23 May, 2009
I just like to take this moment to say I am not dead, I say this as I recently got a phone call from my father asking me just that - His reason for asking that was because I am not someone who phones regularly, he uses this site to keep tabs on me.
I’ve not put anything up here of late as I have been sidetracked and not quite myself, but hopefully all I am back to normal (or what passes as normal for me anyways) and things should start appearing up here regularly once more.
Now whilst I am not dead I wish the same could be said for 3rd Unit. 3rd Unit is my unit in a campaign wargame based during the Vietnam War (which interestingly wasn’t a war) using a ruleset called FNG (Fuckin’ New Guy). The idea behind the system is that you start off with a bunch of cheese dick cherries and if they survive long enough they eventually turn into a bunch of Rambos - However the game is rather lethal and not everybody makes it, rather like Vietnam reallly.
Here’s an example of one of the missions and shows why being in ‘Nam was also reffered to as ‘being in the shit’.
The mission was simple, unfortunately so was Sgt Clint Norris who had to lead his squad out past the perimeter and prepare a surprise for Charlie. Having advanced past the perimeter and located a suitable ambush site, Sgt Norris gave the order for the unit to split up into 2 fireteams and prepare secure positions defended with claymores to greet any unwelcome visitors.
So far, so good, but not for much longer, as the sound of two claymores going off in quick succession at opposite ends of the lines pierced the night. Unfortunately it was not because they were not set off by VC forces, but by the men setting them up. Cpl Doyle was killed outright by the explosion and Sgt Norris received a serious wound to the head incapacitating him.
Worse news was yet to come, as not only were the officers of the unit down, the radio which had been carried by Doyle was like him and lying in pieces, although unlike him it looked repairable.
At this point with the officers down, the radio out and position given away Spec. Spike took charge and gave the order to withdraw with four men carrying each body.
Having given their position away so spectacularly, the VC forces in the area were quick to investigate and 3rd Unit soon found themselves being pursued and coming under occasional fire and led the VC straight back towards the rest of the platoon.
Meanwhile back at base, Sgt Killins and 2nd unit were guarding the perimeter.
Having a bad feeling about the night Killins advanced out into the cleared killing ground and prepared a claymore of his own attached to a tripwire. Suddenly from outside the perimeter came the sounds of people running through the trees with shouts punctuated by sporadic gunfire.
Panicking, Killins went to run back to the safety of cover, unfortunately for 3rd unit he hadn’t finished setting up the claymore properly and in his rush to get to safety he caused it to detonate and kill the first two members of 3rd unit as they emerged from the hostile side of the killing ground. Startled by the blast before them, Pvt Stone stumbled and fell to the ground.
Unfazed by this Spec Stone ordered Pvt Felt; who was toting the Sarge’s M60, to help him cover the remainder of the unit, whilst they fell back carrying the dead and wounded.Weighted down by the remains of Cpl Doyle and slowed by the sudden absence of Pvt Stone, the GIs at the back of the unit came under sustained fire from the VC and Pvt Wild fell to the ground, as an unlucky (for him anyway) bullet tore his throat out.
Lying on the ground praying silently that the advancing VC wouldn’t notice him Pvt Stone laid amidst the bodies and his prayers were answered as the VC walking around him were distracted by the sight of Spec Spike lining up a shot with his M79 and cut him down in a hail of fire from their AK47s before he could launch a grenade at them.
Finally something went right for 3rd unit. The VC in their eagerness to chase when down had brought themselves within range of 2nd unit who were concealed amidst the tree line on the other side of the killing ground - Surprising them, they managed to drop one of the advancing VC, however in giving away their position the return fire caused two of 2nd unit to fall to the ground, only one of whom started screaming in pain.
Pvt Stone, unnoticed and now behind the advancing VC brought his M16 up to bear and dropped the last of the standing VC from the unit that had walked over him. As that man dropped, another of the VC rose up from amongst the bodies who whilst injured hadn’t yet given up the fight and he charged at Pvt Stone, who in turn fled into the jungle in fear.
Now standing alone amongst the dead and injured with the sound of more VC approaching Pvt Felt decided he was on the wrong side of the killing ground and fell back towards 2nd unit shouting to identify himself. 2nd unit found themselves being reinforced as the platoon command and 1st unit came out to find out what was happening on the perimeter, 2nd unit having engaged the enemy and having an idea of how bad things were radioed for further support requesting a gunship for cover.
Falling back across the open ground between refuge and the VC, firing the M60 as he did so Pvt Felt managed to drive back the VC on one flank before being wounded and taken out of action.
