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Sunday, 2 October 2022

The Mabel Street Mob - Bank Raid

Almost everyone has heard of Bonny and Clyde, John Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson but in their day The Mabel Street Mob were just as renowned for their daring and brutal deeds. Bank raids were commonplace, gunfights with the cops more so and for some reason; both acts were looked on as heroic by the poor and not so poor alike.

I’d like to describe one such Bank raid now, but if you want to find out more about the Mob there are some other tales available to read.

http://vagabondswargamingblog.blogspot.com/2018/09/the-mabel-street-mob-police-raid-on.html this is the first time they came to my attention. The Cops had a tip off and aimed to take the Mabel Street Mob down. It didn’t go well for the Cops although they did arrest one of the outfit.

http://vagabondswargamingblog.blogspot.com/2018/10/the-mabel-street-mob-to-rescue.html is the story of the daring Jailbreak to rescue their comrade before she spilled the beanz.

This then is the story of the famous Little Whiskey Bank Raid; it made Coffeeville sound like a kindergarten party.

Little Whiskey in the 20’s - nothing much has changed on Main Street, it’s still the only street in town. Gasoline engines rated in horse power drive car’s and horses still foul the road way and enrage drivers with their slow acceleration.

The town is still fairly quiet and although Chester doesn’t drive the stage through at breakneck speed other drivers are just as inconsiderate.

This pair of vehicles are travelling at 30 miles per hour down Main Street, a totally unnecessary speed the concerned citizens believe.

Although Chester would have been proud of them.

From the other end of town you can see how little has changed from its wild days in the 1860’s and 70’s. The lumber piles are still there, no new buildings have been erected and the bank hasn’t gone bust as was predicted by the gloom mongerers.

Big Jim's Corral is still here, although now run by his Grand Daughter, Little Jenny, and in spite of the changing times, it still seems to be full of beeves.

The Grocery business is now run by the Chinese, Yu Lon Chi keeps a tight reign things but Chu Mai Ling has turned Blonde Edna’s Brothel into an Opium Den. The town has sure cleaned up its act.

The Tail Feather Saloon is still in business as a coffee shop but owned by the Bank who foreclosed on their loan when the previous owner Whiskey Jack drank himself to death. There was no way he was going to destroy all his whiskey on the 17th Jan 1920 but the effort of drinking it all proved too much for him.
For 10 cents you can visit his pickled body in the back room of the Saloon and for another 10 cents touch the glass from which he tried to drink all the whiskey.

These concerned citizens are wondering if they should support the drive to ban coffee as well as alcohol, it’s the Devil’s liquid and a stimulant after all.

The Sheriffs office is still next door to the Bank and he keeps a horse and car outside to run down the frequent transgressors of the towns laws. The Bank is the strongest supporter of Law and Order in the town and the Sheriff has been known to help them with debt collection – for a small donation to his re-election campaign fund of course.

Clutching his bible and praying for redemption Rev Green wonders how he can increase his congregation and get them to build him a new church. Well any church would do, as he’s preaching by the roadside cross on the edge of town.

As the two vehicles speed by at 30 mph these 2 concerned citizens turn and watch, tut tuting all the time.

Pulling a U turn in the middle of Main Street the small black car pulls up in front of the Bank in a small cloud of dust and the dark blue van parks inconspicuously by the side of the building.

(This is the Mad Lords idea of inconspicuous)

Two young, good looking and well dressed women climb out of the car and enter the Bank by the main door.

Two rather wild eyed women leave the rear of the van and take up station by the back door of the bank but looking down the alley in the direction of the back door of the Sheriff’s Office. Another two follow them round to the door and wait.

Inside the bank there’s a lot going on. One of the young women collapses on the floor and her companion shouts for help. The Guard looks perplexed but his English is poor and it is only when one of the Bank Tellers shouts for him to get the lady a chair that anything happens.

The tall Asian woman says that’s not good enough, they are here to make a big deposit and must see the Bank Manager immediately.

This doesn’t go down well with one of the Tellers but the other one goes to see Mr Grossman the Manager and he agrees that they must extend aid to the young ladies. The length of thigh that the one on the floor is showing might have had something to do with his decision or it might have just been a good dice roll. We’ll never know.

Having invited them into the Office he had the good sense to keep the Bank Guard with him but as their story became a little wilder he decided they were up to no good and started to draw his pistol. He was slow and his Guard was slower, both were shot and wounded by these innocent looking women. Little did he know that he was dealing with the infamous leader of the Mabel Street Mob, Lian Su Smith and her able Lieutenant Nicole Boursier or he wouldn’t have been so quick to draw a gun on them.

Grossman had left the key to the office door in the lock but the one to the outside door wasn’t there and so Lian and Nicole couldn’t let their confederates into the office. (This rather put a crimp into the initial plan of attack but don’t worry there was a contingency plan).

The gunfire drew the two Bank Tellers to the Managers office door but by this time Lian had locked it and so they couldn’t get in. Probably just as well for them I guess.

