Wooden Wars: Kublacon- first battle for Quark’s Rivet

"If 1200 men couldn’t hold a defensive position this morning, what chance has 40 men and some automatons? Well, we’ve got two things they didn’t- Telsa guns and more Tesla guns!"

~ Major P. Bromhead Quark, OSD, posthumous

Major Quark on his V-Rex, steadies the lads. That's a lot of Robots out there!
As the sun rose over the British encampment known as Quark’s Rivet, a cloud of orange dust rolled its way in from the great Venusian plains. Along it came a cacophonous clanking that could only mean one thing. Baron Bomburst and his army have come!

Defending the Rivet
Phineas Bromhead Quark called out for everyone to fall in at the wall!” Lieutenant Grady, spool up the Tesla guns! Sargent Siggins- Take the Old Brassards and hold the left flank. By god and queen Victoria- make every shot count, lads!”

Quark’s Rivet

At Kublacon this year I ran 3 large Wooden Wars battles, two of which featured my Queen Victoria’s Robot Wars models.  These battles, based very (very!) loosely on Rorke’s Drift, featured the stalwart British forces and their robots  greatly outnumbered in an attack by the evil ruler of Vulgaria, Baron Bomburst, and his army of automatons. 
Baron Bomburst's Crack human infantry- painted by Peter Grose
Clampers and Zappers and Leviathans- oh my!
Featured in this battle were the two more popular robotic troop types- the Clampers (two arms with claws) and the Zappers, who have a tesla gun built into one arm.
A unit of dreadful clampers- with Zappers behind
Clamper robots don’t fire at all, but do two attacks/knock overs in melee, which is brutal! That means that if just 10 of them get to your unit of 20 guys, they cut them down!

Zappers are your more traditional automatomic infantry with the ability to fire like regular soldiers.
British Elite Guard, the "ol Brassards" zapper robots.
Baron Bomburst’s Kriegerbotorwerks engineers have created Leviathan class robots- giants that can take a beating and keep coming. The Leviathan clamper did 6 + d6 attacks in melee, and the zapper carried a Tesla cannon for an arm, which meant it could spool it up to fire more than one ball per turn.  Each Leviathan had 4 knock over points ( lives) represented by skull and crown tokens placed on the base of the model.  Players had the choice in the game to “burn” coins for extra movement actions on the clamper, or to fire more balls per turn on the zapper.  This made for some interesting tactical choices for the players, and also made the Leviathans targets of choice (or panic) for the defenders!

Leviathan like Clamper robot towers over infantry.
A battle hard fought!

After a slow start at hitting anything of import, and losing 3 gunners to an over spooled up tesla cannon, the British finally got a few good shots in as the robots closed in. The right flank was over run by clampers, who made it to the wall of the defenses only to be counter charged by the British infantry and destroyed

Tesla cannon score a hit, while clamper robots cut down gun crews in the Krall.
On the right flank, Bomburst’s Steel dragoons charged the Elite guard robots, the “old Brassards” but not before they managed to form square. Things did not go as planned for the dragoons who were cut down, but not before inflicting heavy casualties on the Brassards.

While this was going on, a concentrated fire was pouring into the defensive works and house, knocking things about. A stray shot hit the commander, Major Quark- who was not able to recover.  This lead an opening for Bomburst's infantry who stormed the wall, followed up by a unit of clampers. They took the rest of the Tesla guns, and at this point (and about time for the game to wind down) the remaining British officer struck his colors.

how many dice can a 4 year old hold! Charging the square

Taking heavy casualties the square holds! Huzzah for the Brassards!

utter concentration!

Our youngest commander replies with total confidance
British rejoice at "finally" getting their guns to hit

Clampers are repulsed a the wall by a pithy (helmed) charge

Storming the wall

The guns are taken and the commander down, the British ask for terms.
After action Report !
When designing this scenario, I set up the play space such that certain things would hopefully happen. I wanted the cavalry to charge the guard robots, and  on the British right flank, placed the tesla gun battery in the Krall  to make a tempting first target for the Giant clamper and smaller clampers.  In both battles these things came to pass, which provided great narrative to the story, and had good entertainment value. (Would that all my scenario designs should work out so well!)

What I did not expect to happen was that many of the players who controlled the tesla gun batteries ( which if lucky could toss 9 balls per turn!)  couldn’t hit a wooden soldier if it were nailed to a barn door!  This mean that the Baron’s troops were in much better state and could make it to the wall nearly unmolested.   War, especially wooden war, is heck!

That’s all for now- Next time, more shots of the second battle of Quark’s rift.

Many Order of the Steel Dragoon were given, posthumously...


  1. Thanks Gents!
    Phil, I was really happy how well everything came together. Always that gamble when setting it up at the con for the first time :)