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Author Topic: Trial By Fire (update for March 2015, page 7)  (Read 27769 times)

Offline Mad Lord Snapcase

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Trial By Fire (update for March 2015, page 7)
« on: February 15, 2014, 10:50:17 AM »
Chapter I



And so, ‘The Eye of the Buddha, Part IV’ begins. But not so fast, dear readers, unfortunately, there are more miniatures to be painted and some scenery to be finished (see photo below). So, this thread is a teaser and I have posted it to keep me on track instead of mentally and physically meandering away and building secret rocket bases and underground submarine pens (Valerik, that’s your fault!). I’ll post some progress pictures of the leagues and when the game is finally played, I’ll post the AAR here for your delectation. I’m working on some character cards this time as well, so I’ll post those up as I finish them. In the meantime I thought I’d knock-up some nonsense around the theme of the game and the background in British Somaliland in 1920. This is, in the true traditions of the Pulp genre a flashback,




as those aficionados of my previous AARs will note, as it takes place before Part III of the Eye of the Buddha
I’m obviously having a George Lucas moment with my scenarios! There are some clues in the old newspaper cutting above but there are astounding revelations to come, as well as murder and mayhem.

The action takes place in January in the protectorate of British Somaliland. The southwest monsoon which rejuvenates the pasture land and briefly transforms the desert has come early this year and some of the arid desert is already turning into lush vegetation which is my excuse for using some jungle scenery and some desert scenery so I can cover the whole gaming table!




Can wire be produced that is as tough as steel? Would that revolutionise the aircraft industry? Is there a secret formula that promises to do so? Why is the Mad Lord going to British Somaliland? Why was Gerry Wade murdered at Chimneys and where is the missing alarm clock? Why were the other seven clocks lined up on the mantelpiece? What is the significance of the burnt scrap of paper with the words In Cucullato Horologium Cultus written on it? What have the Italians got to do with it? Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Why do I keep on writing this drivel, I hear you ask?




On the right, the Mad Mullah’s fort at Jideli (all credit here to Matakishi’s Tea House), on the left, lush vegetation springing up after an early monsoon. On the far right, a desk full of unpainted miniatures (message to self, get on with the painting and stop fiddling about on the laptop)!




To be continued………………………………………
« Last Edit: March 31, 2015, 10:15:19 AM by Mad Lord Snapcase »


"A man can never have too much red wine, too many books or too much ammunition."

Offline d phipps

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Re: ‘Trial By Fire’ (a working title)
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2014, 11:22:10 AM »
Very cool, ol' Snappy!  :-* :-*

Mmm... home-made jam. Mmmm...  ;D




HAVE FUN


Offline Mad Lord Snapcase

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Re: ‘Trial By Fire’ (a working title)
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2014, 11:24:26 AM »
 :P Yes, my wife makes a superb home-made blackcurrant jam, we had a bumper crop last year in the garden.  :P

Offline FramFramson

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Re: ‘Trial By Fire’ (a working title)
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2014, 05:37:55 PM »
You really are mad!

Offline Mad Lord Snapcase

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Re: ‘Trial By Fire’ (a working title)
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2014, 07:15:19 PM »
True!  :D

Offline Valerik

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Re: ‘Trial By Fire’ (a working title)
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2014, 07:41:49 PM »
You really are mad!

Of COURSE he is...

Hence the NAME?

Pray do not stroke his already overvast sense of self importance.

As it is your abrupt utterance will doubtless require a even larger fez size.

Will somebody please ask him, as we are obviously not on speaking terms, if this is indeed to be Somaliliand, where's the bleedin' pyrates?

daft  bugger's fergot 'em no doubt...

Or have the beans been well & truly spilt?


Valerik
BGR

"Fart in the devil's face"
Martin Luther


Offline Mad Lord Snapcase

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Re: ‘Trial By Fire’ (a working title)
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2014, 07:59:27 PM »
Quote
Will somebody please ask him, as we are obviously not on speaking terms

My friend, I always have time to speak to you!

Quote
daft  bugger's fergot 'em no doubt...

Daft bugger is quite correct! I am always forgetting things........I can't remember where I put that bloody Cluedo board!

Quote
As it is your abrupt utterance will doubtless require a even larger fez size.

Larger fez ordered!

Offline Amalric

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Re: ‘Trial By Fire’ (a working title)
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2014, 02:56:44 AM »
....(message to self, get on with the painting and stop fiddling about on the laptop)!....

This!


Oh and thanks for posting the teasing Inspirational Pics!

