Napoleon Buggles & the Vampire Horde by Matthew Hartley

Issue: 14
System: Hell by Starlight
Publisher: Wessex Games

Napoleon Buggles & the Vampire Horde
by Matthew Hartley

In the early days of the March of Man, many strange and terrifying encounters with other sentient races occurred. Outstanding amongst the records of these meetings is the tale of Napoleoon Boggles and the Vampire Horde.


In accordance with Earth Council policy, following initial atmospher tests and probe landings, a small party of explorers would be deposited on a potentially inhabitable planet to investigate further. Glaxos IV - an essentially Earth-type world with one equatorial land mass covered in dense foliage - received the party of Prof. Sloane, six sickly-looking scientific underlings, his orphan granddaughter, Kimberly (aged 12½), and the 'Bots. The 'Bots were the creation of the Prof., who was concerned that his charge might become fractious. The three 3-foot high robotic playmates superficially resemble a chicken, a kangaroo, and a teddy bear. The bear - Napoleon Buggles by name - being the last made is the most intelligent of the three and acts as their despotic leader.

The explorers landed several hours ago in a clearing and are in the process of unpacking supplies.

Suddenly, a mass of local fauna busts forth from the undergrowth, evidently not about to engage in meaningful conversation. The explorers scramble for their armaments. Under Napoleon's direction the 'Bots pick up tools lying around them...

The Explorers

Frankly, the explorers have been extremely careless in their defence arrangements, setting up neither sensors nor even human look-outs. This is the fault of the autocratic Prof. Sloane, who totally dominates his staff, leaving them cowed and in fear of him. They at least brought their guns with them. Kimberly is, unfortunately, much like her grandad.

Prof. Sloane's Group
Reaction points total: 15
Prof. SloaneGreenPartial FlakPistol
Move as Green
Kimberly Sloane's Group
Reaction points total: 15
KimberlyGreenPartial FlakScrewdriver(Hand Wpn.)
Move as Green
Napoleon's 'Bots
Reaction Points total: 21
Napoleon Buggles the bearVeteranComplete power armour compositeChainsaw (Spec Cls-Cbt)
Chris the ChickenNormalComplete power armour compositeHammer (Spec Cls-Cbt)
Clive the KangarooNormalComplete power armour compositeAxe (Spec Cls-Cbt)
Move as Green
'Bot Reaction
MSEn.Veh.F.S.of EnUnder ArtV

The aim of the explorers is to keep the most human members alive.

The Vampires and extras

In happier days the vampires - marooned for a millenium - would have come up with some cunning plan, unfortunately not having a good pint in centuries has blunted their tactical planning somewhat. However they have at their disposal the unfortunate inhabitants they have been "milking", and whist not exactly Special Forces they could make useful cannon- fodder.

The Vampires
Reaction points total: 22
VampireVeteranNoneClaws & fangs (Spec Cls-Cbt)

Each vampire can act independently of the others.

Vampires have three states - "human", bat, and vapour. It takes a vampire one turn to change in or out of a bat form from human, or two to change to a vapour.It takes one turn to change from a bat into a vapour or vice versa.During the change the vampire counts the most favourable armour type of the two states and the least favourable movement distance. In human form the vampire moves as Normal, as a bat up to 12 inches per turn, or up to six inches as a vapour. In human form the vampire is unarmoured, as a vapour it cannot be damaged, as a bat it can only be attacked by burst effect weapons (ie shotguns) and then at a minus one dice shift. Vampires can only attack in human form, but count as superbly trained.

Vampire reactions.
MSEn.Veh.F.S.of EnUnder ArtV

The Hordes

The effect of the vampire venom on these unfortunates has been to rob them of their "higher senses", their spirt if you like. They have been reduced to the intellectual level of animals, this does not mean that they are "mindless zombies" in the classic fantasy mould of the undead, rather they are cunning, unpitying, and resourceful ( to, say, the level of the player controlling them!). They have their own reaction table:

MSEn.Veh.F.S.of EnUnder ArtV

There are 16 such creatures in four equal groups, all have the same stats:

  • Reaction pts: 22 (they also count a veterans)
  • Armour: natural protection counts as complete flak.
  • Weapons: appendages (hand wpns.)
  • Movement: Normal.


The vampires want to capture some of the humans, by infecting them in melee and dragging them off into the undergrowth.

The map

  • All containers and the jungle count as soft cover.
  • I used Lego bricks for my containers, the smaller ones being 1 brick high. The larger are 4 bricks high. In other words big containers block line of sight and small ones don't.

Special rules

  • Any figure on the ships boat ramp can close the rear access ramp. It takes one turn to close, and once closed it can only be opened from the inside. The ships boat is impervious to damage.
  • If a human is defeated by a vampire in melee he is assumed to be infected with vampire venom, and will be unconscious. Unconscious bodies can be dragged up to two inches per turn, or four if two are carrying it.


  • The explorers can deploy anywhere in the clearing except within 18 inches of the ships boat or 6 inches of another group.
  • The vampires deploy anywhere in the forest. The vampires can start in any state they like.
  • The explorers go first.

Victory conditions.

As a rule I loath formal victory conditions for games, since I have found that they tend to lead to extremely artificial situations where players will only act within the straight-jacket of rigidly defined victory conditions. Whilst this does mean that one side can claim a game victory it doesn't really seem to accord with reality, where invariably both sides claim the honours! I suggest that players end the game when both are agreed it has come to a natural conclusion.