Saturday, 30 July 2016

5P-Ship Log 3a - Job 1 - Coasting to CL Jump

Previously  - 5P - Ship Log 3 - Job 1 - Depart for CL


On the Bridge of the Magic Carpet

Melody on view screen."Height 300 km, speed 27358 kph and increasing."

Rosie, on coms, "Tower, this is Echo Romeo Tango Tango 74656 - Magic Carpet, we have visual on Wheel 1, 100 km plus distant, please confirm departure vector clear of traffic."

Tower, "Wheel one departures reports no change, you are clear to pass through their 100 km outer sphere zone. Please set Navigation Transponder to send 10 minute updates and report when ready to jump. Tower out"

Rosie,"Understood, Clear to pass outer zone, 10 minute squawk and report when set to jump. Magic Carpet, listening out."

Captain Martin, "That was a very smooth departure Rosie, Well done."

Rosie shrugs it off, "Just a stroll down the lane, Captain."

Martin looks over at the other crew member on the bridge, "Anything showing up on Tactical, David ?"

Dave replies,"Not a bleep, apart from the Wheel 1 beacon. Tower reported that there were no scheduled departures for today, just a skybike coming from the Shack to pick up supplies for the Vac Jockeys at Wheel 2."

Martin, "Ok, you can switch everything over to automatic, long range and short range scanning as usual and...."

The door opens and in walks Lucy, looking sternly at the Captain, "And David can take it from here. You are now officially off duty."

Martin retorts, "But we haven't plotted the Jump Sequence yet !"

Lucy replies, "Then it will be good practice for them, won't it ? They can do it independently of each other and if they get the numbers differently then Melody can check both sets for errors. Agreed ?"

"Well..."

"Any other answer will get you confined to quarters with no computer access.", insisted Lucy.

"Agreed. David, you have command."

Dave, "I have command."

Lucy, "Now then, Martin, how about a nice game of Mah Jong ?"

She escorts him off the bridge.

Dave, "Right, lets get that sequence out of the way and then we can set the watch."

To be continued...

Ivor

P.S. I have just ordered a few little bits from Angel Barracks, to spice things up a bit.


Tuesday, 26 July 2016

5P - Ship Log 3 - Job 1 - Departure for CL

Following on from 5P - Job 1 - Interlude.


Next morning, on the Bridge of the Magic Carpet.

The bridge has a standard ship layout, Rosie, in the pilot's seat, to the right of Dave, at the weapons console, with Martin sitting behind and above them.

"Melody, I want you in standard Quiet mode, while our passengers are on board, unless emergency situations apply. Understood ?"

Melody, "Understood, Captain. Standard text and tones will apply."

Rosie, "Captain, after we had filed a flight plan for Camp Livingstone, we had a message from the "Med Flyers", they have a couple of crates for the colony, I said we can take them for the usual transport fee. They will be delivering them in about 5 minutes. Also, some Personnel Parcels from "Ace Courier" to go into the safe for them as well."

Martin, "We are always glad to help the Med boys in red, and a bonus Ace delivery is sweet too."

Dave, "Chris and Eric have been cleared by customs and will be boarding shortly."

Martin, flicks on the coms, "Ted, can you take delivery of a couple of crates from "Med Flyers", arriving any minute, as will Eric and Chris.You can put them in the guest quarters next to Pinky. Also the "Ace Courier" Service will need access to one of the wall safes. Make sure they use the scrambler key code on it."

Ted, "Will do, Captain."

Martin, "Dave, keep the tactical console active, just in case the jokers from yesterday have some nasty friends. I don't think they would try anything, but just in case..."

Dave, "Yes, Captain, still monitoring local frequencies. We have a green light from security and customs."

Shortly afterwards....

Ted, on coms, "All buttoned up, Captain. Chris, Pinky and Eric are nice and snug in their cabins, The "Med Flyer" crates have their Customs seals intact, are stowed and the parcels are secure in courier safe 1.All Droids secure, charged up and in power down mode. The rest of us are in the lounge. Good to go here."

Martin, "Thanks Ted. Rosie, if you please".

Rosie, on comms, "Tower, this is Echo Romeo Tango Tango 74656 - Magic Carpet, requesting clear for lift.
Entities on board, 5 male and 1 female homo sapiens, 1 Screand female and 1 Orakkg male plus 15 droids.
No change to flight plan.. Magic Carpet - Over."

Tower, " Tango Tango 74656 - Magic Carpet, I have your beacon and flight plan. Clear skies, depart when ready. Tower standing by. Safe journey, Rosie."

