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Flashing blades: manoeuvres fantastic

Here are a few team manoeuvres that have come up from recent musing and convention antics

Le Switcheroo

Two adventurers who have spent at least a month practicing can on both performing a defensive movement short action as their first action (dodge/sidestep/duck) swop their opponents once a combat per pair of opponents. Therefore wrong footing opponents who would have prepared their defensive moves on the original opponents.

Le Fastball espical

A character with minimum strength of 15 can hurl a non-tall, non-stocky character. 10m on a successful strength roll. This takes a months practice.

The hurled character must make an acrobatics roll or take 3pts damage to a random location (6 on a 20)

The hurled character attacks with surprise with a lunge or slash as an automatic major wound if they hit and there is no parry – the defender only gets a reaction parry or defensive movement bonus.

Le Jean Woo

A fencing character on ducking can enable a character with ready firearms to shoot over their back with a +3 to hit (due to the surprise element.) Again this is due to a months practice between the two characters concerned.

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Flashing blades 1624: an Ambassadors Tales Constantinople Emerald (part Deux)

A busy day of scheming and planing by the Cauldroneers with a run through shadow of the princess Iona (in preparation of the actual heist/switch) both of which will be played through next week.

However during a soujourn Durand tried to milk Venetian soldiers for information resulting in offence, and enhance of insults and a duel to first blood and victory to our Royal Dragoon.

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All Welsh Battalion (VBCW 1938)

Part of the Celtic tigers division

LiverpoolWelsh Free Church Council Fusiliers – 3 Stands military rifle – including command former encyclopaedia salesmen and French foreign legionnaire Dai Gueste.

Welsh Republican Army in Exile – 2 Stands SMG

Free Druid Army – 1 Stand Rifle

Welsh Communist Party – 1 Stand Rifle and/or

Workers for a Welsh Republic – 1 stand Rifle

Treated as one battalion but the factions will be clearly identifiable and will friendly fire each other for first preference

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Devacon II 7 April 2018 Con Report

I had the pleasure to be running games at Devacon II a local games convention at the Crowne Plaza, Chester organised by Stephanie McAlea of Stygian Fox publishing.

In the morning Slot I ran FlashingBlades. A published scenario ‘ the Grand Theatre’ and system I know well. The scenario is a romp with rival teams trying to find documents an English spy-thespian has hidden in the theatre while he gives a command performance to a bishop. The players give a choice of musketeers, cardinals guards or the Femme de Force de Frappe (lady spies trained by Milady DiWinter) plumbed for the Cardinals Guards.

I knew two players and two I didn’t seemed a little shy but warmed up quick and got the system (one has experience from back in the day) and soon threw themselves into the Richard Lester Musketeer movie hijinks,

There followed PCs dressing up as spear carriers to search the stage and then finding they had speaking part (and failing to have the line – corpsing themselves and the musketeers on stage in disguise too!) Backstage sword fights. Dodging harpsichords. A temporary truce with the Femmes followed by trying to get them drunk and critical failure on a carousing – whoops – hic! Beating a musketeer to a pulp with a harpsichord leg. Locking tipsy Femmes in a room. A mad dash for freedom. Blunderbuss dodging under a falling carriage. A desperate rearguard action and dash for freedom from the city guards.

Everyone got so in the swing on the things and my face actually hurt from smiling and laughing so hard. I will definitely use the scenario for a con again.

In slot 2 I ran ‘the Liverbird has landed’ a Very British Civil War 1938 scenario for Mercenaries Spies and Privates.

Liverpool Free state agents ( an albertine patrician, an Anglican nun, unlucky Soviet Comintern advisor, mysterious assassin, Lewis gun toting tanker and TUC radio op) parachuted into Cheshire to rescue George Formby – CRIKEY!

I made some improvements from Grogmeet – made better us of wargame minis to show the reality on the ground, dropped sub systems that introduced faff to no advantage and changed the timings so the initial air raid was in daylight to the PCs saw more of the terror.

Again the players where great – I had a pair of players of last years Roy of the Rovers / UNIT game (Glenn makes a very good nun) , a former treasure trapper who knew Peckforton Castle intimately, Orlanth Rex, the bearer of the Spanner of Destiny and one of the more bloodily efficient versions of Maris the Cleaner who did a brilliant turn of auditing the BUF’s cleaning of Peckforton Castle !

A very smooth castle entry with a rather wonderful cover story of being the family’s inspection team combined with a more ‘ commando’ team rescued George. They managed to cause chaos and destruction in equal measure. While many a PC came a cropper at Royal Reconnissance Service paratroopers as they scrambled George onto the evacuation – our Comintern hero taking a bullet for George in the final reel.

Players made for a great game and ran much better than Grogmeet because of some smile changes I made.

