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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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!

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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Satellites Spy on Sleeping Dragon!

Note: Keen eyed viewers may notice that the script for this chapter was clearly intended to be broadcast before the proceeding piece, but we retain it here in original broadcast order

Galacteers! We have deployed a series of spy satellites to monitor both enemy activity and strange radiations in the system of Dormientes Draco. Alas it seems the Imperial fleet there doesn’t like us looking at the mess that macguffinite engine thing they took off the Zenithians is cooking up and especially that it will give us solid warning of any more imperial activity in the region, now they are on an intercept course.  It’s your job to stop them. The data from these satellites is crucial. Protect Those Satellites!

Alas Saturday I didn’t end up playing War Rocket so Jason and in organised for a Tuesday game. So once again the wargame room of my local gamestore would be filled with the roar of atomic motors and the pew-pew of raygun beams.

I was especially excited to show off my solution for all the scratched paintwork my imperial rockets got from transport:

Dun-Dun-DAAAAH!

Imperial Agent's case carrying secret documents? No! Just my War Rocket fleet!

Imperial Agent’s case carrying secret documents? No! Just my War Rocket fleet!

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Sleeping Dragon Prison Rescue

Listen up Galacteers, we lost some good men against the Imperials on Dormientes Draco and some of them were carrying some vital Intel in their heads about what is going on with the MacGuffinite on that world. Now that the decoding department have translated the latest batch of Imperial internal propaganda broadcasts, they’re bragging that many of our men were taken prisoner and are being made to mine the MacGuffinite! We can’t let that insult stand! Also with the knowledge they now have from working with the… stuff, might at last explain what the Zenithians have been up to; the secret of Dormientes Draco and its high content of MacGuffinite. We will rescue them all eventually, but right now we need that Intel so we’re going to risk many lives for few to get at the secret of that world and with any luck we might find out what we need to stabilise that region of space and push the Imperial expansion back to their own turf. So Galacteers, to your rockets! To the RESCUE!

Saturday was time once more for another chapter of fun playing War Rocket at my local game store The Sleeping Dragon. Jason was eager for a game and while I’ve been working on some satellites for one of the missions in the main book Jason was keen to try and rescue some of his brave Galacteers taken captive and forced to work in the MacGuffinite mines from our last game.

So once more, dear viewers, we take you to the barren plains of that lost world Dormientes Draco, perhaps the richest source of MacGuffinite in the entire galaxy!

We see that the strange ancient ruins, with their weird Zenithian technological enhancements, have continued to draw clouds of MacGuffinite ore from deep underground. The strange process causing strange ice-teroids to form around the ore in increasing clouds of dangerous debris.

Or in other words Jason’s generous partner Sam gave me another massive haul of the excellent plastic fishtank stuff! And seeing as it was so great last time we really piled it on this game.

I couldn't resist adding little swishing tails to most of the clouds i set up as we readied the playing field.

I couldn’t resist adding little swishing tails to most of the clouds i set up as we readied the playing field.

Jason and I rather improvised the scenario for the rescue. The towers were as they were last game, and the aim for the Galacteers was to try and get 5 prisoners out of the towers. To try and balance that out I was only to start with my Class 1s and 2s on the field. On the 2nd turn I’d roll for each of the remaining two powerhouses, the Class 3 and Class 4, and on a result of a 9 or 10 they’d enter play. This would improve each subsequent turn as a 7+ then a 5+ etc. And I would roll randomly to determine which of the two long sides these would come in from. Also I’d set up my Class 1’s and 2’s first before Jason would decide which of the two short sides he would enter from.

So I set up two patrols, a pair of Class 1 Scorpions and a Class 2 Raptor paired with another Scorpion.

The rockets of Princess Taegan's Fleet circle about the strange towers guarding the prisoners as they slave in the radioactive mine

The rockets of Princess Taegan’s Fleet circle about the strange towers guarding the prisoners as they slave in the radioactive mine

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The Missing Princess, part 1

The Empire Today!

