Operation Cricket Poster

Poster commissioned for ‘Operation cricket’ the ALFIES scenrio ran last spring summer – very happy with it . Artwork by David Wynne whose work you can view here http://particlefiction.posterous.com/


Published in: on January 31, 2012 at 6:19 pm  Comments (1)  

Operation Cricket (Part 4)

Having escaped the exploding base at Alderley Edge and successfully destroyed the railway gun and computing engine the agents begin their escape from rural Cheshire at 2am. The local resistance that the agents have been working with inform them that they have had radio contact from C. He will be sending a flying boat to pick up the agents from the Erwood reservoir, 15 miles to the east. The agents are unable to find any service vehicles to help their escape and set off on foot, first changing out of the uniforms they disguised themselves in to infiltrate the base.

The agents make good progress to the east, crossing the river without incident and stopping to rest in a small copse with the mountains of the peak district just in sight. During Eric’s watch he hears the sound of a hunting horn and hounds in the distance and wakes the other agents to move on before they are discovered. The agents follow the river wading south for some distance until they reach a bridge just east of Wimslow. The hounds sound like they are getting closer. Archie notices there is a policeman guarding the bridge ahead and signals to the other agents. On closer inspection he sees another policeman guarding the other end of the bridge both are armed.

Tod and Harvey scramble up the side of the bridge to each take one of the policemen. Lee vaults the bridge and takes down one of the men with a bayonet to the back of his skull. Tod swings over the bridge to take the second man with his garotte. Having dumped the bodies under the bridge Tod and Harvey spot the hunting party in the distance and the party move on across country. As they hear the Hunt is  getting closer still, Archie decides to set a trap using explosives taken from the base at Alderley Edge. Harvey and Tod provide cover from higher ground as he prepares the booby trap.

Tod takes out one the lead huntsman with his favourite weapon, the crossbow. The hunting party are armed as a militia and turn their firearms towards the agents. Harvey deals another rider with a headshot from his rifle. Changing to his beretta submachine carbine Tod deals some further damage. As the hunting party stumble over Archies explosive booby trap the majority of the party are taken out in a shower of pack hound and horse leaving only four of the party alive.

Scrambling for cover from the remainder of the hunting party Archie makes it into the hedgerow but Eric is caught on the twigs and takes a hit in the leg which renders him unconscious. Archie struggles to pull him into cover. Harvey bandages Eric’s wound as Tod takes a covering position allowing the team to move on and make it into the peaks.

Eric recovers consciousness during the night but none of the agents are qualified to remove the bullet. At dawn the agents stretch tarpaulin between two sticks and make a bed for Eric that they can drag behind them. Tod gives Archie a firearm since Tod and Harvey will be taking it in turns to drag Eric. Archie irresponsibly wields the weapon around taking great pleasure in being given the beretta.

The agents spot an aircraft ahead of them. Archie enthusiastically takes potshots at the aircraft, shouting and laughing as he does, with none of the bullets meeting their target. To slaps Archies hand down and covers his mouth. The agents take cover on the ground as parachutes descend from the aircraft in between the agents and the pickup point at the reservoir. They count 27 parachutes. (These parachutists are part of the Royal Reconissance Service’s Independent Parachute Company.)

RSS Troopers – the Independent Parachute Company wear the leather jackets

The parachutists begin to land, the nearest about 1.5 miles away. The agents head toward the landing point of the nearest parachutist. Approaching a ridge, they observe two men from the plane ahead of them. Tod pulls Archie to the ground to avoid him giving away their position. Eric rolls onto his front to face towards the men with the rest of the team. The agents observe that one man is using binoculars while the other prepares a mortar. Harvey shoots at the man with binoculars and misses. The mortar misses the agents, exploding nearby. Tod fails to hit the man with the binoculars while Eric misses the man with the mortar. The strong wind make conditions difficult for even the crack shots but Harvey hits the man with the binoculars in the chest’ taking him down. The mortar fires again and misses the team. Eric hits the man with the mortar in the hand and he takes cover, dropping the mortar.

Reaching the edge of the lake the agents are met by the extraction team. They see the aircraft they will be taking coming down on the lake, a large flying boat – the Cataline PBY ‘Bette Davis’ liberated from the US Navy by freebooter Captain Jack Hawkmoon.  They are pulled on board and the plane turns to take off. A member of the crew gives some treatment to Eric’s wound.

