Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Axis and Allies-War at Sea-Nagato-Class Battelship

Two Nagato class dreadnought battleships were built for the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War I, although they were not completed until after the end of the war. The Nagato, served as the flag ship for Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto in the months leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Although Nagato saw action in the Battle of the Philippine Sea, the Nagato did not use her guns on an enemy ship until October 1944, during the battle of Leyte Gulf.
Some basic statistics for the Nagato-Class Battleships are:
Displacement:39,130 t (38,510 long tons)
Length:224.94 m (738 ft 0 in)
Beam:34.6 m (113 ft 6 in)
Draft:9.49 m (31 ft 2 in)
Speed:26 knots (48 km/h; 30 mph)
Range:5,500 nmi (10,200 km; 6,300 mi) at 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph)
4 × twin 41 cm guns
20 × single 14 cm guns
4 × single 76 mm AA guns
8 × 533 mm (21.0 in) torpedo tubes

Some of the Axis and Allies-War at Sea statistics for this vessel are:
  • Speed (Movement): 2
  • Armor: 8
  • Vital Armor: 14
  • Hull Points: 5
  • Rarity: rare

Monday, October 28, 2013

Special Purpose Keywords for Pirates of Mysterious Islands and Davy Jones Curse

Since Pirates of Mysterious Islands and Pirates of Davy Jones Curse include some new characters, special purpose islands, and ships the following terms and topics have been added to the general rules, which were posted in a post a few days ago. These terms represent special abilities that were added to some of the said characters and ships.

These special abilities are printed on crewmember tokens, Ship desk cards, and on special islands. These keywords add to and take precedence over the basic rules.

Black Mark

The black mark indicates that the crew member belongs to the cursed nation, instead of the nation of their origin.

Broadside Attack

At the roll of a 6 this ship can reduce the distance of its gun to 0. Also if dice result is higher than each cannon, all cannon hit and the ships gets one extra hit


The Ex-patriot can be assigned to any ship. Any ship that this crew member is assigned becomes a Mercenary nation.


The ability limits, with the roll of dice roll of five, the crew abilities of a ship that is a SHORT away from your ship.


The ship with this keyword cannot pin or be pinned. If this ships rams it cannot eliminate a mast from the ship being rammed. As a free action, this ship can rotate her stern in any direction. Also, if this ship becomes derelict, this ship can move one SHORT.

Ghost Ship

If the ship or a crew member on that ship has this keyword, you must decide at the start of your turn whether the ship is ghostly. If the ship is ghostly, the ship gains the following abilities. She ignores islands and other ships when she is moving. The terminology is a bit vague; does that mean that the ship can go through island and other ships as if they are not there? A ghost ship cannot be rammed or pinned, or cannot dock.


This ships mast does not block her line of fire.


Not much said here about this ability, except that you can only have one ship in your fleet with this ability.


A marine is a crew type that can be dropped off on any island except on the opponent’s home island. On each turn this crewmember with a 2 SHORT gun rank can be given its own shoot action. Opposing players may target this crew member only if they are on an island, but must hit the marine twice in the same turn.


A mercenary ship cannot dock at any home island and begins the game one SHORT away from your home island.


If a crew member is transferred to an emery ship, the ransomed crew member is worth a treasure of 5 to the capturer. If eliminated by an opposing player it becomes a treasure worth 1 gold and appears on the player’s home island as a free action.

Sea Monster

A sea monster can take the form of sea serpents or a Kraken and is made up of segments. These segments come in different forms; they can be coils, tentacles, heads, and tails. The segments act like masts in the game.

At the start of the controller turn, they must decide whether the sea monster is a float or submerged. If submerged they cannot shoot or be shot at, however when not submerged they may take a shoot action.

Sea monsters cannot carry crewmembers, but can take treasure from a pinned ship. If it chooses to take a unique treasure that treasure is eliminated from the game. If the sea monster succeeds at a boarding party, it also eliminates one mast.

