Boarding action, yarrrrrrr...

2017, what the hell?!

I'll be doing a proper update on the state of the Warmill nation later, but as a taster here is a game I played down at Entoyment last night. The game is Spectre Operations (SO), a proper modern day ruleset that mixes nice and fast gameplay with a shopping list of guns, vehicles and equipment to satisfy the frothiest loot-fiend (I'll write a longer love letter to the game further down the line, but this our comeback special so I'll keep it tidy!).

Our game was a boarding action operation on a luxury yacht; the owners have been taken hostage by villainous pirates, and a small squad of special forces has been despatched to rescue them or die trying! Inserting by dinghy onto the launch deck, the rescue team must fight their way up through the decks for a final face-off with the big bad pirate guy currently enjoying mojitos on the sun deck with his closest henchmen.

To recreate that proper video game level feeling (and in the grand tradition of making up the scenario on the spot! :D), the pirate player's troops would get stronger on every deck the rescue team fought through. On the bottom deck they were 6 simple militiamen (the lowest level of soldier in SO) with assault rifles and nothing else, pretty much cannon fodder for the highly equipped elite operator rescue team. On the next deck up they would be trained (the second skill level), then professional on the next (almost as skilled as the rescue team), and finally on the roof the rescue team (if they make it) will confront the elite operator pirate boss and his two elite bodyguards.

The map for the game was a large mat, printed at very short notice and for a very reasonable price on lovely PVC banner media by Jon at Printroom 105 (he also makes aeroplanes!). I can't claim credit for the idea (that goes to Alex on the SO facebook group), google provided a nice hi-res image of a yacht floorplan in glorious colour. To make it even easier, the various parts of the render were colour coded which helped us define how it would work in the game, eg soft cover, hard cover, sight blocking, etc.


I took control of the pirates using my SO deniable ops figures, while Ben had his SO navy SEAL devgru team, kitted out with body armour, red dot and laser sights, flashbang grenades, breaching charges, a compact LMG, SMG and a vicious attack dog. The SEAL team started at the landing deck while I deployed my hapless militia around the engine room, the toilet (a running theme), and other quarters.

The SEAL team made short work of the lowly grunts, mopping them up with no losses.

On to the second deck, where the professional pirates were relaxing at the bar, in the sauna, on the toilet and out on the rear deck. Half the rescue team took the inside stairs to flank around through a narrow corridor, while the other half took the outside stairs to appear by the hot tub which became the scene of a grisly attack dog-pirate throat interactive scenario. Lots of flashbang grenades and LMG fire saw the deck cleared with little trouble.

The spiral staircase ran through the entire ship, but there were plenty of other routes between decks as well. For the assault on the bridge the whole rescue squad braved the staircase and cleared the deck in good order, with only the LMG man nearly getting plugged.

With a full rescue squad it looked like the assault on the roof was going to be pretty easy, but the pirates' overwatch, steadied weapons and winning the initiative at the right time meant it turned into a bloodbath, with the last kill going to the dog with a final bodycount of 3 throats and the handler being the last operator standing.

We had time to play a second round where I took my SO SWAT team, kitted out much the same only with a combat shotgun replacing the LMG of the SEAL team, while Ben used his SO tier 1 operators as the PMC pirates. The first deck was cleared quickly, but I lost one guy to a trained soldier on the second deck then completely fluffed the assault on the bridge; I sent two guys to the front to fire through the bridge windows then realised 2 of my squad wouldn't be able to reach the deck this turn! While they did their best, by the time the deck was clear I only had 2 operators left, one of whom had to spend a turn recovering from a wound before they could stack up ready to attack the roof.

The wait to recover gave the pirate boss and his boys time to set overwatch, so when the SWAT team charged they were up against it. The carbine trooper was downed quickly with a serious wound that gave him two turns of shaky pistol fire before losing consciousness, while the SMG trooper managed to plug the big boss but was brought down by the other two henchmen (after some outrageous defence rolls from Ben!).

All in all, the games were brilliant fun and I'd try it again in a heartbeat. Once we'd worked out some of the foibles of the terrain, like where the stairs went and what counted as what cover, it was fast, furious and very bloody. The tight quarters were a very different game to our last match, and it was nice to use a different set of tools. I think Spectre's rules are perfect for this sort of fast action and quick scenario making, and it honestly felt like a Call of Duty game the whole way through. We've discussed races with players taking their own custom teams and trying to set a best time to clear the boat, or exanding the map to include the rescue team speeding in on boats while helisnipers pin the pirates down. This is my favourite thing about Spectre's rules; the feel of the rules really makes you want to try these lairy balls-to-the-wall scenarios!

I'll be posting more soon, including a few other games we've played, and more stuff about Warmill and what we're working on, so stay tuned!


  1. This is just superb. I love the idea of fighting in such a defined space as a yacht. As you say, it has a very Call of Duty feel about it. Can you tell me if/how I may get a copy of the image file for printing? I'd love to give this scenario a go with my group. Thanks so much for sharing.


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