Saturday, 18 September 2010

Talk like a Pirate Day!

Yes its here again -and its something of a White Wine Sauce tradition to have a saucy pirate wench:

Have a yaarrrggghhh of a Day me hearties!

http://www.talklikeapirate.com/

Friday, 17 September 2010

WW1 Described In Terms As A Bar Fight


Sent to MAC by Mal Wright and as he said quite a good laugh.

Germany, Austria and Italy are standing together in the middle of
the bar-room, when Serbia bumps into Austria, and spills Austria's
pint.Austria demands Serbia buy it a complete new suit, because
there are splashes on its trouser leg. Germany expresses its
support for Austria's point of view.Britain recommends that
everyone calm down a bit.Serbia points out that it can't afford a
whole suit, but offers to pay for cleaning Austria's trousers.Russia
and Serbia look at Austria. Austria asks Serbia who it's looking at.
Russia suggests that Austria should leave its little brother alone.
Austria inquires as to whose army will assist Russia in compelling
it to do so.Germany appeals to Britain that France has been
looking at it, and that this is sufficiently out of order that Britain
should not intervene.Britain replies that France can look at who it
wants to, that Britain is looking at Germany too, and what is
Germany going to do about it? Germany tells Russia to stop
looking at Austria, or Germany will render Russia incapable of
such action.Britain and France ask Germany whether it's looking
at Belgium. Turkey and Germany go off into a corner and whisper.
When they come back,Turkey makes a show of not looking at
anyone.Germany rolls up its sleeves, looks at France, and
punches Belgium.France and Britain punch Germany. Austria
punches Russia.Germany punches Britain and France with one
hand and Russia with the other. Russia throws a punch at
Germany, but misses and nearly falls over. Japan calls over from
the other side of the room that it's on Britain's side, but stays there.
Italy surprises everyone by punching Austria.Australia punches
Turkey,and gets punched back. There are no hard feelings,
because Britain made Australia do it.France gets thrown through
a plate glass window,but gets back up and carries on fighting.
Russia gets thrown through another one, gets knocked out, suffers
brain damage, and wakes up with a complete personality change.
Italy throws a punch at Austria and misses, but Austria falls over
anyway.Italy raises both fists in the air and runs round the room
chanting.America waits till Germany is about to fall over, then walks
over,waves a fist at Germany while Britain knocks it out, then
pretends it won the fight all by itself. By now all the chairs are
broken, and the big mirror over the bar is shattered.Britain, France
and America agree that Germany threw the first punch,so the
whole thing is Germany's fault.While Germany is still unconscious,
they go through its pockets,steal its wallet, and buy drinks for all
their friends.

Nobody comes out of it looking particularly good.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Cyclops Land Wheeler

RAFM Miniatures are taking pre-orders for this rather wonderful looking Cyclops Land Wheeler from their forthcoming Ares Rising VSF line. Looks perfect for keeping pesky natives in line on Earth, Mars or Venus...

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Pax Britannia: The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus

Jolly good news for any gentlemen (or young boys of a strong disposition) who have missed out on the penny dreadful tales of derring-do from the wordsmith Jonathan Green about hero of our future Empire Ulyssess Quicksilver. The publishers of these wonderful adventures have compiled a number into one large omnibus volume simply entitled The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus (obviously to prevent confusion with servants from the lower classes one might send to purchase it when it is released in November).

This omnibus contains the following penny dreadfuls:

Unnatural History - missing professors, dinosaurs and mad anarchist plots in London.
Leviathan Rising - aquanef, underwater disaster, murder, revenge and giant squid.
Human Nature - missing mermaids, vicious beasts and incompetent police officers in Whitby.

The omnibus also contains the following short tales:

Vanishing Point - spiritualism, mad science and Nazi agents in a stately home.
Christmas Past - murder and St. Nick in Oxford.

Unfortunately the bally publishers types have forgotten to include the other Quicksilver short story Fruiting Bodies which is a lamentable oversight and they deserve a jolly good thrashing for this! That said at least a gentlemen can enjoy his sprouts without too much worry if he has not read this shocking tale.

Pax Britannia: Human Nature

In our enlightened age there is nothing much more pleasing for a gentleman and his memsahib than a jolly trip to the seaside to enjoy the bracing sea air, gets salt in your whiskers and looks at the waves we rule!

Upon the out latest trip to Clacton, the memsahib picked up the latest penny dreadful in the Pax Britannia collection for me from a vendour on the pier which I read on the train back to the estate.

Another cracker from that Green chappie entitled Human Nature, it starts as a jolly innocuous wheeze for the dandy Ulysses Quicksilver, investigating the theft of the so-called Whitby Mermaid but soon becomes a rum adventure with our hero beset by nefarious coves, a wild beast on the moor, murder, shocking discoveries of medical insanity and to top it all a terrible fate befalls our hero! (one had to have a stiff brandy and sit down at this stage).

The volume also contains another top notch short story entitled Christmas Past. All I'll say is if this Saint Nick pops down my chimney, he'll be getting both barrels of my twelve bore up him!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Pax Britannia: Moving Pictures

Genetlemen, it has been brought to my attention that those of you of a more modern disposition are able to view a short "movie" (I think that's the term) made with one of those chronophotographic cameras on your personal Babbage engine about the Pax Britannia penny dreadfuls.



Personally one would rather watch Così Fan Tutte down the Garden but there is no accounting for taste.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Pax Britannia: Leviathan Rising

Spiffing day out by the mere today chaps, snagged a couple of trout which chef is now preparing, so I'll sit down in the drawing room with a fine malt to warm the bones and tell you about the third Pax Britannia book.

Leviathan Rising is another Ulysses Quicksilver by that Green chappie and a jolly wheeze it is too, the best of the three penny dreadfuls I've read so far.

