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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Soviet World War II Preview

Just a quick preview of Honorable Son #3's World War II Soviet Army.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

More Characters for In Her Majesty's Name

Yes I have caught the Victorian Science Fiction bug thanks to In Her Majesty's Name.  I am having a great time reliving childhood (and grown-up!) memories of great books and adventures.  So here are some more characters  . . .

Mad Jack Rabbit is a horrible, mutated laboratory experiment gone bad.  Created by Dr. Moreau, Mad Jack Rabbit combines the intelligence of a human, the inhuman strength of a monster with the quick wit of Bugs Bunny.  His talents include Erudite Wit, Berserker, Fearless, Terrifying and Tough.

Mad Jack Rabbit emerges from the woods upon an unsuspecting village.

The Missionary.  I haven't come up with a name for this character yet, but as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, I have been amazed how God has used ordinary people to do extraordinary things to spread the Word of the Gospel.  Possible talents include Leadership, Fearless, Inspirational and Medic.

The Missionary reads the Word to all who want to hear.

The Brawler. What would be an adventure without some stalwart heroes or a tough guy rolling up his sleeves to do business the old fashion way?   Talents could be Beserker, Fanatic, Fearless, Martial Artist, Strongman and Tough.

Uh oh . . . he is rolling up his sleeves.

The British Officer.  How can you have the Victorian Age without a British Officer?  Talents can be Leadership, Fearless (For the Queen!), Duelist, Inspirational, Intuitive and Marksman.
Keeping a stiff upper lip.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Disintegration Machine

Special Agent Tom Sawyer requests Mr. Sherlock Holmes accompany him to inspect the discovery of Dr. Theodore Nemor, who claims to have invented a machine capable of disintegrating objects. Skeptical of the invention, Holmes accepts Sawyer's proposal and accompanies him to the house of Nemor.

 Nemor's country estate is guarded.

Upon arrival, it is discovered that the Napoleon of Crime, Professor James Moriarty is secretly meeting with Nemor about his invention. Nemor boasts to Moriarty that in the hands of the Russians, who are currently the highest bidder for the rights to the invention, London and its millions of inhabitants could be destroyed.

 Make sure we are not disturbed!
The grounds keeper making his rounds.

Nemor's loyal Baluchi guardsmen protect the laboratory while Nemor and the Professor discuss the infernal invention known as the Disintegration Machine!

Unknown to both parties, T. Roosevelt is also investigating the rumors with Lady Rachel.

 Great Scott Holmes!  What is is!
 Careful . . . there are guards.
 Agent Sawyer . . . go with Teddy to the front and cover the entrance.

Too late!  It looks like they are going to test the machine!

To be continued . . .

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Building The Disintegration Machine

Special Agent Tom Sawyer is sent on a mission to investigate the rumors of a power new weapon that is being built by the evil Dr. Theodore Nemor.  Intelligenc claims to have invented a machine capable of disintegrating objects. Skeptical of the invention, Sawyer is sent to verify . . .

Dr Nemor shows off his new invention to potential buyers.

The Disintegration Machine is simply bits and pieces of kits and models I have saved over the years: Tau weapons from Warhammer 40K, shields from Warhammer, a flying base, etc.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Agent Tom Sawyer, U. S. Secret Service

Tom Sawyer grew up in Missouri where he had several interesting adventures while touring the Mississippi River.  He discovered or created mayhem, solved murders, found buried treasure and sought adventure and excitement simply because nothing else could really satisfy him.  He was eventually recruited by the U. S. Secret Service and now is a Special Agent - though still at heart a rebellious youth with a taste for adventure.

Agent Tom Sawyer can add spice to any "good guy" company for In Her Majesty's Name:

Special Agent Thomas Sawyer

Pluck: 4+
Fighting Value: +2
Shooting Value: +4
Speed: +1
Cost: 38 points
Skills: Marksman, Gunslinger
Basic Equipment: Lined Coat, Carbine, 2 Pistols

Game Stats Copyright Craig Cartmell & Charles Murton June 2013 

 Agent Sawyer working with the world's most famous consulting detective on the mysterious case of the Disintegration Machine.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Searching for Professor Challenger

From T. Roosevelt's private journal:

It was fortunate that I ran into Mr. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. James Watson; I am sure without my assistance their would not have been a successful conclusion of their case involving the "Jewel of Chance".  We left them at the port of Durham in Natal province. Though I am careful to hide my emotions (Hah!), Mr. Holmes discerned that I was deeply agitated as I had failed to locate the party of Professor George Edward Challenger.

Not knowing which direction Challenger had taken, I decided to see if I could entice Lord Greystoke, to help discover his path.

Though I begged Holmes to help me, he told me that he had to return to London at once due to the appearance of a supposedly "Master Criminal" whose demise had been well documented by Dr. Watson.  He coyly hinted that he needed to meet another American; a secret service agent by the name of Thomas Sawyer. I knew that this event was somehow related to a request from Challenger for me to accompany him to inspect the discovery of  Dr. Theodore Nemor, who claims to have invented a machine capable of disintegrating objects.

Now that Challenger has disappeared, I must set out into the interior of Africa to find him not knowing what dangers he and his companions may be in.  They are all experienced adventurers, yet I fear that I may not see them again . . .