Rosie, "Magic Carpet - Thanks George. Commencing lift. Liftoff."

Melody displayed text on the view screens, "Liftoff confirmed, at 10:05:05. Noted in Ship's Log"

The Magic Carpet floated off the deck with a slight humming of her engines and began her ascent.

Melody, "Heading is 43 degrees and increasing. Height above pad is 15 meters and increasing. Internal gravity engaged at 1.00g."

Rosie, "Magic Carpet, under way, green across the board. Heading up, Over."

Tower, "Depart vector is 127, report when in orbit, then outbound of Wheel 1. take care. Tower standing by. "

Rosie, "Magic Carpet, understand depart vector 127, report when in orbit, then outbound of Wheel 1. Will do.Magic Carpet out."

She pointed the nose upwards to reduce the effects of atmospheric drag and then gradually increased the speed along the course they had been given into the sky and beyond.

Next - 5P - Ship Log 3a - Job 1 - Coasting to CL Jump.

Ivor


5P - Ship Log 3 - Job 1 - Departure for CL

Following on from 5P - Job 1 - Interlude.


Next morning, on the Bridge of the Magic Carpet.

The bridge has a standard ship layout, Rosie, in the pilot's seat, to the right of Dave, at the weapons console, with Martin sitting behind and above them.

"Melody, I want you in standard Quiet mode, while our passengers are on board, unless emergency situations apply. Understood ?"

Melody, "Understood, Captain. Standard text and tones will apply."

Rosie, "Captain, after we had filed a flight plan for Camp Livingstone, we had a ping from "Med Flyers", they have a couple of crates for the colony, I said we can take them for the usual transport fee. They will be delivering them in about 5 minutes. Also, some Personnel Parcels from "Ace Courier" to go into the safe.

Martin, "Always glad to help the Med boys in red, and a bonus Ace delivery is sweet too."

Dave, "Chris and Eric have been cleared by customs and will be boarding shortly."

Martin, on coms,"Ted, can you take delivery of a couple of crates from Med flyers, arriving any minute, as will Eric and Chris.Put them in the guest quarters next to Pinky."

Ted, "Will do, Captain."

Martin, "Dave, keep the tactical console active, just in case the jokers from yesterday have some nasty friends. I don't think they would try anything, but just in case..."

Dave, "Yes, Captain, still monitoring local frequencies. Green light from Security and customs."

Shortly afterwards....

Ted, on coms, "All buttoned up, Captain. Chris, Pinky and Eric are nice and snug in their cabins, The "Med Flyer" crates have their Customs seals intact, are stowed and the parcels secure in courier safe 1.All Droids secure, charged and in power down mode. The rest of us are in the lounge. Good to go here."

Martin, "Thanks Ted. Rosie, if you please".

Rosie, on coms, "Tower, this is Echo Romeo Tango Tango 74656 - Magic Carpet, requesting clear for lift.
Entities on board, 5 male and 1 female homo sapiens, 1 Screand female and 1 Orakkg male plus 15 droids.
No change to flight plan.. Magic Carpet - Over.

Tower, " Tango Tango 74656 - Magic Carpet, I have your beacon and flight plan. Clear skies, depart when ready. Tower standing by. Safe journey, Rosie."

Rosie, "Magic Carpet - Thanks George. Commencing lift. Liftoff."

The Magic Carpet floated off the deck with a slight humming of her engines and began her ascent.

Rosie, "Magic Carpet, under way, green across the board. Heading up, Over."

Tower, "Depart vector is 127, report when in orbit, then outbound of Wheel 1. take care. Tower standing by. "

Rosie, "Magic Carpet, understand depart vector 127, report when in orbit, then outbound of Wheel 1. Will do.Magic Carpet out."

She pointed the nose upwards to reduce the effects of atmospheric drag and then gradually increased the speed along the course they had been given into the sky and beyond.

Next

5P - Ship Log 3a - Job1 - Coasting to CL


Ivor


5P - Job 1 - Interlude

At The Admiral's Table Restarant

After a fine meal was had by all, (meals had been delivered for Rose and Ted from the local ET Eatery) the team relaxed with a drink, while Martin finished explaining the next part of the operation.

"So  there you have it.Any questions ?" Asked Martin.

"Er, yes." said a voice, coming from an unexpected direction, behind him.

"The name's Chris, Chris Don Royton, and that's Eric Vickers. I'm a freelance reporter and Eric is my cameraman / Bodyguard / Survivalist, I heard you were going to Camp Livingstone and wondered if we could come along too ?"