Quicksilver is invited to join the party on board a giant passenger aquanef on its maiden voyage, but before you can go "watch out for that iceberg" we're on a rollicking adventure with ocean bed cities, inquisitive ladies of the press (a bit too inquisitive for some - hurrumph!), nefarious oriental agents, giant squid and a plot of murder and sabotage that would thwart that Holmes bod!

As with the previous volume we get another cracking short story with Quicksilver entitled Vanishing Point, full of weird science, that bally spiritualism Conan Doyle blathers on about and some of those pesky Nazi Prussian types.

Overall gentlemen, heartily recommended and a must be found in any discerning fellows library.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Pax Britannia: El Sombra

The Memsahib picked up the second Pax Britannia penny dreadful for me which I've sat down and read after my evening constitutional. I must say that despite a fine tawney port and spiffing cheese board I did not enjoy this yarn as much as the first.

Entitled El Sombra and written by some chap called Al Ewing, it is the story of some Mexican chappie who wears a mask and battles some baddies called Nazis (a kind of even nastier than normal Prussians with steam weapons) in Mexico. The Nazis are so bad that obviously any gentlemen would defeat them, even one who is not British. Despite having gargantuan steam conveyances, automatons, flying baddies and lots of derring-do it was not as good as the previous volume Unnatural History but passed an evening away.

The good news though was the inclusion of a jolly exciting short story at the end of the penny dreadful called Fruiting Bodies written by wordsmith Jonathan Green. This sees the return of our hero Ulysses Quicksilver (hurrah!) in a mystery set at Kew Gardens that threatens the Empire. I won't spoil it for any gentlemen planning to read it but suffice to say I won't be entering the arboretum without the twelve bore in a hurry!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Pax Britannia: Unnatural History

After a hard day's work defending the Empire or out hunting there is nothing more than a gentleman likes to do than sit down with a good port, a fine cigar and a cracking H. Rider Haggard adventure. Sadly with Haggard being dead and all, he won't be writing any new yarns and one can only read King Solomon's Mines so many times without becoming a tad bored. Fortunately the old Memsahib has come across a new series of penny dreadfuls that she spotted whilst looking for the latest bodice-ripper.

Under the banner of Pax Britannia, the first one I read was called Unnatural History by a wordsmith called Jonathan Green (who is a teacher during the day and hopefully gives the whelps in his workhouse a jolly good thrashing before meals). The novels are unusually set at the end of the twentieth century in a world where the sun never sets on the Empire and Queen Victoria still sits on her throne (hurrah!). There is some weird scientific romance stuff to explain all this including babbage machines (a kind of thinking typewriter) and aerial ships.

The hero of our adventure is one Ulysses Quicksilver, on the surface a bit of a dandy, but secretly an agent for the Queen. His mission is to track down the Professor of Evolutionary Biology who has gone missing from the Natural History Museum, but soon he is fighting villains on the London Overground, hunting down escaped dinosaurs through the streets of London, fighting anarchists in flooded Underground tunnels and uncovering corruption in the heart of government and a threat to Her Majesty!

All in all a spiffing tale to be enjoyed by gentlemen (and boys of an appropriate age) after dinner in the drawing room once the Memsahib has retired, preferably with a glass of port or a stiff brandy (for the gentlemen only).

Friday, 3 September 2010

Dispatches from the edges of civilised places

Erudite fans of this blog will have noted the blasphemous time since the last post. I have nothing to offer but a sincere mea culpa and beg forgiveness based on other gaming diversions and the brewing of beer.  Somehow though we have grown to almost a hundred followers, so I guess some of the content endures in utility. 

Instead I present this offering, posted recently by Mssr Blease to rekindle the spirit of adventure and daring-do!

'Ere's To You Fuzzy-Wuzzy

David Manley kindly invited me around for a game of his fledgling Sudan rules (Don't Throw, Bloody Spears, At Me!) tonight. Fast play simple rules they worked really well using a random card based move sequence (that almost worked in my favour in the end game) which gave a very good period feel.


I took the role of the "pore benighted" Madhists against the pride of the British Empire and decided to dispense with convoluted tactics advancing to contact as quickly as possible. Unfortunately one fuzzy-wuzzy unit seemed very reluctant to enter battle and kept rolling half movement for most of the game!


Contact was made on both flanks quite quickly. On the left DM's cavalry squadrons took out half my camel unit but came unstuck against a heroic band of fuzzy-wuzzys who managed to destroy both squadrons (the Madhist cannon picking off the sole survivor at long range with a lucky die roll). Unfortunately on the right my cavalry disintergrated after one volley from the Naval Brigade.


The card based activation system dictates whose move it is and I managed two simultaneous moves before DM pulled the Joker ending the turn without the British moving. I then pulled another black card so had a third move whilst all the British could do is defensive fire.


This run on the cards allowed me to seize the initiative and I managed to overrun and destroy one British infantry regiment, who had formed square after my surviving camels got behind the British line, however I did not quite have enough to break the second British regiment before DM managed to pull a card allowing the British to move again. The Naval Brigade swung into action and in a volley of Martini and cannon fire the Madhist centre was ripped apart with the Madhi himself dying as DM ordered rapid fire!


Overall an enjoyable game and it had a wonderful colonial feel with the plucky Brits managing to stand firm and grab victory at the end despite the breaking of one square and the incompetent behaviour of their cavalry.


So 'ere's ~to~ you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, at your 'ome in the Soudan;
You're a pore benighted 'eathen but a first-class fightin' man;
An' 'ere's ~to~ you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, with your 'ayrick 'ead of 'air --
You big black boundin' beggar -- for you broke a British square!

An exploration of debauchery, vice and other reasons to be a man!

An exploration of debauchery, vice and other reasons to be a man!