Chris Palmer Last Wednesday, December 31st, the HAWKs (Harford Area Weekly Kriegspielers) gathered for their annual New year’s Eve gaming extravaganza. This event, where the club members meet new Year’s Eve afternoon and play games until the New Year strikes, has been hosted for the past several years by HAWK’s member Buck Surdu and his wife Candy. We gathered at 3:00 PM this year, and began the festivities with a Pulp themed GASLIGHT game called “Duke Morrison Saves Christmas!” Duke Morrison is Buck’s perennial Pulp hero, and appears in most all his games set in that era. He is usually given such heroic stats, that the mention of his name is often followed by the villainous catchphrase, “I hate that guy!” from anyone who has played on the “Bad Guy” side opposite him .
|Santa, his Elf Bodyguard, and his crashed sleigh on the edge of town|
The set up for this scenario, which took place in the sleepy town of Granville, Illinois (a town from Buck’s childhood that he also often uses as the setting for his Pulp games), was that evil Venusians had shot down Santa’s sleigh as it flew over the town. The sleigh had crashed on the edge of town spilling it’s load of gifts across the town as it went down. Hearing Santa’s “Mayday!” as his sled went down, our hero Duke Morrison (“‘We hate that guy!”), has flown his trusty plane, “Anything But a 20!”, to a park outside of town to give Santa and his gifts a ride and saving Christmas for millions of Boys and Girls across the globe. He has brought along his pals “Wrench” Webb and “Boats” Morgan, and some of their Army and Navy buddies to help out,
|Duke’s plane landed in a park on the other end of town.|
Meanwhile, the evil Venusians have also landed their spacecraft in the park, and are setting out to steal Santa’s sleigh and its magic flight technology (their evil plan all along). Coincidentally, Nazi agents and Fifth Columnists had also arrived in the town to kidnap Santa as he made his rounds to learn his magical mass-production secrets. They are quick to take advantage of Santa’s current misfortune. And lastly, local opportunistic scum and villainy see all the loot being scattered across town from Santa’s crashing sleigh, and set about to gather as many of the fallen presents as possible.
|The Venusian craft have also landed.|
So as the game begins, Santa and his helpers from the North Pole are tasked with gathering as many of the lost gifts as possible, and getting Santa and his damaged sleigh to Duke’s waiting plane, while Duke and his friends attempt to clear a path to Santa and help him get everything to the plane
|A view of the town.|
As one can imagine, wonderful chaos ensued! See the photos for some of the highlights
|The Penguins, Skipper, Rico, Kowowski and Private take on a unit of Evil Snowmen.|
|Santa, with the Reindeer hooked back to the sleigh, begins to move through town, as the Elf Bodyguard are tasked with gathering up fallen presents. A large mechanical nutcracker, and two robot Santas soon join in the effort and help push the sleigh.|
|Chaos in the streets! In the foreground, Moonracer’s Marauders take on a truck full of gangsters, as Santa’s Elf Chefs set up a Hot Chocolate Catapult on a nearby rooftop.|
|Several players try ramming the sleigh with commandeered trucks, as others climb aboard to melee, but somehow Santa manages to make all his saving rolls.|
|As the game wound down, and dinner time arrived, the game was called as Santa reached a point where few obstacles stood in his way of reaching the outskirts of town and Duke’s plane. The game was declared a ”Good Guy” victory.|
After the GASLIGHT game was over at around 7:30, we took a dinner break and then set up a large Star War’s X-Wing game. HAWK’s member, Bill Acheson, brought along his Deep Space 9 space station model from the Star Trek Attack Wing game, and that was used as an Imperial communications satellite which the Rebels were tasked with destroying. The game was a lot of fun and finished with a Rebel Victory with the destruction of the satellite, but at a heavy cost.
|Big X-Wing game|
The X-wing game finished up at around 11:20, and some of the more hardy members set up a game of Red Dragon Inn to finish the night with. After a short break at midnight to toast the New Year with some champagne, the game went on until 2:00 AM until a winner was declared.
|Red Dragon Inn|
As always this is a great way to usher in the New Year with a bunch of friends. And many thanks are due to the Surdus for once again hosting a great evening of games.