Anyway by the time they decided one of them should go and get the cops Nicole had frisked Grossman (I think it’s still acceptable in polite society) She’d found the key to the Banks back door and opened it to issue instructions to the rest of the Mob waiting impatiently outside.

Nicole quickly realised that the safe was a large old fashioned one on a stand and not built into the wall, but it had a combination lock rather than a key and so she would have to get the combination from an unwilling and very brave Bank Manager.

Faster than a striking rattler she issued instructions to her henchmen, persons I mean. Loretta Solerno was sent to the front of the Bank to stop anyone leaving the premises and informing the Cops of the raid. She thought, rightly, that there was a chance the small calibre weapons hadn’t been heard.

Nicole, on advice from Lian had tried to coerce the combination from Gutman, this wasn’t working, so she shot him in the leg to further her argument but he was a stubborn old man and refused to help.

Quickly she evolved another plan, one as cunning as a fox and daft as it’s brush. Ruth Marriot was sent back to the van and reversed it round to the back door of the bank. Meanwhile Mad Patsie and Barbara Vasseur were still watched for any signs of the Cops emerging from the back door of the station.

Loretta arrived at the front door of the Bank just in time to see one of the Bank Teller’s leaving. She opened her coat displaying the Thompson SMG hidden under it and the Teller decided that discretion was the better part of valour and moved back into the bank.

Unfortunately for Loretta there was another woman by the bank door. She was an undistinguished bystander but didn’t like Loretta strong-arming the Teller and so she stepped in. Loretta was disinclined to pull the Thompson out into the open for anyone to see it so she punched the bystander, Amelia Eckard. Who punched her back. These two were fairly ineffectual fist fighters and so it took quite a while to reach a conclusion but the conclusion was Loretta laying on the boardwalk nursing a bloody nose.

The two concerned citizens had hurried across the street to inform the cops of the fist fight in progress on the boardwalk in front of the Bank but they needn’t have rushed because 2 of the cops burst out through the door, guns in hand before they arrived.

They had already been told that the Mabel Street Mob were in town by one of the first concerned citizens who’d recognised the driver of the small black car and rushed to inform the law.

There are a lot of concerned citizens in Little Whiskey.

“Blasted busy bodies” the Mad Lord was heard to mutter quietly under his breath.

“Gordon Bennett” was his next utterance as 3 more figures erupted from the back door. They were led by the redoubtable Captain Andy Donovan. ‘Big Andy’ to his troops. As usual he led from somewhere in the middle, figuring rather large Walter would provide a big enough shield in case there was any gun play.

He was wrong.

I’ve reported before about Barbara’s skill with the shotgun and the apple pips so I won’t repeat that witticism here but when the smoke drifted away there were only 2 women standing. They quickly made their way into the Police Station intending to outflank any trouble on Main Street.

This turned out just as badly for them as it had for the cops. Big Jim had been left to hold the fort. He was hit in the exchange of gunfire but treated the shotgun pellets with distain, drawing his side arm he shot Barbara and she went down. Patsie was taken by surprise at shots coming through the window, “by heck, that was a surprise’ she thought sinking to the floor.

Jim looked at the window and the broken glass on the floor and the blood on the floor and the 2 wounded women on the floor and thought ‘bugger I’ve got a lot of cleaning up to do’.

Out on Main Street there was a rat-a-tat sound as a full magazine of .45 bullets were fired off indiscriminately from Loretta’s Thompson.

Loretta had decided to stop playing nice and as she rolled onto her knees she blasted Amelia Eckhart. Then shot Policewoman Juanita Aguila - dead. In the fusillade of shots Policeman Norman Grumach had also fallen but he’s tough and was slowly getting to his feet.

Rev Green and the concerned citizens looked on in horror before taking to their heel.

Really concerned now.

Loretta slid another magazine into the Thompson as she slowly walked towards the struggling Policeman, before firing a long burst at close range and poor Norman struggled no more.

My apologies, in the excitement I forgot to inform you of the cunning plan to break into the safe without the Bank Managers help.

As usual with the Mad Lords plans it was simple and complex, all at the same time. They would drive the blue van up to the back door of the bank and attach the tow chain to the safe and then pull it out of the bank.

What tow chain I asked, and was informed that they had cleverly taken one with them, for just such eventualities you know – well you would – wouldn’t you. Snapcase smiled an ironic smile when he announced this, but it soon turned to a frown when I asked how long the chain was. We threw some dice and decided it wouldn’t reach.

In a blink of an eye there was another plan, an oven ready plan no less.

Ruth Marriot has been instructed to drive the blue van - at speed - through the back door and window of the bank. She had to do this in reverse so that they could use the, too short, tow chain.

Snapcase had a gleam in his eye when he proposed this plan and the gleam became a beam of triumph when Ruth didn’t damage the vehicle in this exploit. Banks ain’t what they used to be you know.

Driving forwards slowly so as not to rip the back axle off the truck Ruth has pulled the safe out of the bank and then set off down the alley behind Main Street, Lian’s sat in the passenger seat ensuring she goes in the right direction.