The Third Game I ran was Sabeurs and Savants set during the Napoleon led invasion of Egypt with a team of scientists and soldiers set to recover a super weapon. I’m running this at virtual grogmeet on Friday so won’t give too much away but suffice to say we had a great bunch of players and some great interactions . Death, insanity and heroic sacrifice followed – I’m not sure Napoleon will be happy.

There were some Easter eggs from my earlier (and campaign flashing blades) as well as foreshadowing of Pink Gins and Googlies.

There was an excellent vibe on the day and speaking to people about the other games they played / ran they had a good time in all of them.

The conventions good cause was Skyefest fundraising to provide security for a children’s cemetery.

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Flashing blades 1624: an Ambassadors Tales – the Constantinople Emerald

Having concluded the adventure of the Ambassadors Adventure the Cauldroneers and M. Beinvenue travel South to Trieste.

They open their sealed orders from the Cardinal informing them to accompany the Ambassador to a secret meeting then proceed to the Republic of Venice and secure the ‘ Constantinople Emerald’ with the help of the Cardinal’s Venetian Spy Senator Grimaldi.

Cruising to an isolated island on the Sardinian sloop Cerena they meet with half a dozen musselman Corsair s lead by the flamboyant gold toothed hairy chested Alsalah the Turkish terror of the Mediterranean Sea ! He and the Ambassador have a Congress before the party continue to Venice.

Proceeding to Venice the diplomatic party are introduced to the Doge and locate the Emerald – worn around the neck of the Doge’s beautiful daughter Iona who appears to take a shine to Joesph (whether or not she has noticed Joesph is a Josephine we know not.)

Speaking to Grimaldi they find she is kept under close guard by a governess & elite Swiss Guards ‘the Lion’s Claws’ but allowed out during Carnival.

Fortunately it is carnival season so the Cauldroneers tail the lovely Iona to know her routine, Antonine commissions a shady jeweller to make a replica of the Emerald (funded by a loan arranged by Jean) and Joesph and Durand stage a pantomime of Joesph defending Iowa’s beauty.

Now the stage is set – how shall our brave French adventures execute their heist ?

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Flashing Blades 1624: An Ambassadors Tales – Hapsburg Hospitality (part cinq – let us prey ! )

Consulting plans of the schloss reviewing the attacks, looking at spaces the Cauldroneers determine a likely hiding space in the attic crawl spaces over an empty wing of the castle. A ploy to try and spot chemical smoke from a poison lad comes to nothing so they head onto crawl space.

There they find two bodies – the pastry chef Carlos Esterhazy Rolf impersonated to put the bomb in the Ambassadors cake and a small dapper grey haired and imperial moustached musician – missing spectacled and they deduce from his callouses a violinist.

Obviously this links to an assassination at tonight’s imperial chamber orchestra concert. They hit foot to the concert hall – Antonine discovers a secret door and disables it and they position themselves around the Ambassador at the concert watching for the violist.

During the orchestral pieces nothing happens but as the Georgian chants start – they see the darts flying from the violin from the imposter Rolf.

Durand goes to intercept the assassin who flees – foiled by the locked door but Durand manages to shoulder barge the wall. Turning Rolf is tackled by Antoine who grapples him as Joesph calls for calm using his Captaincy.

Rolf tries to kill himself with a poison ring but Antoine gets him to vomit it up. Rolf is carried away to be interrogated by Emperor’s torturers.

The next day, Baron Von Vulkan has apparently suffered a skiing accident during an excursion with Imperial Guardsmen.

The Cauldroneers are awarded knighthoods in the order of the Golden Fleece

Now to Venice for the adventure of the Constantinople Emerald !

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Flashing Blades 1624: An Ambassadors Tales – Hapsburg Hospitality (part Quatre)

Following on from the attempting assassination with the exploding wig the Cauldroneers need to protect Ambassador Beinvein during celebratory Austrian revels.

The first portion of which is tasting German beers in which poor Dragoon Sergeant Durand got a bit tipsy testing them in case the assassin Rolf was trying to poison the Ambassador. Then a series of folk dances when the uncoordinated Dragoon attempted to cut a rug with the hosts, including during the kissing dance while Antonine kept an eye out for other assassination attempts.

This was followed by wines which resulted in our French cavalryman being ill which cleared his head. And finally tobacco in which Antonine decided to drop the Ambassadors pipe breaking the steam revealing Rolf has hidden a poison dart in there.

The next day as hangovers are nurtured while Jean test fires his muskets a knock at the door signals a mysterious package. A cuckoo clock. Antonine investigates and too late realises it is booby trapped. Attempting to disarm the trap his fails and only just managed to throw the clock off the balcony before it expels a cloud of deadly poison gas.

The Ambassador is saved. But for how long ? The Cauldroneers have had enough and resolve to hunt out Rolf’s lair.

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