Sunday, March 25, 2007

Return to Gwong Island

This was my first Savage Worlds Explorer Society event held at the Dragon’s Den, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, on Sunday 25 March 2007. Unfortunately…. no one showed up! Well Darrin showed up. But Darrin always shows up (bless his socks!). Who’d have thought game-geeks would go out and enjoy the first warmish sunny day since… oh… last September. (Don’t game-geeks burst into flames when exposed to direct sunlight…?!) Ah well, Darrin and I had a fun little game at the den. A couple people wandered by and looked interested. I stopped and took the time to explain the game and scenario to them but none seemed interested in trying to help Darrin out of his sticky situation.

The adventure was another episode in an ongoing Savage Worlds Pulp Adventure Serial, staring:

Darrin Morris as Oscar Carson and … well… all the other good guys (that I had ready for up to a half dozen other people to show up and play!): Jaqueline Louise Marie D’Hiver of the French Secret Service, Col. Jonathan Q. Gordon of His Majesty’s Secret Service, Captain Roy Barnett and Force 8 from Hong Kong.

Myself, Tim Brown, as the evil Nazi menace, including: Karl von Kinderschisse and his two thugs Gunter and Hans, Der Ubersturnfuhrer, and Hauptmann Karl Meuller and Unteroffizer Helmut Jarlhoff and their platoon of German Panzer-Grenadiers.

July, 1937

It’s been half a year since our heroes rescued Dr. Liederhosen from Gwong Island. Lt. Dirk Flasheart of The US Rocket Corps (Captain Lance Strongarm’s replacement) has been picking up strange signals again from the island at his top-secret listening post in the Philippines. Flasheart informed his friend Oscar Carson, an agent for the U.S. Intelligence Service operating in the Far East. He in turn checked with two of his opposites with His Majesty’s Secret Service and the French Secret Service in the Far East. Col. Jonathan Q. Gordon and Jaqueline Louise Marie D’Hiver, he found, had both been trailing a Secret Nazi spy ring in their area of operations. They suggested that Flasheart might have stumbled upon the base the Nazis were operating from.

D’Hiver further informed him that the “strange signals” Flasheart had been picking up were from a new ultra secret secure radio device called X-222 she had just learned about through an informant.

The three Intelligence Operatives, together with Force 8 From Hong Kong, a team of the military’s best and brightest in the Far East, traveled to Gwong Island aboard a US submarine the USS Barracuda.

August 24th, 1937

The force assembled and was delivered to south side of Gwong Island just before dawn by USS Barracuda. The Group struck inland and after a punishing full days forced march they arrived at a hill above the old Chinese Warlords base. Now, however, it flew the flag of Nazi Germany!

Carefully observing the camp in the precious few moments before the sun plunged into the sea to the west they were able to determine which buildings were likely barracks and which was the communications shack.

In darkness the eight stole down from the hill through the dense jungle to the edge of the clearing that held the base. There they further observed the sentry’s locations and patrol schedule. Quickly and quietly they formulated a plan of attack.

Carson, Gordon and Barnett would sneak into the communications shack and snatch X-222. The Explosives Expert form Force 8 was to crawl forward on his belly, after the sentry’s next pass, and prepare the radio mast for demolition. D’Hiver and the rest of Force 8 would lie in wait to cover the group should any trouble arise.

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Darkness falls on the Gwong Island Compound – shot day for night in comput-o-scope!

The sentries passed by. Carson, Barnett, Gordon and the Explosives Expert moved up.

The Explosives man got to the mast and hurriedly set about his task.

The Explosives man going about his business

Carson peered in through a slit in the shades of the Communication Shack’s window. The Signaler on duty sat in a chair with his back to the door, his feet up on the table, and he was reading a magazine. His rifle was leaning against the wall in the corner and he had the set tuned to Radio Berlin and was listening to polkas.

Carson slipped into the open door and snuck up behind the signaler raising his trusty sap. He struck down with all his might and knocked the German out cold. In a flash he pulled out all the cable attached to the X-222 and Barnett moved up to the door to help carry it.

Barnett moves up to help Carson with the X-222

Then things went badly. Who knows what he saw; perhaps a shaft of moonlight shone down on the man from Force 8 at the base of the antennae mast? Or light from the Communications Shack reflected on Gordon’s face as he peered in through the door? Whatever it was, one of the sentries in the MG position on the beach at the far end of the compound saw something and raised the alarm! (three aces on a notice check will do that….)

Shouts of “HAAAALT!” and “SCHNELLL!” and “ALARM!” could be heard all about. Soldiers started pouring out of the barrack buildings half dressed.