Nicole with a sideways glance at the brave but bashed about Bank Manager also leaves by the back door and calmly walks around to the small black parked car. Loretta is still kicking Norman in the head even though the poor fellow can’t feel anything.

Never underestimate the vengance of a Sicilian woman when she’s upset.

“Come on” shouts Nicole as she guns the engine, “I’m taking this” Loretta replies as she gets into the police car and they drive off down Main Street.

THE END

Post script: You see the chap in the maroon jacket laying by the roadside, well he was the one who had informed the police that he recognised the Mob as they drove to the bank. Loretta ran him down on her way out of town.

Never underestimate the vengance of a Sicilian woman when she’s upset.

Another wild and woolly game, enlivened by the Mad Lords unpredictable plans although he’s predictable when revenge is called for 😈 there’s no doubt about that.

Well the Mob need a safe cracker to open the safe once they’ve dragged it out of town but Mad Patsie is the Mob’s expert in this matter. She does like fire and explosions but unfortunately she’s back in jail with Barbara Vasseur both of them in need of medical attention.

I guess there’s only one thing to do. 😀

Saturday, 24 September 2022

Shoot Out at Big Jim's Saloon

There was great rejoicing recently in Vagabond Manor when the Mad Lord Snapcase graced us with a visit from his lands in the south. There's not been much activity up here, mainly because I've not done anything but his visit spurred me on with some terrain building and we played 5 games during his 4 day visit and I intend to try and record some of these at least.


We wanted to play a simple western game and so chose to do the traditional Hollywood quick draw gunfight in Main Street and this is how it went down.


Dawn breaks, the sun shines, it’s going to be another hot day in Little Whiskey, the same as yesterday, the same as every day in this part of New Mexico. The streets are quiet at this time in the morning, I say streets but there’s really only Main Street and a couple of paths leading off from it. Don’t get to thinking this is any more than a way station on the Stage and Freight route that runs to Las Vegas New Mexico
It is though, a magnet for every drifter and saddle tramp who passes through this section of the Territory, and the businesses prosper because there’s not much competition within a 50 mile radius.

Little Whiskey was founded some 5 years ago in 1860 something, no one is really sure the exact year but everyone knows this is Whiskey Jack’s town. He owns large chunks of the place but as there’s only 6 buildings and 8 businesses if you don’t count his bathhouse that’s not a big brag. 

In addition there are 3 Cribs for the Independent Soiled Doves although I’ve not taken them into account in the total given. Blond Edna’s Whore House has an interest in one or two of the Cribs and Jack the same, this has created friction in the past. Ownership here is always a little fluid and tends to side with the stronger party in any dispute.

The town is named Little Whiskey because originally when the only buildings here were the Tail Feathers Saloon and Big Jim's Corral, a stranger arrived asking for beer, only to be told - there's no beer, no water and only a little whiskey. Jack found that amusing and so the town was named, if you can call it that.


Chester drives the Wells Fargo Stage run, and this is key to the town’s prosperity, bribery was involved in the choice of the route through the Territory but Chester saw none of this money, which might explain why he always drives the horses too fast. It looks like his lead black stallion has broken the traces and he utters a loud WHOA when he sees what’s happening up ahead.


This might be the Westmoorland Grocery Store but round the back and up the stairs, Blonde Edna’s Whorehouse turns a greater and faster profit. Two of the girls and Madame Pearl De Ville are taking the air on the balcony they're gazing into the street below where this days entertainment is just about to start. Below them Sarah the Manager of the Westmoorland surveys the scene with distaste.


As I said the town’s not large but there’s always plenty of folk engaged in some activity or other.

Murder, robbery, flirtation, - you know the sort of thing, this is the West and as wild as it gets.


Today there’s an altercation between 'The Judge' and Shawnee Mary Thompson. No ones quite sure what it's about but then again no one cares either.

They walk towards each other shouting insults, 'The Judge' is fronting ruffians of the worse kind and Mary has some of the local yokels backing her play.

The protagonists stop about 15 paces apart and there’s some hard staring taking place. Who will blink first. Mary shouts a final insult that goads her antagonist into action.

The man in black goes for his gun, more a twitch of his hand but is then distracted by one of the fluttering Doves on the balcony. He glances her way, smiling, then to his horror realizes his mistake. Everyone else pulls their shooting iron at the infinitesimal movement of his hand and before he can clear leather they all blaze away.

The gun fire spooks one of the horses and it kicks out at Rob Tilney Junior, knocking him to the ground and when Rob Tilney tries to intervene the horse rears up and stamps on him hard.

Rob is not the first casualty though, Johnny Vagabond is down in a pool of blood – his blood! Another of Mary’s supporters The Swede has taken a bullet and fallen where he stood. Lucky Joe Turner puts a shot into Emma de Witt and she’s also rolling on the ground.

Then it all went dark, as a sandstorm blew in out of the west, cutting visibility down to about 10 paces and making movement difficult for everyone.

