Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Mayday: Part Two

Saturday Morning: Savage Worlds Pulp Adventure

Games started early Saturday morning at Mayday. Kick off for this event was at 8:30! I did it though; at zero hour I was there and set up – terrain, figures, unit cards, dice, hats…. everything was good to go!



Chris van Tighem as Professor Henry Daventhorpe, Charlie Davis, and Sefu
Terry Silverthorn as Col. Jonathan Quincy Gordon and the escaped villagers
Warren Bridgewater as Capitaine Jean Francois Leduc and the Foreign Legionnaires
Kris Hougan as Captain Harold Black and Force Six from Cairo
John Burt (returning in his role) as First Mate Marcus Andres and the crew of the SS Persephone

And, as always, myself, Tim Brown, as the evil Nazi menace!

August 1938

Colonel Jonathan Quincy Gordon of His Majesty’s Secret Service has been following rumors of a secret Nazi research facility somewhere in Africa for months. He has crisscrossed North Africa a half-dozen times and traveled from Cairo to Johannesburg and back at least twice – by separate routes each time! Finally he has located the base, where it is rumored Nazi scientists are working on a secret weapon, in a small village near the coast in Tanzania (which of course, until the end of the Great War, was German East Africa…).

He was able to pinpoint the location because while he was in Mombassa. There he met five men that had escaped from a village that had been enslaved by the Nazis. SS thugs had forced the villagers to help build a new workshop. Fearing the Nazis meant to murder them all when they were finished their work the five men along with a half-dozen others tried to escape. The five made it; the others did not…. The survivors feared the worst for the remaining villagers. Gordon made a deal with them; if they would lead them to the village Gordon would promise them vengeance! They agreed.

Gordon immediately set about making preparations. He contacted his superiors in His Majesty’s Secret Service and they had Force Six from Cairo dispatched to his immediate aid.

He also contacted his friend Capitaine Jean Francois Leduc with the French Foreign Legion in Algiers who promised to bring a small force of handpicked NCOs. They would be grizzled veterans of the Great War as well as near continuous combat in North Africa for decades before and after.
Next he tracked down his friends Professor Henry Daventhorpe and Charlie Davis. No one knew more about the history and geography, respectively, of Central Africa than the two of them. Davis would also bring along his lifelong friend, and expert tracker, Sefu.

Last he learned that the S.S. Persephone was steaming for Suez bound for China with another load of surplus arms for one faction of Chinese Warlords or another. It would take little convincing for them to provide transportation for the expedition – especially since it was (almost) on the way…

The force assembled in Cairo and boarded the S.S. Persephone and they made their way down the Suez. With the description of the village provided by the natives plans were made for their assault. Unfortunately they could not provide any information about the nature of the weapons being developed there.

Arriving at the nearest point on the coast to the village the Persephone dropped anchor and the force rowed ashore at dusk. They made the trek overland through the night guided by the escaped natives. By dawn they reached Kobanga.

They laid low for the day observing the comings and goings in the village. There were no natives to be seen. The garrison seemed light and the security lax. There was perhaps a squad of German regulars and two small patrols of native Shutztruppen. Either they expected no trouble or were defended by some unknown force. They could not determine the nature of any secret weapons that might be under development from their observations. It was decided they would raid the compound at dawn….

(Here’s where the game began…)
(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

The players (from the left); Terry (with his back to the camera), Warren, Kris, Chris, and John. Silly hats were required (all were provided by myself). I need to get a French Kepi, I had to give Warren a black beret (berets are sort of French, right?). I’ve since picked up better hat for John (for the next time he plays Marcus… Fallcon ?); a nice Greek fisherman’s hat.

That’s me with my own silly hat (and John), somewhat later in the game….

In the pre-dawn light of the following morning the force approached the sleepy village. Gordon and the villagers advanced on the right flank, circling around the west of the village. The legionnaires and Force Six took up the center approaching the north end of the village. Davis, Daventhorpe, Sefu, and the landing party from the Persephone were on the left, circling around the east of the village.

The initial set up of the force.