Rather amusingly the random soundtrack of music from the era happened to be playing ‘The End’ by The Doors, although it was only the end of the battle for 3rd Unit as the remainder of the platoon fought off the VC with a little help from a helicopter. As an addtional note it’s good to know that pretty much all of 3rd unit was shot dead and not merely wounded as their bodies along with the VC wound up being the targets of rockets.
The final toll for the ten men of 3rd unit was 6 dead, 2 wounded, 1 MIA and 1 coward (or perhaps 1 sensible person). Private O’Hanlon, one of the wound was wounded so severely that he was sent back to the world, Sgt Clint Norris however was made of sterner stuff and was patched up and back on duty within a couple of days. Of the missing Spec Spike and the unit’s M79 however there was no sign and they have been presumed captured by the enemy.
7 February, 2009
Continuing on from the first part of the mission described earlier in the week, here is the next installment of the adventures of SGR7. It’s hot off the presses as I’ve just finished writing the text and editing the photos. I’m already regretting nominating myself as a battle report writer, especially as it looks like what was intended to be a short run of adventures may well become something more ongoing.
Anyway without futher ado, here is the next thrilling installment from SGR7. Once again photo credits are split between Revford and myself…
Following the map found on the deceased Jaffa’s body we discovered arrived at the foothills and began to search for the entrance to the base – The entrance was cunningly hidden, and we literally walked over it. It would have remained undiscovered, but for a patrol of Jaffa leaving the base and revealing the location of the hidden door.
Concealed amongst the ruins the entrance looked rougher than a Taliban’s hideout, but once inside it was another matter altogether. Instead of rough cave walls we were greeted by wide, spacious corridors that had been carved into the rock. The walls were a testament to the taste of the Goa’uld in charge here, as ever ‘bling’ was obviously his thing and a several king’s ransoms adorned the walls.
Knowing that if we were discovered we would have little chance of extracting anyone else other than ourselves. We let ourselves in without knocking and proceeded to infiltrate the base.
Cautiously entering the base avoiding all possible contact with the enemy we set off down what seemed a main corridor.
Despite the apparent size of the base it did not appear to be heavily manned, so we made fairly rapid progress. Reaching a crossing of two main corridors the faint sounds of someone screaming in agony reached our ears.
Echoes made it difficult to be sure of where exactly they were coming from, but knowing that someone from the previous mission was still alive increased the sense of urgency in the team. Deciding that the whoever was shouting was nearby I decided that L/Cpl. Wolf and I should head down each corridor in turn a short distance and try and work out which direction to continue in.
Leaving Sgt. Dogg in charge of Cpl. Archer and Cpl. Calibre at the junction, L/Cpl. Wolf and I set off down the left passageway leaving Sgt. Dogg setting up the machine gun.
Heading down the passageway we found doorways on either side of the corridor slightly offset from each other. Looking in through the first doorway reveal cells set into the ground. Although there were no screams coming from this room, as it was obviously a holding area I advanced into the room to see if there were any other members of the expedition imprisoned here awaiting their turn to be tortured.
Our exploration was rewarded by finding Sgt. Wilson of SGR5 in one of the cells, although judging by his condition he evidently wasn’t awaiting torture. It looked like he had already been put through the wringer and was in shock. L/Cpl. Wolf came over to help me pull him out of the containment cell he was in, but thinking I heard something I left him to help Sgt. Wilson alone.
From my position in the doorway I heard him tell L/Cpl. Wolf how he had been tortured by a Goa’uld who had kept poisoning him. He did give L/Cpl. Wolf more details of his treatment at the hands of the Goa’uld, but hearing movement from the other doorway across the corridor I focused my attention on that.
Crossing the corridor I attempted to sneak a peek around the door frame and I saw a Jaffa Prime accompanied by two Jaffa, unfortunately they saw me as well and were surprisingly quick off the mark, raising their staff weapons to fire at me. Luckily for me both the Prime and one of the Jaffa appeared to have difficulties with their weapons and for some reason failed to fire, the other Jaffa’s shot however flashed past as I ducked back round the doorway out of sight.
Now that we had been discovered and the time for subtlety was long gone, I pulled the pin on a grenade and rolled it into the corridor towards the Jaffa. After it detonated I stuck my head round to survey the damage and quickly wound my neck back in as staff weapon fire came perilously close to it. That and I saw a rather angry looking Prime bearing down on me!
