Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Doctor Who - Day of the Autons (A Bridgehead from Space Pt 1.)

Rob and I played our first DWMG - the 'Locate Swarm Leader' scenario.

The scenario is about recovering a Nestene Intelligence spheroid that has fallen near an old farmstead. UNIT and the Doctor have arrived at the farm and taken up position but are quickly surrounded by Autons sent to retrieve the plastic spheroid...

The Cast:

The Doctor and Sarah Jane with the Brigadier and UNIT troops.
UNIT & Allies.
The 3rd Doctor
Sarah Jane Smith
Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart
Corporal Atkins (rifle and grenades)
Pvt. Bradford (rifle)
Pvt. Cohen (rifle and grenades)
Pvt. Fletcher (rifle)
Pvt. Lang (rifle)
Pvt. Stanley (rifle and grenades)
Pvt. Sweet (rifle)
Pvt. Wells (rifle)

Autons (one is a shop dummy...)
The Nestine Inteligence.
6x Autons


Some time in the 1970's.
The Wagstaff Farm, Creek Cottage near Mallard Wood in the New Forest, England.

By this point, UNIT had tracked the impact points and set about securing the Wagstaff place. Despite its current 'inactive' state the Doctor insisted the TARDIS be brought along...

The Wagstaff Farm, looking North.
The Game:

The TARDIS sits between the farmhouse with the white-boarded workshop. Using various supplies and boxes (taken from the wooden store at the front) the UNIT troops have built up a couple of barricades.

Autons, styled after the 70's Actionman pilot, gather on a low hill overlooking the Wagstaff farm, awaiting orders from the Nestine Intelligence...

The Doctor discusses a plan of action with the Brigadier (wearing the red beret) whilst the UNIT troops take up their defensive positions. Sarah Jane casually surveys the area wondering what mischief she can get up to.

An Auton slowly approaches through the nearby woods, so far unspotted by the UNIT men.

The plastic menace on all sides!

The glowing blue tinged meteors glint in the sunlight. It is going to be a race to see who gets to them first...

"Sweet. Wells. Follow me, on the double!" The Brigadier is first to act and bravely leaves the safety of the farmhouse grounds, calling to Pvts. Sweet and Wells to follow. Pvts. Lang and Stanley leave via the other gate. The Doctor immediately rushes to the workshop to look for something to use against the Autons.

The Doctor feverishly rummages around in the workshop, desperate to find the ideal piece to begin his invention with. "I need to reverse the polarity of the neutron flow"...

The Brigadier, flanked by Pvt. Wells begin the search for the first meteor. Pvt. Sweet is close behind as Sarah Jane looks on.

Two Autons make their way past farmhouse, one heads for another meteor whilst the second lurches toward    the watching Corporal Atkins and Pvt. Bradford.

Pvt. Cohen and Pvt. Fletcher secure the grounds by the workshop. An Auton steadily moves from the edge of the woods towards them and the workshop where the Doctor continues his work.

An Auton confronts the rather surprised UNIT men at the hedge... the second Auton has the meteor within sight.

By this time, the brave UNIT men to the south of the farmhouse have made more progress but the signal proves to be simple impact crater. Pvt. Wells and the Brigadier spot another Auton in the trees ahead. Pvts. Lang and Stanley also have no luck as they find another empty crater. Yet another Auton (this one apparently a shop dummy) can be seen approaching.

Meanwhile, Corporal Atkins, frustrated at waiting, leaps the small hedge and run towards the Auton closest to the impact crater. Pvt. Bradford is at his side as they jump the hedge past the slow to react Auton. Several rounds are pumped into the other Auton, "rapid fire" but these seem to have little effect. The Corporal lobs a grenade but as the dust clears the Auton still stands! "Bloomin' 'ell! Wots 'e made of?".

Pvts. Lang and Stanley rush towards the next meteor signal, unaware another Auton lurks in the treeline... it steps out to confront them! A gun battle ensues but with little apparent effect from either side. Pvt. Lang fires off another round shouting "are we firing blanks??" as Pvt. Stanley primes another grenade.

The Brigadier and Pvt. Sweet spot the Auton approaching the workshop and lay down suppressive fire. It has already reached the meteor crater but fortunately for the UNIT men this is yet another false signal.

"Chap with the bald head, five rounds rapid fire, FIRE!". Pvt. Wells catches up with the Brigadier and Pvt. Sweet and the three open fire on the Auton...with little appearing to harm the plastic lurker.

The Auton in question has spotted the Doctor inside the workshop and awaits orders. By this point, the Doctor has spotted the motionless plastic creature outside the window and calls for Pvt. Cohen to join him inside...just in case.

Rifle shots crack and a small explosion erupts near the Auton to the south-east of the building but still the UNIT mens weapons seem to have little effect. The Auton fires back but hits nothing.

