The Missing Princess Part 15: The Ancient Artifact!

In the last chapter Commander Lightyear got a coded message to Ace McGuire en route to a mysterious rendezvous with Dr Zahn, while the rocket containing Princess Taegan and the space pirate Xasaphrax disappeared from the astro-radarscope. But what has been happening on planet Dormientes Draco with its strange ancient towers that threaten the whole galaxy? Let us now find out.

The large fleet of Imperial rockets were arrayed refuelled and ready for launch. As before there was a final inspection, gallingly the magi-lord Dr Axon the man-machine had usurped the military role, insisting on the inspection of every crew lined up in parade and every rocket before the next gridsearch launch. While mercifully swift it still angered every member of the Imperial fleet from the highest commanders to the lowest of ground crew.

Captain Atrius was not yet sure what the aim of these inspections were. Some show of political force encouraged to reinforce the magi-lords position of authority? If so it was excessive done more than the once let alone at every refuelling and only increasing morale problems in the ranks. But Atrius was increasingly suspicious that some form of paranoia or other motive was behind the inspections. It would be logical that Dr Axon suspected Zenithian spies had infiltrated the ranks, but it was his inspections of the rockets themselves that seemed the greater focus of these inspections.

The great metal bodied giant swung away from another rocket, huge metal arms resting clasped behind his back, the bubbling liquid around the visible brain in it’s glass tank, all that remained of the man that Dr Axon once was, swashing about with the swift turn. Finally it seemed the bizarre ritual was complete and they could return to searching for whatever it was the Magi were searching for that would unlock the dilemma of the strange towers, but then Dr Axon changed his pattern.

“An Announcement” intoned the mechanical replacement of a voice, and always Atrius wondered how so much smugness could carry in such a dispassionate monotone voice. “A Crew/Magi rescheduling.”

Atrius heard in his minds ear the echoing groan surely filling the inner thoughts of all on the parade ground, yet trained to perfection as they were not one soldier of Marduk betrayed the slightest visual sign of displeasure or reaction at all to this news.

“Myself and my team and equipment will now shift to the Shaheen and be transported by the crew of Captain Atrius.”

Unlike the rest of the warriors of Marduk, Atalleph, the Princesses pet viper-bat left in Atrius’s care, or perhaps it was vice-versa, and wrapped about his arm, voiced it’s displeasure as Dr Axon swung his brain to regard them with whatever hidden marvel of technology served for his eyes with a long sibilant hiss of aggression and a display of leathery wings somewhat between those of a bat or flying fish.

Within mere minutes the equipment was transferred and a storm-browed Captain Atrius and a skittish hissing Atalleph escorted Magi-lord Dr Axon into the skies over the barren rocky ochre landscape of Dormientes Draco.

“Captain Atrius” the soft rumbling voice of Dr Axon intoned, “break off from gridsearch vector to these coordinates in precisely 20 minutes.”

Atrius, with eyes narrowed, obeyed. The new trajectory took them well away from the rest of the Imperial fleet, to a point on the planets equator in an area already covered by the searchers and devoid of any of the tower ruins. The Shaheen raced through the dusty lemon skies of the dead world and came to land on a small flat-topped escarpment in a ruddy landscape of crags and fissures.

The Man-machine Dr Axon said but a single word “Wait”, before stoopingly exiting the side hatch and down the groaning and protesting telescoping ladder to the rocky ground below and then disappearing from view over the rocky edge of the escarpment. But Attaleph, the Princesses pet jewel-scaled Viper-bat from the shadowed forest moon of Eth did not recognise Dr Axon’s authority, and quietly slithered in pursuit, this Atrius observed with a smile and a nod of respect.

Unawares of his stealthy slithering pursuit Dr Axon clambered his way ungainly but efficiently into a heavily eroded gully, once, long ago, a part of a watercourse long since dried. There was no sign whatsoever of life, but it was not the living he was looking for. In the shadow of an overhanging outcrop luminous electronic eyes irised open, and the Centurion of the Robot Legion strode forth, hand raised in greeting….