Knowing that I had little chance of winning against the Prime in protracted hand to hand combat I frantically fought him off trying to bring my SA80 to bear on him. Sgt. Dogg aware of the fact we had made enemy contact had swiveled the gun to face down the corridor and seeing me break free seized the chance and opened fire at the Prime’s back, with L/Cpl. Wolf joining in the fusilade from his position in the cell room. L/Cpl. Wolf emptied his magazine into the Prime, but despite putting several dents into the Prime’s mask, but because of the protection it afforded he was unable to make a telling shot.
Severely wounded the Prime fell back into the room he had just exited with the Jaffa providing covering fire, leaning out into the doorway I took aim on one of the Jaffa and dropped him with a burst to the chest, I tried to get a second burst off at the second Jaffa, but it went wild as I was forced to duck back into cover by the returning fire.
Knowing that our time in the complex was now limited and that at least one other person was still alive, Cpl. Calibre ran up from the junction where he had been waiting to see if the screams were coming from that direction. Unfortunately for him they weren’t, what was coming however was a squad of Jaffa ready for combat that ran straight into him.
Alerted by the sounds of combat that had drawn them they quickly overpowered him and knocked him to the floor with their staff weapons. Sgt. Dogg said he saw one of them deliver a coup de grâce to Cpl. Calibre’s head as he lay on the floor in front of them. Those that didn’t stop to kill Cpl. Calibre charged at Sgt. Dogg and Cpl. Archer firing their staff weapons wildly as they ran. Swinging the machine gun about to face the advancing Jaffa, Sgt. Dogg opened fire upon them and hosed them with lead running through all the remaining ammo for the machine gun in an attempt to avenge Cpl. Calibre. Impressive though the rate of fire was, the agility of the Jaffa as they dived out of the was more so as not a one was injured by the salvo.
Seeing this Cpl. Archer decided to lay down the Law on a group of the charging Jaffa and whilst a couple were left looking rather scorched, all that was left of the third was a pair of smoking sandals.
Down the corridor however L/Cpl. Wolf and I were dealing with problems of our own, as the Jaffa we had encountered although contained refused to lie down despite the wounds we were inflicting upon them.
Back at the junction one of the Jaffa, still smoking charged at the now defunct machine gun with his staff levelled at Sgt. Dogg forcing him away from the weapon. The other Jaffa not realising that Cpl. Archer was out of missiles, decided that he was a bigger threat and spread out firing at him as they did so.
Seeing that the machine gun was no longer a threat and that one of his comrades had engaged Sgt. Dogg in combat, another one of the Jaffa charged forward and Sgt. Dogg who had just about been managing to deal with the onslaught of one Jaffa found himself falling back as they focused on striking his arms to weaken him.
Hearing Sgt. Dogg over the radio I left L/Cpl. Wolf to suppress the badly wounded Prime and Jaffa and turned to see what the situation back down the corridor was. Taking advantage of my ignoring him the Prime crawled towards me and fired at the ceiling above my head, as I concentrated on taking down the Jaffa threatening Sgt. Dogg. I managed to incapacitate one of the Jaffa, but my shots at the second were thrown off, as I flinched hearing a blast just above my head.
Meanwhile on the other side of the junction, in the pursuit of finding some cover from the Jaffa now that he was only armed with a pistol, Cpl. Archer found the BBC reporter we had been searching for. He also happened to find a Goa’uld who had obviously been interrupted from his torturing Mr BBC by the sounds of combat outside.
Thankfully for Cpl. Archer though this Goa’uld had never seen a Bond film before, or else he’d know that when discovered you don’t start ranting about how awesome your power is and how great yours plans are – After all if we’ve shown up the plans have obviously already gone badly wrong.
Back in the corridor despite taking a serious blow to the head Sgt. Dogg broke free from the remaining Jaffa threatening him and seizing the chance both L/Cpl. Wolf and I opened fire on him, luckily for him although his helmet looked to be made of gold like the rest it was obviously made of Teflon, as nothing stuck to him. Seeing that the Jaffa threatening him was still standing, Sgt. Dogg brought his rifle up and fired at the Jaffa returning the favour of the arm wound he’d received from it earlier.
From behind me came the sound of another staff weapon blast and turning round I saw the tenacious Prime crawling towards us firing at us as he did so. Stepping towards him I finished him off with a focused burst of automatic fire, only ceasing when I was sure he was dead.
Alone and separated from the rest of us, Cpl. Archer was engaged with the melee trying to use his pistol in combat against the Goa’uld. Unfortunately the Goa’uld was stronger and faster and was able to bring his ribbon device to bear on Cpl. Archer’s head. Before the the Goa’uld could consolidate his grip and do further damage Cpl. Archer wrenched himself free, shouting at the man from the BBC to follow his example and get out of there.