Once all the sea monsters segments are eliminated the sea monster is removed from the game.


A submarines hull is made-up of two or three pieces. These pieces act like masts. Submarines cannot be pin or be pinned, or tow or be towed. Submarines have the ability to either move on the surface or under the surface. The submarines player must decide at the start of their turn whether the sub in submerged or is running on the surface.

Submerged subs can only more and cannot shoot, be shot at or be rammed. A submerged sub can ram another ship while she is submerged, but regardless whether she is successful or not she must move a SHORT away from the targeted ship in any direction as a free action.

On the surface a sub can be rammed and boarded, but will not be damaged by the ram. If she is hit by a cannonade a piece of hull is removed. When all the hull pieces have been removed she becomes derelict.


As a free action this ship type can rotate her stern in any direction after she completes a move action. This action cannot be used after she rams another ship.

Turtle Ship

When ship is hit, one of her panels is removed. When all her panels have been removed, start removing her masts. This ship cannot be boarded if she has any turtle shell panels. If derelict, this ship gains a base move of a SHORT.

Note: The terms SHORT and LONG are basic movements used in this game. A SHORT is a width of a card, whereas a LONG is the length of a card.

Adapted from Whizkids complete game rules.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Frank Reade Jr. Mercenary

Frank Reade somewhat of a swashbuckler preferred contracting his services than to sell his technologies to the US government. He and his team provided cover for US troops, either from his airships or land ships. The land ships were first powered by steam and then electric, were manufactured out of iron, and usually had at least one turreted cannon. Frank Reade Jr. participated in the following combat conflicts (banana wars mostly):

Dominican Republic

Friday, October 25, 2013

Air Ships Mentioned in Adventure in a Age of Invention

Frank Reade was the inventor of many ironclad sea, land ships, and submarines. However, some of his more fantastic inventions were his airships. These airships were kept aloft by a series of horizontal rotors, much like a helicopter. These are a few the airships mentioned in Frank Reade: Adventures in the Age of Invention:
  • Flying Scud
  • Calamaran
  • Queen Clipper of the Clouds
  • Flight
  • Sky Pilot
  • Zephyr
  • White Cruiser
  • Thunderbolt
Although there are many fanciful designs, judging from the illustrations I don’t see how these airships stayed aloft. The bodies of these airships look too bulky and the main rotors, that resemble oriental umbrellas, do not look like they would be all that effective in keeping these airships aloft.
Although I haven’t seen a mention of how these rotors are being driven perhaps they are being driven by some type of chemical reaction, like the Flying Fish in the With Airship and Submarine.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pirates of Mysterious Islands-Battle Report- #02

Over the weekend three of us that got together for a game night; the Pirates of Mysterious Islands strategy game was one of the games we decided to play.

My current fleet consists of ten ships. We decided to play a forty point game, which means we all were able to choose ships and crew that equaled up to forty points. That meant that we all had three ships and at least two crew members. Crew members usually take-up a cargo space, so unless the crew member has some pretty impressive attributes you may want to run without them.

Like I mentioned each of us had three ships and we all had a mixed fleet, meaning we might have had French, American, British, Spanish, or Pirate ships in the same fleet. This is permissible, but when using a mixed crew, the crew member can only use their special abilities on a flagged ship that they belong.

Besides our home islands we had a total six wild island in which to dispense the gold pieces. These wild islands are suppose to be set at least 4 Longs away from a home island.

Gold was dispensed evenly on all the islands and we rolled to see who would go first. After the first player completed an appropriate action we took turns going clock wise. I went last.

It seems that the two girls that took part were at odds with one another, that night and were in almost consistent conflict with one another and fired their cannons back and forth at one another. This severely hindering their ability to collect gold. Since this was the case I had ample opportunity to cruise to the wild islands without any mischief and pick-up as much gold that my ships could carry and ferry the booty back to my home island.

I ended up with more gold pieces and thus points than the girls and won the game. I have learned that unless you are able to completely destroy your opponent’s ship, that it is probably not worth the effort to attack another ship.

