Wednesday 22 June 2011

Dread Zeppelin

This week at the club saw the re-appearance of Dave S. after a long absence, plus Paul carrying a rather large box. This turned out to be a model of the L10 Zeppelin, famous for it's bombing raid on the North-East.

This game was last played at the club in 2002, with Graeme, a previous participant, telling people of the various disastrous antics of that time and not exactly giving the current participants a feeling of hope. The large number of charts that were handed to us was also a worry.

I ended up playing the Flight Engineer, responsible for the beast's four Maybach engines and the instruments. The Kaptain was Mark, Dave S was 1st Officer, Tony as Chief Gunner. Character Sheets and Skill Checks are loosely based on the Call of Cthulhu system.

From Furness Wargamers in the Air

Setting off at dusk from it's coastal base the Zeppelin travelled away from the enemy lines as it started to rise up to it's operating level amongst the clouds in the night sky. The engines were powered up to a reasonable level, still well away from the red danger sections on the gauges. At this level it should of provided the craft with a speed of 60 knots.

failure to use cloud cover wisely, with the Zep constantly below it.

Guessing that we were nearing the English coast, the Zep ducked below the clouds to get it's bearings, with the observation gondola, inhabited by Tony's character, still hung below it,

What it did see was a set of dim lights and then some flashes as the warship below started firing at us. Climbing back up into the relative safety of the clouds, it was decided to break radio silence to attempt an radio location as with our detection by the ship there was little to lose.

This gave the surprising result that we were still in the middle of the North Sea and not near the Norfolk coast as expected from the captain's navigation plots. He had apparently already taken the effects of wind speed into account so we check all the instruments to make sure that they were functioning properly and set off again. We reasoned that despite our transmissions being picked up by the enemy that they would presume we were a naval airship patrol and not guess our true mission.

By now the gondola had slowly been winched back in, only to display a severed cable and one missing gondola\gunner, Tony's character now bobbing 2000 metres below in a freezing cold North Sea. With no real hope of rescuing him we carried on in the clouds for the coast.

A second Radio location afew hours later saw us now located too far in land, in fact over Cambridge! Plus we ended up getting buzzed by a enemy plane which we managed to shoot down but not before it did some damage to the gasbags. Fortunately we were able to patch up the leaks before too much gas was lost.

Finally managed to reach London and conducted a bombing run across the city and caused a reasonable amount of damage with the various sizes of bombs and incendiaries, before another fighter attack succeeded in puncturing the leading gasbags, which ignited and sent the giant airship and it's crew plummeting to the ground below.

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