Lucky Joe Turner moved forward into the dust storm firing his gun as he went. Katie McBride fingered the trigger on her shotgun but her boss Sarah O'Rioidan motioned her inside and muttered, leave these idiots to shoot it out. 
If any one follows us inside, blow their damn fool head off.

As you know, Texas Red is no mans fool and she's taken cover behind the store front, but is unable to get a clear shot because of the two women on the boardwalk.

You might think Lucky Joe Turner was lucky not to get shot by Katie but he was really lucky to hear a rumbling noise behind him.

STAMPEDE – the storm had frightened the cattle and they broke down the fence and ploughed up the street. Big Jim in their path was trampled into the dust by flying hooves. In the distance and largely unseen because the storm was still raging Mary and The Judge have been hit by flying bullets and lay bleeding on the ground

Lucky Joe Turner jumped out of the way of the stampede and faced off to Colonel 'Barmy' Bertram Snapcase who was trying to hide behind the 4” x 4” wooden post holding up the balcony.

That's not going to work for long.

Texas Red was still frustrated as Joe blocked her line of sight to Snapcase, he was just visible through the dust but she couldn’t fire for fear of hitting Joe and that might have led to renaming him Unlucky Joe Turner.

The herd stomped down Main Street failing to trample any of the downed gunfighters. Obviously a fastidious lot and they didn't like to get blood on their hooves I suppose.

Whiskey Jack steps out into the street after the longhorns have passed and shouts to Bill Samuelson, "you no good son of a bitch, that's Johnny Vagabond you shot" and unloads both shotgun barrels in Bills direction, missing with each.

Jack must have been drinking his own corn liquor again, it'll send him blind if it doesn't kill him first.

Probably through lead poisoning if this continues.

I worry for the Mad Lord as the stampede heads in his direction but he doesn’t seem concerned and starts crooning 'get along little doogies, get along kind of slow' which doesn't seem to make much difference to their speed.

Another event card was drawn and Rose was drawn into Blonde Edna’s, probably to see some old flame. We’ll never know because there was an almighty harrumph from Snapcase as his ancestor Colonel Bertram Barmy Snapcase shot Lucky? Joe Turner, before taking lead himself from Texas Red who had finally got a clear line of sight.

Then some grumpy old timer woken by all the noise saw Texas Red’s back. I hate those damn Red Headed Southerners he muttered, and just at that moment the dust storm abated.

It must have un-nerved him because he unloaded his shotgun into her back, she pitched forward over the cabbages and carrots that little Martha had been trying unsuccessfully to sell.

Blast and tarnation she’s got blood all over her vegetables and that’s soaking up the sand and dust, no one will buy them now!

Snapcase finds out the hard way that cover needs to be bigger than 4” wide and Joe finds out that any cover is better than no cover.

The final body count seems to show that the worse kind of ruffians will survive when good men and women fall by the wayside.

Maybe there’s a lesson in that, as the Snapcase clan mourned the loss of Barmy Bertram the onlookers were left arguing about some of the events they'd seen. One unexplained one was that as Texas Red pulled her gun she accidentally shot someone who wasn't who she was aiming for, no one was sure who it was? Johnny Vagabond, Unlucky Joe Turner, maybe the Mad Lord can remember but I'm damn sure I can't!

We used a card draw system as described to me on the Lead Adventurers Forum, the idea was to try and build up a bit of tension rather than go straight to dice rolls. This led to The Judge drawing his gun first a good result for him, but we also used an Event Deck devised by me and produced by his Lordship which lead to him being distracted by the pretty girls on the balcony, a bad result for him. 

Once they had gone for their guns we had an event card each turn which led to some of the stranger events taking place, these might have had you scratching your head during my description of the fight and wondering what the hell was going on.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed our sojourn in Little Whiskey, I certainly did.

Wednesday, 8 June 2022

Rescue the Two Old Duffers - The Game

I’ve left this final part of the story a little longer than I’d hoped, partly my fault and partly Bloggers formatting so I should probably do a precis to bring any reader up to speed but this is already a two beer length story and I don’t want to drag it out any more. The previous parts are the last two posts on here, if you need to see them. ;)

Thank you for the Rescue Options Dave and Frank, mine all involved a noisy demonstration, either a grenade into the fuel dump and one into another building or a grenade into each of the buildings that I knew had troops billeted in them, followed by an immediate assault on the Antiques Shop and hopefully rescue the two old Duffers, I mean Hero’s.

The most subtle option I could think of was to take Rachael Weiss hostage and use her to persuade the guards in the Antiques Shop to open the door and let us in.

In the end I rolled the dice to decide on the specific option and they went with lobbing a grenade at the fuel dump and then another one into the White Swan once the first had done its job on the fuel drums. Then assault the Antiques shop with everyone else.

Just to remind you of the layout of the town, the Rescuers are starting from Aunty Betty’s which is really Aunty Edna’s! There are enemy troops known to be in 4, the Antiques Shop, 5, The Fruit or Florist’s shop, 7, a House and 15, the White Swan. Guards or Sentries are located in North Gate, West Way and South Street. The 2 Hero’s to be rescued are in 4 the Antiques Shop.

