Thursday, July 31, 2014

Astounding Tales Weeknight Game

D  A  N  G  E  R  !  !

Date: July 31, 1890/2014
Location: We Can't Tell You!
Situation: Adventure Game
Rules: Astounding Tales by Howard Whitehouse
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Some of the local pards game on weeknights after work usually from 7-9:30 p.m. Games can be one of a kind or thematic continuing over several weeks. On the 31st of July 1890/2014, Chuck invited us over to play Astounding Tales. Let's part jungle growth below shall we, and walk right into danger!

Chuck promised an appealing and stimulating table setting. It was visually superb! Much of his terrain is scratch built from aquarium plants/structures. Michael's Stores provide other items as well.

The plank bridge could sway in the wind given it's flexibility. It is fixed to posts on each end. However, loops laid over the posts can be easily lifted in case you want to have the bridge hang down a cliff face. The explorer seen to the right has just investigated a trio of enormous eggs. He as I are wondering what the parents are!

Three sweaty indigenous inhabitants stroll along the river. They do not see the ??? behind them in the water. Figures are from Pulp Miniatures. I just finished painting twenty of them.

Chuck had ten of these structures scattered in the jungle. 12"x12" each. The total scene was reminiscent of a lost city in the  process of recovery. Explorers (thieves?) are en-route to investigate the ruins.

Blocks were glued together to form the structures. In this story, structures (rooms) are widely spaced apart. However, on previous game nights Chuck has placed them side by side forming one huge building for his Lost Tomb Game. Some doorways can only be accessed if explorers figure out where they are and if they have the skill to do so. Blocks can actually be removed.

Structures can also be placed on top of each other as I did in the story Expedition To Alexandrapour. See the list of chapters to the left, XXI and XXII in particular.

One group of intrepid explorers has arrived at an exceptional room. Is that the remains of an altar or if the central stone can be lifted, is there a passage to mysteries below? In my Expedition to Alexandrapour, it was a way to descend to lover levels.


1) Astounding Tales is easy to play. We like the system. On this occasion Chuck, John, Kirk and I participated.

2) Weeknight games are often of short duration. One aspect is we get to use many of our game time periods we don't do on weekends. Examples: Westerns, Star Wars, Battle of Britain, Pulp Adventure and 20mm-28mm WWII skirmish. We'll soon commence adventures in the South Pacific between WWI and WWII. Saturday games are quite often big games lasting from mid-morning into the late afternoon; Seven Years' War, General Pettygree Colonial, Napoleonic Iberia and 15mm WWII North Africa, Italy or France.

3) Comments welcome but if you hear drums beating, RUN!.
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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Chapter 69: Pettygree's Tincture of Obfuscation


Date: May 26, 1903 
Location: City of Alexandria, Nile Delta
Situation: A Tincture of Obfuscation
See Previous Chapter 68 here:
Clicking images enlarges them prodigiously.

May 19, 1903:  Mary and General Pettygree disembarked Ajax into The Nile Delta to begin a Grand Tour.

Later Colonel Lawford unexpectedly arrived with unfortunate news. We resume our story on:


May 26, 1903 -- {Late Morning}

General Pettygree: "A week ago I learned about losing the Port of Suakin and the retreat of Brigadier Kettering's forces behind the walls of Khartoum. Surely this would be incorrectly seen as a sign of our weakness. What had begun as insignificant Hadendowah disturbances in the eastern Soudan might now encourage those with long memories to avenge their 1898 defeat. Would thousands more, quiet until now, unsheathe swords, fashion new spears, remove shields from walls of their huts and raise standards to recover all of The Soudan? Would even more blood be unfortunately spilled? I hoped not."

"Therefore, a resolute show of force needed to first be poured into the streets of Egypt reported by newspapers and communicated by word of mouth deep into The Soudan. Into that drink a singular and strange tincture would be added to sway those so disposed to abandon further rebellion and return to their herds, crops, stores, and other peaceful endeavors."

Pettygree: "The Garrison of Alexandria assembled on Parade witnessed by civilians, journalists and I hoped, insidious vigilant foes. Perhaps distant incoming storm clouds would enhance the atmosphere I desired."

Pettygree: "Were European spies observing from galleries?"

Pettygree: "Surely not amongst convalescents atop the hospital."

Pettygree: "Nor could I believe traitors were at Government House."

Pettygree: "Countess Alexandra Elaina Volkanskaya (center) with my dear Mary were keen to see us off."

Pettygree: "Captain Douglas-Ward! Lead us out."

Douglas-Ward: "Aye, aye, General!"

Douglas-Ward: "AJAX! --- By the centre, --- MARCH!"

Pettygree: "Ajax's shore party led the parade into the streets of Alexandria."

Pettygree: " A grizzled aged man was the first to see us coming. I wondered if he had served with the Mahdi or Khalifi years before."

Pettygree: "Inhabitants began coming out to observe our march."

Pettygree: " Our 15 Pounder Section...."

Pettygree: "Followed the blue jackets."

Pettygree: "Next marched the 27th Bombay Miners and Sappers."