Germans pour from the barracks

One of the first out was a section commander that glanced about and saw Gordon and Barnett skulking near the Communications Shack. He fired a burst from his MP40. A bullet caught Gordon in the side and he reeled backward and stumbled for cover behind the side of the building.

The covering party from Force 8 opened up. The first burst from the Bren took down one of the HMG crew, at the far end of the compound, as they tried to turn their gun about. Returning the fire of the German section commander another rifleman was grazed.

Germans went to ground and dove for whatever cover they could find, shocked by the sudden violence that tore through the night. They quickly recovered however and unleashed a torrent of fire back at the British commandos.

The Bren-gunner was the first struck. A bullet through his shoulder and one in his thigh took him out of the fight. Next the Explosives man was his in both legs, ending his mission.

Barnett let of a burst at the nearest muzzle-flashes as Carson dragged the X-222 to the door. The two of them then carried it off into the darkness of the jungle, dodging bullets all the way.

Carson manhandles the X-222 set to the door.

The two commandos remained where they were to cover their commander’s flight. They exchanged ineffective fire with the Germans until they became aware of more germans trying to sneak up their flanks. Hoping their commander had gotten a good head start they turned to disappear into the jungle as they rose one caught a bullet in the windpipe that tore through the back of his neck. The other took a stray bullet in his leg just as he thought he might be home free. He wasn’t terribly badly hurt but certainly couldn’t run. He thought he might lay low in the darkness until the activity died down and then crawl off. Unfortunately a squad of Germans combing the area, a short time later, found him and took him prisoner.

Gunter and Hans, Kindershisse’s Gestapo thugs burst from cover and shoot down the fleeing commandos.

In the meantime Gordon had recovered himself and fallen back to the cover of the jungle. He fired a few shots to cover Carson and Barnett’s flight. The Germans sneaking up the flank spotted his shots and unleashed a fury of lead into the bush. When their initial burst finished he stepped out from behind a tree, shot one of the Germans in the face and vanished into the darkness.

What followed was a mad (but brief) chase through the darkness of the jungle. Gordon quickly caught up with Carson and Barnett. As the wild busts of fire from their pursuers quickly approached Gordon and Barnett urged Carson to continue on and try to find D’Hiver while they tried to stall the Germans.

The desperate chase through the jungle.

Hot on their tails the relentless Ubersturmfuhrer burst through the jungle sending a hail of bullets at Gordon and Barnett. Gordon was again grazed. The Englishmen returned fire and tried to melt back further into the jungle. They were overwhelmed and in danger of being surrounded. Gordon took a third bullet and finally went down. Barnett tried to flee but found he was already surrounded and was compelled to surrender.

Carson tried to carry off the X-222 himself.

Gordon and Barnett stop to try and hold of the German pursuers.

Gordon and Barnett exchange fire with the Germans.

Gordon is down and Barnett is surrounded and captured

Carson had found D’hiver and the two struggled along a further short distance with the X-222 before a squad of Germans over took them. They too were compelled to surrender…..

Carson and D’hiver can not outdistance their pursuers and are also captured.

Stay tuned for next week’s installment; ESCAPE FROM GWONG ISLAND! The desperate conclusion to our heroes epic struggle!

(or if they can’t bust out I’ll just have to send in the Rocket Corps….)

Monday, March 5, 2007

Ambush in Timbogo (SW- Pulp)

Ambush in Timbogo

A Savage Sunday Pulp Adventure starring:

Darrin Morris as Oscar Carson, The Diggers and a Cameraman.

Brenda Meyer-Burt as Henry Daventhorpe, Charlie Davis, and Sefu

John Burt as the Askaris and the cowardly baggage porters

And myself, Tim Brown, as Baroness Nadia Smirnov, Captain Alexi Smirnov, Herr Doktor Dietrich Von Ravenhoff, Ernst Liechmann, the Russian Infantrymen, and Baluchi mercenaries.

In our last very exciting episode our heroes having escaped from Suakala with the Mask on Amenakken IV crossed over into Timobogo. They had headed out of town the way they had come then backtracked to the border to throw off any trackers. When they turned back towards Timbogo they had even sent part of their hired Askaris off in a different direction to further confuse any pursuers. Thus having made the arduous trek through the pass that marked the border they were feeling pretty safe.

Little did they know a sixth expedition had arrived at Suakala, late, just hours after the British and American expeditions had left. The expedition was lead by Doktor Dietrich Von Ravenhoff and his loyal lieutenant Ernst Liechmann. Together with their band of hired Baluchi thugs they searched the town.

All they found was the remains of the Russian expedition holed up in a house on the edge of town. After speaking with them he realized the group he would be pursuing was a formidable one. Von Ravenhoff thus recruited the Russians that could walk to aid him in his pursuit for a cut of the treasure, but planned to double cross them as soon as the mask was in his hands.