The shop layout was unknown to me, but from the outside it looked like there might be a large showroom at the front with a door and window at the back indicating maybe 1 or 2 rooms, probably a kitchen and office? There were 4 windows on the first floor so 2 or 3 bedrooms and a bathroom, old buildings in a village probably had a cellar and maybe and attic or loft space.

Once I laid my cunning assault plan I rolled dice to see which of these rooms existed so even with a solo game there was a reasonable element of surprise for me in assaulting the shop.

I then rolled some more dice to decide where the rest of the enemy elements were located, the ones that hadn’t been discovered in the initial reconnaissance and finally we’re all set for the game to begin.

Sorry – not quite - In the game each element or individual only acts if they pass an activation roll, I’d decided that it takes 3 active turns to get dressed, clean their teeth, pick up their weapons etc, 1 turn to go downstairs and 1 turn to open the door and leave the house. So that’s going to translate into a minimum of 5 turns plus any inactive turns before each figure is out on the street, of course if the Rescuers enter a house they might encounter enemy cleaning their teeth or running downstairs etc etc.

Ok are you up to speed – Then I’ll begin.

THE PLAN.

Vaggers asserting his male authority said they needed a distraction, an assault crew, a cordon team and a back up team, he’s read Sun Tzu, Bunty suggested they needed a surprise as well as a distraction she’d read the Wiley Woman and they all thought hers was a good idea, especially when she suggested the surprise.

At the mention of grenades and explosions, Mad Patsy’s eyes lit up and she volunteered to go and throw them, Sally decided she must ensure Patsy threw them at the right time and at the right target so had to accompany her.

Once the fuel dump exploded Barbara using the shotgun as a door knocker would blow the back door of the Antiques Shop open and Spankers would rush in, followed by Barbara. At the same time Vaggers and Bunty would attack the shop from the front with Isabelle and Nicole providing covering fire from the flanks to try and stop the Afrika Korps and Italian sentries from interfering in the attack.

They knew the front door of the shop was locked but Bunty’s surprise should overcome that problem.

The game is a foot and with some appalling dice throwing for the Italian Sentries, it turned out that they were all wrapped up in their beds and there were no sentries set for this night, I imagine heads might roll when this fact is discovered by the High Command.

Turn 1 Patsy and Sally left for the fuel dump, you have to imagine it’s dark and visibility is only 12”, unless of course you are illuminated by a big fire, but more of that later.

Because they were expecting Italian Sentries on South Street, they had taken the bold decision to go the shortest route through the town to avoid them. Given more time they should have gone out into the country and headed through the fields and back lanes approaching the Fuel dump from the West but Patsy was wearing her new red shoes and refused to get them muddy so they took the short route. They went down the alley between the Antiques shop with the Gestapo billeted in it and the Florist’s Shop with the Afrika Korps billeted in it.

They were moving stealthily, half a normal move and checking to see if they created noise at certain points. There was one heart stopping moment when a tomcat howled but they made it through to High Street without incident.

That’s when they met Coco the Doberman, not a breed known for its cuddly and playful nature.

They now had two problems, time was slipping away with all this stealthy palaver and of course Coco might not want to play and be cuddled.

On a dice roll of 6 Coco attacks savagely, 4,5 she barks and attracts attention, 1,2,3 she wants to play quietly. I rolled 1 and they pat the dog and move on. Does she let them go on alone, 4,5,6 she goes with them – oh no who thought of that!! I rolled 2 – whew, Coco roamed away into the night.

By taking their straight route through the town they’d avoided the Italian sentries on South Street but they were still expecting to meet the ones on West Way or North Street and would have to creep around them, however they were completely unaware of a pair of binoculars trained on them as the progressed along High Street.

They moved further along High Street looking carefully for the Italians they expected to be guarding the fuel dump but as we know, they are tucked up in bed.

That’s when the rest of the Rescuers started to move out in three waves.

First Bunty and Vaggers exited Aunty Edna’s and head away from the Antiques Shop!?! You remember Bunty is in disguise as Hazel and Vaggers is in disguise as William, of course you do, I’m sorry to mention it. They had to go furthest and set off first.

The second wave are Nicole and Isabelle who are acting as the cordon in Vaggers grand plan, that is if two Girl Guides can act as a cordon, anyway they are intending to take up their positions as the backup men or maybe women for the shock troops.

Isabelle in the red beret has taken up a position to enfilade the Afrika Korps as they emerge from House 7, I think that’s a French word meaning blow the sh*t out of them if they get in her line of fire but French is not my strong suit.

That’s when the shock troops emerge, Spankers has changed her bad habit of a nun for more informal leather jacket and blue pants and that could be a stolen Luftwaffe hat? Barbara didn’t bring along a spare change of clothes and is still wearing her blue beret and carrying the door knocker (shotgun).

You might begin to guess at the surprise that Bunty proposed as she and Vaggers climb in to Aunty Edna’s black Sportster.

