In Her Majesty’s Name v2: The Navy Lark

The 2nd Edition of the Victorian Sci-Fi rules ‘In Her Majesty’s Name’ is out. The system is essentially the same as in the previous Osprey Blue Book version. The changes are summarised on the IHMN blog. A possible significant change is the addition of hero points. These grant a single use re-roll per hero point but if a figure starts with hero points they can earn additional points through the elimination of enemy models. Any combat success is based on both the shooting or hand to hand roll and pluck roll. It saves time to roll both of these at the same time as any obvious failure can swiftly be seen. The better characters have a pluck of 2 or 3 (on a D10) meaning they only fail 10% or 20% of tests (0 is 10). Better weapons reduce the pluck roll but even so low pluck characters are hard to take out. The addition of the hero points will further increase the resilience of figures with good pluck in the new edition. This can lead to hand to hand dragging on between hero characters as they use hero points to cancel the few failed pluck or ‘to hit’ rolls. If using pluck against ‘to hit’ rolls 2 D10s need to be rolled separately. The antidote to everlasting heroes is to ensure that a game has some clear end condition and better still offer the heroes something better to do than engage in endless combat with each other.

The new book has updated some of the lists from the previous 3 Osprey books. The lists from the Gothic supplement have been updated online. A more accurate name for that supplement would be Dracula, Romania and the Balkans as the whole game system is broadly Gothic. It would not be a lot of work to update the remaining lists as there would only be changes in points and the odd special ability. Hero points could be doled out to taste. Of the provided lists those that link to the old North Star boxes are amongst the most original. To try out the new rules Lord Curr’s company will take on Tintin and pals.

Lord Curr, Lady Felicity, Singh and members of ‘The Company’

There is no Tintin list but the Royal Naval Landing party has a drunken Captain who will fit up as Captain Haddock. There is also the brave Midshipman Easy who can run as Tintin. Professor Calculus can be the Artificier. Fans of the radio series ‘The Navy Lark’ will recognise CPO Pertwee in the list but he is portrayed as the brave brains of the outfit. In the radio series Pertwee is indeed clever but would sell off everything in the stores and buy in any rubbish as replacements. This game is not running Pertwee but will use the Lieutenant who we will call Sub Lieutenant Philips.

Captain Haddock (Halibut), Tintin (Easy). Snowy (mechanical dog),Calculus (Artificier), Sub Lt Philips (Lieutenant), Po and Able Seamen

In this game both teams are racing to get on board of the paddle steamer Troutbridge. The model is from Sarissa and far too much trouble to put together. MDF and cardboard do not like making curved shapes or thin rods such as the roof supports and railings. Toys off eBay are a much cheaper source of model boats. On a positive note the model is large enough for all the models to get on it. In this game the steamer is ready to cast off off with ‘the lad’ and other competent members of the crew below decks. We will allow it to steam off when models of only 1 faction begin a turn at the wheel in the helm section.

Here we see the action after turn1. Lord Curr’s lot are at the top of the screen. Both sides run on with the faster characters at the front to make the most use of their speed. Singh is dragging along a huge machine gun so can’t run and stays at the back through most of the game.

Both sides keep moving up, making use of cover. The sailors have rifles but Curr’s company have shotguns and pistols so the landing party try to keep a safe distance away. Some members of both parties remain behind to give covering fire.

The sailors are taking heavier casualties from shooting but there were more of them to start with. All actions are alternate so with more models the Navy have an advantage in that some will move after all of Curr’s Company have activated. In this report casualties are left on the table but down until the end of turn then removed. This is to distinguish them from models who are knocked down and could get up again.

Po the cook takes on Lady Felicity. She can shoot both her pistols in hand to hand fighting but still misses with both and fares no better in hand to hand. Po also fluffs his combat rolls. The next turn Po will run off towards the steamer. Elsewhere models take ranged shots at each other.

Po is the first model on the steamer. Lady Felicity now tries to take on Tintin.

The combat continues and Tintin is finally out as he fails 2 pluck rolls in a row. The only hero character to do so in the game. Snowy the dog runs off. The sailor boys are starting to pile onto the boat. Po has headed for the helm.

The ship sails; here shown with both decks apart for clarity. Lady Felicity and 1 of Curr’s Company are on board. Sub Lieutenant Philips, 1 Able Seaman, Professor Calculus and Po the cook are also on the steamer. Playing on for a couple of turns, Calculus is out, but Po takes down the company man. The fight between Philips and Lady Felicity could go on a while so she gallantly gives in.

Both leaders, Curr and Captain Haddock are left behind. As is 1 Able Seaman and Singh. Singh never fired a shot all game as in the few instances where he had a clear line of sight it was only to a melee with both sides involved.

3 thoughts on “In Her Majesty’s Name v2: The Navy Lark

  1. I’ve never played a IHMN game, but always wanted to. I’ve played in several Empire of the Dead games at cons. Very fun games, usually with 6+ players on a huge board.

    Thanks for the brief look at v2. Its on my short list of rules to add to the stack. The game looked fun. Terrain and models looked good.

    Will this be an ongoing campaign?


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