Chris continues, "We could only pay about a third of the standard rate of the journey to Camp Livingstone, but if you want, we could do interviews of you and possibly, your crew and get your profile boosted in the area  Who knows what that might lead to."

"Are we talking  about one way or return ?", asks Martin

"Probably there and back, unless things have changed after we get there. what I'm after is the local angle. You get the headlines on the news, but nothing more. I aim to provide that follow up, the grit and the dirt, that sort of thing. Get interviews with the civilians, some of the grunts, the commander, if I'm very lucky.  It should take us about a day, all told. Then we edit it on the way to your next drop."

Chris takes a drink, "Once we have it ready, we  post short clips on the net to editors of magazines such as "Grunt", "Homesteader" or "Trailblazer" and the news corporations. After they have had their pick, we release the rest to Netblogs. Different material to different markets."

The Captain muses a moment, "Two return tickets at 1/3 usual rate, the Outbound to be paid in full, the Return fee notarized and deposited with "Safe flyer" until we get back, plus", he pauses slightly, "10% of any royalties you make from all of the interviews, before tax. Contracted with "Blog Bank", we get the fees straight from them. That way there is no messy lawyers and their fees involved."

Chris was surprised by the unexpected extra cost, "10% ?"

Martin explained, "Sure, you are cutting into our safety margin of supplies. No transport, no story. The regular supply run is not till the end of next month, the story will be cold by then. Look at it this way, I could have said 20%."

Chris looks at Eric, who nods at the unspoken question, "Ok, Captain Martin, you have two new passengers."

Martin smiles, "Good, now that's settled, let's seal it with a drink and you can get to know everybody."

Eric, "We would be delighted."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Meanwhile, in an altogether shadier part of town....

A hooded figure knocks on a door.

The inset grille slides back and a gruff voice asks, "Who is it ?"

The figure replies, "Slinky, its me, Specs. Have you got a place where I can lie low ?"

"Sure mate, come on in,"

Assorted bolts clunk and the door swings open, revealing a dimly lit hall. Specs wearily goes inside, using the wall for support.

"You look a bit shaky, how did the job go ?"

The door shuts with a thud.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Next - Job 1 - Departure for CL


Ivor

Thoughts - On Star Trek : Beyond

As usual, I had avoided all of the trailers and the magazine articles about the film, as I like to enjoy this cinematic feast of goodies fresh off the screen, not emotionally or visually thinned down by previous exposure to pictures. My 3D specs were cleaned and ready to see what awaited us on the final frontier. Away we go on another Trek.....

PRO'S

* Great sets and acting, as usual.

* Good character bonding.

* Interesting alien races.

* Good continuity to previous films. (The timeline is three years into a five year mission.)

CONS:

* Poor 3D quality.

*  The space battle scenes were too fast and furious. Lets throw the kitchen sink against the Enterprise.

* There was not enough time spent on the Enterprise before it was trashed, yet again. (It was trashed in the Search for Spock, coincidence ?).

*  An unimpressive main baddie. (Not the actors fault, he did well with what he had to work with.)

I came out of the cinema feeling let down.I had expected a red hot enchalada, I got a jalapeno. The whole was less than the sum of its parts. I was not a happy tribble. Do go and see it, it may be just me.

"Live long and watch out for Harry Mudd bearing gifts."

 They reached for the stars but did not achieve warp speed.  5 out of 10.

Ivor

P.S. I have since learned that Simon Pegg and his colaborator wrote the script in about a month, so that was a good effort on his part. So, a revised score of 6 out of 10.


Monday, 18 July 2016

Thoughts - On Ghostbusters 2016 (no spoilers)

Just to let you know right off the bat where I stand, as a general rule, I am not a great fan of what is known as "re-imagining" in film making, with the honorable exceptions of the latest two (and hopefully three - I have not seen "Beyond" yet) Star Trek movies. I would much prefer if they set the latest offering of GB3 further along the timeline of Ghostbusters 1 and GB 2, instead of a rehashing of an old favorite, this could have easily be done in this case.

 The new lady team of paranormal "butt-kickers" could have been scripted as family members of the old well loved crew, this would have been easily done as Dan Aykroyd still has the rights to Ghostbusters and two of the old stalwarts did have cameo roles in the film anyway.

I watched the 2d version due to circumstances, but I would imagine the 3d version would give a better enjoyment factor in this instance. The 2d graphics were acceptable, but not in the WOW category, as you would hope for. Reasonable quality performances from the actors, but this was not supposed to be Shakespeare, so no complaints there.