There was a short squabble over who would drive, before Bunty slipped into the drivers seat – There was some talk about – well you’ve got the shotgun so I should drive but it was only whispered, after all these guy’s are professionals.

Moving as quietly as they can Patsy and Sally have passed the White Swan without waking anyone and they can’t see the expected Italians, who as you already know are tucked up in bed.

Patsy, trembling with excitement pulls the pin out of the first grenade as Sally wonders how long they have after pulling the pin before it goes BANG, Patsie with nerves of steel waits 1 move before she throws it at the fuel drums.

BOOM, her aim was good and the grenade explodes amongst the fuel drums with a loud WOOSH and she ducks back behind the big red…ish truck.

My intention then, was that Patsy would run across the road and break a window of the White Swan and drop the 2nd grenade in, causing further confusion if not casualties, then they would get out of town as best and fast as they could.

There was a slight flaw in my plan, because there wasn’t a roadside window for her to drop the grenade into and so she would have to use the main door window on High Street, but we’ll come to that in due course.

Spankers falls hard as she climbs over the wall but the Germans are all sleeping soundly and don’t hear her. Then there’s a loud explosion as the Fuel Dump blows up, the timing was off because they’re in not place by the back door but they’re not far away.

Bunty turns the key in the ignition and the model A Ford bursts into life.

Everyone else starts to count down to see how fast they can get out of bed, get dressed etc, etc.

The white rings indicate how many active moves everyone as taken so far.

Bunty puts the pedal to the metal as the saying goes and the small car accelerates into the corner.

Sally and Patsie roll dice to see how fast they recover from the concussive effect of the exploding fuel drums. It wasn't a good roll!

All the sleeping troops are now awake, more or less and the Italians being light sleepers, or maybe having guilty consciences are leading the way.

I expect you’ve guessed by now that Bunty’s surprise was to drive Aunty Edna’s Model A Ford through the front window of the Antiques shop, who needs a key to the door when you can drive straight in without knocking.

At this point I drew up the plan of the building based on the previous criteria.

The resulting crash left them more shook up than I’d hoped and if you can understand my shorthand from the previous picture there was a dice decision as to how many Germans might be sleeping in the Sales Room, I threw a 6 which meant 2 troopers. They were also a little shook up to find a car, no matter how small drive into their bedroom.

Barbara, blew the lock off the back door and Spankers charged into what turned out to be a kitchen area.

Unlike most rules, the ones I use determine that if someone moves into line of sight of an enemy there is a roll off to decide who reacts first. In this instance 2 reacts first and 1’s all react together or simultaneously if you want to be posh. Again because they are solo rules, it’s just to see who reacts first, then you test to see what your reaction is, it can mean you shoot at the enemy, or maybe duck back into cover etc but nothing is a foregone conclusion.

Anyway gun play was inevitable, Erika fired first and would have hit Vaggers in the right leg but luckily he was still sat in the car, stunned from the crash and the Model A Ford’s bodywork saved him. Bunty and Astrid fire simultaneously but Astrid’s smg jammed and Bunty snap firing back at Astrid winging her in the right arm, only a flesh wound but of course it caused her to drop the jammed Smg she was holding.

Bunty’s second shot missed, possibly because she was encouraging Vaggers to get his act together and return fire. It was all a bit of a mess in the Sales Room of the Antiques Shop and not going as planned in Aunty Edna’s Dinning Room.

Meanwhile back in the Fuel Dump area, Primo the Italian commander had woken with a start, hearing the explosion. As I said, he’s a smart cookie and he realised immediately what had happened and as he rolled out of bed he wondered how he would blame everyone else for the catastrophe. First out of his billet he saw Patsie and Sally highlighted in the flames from the burning fuel as they cross the road to the White Swan but not soon enough to open fire. The German’s inside the Swan were all downstairs and on their way to see what was happening outside, just then Sally broke the door window and Patsie dropped the grenade inside.

Surprise…

Eckehard went down in a spray of blood and bones, dying immediately, the resulting panic inside the building saw most of the troops stunned and some even running away. The main problem now for Patsie and Sally is that they can’t retreat into the dark as planned, because there is none now that the fuel dump is blazing so well.

Back with the main rescue attempt in the Antiques Shop, Spankers has stalled in the kitchen area but Barbara pushes past her and into the Showroom area, she sees Astrid reaching for the dropped Smg and opens fire with her shotgun, the blasts sounding incredibly loud in the confined space. Astrid is hit in the guts and left leg; she is out of the fight, too badly wounded to participate further.

Vaggers finally gets his act together, as he and Bunty exchange fire with Erika, she drops to the floor after taking bullets and buckshot to the left leg and right arm, but Bunty’s final shot to Erika’s head kills her outright.

There’s no let up in the action outside the Swan. Wolfgang Arnold pushes through the main door but Sally reacts first and plugs him with a well aimed shot, he goes down out of the fight. They need to get out of there now, before anymore more enemy emerge from the Swan or they are cut off by the Italians.

