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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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!)
http://shop.hydraminiatures.com/product_info.php?cPath=34&products_id=166

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 http://hydraminiatures.com/ 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 11: The Orbiting Tomb

In the last chapter we learned of what had become of Captain Atrius and met the fiendish man-machine Dr Axon as the Magi of the Empire determined to search for the heart of the MacGuffinite engine complex threatening the galaxy. Now we return to Princess Taegan, Commander Lightyear and Captain Woz as they approach the Imperial Watch-Station orbiting Iratus Est Draco in a battered Zenithian Beta-Z saucer…

In the round room under the scuffed and scratched alumini-glass dome that kept out the cold deadly vacuum of space our three unlikely companions anxiously watch for their eyes to see what their poorly-functioning instruments appeared to have detected. Their goal, the Imperial Watch Station and a chance to warn the galaxy about the Zenithian pod-people plot! As once before in the past when faced with having to cooperate in order to survive in the Caverns of Yo-go the Princess and Commander Lightyear have been dealing with stress with.. political discussion.

“Surely Princess you must recognise that without Democracy people aren’t truly free.”

Both Lightyear and Taegan seemed oblivious to Woz’s groan and facepalm as they went at it again.

“On the contrary Commander. We have examined your democracy and found it as deeply flawed as our own past attempts. Corruption is rife, inequality becomes entrenched, there’s constant social turmoil as the majority tries to find minorities to rob and oppress for their own gain and those minorities then must strive to get their fair share they were supposed to be guaranteed from the start. In your democracies people with the most merit don’t end up in the position of best suitability instead the most important positions are filled determined by those most suited to politics and the hedonistic enjoyment or lack thereof of the position.”

“Your vassals are slaves by another name, the Empire is a strictly tiered system, besides, are you saying that I am not suited to my position Princess?”

“No, the case of the military proves the point, your military isn’t a democracy it just serves one.”

“And the empire doesn’t have problems with Nepotism when it’s high ranks are filled with princes and princesses? I don’t see any Dragon-men Generals.”

As tones became heated the Galacteer commander and Imperial Princess turned away from the cold stars to face one another, cheeks growing flushed and eyes sparkling as they fought.

“Simply because my father’s blood is full of strength and he chooses his concubines well. We each still have to fight to prove our loyalty and skill and worthiness for the positions we hold. The children of his Dragon-women consorts have as much chance to advance as I did. You see, a Benevolent Tyranny is the most stable form of government and ensures the freedom of people in unity, they rise or fall in place based on their merits and each contributes to the strength of all from the greatest general to the merest street-sweeper all through the unity under one continuous strong and wise ruler.”

“Even were I to accept that assessment, that’s all well and good for now, but…”

“Hey!” Interjected Woz.

“.. even with whatever the Emperor uses to keep himself so long-lived there’s no certainty that he won’t eventually die through accident, some unknown disease or even one of your siblings proving to be his match and overthrowing him and what then for the stable state? A Democracy is adaptable, tyranny benevolent or otherwise often collapse destructively or tear themselves apart once the tyrant is dead.”
“Hey!” Woz said louder this time.

“But that is beyond unlikely. Why even if i acknowledge the possibility purely hypothetically well..”

“HEY!” Cried Woz putting his hand on the tops of both their heads and turning them towards him ignoring the dangerous flash in the Princesses eyes at his daring to put his hands on her. He pointed outside. “Look!”
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Sleeping Dragon and the Battle for Science!

Captain Atrius fumed quietly as he sat in the command chair of the Class II Imperial Raptor Rocket The Shahin. It was difficult enough sitting in the position normally taken by the Princess instead of his usual position to her right. Especially as he couldn’t go anywhere without the Princesses pet Vyper-bat Atalleph left in his care coiled around his arm or hanging on his shoulder, though it did help him keep the Princess in mind. It was worse that helping the Magi, the scientists of the Empire, determine the secret central hub of the strange tower ruins the Zenithians had activated and their dangerous effects upon the star Draco meant that he and much of the Princesses’ fleet had been taken off the search for their missing leader. Worse yet was that the mastermind behind the Magi’s operations Magi Lord Dr Axon had implied that the search for the Princess should be abandoned altogether… but the most infuriating of all was that the very same Dr Axon had insisted on being on board the very same Rocket as Atrius!

Normally he got on well with battle-magi, those soldiers of the empire most entrusted with the powerful secrets of the Empires advanced science and engineering. That Dr Axon was more machine than man, after a grievous wounding in battle his vast swathe of knowledge resulted in him determined too valuable to the Empire to be allowed to die. His brain having been transferred into a translucent jar atop a life-sustaining mechanical apperatus, a humanoid body all too reminiscent of the Robot Legions for anyone’s comfort, was disturbing in itself, but it was the attitude that seemed so incompatible with the honourable noble demeanour of the warriors of the Emperors rocket fleet that was worst. This was the first citizen of the Empire Atrius felt he could not and should not trust. And right now he had hooked his mysterious devices to the rockets engines doing who knows what as they scanned, like the rest of the class 2 Imperial rockets on Dormientes Draco, along a grid search pattern measuring the strange energies at work. At least, thought the Captain, the Magi are staying in the engine access compartment…. and that’s when the saucers attacked!