The plot was average, not that I was expecting much from this slapstick genre film. But, considering they had a free hand, I was not greatly impressed with the results. It is just out there to make money, not to please the film going public.

Could have done better.    6 out of 10.

Ivor

Saturday, 2 July 2016

W3 - Road Attack Rules tryout

Hi all,
           This is just a quick tryout of the Wastelands 3 Vehicle attack rules, with a couple of my house rules thrown in for good measure. My apologies, but a bit of imagination is needed, there is no actual "tail gunner" or shield on the back of the truck - I did not have any 15 mm characters to use or the passenger firing out of the car, plus it has a windshield, it is not exactly a Mad Max quality setting like the great layout that was at Salute 2016.

House Rule - Obstruction ahead - Roll a d20 each turn.

1-3 = Off road to Left,
or central reservation for highways..
9 = Left highway,
10 = Middle highway,
11 = Right highway,
18-20 = Off road to right.
(Amend number of lanes
 to suit your layout).

House Rule - Visibility - Roll for a visibility change every three turns.

2 x d6 *10 feet =  This is the distance from the front of the leading truck / car to where
 the object / car / truck appears out of the mist and put on the table.

Note: Different vehicles may be in different thicknesses of visibility as the winds blow
 about them and change the view. Possibly, you could have a roadside marker
 for the smog distance as it alters for the vehicles at that point.

Optional - Roll for weaponry available.

------------------

Status

The truck, driven by Sandy, is towing a flatbed with shielding on the back end
 (giving a -2 to hit roll), with a civilian  "Tail Gunner", Raven using a bow and arrow.
Optional - roll a 2 x d20 for number of his arrows left.
Optional - roll a d4-1 for number of  Molotov Cocktails he has made up.

The car, driven by Whizz, has a militia passenger, Beaky, who is armed with a pistol.
Optional - roll a d6 for number of bullets he has left.

Roll a 1 on a d4 for a windshield fitted on the car (this gives -1 to hit roll
 against arrows, but not bullets.).

Note: An arrow fired from a modern sports bow can penetrate a car windscreen,
 but most of its force would be spent on impact, so I estimate no damage done to the target.

If there is no windshield in the vehicle, then the driver could also be a target, not just the
 passenger. Both of them are classed as being in light cover.(-1 to hit roll). State who
 you are aiming at before shooting.
Optional - Not used here, roll on loss of control table instead of to hit table.

Starting Positions
Turn 1

Visibility = 90'
 Obstruction Roll =14 - None.

The truck's speed is 5, in the right hand lane.

The car's speed is 5.
Position =  5' behind the truck.
 It has no windshield.

Initiative - Roll a d20 = The car wins 15 to 8.

The car spends its action point. -
Whizz plans to drift to the left and accelerate.

Sandy, in the truck plans no action this turn.

Move - The car drifts left and accelerates to 7, beginning to
overtake the truck, which remains at the same speed of 5.

The car's militia passenger, Beaky, shoots
 at Raven on the flatbed, 2 and misses.

The "tail gunner", Raven returns fire at
Beaky - 2 missing also.

Turn 2

Obstruction Roll =18 - Off road to the right.

The truck's speed is 5 in the right lane.  
The car's speed is 7 in the left hand lane.

The car spends its action point. -
Whizz plans to decelerate.

Sandy, plans no action this turn.

Move the car forward relative to
 the truck-Whizz decelerates by
 1 to 6, to give Beaky a smoother
 ride and help him aim.

The car passenger, Beaky, shoots
 at Raven on the flatbed, 2 and misses.

The "tail gunner", Raven, returns
 fire - 4, the arrow misses.

Obstruction appears, top left
Turn 3

Roll for visibility - 5 + 4 * 10 = 90',
it remains fairly good.

Obstruction Roll =19

A warning post looms out of the  mist, off road to the left, 90' in
 front of truck front bumper.

The truck speed is 5.
Its position = Right Lane.

The car speed is 6.
Position = Left Lane, 3 foot forward
 of truck rear bumper.

The car spends its action point. -
Whizz plans to sideswipes the truck

Sandy, in the truck plans no action.

Move car  -Whizz sideswipes the truck.

Car Attack roll = 26.

Truck defending roll = 33.

So, the car takes a whopping 33 points
of damage, leaving only 2 points left.
And

Around
Critical damage done, so roll on Control Loss table = 8.

The result is that it bounces off the truck and spins off the road 360
 degrees and comes to a complete halt, just in front of a warning post
 regarding a large mast that had been knocked over in the past.