This is the predicament the girls are in. Out of picture but coming into sight from the far side (West Way) are Primo and his men. Nearest the camera is Meinhard Wenke and a couple of Italians and we know the Swan is still full of Germans.

Patsie and Sally are illuminated by the fire blazing behind the red-ish truck and they have no cover from a three pronged attack. They need to escape to our right but must force the enemy back before they can make a run for it.

Too late though as the Italians on the far side open fire but miss, Sally returns fire and her pistol runs out of ammo, her target doesn’t know this and the first bullet was close enough to make him duck back into cover. Primo also fires and also misses, Patsies return fire drives him back, wounded in the right arm he drops his pistol as he scuttles back to cover. That’s stopped the advance from the far side of town for the moment.

Nicole in the neat blue pork pie hat takes careful aim at the shadowy figures moving up the road towards Sally and Patsie, she fires and misses. Volpe dashes forward into cover but Wenke the Gestapo leader calmly draws his Lugar and fires back, fortunately he’s a poor shot and also misses.

Vito, who was just behind Wenke jumps round the corner to fire at Nicole but his wild shot is way off the mark, her return fire is not, chest and head and he’s dead. Wenke is sprayed with blood, stunned and is inactive. That looks like it’s stopped the advance from this side as well, maybe Sally and Patsie can make a run for it before another attack is mounted or Volpe recovers his nerve and moves out of cover.

Elsewhere in the town more Germans are leaving the warmth of their beds and coming onto the street, Rachael Weiss was the opponent the Rescue Plan overlooked. She moves cautiously along East Lane towards the fire, it’s dark but she spots Isabelle at 12”, this is long range for her automatic but she opens fire anyway.

Alerted to the sound of gunfire behind her, Isabelle swings round and fires wildly. She’s a better shot than Rachael and using a Smg sprays more lead at her enemy, two bullets hit home, Rachael falls to the ground OOF.

With the two troopers in the Showroom dealt with, Vaggers is the first of the Rescuers to move, he sees 2 doors leading from the Showroom and moves to the nearest, it’s locked, not a subtle man he blows the lock to pieces with his shotgun but stops to reload before opening the door. He might not be subtle but he’s not stupid either.

Out on the street Horst Dankers had jumped out from the Swan doorway, he knew roughly where his enemies were and he and Sally fired together, she hit him in the head and stomach, he’s down, OOF but his return fire was deadly and she’s hit in the guts, also OOF. So not really deadly but pretty bad, Out Of Fight means just that, they are too injured to fight on. They can be carried but it takes a pretty strong and determined friend to do that.

Patsie, on her own now, and in a desperate situation, she quickly considers her options and they’re not good.

The first of the Afrika Korps troopers is just behind the truck on the left with more coming from the same direction, one lot of Italians has been beaten back but others are getting close. Sally is down and it will be difficult to carry her out, maybe even impossible.

Primo had recovered his Beretta and made another attempt to move closer to Patsie but his men refused to advance with him and her gunfire drove him back again.

Patsie is standing over Sally’s prone form, she has a dilemma. To see if she can pick Sally up in a fireman’s lift she has to test to see if she is strong enough to make the lift. She has 2 attempts and if she fails on the 2nd attempt then she just isn’t strong enough to perform the action at all. Of course if she stops shooting she can’t hold off her enemies, tricky.

On the far side of the road cross there is Wenke in the black coat in a gunfight with Nicole but by the wall is Volpe who is taking aim at Patsie.

He fires and misses, she spins like a top and snap fires back at him, also missing but his nerves are blown and he ducks back into the cover of the stone wall.

The gunfight between Wenke and Nicole is resolved in her favour and he’s OOF with a wound in the guts.

In the Antiques Shop Vaggers has re-loaded his shotgun, Barbara has gone through the other door from the Showroom and is standing at the foot of the stairs. Bunty is deciding if she should guard the window with the car sticking through it or follow Vaggers through the door that he is irresolutely standing in front of.

On the floor above they can hear footsteps, although it sounds more like Jackboot’s to the listeners below.

With a wild yell Vaggers bursts through the door.

“Down here old chap. Quick as you can, there’s no guards but we’re chained to the wall and can’t get out” That was Snappers voice or Vaggers wasn’t a Yorkshire man.

“Be right down old lad” he called.

“Come on old fruit” shouted Dougers, “it’s awfully stuffy down here and I could use a G & T as well, hope you’ve got some ice”

Bunty and Spankers were at the window now, exchanging shots with the Afrika Korps and Barbara was still guarding the stairwell.

This was the situation outside and troopers were moving in quickly.

There’s an old expression of surprise, which is “Well I’ll go to the foot of our stairs” I don’t know if this is a common expression or something more local to where I grew up….. But

As Von Strohelm turned the landing and started to descend the stairs he recieved a full load of buckshot from Barbara standing at the foot of the stairs and as he rolled all the way down he was heard to mutter “Ahh… now I understand it”. He dropped the briefcase at her feet as the two thugs upstairs retreated away from the landing.