Having dealt with all the Jaffa in the corridor the rest of the squad and I ran forward just in time to see the Goa’uld brush past Cpl. Archer into the corridor, as from behind us came several staff weapon blasts.
One of the stray blasts caught me in passing and although thankfully it was just a glancing hit causing me to gasp in pain, but little actual damage. Sgt. Dogg turned round and started to deal with this new threat and using carefully controlled burst dropped one and wounded another. L/Cpl. Wolf and Sgt. Wilson now armed with a staff weapon from one of the many lying around added their fire to Sgt. Dogg’s in an effort to slow their advance.
Seeing myself with a clear shot on the Goa’uld I opened fire on full auto and scored several telling shots, against my target. However hearing Cpl. Archer shouting in pain I ceased firing, evidently the Jaffa was using some kind of deception device and I had been fooled into firing at Cpl. Archer by it. Wounded severely by my shots Cpl. Archer broke and started running down the corridor in the direction of the entrance.
The other side of the Goa’uld, the reporter was trying to put some distance between himself and it and narrowly avoided a poison dart from a trap he had activated. Seeing how I had fired upon Cpl. Archer and how the reporter had nearly fallen prey to one of his traps the Goa’uld started to gloat and stood there telling us to bow before him as resistance was futile for he was the great Atum. Ignoring him as best I could I shouted for the reporter to run past the Goa’uld whilst he was preoccupied. Sgt. Dogg helped to ‘preoccupy’ the Goa’uld a little further by placing several bullets in his legs.
The Jaffa behind me were being methodically worked through by Sgt. Wilson, who was showing himself a better shot with a staff weapon than most Jaffa and had managed to reduce their numbers so that just one was left standing when I glanced back over my shoulder. Unfortunately for me however one of the parting shots from the fallen Jaffa caught me unaware in the back of my leg. Slowed but still standing I returned my attention to the Goa’uld before us.
Charging at L/Cpl. Wolf with a battlecry, that seemed to be augmented somehow I felt my resolve weaken and I am ashamed to say that I found myself unable to act against him myself and so I acted against the last Jaffa. Sgt. Dogg and Sgt. Wilson however were not affected and leapt to the defense of L/Cpl. Wolf charging the Goa’uld despite the injuries they had received. Their aid came too late for L/Cpl. Wolf however, as his skull caved in under a massive blow from the Goa’uld. The ferocity of Sgt. Dogg’s attack caught the Goa’uld by surprise and as he was forced back, Sgt. Wilson with his staff weapon and I with my SA80 opened fire at point blank range.
Realising that I had lost track of where the reporter from the BBC was in the midst of the combat, I looked around quickly and saw him carrying his video camera, which he had obviously found whilst we had been otherwise engaged. Wounded grievously, but refusing to believe that we had the upper hand the Goa’uld ranted manically at us. I know that whatever the reporter caught on camera will be classified, but I can’t help but think that it’s a shame – I bet that they could make a great TV show out of this.
Down the corridor and clear of immediate danger, Cpl. Archer rallied and turned back to face the combat. Left with only the option of his sidearm, he squeezed off a shot and despite the range he managed to hit the Goa’uld in the leg. Slowed by his injuries, but undeterred he attempted to barge past Sgt. Dogg. Knowing what happened previously when I thought I saw the Goa’uld push past Cpl. Archer, I held my fire and had my suspicions confirmed as Sgt. Wilson fired at what we both believed to be the Goa’uld and instead heard Sgt. Dogg swearing at us.
Shouldering his camera to capture the firefight, the reporter was just in time to film me drop the Goa’uld to the ground and watch as Sgt. Wilson decapitated him with one of his own staff weapons.
Taking a few moments to regroup I attended to the worst of our injuries, whilst Sgt. Dogg redistributed ammo. Seeing this Geoff, as the reported introduced himself said that he’d found some of the other equipment from SGR5 with his camera. A quick inspection revealed that it was Sgt. Wilson’s equipment although ominously, there was no equipment present from the rest of the SGR5 team.
With Sgt. Wilson rearmed and Cpl. Archer using the late L/Cpl. Wolf’s rifle, all of us had a rifle and 2 clips of ammo. Of more concern was the state of the team. L/Cpl. Wolf was dead and Cpl. Calibre probably dead, but certainly missing as his body was not in the corridor. A trail of blood leading further into the complex suggested that he’d been carried off by one of the Jaffa patrol he’d encountered.