Bette Davis and Crew

Ten minutes into journey one of the crew spots some enemy aircraft. Tod looks around him but can’t see any parachutes in the plane. The agents’ plane comes under machine gun fire and the pilots of their craft manoeuvre to try and avoid being hit. Being shaken around, the crew stumble and Archie falls heavily into a fire extinguisher on the wall of the plane but none are hit by the machine gun fire.

The Bette Davis

On of the plane’s gunners ‘Taffy’ Baker takes a hit and Harvey steps into his place on the starboard MG taking aim at the Bristol Bulldogs and Gloster Gladiators pursuing them. One of the stray bullets in the plane has started a fire, Eric notices while Archie is busy blocking a hole in the aircraft’s hydralic system which is causing the crate to become unresponsive. The fire is dangerously close to the ammunition. Eric reaches across to the fire extinguisher but fails to reach it from where he is strapped to his seat. Tod notices the fire and starts stamping it out.


Harvey hits one of the enemy planes with the aircraft’s fixed gun but the agent’s plane continues to take damage. Archie manages to plug the hole in the wall at last and the hydraulics regain some functionality. One of the Tsai ‘Jane’ Luo, the Davis’ Flight Engineer ties a rope around herself and signals to Tod to use himself as an anchor point as she climbs out of the plane to make a put out a fire out on the port engine – the remote fire extinguishing system is failing to respond.

Harvey observes six more enemy craft approaching and continues to spray fire at them. The aircraft drops quickly and descends towards the Mersey. The crew member on the wing slips and Tod pills her in. Ships with anti-aircraft guns on the river take aim at the enemy planes as the Betty lands safely on the river and friendly aircraft emerge to engage the enemy in dogfights. The flaming engine block from one dogged pursuer destroyed by the AA of the Intrepid splashes next to the landing bullet ridden old bird.

Published in: on August 7, 2011 at 4:07 pm  Comments (1)  

Operation: Cricket (Part 3)

Operation Cricket Part 3

Following the events of Operation: Cricket Part 2, the agents along with Tom Williams of the Mancunian Army of Liberation in Exile find themselves locked in a large cavern base in Alderley Edge.  A large turntable in the centre of the cave for the railway gun while it is and the targeting engine are located in seperate different bays.  The agents can see a large control room containing a number of men in bottle green uniforms.  The agents are approached by a man dressed in tweeds who instructs them to follow him to one of the lifts.  They take the lift down to a lower level where they emerge into a ring corridor.  There are a number of people busily moving equipment around.  The agents reach a small room dug out of the rock.  The man in tweed cranks an electric box to turn on the light.  In the middle of the room is a large piece of granite rising out of the ground.  In the centre of the rock is a sword, rusty and covered in moss and what appear to be barnacles.  The man in tweeds, a Professor Barnstaple instructs the agents to wait there.  Tod grabs the man from behind, pressing a knife into his back and urging him to be silent.  The light in the room goes out and the agents retreat into the corners of the cave.  Tom approaches the sword to try and examine it further in the dim light from the corridor; it appears to be stuck firmly in the stone.  Tom attempts to pull the sword free, the sword does not give and suddenly the lights in the corridor go out and the sound of the lifts ceases.

Archie reaches for his torch.  Tod and Harvey search the man in tweeds and find some papers.  Tod threatens the man with his knife and the agents question him.  They discover that the man is an academic who has been invited to examine some artefacts discovered during the digging of the defences at Alderley Edge.  They also find out this is not the first time an electrical failure has resulted from attempts to remove the sword.  There is a sudden crackling from the lights and some of the agents feel a cold chill.  Tom takes another look at the sword, this time being thrown to the ground when he tries to remove it, prompting further crackling.  When Tod leans down to check on the man in tweeds, he discovers warm blood around his feet and the academic’s head is missing.  When the agents look back to the sword, they find the man’s head impaled upon its handle and agree it’s time to leave.

The agents proceed in the dark, deciding not to use the torch so as not to draw attention.  As they head out, the see cigarette butts spread about in the darkness.  The agents take a ladder up a lift shaft.  Tom, weakened by the electrical surge from the sword, falls.  He takes down Eric and Harvey with him.  A torch flashes onto them.  They are questioned, but manage to avoid suspicion.  The torch goes off again.

