Monday, 17 September 2012

When in Rome

I had this vision for re-energising the story in Winter of '79.  A number of back to back games representing a co-ordinated series of raids by Special Branch and SO13 on suspected terrorist/rebel safe houses. Inspired in part by the dramatic scene in Patriot Games where Alun Armstrong leads an RUC raid on an IRA bomb factory. But equally no less inspired by the synchronisity brought to the table by the cut-out terrain tiles and accessories that came with HOF Fire Team from

Mr Benn's lodgers at 52 Festive Road
are likely to be behind in the rent this month

Put the two togther and a game emerged. It's worth noting at this point that whilst nominally 15mm, the tiles are perfect with 20mm and even less than heroic size 28mm figures. The tile sheets come with 2-D furniture to cut-out allowing you to create any combination of bathroom, living, sleeping and kitchen spaces. Believe me, whilst a little garish at times, and some of the bedsits I lived in in the eighties were just that garish, these tiles work surprisingly well.Whether it's a single bedsit or a two up, two down, urban terrace.

The other thing to bear in mind is that they are portable and just in case if you are wondering, this is where Rome comes into the picture. I packed HOF Fire Team, the tiles and a small box of unbased miniatures in my hand luggage and took them to Rome. Well, there's only so much L'ispettore Barnaby, "Mio Dio! il vicario è stato pugnalato di nuovo!" one can watch on the TV in the room whilst you partner gets ready for a night out. You are always guaranteed this downtime, so why not put it to some practical use!

During the wait in departures at Edinburgh airport I turned some vague ideas into short d6 tables in my pocket notebook and refined them further during the 3 hour flight over. Something to while away the journey. Using a die roll app on my phone, even I draw the line at taking dice on holiday, I could determine the number of raids in the operation and the background for each. Essentially, this boiled down to where it was taking place, type of property (no. of floors/rooms), numbers and type of security forces involved, deployment, expected targets, opposition, modified by quality of intelligence etc. I'll throw these tables up online by the end of the week as I'm running out of time and energy tonight. But you get the picture.

We'll run up a new security forces op. too, Operation Pantheon, in honour of Rome and then post the AARs shortly after. 



  1. Hello Mark,

    It is always good to have a bit of wargaming while on holiday. Thanks for your interesting post on using HOFFT tiles with different settings and miniatures.

    I also have used HOFFT in these kinds of 'downtime' situations and its portability makes it great for this.



  2. Splendid! Looking forward to more. Portable miniatures gaming and holidays go together hand in hand. I've a small box of sci-fi figures and tiles that fit handily into the luggage for just that purpose: "downtime".

    Also glad to see you thinking outside the box as it were an using HOFFT for non sci-fi. My last HOFFT game was a colonial game, albeit with halfling Zulu and orc Redcoats.

    1. Ooh - Rorkes Drift hospital! Thanks for the idea M.C.


  3. Will need to check out this HOFFT

  4. I commend your fluency in Italian,

    speaking of Tom Barnaby I still can't figure why, having 'Midsomer Murders' achieved a rather satisfying degree of popularity here no-one thought to air 'Bergerac' as well.

    I mean, some channels are still subjecting us to endless 'Murder, she wrote' and 'Diagnosis: Murder' reruns.