Wednesday, 17 August 2016

“The Mysterious Affair On and About the Dniester!”…A PULP FUBAR VSF Scenario

After reading several PULP Adventure games I thought to myself they sound cool and more importantly FUN! I decided it was time to get out the veritable FUBAR VSF rules and have a FUBAR VSF PULP game! A scenario is required though to set up a situation where I could create a treasure hunt type game with multiple factions…hmmm…okay here we go…

“The Mysterious Affair on and about the Dniester!”

During the latter days of September 1876 the Masters of British Military Intelligence and the S.O.E. met frequently and into the depths of the night as they perused the information their networks were acquiring about the Evil Genius Doktor Victor Von Hades. From what they gleaned he was gathering secretly from locations all around the vast globe equipment and resources to build his most ingenious creation of which nothing definitive could be ascertained but there was no doubt it would be very very evil whatever it was! Once he became aware of these disturbing developments the Prime Minister, Disraeli ordered that all the efforts of Her Majesties armed forces were to be employed to prevent Doktor Von Hades evil scheme coming to fruition!

S.O.E. operative Edward Bigger gave the forces of good their first opportunity to strike at the evil plans of Doktor Von Hades. Disguised as a travelling Greek Kebab vendor he penetrated deep into Eastern Europe and while pumping a local sheep for information overheard two of Von Hades Henchmen discuss the flight plans of his cargo Airship, the Styx along with the details of its secret cargo. What he heard was vital so using a stiletto hidden within a kebab he dispatched the Henchmen and sent the vital information back to the Headquarters of S.O.E. using his new Marconi Wireless Set.

With the intelligence on the movements of Doktor Von Hades Airship in their hands the British formulated a plan to capture the vital cargo thus stalling the Evil Genius’s plans!

The steam powered Blimp 1’s of 266 Squadron under the command of Captain QueensFordSmith were allocated the dangerous task of the long range interception of Doktor Von Hades Transport Airship and bring it down! For this daring mission Captain Darling was ordered to re-join his old squadron and lead it’s the intrepid airmen again. QueensFordSmith revelled in the opportunity to be the wing-man of his old commander for another daring jaunt to take on the enemies of her most Imperial Majesty! “this Doktor Hades cad had better watch his P’s and Q’s cause we are coming to poke him in the eye and tweak his nose by Jove” he was heard to say in the Officers Mess. The Blimp 1’s were stripped of all excess weight, loaded with extra coal and each pilot was supplied a single belt of ammunition with which to complete this mission!

October 10th and the brave Pilots of 266 Squadron took off from the rear deck of the Armoured Cruiser HMS Incontinent silently at anchor in the Black Sea. After they successfully completed an audacious crossing of the mountains of Moldavia they intercepted Doktor Von Hades Airship exactly as planned. While the men of 266 squadron duelled with the Airships escort of Fokker Flyers Captains Darling and QueensFordSmith effectively fulfilled their mission and brought down the Evil Genius’s Transport! The cost had been high though four Blimp 1's were lost in the action and on the return to the HMS Incontinent, importantly both Darling and QueeensFordSmith came through unscathed. Upon landing a message was sent via wireless informing those in power the mission had been successfully concluded.

The wreckage of Doktor Von Hades Airship was strewn over a large area of rolling plains to the east of Edinita near the Dniester River in Upper Moldavia. Several items of its valuable cargo survived the crash and became the central features of the famous “Mysterious Affair on and about the Dniester!”…

Scenario Details:
15 October 1876
Mid Morning

Faction Queen Victoria
These “Good Guys” were deployed via the River Dniester from the Armoured Cruiser HMS Incontinent to retrieve any and all items of interest from the wreckage of the Airship Sytx. They are men of valour and integrity and in true British fashion will kill anyone who gets between them and their objective…the British Expeditionary Force arrived in the vicinity of the crash from the east at around 9:45am Old Moldavian Time.

Hero Type:       Captain LongJohns
Trusty Chaps:  Lieutenant Broadshorts and Lieutenant Carruthers RN
Average Joes:  Sergeant John Smith and Private John Smith

Faction Evil
These “nasty types” were sent by Doktor Von Hades trusted sidekick Steel Balls to recover any usable items from the Airship Sytx wreck. They are the dregs of society so basically have a similar out look as the men from Queen Victoria’s Faction and will kill anyone who gets between them and their objective. They are supported by African Natives of the Imgoingtoolootoo Tribe…they arrived in the vicinity of the crash from the west at around 9:45am Old Moldavian Time.