Of the four military personnel left Cpl. Archer was in a bad way, having received several wounds over his body and Sgt. Dogg was having difficulties holding his rifle up. He was trying to hide the extent of his wounds from everyone else, but when I was checking everyone’s injuries I noticed the damage he’d sustained fending the Jaffa off earlier in the fight. I was also injured and whilst I was able to patch up my head, the leg wound I had was slowing me down. Ironically both Sgt. Wilson and Geoff were both relatively unharmed and despite the torture they had gone through were exhibiting no injuries that were impairing their abilities.
Deciding that the phrase, “leave no man behind” is not just a phrase our intrepid heroes decided to head deeper into the base to try and retrieve Cpl. Calibre’s body at the very least and ideally find a sarcophagus for Cpl. Archer.
1 February, 2009
Here’s another extract from the journal of Lt Kestrel, with a few photos to illustrate the mission as well. Whilst a couple of the photos are mine, the credit for most of them goes to Revford.
We were being briefed on gate P3X-1928 which we were due to be heading through for a reconnaissance mission when word came through that we were to be sent after SGR5 who were now several hours overdue from returning from P3X-256 where they were showing a BBC reporter the sights of an uninhabited jungle planet.
Apparently someone much higher up had decided that a video record of what we were doing was needed and that rather than send us through with cameras, sending a man from the BBC was just what the doctor ordered. Still it’s nice to know what my licence fee is being spent on.
Due to the terrain, we would be walking, as whilst the gate had made a clearing for us to arrive in, beyond the reach of the vortex it was thick jungle. With a MALP indicating that arrival at least appeared safe enough we set off at a jog through the gate. On arrival whilst Skirt tried unsuccessfully to raise the SGR5 on the radio, the rest of the team and I spread out looking for signs indicating which direction they had set off into the jungle. My first impression of the planet was the noise, with panicked cries from animals alarmed by our arrival through the gate – Or more likely animals alarmed by the gate opening itself.
It appeared that they had initially set off bearing east from the eye and so with Bull taking point we set off following their trail.
About 50 yards in Bull signalled for us to halt for a moment, despite the gloom under the canopy he’d sighted something. Leaving us he went forward to check it out whilst we covered him. He’d discovered Pound a member of SGR5 lying unconscious on the ground with his general purpose machine gun lying a short distance from him.
Calling me forward Bull left me to examine Pound, whilst he checked the machine gun. Checking Pound over I found that he had been received what looked like wounds inflicted by staff weapon fire. Alerting the rest of the team to this 22, Skirt and Pop continued advancing forward into the trees, whilst I tended Pound’s wounds.
Although I was unable to treat all of his wounds I was able to clean them and bring him round. Once he had regained consciousness he reported that SGR5 had been ambushed by Jaffa and that he had been falling back to the gate, as he had seen the rest of the team taken down. He only avoided the ambush himself due to being the rearguard, although dazed from his injuries he asked a question that was rising in my mind – Why did they not pursue him and let him escape? They knew he was there, that much was evident from his injuries.
Able to walk, but clearly of limited use to ourselves I indicated the direction of the gate and ordered him to report back to the SGC, reporting that we would continue investigating to establish the fate of the rest of SGR5. Although low on ammo, Bull was happy with the condition of the machine gun and headed back in the direction of the gate setting it up to cover any retreat we might be forced to make if we encountered Jaffa.
I moved forward to rejoin the rest of the team who were attempting to follow the trail and as I caught up with the group I thought I heard a noise in one of the trees up ahead, 22 indicated that he had heard it as well and that he would check it out. Creeping forward through the trees with his rifle, we saw him suddenly drop his rifle and start scrabbling at his throat as he gave a strangled shout that was rapidly choked off. As I ran forward to help him I could see that the problem was a vine that had dropped around his neck and drawing my knife I cut though the noose freeing him from the grasp of the plant.
Waiting for 22 to catch his breath, I noticed a colour that seemed out of place amidst all the the greenery, there was a patch of blue at the base of a nearby tree. Noticing it I pointed it out to Skirt who went towards it carefully double checking the canopy above him, as well as the ground in front. At the base of the tree he found a backpack, that from it’s colouring was obviously didn’t belong to a member of SGR5. Quickly checking the contents he found a laptop and a collection of discs marked ‘BBC Natural History’.
Shouldering the pack Skirt joined me at the front of the group and we continued along the trail that SGR5 had walked before us. Over the radio Bull indicated that Pound had successfully made it back through the gate and that he was in entrenched with the machine gun if we needed to fall back onto his position. Continuing our progress through the jungle I sighted movement ahead and silently signalled the group to halt whilst I crept forward to check it out, it turned out to be a false alarm however as it turned out to be a camouflaged snake that would have remained hidden among the vines but for the movement that had given it away.
