Monday, 12 September 2016

HOTT: VSF British Steam Punk

Must be over ten years since I last played Hordes of the Things (HOTT) by Phil Barker, Sue Laflin Barker and Richard Bodley Scott.

At some point in time, in the mists of the past and inspired by the first two Mummy movies, I'd gone for an alternate timeline for Victoria Science Fiction (VSF) with British WWI machines and Zulu figures - in fact this is from where the joker unit in my BP Sudan collection originated.

Opposing them were a horde of mythical Egyptians.

Having been invited to a HOTT game I needed to see what state these armies would be in after such a long period. The answer was 'not good'.

Head's were missing, bases were chipped and machines were broken. I'd also pilfered all the British figures and some of the Egyptians for Black Powder and re-based them. What to do?

The answer, go mental, throw tantrums and start kit bashing.

Even the (very) old bits box came out, along with the Conflix Chemical Plant, as a growing wave of impatience and madness rose in a sheer crescendo of painic filled enthusiasm and maniacal laughter.

What followed can only be described as desperation edged insanity, including something that hasn't happened for years - a full blown tantrum with bits of model being hurled across the painting table :).

Until, close to midnight of the same evening, a cry in the night was heard 'It's Aliiiiiiiive!' and a 12 element steam-punk themed British VSF HOTT army was re-born!

Her Majesty's Guards

Step one, re-pilfer and re-base the 'Zulu' figures back from BP now that HaT and Newline have their Colonial ranges in full swing, to produce 6 x shooter elements.

The figures are a mix of A Call To Arms Set 57 British Infantry Zulu War, the mounted officer from Waterloo 1815 Set 013 Anglo-Egyptian Army and some officers, trumpeters and ammo bearer conversions from Esci's Set 212 British Infantry Soldiers.

I add that at this stage things were progressing in a civil manner.

A Cleric element was re-based next for when those megalomaniac magicians start their fizzing silliness (I'm not sure which range these 20mm metals come from - if you know please drop me a comment as they have a lot of character).

Her Majesty's Camel Regiment

With equal civility I was able to re-base some pseudo Camel Regiment figures for 2 x Blade (d-mtd Knights). Again these are from the Esci set with some converted officers and trumpeters.

And a head swap with one of the spare guards repaired the 2x Knights themselves.

For another two completed and exchangeable elements depending on whether facing foot or mounted... with absolutely no indication of a nervous twitch upon completion.

and then...

Geiger Moths
Everything was broken on the old Sopwith Camels - btw you can support a struggling artist by checking out my single and even buy it, so I can make 0.000000043 USD a sale! :-) - anyway the wings weren't staying on, the undercarriage was smashed to bits and wouldn't glue back together (hence the tantrum).

So out came the chemical plant and the kit bashing lunacy began, to produce 2 x Flyer elements.

In my mind (you can take that one if you want in the comments below) these are combination clock-work driven, closed steam system powered flyers.

You fill the compression chamber up on the ground with steam, wind the regulator up and pull the lever.

To take flight like a controlled party balloon letting out air, producing forward momentum and creating lift over the flying surfaces - no really, it'd work!

Steam Driven Armoured Car
Incensed, I moved onto the previously petrol-driven armoured car and thought that what it really *NEEDED* was a smoke stack and a steam vent.

To produce a Hero element - Major Harmon-Ikkscail of Her Majesty's Service and Corporal Alphonse 'Alfy' McAlpherson - who suffers a penchant for platefuls of baked beans whenever his hero Captain calls a halt and stares meaningfully into the distance.

Steam Driven Tank
The kit bashing fever was high by this stage and with the male tank previously kit bashed with an open topped 6-pounder conversion, it was obvious, obvious!, that it too needed a steam/smoke stack... but a really big one!

To produce either an 1 x Artillery or Behemoth element.

The Completed Army

Then it was done and twelve fresh elements were ready for whatever 20mm VSF foes dared to face them.

The army is actually based/balanced on the DBA 2.1 100 Years War British army list, which was knights//dismounted knights, bows and billmen (basically), with artillery and other options.

No hold it... not counting the extra mtd/bld elements, there's actually thirteen elements... I did one too many... aha, ahahaha, whahahahahahahahahaha...


  1. Thanks! Post has better pics now as the last ones were grainy :)

  2. Dave, that's brilliant! 'Specially the Geiger Moths! I really must tidy up my Flyers...

  3. Thanks... secretly I think the tank needs more smoke/steam stacks...

  4. Huzzah! Great work. I have a copy of these rules because Grant lent them to me, so I'll have a quick read before I give them back and we can play. :)

  5. Sounds good! Just read the rules again and realised that it's points based not element based, in any case there's a good mix of elements for a 24 point game... That tank def needs steam stacks and time for warflag conversions ... Watch this space