Whats the humdrum about Chaps? Adventures into Victorian Science Fiction and Steampunk with ramblings about Aeronefs, Dirigibles, Land Ironclads, Anarchists, Dinosaur Hunting, Terranefs, Aquanefs, Mad Scientists, and all manner of electric contraptions and steam conveyances. It may not make sense, but there will be claret and a nice cheese board at the end. Tally-Ho and "Vôtre dans une sauce au vin blanc!"
Sunday, 28 December 2008
Bog-a-Ten battle pics
Thursday, 25 December 2008
I'm dreaming of a white wine sauce Christmas- again!
May your cup runeth over...and keep running!
Tuesday, 23 December 2008
More LI from Brigade
Wednesday, 17 December 2008
Primitive Tents and Dwellings
Friday, 12 December 2008
A Young Mad Scientist's First Alphabet Blocks
Tuesday, 2 December 2008
Brigade Models Christmas Sale
So what does the Brigade cracker have in her stockings for you this year ... ?
Yep that's 15% off all of our models - Aeronef, starships, Land Ironclads, 15mm and 6mm tanks, Iron Stars, WWI Belgians ... all except Celtos, where we're being even more generous ...
And that's it - no minimum or maximum orders, just a blanket discount for the whole of December. So what are you waiting for, get shopping !?
The website will still show the full price of each item, but the price that goes into the PayPal shopping cart will be the discounted one.
There are just a few exceptions and conditions, as you might expect ... percentage shipping rates will still be charged at the full item cost, since we were unable to persuade the post office to match our offers ! The discount covers our metal and resin models - it doesn't apply to rulebooks, dice, bases, game mats or anything else that we don't manufacture ourselves, simply because the margins on those items are much tighter. However, starter packs with rules, dice or bases in are covered. Even with these limitations, we're sure you'll agree it's a mighty fine offer !
Monday, 1 December 2008
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
Campaigns of General William Augustus Pettygree
Adapted from dynamics of Jack Scruby, Donald Featherstone, Tony Bath and Peter Gilder. This is a serialized novelette told mostly by captioned photos of an on-going solo and participatory fictional campaign.
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
Tusk pics posted
Sunday, 23 November 2008
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
HMVS CERBERUS rescue efforts
For years the wreck has been slowly collapsing under its own weight.
But great news: Efforts are now underway to save the wreck - Huzzah!
On 25 July 2008, Heritage Minister the Hon. Peter Garrett announced $500,000 in Federal funding for the National Trust of Australia as a first step towards stabilising the HMVS Cerberus shipwreck.
The Minister announced the funding during a visit to the wreck, which sits as a breakwater a few hundred metres off the beach at Melbourne's Half Moon Bay, Black Rock.
Work on this project began in 2004 with a Heritage Victoria grant to move 18-tonne guns. The next phase involves building an overhead jacking frame and an underwater supporting platform. This funding will help the National Trust to advance this project.
For further information about HMVS Cerberus visit: www.nattrust.com.au/trust_register/search_the_register/hmvs_cerberus or www.cerberus.com.au
Sunday, 16 November 2008
Building scale dinosaur out of chicken bones!
Friday, 14 November 2008
Save the Cryptozoological Museum!
You may recall previous posts which described the International Cryptozoological Museum, a fantatsc collection of artifacts for supernatural beasties.
Sadly, the International Cryptozoology Museum is in dire straits. Its caught up in a complicated tax audit that threatens the museum. The curator is seeking donations to keep the International Cryptozoology Museum alive and move it to a new location.
Diving Suit mods?
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
More Aquanef inspiration!
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
Build your own Ray-gun
Monday, 10 November 2008
Saturday, 8 November 2008
Friday, 7 November 2008
Matakishi has been Dino hunting!
Wednesday, 5 November 2008
Page 1 of the rulebook provides an introduction to the game and some background notes which provide a useful overview of the thinking behind the system. I was particularly interested to read that the author, Richard Clewer, is intending to produce an expanded set of rules to include flying and swimming creatures etc at some point in the future.
Page 2 covers the object of the game, which is primarily survival, together with details of what is needed to play. This includes a ten sided dice per player, figures, terrain in the form of hills, swamps, jungle and ‘impassable ground' such as cliff edges, a tape measure and playcards for each dinosaur or hunting party. The suggested playing area is a kitchen table sized space i.e. about 4' x 4' and there are some suggestions for simple terrain representation. Given the small scale of the figures I'm sure some very impressive purpose built terrain features could be constructed with very little effort which is one of the advantages that the rules offer over conventional 28mm games.