The agents make it to the top of the ladder.  Some of the lights from the caverns and the control room are back on but main hall of the upper level is still in darkness.  In the darkness Eric fleetingly sees the face of a pale woman but she seems to disappear.  The agents observe that some of the lifts are working on auxiliary power.  Archie is enthusiastic about using his explosives to create a diversion by bombing the lifts.  Tom and Eric will create a diversion in the control room to drive the men out into the lifts.

They are stopped by a corporal asking where they are going.  They tell him they have some important information to take to the control room.  Trying to bluff their way through, Eric tells the corporal they have heard there is a suspicious device in the sword room but that they have no further information.  The corporal leaves them with a guard at the bottom of the lift shaft and takes the information to the control room himself. The other agents see the corporal with a Regular Army officer leave the control room for the lift and take their cue and detonate their charges in the lift shafts around the central cavern.

The lift containing the corporal and Army officer is jammed stuck and Eric and Tom see their decapitated heads pressed against the mesh.  The private who was waiting with them is spooked and starts firing his machine gun wildly around the cavern, blazing bullets in every direction.  There are other pistol and rifle shots in response and the agents do their best to take cover.

When the firing subsides, Eric and Tom take the lift up to the control room while the other agents take cover and take pot shots at enemies in the central cavern.  They make the control room where most of the bodies are lifeless.  They try to question two civillians about getting out with the gun but they are unable to help being effectively catatonic.  Tom inspects the controls, there are banks of machines with punchcards alongside them.  There is a machine making prints and a vacuum tube feeding down into the cave containing the computing engine.  The machine is embossed with an emblem of a Corinthian helmet.  They pour fire into the computing device to try and destroy it.

They head back down stairs and the agents reconvene.  Taking the ladder, they go down a level where things are in order and the officers are commanding their men to remain calm.  They are stopped by an officer, asking their business and tell him they have been sent to secure the room.  He tells them to take a post.   They observe a steel shutter drawn over the armoury.  They intend to breach the armoury and use shells to make their exit through the reinforced steel doors.

Harvey begins firing at the five guards minding the armoury doors.  The other agents follow suit and take out the five guards and their officer while Archie prepares an explosive.  The explosive splinters the iron shutter.  Six more guards run out through the smoke from breached armoury.  The agents fire into the smoke, taking out most of the guards.  Tod finishes off the last man standing with his bayonet.

Archie leads them on into the secure room.  Tom pushes a trolley of shells into place to barricade the doors.  There are dozens of shells in the room and an elevator to take them directly up to the railway gun.  Archie starts cutting mercury pencils to explode the shells.  Tod questions his strategy fearing that the agents may not have time to escape before the base explodes.

Tom takes a charged cylinder up in the lift shaft.  He kicks the bomb out into the room containing the railway gun and dives back into the lift shaft, avoiding gunfire from the guards.  The agents hear a series of explosions above them.  They all head back up to see the railway gun ripped apart.  They enter the central cavern and fall in with the coughing guards and officers.  A gap has been torn in the steel door and the agents crawl through into the woodland outside.  As the make their getaway they hear an almighty bang as the base explodes. Looking over their shoulders they see the Edge topped by a  crown of  fire as the explosion’s gas escapes through the air vents of the base.

They’re a long way from the home and undoubtedly the explosion wil bring other governemnt forces running – can the ALFIES team escape the scene of the crime and get home?

Published in: on June 19, 2011 at 4:47 pm  Comments (1)  

Operation Cricket (Part 2)

 Due to a drop box SNAFU this report is from memory and less fulsome than is normally the case. It follows on from https://alfiesantics.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/operation-cricket-part-1/

The session started with Thomas Williams a member of the Mancunians Army of Liberation in Exile (MALE) detachment the Ridge Ramblers who was being kept prisoner by Doctor Fleming’s Derbyshire based Peak Partisans in the wine cellar of Stanley Hall. Williams had been said to enlist the Peak Partisans aid in attacking the Railway Gun at Alderly Edge but the insane Fleming had turned against the Mancunians and was torturing them with his dentistry skills.