Offline Mad Lord Snapcase

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Re: ‘Trial By Fire’ (a working title)
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2014, 08:07:24 PM »
Chapter II

Wednesday 24th December, 1919 at 221a Baker Street, Marylebone.

Willard Cornelius Waterloo Clarence Wooster or as we know him, Mad Lord Snapcase had just returned from giving his upstairs neighbours some rough shag for Christmas, in the vain hope that the thin one would stop playing his infernal violin at all hours of the day and night. He’d bought some shag for himself as well at the tobacconists and he was lighting his pipe when there came a knock at the door of 221a, his London flat. A wisp of smoke escaped from his pipe as Old Scrotum, the aged family retainer tottered by to open the door. Cautiously, Snapcase inserted a fresh wisp as Scrotum showed the guests in, taking their hats and coats which were heavily coated with snow.

“Alfie, old sport” gasped Snapcase for it was indeed Lord Milner, the Colonial Secretary who had crossed his humble threshold. “Hot toddies all round, Scrotum” ordered Snapcase. “Now then, young Willard,” said Milner “allow me to introduce my colleagues. This is Sir Hugh Trenchard, Chief of the Air Staff and Superintendent Battle of the Yard”. “Pleased to meet you both, don’t y’know” burbled Snapcase.


A clandestine meeting.

Earlier in the day, these three luminaries had met at Lord Milner’s club, the Carlton in St. James. “I don’t like involving that buffoon, Snapcase”, Trenchard had opined over his brandy glass. “I agree the man’s a fool, blundering about in mysteries that don’t concern him like a drunken hippopotamus in a bordello”, agreed Superintendent Battle. “Now look,” said Lord Milner “we’ve been over this same ground before with Winston, we need to get our man into British Somaliland, as agreed and the best plan is to disguise him as the servant of that blustering, pompous oaf!” “So we’re agreed” replied Trenchard “we only tell Snapcase as much as he needs to know”. “Exactly!” said Milner.


The Carlton Club.

So here they were at Baker Street, getting outside of Old Scrotum’s hot toddies. “The way it is, old man” confided Milner “we desperately need to get a man on the inside in British Somaliland”. “And you’re he” added Trenchard. “Oh I say, fellows, whizzo!” ejaculated the Mad Lord enthusiastically.


“Oh I say, fellows, whizzo!” ejaculated the Mad Lord enthusiastically.

“We’re after this Mad Mullah chappie don’t y’see, Mohammed Abdullah Hassan. He’s been a thorn in our side for years. We at the Colonial Office” stated Milner “have decided to put an end to him and his gang of ruffians and ne’er-do-wells, once and for all. Old ‘Jumbo’ Wilson [Chief of the Imperial General Staff] told me it would take two divisions and cost several million quid”. “Well, I told ‘Jumbo’ straight” interrupted Trenchard “I’ll take one squadron of de Havilland DH9s, use whatever pongoes and camel-jockeys are already there and the R.A.F. will do the whole bally thing for £100,000!”

“We’ll leave Battle here to give you a more detailed briefing, and of course, I almost forgot to tell you about the abducted Worsley girl. Bit of a side-show but Battle will give you all the griff, old boy, toodle ooh” and with that Milner and Trenchard left Snapcase’s cosy Baker Street abode and disappeared off into the snowstorm.



To be continued……………………………….
« Last Edit: March 30, 2014, 12:13:30 PM by Mad Lord Snapcase »

Offline Amalric

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Re: ‘Trial By Fire’ (a working title)
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2014, 04:15:44 AM »
Great read!
Keep'm coming!

Offline FramFramson

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Re: ‘Trial By Fire’ (a working title)
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2014, 05:20:23 AM »
This is going to be good! I can feel it in my brisket!

Offline Valerik

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Tisk, tisk, tisk...
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2014, 05:28:38 AM »
NOW you've gone n'done it!!

Just couldn't let  O'l Fred Rest In Peace eh?




“Oh I say, fellows, whizzo!”

NOT Mad Lord Snaphaunce at all...

Rather tis a noble fellow who LIVED Pulp Adventure, long before twas cool,

Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Augustus Burnaby, Royal Horse Guards  1842-1885

Of all the Victorian Gentleman Adventurers out there, this bravest of the Queen's soldiers must ever remain my all time favourite!   

Fact beats fiction, & beggars the imagination,  Flashman pales by comparison.

Consider:

Quote
Abu Klea

Come listen to my story boys,
There's news from overseas,
The Camel Corps has held their own
And gained a victory.

Weep not my boys for those who fell,
They did not flinch nor fear,
They stood their ground like Englishmen,
And died at Abu Klea.

No more our Colonel's form we'll see,
His foes have struck him down.
His life on earth alas is o'er
But not his great reknown.