Page 3 suggests starting forces and describes the concept of a unit in the rules. A unit is basically a 20mm x 40mm base on which an individual dinosaur is mounted. Human hunting parties and smaller pack dinosaurs are also mounted on a 20mm x 40mm base but are represented by multiple figures. This seems a very simple but effective basing system, although larger models will need larger bases. Page 3 also describes the information required for each model, with 6 ratings that need to be recorded on the corresponding playsheet i.e. Panic (used as a reaction test at the start of a turn), Sense (used to detect other dinosaurs in ambush as an opposed roll versus concealment), Concealment (the ability of your dinosaur to hide in ambush), Attack (divided into Close and Ranged attacks), Defence (armour protection) and finally Move (how far or fast it can travel). There is also a Size Rating for each dinosaur which can affect its concealment. Finally, the procedure for initial set up is covered, although these can vary with the scenario being played, including length of each game, objectives etc.
Page 4 deals with the turn sequence, consisting of an IGOUGO format based on a D10 initiative roll at the start of the turn. This is clearly set out in steps from 1 to 15 which sounds long winded but I suspect would be picked up very quickly after a game or two. The turn sequence is logical and consists of a Panic Test, Movement and Combat as a result of Panic, then Perception / Spotting, Movement and Combat. This is repeated by each player until all players have finished their turns. Simple and straightforward!
Page 5 sets out the procedure for Panic Tests which determine whether or not dinosaurs recover from panic as a result of previous combat or charging. This is a simple D10 test with modifiers. The rules clearly explain the outcome of failed or passed tests and include an example in the form of a very clear .labeled diagram.
Page 6 goes on to describe a similar procedure for perception i.e. spotting, for units either intending to attack or trying to detect attackers. This is, therefore, an opposed Sense v. Concealment roll with modifiers due to range, cover etc. Again, a simple but effective system, that is clearly illustrated and explained in an accompanying diagram on p7.
The rest of Page 7 covers movement, which is by straight line with any change of facing at the end of each turn. Measurement is in inches with halved movement when crossing difficult terrain. This could result in some confusion but luckily, another illustrated diagram makes things very clear. There are also rules and diagrams on page 8 to cater for defensive combat by armoured dinosaurs such as Triceratops and different rules for offensive attacks by predators such as T Rex on Page 9.
These combat related movement rules are extended on Page 10 with a system for executing ambush attacks which are clearly and neatly explained in the accompanying diagram. This is one area in which rules sometimes fail to work well but the system described seems to have ironed out the problems associated with surprise attacks very well. The way in which the rules for ambush dovetail with spotting procedures and initiative order should make it easy to determine what the results of an ambush attack would be without too much confusion.
Finally, Page 10 to 13 cover the all important procedures for close and ranged combat. This is a simple system based on Attack Value versus Defence Value modified by a D10 roll and a range or factors such as direction of attack, size of target etc. A successful attack inflicts damage according to the ratio of attack to defence totals with both minor and major critical hits inflicted as a result. The table of critical hits includes negative modifiers to key attributes such as sense, movement or panic. A Dead or Mortal Wound result has the inevitable consequences. The rules for ranged combat work in a similar fashion but are designed to cater for attacks by dinosaur hunters at short, medium and long range.
To round off the rules booklet there are a series of three scenario outlines on Page 14. These provide some variations on the basic theme of competitive dinosaur combat described in the first of these scenarios, The Hunt, which consists of a point based head to head game for multiplayer use. The second scenario, Dinner Time, pits herbivores against carnivores in a test of survival from one edge of the table to the other. The final scenario, Protect the Nest, is based upon just that, with the various combatants trying to protect their eggs whilst destroying those of the opposition. Although simple in outline, all three scenarios offer scope for variety and provide a model for development of other ideas.At the back of the rule book there is a table of dinosaur statistics (Appendix A) for most of the models in the Magister Militum Jurassic and Cretaceous ranges. There are also statistics for dinosaur hunters including tribesmen, rifle armed Victorians and Pulp or Modern era machine gun armed units. It would be very simple to devise additional statistics for other prehistoric creatures based on the data provided, although I suspect that Richard will update and expand the information as new models are released including, for example, the ‘Post Dinosaur' mammals and birds already listed in the ‘Dinomight' range (a list of available figures is included in the rulebook).