This didn’t appeal to Williams who escaped his bonds abandoned his dead colleagues and overpowering a guard headed for the radio room where he met the ALFIES team. The Liverpool spies were debating their next move having discovered the radio was broken. After a period of stand off it was agreed the ALFIES team and Williams will abandon Stanley Hall and Williams introduce them to his comparatively sane resistance group. The characters set fire to Stanley hall and escape in the midst of the chaos. They manage to steal a decrepit old fire engine and make their getaway in that with the odd parting shot from the Derbyshire forces.

In travelling back to towards the Alderly Edge they pass a detachment of the Cheshire Constabulary’s Western Field Force on route to Stanley Hall to avenge the raiding.

Abandoning the vehicle the team meets the MALE who have captured a BUF Railway Troops section, these were given to the ALFIES team and Williams who with some resistance members infiltrated the railway gun base dug into the ‘Edge. (SEE https://alfiesantics.wordpress.com/2011/05/01/operation-cricketsupplemental-inside-the-alderly-edge-base/ ) Williams an academic emphasis the importance of capturing the BUF calculating engine rather than destroying the rail gun.

Shortly after infiltrating the base the Section see some civilian scholarly type arguing with officers about excavations and strangely uniformed people in the control rooms. However shortly afterwards the electric lighting fails and the pneumatic doors on the base shut close and are jammed. The team are stranded in an enemy base, outnumbered and with orders to destroy the railway gun. Who are the civilians, what are the excavations and whom are the strangely uniformed men in the Control Room? Maybe we’ll find out on the 14 June 2011.

Published in: on June 11, 2011 at 12:31 pm  Comments (1)  

Operation CRICKET:Supplemental inside the Alderly Edge Base

Here is the base the Player team found themselves in at the end of the second session.

The key is:

  • Grey lines railway track
  • Red boxs lifts (connecting to nearest main chamber) they also run up to the mezzzaine level as well as below. There are also ladders down the sise of the life frames in case of power cuts.
  • Yellow box – rough size of the control room on the Mezzaine level.

Re Equipment the charcater sare carrying.

As well as a BUF Railway Battalion uniform with hip-length leather jacket and German paratrooper helmet they also have the following.

  • Either a MP28 SMG machine gun with six 32 round clips or a Small Magazine Lee Enfield with 50 rounds in 5 round stripper clips and 100 loose .
  •  Bayonets for main weapon.
  • Map of the area.
  • Map of the base.
  • Sir Randalf Tynes ‘Manual on Civilised Conduct in Hostile Territory’ dated 1937 (pocket sized book.)
  • ID Papers
  • Emergency aid kit – some dressings, sulfa power & morphine shots.

Map I say – why yes there is a second level below as follows

The Lower Level
Published in: on May 1, 2011 at 4:18 pm  Comments (2)  

Operation: CRICKET (Part 1)

Operation :CRICKET (Part 1)

Four agents are summoned to action by ‘C’: Eric George, Tod, Harvey Lee Boswell and young Archie Fenner. In C’s office he offers them a drink and the new team are briefed on the railway gun intelligence obtained during operation GOPHER. C explains that the computing engine could make specific targets in the city of Liverpool vulnerable. He tells the rest of the group that Archie has explosives experience which can be utilised to rech their objectives. The railway gun is stored in Alderly Edge in tunnels cut into the rock. There is a royal artillery regiment with anti aircraft guns in the area making an aerial attack infeasible. There will be no support available beyond possible local allies. There are believed to be friendly forces in the area including a group known as Cheshire Christian Conservatives against Carlism (C4), a local Anglican League group and a MALE unit the Ridge Ramblers who raid the area. The team are to destroy BRADMAN (the railway gun), destroy or capture GRIMLET (the targeting engine) and cause discomfort to the enemy.

The Railway Gun

C offers the agents two contacts to help with their transportation requirements. A stout bearded man in flying leathers and chunky jumper enters as does a man in Royal Navy enlisted mans dress, a red armband and Captain’s stripes. C introduces Captain Challenger of the ‘Birkenhead Badgers’ Flying Circus and Chairman Andrews of the Sailors Soviet of the Liverpool Free State Ship Intrepid. Challenger offers infiltration via a tube contraption to be dropped from the air, while Andrews offers a more conventional option of travel by sea and then infiltration over land. The agents consider their options and begin to favour Challenger. Archie will only go if his wages are doubled and this is agreed by C.