In a darkened throne room on a world orbiting a far distant star a hunched figure peered over steepled fingers at instant images that were seen by his eye alone as Emperor Marduk watched as if from the point of view of Attaleph the revealed treason of Dr Axon.

“It was only a matter of time with you Dr Axon, wasn’t it. Even with the extension of life I granted you. And now for you the inevitable reward for traitors. Enjoy your last minutes, for they are now numbered.”

Without turning he reached to his side with a practiced air and placed a long finger on a concealed button concealed beneath a jewel on his throne.


“You have, I presume, the guarantee of Amnesty in writing? I am not about to go further without certainty that your Queens extermination of inefficient organic life will exempt my own person.”

“Affirmative.” The Centurion raised a hand and passed a metal cylinder to Dr Axon, who immediately unfurled the translucent flexible metal scroll to analyse the particulars.

“This says my brain will eventually be transferred into a mechanical brain at a time of my own choosing…”

“My Queen assumed you would be dissatisfied with the meagre lifespan an organic brain imposes, and that this eventual choice on your part would be mathematically inevitable.. however the particulars are up to you.”

“Yes, quite.” Replied Dr Axon with a hint of uncertainty in his mechanical voice.

“So may we proceed? The Queen is quite eager for confirmation that you have control of the stellar weapon.”

“Yes. The entrance is hidden just a few metres from here, I trust you brought the weaponry I requested?”

As an answer at some wordless and motionless command from the Centurion a Warbot Destroyer buried in the Draconian soil sat and then stepped up towering over them, it’s arms huge energy weapons. And at Dr Axon’s pointing gesture began tunnelling into the ravine wall, rock glowing then melting in rivulets like wax that flowed and cooled reshaped and discoloured.


In the darkened room the Emperor Marduk watched with grim glee as the time ticked down to Dr Axon’s execution, drumming his fingers in an ever increasing rhythm on a countdown unknown to all others in the universe, swiftly that rhythm reached a crescendo..


Attaleph watched coiled and hidden amongst the rocks watching as a great gate of unknown crystalline material was gradually revealed by the rays of the warbot destroyers raygun-limbs. Dr Axon waited with his metal feet mere centimetres from the flow of molten rock eager to get his electronic senses closer to the strange inscription on the crystalline door.. then, suddenly, his whole body twitched and spasmed! From the iconic bejewelled eye emblem worn upon the uniform of every citizen of the Imperium of Marduk and in Dr Axon’s case set into the mechanism of the translucent case which sustained his life, pulsed a strange radiant series of concentric circles of light followed by arcing and deadly electricity that lashed around the brain case and into the brain itself! The sustaining liquid boiled and frothed as portions of the brain popped and burst till at last the glassteel shattered and the remaining fragments of cerebral matter streamed out like a stew to pour onto the sand! The lifeless form of Dr Axon slumped forward on it’s feet, as the slurry continued to drain to a trickle before the impassive features but shocked poses of the robot legionnaires!


“Thus perish all traitors to my reign.” Whispered Emperor Marduk to the image seen by him alone. He depressed a hidden button on his throne. “Orders to Captain Damqi, redirect all your forces to the current coordinates of Captain Atrius, I want a sizable ground force ready for combat within the hour. Orders for Captain Atrius, once the force of Captain Damqi arrives you are to return to searching for the missing Imperial Daughter, this order cannot be countermanded until fulfilled.”

The Emperor, the Man-God, Marduk the First and Only, had lived for aeons and had found little in life surprising… still when he returned his gaze to the image before him after giving those orders something caused his mouth to drop open and all 3 eyes widen in astonishment!


Dr Axon’s body returned to an upright stance! The wrecked brain cylinder mechanically ejected from the shoulders of the machine body. Then from inside the barrel-like torso another brain cylinder arose bearing within it the true brain of Dr Axon shielded from Emperor Marduk’s assignation device and without the jewelled insignia all citizens were required to wear!