No more his merry voice we'll hear,
Nor words of stern command,
He died as he had often wished,
His sabre in his hand.

Weep not me boys for those who fell,
They did not flinch nor fear,
They stood their ground like Englishmen,
And died at Abu Klea.

Now Horse Guards Blue both old and young,
Each man from front to rear,
Remember Col Burnaby at sandy Abu Klea.
And when Old England calls her Blues to battle soon or late,
We shan't forget how soldierly the Col met his fate.

Weep not me boys for those who fell,
They did not flinch nor fear,
They stood their ground like Englishmen,
And died at Abu Klea.


W. Stubbs/Traditional
[/i]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dy70aBufFo
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

   
Quote
The Battle of Abu Klea

    Ye sons of Mars, come join with me,
    And sing in praise of Sir Herbert Stewart's little army,
    That made ten thousand Arabs flee
    At the charge of the bayonet at Abu Klea.

    General Stewart's force was about fifteen hundred all told,
    A brave little band, but, like lions bold,
    They fought under their brave and heroic commander,
    As gallant and as skilful as the great Alexander.

    And the nation has every reason to be proud,
    And in praise of his little band we cannot speak too loud,
    Because that gallant fifteen hundred soon put to flight
    Ten thousand Arabs, which was a most beautiful sight.

    The enemy kept up a harmless fire all night,
    And threw up works on General Stewart's right;
    Therefore he tried to draw the enemy on to attack,
    But they hesitated, and through fear drew back.

    But General Stewart ordered his men forward in square,
    All of them on foot, ready to die and to dare;
    And he forced the enemy to engage in the fray,
    But in a short time they were glad to run away.

    But not before they penetrated through the British square,
    Which was a critical moment to the British, I declare,
    Owing to the great number of the Arabs,
    Who rushed against their bayonets and received fearful stabs.

    Then all was quiet again until after breakfast,
    And when the brave little band had finished their repast,
    Then the firing began from the heights on the right,
    From the breastworks they had constructed during the night;

    By eight o'clock the enemy was of considerable strength,
    With their banners waving beautifully and of great length,
    And creeping steadily up the grassy road direct to the wells,
    But the British soon checked their advance by shot and shells.

    At ten o'clock brave General Stewart made a counter-attack,
    Resolved to turn the enemy on a diferent track;
    And he ordered his men to form a hollow square,
    Placing the Guards in the front, and teeing them to prepare.

    And on the left was the Mounted Infantry,
    Which truly was a magnificent sight to see;
    Then the Sussex Regiment was on the right,
    And the Heavy Cavalry and Naval Brigade all ready to fight.

    Then General Stewart took up a good position on a slope,
    Where he guessed the enemy could not with him cope,
    Where he knew the rebels must advance,
    All up hill and upon open ground, which was his only chance.

    Then Captain Norton's battery planted shells amongst the densest mass,
    Determined with shot and shell the enemy to harass;
    Then carne the shock of the rebels against the British square,
    While the fiendish shouts of the Arabs did rend the air.

    But the steadiness of the Guards, Marines, and Infantry prevailed,
    And for the loss of their brother officers they sadly bewailed,
    Who fell mortally wounded in the bloody fray,
    'Which they will remember for many a long day.

    For ten minutes a desperate struggle raged from left to rear
    While Gunner Smith saved Lieutenant guthrie's life without dread or fear;
    When all the other gunners had been borne back,
    He took up a handspike, and the Arabs he did whack.

    The noble hero hard blows did strike,
    As he swung round his head the handspike;
    He seemed like a destroying angel in the midst of the fight
    The way he scattered the Arabs left and right.

    Oh! it was an exciting and terrible sight,
    To see Colonel Burnaby engaged in the fight:
    With sword in hand, fighting with might and main,
    Until killed by a spear-thrust in the jugular vein.

    A braver soldier ne'er fought on a battle-field,
    Death or glory was his motto, rather than yield;
    A man of noble stature and manly to behold,
    And an honour to his country be it told.

    It was not long before every Arab in the square was killed.
    And with a dense smoke and dust the air was filled;
    General Stewart's horse was shot, and he fell to the ground.
    In the midst of shot and shell on every side around.

    And when the victory was won they gave three British cheers.
    While adown their cheeks flowed many tears
    For their fallen comrades that lay weltering in their gore;
    Then the square was re-formed, and the battle was o'er.