Hero Type:       Fred Oddsocks
Trusty Chaps:  Mad Eye O'Leary and Slasher Thompson
Average Joes:  Mahatsontoo and Mewarinmehattoo

Faction Nasty Tsar’s Minions
The Imperial Russian Army learned from the Third Section there was suspicious activity in Upper Moldavia east of Edinita near the Dniester River so they deployed a force to investigate what exactly was occurring. Also linked to this suspicious activity was the mention of Doktor Von Hades name and talk of a mysterious crashed Airship. This was an opportunity in their eyes to gather intelligence so a party was ordered to collect any artifacts of interest and return them to the Tsar’s Scientists…the army detachment arrived in the vicinity of the crash from the north at around 9:45am Old Moldavian Time.

Hero Type       Colonel Potemkin
Trusty Chaps  Lieutenant Gudenoff and Sergeant Denisov
Average Joes  Cossack Ivan and Cossack Boris

Faction Fortune Hunters
News of the demise of Doktor Von Hades Airship, the Styx soon became the topic of conversation in every Din of Iniquity throughout the Balkans, the Middle East and North Africa. It was in Cairo while planning a Safari the famous Fred of India became aware of what had occurred. Being a man of action and fortune and willing to destroy any antiquity in search of loot and lion skins Fred was spurred into action! He gathered his loyal Safari companions and his native attendants and departed for Moldavia post haste. He would search the wreck site for any items of interest (i.e. value) and flog ‘em off to the highest bidder, plus there may be some native wildlife he could shoot and get stuffed for his collection…the Safari arrived in the vicinity of the crash from the south at around 9:45am Old Moldavian Time.

Hero Type       Fred of India
Trusty Chaps  George Bingham and Jon Smithers
Average Joes  Umbootoo and Umshootoo

I won't be playing this for a couple of weeks as I need to build/finish up some terrain and props. Also I need to organise four players to be in the same place at the same time. I'll get the AAR up once done...

Next time hmmm I'm not sure...


  1. Awesome background.

    Edward Bigger is just the fellow to impersonate a hairy Greek kebab seller!

    I am sure crew of the Incontinent will move quickly when/if the ..... hits the fan.

    1. Thanks Ben!
      You stole one of my planned AAR lines :-)
      "the crew of the HMS Incontinent moved quickly"
      Thanks for taking the time to visit.

  2. Pumping a local sheep for information!!...Gads man! the things an operative must do in the name of duty. All in a days work I s'pose. Looks like Captain Longjohns is up against a right collection of miscreants and evil doers this time.

    1. Cheers Regi! Thanks for checking out the Blog.
      There's nothing an S.O.E. operative won't do to complete their mission!
      Looking forward to this game actually, a bit of a diversion from pure military games.

  3. Like myself I sense the narrative and back story is as much fun as the game to you. I couldnt imagine just lining up troops with the sole intention of simply winning the game. The idea of competion gaming is completely repugnant to me. If this spins peoples wheels why not try chess.

    1. Hey OVC!
      Yeah you've nailed it the game is just part of the whole event.
      I play all periods and most of the time it's pure military stuff so I really enjoy my VSF and Victorian alternate history diversions it gives me room to enjoy myself...
      This is my first venture into 'pulp' type gaming with scope for character developments!

    2. Ive ordered the new 'Congo skirmish' rules for Darkest African adventures so my Brit Colonial chaps and chapesses will have some intersting times ahead as opposed to languishing in their storage boxes.

    3. Excellent!
      Looking forward to seeing your review of Congo Skirmish rules...and of course some AARs using them...

  4. What sort of modifications if any are you making to the FUBAR rules to handle the small forces?

    1. Hey Lanse,
      Thanks for visiting the blog!
      Below are the changes I am making to the FUBAR VSF rules:
      * Changing the 4 classes from military types i.e Green, Experienced etc to just 3 more Pulpy ones. Really though I'm just losing the lowest level, the "Green Troops" classification.
      * Going from 1 action per turn to two, reducing movement allowances and including a couple of new search actions (careful, stationary and on the move).
      * One overall activation roll per side per turn (rather than unit) and a pass = 2 actions per figure and fail = 1 action per figure, with fixed turn player sequence.
      * Adding some of my own Skills/Gadgets
      That's about it, the two actions per tuns is already in the LDT - FUBAR set but I added the above twist that a failed activation still gives 1 action this way players are always involved even if they fail the sides activation roll.
      Of course there will be the scenario rules covering the artifacts, booby traps and special events too.