“Hahahaaaaa! It worked! I live! I live! Free of the tyrant Marduk today, to be his master tomorrow! Now to unravel the mysteries of the ancients and harness their power!” and with that Dr Axon strode over the cooling stone to examine the crystal door to the complex below…

Will the treacherous Dr Axon hand ultimate power over the galaxy to the dread Robot Legion of Queen Mechanica? Can Dr Axon trust the promises of the dread Machine Monarch or she trust him? What new thrilling mysteries horrors and fantastic sights await in the hidden depths of the core of the planet Dormientes Draco? What will become of the marooned Commander Lightyear? What fate awaits Princess Taegan at the base of the Space Pirates? Be sure not to miss the next edge-of-your-seat installment of Hydra Serials Waaar Roooocket The Missing Princess Chapter 16: The Shrouded Star Fortress! Proudly brought to you by the Caprican Toaster Co. the toasters which cut your corners for you! And by the Planet Arous Policeman’s Union Retirement and Medical Fund.


Draft Scenario: The Derelict Watch-station

note: This is an as-yet untested Draft Scenario, so some playtesting may be required to make it work well.

Watch-station x-25, hidden within the ice-teroid belt around the dead-star Glork, is tasked with monitoring enemy transmissions and broadcasting our propaganda while jamming that of the enemy along our spin-ward border.

Trouble is, it’s gone silent and the last report was of an enemy fleet trawling through the location, presumably looking for the station. If they capture the station and get enough time with our machines they can break our secret codes. And that could mean not only changing the whole code system again, but also leaving in the lurch all our agents who won’t know the code system has been busted.

So we must burn at full speed to find out for sure, to see if the enemy has Watch-station x-25, and if so to Destroy it!

Time for another scenario. This one is designed assuming two players neither of whom have read the scenario, and a 3rd to set it up and oversee things.

Player Info:
Forces: Equal construction points for each side, of a size that suits both players

Set Up: divide the map in half, at a slight angle, with a wide band of asteroids or ice-teroids ideally 3 hexes wide if you have enough pebbles or the like. At the centre of this place a model or marker for the derelict Watch-Station. The station is manned by only a tiny crew, so is similar in size to a war rocket.

The Derelict: The derelict watch station is made to handle a lot of collisions and so is quite heavilly armored. it is Defence 3. However if currently unoccupied a watch station can be set to self-destruct by a boarding party, though this will mean entering the asteroid/ice-teroid field to do so. Each side is trying to get to the Station first, examine it, which takes 1 turn, then either blow it up of try and keep it intact and in their possession by the end of the battle.

Overseer only beyond this point! SPOILERS! Players should read no further!

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The Mysterious Artifact of the Draco System

Dr Zahn studied the strange alien machinery beneath the ancient tower rebuilt by the Zenithians, his brilliant mind running through calculations of obscure mathematics faster than any computer less than 9 stories tall. He had to work quickly, the parylyso-gas would only last for a short while and Imperial reinforcements were sure to arrive soon. While the energy flow indicators meant this must be but one of numerous such devices with some distant control centre this one had been focussed on by the Saucermen for a reason. There it was! His keen eyes spotted where the careful application of an interference substance had been applied to some of the stone in order to deactivate part of the originally intended circuitry within the lattice matrix of the stone. The Zenithians had in effect reprogrammed the device. Probably it was a device intended to create some special form of stable wormhole, possibly in order to increase the effective lifespan of the ancient star. The Zenithians had changed it to turn it into something altogether more dangerous, at best a Weapon of Cosmic Destruction and at worst something altogether less imaginable. Just switching the device off would be no good if the singularity was already forming, it might slow the growth of the black hole but it wouldn’t stop it. Instead he calculated the best option would be to allow the ancient devices self-regulating stone circuitry programming into effect. He carefully mixed the chemical ingredients to dissolve the interference and set the chemical grenade on a medium fuse, just long enough to drag the paralysed guards to safety….

Mere minutes after the grenade had gone off spraying the chemical that dissolved the Zenithian sabotage away a great massive structure emerged from underneath a gigantic sand filled crater on the neighbouring sunward planet Parva Draco, a huge stone structure that defied all the known laws of physics as it swiftly flew into space leaving a trail of falling sand in an arc that fell all the way back to the planet. The machinery of the Ancients was now activated!