The Russians, for their part, also fully intended to double-cross the Germans at the first available opportunity.

The German’s expert trackers weren’t fooled by Davis and Daventhorpe’s clever ruse. Once across the border they made up time as Von Ravenhoff new this jungle like the back of his hand. He had been the commander of military forces in the small German colony of Timbogo during the Great War and had waged a successful guerilla campaign against the invading British, French, Belgians and Portuguese from the surrounding colonies for the duration of the war.

As dawn drew near, on a particularly wet morning in early July of 1922, the Germans and Russians approached the encampment of the British and American expeditions.

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Captain Alexi Smirnov and his White Russian soldiers pick their way through the dense jungles of the Timbogan Highlands.

Ernst Liechmann and his Baluchi mercenaries approaching the encampment.

All was quiet in the camp. Three Askaris stood guard along with the native guide, Sefu. As the Askaris mulled about trying to get a fire going to cook breakfast on the ever-watchful Sefu stood up suddenly and shouted a warning; “Der is mens in dees woods!” Before anyone could react the Baluchis opened fire with their single shot breech-loaders filling the air with thunder-like noise and smoke!

The Baluchis with Von Ravenhoff open fire on the camp.

Chaos ensued within the camp! Askaris, diggers, porters and our heroes all stumbled over each other as they struggled to get up and get their bearings.

Chaos in the Camp.

Though startling the initial volley of fire from the mercenaries had little actual effect. Sefu fired back, then the Askaris fired, having finally gathered up their rifles, and shot down one of the mercenaries.

Charlie Davis rolled out of the back of his tent only to find Russians creeping about back there. He took a wild shot at them with his shotgun as he sprang to his feet. The Russians fire was far more accurate; a bullet tore through Davis’ thigh, shattering bone, spinning him about and pitching him sideways into the bush. (Four wounds, couldn’t soak any…. oh dear…)

Daventhorpe crawled out the other end of the tent just as an Askaris fell over dead on top of it. Another fell to the earth in front of him. The Baluchi mercenaries, it seemed, had suddenly remembered how to shoot their rifles. Two more would go down as Daventhorpe crawled about trying to get his bearings. The remaining two Askaris joined him behind the cover of some crates.

Sefu stood like a rock in the open; loading, aiming and firing. Though his first Shot had ricocheted off a branch, missing Von Ravenhoff by millimeters, his second shot took down one of the mercenaries. He then spotted Liechmann and his thugs off to the right. His next bullet went through Liechmann’s left eye, spraying brains over the vivid green leaves of the jungle and tossing his mighty form back against a tree like a rag doll (six wounds! Could only soaked one…!)!

The Russians fanned out in the bush around the Northeast end of the camp. They shot two of the diggers. Rather than cower like the Askaris, the Diggers were enraged by the loss of two of their number they charged into the bush after the Russians. One smashed a Russians face in with his shovel, another had his bell rung but was still standing. Despite the diggers initial success the Russians quickly rallied from the shock of the assault and ran two diggers through with bayonets. The remaining one fought back another moment, parrying bayonet thrust with his umbrella but he was soon surrounded and overcome by the ruthless Russians.

The Diggers assault on the Russians

Carson finally stumbled out of his tent to find the cameraman already set up and filming! He followed on the heels of the diggers charge and found himself face to face with Captain Smirnov. He swung at the Russian with his big stick. The Russian parried and slashed back cutting Carson seriously in the side. While Carson was reeling from the initial blow, Smirnov hacked again wounding him again in the arm. Carson went down hard.

Seeing Carson go down Daventhorpe leveled his shotgun at the Russian Captain and fired. A large chunk of the tree next to him exploded into splinters. The Russian didn’t even notice!

Smirnov stepped forward raising his shaska to deliver a finishing blow to Carson when he was thrown back into the bushes with a terrible, sharp pain in his shoulder. Sefu had now shot him.

The Askaris rallied and sought better cover. They exchanged fire with the mercenaries but could not get the better of them. One Baluchi went down, but them an Askari did as well. Then last one went down firing.

The native baggage carriers had simply gotten up and ran off into the woods. The mercenaries sent a volley their way to ensure that they kept on going, killing one of them.

Von Ravenhoff lead his mercenaries out of the woods and charged across the camp and sliced at Daventhorpe with his sword. Daventhorpe gave him a short sharp blow to his face with the butt end of his shotgun. Ravenhoff reeled back completely stunned.