Corporal Atkins and Pvt. Bradford are too late to stop the Autons reaching the meteor crater signal ahead of them but fortunately this proves to be another false signal.

As the Auton spins round and fires at them, Corporal Atkins lets fly another grenade (at scarily close range) - BOOM!
At last, an Auton is felled by the jubilant UNIT men!
Suddenly, the second Auton turns around and begins to march back the way it came..."Where's it goin' Corp??"

Things are not so good to the south. The Auton has beaten Pvts. Lang and Stanley to the next signal. This one actually proves to be Nestine Sphere. Pvt. Lang looks on in horror!

Meanwhile, the Doctor is apparently making progress with his invention. Pvt. Cohen watches for movement through the window as Pvt. Fletcher, impatiently waits by the door - "C'mon Doctor, the lads are in trouble out there..."

Indeed they are. Pvts. Lang and Stanley come under fire from two angles as an Auton approaches from the north of the farm. The Auton with the sphere slowly walks to the treeline - "Bluddy 'ell! E's gettin' away!!"

Sarah Jane, fed up with waiting for the Doctor decides to help the desperate UNIT men.

As Pvts. Lang and Stanley shoot ineffectually at the escaping Auton Corporal Atkins and Pvt. Bradford appear in support, Atkins lobbing a grenade as they run past the other Auton.

Second 'kill' for Corporal Atkins (he'll be getting a promotion at this rate) - this time with a little bit of 'Luck' from Sarah Jane being present.

Pvt. Lang wastes no time to revel in the Corporals glory. With Pvt. Stanley in support, he quickly rushes forward and snaps up the loose Nestine Spheroid as the other Auton moves relentlessly towards them past the watching Sarah Jane.

"Damn! She's too close to chuck another grenade..." laments the Corporal as the Auton passes by Sarah Jane. Pvt. Stanley looks back as Pvt. Lang struggles to lug the sphere away...

At last the Doctor finishes his invention! "They're Autons! Bullets can't stop them!" he shouts. With the help of Pvts. Cohen and Fletcher, the Doctor carries his new 'Auton Jamming' device. Though he can't be sure of its variable effect, he is sure it can potentially disable the Auton command signal...but will he get there in time??

A desperate battle ensues...more of the plastic, boiler suited menace close on Pvts. Lang and Stanley. Despite putting up a brave fight, a shot rings out and Pvt. Lang drops the glowing sphere to the ground...then falls to the floor and rolls down the hillside. "Man down!!" cries Pvt. Stanley.

Things are looking bad for Pvt. Stanley. Sarah Jane is practically frozen to the spot and Corporal Atkins can't reach him before the two Autons do...

The Doctor and two UNIT men appear around the side of the farmhouse...he points an unusual contraption ahead of him...

...and suddenly the Autons stop moving!

Pvt. Stanley secures the Nestine Spheroid.

"Blimey! That was a close 'un." remarks Corporal Atkins.

Sarah Jane breathes a sigh of relief.

As UNIT and the Doctor congratulate themselves, all are unaware as a last Auton waits patiently in the trees...

to be continued...?

Final Result:

The Brigadier and UNIT acted quickly and secured several of the crater signals but their SLR's seemed to have little effect on the plastic Autons. Despite lobbing grenades all over the shop only two managed to have any effect, one of them at a critical moment - Sarah Jane was able to influence events here and help UNIT (namely Corporal Atkins) stop the Autons leaving the table with the Nestine Spheroid.

Though the Autons seemed to shrug off the UNIT bullets their own fire-power was as equally ineffective - only one shot actually took out a UNIT soldier (the brave Pvt. Lang RIP) but again this was at an important moment, stopping UNIT from removing the Spheroid from the table.

Ultimately, just like the TV show, the Doctor managed to save the day in the final moments of the game with his 'Variable Auton Jamming' invention!

The full cast.

A great game that played fairly instinctively, despite a couple of minor mistakes we made with the rules. We loved the fact the game went right to the wire with the a Companion influencing events to a minor degree and then the Doctor appearing back in the game at just the right moment to save the world!

Check out Robs AAR for more pics on Alleys of Distraction.

Figures are mainly Black Tree / Harlequin with a few Gripping Beast Mo-Fo soldiers to bolster the UNIT ranks. Buildings are from Sarissa Precision and 4Ground.


Thantsants said...

I really need to get some more Dr Who gaming in - really enjoyed this!

Got some new stuff from Blacktree that I'm entering as a team in the LPL (painting competition on the LAF) that would lend itself nicely to a game some time in the future - would be a good excuse to try these rules out too...

wardy-la said...

Thanks Thansants - we really enjoyed playing this and can't wait to play more. Give it a try - you can't go wrong with free rules and it never hurts to have a few more Doctor Who minis in your collection anyway!

Grigork said...

I really enjoyed reading that, great fun. Nice terrain and figures too.

Derek Kettlety said...

You inspire me to get my old DW figures out again. Still got loads to paint up.