Suddenly off to my right I heard the sound of staff weapons firing, shortly followed by Pop indicating contact with 3 Jaffa who had evidently been heading towards the gate to find out why it had been activated. Ordering Pop to fall back towards Bull’s position, 22, Skirt and I moved to flank the Jaffa – Judging by the direction of the sound of the fight Pop had not held position when I had ordered previously and continued moving round to the west.
22 catching sight of the enemy attempted to catch him unaware with a shot, but missed and gave away our position instead. The Jaffa aware that he had a battle on two fronts turned to face us and fired upon 22, hitting the tree he was using as cover and causing splinters to fly into his face.
His comrades however, continued their pursuit of Pop into the sights of Bull.
Of the two Jaffa chasing Pop, one was too engrossed to be aware of the danger they were being led into. The other however was not so foolhardy and on becoming aware of the danger managed to fire off a hasty shot in the direction of the machine gun, before being cut in half by the stream of lead that began to issue from it.
The second Jaffa who had not noticed the machine gun, had also not noticed me and running across my line of sight received a 3 round burst to the chest and fell to the ground motionless.
22 and his Jaffa continued to exchange fire with each other to little effect due to the cover afforded by the jungle, whilst Skirt followed by myself moved round to try and get a better position. Skirt taking advantage of the Jaffa’s preoccupation with 22 attempted to shoot the Jaffa in the back but narrowly missed. Now aware of Skirt, the Jaffa spun round and whilst he was protected from 22 by the tree now behind him, it was of little use against Skirt’s second volley which easily passed through the gold protecting his head.
Expecting further company of the orangey kind I ordered 22 to fall back and cover the gate with Bull and Pop. Pop indicated that he was preparing a surprise on one of the bodies of the downed Jaffa in clear sight of the gate for his friends to investigate after we had gone. Whilst he did that Skirt and I pressed on, although by now it was obvious what had happened to SGR5. This uninhabited looking planet evidently wasn’t and SGR5 had found out the hard way. Still their trail hadn’t come to an end yet and so it I wanted to satisfy myself that Pound wasn’t the only survivor from the mission.
The trail didn’t continue much further though and from what I could read from the battlefield remains SGR5 had walked into an ambush and been taken almost completely by surprise. They had resisted, but not for long as whilst there were spent rounds lying about they hadn’t even expended about half of the munitions brought with them.
None of their bodies was present, presumably they had either been captured or the Jaffa had taken their bodies and planned to resurrect them in a sarcophagus before torturing them – It must be handy not having to take prisoners alive. if nothing else, it’d certainly make guarding them a lot easier.
There was however a dead Jaffa lying face up on the ground, going over to the corpse I noticed that something didn’t seem quite right about this Jaffa. Cautiously I checked the body for booby traps, knowing that if Pop had thought of booby trapping a corpse, he might not be the only one. Finding nothing except a scroll case around his neck, I deactivated the Jaffa’s mask and found myself looking at the face of a particularly ugly Jaffa. Whilst I didn’t recognise the sigil on his forehead, I did note that whilst not the gold of a Prime, it not a tattoo either. It had been made by scarification, I can only conclude that this difference indicated some sort of rank.
Unable to identify the Goa’uld responsible for these Jaffa, I turned my attention to the scroll case which had a map inside of it. Taking a few minutes to decipher the Goa’uld writing it appeared that the chart indicated a patrol route originating from a concealed base about 3 miles west of here in the foothills of some nearby mountains.
To be continued…..
27 January, 2009
Tonight is roleplay night for me, although at the moment instead of just roleplay we have also been experimenting with other ideas from one off roleplay games giving everyone a chance at running something to playing DOOM: The Boardgame, which has been surprisingly entertaining. Last week we ran a .45 adventure game which the producers describe as a narrative action game, which is part board game and part roleplay.
The setting was Stargate and here is a write up of last week’s session that I have only just got around to finishing.
The following extract is from a personal journal kept against regulations and discovered amongst his personal effects after going missing on a mission to PX2-51. This is a rendition of the events on a recon mission to Urth (originally designated as P5X-1138). Regarding this mission of particular significance were the sheep referred to as subsequent investigation showed it to be almost genetically identical to the Manx Longturn Sheep, a species that until this discovery was on the brink of extinction.