(Okay at this point it’s a new turn, cards are dealt, Ravenhoff and Daventhorpe BOTH get jokers! We’re sort of using showdown rules with some stuff from the RPG for fun so they roll for fortune and calamity. Ravenhoff gets a benny; Daventhorpe rolls “Twist of Fate” and takes it away from him. They did an opposed agility roll to see who got to go first. Daventhorpe won….)

A second blow from Daventhorpe crushed Ravenhoff’s nose, fractured his cheekbone and sent teeth a score of teeth scattering to the ground. Von Ravenhoff staggered backwards, but did not go down! Rather he shook his head, pat out a few more teeth and recovered himself! He held up his hand and said; “THTOP!” with blood drooling down his chin.

The ten remaining mercenaries gathered behind Von Ravenhoff in a line. With a quick glance behind him Daventhorpe could see Sefu was fighting off three Russians single-handedly. He cast another quick glance about the camp and realized he and Sefu were the only ones still standing.

Realizing the situation was hopeless Daventhorpe lowered his shotgun and asked the German; “Yes… well… What are your terms, then..?”

“Luh dun yuh ums and guv uth the muthk un yuh cuhn guh fweh!” was the Germans bloody reply.

“I have your word as a Gentleman, then?” asked Daventhorpe.

“Un muh uhnuh!” relied Von Ravenhoff.

“Fair enough…” said Daventhorpe as he dropped his shotgun and slowly, half-raised his hands.

Sefu had broken off and tried to run from the Russians. As he ran one of the Russians stabbed him in the back with a bayonet. Sefu stumbled, tripped and fell to the ground.

The German again yelled “THTOOOP!” with another gout of blood issuing forth from his mangled mouth.

The Russians stopped. Von Ravenhoff cast a look back at his mercenaries, and then turned back to the Russians. He shouted something completely unintelligible, which Daventhorpe could only imagine was a gurgling attempt at Russian, and the mercenaries leveled their rifles at their erstwhile partners.

Daventhorpe and Von Ravenhoff, toe to toe, with the Russians in the background. Sefu crawling away, wounded in the back. The Baluchi mercenaries gather.

“NYET!” screeched the Baroness, as she emerged from the bushes, intensely white against the vivid green of the jungle.

Daventhorpe heard the clatter of the Russians behind him raising their rifles towards the mercenaries. He dropped to the ground grabbing his shotgun and rolled, sideways, out of the way. He came out of his roll in a prone firing position and leveled his shotgun at Captain Smirnov.

The Mercenary Baluchis and Russians exchanged fire, it was hard to say who shot first. The initial volleys were pretty ineffective from both sides, though Ravenhoff caught a Russian bullet in the shoulder and went down.

Sefu, who, during the brief standoff, had dragged himself and his rifle behind some crates, shot and killed one Russian. Then another went down from the second shots of the Baluchis and the remaining Russians sought cover in the jungle.

The Baroness shot at Daventhorpe, but missed. Daventhorpe placed his shot square in the center of the Russian Captain’s chest. He seemed to implode as he flew backwards into the jungle out of sight. Daventhorpe then aimed at the Baroness and shot her, peppering her side with shot, staining her furs with her own noble blood. She turned and fled into the Jungle.

Sefu shot and killed another Russian, and then the mercenaries killed another. The remaining Russian tossed his rifle into the air and tore off into the jungle after the baroness….

The carnage after the smoke cleared and dust settled.

When the smoke from the Baluchis obsolete guns cleared all was quiet.

Daventhorpe, who knew most languages still spoken in central Africa, not to mention several that no one has spoken for centuries, offered the Baluchis double their current wages for their services. They accepted and began to gather up the wounded and clean up the carnage.

Davis was found after a short search. He was in a very bad way. He would remember little of the events of this morning – or for many days to follow for that matter. He would eventually recover but walked with a limp for the rest of his days, and never did go anywhere very quickly (new hindrance: LAME!).

Smirnov’s body was also recovered and he was very dead, as was Ernst Liechmann.

Von Ravenhoff was treated and brought with the group as they continued their trek towards the capitol of Timpala. One night he simply disappeared into the jungle with two of the Baluchis.

Carson and Sefu, both battered and cut very badly, were patched up and made it all the way to Timpala under their own steam….

Stay tuned for the next exciting episode in my Savage Worlds Pulp Adventure serial!

(which won't be for a few weeks as I'll be busy working on getting units painted for the Vimy Project for most of March....)

More New Fgures

I finished up some masters for a pile of new figures last week. Seven actually. Mostly Great War Germans, a couple higlanders, and a King's African Rifles askari.

I made moulds on Thursday and Friday and then cast a hundred or so on Saturday. I started painting them last night. Here's the first unit the KAR askaris.

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