On Monday Brylan, one of Taphyl’s brothers, was back in town after spending some time overseas so I joined the guys to hang out for the afternoon. There had been talk of playing some Warhammer 40,000 but Brylan asked if we could play War Rocket instead. Luckily Taphyl had asked me to bring my stuff in case of such a possibility. Brylan had played the Space Pirates before but this time decided to try the Galacteers. Taphyl decided to again play the Zenithians and of course I played the Empire. I’d not brought my camera though so one of theirs was used.

We set the battlefield up together. The ice rings of Dormientes Draco have grown thicker, and Taphyl provided the strange ancient artefact. The perfect objective for the game. The goal: The Imperial patrol, having just finished guarding the ship collecting the survivors of the last battle before intending to head to investigate the damage done to the Watch Station by the Space Pirates (see last battle report) have been alerted to the massive strange stone structure now in a stable orbit near the planet Parva Draco and have delayed the mission to the watch-station to give the stone construct a quick flyby when astro-radar detects two incoming fleets both of whom need to be kicked out of Imperial-claimed territory! Meanwhile alerted to the Zenithian cause of the looming galactic disaster the Galacteers are trying to stop a Zenithian task force intent on boarding and destroying the giant artefact!

This time it's me in the background having just deployed the Imperial ships

This time it’s me in the background having just deployed the Imperial ships

The Imperial patrol completes it's flyby of the strange giant stone device

The Imperial patrol completes it’s flyby of the strange giant stone device

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The Missing Princess Part 14: A Desperate Cry in the Darkness

In the last heart-wrenching chapter Imperial Princess Taegan allowed herself to be captured by one of a gang of brutal Space Pirates who had boarded the desolate Imperial Watch Station in orbit around planet Eratus Est of the Draco star system, as she was carried off aboard a stolen Imperial Class II Scorpion rocket as gallant Galacteer Commander Lightyear of the Lightyear Brigade was forced to watch on along with the rest of the Space Pirates the treacherous four-armed Kutila named Xasaphrax tossed a live grenade into the docking port! Which terrible fate has befallen noble Commander Lightyear? To be marooned with murderous pirates or a swift explosive death?

“See you all in the afterlife you scudge swilling zwilniks”
With a cruel laugh the mottled reptiloid tossed the live grenade, slamming closed the aluminiglass and goldrantium hood down and pulled the rocket swiftly away.

The grenade bounced and skittered across the docking bay right into the corridor where Commander Lightyear and the Pirates had watched the departure of the treacherous Xasaphrax coming to rest right at Lightyear’s feet! As the pirates stared in stunned and fatal shock Lightyear, with his superior strength from years spent as a child growing acclimatised on a high-gravity world; the superior reflexes of Galacteer training and the skills of split-second decision-making that comes from mastering the break-neck speed of the Galacteer Class 1 Comet Rocket leapt into instant action!

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The Missing Princess Part 13: Misfortune is Written In The Stars!

In the last chapter Princess Taegan and Commander Lightyear, marooned on an Imperial watch-station with the remains of the slaughtered crew fought the mentalist illusions of an extraordinarily deadly menace of space: an Adult Brain Parasite, using an old folk-tale of the Empire about Emperor Marduk as a shield and a weapon but even as the tendriled malevolent brain’s reign of terror was ended they discovered the space outside was filled with battle and the station about to be boarded by Space Pirates! Now let us uncover their fate..

Princess Taegan looked down at the astro-radar screen then up to Commander Lightyear, “The Pirates are coming closer! They must mean to plunder the station!”

“How big a rocket?”

“Probably a Class 2 Stiletto by the rad leakage.”

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3 Sided Battle in the Draco System!