The briefing indicated that there would be a high probability of a first contact being made as the MALP’s sensors what looked like a small homestead just south-east of the gate and some sheep-like creatures grazing in the vicinity.
Giving the order to advance through the gate I noticed that Lt. Cpl. Wolf was driving more carefully than on our previous mission. No doubt the motor pool had requested that he try and avoid rock formations with the Wolf this time and live up to his nickname.
Arriving the other side of the gate showed there was little chance of a repeat of that debacle as we were on the edge of a wood and there was a distinct absence of large rocks to collide with. There were obstacles however in the form of the creatures the MALP had indicated were nearby, which appeared to be gathered around something about 150 meters away. The homestead was about 250 meters further away beyond the herd and to the north lay woods.
Advancing slowly so as not to disturb the herd Lt. Cpl. Wolf drew us closer for a look at the animals, as the MALP had indicated thanks to a curious member of the herd coming over to investigate it earlier they were rather sheepish. Closer inspection confirmed the similarity although the heads of several were adorned with pairs of horns, most had 2 or for but some of the larger had six horns. Despite this though they seemed placid enough as although members of the herd noticed our approach there were not any obvious displays of aggression.
I got out to have a closer look at the sheep and to see what they were gathered around. Pushing carefully through the herd followed by Cpl. Archer the sheep didn’t seem to mind us overmuch. As one of the animals moved aside I though I caught a glimpse of an outstretched hand on the ground and concerned for whomever it might have been I pushed forward more rapidly. Unfortunately for me this disturbed the herd and one of the biggest members presumably assuming I was a threat ran at me from the side and caught me in the leg with one of it’s horns knocking my under the hooves of the rest of the herd. Cpl. Archer, who had been just behind me attempted to distract it and prevent it injuring me further whilst I was prone before it.
It reared up in front of Cpl. Archer, who was finding out that a pistol is a less than ideal weapon against an aggressive ram and just as it was about to attempt to gore him Sgt. Dogg gave Lt. Cpl. Wolf the order to fire. Executing a clean headshot Cpl Calibre dropped the ram, before it injured Cpl. Archer further. The sound of the shot caused the rest of the herd to scatter away from us in panic, allowing me to regain my feet. Seeing the wound Cpl. Archer had on his leg I instructed him to stay on the ground whilst I attended to his injury, despite the blood the wound was not as bad as I had initially feared. One of the horns had torn through his uniform and whilst it had just gashed his inner thigh and I joked with him about how it was lucky he wasn’t six inches shorter before attending to my own wound.
Remembering the hand I had been trying to investigate before the ram had interrupted I went over and discovered a young, unconscious man clad in bloodstained woollen trousers held up by a knotted rope who had evidently been attacked before us and received further wounds being trampled by the herd, his wounds were serious and whilst I was able to stabilise him he remained unconscious and it was obvious that without proper medical attention his wounds would probably kill him.
Whilst I was doing this Cpl Calibre headed into the trees thinking he had heard something, whilst Lt. Cpl. Wolf and Sgt. Dogg reboarded the landie and got it moving again towards the bungalow with Cpl. Archer following on foot. Just as I was about to signal Lt. Cpl. Wolf to bring the Wolf back so that I give the native some further attention from within the trees the sound of a single staff weapon discharging sounded. Cpl Calibre indicated that he was being fired at by a human armed with a staff weapon and requested permission to open fire. I told him to avoid firing if at all possible and started running towards the trees following the sounds of the staff weapon firing accompanied by shouting.
Pulling up to Cpl Calibre’s position and pausing for a moment to concentrate on the shouting I realised that the language was Germanic and that he was accusing us of being hustlers after his sheep. Indicating to Cpl Calibre that he should cover me I shouted that we were not hustlers and didn’t wish to hurt him before stepping out from the cover of a tree into view of the man. He looked to be in his forties and shared a resemblance to the teenager I had discovered trampled by the herd. Guessing that he was the father I told him that his son was seriously hurt, but that we could help if he would let us.
Seeing that we intended him no harm he drew closer and I led him towards his son’s body leaving Cpl Calibre to continue investigating the edge of the woods. Introducing myself I found that he called himself Bernhart and tried to engage him in further conversation. Worried about a possible Jaffa presence due to his possession of the staff weapon as I walked with him I attempted to find out where he had obtained it from, but all I was able to understand was that he had fought a man for it when he was much younger and stronger. It was obviously a useful trophy to him and from the way he carried it, he was obvious familiar with it’s use. Seeing his son on the ground near the landie which Lt. Cpl. Wolf had brought round he ran forward, obviously concerned for the boy. He was saying something about how the boy had been injured by a beast and how he had been trying to hunt it - I indicated to the ram we had killed, but he shook his head and said something I couldn’t understand about man-beast.
