Thursday, December 29, 2011



Chapter Four: The Children of Ag Lata

Santiago de Cuba. 0200 hours. 6th March. 1937.

Suddenly the phone rings and Captain De Silva of the City Militia, sitting in his office, staring at the wall, slowly turns his head to regard it with cold grey eyes. With smooth, deliberate movements, he leans across and picks up the receiver.
”Captain De Silva” the unmistakable, sibilant voice of the Progenitor whispers into his ear.
”Captain. You must mobilise your men at once”
”The British have traced your sibiling. Even now they close upon him.”
”They are close by. On Pier 9 of the city harbour complex.”
De Silva reaches across his desk and presses a black button. Some where in the depths of the silent station house, a distant bell rings.
”Explain this action to your men. Tell them that American criminals are working to undermine Cuba’s government. Tell them this and they will follow you into battle.”
”As you command” De Silva replies without emotion. He places the receiver on the table and stands as foot steps sound in the corridor.
”Come in” he shouts before the Sergeant has even managed to knock on the door.
”Eh? You called?” Sergeant Mendoza asks as he peers into the dimly lit room.
”Yes. How many men are in the station at this time?”
Mendoza pouts as he thinks, counting on his fingers.
”You, Me, Sergeant Castro and mmmm.... fifteen men... I think”
”Assemble the men at once.”
”Si Capitan!” Mendoza shouts and hurries away.
De Silva picks up the telephone once more.
”Very good” the soft voice says. ”Now listen carefully. You must beware of the British agent who goes by the name of Daniel Mansfield.”
”This man has exceptional powers and I believe he poses a serious threat to our existence.”
”The British have technologies far in advance of other men. Technologies even I do not fully comprehend. This man Daniel Mansfield is an agent of forces far more powerful than any we have faced before. He is surely armed accordingly.”
The Captain pauses to consider this insight, but inevitably he shows no sign of concern.
”I will deploy my best weapons”
”As you must for he will not be alone. Other British agents accompany him and a small British war ship lurks nearby. They will almost certainy come to his aid if he should require it.”
”I cannot fight a war ship with the resources I have at hand”
”I understand. You have permission to withdraw if you feel the battle cannot be won, but do not allow your sibling to fall into the hands of the British. They are even more dangerous than the Americans.”
”As you command.”
Captain De Silva puts down the receiver and stands up. He pulls out his side arm and regards it for a moment. Then, unlocking a drawer on his desk, he pulls out the magazine and replaces it with a new magazine from the desk. He regards the weapon for a second then slipping it into the holster, he leaves his office and makes for the station compound where his men are assembling in the pouring rain.
”Sergeant Castro”
”Si Capitan?”
”You will take the armoured car. Sergeant Mendoza will take as many men as he can fit on the truck and I shall take my car.”
Both sergeants salute noisily and rush to follow their orders. De Silva watches his men rushing about the compound and then turns to stare out the main gate to where the harbour lights are dimly visible in the back ground. For a moment he seems to hear the distant crackle of gunfire, but then the armoured car engine barks into life and drowns out all other sounds.


Rocketman. Dougal. Hamish. Vesper. George Macarthur. Arthur Spencer. Mr Smith. ‘Mad Dog’ Mitchell. Marcel Messnier. Il Conte di Vulcano. Wu Foo.

Lt Bambridge. 10 x Royal Navy sailors. Motor Patrol Boat

Don Vito Scarlatti. Gloria. Herman Rüling. 5 x Gangsters. 2 x Armoured cultists. Fishing boat captain. Warehouse manager.

Captain De Silva. Sgt Mendoza. 12 Militia guards. Sgt Castro in his armoured car



Chapter four begins with Don Vito’s car swerving to avoid the armoured car and crashing into the Militia truck. In the confusion, Don Vito, Gloria and their driver escape into the Rheinfeldt Shipping building, where from they begin Round One. Herman Rüling comes to a stop behind them, avoiding a crash, but sitting in his car, in some confusion.

All other elements remain where they were at the end of Chapter Three, except those belonging to Player Two, who begin on their boats on the southern edge of the game table, or (in the case of the MPB) either on the opposite table in round one, or at the pier side in round four.



The map is the same as in the previous chapter.

All out door areas are Good, except the sea which is Impassable. The interior of the buildings is Difficult, except in the storage areas which are Rough.
The outer deck areas of the ship are Rough, except the main cargo deck which is Good. The ship interiors are Difficult.
The Fishing boat and the MPB are Difficult.
The crane’s various platforms are Difficult.
Standing on, or climbing over crates is classed as Rough.