“Blue Devils to Imperial Fleet, Blue Devils to Imperial Fleet. Over”

“What is it Galacteers?” growled Imperial Commander Kurigalzu. Things were not good. Captain Shulme had discovered more strange devices on Iratus Est Draco and had nearly lost his life battling the Valkeeri for it. Then that damned Dr Axon, more robot than man, had sent him off dangerously close to the sun to get more readings pulling the fleet every which way leaving all manner of vital assets vulnerable or tied up and then the Watch Station in orbit around Iratus Est draco had gone silent but for a momentary static signal. Now as his fleet was heading to the watch-station Ace McGuire’s fleet had turned up to really ruin his day.

“This systems sun is in terrible danger, something is using the MacGuffinite of Dormientes Draco to turn it into a Black Hole! You must allow our scientists access to the ruined towers of Dormientes, the entire Galaxy is in peril.”

“This is an internal Imperial matter. Imperial science will resolve this. You have no jurisdiction, this system is now part of the Empire of Marduk. Leave now or you will be destroyed!”

Ace McGuire slammed the bottom of his fist against the wall.
“The idiotic fools! This is no time for pride or nationalism or other such petty squabbles. This black hole would threaten all of us!”

“So what do we do now Ace?” asked Commander Jason.

“There’s only one option. If we can’t get the scientists there with permission then we will do so without it! All ships, prepare to punch through the Imperial fleet!”

But out in the depths of space another force had heard the static-like signal. Sleek rockets slid through the void like hungry sharks ready to descend on the Imperial Watch-station in a feeding frenzy….

As Jason hadn’t been able to play in the saturday game at the Sleeping Dragon game store and had gone a couple weeks without a game of War Rocket and was super-keen to play we played at Taphyls shed on a sunday.

Taphyl had to feed some animals first, but wanted to see our class 3 and 4 rockets in action so i quickly devised a scenario to cover that. There were several objectives. The Galacteers were firstly trying to get scientists, carried on the class 2, 3 and 4 rockets, to the Zenithian towers on planet Dormientes and the Empire wanted to stop any Galacteer interference. There was also the matter of the Watch Station and it’s ‘secret’. The players hadn’t yet seen much of The Missing Princess serial story so didn’t know the Princess was on the station and that this game could direct the story! I told them every faction could gain from that secret and the station was a valuable asset to hold. The Galacteers and Imperial fleet would start at the opposite end of the large table from the Watch Station and Taphyl would get to bring on his force once the game was underway from any table edge once he was able to join in.

The battlefield covered the stretch of space from planet Parva Draco past Dormientes Draco to Iratus Est Draco

The battlefield covered the stretch of space from planet Parva Draco past Dormientes Draco to Iratus Est Draco

Notice the awesome new asteroids! Well these were a gift from Jason! I’m downright spoiled!
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Retro Raygun Rulebook Released by Hydra!

It’s out everybody!
The infantry scale game of action and adventure from the creative team of geniuses and artists behind War Rocket! With playtesting and some fiction contributions by those of us here at My War Rocket Blog!

Be entranced by the Valkeeri Empress! Shudder in fear at the Hordes of the Robot Legion! Battle Wicked Tyrants side by side with Ace McGuire, Jane Hunter, Rocky Rizzo, Dr Zahn and Cadet Skippy! Enjoy a fast paced elegant rules system designed for Narrative and Fun gaming that can hold up to the needs of seasoned wargamers with decades of experience and novice players alike! (We know cause we tested it on both!)

Get it now and begin your own exciting adventures! And of course expect to see even more of the thrilling Retroverse here as the adventures and serial stories of our own games will continue!

Check your charge-capacitors, turn all the dials to maximum and pull those levers and launch into the adventure of Yesterday’s Tomorrow Today!

Countdown To Raygun Blast!

It’s only days before the Retro Raygun rulebook is released!

And i’m pleased to say that several of those involved in the My War Rocket Blog have been able to contribute to the new infantry scale game. I, Bayne, was asked by Hydra to write fiction for the scenarios in the book and all my regular War Rocket players who had even a shred of free time; Taphyl, Commander Whitestar, Jason and Miriam have joined me as one of the playtest teams giving feedback to Hydra Miniatures and helping them to polish their excellent work. Taphyl especially contributed hugely to the feedback we were able to give Hydra from gameplay and balance to proofreading and rules explanation and Commander Whitestar also went above and beyond editing my fiction drafts whenever they were done at all hours of the night and day.

