16 November, 2012

Top (Film) Non-Firefights

When I was gathering my Top Ten Film Firefights I looked up quite a number of scenes which in the end didn't really count as firefights as all the gunfire was going one-way

I can't remember from first viewing if this outcome seemed inevitable, but the pure menace from ED209 is palpable

#4 Pulp Fiction (Pop Tart Surprise)

Surprised the hell out of that guy!

#3 The Fifth Element (Negotiation)

Anyone else want to negotiate?

I imagine there's some kind of Fantastic Four reference in there, but this one did catch me by surprise @2.48

#1 Road to Perdition (I'm glad it's you)

With the direction and sound, we it's hard not to be moved by this scene (though of course in context it's much more effective). Technically I guess the bodyguards are firing back, but not that anyone would notice.

In the new year I'll do a matching series from TV.

11 November, 2012


Behind Harvey's escapades are the Outfit basing themselves out of Malobo Port (and with deep connections to the Mafia back in the United States). Lt. Commander Newbolt’s mission is to capture or destroy the Outfit’s gunboat moored in the port.  A large demolition charge is available in the launch to be placed aboard the gunboat if it’s capture is not tenable.

Blain’s crew are drinking in the Hook Tavern. Dutch and his men are at a serious poker game in Marcel’s, though Hawkins is aboard the gunboat standing guard. 

Malobo Port is quiet in the small hours of the morning
The docks are cluttered with supplies for the steam-powered vessel, though Hawkins is nowhere to be seen at the moment
The launch, with Newbolt at the prow chugs up river
The short party reaches its destination, a short pier near the vessel - they can see Hawkins walk the docks, though he hasn't heard the launch yet
The launch has glided a little further than planned and collides (gently) with the steamboat - they sailors leap aboard with Bo'sun Williams lugging the explosive charge across
Hawkins spots the sailors, and with a challenge on his lips and his shotgun aimed in their direction, Warner with his Lewis Gun takes no chances and guns him down. The rest of the Outfit certainly heard that, they spring into action
Dillon's gang race up the steps - they're too far away to make much out at night and hold their fire while taking cover 
The first patrol arrives on the scene - though they're across the river they head towards some spoil alongside the merchant dhow to see if they can fire on the raiders
The Marines have been quietly flat-footed by the sailors quick advance and they're still on the pier. Dillon's gang take advantage and rush up to spitting distance. Their fire is effective and they shoot down Newbolt and Warner
The Marines have crept around the firefight and have opened fire on Dutch's gang further back. Kennedy opens up with his trench-clearing tommy gun and he takes out Dillon and Blain (who's own sub-machine gun kills Petty Officer Grant)
Kennedy is knocked for six (though it turns out he's just concussed) and then the Marines unleash hell. Their fusilade seriously wounds Harrigan, and kills everyone backing up Dutchie's advance
Having finally set the charge, Williams jumps back aboard the launch. Kennedy has shaken himself back to his feet and follows him
A second patrol comes on, this time close to where the river widens to the sea - they might be able to cut off the launch's retreat
The first patrol takes up position and opens fire, but have no luck
Brave/Crazy Harrigan, limping from his wound jumps on board the steamboat and tries to disarm the explosives.  His technical expertise isn't up to it and rather than struggle with the device, he just legs it!
The second patrol lies in wait for the escaping shore party on the other side of the river
After having wiped out all resistance, the Marines jump back aboard the launch 
With engines at full reverse (with all need for stealth gone) the launch heads for the open sea - their exchange of fire with the local patrol is brutish and short - those Marines may not be quick starter, but the know their business
Finally, the charge goes off, sending the gunboat to the bottom
Gunnery Sergeant Bowie looks on with quiet satisfaction - he lights up his pipe. Newbolt may not have survived the mission, but he'd be happy with the outcome
 This scenario was based on ‘Night raid on Gravelines’ by Henry Hyde from issue #13 of Battlegames. A fantastic weekend of gaming all-round. The newly tweaked version of the rules went down well, quicker and more decisive I thought. Hope you enjoyed the proceedings. I'll be posting some pictures of Talavera soon.
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07 November, 2012


After the treasure was removed from the Moroccan coast, a storm blew the ship into the Gulf of Guinea. One particularly valuable bale of treasure was thrown overboard with ballast and was seen in the surf on the island of Annobón before the howling winds swept the ship towards the Congo.

Pirates got the story out of a drunken sailor in Malobo and meanwhile the archaeologists had charted a pilot to fly over the island. Both armed with various pointers to the location of the treasure they set off. Inevitably they will clash with each other and the primitive natives who call the island home.