Victory Conditions

Either side wins automatically by defeating two thirds of the opposing side.


Special rules

Rocketman has four Hero Points in this game.

The crane is largely made of cast iron and steel plates and can give +2 cover if used to advantage. Lying on the roof gives +1 and and railings give no cover. Though old and rusty, the crane can also be started and used. It can be driven along its rails and the upper half can turn (at 45° per round). The crane can be disabled (the motor housing is not made of cast iron and can be penetrated by heavy small arms fire).

The warehouse has corrugated iron walls, backed by insulation. This would usually provide meager cover, but due to the packing cases, workshop and interior walls, firing through the building, or targetting elements concealed within, will not work. The warehouse functions as a normal building and gives up to +2 cover.

The plant people get a +2 bonus when shot at due to their physical form. They are not impervious to shock waves, explosions, or even punches. Their armoured uniforms also give them good protection.

All vehicles on the table can be driven, though if the car is being stolen, then a hot wiring roll against 5 must be rolled by any one except the Gangsters, Mad Dog Mitchell, George Macarthur, Mr Smith and Wu Foo who all roll against 4. Hot wiring takes one round, per die roll.

The weather and darkness impose several restrictions. The darkness gives a +2 bonus to any stealthed figure not in the light and any one firing at a target in darkness suffers a -2 penalty. This penalty does not extend to the crane, any targets aboard the merchant ship, the fishing boat or Rocketman in flight, all of which are conspicuous, even in the darkness. The poor weather also counts as Rough for Rocketman in flight.

The MTB has two wooden launches, each capable of moving six elements at a maximum movement in Rough of 4 inches, and providing +1 in cover.



This game was played on Tuesday 6th December. 2011.
Players were Jan, Goeg, Oleg and Palle.

Chapter four took place immediately after chapter three, with reinforcements arriving on behalf of both sides. The game began with Don Vito's car crashing into the front of the Militia truck. Don Vito, Gloria and their driver (all played by Goeg) then ran from the wreck and took cover in the nearby Rheinfeldt Shipping building whilst behind them, the Militia guards (Jan) began to dismount from their vehicles and using them as cover. This proved to be a mistake because it enabled Mr Smith (Oleg) to drop a gas grenade from the vantage point of the merchant ship's superstructure. Six guards were instantly incapacitated and three were suppressed, including Captain De Silva.

The Cubans retaliated with heavy machine gun fire from their armoured car, but were hampered by not being able to see where Mr Smith was hiding. It took some time to finally defeat him, and during this time, the rest of the table top was ablaze with gun fire. Out in the harbour the Royal Navy patrol boat began to engage the gangsters and cultists whilst the two rowing boats of British sailors attempted to disembark. This proved to be as awkward as the gas grenade had been for the Cubans, though not quite as lethal, and it took some time before the sailors were able to get ashore.

Don Vito, Gloria and their driver made their way through the Rheinfeldt Shipping building and entered the storage area of the Sancho & Fernandez building. Here they ran into Wu Foo and a curious fight began with the gangsters finding it difficult to over power the Chinese driver with his martial arts.

During the first half of the game Rocketman was still in flight, having taken off during the previous game, and eventually he landed next to Herman Rüling's car, in between the Rheinfeldt Shipping and Sancho & Fernandez buildings. Seeing this, Captain De Silva immediately ordered his men to grab the flying agent and several Cubans ran forth. Rocketman was well and truly grappled and another heaving fist fight erupted.

Above all this, Arthur Smith had commandeered the crane and turning it to prevent any of the Cubans following him, he then proceeded to drive backwards, destroying the gang way onto the merchant ship.

At the far end of the table, the British sailors eventually forced their way onto the pier and proceeded to attack the AGL buildingwith rifle fire and grenades. The patrol provided covering fire, but largely kept its distance.

Eventually the armoured car managed to bring down Mr Smith and moved to a new firing position in between the Rheinfeldt Shipping and Sancho & Fernandez buildings, looking down along the western edge of the pier. The new position also allowed the armoured car to open fire on Rocketman, if this was necessary, but Daniel Mansfield was over come by sheer numbers and downed after three heroic rounds. The bad guys didn't fare too well either though as inside the Sancho & Fernandez building Wu Foo defeated Don Vito and his driver.