Pettygree: "Back on parade the 10th Hussars were soon to trot off."

Pettygree: "Observed by city dwellers atop the roof of their home."

Trooper Ham: "My dear Corey, who d'ya s'pose that chap is riding the camel?"

Trooper Corey: "Oh did I forget to tell you? Sorry mate! Just last night at a dinner party, the General leaned over, gingerly touched my elbow and secretly told me who he was."

Trooper Ham: "Ain't you in a cheeky mood! Never mind."

Trooper Corey: "Oh don't mind me my dear fellow. I've no idea who he is. Strange we don't know though."

Pettygree: "The procession marched and trotted along."

Pettygree: "All was polite and peaceful until...."

Pettygree: "A European woman drew a revolver on a suspicious chap on her premises!"

Pettygree: "Several ratings turned to view the situation and render assistance if needed."

Pettygree: "Apparently it was nothing. The halted parade soon moved on again."

May 26, 1903 -- {ABOUT NOON}

Pettygree: " 2/66th followed along in the last portion of the parade."

Pettygree: "Looking very smart as expected."

Pettygree: "Mary and Alexandra had joined the parade too. We rode behind the 66th."

Pettygree: "The 2/Seaforths followed me at the ready guarding the rear of our procession."

 Pettygree: "The parade continued with no further problems."

Pettygree: "The expression as peaceful as a walk in Hyde Park came to mind."

Pettygree: "Hopefully the march would produce desired results."

Pettygree: "Would the enemy respond to my tincture? I prayed they would. Odds were long. Time would tell."

MAY 26 and JUNE 9, 1903

Narrator: Word did indeed spread south throughout the land of Egypt and The Soudan. One self-appointed messenger of many was Malusi Dosi.

Talia: "Grandfather, I beg you! On this journey, do not go!

Malusi Dosi: "Cherished one, I must. What I have seen to our people must be told. Kit and I will be protected. It is the...."

Talia: "No! I beg your forgiveness for speaking so, but...."

Malusi Dosi: "See do you not, the urgency? The boat leaves for Kirbekan in the morning. I must go. Pray for us my Granddaughter."

Later in The Soudan:

Malusi Dosi: "Are any warriors near?"  

Ramba: "Honoured old one, yes, even in wretched Kirbekan. Turn around and see four starting a mad quest."

Malusi Dosi: "Warriors, beg you I do to return to your homes and families."

Makum: "Old one, why?"

Malusi Dosi: "Have you not heard stories of the ruin of the Khalifa's Army at the hands of the soldiers from beyond the sea only a few years ago? They will return with even greater vengeance if you continue. I have seen them forming in the north. You are doomed unless you heed my words!"

Tamik: "This time we will prevail!"

Malusi Dosi: "Hear me young brave ones! Even greater vengeance said I. The Khalifa was doomed to failure even with his thousands. You are too because of dishonour."

Rakamin Ibrahim: "I don't believe you. How?"

Malusi Dosi: "Before the Khalifa, the Engleesch sent one great man to restore order here. Against the Mahdi's command, he was dishonourably murdered. Yet he has returned."

Makum: {Laughing} "Who old one? A ghost!"

Malusi Dosi: "Yes. Against an apparition you cannot - must not - fight. There is no hope if you continue this madness."

Malusi Dosi: "For Gordon Pasha's ghost has returned to vanquish you!"



1) Gordon's ghost! Impossible you say? True or not we'll see next time how many warriors heeded the words of Malusi Dosi and others spreading eyewitness stories they saw Gordon's avenging spirit in General Pettygree's Army. How will their tales colour the morale of  enthusiastic warriors?

2) The image below shows percentile dice on their way down to rest in a building courtyard. Should the white die read 1 and the red die read 4, 14% of the warriors massing in The Soudan will superstitiously return home. Chapter 70 will reveal the actual score.

3) All buildings and the small river boat are from Miniature Building Authority. Chuck L. painted Malusi Dosi. Der Alte Fritz (Jim P. of Minden and Fife and Drum Miniatures) painted the Seaforths. John P. painted the shore party and 10th Hussars. Ajax is from The Virtual Armchair General.

4) Thank YOU for looking in.

5) Reader remarks are sought below and will appear after a brief pause for approval. Spammers are still trying but always failing to post nonsense here. General Pettygree and Gordon Pasha look forward to reading your sentiments.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Chapter 68: Port of Suakin Lost!


Date: May 19, 1903 
Location: Nile Delta and Suakin
Situation: Encampment and Battle
See Previous Chapter 67 here:
Images will be enlarged by clicking on them.

May 19, 1903 -- {Late Afternoon}

General Pettygree: "The archaeological holiday upon which Mrs. Pettygree and I were engaged in the Delta was a deliberate obfuscation. Only I and a few back in Britain knew my true purpose was to briefly take command in Egypt and sort out a small disturbance near the Port of Suakin. Fanfare would convince newspapers world-wide I was in Egypt to stay. However, sometime in the process I would secretly take ship to Bombay and proceed to the Northwest Frontier to recover areas conquered by my old nemesis, The Guru and his swollen Thugee horde. My sudden return to the sub-continent hopefully would shock the foe with little time for them to react."