The raiders had a bit of bad luck off the start as a sentry happened to spot one of the Persephone’s crew as he darted from one dune to another. A shot from the Shutztruppen’s Mauser rang out and was followed shortly by the report of the other sentries rifles and the sounds of general commotion and the alarm being raised within the village.

The first to respond were the second patrol of Shutztruppen. They poured from the village hoping to make the excellent cover of some ruined buildings on the outskirts. Unfortunately Force Six was already in position and cut every last one of them down in a hail of automatic weapons fire!

Shutztruppen, cut down as they tried to move out of the village.

A section of German Panzer-Grenadiers stationed in a building on the north end of town sprang into action. The section’s machine-gunner hastily set up his MG34 in the window and brought some fire down on the advancing legionnaires. They quickly ducked into cover behind a building off to the left.

The German machine-gunner then shifted his attention to Force Six who had taken up their position off to his right. Force Six was busy bringing withering covering fire down on the sentries as the heroes on the left advanced into the village. Having more or less silenced the sentries in the vicinity they turned their attention to the machine-gunner. The volume, accuracy and sheer ferocity of their fire cause the German to duck back from the window for a spell, quite shaken. When he had gathered his wits he returned to the window only to get a bullet in his temple for his troubles.

The rest of the panzer-grenadiers had left the building. some were exchanging fire with Sefu, Daventhorpe, and the crew from the Persephone, who were entering the village from the east. Others were engaging the returned villagers, who were entering the village from the other direction, in brutal hand to hand combat.

Der Ubersturmfuhrer had already charged out of the SS headquarter building and had run into the returned villagers.

Der Ubersturmfuhrer fighting with a pair of the escaped villagers. A panzer-grenadier is moving up to help.

Gordon and the Foreign Legionnaires maneuver around the west end of the village.

At the top left you can see Force Six in position giving covering fire as Daventhorpe, Sefu, Davis (trailing behind – hobbling as fast as he can on his ruined leg which had been shattered by a Russian bullet in that Ambush in Timbogo), and some of the Persephone’s crewmen.

First Mate Marcus Andres and some of his crew had flanked further around the east end of the village. Andres peered in one of the windows of a newer looking building. Casting his eyes about the room he recognized many of the mechanical tools and parts in this machine shop… others he did not. Then he spotted some movement. Through a doorway in a room beyond he spotted a man in a lab coat briskly pacing back and forth while wringing his hands and looking frightfully worried.

First Mate Marcus Andres leads his men around the newly built workshop.

Andres, being a cold, efficient man with no love for the Nazis nor their sympathizers or collaborators, leveled his automatic at the man, took aim and executed him on the spot with a bullet through his head. The scientist probably never knew what hit him. Andres and his men then continued on their way around the east end of the village.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Legionnaires, rounding the corner of the village took down a sentry on top of a building only to start taking sub-machinegun fire from within. They took cove from the window and fired into the growing melee between the villagers and the Nazis.

Legionairres firing into the melee. The compound’s commandant Colonel-Doctor Dietrich von Ravenhoff has joined the melee.

Same melee from the other side.

Sefu and Daventhorpe had taken down the Panzer-grenadiers firing at them only to start taking fire from the schmisser-toting She-Wolves hiding in the entrance to the headquarter building. Daventhorpe caught a stray bullet in the arm taking him out of the action for the rest of the game. (it’s not the bullet with your name on it you need to worry about… it’s all those labeled “to whom it may concern”… if you throw enough bullets at someone in this game you’ll hit them eventually….)

The action at the East end of the village with Davnethorpe on the ground!

Andres enters the village from the Southeast.

Gordon had made his way to the Southwest corner of town only to finder Karl von Kindershisse waiting there in ambush. The two exchanged some close range shots and then backed off to cover around the corners of the headquarters building.

Ilsa, the Uber-She-Wolf, came running around the corner to von Kindershisse’s aid. Andres, who had, meanwhile, entered the town from the Southeast, had a clear shot at her down the street and took it. His shot clipped her arm. As Ilsa reeled around to see where the shot had come from, Gordon shot her in the back and she collapsed to the ground in a heap.