. . . rumors have reached me of gigantic beasts (Bully!) right out of of a fairy tale that my friends w would spin over a camp fire; however, whether they be true or not, I must set out a find my companions if I am ever to find Challenger . . .

 . . . at last we have reached Quartermain's house and he has agreed to accompany us.  He is especially keen to bag as a trophy of a rumored flying monster.  Hopefully we will find our friends and then search for Challenger . . .

 . . . to be continued.

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Napoleon of Crime

He is a man of good birth and excellent education, endowed by nature with a phenomenal mathematical faculty. At the age of twenty-one he wrote a treatise upon the binomial theorem which has had a European vogue. On the strength of it, he won the mathematical chair at one of our smaller universities, and had, to all appearances, a most brilliant career before him.

 But the man had hereditary tendencies of the most diabolical kind. A criminal strain ran in his blood, which, instead of being modified, was increased and rendered infinitely more dangerous by his extraordinary mental powers.

"Dark rumors gathered round him in the University town, and eventually he was compelled to resign his chair and come down to London. He is the Napoleon of crime, Watson. He is the organizer of half that is evil and of nearly all that is undetected in this great city . . ." Mr. Sherlock Holmes from The Final Problem.

Professor James Moriarty is the Master Criminal of the late 19th Century. Here are his game stats for In Her Majesty's Name:

Pluck: 4+
Fighting Value: 0
Shooting Value: 0
Speed: +0
Cost: 67 points
Talents: Leadership +3, Erudite Wit, Intuitive, Immortal, Meticulous Planning

The Professor's apparent Immortality comes from the fact that each time he is killed or captured it turns out to have been a double . . . one wonders what will happen when he comes face to face with Mr. Sherlock Holmes!

Moriarty meets Dr. Theodore Nemor at his remote country lab.

Meticulous Planning.  When the Professor is involved everything seems to unfold according to his plan. Each turn he can choose to move a single figure, from either side a second time at the end of the Movement phase. The normal rules for movement apply but he cannot move them into immediate mortal danger or off the table. He can move the figure into base to base contact with another figure. As this is not a mental attack the figure concerned does not get a Pluck roll to resist.

Rules for the Professor Copyright by Craig Cartmell & Charles Murton, May 2013.

The Professor discussing the crime of the century with the evil inventor Dr. Theodore Nemor.

"But in calling Moriarty a criminal you are uttering libel in the eyes of the law—and there lie the glory and the wonder of it! The greatest schemer of all time, the organizer of every devilry, the controlling brain of the underworld, a brain which might have made or marred the destiny of nations—that’s the man! But so aloof is he from general suspicion, so immune from criticism, so admirable in his management and self-effacement, that for those very words that you have uttered he could hale you to a court and emerge with your year’s pension as a solatium for his wounded character. Is he not the celebrated author of The Dynamics of an Asteroid, a book which ascends to such rarefied heights of pure mathematics that it is said that there was no man in the scientific press capable of criticizing it? Is this a man to traduce? Foulmouthed doctor and slandered professor—such would be your respective roles! That’s genius, Watson."
— Holmes, The Valley of Fear

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Starship Troopers - The annual read

"I always get the shakes before a jump . . ." thus starts one of the greatest military science fiction novels of all time, Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein. Even today, the book has stood the test of time, and was a big influence on my decision to be an Infantry officer. 

When I attended the Command and General Staff College, I was pleasantly surprised to see the novel on the required reading list. Today, the novel is still on the reading list for the US Army, Navy and United States Marine Corps.

I just finished my annual reading of the book . . . something I do annually!

This is a poster for the movie directed by Paul Verhoeven who admitted he never finished reading the book.  Please don't watch it . . . you'll thank me later.  Not only does the movie miss most of the points of the book and, as a retired infantry officer (Regulars By God!), it's embarrassing to watch. 

One of the worst scenes in the book is when the platoon is defending an outpost and the bugs are coming. I can see the nuclear rockets strapped to the backs of the (so called) Mobile Infantry! So what do they do? Break out the SMALL ARMS (sigh). How about the scene when the platoon surround a bug in a circle, and then they all fire at the bug! In a circle? They would have hit each other. (Note: That's a safety violation) And please don't get me started on how they portray Lieutenant Rascak.

Do not watch the movie!

The book sums it up nicely: "For the everlasting glory of the Infantry . . ."

Sunday, September 6, 2015

17th Century Blast from the Past and Auctions

As some of you know, I've been cleaning out and reorganizing my collections and hobby bits now that I am near the end of completion of various projections or phases of projects.  As I was looking through one of my bins, I happened upon some old Essex English Civil War/30 Years War command figures and artillery from their old 1980's miniature range (it looks like there is a stray Minifigs also!).

 A battery of artillery getting ready to bombard the enemy line.
 I purchased them in Edinburgh, Scotland in August of 1988 while on vacation with my wife and another couple. I don't remember the name of the shop but I did get their address from an advertisement in Wargames Illustrated.  They were the first Essex miniatures I purchased and were two boxes of their Ready Made Armies. 

Waiting to mount up.
Since I do not game the English Civil War in 15mm anymore, I decided to remount them on Games Workshop plastic bases and put them on eBay. Though dated (the new Essex range in 15mm is awesome) these miniatures still have character and are a great addition to any existing English Civil War or 30 Years War force.

Artillery Battery Auction.

Commander Auction.

 The army commander and three Brigade commanders.