Pettygree: "However, when Colonel Lawford unexpectedly arrived in camp with his bride the Countess Alexandra Elaina Volkanskaya...."

Pettygree: "He brought troublesome news requiring immediate attention. It also stimulated me to enhance and really try a singularly unconventional idea already barely in motion."

Pettygree: "We immediately returned to camp.

Lawford: "I'm afraid The Soudan is in a muddle General. You already know a few Hadendowah rearmed and demonstrated near Suakin. We do not know how it happened but the port was later captured by them."

Pettygree: "A coup de main?"

Lawford: "Unsure General. After that Brigadier Kettering assembled a force, marched on Suakin and fought a battle on the 12th instant. According to the report...."

Lawford: "Spies thought the Hadendowah were numerically insignificant."

Lawford: "Apparently this was a cunning ruse de l'guerre. Hundreds hid behind the new city wall and elsewhere...."

Lawford: "As Kettering brought infantry and cavalry forward in line of battle two ranks deep."

Lawford: "Reserves and flank forces were significant as the whole marched forward."

Pettygree: "Confident surely."

Lawford: "Indeed. As the battle commenced, a train brought in a Highland Regiment."

Pettygree: "Along the new rail line."

Lawford: "Aye. These detrained on our extreme left flank."

Lawford: "Back on our right flank sprouting from the Earth, the foe first appeared in light numbers...."

Lawford: "Followed by a great many more warriors. Thousands of 'em it says."

Pettygree: "Pray go on."

Lawford: "Hadendowah charged into contact with our men despite horrendous losses."

Lawford: "Even more of the foe appeared racing toward our battle line!"

Lawford: "Our first line broke. Reserves initially shored up the line whilst one of the Sikh battalions wheeled in support."

Lawford: "It goes on to say a body of Hadendowah cameleers broke through to engage one of the Sikh regiments. Confusion, disbelief and alarm must have reigned."

Lawford: Brigadier Kettering urged his men to hold."

Lawford: "Enemy numbers were by this time greatly reduced."

"Lawford: "Though there were other breakthroughs, the foe could not sustain his attack. A high water mark, you might say."

Pettygree: "What of the Scotsmen on our left flank?"

Lawford: "The report only says the regiment advanced in column of three divisions. The foe came on and...."

Lawford: "The regiment held. The foe retired."

Lawford: "That's about all Kettering writes General except to say the enemy retired into Suakin. Our forces were too depleted of men and ammunition to besiege the place. Kettering retired along the rail line and is now recovering in Khartoum."

Pettygree: "Well Lawford, we'll have to see about the muddle as you call it."

May 19, 1903 -- {Late Afternoon Into Night}

Countess Alexandra: "We'll have to see about the muddle he says...."

Mary Pettygree: "Duty calls Alexandra. I daresay ... hope ... your honeymoon is only interrupted."

Alexandra: "Da ... da."

Alexandra: "James? What did you tell the General Pettygree?"

Lawford: "Naturally dear, I told him I am at the King's service ... and my sword is available. No time for white feathers, you know. Once this mishap is over, we'll resume our honeymoon."

Alexandra: "Of course, but I don't have to like it. As you say, we'll press on."

Lawford: "Just as we did at Alexandrapour. The General and Mary will be joining us. Here they are now."

Pettygree: "I've spoken with the Colonel about the plan dear. He's all for it."

Mary: "Even the unusual part?"

Lawford: "It's daring and unusual Alexandra."

Alexandra: "So daring ... it might ... just work."


1) Tune in next time for THE PLAN!

2) The game depicted above was fought September 14, 2013. We traditionally have a huge Colonial game in late summer. This one has been waiting a long time to appear here! We hope it was worth the wait.

Our companionable participants seated left to right are Curt B., Derrick N., Earl K and yours truly Bill P.
Standing left to right are: John B., Chuck L. and Joe G. Joe and I have known each other since about 1972.

Dorothy and I were happy to celebrate birthdays for Chuck and Curt. I did not know it but Derrick's birthday was close to our game day too. He was added post cakeously. We love doing this for our friends!

3) The game room was a former model railroad layout. A little of it has been rebuilt for my grandsons. It is take downable for games but THIS TIME I left it up. The Highlanders actually arrived by electrifying the track. Wireless controllers brought the train onto the battlefield with suitable locomotive chugging, voices and whistling.

4) Lawford and Alexandra refer to Alexandrapour. Some will remember this adventure. The entire story may be reread. See the upper left side of this blog for chapter lists. Why not return to Alexandrapour again or go there for the first time now.

5) The Train:
The troop train started here.

It moved from behind what is known as a scenic divider onto the battlefield. Blurring indicates motion. A scenic divider is a means to change locations by hundreds of miles without modelling same. In this case the divider was a large hill. A small portion is seen on the left of the image.

I thought you might like to see the procession. 
We all stopped to look and listen. Fun.

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