So keep your eye on the Hydra website because in just a short amount of days you’ll be able to bring your Retroverse Adventures to the ground as well as the skies and stars!

The Missing Princess Part 12: Mastermind of the Star Zombies

In the last chapter Imperial Princess Taegan, Galacteer Commander Lightyear and Space Pirate Captain Woz managed at last to reach the Imperial Watch-station in the Draco system to try and warn the great powers of the galaxy that prominent commanders were being replaced by pod-people clones as part of a sinister Zenithian plot, while strange devices on the planet Dormientes Draco were causing the star Draco to turn into a black hole threatening the whole galaxy. They arrive to find the crew of the station all dead and then Captain Woz abandons them marooning them on the station and intending to send Pirates to pick them up to ransom back to their own people! But while they try to repair the stations communication systems to call for rescue strange eyes are watching them from hiding…

Princess Taegan and Commander Lightyear, both now armed with ray pistols after Lightyear recovered one from the holster of a deceased imperial crewman and wearing Imperial space-suits they took as soon as they found them, made their way through the cramped and small stations claustrophobic pie-slice shaped rooms, short corridors and ladders to reach the point the analog systems determined the communication systems circuit fault was. Just a short distance from the reactor rooms output junction. Their passage was tense, making as much haste as they could but wary of any sign of the threat that had killed so many so very recently, moving as quietly as possible in the nearly-total silence of the empty station over metal grill walkways and floors, their breathing and footfalls seeming deafeningly loud above the faint thrum of the stations reactor. Having abandoned the weak illuminators of the Zenithians for sturdy Imperial ones still it seemed almost like the darkness was hungry, absorbing, draining, devouring the light so that it seemed to fade where it should have shown crisp sharp shadows. Despite the sealed suits the mind quickly filled in the smell of oil and fear as their lights swooped and slid over metal grills and rails and riveted panels glinting moistly in the humid darkness.

At last they turned the corner to the junction box, pistols drawn and at the ready, to find another tale of woe. A crewman’s body still standing, still clutching the metal axe with which he had cut the circuit, an Imperial knife still buried in his shoulder and at his feet the body of another Imperial soldier who had died from an axe blow apparently in the act of trying to stop them from cutting the circuit.

“What could possibly have happened here?” murmured the bewildered Princess.
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Battle Report: The Valkeeri Skirmishes

Captain Shulme ran his fingers through his beard as he scanned the rocky landscape and the ruined ancient buildings of the world Iratus Est Draco below, looking for any sign of the missing Princess Taegan. Even if they find her there was evidence from the Valkeeri that there was a chance a pod-person clone had replaced the real Princess, but Emperor Marduk is all-seeing and a counterfeit would not fool the Princesses’ father. The orders were to scour every mile of the surface of the worlds in this system, find the Princess and take her to her father. The Valkeeri had struck the watchstation orbiting Iratus Est draco in force and so it wasn’t surprising when Kurush called from the radarscope of clear readings of Valkeeri rocket-pulses. They were headed towards one of the ruined cities, like all those in this system it was smashed with what seemed to be atomic warfare and abandoned so many millenia ago that not a trace of radioactivity remained, there must be something there of value.

“Hassimir, send a message to Fleet central: Have sighted Valkeeri task force. Destroying and Investigating.”  Standard Imperial policy, shoot first, ask questions of the survivors after.

What were the Alien women up to? And did it have anything to do with the Zenithian towers, the weakening sun or the missing Princess? He would wring the information from the survivors!

“All rockets: Intercept and attack!”

I got a call from Taphyl during the week asking if I was up for another game of War Rocket and for showing our friend Mirium how to play. So I quickly gathered my  things together, remembering my camera this time, and went round for an afternoon/evening of gaming socialising and a very nice dinner. Mirium had some job applications to do first so we started with a small game between Taphyl and I.

The two small fleets, perfect for a quick game

The two small fleets, perfect for a quick game, or two!

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