Karl von Kindershisse hides in cover while Ilsa, the Ubershe-wolf, lies bleeding in the street. Gordon, barely visible, hides around the opposite corner.

Then things really started to go bad for the Nazis. First Von Ravenhoff, the panzer-grenadiers, and Der Ubersturmfuhrer were taken down by a combination of the villagers furious close combat fighting and shots from both the Legionnaires at one end and Sefu and some of the Persephone crew at the other. Then the She-wolves, who had been blazing away for a number of turns(all the while being dealt a series of deuces), ran out of bullets. CLICK! They may be hot but they don’t know sweet tweet about fire control.

Sefu and Davis rushed them seeking vengeance for their comrade Daventhorpe. The Legionnaires joined them and took down the she-wolves in a short sharp melee, during which Sefu himself was seriously wounded.

The melee with the She-wolves.

Enraged by the loss of Ilsa, von Kindershisse rushed Gordon and tried shooting him pointblank. Gordon shrugged off the first shots and tried to box the Gestapo agent. The natives rushed to Gordon’s aid, and together they took down the Nazi.

Meanwhile the crew of the Persephone had begn searching the buildings. Where were the secret weapons? It didn’t take them long to find out. As one group rounded the corner into the front of the workshop the found themselves toe-to-tow with a metal behemoth! The giant robot singed all the hair off one of the crew and turned all his clothes to ash with it’s heat ray but left him otherwise unscathed. The crewmen unleashed a torrent of fire at the metal monster but bullets bounced off like they were made of rubber. Before they could turn to flee another crewman was stomped on and crushed under he giant feet of the hulk.

The men of Force Six had rushed forward. Corporal McLeod, the demolitions expert, had a rucksack crammed with explosives. Head readied a short detonator, stormed into the workshop, lobbed the pack at the beast, turned on his heals and bolted.

Corporal McLeod faces the Giant Nazi Robot.

The explosion rocked the compound and threw debris everywhere sending everyone diving for cover. When the dust settled the workshop was gone, only a pile of rubble remained in it’s place. Everyone looked on to see if there was anything left of the Giant Robot. To their horror the rubble shifted and the robot struggled to sit up.

Quick-thinking Andres announced that his men had just found the ammunition dump and told everyone else to run! They did. The wounded were quickly gathered up and carried or dragged away.

“Find some way to make that dump blow sky high, boys” Marcus called to his crewmen, “but not before we can get clear. I’m going to try and bring it over…”

He then proceeded to shout and fire shots at the robot to gets it’s attention as is struggled to get to its feet. It was damaged so it took some time and it lumbered slowly over the broken ground of the ruined workshop, but this all gave time for the crew to jury-rig a fuse of sorts and make their escape out the back window. Marcus kept firing and leading the robot in the direction of the ammo dump, dodging the heat rays all the while. When he figured it was close enough he ducked into the building, dashed to the back, flew through the window and fled after his men towards the hills.

When the explosion went off the shock knocked everyone to the ground and threw debris for hundreds of yards in every direction. The town was completely flattened.

When they later searched the ruins a few parts of the robot were recovered. These were collected together to be brought back to England. All files about the research were apparently destroyed. Any human remains they came across were buried but there wasn’t many. When they were done they began their trek back to the coast and to the Persephone who would take them back to Cairo…

okay so the game ended with the first explosion – I made up the rest to give the tale some closure…. The damage from the blast gave the robot two wounds. The crewmen had found the ammo dump and we decided that’s how it would have ended, we just didn’t bother playing it out as the pizza had arrived early and players had been wandering away from the table to get theirs and the time was just about up anyway…

Thanks to all those who took part in the game.

Next up is Mayday: Part Three – Saturday Afternoon.

(hey if you got this far why not leave a comment below!)


  1. Great battle report, thanks for sharing.

  2. Marcus Andres is Greek? I always pictured him as a Frenchman.

    I loved the game, I wish I had your talent for running Savage Worlds.