I tried to explain that his son’s injuries were serious and that we could help if he would let us take his son back through the gate with us, at first he was reluctant but when I indicated that here he would die and but that we could take him thought the gate and heal him and that we would bring him back he calmed back down and started helping Sgt. Dogg lift the body into the back of the Wolf which the shepherd seemed somewhat in awe of.
Whilst the Lt. Cpl. Wolf had looped the Land Rover back round, Cpl. Archer had continued advancing towards the home of the shepherd and encountered his wife wield a skillet, able to understand her intent if not the words Cpl. Archer shouted for me to come over and calm her down. Jogging over to his position a bestial roar followed by gunfire sounded out sending the sheep into a panic and the woman ran back into her house. Turning to face the direction the roar had come from I saw Cpl Calibre backing out of the trees pursued by some kind of monstrous creature, obviously the man-beast that Bernhart had been talking about.
It stood about 8ft tall and was covered in dark fur and surprising agile for something so large. It was also tough, Cpl Calibre’s fire didn’t appear to be affecting it unduly. Attempting to aid Cpl Calibre I halted my advance and I drew up my rifle, firing a three round burst into it’s shoulder. All this did however was enrage it further and with a blood-curdling cry of bestial rage it leapt forward towards Cpl Calibre sweeping one of it’s massive arms at him. Attempting to protect himself and his rifle Cpl Calibre cried out in pain as his right arm was broken by the beast.
Carefully choosing my shots along with Sgt. Dogg I fired at the beast and whilst the animal was not stopped by the fire it was distracted enough by the wounds it was receiving to allow Cpl Calibre to break free from the monster and put some distance between him and it. Seeing the lack of effect the fire from Sgt. Dogg and I was having and seeing Cpl Calibre outdistancing the creature, Cpl. Archer from the cover of the wall around the homestead decided that his pistol would be useless and took aim with one of his LAWs. Unfortunately for me however, he hadn’t noticed my proximity to the Beast and that I would be caught within the blast. Seeing the streak of the rocket and knowing what it meant I hit the deck and whilst hit by some shrapnel I was relatively unscathed - The beast was also seemingly unscathed, despite being caught unawares and hit directly. Picking myself up off the ground assuming the demise of the beast I was caught off-guard as the beast lunged out of the smoke at me and raked it’s claws across my chest.
Not seeing that I was engaged with the beast due to the smoke surrounding us Cpl. Archer fired his remaining LAW at the beast and caught it squarely in the back, obliterating it in a mass of gore which covered me and forced me to the ground underneath the weight of the remaining bodyparts. Amazingly I escaped unscathed from the blast, I can only presume that the body of the beast protected me from most of the blast. Trapped underneath the body unable to free myself I surprised Cpl. Archer coming over to inspect his handiwork who found me underneath the corpse and unharmed, I suspect however that my language as he helped me out from under it wasn’t a surprise to him.
As I tending to Cpl Calibre’s arm, Sgt. Dogg suggested that we should take the ram back with us as well as some of the remains of the beast. When I asked Bernhart he seemed reluctant indicating that he planned to butcher the ram. I suggested a trade and that perhaps we could buy it from him, but he still seemed reluctant as he evidently considered it valuable. It was at this point that Cpl. Archer suggested we trade food with him for it if he was so worried about losing a source of food and that we offer him our MREs as well as bring something more palatable back through the gate with us.
Once we offered to trade it for food he was much more ameniable to the loss of his ram and he help us secure it to the bonnet so that we could take it back through the gate with us. Because we were taking his son back with us I offered to take him as well, but the thought of going through the gate made him uneasy and he begged off going explaining that he had to look after his wife and herd.
26 January, 2009
I saw this whilst window shopping back in Bath back at the beginning of the month and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted. Fortunately for me however the shop was closed at the time and thus the potential crisis was neatly averted.
For those with a penchant for actions figures Charles Dickens isn’t the only figure available, models also exist for Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Jane Austen and Edgar Allen Poe - For the more scientific amongst you though there is also the ‘Evolving Darwin‘ playset.
10 January, 2009
Another photo from my visit to Bristol Museum, this time no historian just a genuine historical artifact. The photo may only be a week or so old, but this stone carving is almost 3000 years old.
I would tell you more about it, but you’ll have to wait until I return to the Bristol City Museum, as I forgot to photograph the accompanying notes to remind myself of all of it’s details.