They
Sandy, in the truck feels a slight wobble at the back, he checks
 the rear mirror and grins as he sees the car spinning wildly off
 the road.
Go

 SKREEE...

Car finally skids to a halt
Beaky is dizzy after the spin, so holds fire.

Raven takes the opportunity to
 shoot at Whizz as he comes into
view - 4, it misses.

Turn 4

Obstruction Roll  = 7 - Nil.

The truck speed is 5.
Its position = Right Lane.

The car speed is zero, stationary.
Position = Off the highway to the
 left.

The car spends its action point. -
Whizz has no option but to reverse.

Sandy takes no action this turn.

Move  - The car reverses by 5 back
 almost onto the road and the truck gains ground.

Both passengers hold fire.

Whizz looses sight of the truck in the thickening mist.

Turn 5

Obstruction Roll  = 7 - Nil.

The truck speed is 5.
Its position = Right Lane.

The car speed is 5 Reversing.
 Position = Off the highway to the
 left.

The car spends its action point. -
Whizz slows to a stop

Move the truck forward and the
 car is stationary, but at least back
 onto the road.

Sandy, in the truck takes no action
 this turn.


Turn 6

The visibility drops to 40' for Sandy, but
 is still at 90' for Whizz.

Obstruction Roll =19 - A boulder appears
 out of the mist, off road to the right.

The truck speed is 5, in the right lane. 
The car speed is 0 stationary.
Position = In the left lane.

The car spends its action point. -
Whizz plans to accelerate.

Sandy, in the truck plans to decelerate,
because the mist is getting thicker for him.

Move - Whizz floors the accelerator and
with a screech of tyres, he darts away
again and accelerates to 5, eager to catch
 his prey.

Sandy drops a gear and goes down to 3.


Turn 7

Obstruction Roll =10

A boulder is in the left lane. (There
 must have been an avalanche.)

The truck's speed is 3. 

The car speed is 5.

The car spends its action point. -
Whizz plans to accelerate.

Sandy takes no action this turn.

Move - Whizz accelerates to 8,
 eager to catch his prey. Sandy
 remains calm and steady at 3.


Turn 8

The visibility remains at 40' for Sandy, but
 drops to 70' for Whizz. He still cannot see
 the truck yet.

Obstruction Roll = 8 - nothing.

The truck's speed is 3.
Its position = Right Lane.

The car's speed is 8.
Position = In the left lane.

The car spends its action point. -
Whizz plans to accelerate again
as the truck seems to have
 eluded him.

(Note: I did a random roll here
 to fairly decide the car's action

1-2 Slow,
3-4 Same pace,
5-6 Accelerate.

The roll was 5.)

Sandy takes no action this turn.

Move - Whizz accelerates to 9, eager
 to catch his prey. Sandy remains
 calm and steady at 3.



Turn 9

The visibility lifts slightly to 50' for

 Sandy, but drops to 40' for Whizz.

 The back of the truck has suddenly
 popped out the back of the mist and he yells in glee.

Obstruction Roll =19 - Off road to the right.

The truck speed is 3.
Its position = Right Lane.

The car speed is 9. Position = In the left lane.

The car spends its action point. -Whizz plans to decelerate.
Sandy, takes no action this turn.

Move car -Whizz decelerates by
(random roll) 4  to 5. Sandy remains
 calm and steady at 3.

Raven was surprised as well when the car appeared out of the mist beside
 them, Beaky got off a lucky shot (6) and hit him, which proved fatal (3).
 Raven lies slumped over the shield, his bow at his side. Beaky gives
a roar of triumph.

Turn 10

Obstruction Roll = 5 - nothing.

The truck speed is 3.
 Its position = Right Lane.

The car speed is 5.
 Position = In the left lane.

The car spends its action point. -
Whizz plans to accelerate by 1.
Sandy, takes no action this turn.

Beaky's a roar of triumph came just at the wrong moment as it
 distracted Wizz and he hit the accelerator harder than he had
 planned.

Move car -Whizz accelerates by 2  to 7, that's when they
 impacted the large boulder, for a combined impact of 10.
 (Roll for damage 6 = -4 Body points = BOOM). The car
 disintegrates in a fireball.
CRUNCHH.

 Sandy looks through the rear view mirror and gives a long "TOOOT  TOOOT" on his horn, expecting Raven to get up and respond too and he is shocked when he does not and realises why. Life is hard in the wastelands.

I hope you like it, please comment below.

Ivor Cogdell