Once again it’s time for another exciting battle report from a saturday morning game of War Rocket down at my local game store The Sleeping Dragon. Alas due to a late night Jason wasn’t able to join in (but hopefully will be in the next report) so Taphyl and I battled it out. This time Taphyl wanted to try the Zenithians rather than the Valkeeri so i let him try with my currently-small Zenithian force.

We started setting up the table with the familiar belt-of-orion placement of strange towers, then Taphyl placed some other ruined buildings from the ancient past of Dormientes Draco along with the floating Ice-teroids created by the towers drawing the indescribably rare mineral MacGuffinite in prodigious quantities from deep in the ground as Taphyl asked “What will the objective be?”

Alerted by 7th-dimensional sensors to the scanning taking place by Imperial rockets around the world of planet Dormientes Draco the Zenithians have been tasked with capturing some Imperial scientists to find out how much the Empire knows about what is happening and see if the Empire is a threat to the Saucer-men’s terrible plans for our 4 dimensions of the universe! While on the Raptor…

“All Hands, battle stations!” Called Captain Atrius as the Zenithians swarmed in to the attack.
“Which foe Captain?” demanded the authoritative mechanical voice of Magi Dr Axon, sounding much more acceptably Imperial for a moment.
“Zenithians closing fast, a class 2 and 3 class 1’s”
“Capture the Class 2 Beta-Z saucer at all costs captain, interrogating their crew could give us the vital information we seek, help us save the galaxy and get you back to searching for your Princess!”
“Raptor to all Scorpions, Raptor to all Scorpions, class 2 saucer to be boarded, repeat: class 2 saucer not to be destroyed!”

Taphyl scrutinizes the Zenithian stats before we start (and misses something which we discover much later)

Taphyl scrutinizes the Zenithian stats before we start (and unfortunately misses something important which we discover much later)

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The Missing Princess part 9: Marooned in the Night Sky

In the last chapter we saw noble Commander Lightyear risking his life to bring an Ice-teroid to the wrecked Zenithian saucer so that Princess Taegan and Captain Woz might convert the frozen water into enough air that they might get the engines repaired and escape their cruel fate. With no air left in his air tank Commander Lightyear has lost consciousness and is slipping into deaths embrace…

Roused from the control panel for the magna-cable by the Princesses cry Space Pirate Captain Woz leapt into action. Hastily decoupling a series of cables and plunging the saucer into darkness he connected the cable from the reactor outlets to a strange device set into the outer hull. “Hope this doesn’t blow us all into pieces” he muttered to himself but the Princess answered him anyway,

“Do it!”

He slammed his hand on a Soma-Pathic sensor and willed with all his mental might at the device to function. A strange green ray was emitted and engulfed the limp form of Commander Lightyear and drew him into the hatch. “Clones use this to drop into combat from the air, rapid deployment… not very good for holding your food for humans though but I’m banking he’s not going to complain if we are quick enough”.

Then there was the agonising wait while pressure in the small airlock equalised, time when he would be suffering lack of oxygen and the pair just had to hover, staring at the strange Zenithian number system counted down on a little rotating dial above the door, suffering the fear of not knowing whether they could revive Lightyear when the door opened.
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The Missing Princess part 8: The Very Last Breath

In the last chapter Imperial Princess Taegan, Galacteer Commanders Lightyear and Jason as well as the Space Pirate Captain Woz were on board a captured Zenithian saucer racing to warn their peoples of a plot to replace commanders with Zenithian Pod People Clones when they faced the threat of a clone of the Princess on board with them! The Princesses duelled and when the clone fought underhandedly Lightyear intervened to even the odds upsetting the real Princess as Jason killed the clone. Woz then revealed he had discovered a way to see if anyone else was a pod person and this prompted the traitor to show it was not the real Commander Jason, drawing his gun on the Princess! How will this standoff end? Let’s find out…

“Nobody move a muscle” snarled the phony Commander Jason, his weapon pointed at the prone Princess, “or I alter the order of succession to the Imperial throne!”

“You forget Galacteer” sneered pirate captain Woz, “that while I have great respect for the Princess I’m not ready to die on her behalf so threatening to kill her doesn’t get my gun aimed away from your cowardly gizzard. Sorry Princess, it’s a Pirate thing.”

“Ha!” laughed the clone of Jason of Star Command, “I don’t need you to care enough to die for the Princess, just Lightyear who will take the shot you aim at me in order to save her from my dying blast.”
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The Missing Princess part 7: The Traitor Wears My Face

In the last chapter Imperial Princess Taegan, Galacteer Commander’s Lightyear and Jason and Space Pirate Captain Woz were travelling towards Iratus Est Draco on a captured Zenithian saucer, while everyone else was supposed to be sleeping someone had knocked out Captain Woz and set them on a doomed course to obliteration in an asteroid field, The Princess awoke everyone and roused Woz enough to turn away at the last moment, knowledge that there was a traitor on board had them start to turn against one another and when the Princess was washing after treating Pirate Woz’s wounds a mysterious figure stole her clothes and equipment and the Princess rushes out to discover a second Princess right before her eyes!