Captain Challanger

Tod is given the papers of a German Ministry of Information journalist.Harveyis given papers to say he is an American journalist. Eric and Archie have papers saying they are a photographer and photographer’s apprentice respectively. They are all provided with civilian dress.

The agents take a cab into the Birkenhead tunnel and on to Birkenhead Park aerodrome. They are taken to Challenger’s Bristol Blenheim and are secured in their individual wooded tubes with their kit. The tubes are padded like coffins and the agents are strapped securely into quick release safety belts before the lid is screwed on. The tubes are attached to the aircraft and the agents feel the take off.

Challanger’s Blenheim

The agents feel the tubes rattling away violently. Fortunately, none suffer from claustrophobia. After a period of time they hear a loud click and the tubes are released from the aircraft. Their parachutes open fine and they land safely although the turbulent descent causes some of the agents to vomit. They all emerge safely from the wooden tubes.

The team are East of Alderly Edge in the Peak District at night. They collect the parachutes and destroy the wooden tubes and stay put until morning when they attempt to regroup.Harveyfinds tracks to indicate that there has been a group in the area recently. By mid morning the party has regrouped and Lee briefs them about the tracks he has found indicating a party of around 11 men. The group have limited cover in the rocky bleak territory of the peak district.

Harvey tries to read the landmarks but struggles to accurately judge their location. As they move out of the mountains into farmland they move closer to Alderly Edge. They hear small arms fire and dash to cover. They judge the fire to me around a mile away.Harvey uses the scope from his sniper rifle to try and locate the source of the shooting. He can see 6 figures leaving a house with back packs in civilian dress armed with shotguns. They set fire to the house. He can see another party in a nearby property taking up firing positions. They are covering the first party. Lee relays the info back to the agents and they ready their arms.

Tod’s Model 1938A Berretta

The second party are retreating in the direction of the agents. The agents disagree over the best course of action. Lee can see they are wearing red armbands indicating they might be allies. Eric decides to approach them. He walks towards the village while the other agents cover him. The unknown party take positions and shout at him to stop. One approaches him and the agents watch them chat in a relaxed fashion for 5 minutes. Collectively they walk back towards the agents.

They are approached by Eric and the leader of the armed group. He introduces himself as Simon Groom and shakes hands with the agents. He explains that he is an admirer of Blair’s writing. The agents look disapprovingly at Eric, he has told the man that they are looking for a railway gun. The agents are invited to come with the party back to Stanley Hall which is further back in the direction they have come from.

They reach a trashed stately home flying a red flag. The grounds are full of debris and smashed vehicles. The agents are taken to be introduced to a General Fleming. They follow through the main hall which contains smashed statues and damaged statues. The group are known as the Peak Partisans. Lee engages with Fleming who offers hospitality if they can furnish him with ammunition and supplies. Fleming pays particular attention to Lee’s teeth and it becomes apparent that he is a dentist. The Peak Partisans have a radio and offer the agents the opportunity to use it to contact base to ask for supplies once it has been repaired.Harveysays they could help arrange defences better and Fleming takes offence. He offers a drink and invites them to a meal later. The agents don’t trust him and view him with suspicion. They are left to their own devices. From what they can gather there is the implication that there may be prisoners in the cellar.

Published in: on April 14, 2011 at 5:41 pm  Comments (2)  

Operation Cricket: BUF Railway Gun Battalion troops

2 BUF Railway Battalion Guards

 Local resistance reports these troops have become a common site around Alderly Edge in blue boiler suits, field caps and German paratrooper helmets wearing grey hip length leather pilots jackets, either mounting motor patrols, on the trains that serve the railway gun or in the cave dug into the Edge. Armed with a combination of MP28 Sub-machine guns and Lee-Enfield Rifles they appear professional and alert. The neckscarfs (useful to protect the throat when the Engines are in full smoke and you’re manning  an AA gun or machine gun) are coloured according to specialisty (gun crew, guards, anti-aircraft troops, Engine crew etc;)  Officers wear similar outfits but with peaked caps.

Published in: on March 24, 2011 at 8:45 pm  Leave a Comment