)
My Lady - Ancelyn will not leave Bambera whilst she is in danger.

Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart - 'A man steeped in blood'

MOV
DEF
Hits
STR
AGI
INT
Morale
6
3
2
3
3
7
8

Weapon
Range
Hit
STR
Notes
Brawl
Melee
3+
3
Stuns
Revolver
8”
4+
3
Pistol

Special Abilities

Leader (2)
Luck (2)
Inspirational - UNIT figures and Companions within 12” of the Brigadier may use his Morale for tests if required.
Silver Bullets - The Brigadier has thoughtfully pocketed some silver bullets before leaving UNIT HQ. These only fit his revolver, and can’t be used in the automatic pistols issued to other UNIT personnel. The Brigadier will not hand over his personal weapon unless incapacitated.

Notable Appearances

The Web of Fear, The Invasion, Spearhead from Space, Doctor Who and the Silurians, The Ambassadors of Death, Inferno, Terror of the Autons, The Mind of Evil, The Claws of Axos, Colony in Space, The Dæmons, Day of the Daleks, The Time Monster, The Three Doctors, The Green Death, The Time Warrior, Invasion of the Dinosaurs, Planet of the Spiders, Robot, Terror of the Zygons, Mawdryn Undead, The Five Doctors, Battlefield, Dimensions in Time, Enemy of the Bane

Brigadier Winifred Bambera - Meet the new boss


MOV
DEF
Hits
STR
AGI
INT
Morale
6
3
2
3
3
7
8


Weapon
Range
Hit
STR
Notes
Brawl
Melee
3+
3
Stuns
SMG
12”
4+
3
Burst
Sword*
Melee
4+
5
Parry

*Bambera does not start with a sword but may use one if retrieved from a fallen Knight

Information

After a military career in the troublespots of the world, Bambera is the now the current commander of UNIT. Her tough, no nonsense approach is respected by the men under her command.

Special Abilities

Leader (2)
Luck (1)


Sergeant Zbrigniev


Stats as ‘UNIT Sergeant’
Assault Rifle
Pistol






Flight Lieutenant Françoise Lavel


Stats as ‘UNIT soldier’
Pistol









15 x 1990s UNIT Soldiers


Stats as ‘UNIT soldier’
Assault Rifles
Pistols
Grenades
2 x Bazookas
1 x HMG





Special Rules

This scenario uses the Special Rules for Small Arms, Hits on Vehicles and ‘Pinned’ - Gun Rules For Gun Nuts.

The Board


The UNIT convoy, 'Salamander Six', is stuck by the shore of Lake Vortigern, which is represented by one table edge. In the centre of the board edge is a partially excavated tunnel. In front of this is the nuclear missile itself, with other UNIT vehicles parked around it in a rough horseshoe. Beyond these vehicles are five bunkers, each large enough for two soldiers and one heavy weapon, which form the outer defences.

Some cover is provided by trees, low hills and ruined buildings, but none must be closer than 12” to the nearest UNIT bunker.

No figures may enter the lake (unless they use the escape hatch - see below). The whole table counts as ‘rough terrain’ for wheeled vehicles.

The Underwater Spaceship

It takes one move for figures to traverse the tunnel (two figures wide) to the underwater spaceship. There ‘Arthur the freeze dried’ lies in state, with his sword Excalibur, and a note saying "Arthur died in last battle. Everything else just propaganda. The Doctor." This area is best represented by a separate board one foot square.

There is an escape hatch at the back of the ship. Figures which use it (one at a time) emerge next turn on the shore of Lake Vortigern.

Playing the Game

UNIT set up first. Sergeant Zbrigniev and his men deploy within the defences. All other figures are off the board; Lethbridge-Stewart and Lavel in their helicopter, Bambera and Ancelyn in a car and The Doctor and Ace in Bessie.

The Knights set up second. They set up within 6 inches of a land board edge and but not within 12 inches of a UNIT position or 24 inches of Lake Vortigern.

Turn 1
Morgaine’s Faction automatically gets the initiative.

Turn 2
Lethbridge-Stewart’s helicopter appears over the tablet and may be shot down by Morgaine, who cannot use any other magic this turn if she does this. If so it disappears from view over one of the land table edges, belching smoke, otherwise it lands.

Turn 3
Ancelyn and Bambera enter the table in their car from one of the land table edges, but not within 12 inches of Lake Vortigern. Banbera can fire her machine gun and drive at the same time.

Turn 4
Lethbridge-Stewart and Lavel enter the table on foot from direction their helicopter crashed, but not within 12 inches of Lake Vortigern.

Turn 5
The Doctor and Ace enter the table in Bessie, not within 12 inches of Lake Vortigern.

Chivalry

Figures should conduct themselves at all times in the manner of Courtly Knights, with truces respected and unarmed or incapacitated figures captured rather than killed.

Failure to do so should result in a lose of Victory Points.

The only figure who need not obey these rules is Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.

Pistols in Melee

UNIT soldiers may use their pistols to defend themselves in melee, but may not fire into a melee if other friendly figures are involved.

Ending the Game

The game ends if the Earth is destroyed, one side has no figures left or if Morgaine has tried and failed to use The Destroyer or the Nuclear Missile.

If the Earth is destroyed Morgaine wins, otherwise the winner is decided by Victory Points system.


Winning the Game

If the world is destroyed the Monster Faction wins, but if it survives then points must be tallied up.

Points are scored for eliminating opponents. As there is "more honour with the sword" Morgaine's faction cannot count figure killed by blasters.

Morgaine’s Faction

Merlin - 7 points
Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart - 5 points
Ace - 5 points
Brigadier Bambera - 3 points
Ancelyn - 3 points
Other UNIT figures - 1 point

Merlin’s Faction

Morgaine - 7 points
The Destroyer - 5 points
Mordred - 5 points
Knight Commander - 3 points
Knight - 2 points

Notes on figures

The appearance of the UNIT soldiers in this episode was unique as they had DPM camouflage, UN blue berets and carried Austrian rifles. As far as I know no suitable figures are manufactured so I would recommend either ‘traditional’ UNIT soldiers or the black suited and red bereted ‘modern’ UNIT. I did my best by painting up Assault Group Marines.

Copplestone Castings do a female figure with sword and assault rifle in the Female Troopers set from their Future Wars range.

The missile launcher on TV was a lash up on a low loader disguised under a camoflage net. I've used a cheap 1/48 model of a US Patriot surface to air missile by a company called Arii I found on ebay.

As depicted on TV the knights resemble 13th century European knights and any Medieval range would have suitable figures. However Ben Aaronovitch says that when he wrote the story he originally intended the knights to be wearing powered exo-skeletons that, because they were silver, were mistaken for armoured knights when they appeared in the 6th century. If you wish to go for this ‘look’ you could use Warhammer 40,000 Grey Knights, Assault Space Marines, or similar, painted in a silver or metallic colour.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks. As a game it ain't subtle, but it is fun.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Have you ever run a scenario based on the "Green Death" episode with the third Doctor?

    ReplyDelete
  3. No, although I did make myself some miliput giant maggots. I'll get onto it one day.

    ReplyDelete