As one Princess Taegan clad in just a towel and holding the deadly ornate Tling-steel Stiletto they had seen the day before burst into the main corridor with another Princess Taegan towel-drying her hair and wearing the clothes the Princess had been wearing the day before Jason of Star Command nearly choked on his mouthful of rations! Immediately Woz, leaning against a wall for support drew his dagger carved down from a Slishian tusk and Lightyear pulled a Zenithian pistol.

“Well I think this might just clinch the Pod Person Hypothesis” said Lightyear softly.

“Ya think?” quipped back Jason.

“I don’t like this, I don’t like this one bit!” growled Woz.

The two Princesses eyed one another as they each stepped lithely into a fighting stance.

“The Clone must have stolen my stiletto while I showered” said the clothed Princess.

“No you fake Bitch. You stole my clothes while I showered; I kept the weapon in the shower with me because I was sure one of the Galacteers was a clone, when it was you all along!”

“Why steal just the knife and not the whole clothes?” Queried Lightyear thoughtfully as he kept the gun trained on the space between them so a single twitch of his wrist could shoot either of them in an instant.
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The Missing Princess Part 6: Trajectory of Destruction

In the last chapter a disparate band of heroes, Imperial Princess Taegan, Galacteers Commander Lightyear of the Lightyear Brigade and Commander Jason of Star Command and the notorious Space Pirate Captain Woz had fled imprisonment by the Zenithians on planet Dormientes Draco and were traveling to the Imperial Watch Station at planet Iratus Est Draco to get word to each of their forces that a plot was underway replacing loyal commanders with Zenithian pod-people clones! While the rest were sleeping a traitor struck and knocked unconscious Captain Woz. What will become of this rag-tag collection of former enemies and allies of convenience now?

In a storage-compartment a strange vaguely humanoid form of vegetable-like matter; a form of seed; was growing; pulsing; forming; glowing with 7th dimensional energies and strange quasi-bio-technology….

Princess Taegan awoke with a start. She didn’t know why but she had goosebumps and adrenaline was already surging preparing her for battle. She rolled to her feet from the flat Spartan folding cot, weapons drawn. She saw no-one up, no immediate danger, then noticed Captain Woz was slumped over the Saucers controls and they were hurtling towards an asteroid field.

She leapt across the control room clearing all the steps up to the raised round control stations of the saucers bubble in a single bound. She checked the prone form, he was alive but unconscious, bleeding from a blow to the head. He was also the only one who could pilot the craft and if they didn’t change course they would be dashed against the rocky doom they were diving into! She started trying to rouse the pirate, and, realising that when the others awaken suspicion for the assault might fall on her, she called to the others to wake them.

In moments Commander Lightyear and Commander Jason were at her side trying to help the pirate awaken. Lightyear rushed off and returned moments later with bandages antiseptic and some strange glass tube of translucent green syrup.
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The Missing Princess Part 5: The Deadly Escape

In the last chapter, Princess Taegan escaped from the Dino-Men and sent Captain Atrius and her surviving warriors to secure and study the strange devices under the Zenithian Towers, then allowed herself to be captured by Zenithian troops in order to discover their plans. Finding that several key commanders from Galacteer and Space Pirate Fleets had been replaced by Pod People clones, she and the original commander prisoners plan to escape the Zenithian imprisonment. Can they get word to their fleets? Will traditional animosity turn them against one another? Let’s watch on and find out!

In a darkened room, a silhouetted figure upon a grand art-deco throne watches an image with a faintly luminous single open eye ripple to life on an ornate screen of polished obsidian held aloft by stylised golden Sirrush. The on-screen image seems to be as if through the very eyes of someone holding aloft an earring as a door beside them opens…

Everyone shielded their eyes as the cell door opened and Princess Taegan threw the ruby earring through the door to the floor as a flash grenade. With a burst of light, the Zenithian clones were blinded! Not even waiting to open her eyes, Princess Taegan whirled through the guards with her Goldrantium and Tling-steel stiletto. It wasn’t just the beloved pet Vyper-Bat she had brought back from the ever-nighted forest moon of Eth, but also years of training in fighting in low-light and total darkness thanks to the tutorship of the witch-women of the temple of Ishtanna with which they bought a peaceful transition to Imperial protection and more flexibility to the usual Imperial vassal rule, becoming personal subjects of the Princess.

By the time Commander Jason of the Star Command; Commander Lightyear of the Lightyear Brigade and Pirate Captain Woz of the Draco Raiders had uncovered their eyes – prepared to fight – the four clones were already on the floor!
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