Imperial Capital

The glorious Imperial Capital

All across the Empire people are waiting to learn the fate of the beloved Princess Taegan.

News reports of a glorious victory against the vile extra-dimensional Zenithian Saucermen pour in from every public news-screen and news-speaker across Imperial space thanks to the round the clock efforts of the hardworking agents of the Minister of Information.

However the people mourn the loss of the Class III Imperial Gryphon Rocket Anzu in it’s valiant last stand against the Saucers on the distant world of Dormientes Draco. With the Princess amongst those as yet unaccounted for many fear that her glorious battles are at an end but others including her personal subjects have not given up hope, even now the rest of her fleet fly at full burn to scour every inch of the world for sign of her alive and free, captured or dead. To rescue her with bravery and honour or avenge her passing with glorious Imperial Atomic Wrath!

Imperial propaganda station

Around the Empire loyal citizens gather round their public information stations for word of the Princesses fate!

Till news is heard of his daughter Emperor Marduk has proclaimed a time of mercy, with one prisoner to be publicly executed every hour her fate is unknown. News met with much rejoicing we are sure from the prisoners given such a reprieve from hard labour in the radium mines of Murania with such a swift death.
Hail Marduk!

Due to the impact on work efforts of so many benevolent executions the mandatory viewing of public executions applies only during personal recreation periods and not work or sleep periods. As always check daily with your work supervisor for your current civil obligations. For freedom, for Unity, for Marduk, for the Empire.

The Princesses many brothers have each sent a blood-stained knife to the capital with a pledge to slay a hundred Zenithians each should she be slain or if captive should she be harmed or mistreated.

Imperial Citizens are asked to double their efforts to support the glorious armed forces that protect and liberate the galaxy during these difficult times. With word that the so-called Galacteers have been seen near Dormientes Draco the Rockets searching for Princess Taegan may have to defend themselves against typical earthling aggression and treachery.

Remember see a spy, report a spy! Report a spy, and a spy is caught. Help catch a spy and feed your family for a year!

Hail Marduk!

Battle Over Sleeping Dragon’s Ice-teroid MacGuffinite Mine!


At last the secret of the Zenithians near-indestructible towers was revealed. Not defense installations but instead some mixture of advanced interdimensional technologies and the lost sciences of the ancient mysterious ruins that plague Dormientes Draco, the forgotten greatness of its now primitive inhabitants scared into superstitious regression by the horrors of advanced super-science unleashed foolishly upon themselves many millennia past driving them underground into the worlds cavern-riddled interior. Now, the riches uncovered, the powers of the galaxy raced to secure the prodigious quantities of the powerful fuel ingredient MacGuffinite these towers had exposed… and the Imperium still sought sign of the mysterious fate of the corageous and beloved Imperial Princess Taegan…

Once again I return to the Sleeping Dragon on a Saturday morning for the fun and excitement of War Rocket!

Following on from the Lost Episode that was the last game (I’ve lost the cord for the old camera so that report will turn up eventually hopefully) I got a brand new camera (in a nice shiny Imperial Red) to take some pics of the game, had my nails painted a nice old gold to match the rest of my colour scheme and went into battle once more against Jason’s noble Galacteers.

Yep i even painted my fingernails in an Imperial Gold to match my Rocket Fleet!

Yep I even painted my fingernails in an Imperial Gold to match my Rocket Fleet!

We decided on another hex-mat game so again we are using the store’s lovely Hotz mat. We flipped through the rulebooks scenarios and decided on the mining conflict, with towers instead of asteroid mines.

Jason's Galacteers in all their fully painted glory

Jason’s Galacteers in all their fully painted glory. Note the lovely effect of subtle star dots he’s painted on the bases!

And yes, even with a new digital camera I can still only take blurry pics.. ah well 🙂
We also added some excellent asteroid fields to the table that Jason had brought along.

We also added some excellent asteroid fields to the table that Jason had brought along.

The strange towers drew the MacGuffinte ore up from the earth causing great floating ice-toroids to form about them in the desert sky!

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