The game ended shortly after this with something of a stalemate Neither side had defeated two thirds of the opposing side and although players one and two came very close, they also lost Rocketman.



Communication from Kingston Station to GCHQ London. Dated 8th March. 1937.


Sir Hugh Sinclair rubs his chin thoughtfully as he sifts through the morning's dispatches and sips from a delicate cup of tea. Across the table from him, sits his wife, Lady Adele Sinclair.
"I say dear" she looks up from her newspaper. "Have you seen this shocking news from Spain?"
Sir Hugh blinks and shakes his head.
"No. Whats happened?"
"Poor Francisco. Those frightful communists have taken him prisoner and are threatening to shoot him!"
"Oh thats too bad" Sir Hugh mutters, returning to his messages briefly before looking absently out the window. "Though it is strange, Franco wasn't supposed to be captured."
"Can't you do something about it? Lady Sinclair asks in a wounded voice. Hettie was so fond of the General, she'll be most upset if they execute him."
"Yes, I suppose she will" Sir Hugh agrees with a mild shrug. "Never mind. One less fascist eh?"
"But is Francisco really such a fascist dear?"
"Oh I think so, yes. He used to get along very well with Herr Hitler you know."
Lady Sinclair purses her lips in disaproval.
"Awful man. Such a frightful bore!"
"Not to worry though" Sinclair brushes a few crumbs from his lap and stands up. "We'll soon be rid of them all."
"Will we dear?"
Sinclair regards his wife's bright green eyes and smiles.
"We will. Joseph Stalin is the only one left now."
Lady Sinclair frowns as her husband leaves the room. The only what she wonders, but she knows better than to pry and returns her attention to the lurid tales of horror in Spain.


Two days later, Sir Hugh watches as the plane carrying Daniel Mansfield lands at RAF Brookehurst. Standing beside him are Audrey Mansfield and her father Professor Summers.
"There we are now Back safe and sound" the older man smiles at his daughter who nods briefly.
Silently they watch as the aircraft is taxied closer, then as the door hatch opens, Audrey rushes forward to help a some what battered and bruised Daniel Mansfield clambour down the steel ladder.
"My goodness!" She exclaims "What happened to you Darling?"
"Its nothing" Mansfield puts on a playful grin. "Just a few bent ribs and a broken toe. Nothing a little rest and recreation won't mend."
Sir Hugh catches the strain in the younger man's voice and reminds himself that despite his boyish good looks and muscular exterior, Mansfield is already thirty seven years old and his hair is beginning to show the first signs of age.
"Rest and recreation sounds just the ticket Daniel" he agrees. "After all, you've run several strenuous missions in the last few months and its about time you took a breather."
"I'll say!" Audrey mutters.
"Perhaps you should take a holiday?" Sir Hugh suggests.
"A holiday sir?" Daniel looks up sharply and Sir Hugh smiles and shakes his head.
"I meant a real holiday".
"Well..." Mansfield cannot quite hide his disapointment. "My old chum Percy Worthington has invited us to see him in Paris..."
"Paris!?" Audrey squeals in delight.
"...he sent me a telegram just before I left for Florida. Apparently he's showing off some golden treasure he found in Africa. Some historical artefact or other. What do you say George?"
George Macarthur looks up from the baggage and catches the steel glow of Audrey's eye.
"Oh yes Daniel... you should certainly go and see Percy."
"What? Aren't you coming?"
"Er, no... I think I have to go to Bath and visit my mother. I haven't seen the old bird in an age!"
Sir Hugh accompanies Daniel and Audrey to his car. As he climbs in to the comfortable rear compartment, he shakes Mansfield's hand.
"Good job Daniel. Very good, but now you've earned your rest. Give me a bell when you come home, but don't come back until your well enough to fly again."
Daniel Mansfield nods, holding back his impatience.
"I will sir. Good bye"
"Good bye"
The car drives away and Audrey slips her arm around Daniel's waist.
"Paaaris!" she purrs with a cheeky smile.



Oleg said...

Mea culpa. As Rocketman's player I screwed up at the last moment, and committed him too early. It had been going so well until then.

Nice intro to the next game.
In a sense, you have a lot of leeway. Pulp is *supposed* to be clichéd, so you can get away with it.
I'd point the finger of pointiness if you triedthat in sf / fantasy, following your previous post.

Talking of cliché... how about revisiting Biggles, or Fu Manchu?

moif said...

I've never read nor seen Fu Manchu.

Hitting clichés can be fun, but sometimes its also tricky to remember what they actually are.