Barbara was stuffing cartridges into the shotgun as fast as she could but no one came to the top of the stairs, then she grabbed the briefcase and retreated back into the Showroom.

With a brief respite from being shot at Patsie has reached down and pulled Sally up onto her shoulder in one fluid motion and is now staggering away from the action as fast as her new red shoes would allow.

You can just see Volpe’s hat in this shot, he’s still ducked down behind the wall and not recovered his nerve yet.

Fortunately for Patsie, he’s a bit on the nervous side and it’ll take a good dice roll to get him back into action.

Out on the High Street there’s a bit of a lull in the action, most of the Afrika Korps chaps decided they should fight from cover and had either pulled back to the far side of the street or further down it. Vaggers was freeing the two old Duffers from their wall chains and Bunty and Spankers were hiding behind the Ford and Barbara was still grabbing the briefcase or reloading or what ever.

I forgot to mention that during the furious gunfight no one heard the green truck’s engine start, it’s being driven at breakneck speed along High Street, scattering Germans right, left and centre. No one knows who’s in it or its purpose, so no one fired at it, which was a bit of a miracle really.

In the distance Patsie has moved further along the road and will soon be hidden in the darkness, obviously she is moving slowly, encumbered as she is carrying Sally and so far Volpe has still not recovered his nerve, but the green truck will catch up with her very soon.

Liam O’Rourke the newspaper reporter emerges from his loggings. Giuseppie comes up behind him and shouts loudly in Italian. Liam is Irish and doesn’t understand Italian but he’s from Belfast and does understand threats and raises his hands and is arrested by Giuseppie.

Liam should have played a bigger role in the game but he was slow getting out of bed.

The Germans are regrouping for another attack. Axel, the last man out of the safely of the Florists decided to leave by the back door, he opened it carefully and saw Isabelle and Isabelle’s Smg, she is fast and very accurate and he was just too slow, she shot him in the head and he was dead.

Primo finally gets his troops to move forwards to glory, just as the green truck goes past, so they spray it with bullets, causing some damage but not enough to stop its mad progress.

Volpe is still ducked down but Silvano his Officer has finally got out of his billet and shouts for him to be a man, stand up and shoot Patsie in the back, something he resolutely refuses to do… stand up that is.

Silvano decides to do the job himself and even though it’s very long range and he’s not a good shot he manages to hit.

I rolled a dice to see who he’d hit and with a bit of good luck it was Sally not Patsie. Sally might not regard that as good luck but she was hit in the arm and is still alive and Patsie can still carry her.

Volpe finally recovered his nerve and stood up, he fired but rushed his shot and missed Patsie and Sally. Just then the green truck pulled up providing cover from further firing, a female voice from the cab shouted “GET IN” and as fast as they could, they did.

Meantime the Germans attacking the front of the Antiques Shop had taken a lot of casualties and were reluctant to storm the building, contenting themselves with putting a steady stream of gunfire into it. The return fire gradually diminished as the Rescuers made a staged fighting retreat. By the time the German troops realized there wasn’t any return fire, the Rescuers had left the building by the back door and were moving into the darkness and safety of the countryside, for the time being at any rate.

The green lorry was driven by Miss Scarlet who evaded all of Sally’s questions, although Sally was in a pretty poor state to question anyone, especially an Agent as resourceful as Scarlet.

Mad Patsie wasn’t interested in answers, she was just grateful they’d gotten out alive and not got mud on her new shoes, and although she had trouble with the right hand drive lorry, or truck as she kept referring to it, she got Sally and herself to the rendezvous point with Vaggers, Bunty and Spankers in one piece.

Miss Scarlet made her way back into Greater Snoring and reported back to her Boss….

If you read the original story, you will know that the Germans have landed in East Anglia and have created a second front in the invasion of Britain, will Snappers, Dougers and Vaggers, not forgetting Spankers and Bunty create a second front behind the German second front.

Would it be too confusing to have 2 second fronts?

Who is Scarlet’s Boss, did we meet him or her in Greater Snoring or did they remain in the shadows, what is Scarlet and her Boss intending to do in Greater Snoring, are they going to create a 3rd front!

Who knows or indeed cares.

In retrospect there were a couple of flaws in my plan and I think the Fuel Dump diversion didn’t achieve its aim. It roused the enemy 2 moves before the attack was ready to go in to the Antiques Shop, my bad timing, but I think that’s inevitable in this sort of attack.

Patsie and Sally should have gotten out of Dodge as soon as the fuel dump blew up, attacking the White Swan almost got them killed.

I would have preferred to attack from just the rear of the Antiques shop keeping my forces together but not knowing the layout I was worried that they wouldn’t get far enough into the building before getting held up. Also I’d no idea where Snappers and Dougers would be or if they would have guards in the room with them, that was all decided by dice as and when I got there, so I think a 2 pronged attack was a good idea. It was a bit melodramatic to drive through the window but what the hell, we all need a bit of melodrama, even though it almost went badly wrong.

Anyway, if you got this far – thanks for reading.

Cheers.