Overall, this seems like a well written and carefully designed set of rules which provide an excellent introduction to prehistoric gaming for beginners and a refreshing change from conventional 28mm dinosaur hunting, although there is no reason why they couldn't be adapted for use with such larger scale figures. They are also very good value for money and are supported by an expanding range of high quality 10mm miniatures. It would be great to see the rules developed further to include the both sea and flying creatures and, in particular, to develop the human element of the game. I'm sure such a move would be very popular and would help to encourage many more gamers to try out the Dinomight system for themselves.
The Dinomight rules and figure range can be obtained from Magister Militum via the web at magistermilitum.com and are also available direct from the Magister Militum stand at many of the UK and European shows.
In a later post, Jim goes onto say:
The base size plays no real role in the mechanics of the game aside from clearly defining the front, side and rear of the unit. So, yes, you could easily scale up to 28mm, and could probably dispense with bases altogether, although that might be a recipe for confusion at times e.g. when determining movement across terrain.
The rules are designed for multiplayer games but would work well as a two player or even solo system. The emphasis is clearly on a 'beer and pretzels' experience, not unlike Saurian Safari or Tusk for that matter. It's definately in the same 'genre' as these established dinosaur hunting games, so if you're familiar with them you'll like Dinomight.
The aim of the rules depends upon the scenario, as described in the rules, but it, in essence, it's to kill the opponent if playing as a Carnivore or defeat the predator if a herbivore. Obviously, human hunters are rated as predator in this respect.
Thanks for the reveiw Jim. You can find the TMP thread here:
Spar Torpedo Rules
The Spar Torpedo is a fairly suicidal aerial weapon currently used only by those most desperate of adversaries, Sky Pirates. A craft designated as a Spar Torpedo vessel must manoeuvre so that it is within 2" of an enemy vessel, and the enemy vessel is in its front arc. It may then detonate the torpedo, causing 1d6 damage to the target (re-rolls apply on a '6'). If the die roll is '1' then the weapon is considered to have back-fired - the target still takes 1 damage point, but the carrying vessel takes 1d6 damage itself. The spar torpedo is a one shot weapon.
Sunday, 26 October 2008
The Baron's Blog
Tuesday, 21 October 2008
ACW Gunboat rules
Thursday, 16 October 2008
Farewell for now!
International Journal of Naval History
The War that Time Forgot
WW1...the Imperial German army faces off against the Allied Armies.
This is a new war, a war of mechanisation, new innovation and....dinosaurs!
"Set during the early days of World War 1, the technology of warfare takes a suprising turn asbattlefields quake not with the sound of tanks but shudder to the roars of DINOSAURS!"
Tuesday, 14 October 2008
Terror Birds: Predators With a Kung Fu Kick?
and they may have been bigger than we thought too:
Huge bird-like dinosaur unearthed
All of which leaves this poor neanderthal in a heap of trouble...
Pic courtesy of the film 10,000 BC
Bill's French Fleet
This week, he shows off his new Frenchies, along with close-up pics of both fleets!
I think they are lovely, nicely detailed and crisply finished
Marx Industries, Part II
Monday, 13 October 2008
Marx Industries Unveiled
More to follow soon!
Sunday, 12 October 2008
new followers widget thingy
Tuesday, 7 October 2008
Steam Kites and Sabretooths!
Monday, 6 October 2008
VSF Ironclad Fleet
My favourite would have to be the Gun Frigates which screams VSF so loudly I'm ordering a Squadron for Aquanef!
Plus the Belcher class submersible of course...but sadly they arent available yet.
AOEG: Turn 2 Complete
Sample from most recent turn:
With a heaving of the ground, a massive belch of black smoke, and a few glowing stones sparking into view, The Beetle burst back into Professor Ingoldsby's cavern. Within seconds, the door to the massive contraption began to rattle, buckle, and finally crash open with a sound of tearing metal. Yet more smoke (grey-blue this time) issued forth from inside, as did Major Harding, who flopped to the floor of the cavern, sucking in the life-giving air for all it was worth, and feebly patting out the smoldering areas of his tweed jacket. The professor had been attempting to teach Harding how to pilot the conveyance, and thus he had been nearest the exit hatch when they had so precipitately returned to their base.
Harding was followed in short order by the Mason and Devereaux, who were helping the now unconscious Ingoldsby out of The Beetle, followed closely by Collier and Von Monokle, who –despite choking vapors and flying bits of burning rock – still seemed to have the energy to argue.
"It would be ill-advised to ignore the goddess…" began Collier, only to be quickly rolled over by the Prussian's blazing baritone.
