Operation Dragon’s Hoard: Part 1 – The Concept

I mentioned in my end of year post that I plan to make a demo board for modern wargaming at some point this year. After having been to a few shows and having a wonderful time, I’d love to get even more involved. In addition, various parties have given me some advice and offers of support to get out there and do stuff.

The real question is what do I want to demo (in terms of scenario) and what board do I want to make?


Before I can choose the scenario, I first needed to decide which ruleset to use. As you can tell from previous posts, I have a few to pick from. However, the more I think about it, the more I really want to demo Skirmish Sangin. As well as being my favourite game, I also know it can be demoed well after watching Tiny Terrain showing it at Colours with his excellent board set in Africa.

Tiny Terrain’s awesome board

Scenario & Board

With the rules decided upon, I next started thinking about the scenario I’d want to play, something vital to get right if I want to be successful

Thinking back to my trips to shows, the boards that stood out to me was stuff you just can’t do at a normal club night. Be it a complete destroyer for your soldiers to fight over or the incredible underground WW1 fort that appeared at Partisan, boards that are different really stick in your head. Wanting to do something similar to this, I set off on a bender of films, tv and games for ideas I could use. And I finally settled upon an idea that should make for a fun board.

A C-130 carrying CIA equipment suffers a technical fault and crash lands on the outskirts of a city in Bazistan. As the local militia rushes to the site to claim it as salvage, American Special Forces have been deployed to search and recover the items in a daring day time raid. Of course, they are not the only group interested in recovering CIA technology…

Gameplay wise it would be a three way fight between the two special forces teams looking for objectives and a militia force that is constantly receiving new forces from off the board. More than two players allow for more interesting gameplay and to get more players involved on a single board. The requirement to hunt items means the special forces HAVE to keep moving, rather than sitting back and just hammering fire at each other..

The downed C-130 in Afghan (Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2)
Another downed C-130 in Goalpost (Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3)

Visually, the idea of a crashed C-130 sat in the midst of a shanty town is a powerful image. I’ve hunted down some reference photos (mainly from Call of Duty) which I’ll use to help work out the layout. A big point is that a C-130 in 1:48 is about 2ft by 2ft in size. Obviously making it crashed means I can trim parts off it and separate out various bits to make it less of a solid mass in the middle of the table. Around it, I’m planning a maze of shacks with a few large buildings close the edge of the board. And of course lost of scatter terrain to provide cover.

In addition, I’ve had some thoughts about the size of the board. A 4ft x 4ft board would just about fit in the back of my car with some extra space and is a reasonable size for Skirmish Sangin.

So the big obstacle to this is finding a 1:48 c-130. There is a plastic kit but it’s about £50 so it would be good to see if there is some alternatives before I buy one and take a knife to it.

Rough Timing Plan

Timing wise, I think it would work best if I aim for a convention near the end of the year. Fiasco in Leeds is on the smaller, more laid back end of the scale (perfect for a first time showing) and takes place in Leeds so on home turf. Even better, it’s in October this year. My plan is to do the first showing there and then take any improvements to Vapa in 2018. Of course, if it’s ready before August, the local show Claymore might also be an option, although a risky one. All of this is subject to change but its really a rough idea to get started with.

That’s the end of part 1. The idea is very much in early planning stages so it might end up falling to pieces. But, I’m am very excited about going through the process.

Liked it? Take a second to support Michael Charge on Patreon!