    William Topaz McGonagall 1830 -1902

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Quote
Vitaï Lampada 1892

    There's a breathless hush in the Close to-night—
    Ten to make and the match to win—
    A bumping pitch and a blinding light,
    An hour to play and the last man in.
    And it's not for the sake of a ribboned coat,
    Or the selfish hope of a season's fame,
    But his captain's hand on his shoulder smote
    "Play up! play up! and play the game!"

    The sand of the desert is sodden red,—
    Red with the wreck of a square that broke;—
    The Gatling's jammed and the Colonel dead,
    And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
    The river of death has brimmed his banks,
    And England's far, and Honour a name,
    But the voice of a schoolboy rallies the ranks:
    "Play up! play up! and play the game!"

    This is the word that year by year,
    While in her place the school is set,
    Every one of her sons must hear,
    And none that hears it dare forget.
    This they all with a joyful mind
    Bear through life like a torch in flame,
    And falling fling to the host behind—
    "Play up! play up! and play the game!"


Henry John Newbolt  1862-1938

Now I WOULD have been impressed had you gotten Lady Snapcase to snap one of you reclining in homage to Fred...

Or is The World unready?

Offline joroas

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Re: ‘Trial By Fire’ (a working title)
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2014, 08:13:52 AM »
Burnaby was a great hero, but, like Custer, he got a lot of good men killed alongside him in a stupid, vainglorious, cavalry charge against natives.
'So do all who see such times. But that is not for us to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that we are given.'

Offline Mad Lord Snapcase

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Re: ‘Trial By Fire’ (a working title)
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2014, 04:05:29 PM »
I have to say that Tissot’s portrait of Fred Burnaby is one of my favourite pictures, which is why I used it in my story. You wouldn’t have thought from that rather languid pose that here was a man who ballooned across the channel, spoke seven languages, was the strongest man in the British Army,  rode 1,000 miles playing the great game unofficially (A Ride To Khiva) and then rode 2,000 miles across Asia Minor (On Horseback Through Asia Minor), amongst other things. He did seem to have a habit of doing things unofficially as I don’t think he had leave to be on the Suakin campaign. I think he did have a post from Wolseley when he was killed at Abu Klea. A great man and one of my heroes, as you say Valerik (thanks for those stirring words in your post), but perhaps a trifle impetuous as well, as Joroas points out.

Quote
Fact beats fiction, & beggars the imagination,  Flashman pales by comparison.

I agree with that 100%!


Quote
Now I WOULD have been impressed had you gotten Lady Snapcase to snap one of you reclining in homage to Fred...

Or is The World unready?

The world is definitely unready, however if I stick to my diet I might be able to fit into the old regimentals. Burnaby was 8” taller than me but we weigh about the same!

R.I.P. Frederick Gustavus Burnaby, one of the Empire’s larger-than-life heroes.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 04:08:56 PM by Mad Lord Snapcase »

Offline Valerik

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Re: ‘Trial By Fire’ (a working title)
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2014, 12:05:39 AM »
Burnaby was a great hero, but, like Custer, he got a lot of good men killed alongside him in a stupid, vainglorious, cavalry charge against natives.

Actually I believe the natives charged HIM!!

And surely the comparison is invidious.  Fred VOLUNTEERED, or took leave to follow his wars.  Once on scene, no rational commander would turn down the opportunity to make full use of his undoubted skill, talent, charisma, courage and leadership.  Those who died beside him defending a broken square were already there, and obeying somebody else's orders, not Fred's, though likely they would have followed him most anywhere he went.  Lt Colonel Burnaby was a Gentleman Warrior, the sort of professional Amateur/amateur Professional soldier Britain is famed for tuning out just when they need them.  Fred rushed to war as soon as he was able, believing it to be his duty yet eager to share the danger, and glory, with fellow soldiers.  Not without reason was he call the Bravest Man in England, while he was ALIVE, and adventuring!!

Contrast that with General Custer, also a Lt Colonel when he died.  A West Point USMA trained professional soldier, thrust immediately into 4 years of brutal civil war, learning his trade in the saddle, Custer should have known better.  Hubris?  Arrogance? Over confidence?  Likely some of each.  The Wise Old Master Sergeant says "no time spent in reconnaissance is wasted".  Clearly a lesson Custer should have learned, or heeded.  Choose your reason(s), Custer led his men, probably unwillingly, certainly reluctantly,  to their needless deaths, with absolutely no positive effect on his intended outcome.  Hero?  Or goat?  A consummate cavalryman, flamboyant in an era full of characters, personally brave, professionally respected, yet suspect, mostly for his youth and exuberance,  George Custer is no Fred Burnaby.

I'd cheerfully shake hands with either man, but given a chance to chat I'd ask Audie why he did it, and Fred how he did it all.

Valerik

 

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