Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Flight From Shastapsh: The Campaign Begins

Last Saturday the Red Captains met at Game Matrix for the first game of our campaign. The concept for the campaign grew out some games I've hosted several times and have morphed into an "official history of Shastapsh conflict." The outcome of this game is intended to shape the next campaign, scheduled for December 27th.

According to the Official history, Shastapsh was ruled by the Empire's minion, the Bowel, but had increasingly suffered under the increasing influence of British bankers and business men. In fact Great Britain's official Secretary of State for Martian Affairs, Sir Percy Carnaervon, Lord Meepsor, established his offices in the city. Civil strife ran rampant giving cause for the British to send troops into Shastapsh, seize control of the palace, even taking control of the Bowel's palace. In the unique British manner of belief that it is better to be the lowest gutter dwelling Englishman than the greatest of any other culture, the occupiers soon made themselves odious and obnoxious and the Martians responded with ferocity. Finding themselves at the end of a very long supply tail and far from reinforcement, Meepsor made arrangements to evacuate the city of all military forces, as well as prominent families and officials.

Our campaign begins with the air evacuation of the city. The dirigibles carrying the British notables and their escorts HMS Aphid, HMS Ladybird, and HMS Dauntless are at altitude, preparing for exit and return to Syrtis Major. However, rising from behind the suburbs to the north are air ships that are not of clear origin. As the airships and gunboats struggle to make their altitude, they are set upon by the attackers.

The metal-clad cigar-shaped vessels seem to be armed with a tether mine on a pole, and strikes one of the smaller dirigibles. The two smaller vessels, clearly of Martian origin, fire Hale rockets, striking the great Zeppelin Z-2. Two rockets explode in the gas bag, and the entire structure is eventually enveloped in flame. All of its twenty civilian passengers and twenty marines perish in the fireball or are spilled to the ground below. The smaller airship, contacted by the spar torpedo boat, suffers a similar fate, as the mine explodes, detonating the inflammable hydrogen gas bag. Unfortunately, the weapon proves as dangerous to the attacker as it does to the target. As the dirigible erupts into fire, the mystery boat loses trim control and plunges to earth near one of the great bridges spanning the canal.

All of this occurs, scarcely before the British know their leaving is to be opposed. The escorts attempt to shepherd the airships toward escape, firing at their adversaries as they may.

On the south side of the canal, further dangers arise. Martian vessels begin climbing to altitude from the great Oenotrian aerodrome. Their intentions are unclear. While severe tensions exist between the two great empires, war does not presently exist. Will they too participate in a dastardly attack on the peaceful diplomatic mission? HMS Dauntless is dispatched to eyeball the potential adversaries and shots are exchanged. Damage is inflicted and losses are taken, but none severe enough to bring down any of the adversaries. The remaining dirigibles and their escorts are able to escape the horror of the Shastapsh evacuation with tales of the Oenotrian perfidy and rumors of the mysterious attackers armed with Earth weapons. Who are those guys? Despite the loss of innocent life, Meepsor, in his prepared statement reminds the press that it could have been much worse. The British Air Vice-Marshal, Adrian Steiner-Pugh calls for retribution that is swift. "We'll make Nipple-town scream," he said.

1 comment:

Kedamono said...

Hi Kevin!

I remember playing this scenario as one of those "Mysterious ships" captains and shooting down the same British dirigible, if I remember correctly. I think we had the same outcome as well.

I linked to your post from the Emerald City Gamefest Website: http://emeraldcitygamefest.org/2008/12/09/latest-episode-of-the-shastapsh-chronicles/

Can't wait to see what you and the Red Captains run next!