The local Chief knows that these foreigners will come and take whatever they want and then destroy the settlement unless the warrior stand against them. He must destroy the intruders now! 
Archaeologists pulling ashore in Marshall Bay
Pirates anchor their ship off Ravello Point
Jumping to the beach as everything seems quiet - the leading group turn off to head off to the right to find the next clue
With an unnatural burst of speed a native Chieftain lunges at the second group as they prepare to jump down - Hamilton  takes a snapshot and missed, but Mitchell makes sure with his shotgun, blasting the chieftain to the beach
A lone pirate reaches the high pass and with it their next clue
Their first clue has led the adventurers to the pool, but still no sign of the enemy
The pirates form up on the shoreline, they don't spot the couple of natives in the undergrowth ahead of them, but have heard shots
Still, the fearsome attack catches them by surprise, killing one and knocking one down, though the pirates did account for one of the warriors
In the ancient ruins, the party find some refuge from the musket fire coming from the hilltop nearby
How the Hell! Just as the pirates look to deal with the lone warrior in front of them, another preciously unseen native emerges behind them and clubs Madje on the head
The other group of pirates is having better luck, moving through the jungle they spot the adventurers beyond and wait for their chance
Showing preternatural agility, the sneaky native clambers to the cliff top to engage in some archery
The natives show no mercy to the wounded pirates - and Bariki, concussed and armed only with a pistol now runs off
Either seized by uncommon valour or still feeling woozy, Bariki makes a last chance advance - but the trust native guide guns him down as he gets inside pistol range
The two parties of adventurers meet up again by the ruins
Hamilton is beset by a lone pirate, he runs for it and as the pirate follows the rest of the adventurers see him off
Their final clue sees them arrive at the rotting pier - no pirates remain on the island to spoil their exploration, and the few natives left have exercised caution
They find the treasure! 
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A quick note; these scenarios are based on the Tabletop Teasers from Battlegames. This game was based on 'Trouble on Treasure Island’ by CS Grant (found in issue #5). The previous entry 'The Game is Afoot' was inspired on ‘Getting away with it!’ by CS Grant (from issue #6).

04 November, 2012

The Game is Afoot!

Erstwhile archaeologist Mr. Stanley Giles has fallen in with some rather dubious vagabonds, and hoping that they might be able to help him out of his serious debts back home he has advised them that a long-lost treasure can be found in a unique tomb in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains.

Three hard-bitten adventurers, led by Harvey, have hired on a Captain Fanning to ship them to the coast to await their return. Despite some run-ins with fierce Berbers they have indeed located the underground labyrinth and have packed up all the choice pieces to be sold at auction in Marseilles.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Commander Newbolt of the United States Navy, having been seeking the rogue Harvey for some time now has send a squad of Marines by land while his gunboat is taking on fuel.

Kemp has posted sentries on the hilltop overlooking the camp and guarding the likeliest approach
Harvey has not been caught off-guard, in fact the porters (led by Mr. Giles) have already started off towards the awaiting dhow
Harvey races into cover with two of his hired men - here they hope to enfilade any of the Marines as they enter the camp
Lieutenant Matheson surprised everyone by leading his men at breakneck pace past the camp and into a copse of palm trees by the pool - they don't even seem to spot Jefferson hiding in the undergrowth as they orient themselves towards the column of porters
Meanwhile on the other side, Deal and Jones have driven the touring car around the fight - on the ridge they can spot Captain Fanning beside his car
Gunnery Sergeant Bowie directs Mills to take a shot into the trees - the long-range effort hits Harvey in the head, dropping him instantly!
Having taken a large number of shots from the Marines (to no effect) Fanning loses his nerve and runs from the fight and back to his ship
Kemp sneaks with his men down into the camp, the Marines nearby can't spot them amongst the rocks and tents
A shot from Deal's BAR finally makes its mark, hitting Giles and seriously wounding him. Now the porters mill around without any direction
Feeling Harvey's absence, Bouba and Oton exchange fire with the Marines, and somehow they get the better of the firefight, killing the tommy gun-wielding Private Halpert
Giles has stumbled back to his feet, but not without his pistol the two Marines don't feel up to shooting an unarmed man. They turn their attention to Fanning's first mate who's taken station to cover the retreat
Jefferson has high-tailed it to the ridge as well and he and Yondo open fire on the Marines below
Bowie leads Mills in a bayonet charge into the two surprised men in the trees - Bowie blows Bouba away while Mills and Oton fight tooth and nail. In the ensuing confusion, Bowie can't make out his fellow Marine and shoots Mills by mistake - though distraught, he doesn't waste time in finishing off Oton
The sentries unveil themselves and fire at the surprised marines across the camp - now they're under fire from two directions and taking casualties. They must dominate the firefight or withdraw
While they're distracted the porters have gotten on board, ushered there with considerable haste by Jefferson and backed up by Kemp and his men
The surviving marines, now without Lieutenant Matheson or the Lewis Gunner snap out of it and open fire, gunning down the two mercenaries posted as a rear-guard
Racing past the groggy Giles, Hyde and Beasley go Gung-Ho and race up the ridge, taking potshots at the retreating mercenaries
They charge across the open ground, but it seems highly unlikely that they'll be able to stop the ship from casting off now
They take cover behind some trees, avoiding the rushed return fire and giving their predicament some brief thought

Hyde has a crazy idea; but it just might work...

Hyde gets the old Ford into gear and accelerates it down the pier, everyone in the way gets out of the way (though they can hardly believe what they're seeing!)

Hyde survives the rough ride over the dhow's gunwales, though the car's axle will need a little bit of repair work soon

The dhow isn't so lucky - it's nearly dismasted, and will require some heavy lifting to get underway - has Hyde bought the rest of his squad the time to get to the pier?

Deal and Mills, though incredulous, hate to waste a good idea and hop back into the touring car and put the pedal to the metal. They screech to a halt before they follow Hyde's path too closely though

They jump out and lay waste around them - killing or seriously injuring every last one of the grave-robbing adventurers. Just one of the mercenaries makes it out alive

Having all but given up the fight, the Marines were able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat at the last minute! They'll see the treasure aboard a chartered ship and back to the United States to be added to the Smithsonian's collection

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