"Your svartalf goddess can go to nifleheim, und you vith her!" the raging German replied/choked at the Oxford scholar, "Ve vere nearly killed by zat Teufel's engine! Hordes of Arabs und Frenchmen I can face, but NOT ZE BURNING DEVILZ UV ZE UNDERVORLD!"
All grew somewhat quiet after than. Certainly, the trip had been both far more and far less than anyone expected.
Despite its enormous size, the interior of The Beetle had proven to be somewhat cramped, containing only a small salon which combined into the pilot's cabin, and an engine room / cargo bay, the whole no more than thirty feet long and perhaps six and a half high. There was no separate sleeping compartment. Ingeniously devised –if not terribly comfortable- hammocks dropped out of the ceiling when rest was required. All the rest of the space, Ingoldsby explained, was reserved for the heavy armor that would defy the crushing gravity of the rock about them, the engines that would propel the great drilling machine, and intricately designed cooling devices that would convert the very temperature of the earth about them into energy both for motive power, and actually to cool the vessel as it drove ever deeper into the terrible heat of the earth's magma.
The Beetle required only a small boiler, and this was the true genius of Professor Ingoldsby, for the deeper the vessel went into the earth, the more the ambient heat of the surrounding rock, magma, and later the lava itself would power it. Thus, while the vessel was slow and cumbersome upon the earth's surface, it would move with the darting speed of a barracuda in the glowing oceans of rock that made up the interior of the earth.
This, at least, was the professor's theory. It had not, however, taken account of the lava lions.
They had decided to take The Beetle on a maiden voyage to test its capabilities, and also to give the Professor a chance to school Harding in the operations of the vessel. They would only travel perhaps thirty miles down, try to catch a lava stream and navigate it against the current, then return to the cavern and inspect the vessel. While The Beetle was largely navigated with a system of etheric reflectors that would give the shape and composition of surrounding features on a mirror-like device, The Beetle also had portholes of thick, black quartz, which would be nearly opaque on the surface, but would provide sufficient visibility against the background of glowing lava, and could provide at least some ability to navigate should the etheric reflectors fail.
It was after they had dropped into a lava river within a glowing chasm that Mason first saw the creatures.
They were dubbed lava lions, as their shape was in fact rather leonine, though much larger, perhaps the size of a small bull elephant. The beasts had bodies of red-glowing rock and brightly glowing orange manes. A dozen of them appeared to be lounging on an island made of a great, purple, crystal. When they saw The Beetle, three of the lava lions arose, entered the river in the direction of the Professor's conveyance and crashed full force into it, causing the armor to rupture in a small area and knocking the left surface-tread out of alignment.
While it may seem strange that a vessel capable of operating in the hideous pressures that exist many miles beneath the earth's surface could be damaged by the impact of a creature –be it ever so large- it must be remembered that Professor Ingoldsby had built his craft as a conveyance, not a war machine. The Beetle was quite capable of handling enormous uniform pressures from all sides, but not of sudden impact. It also had lesser speed than the lava lions in their own environs, as became quite apparent when the unlikely crew saw the creatures gathering again for a second pass.
"Oh dear," said the professor in an obviously discomfited tone, "This simply won't do. Two or three more such hits will see the lower chassis buckle completely, and we'll all be swimming in beastly hot lava." He fiddled with the navigation controls in an attempt to outmaneuver the hostile creatures, though it was now quite apparent that The Beetle had no more chance of evading the lava lions than a crippled grandmother did of evading a champion rugby player. What's more, The Beetle was now beginning to fill with smoke.
"Professor!", Harding yelled in desperation, "Is it possible to reverse the refrigeration process? To blow cold air out of the vessel instead of into the crew compartment?"
"Why, why yes," replied Ingoldsby, obviously totally mystified, "but whatever for? We should be roasted alive within half an hour's time…? We should…"
"Never mind professor!" shouted Mason, who appeared to grasp Harding's plan, whatever it might be, "Just tell me how it is done!"
After a few brief instructions involving various levers and knobs back, Mason dashed for the engine room, while Harding continued to try to maneuver, all to no avail, as the lava lions chose that moment to strike the ship again, causing the small surface-boiler to explode, singing Von Monokle, who launched into some very eloquent cursing in German that involved The Beetle, lava lions, Ingoldsby's mother, and some highly unlikely physiological assumptions. Collier was splashed by an ounce or so of lava, which made him turn white in the face, while Devereaux appeared to be simultaneously attempting to photograph the lava lions and splash their supply of drinking water on the hot rocks now loose in the cabin.
Harding was sweating far more profusely than even the rising heat in the cabin of The Beetle would justify as he fought the controls. He knew that it all rested on Mason now. The lava lions were returning for another pass, which would certainly shatter The Beetle.
Harding looked into the Professor's seeing-glass, and saw the golden dot that represented The Beetle, and the three red ones showing the lava lion's position as they came ever closer, thirty meters… ten… five…
Suddenly there was a massive hissing sound from the engine room, quickly drowned out by a huge roar –like all the elephants in the world at once- from the lava lions. Their images in the glass stopped dead, and then, weakly and slowly, they retreated to the island, where their fellows –strangely unconcerned with the situation- remained lounging on their purple crystal island.
Von Monokle looked up in wonderment. "Vat? Vat did you? Ve vere zertain to be killed? How…"
Suddenly, Ingoldsby laughed out loud, while Harding and Mason grinned.
"Of course! Of course. Well done old chaps! You vented the coolant into the faces of the creatures! That must have been nasty uncomfortable for them! And, now that we know such creatures exist, I can develop defenses that should discourage them in the future. In fact, a simple douse of water should be just as…"
"Pardon the interruption Professor," interrupted Mason, who had returned from the engine room, but may I remind you that we are still in grave danger? Even if the lava lions have left us alone, the damage they have done threatens to destroy us still. We had best attain the surface as soon as possible."
With that, the valiant crew of The Beetle worked like madmen under the direction of Professor Ingoldsby to return the vessel to the surface, learning more as they did about its operation that they would otherwise have done in months, and thus attained the Professor's cavern base again.***Three days later, the party had resolved to attempt the trip to Al Azif in The Beetle. Von Monokle was the last to agree, cursing Collier and his "zorzerous nonzense" so loudly that the two men had to be restrained from dueling. However, what finally convinced him were the arguments of Mason and Harding, who pointed out that the Pasha's men would certainly not expect an assault from beneath the ground, and that, with the professor's newly designed "water bombs" they would be quite well protected from any future depredations from the lava lions, and any similar fiery creatures of the underworld.
However, this still presented problems. The Beetle had suffered grave damage. Most of it could be repaired, with the exception of a large number of ball bearings that the professor required to fix the treads. For these, he sent the crafty Arab boy Abdul Salem into Port Oglethorpe as well as for other supplies. With these, Professor Ingoldsby estimated that The Beetle would be ready for the journey within the week.
Abdul Salem returned in the evening with grave news. It appeared that Bond and LaFourche had been found, though what a state they were in! An Arab zebec plying the trade lanes from Zanzibar had picked them up –more dead than alive- on a tiny, rocky island just outside Port Oglethorpe Bay- and had promptly thrown them in the ship's brig as slave-cargo.
Abdul Salem had seen them –the Frenchman nearly unconscious, the American swearing and cursing- both in chains, and both in a black-market slave trading station set up a few miles south of Port Oglethorpe, placed where the British were unlikely to find it and able to pack up quickly
should government troops come near.
"I have seen such tings before, Effendi", said Abdul Salem in answer to questions by Devereaux and Mason, "The pirates will move quickly, perhaps within a day or so. If anything is to be done, it must be done now."
With that, the wily Arab boy handed the journalist a piece of parchment, on which he had drawn a simple map…
Interested? Read on here: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/Age_of_Extraordinary_Gentlemen_PBEM/
Sunday, 5 October 2008
New British Aeronef fleet commissioned!
He has also kindly put together a How-to for his great name and flag placards added to each model Great work Bill- thanks for sharing and we look forward to seeing more!
Friday, 3 October 2008
The Age of Extraordinary Gentlemen
This group was created for those interested in playing Victorian Adventure Gaming using the web. A playtest version of these rules, called Age of Extraordinary Gentlemen, is located in the files section within. While this game is not in the public domain, and is under copyright to Dragon Trove LLC., the present playtest version is available for free download for players of the online campaign. Please give it a try, and let me know what you think!
Please be advised that these rules were not created to take an audience away from old VSF stand-bys like GASLIGHT, The Sword and the Flame, and Space: 1889. Rather, Age of Extraordinary Gentlemen was created to introduce PBEMers to Victorian Science Fiction.
To these players and to such stalwart writers as Edgar Rice Burroughs, H.G. Wells, C.S. Lewis and Clark Ashton Smith, these rules are dedicated.
The author, Michael, tells me that it's got lost civilizations, unlikely steam powered conveyances, blood thirsty Arabs, even more blodd thirsty foreign legionnaires, and Martian tripods. Everything that made the historical 19th century great!