One option, that might prove profitable, but that no one pursued, was to ram another ship and board her. Depending on the roll of a die, you may eliminate one mast, capture a crew member, or take one gold piece from that ship.

Axis and Allies War at Sea-Flank Speed

I received my Axis and Allies naval miniatures booster pack in the mail not too long ago. The booster pack contains 5 randomly selected collectable miniatures. There are 64 miniatures, 33 Allies and 31 Axis, of these 1/1800 scale WWII pre-painted miniatures in all. They are meant to augment the miniatures that come with their two player starter sets like War at Sea.

In addition, to the five miniatures there are five statics cards, one for each miniature. Each stat card includes the name of the vessel or plane, and what flag it flies. There are also rarity, attack, defense, amour and basic movement figures.

The five figures that I received are:

  • HMS Saumarez, England
  • Milan, Vichy France
  • Pegaso, Italy
  • Nagato, Japan
  • JU88A-4, Germany

More information will follow about the above vessels and aircraft.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Basic Play for Pirates of the…Constructible Game

Once per turn a player can perform one of these actions:

Move Action

Each ship can move a predetermined distance as her indicated base moves. The base moves are based on a Short, a Long, or a combination of both of these movements.

Explore Action

Once you are docked at a wild island (one that is not a “Home” Island) you may explore the island for gold.

Shoot Action

In attempt to sink a ship, you may, when within cannon range, fire your cannon(s) at the ship.

Repair Action

When docked on your Home Island you may, once per turn, repair one mast.

NOTE: A ships actions may be altered by the ships or her crew’s special abilities.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Ghost Town Gallery

The Ghost Town Gallery features dozens of images of abandoned western mine towns located in Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Montana, Arizona, and Utah. These towns like Bodie CA, Stedman CA, Glendale MT, and Clarkdale AZ, once were populated with people and flourished when precious metals, like gold, silver, and lead, were abundant. Once the metals gave way they were abandoned and left to decay.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Pirates of Davy Jones Curse-First Impressions

The Pirates of Davy Jones Curse strategy game was released by Whizkids in May of 2006, their seventh iteration of this pocket sized strategy game.

This iteration includes the following nations:

  • France
  • America
  • Barbary Crosier
  • Pirates
  • Cursed
  • England
  • Jade Rebellion
  • Spain

The Barbary Crosier, Cursed, and Jade Rebellion are new to me and I look forward to seeing how these new combatants fit into the scheme of things.

Pirates of Davy Jones Curse includes 141 different ships, crew, and special treasure pieces. Pirates of Davy Jones Curse also includes new terrain types, such as Fog banks, Reefs, and a Sargasso Sea, which include their own sets of attributes. Both of which will be reported on in an upcoming post.

The game will take on new aspects with these terrain pieces; however, unless I missed this in the rules, I don’t see how ship could end up on one of these terrain pieces. It seems that it is time to create a set of situation cards, one set for the Move action and the other for the Explore action. I could include situation cards that put a ship into or on one these terrain pieces.

Friday, October 18, 2013

With Airship and Submarine-High Adventure

I have encountered several adventures already in this text, the first notable was the abduction of a Russian aristocrat and the forcible exchange of him for another Russian aristocrat, who happened to be innocent of the charges, imposed upon him, from a Russian prison ship; this a blatant act of piracy.

And now for another adventure, or rather a slight mishap; the professor accidently arouses a fairly large python and becomes entangled and struggles for his life. What other adventures will Collingwood conceive next?

Dr. von Schalchenberg being attacked by a 35 foot python. Image from With Airship and Submarine, Project Guntenberg, HTML version.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Flying Fish

The Flying Fish is a vessel mentioned in "With Airship and Submarine" by Harry Collingwood. The Flying Fish reminds me of another vessel that is similar to the Flying Fish, one written about in Jules Verne’s “The Master of the World”. Verne’s vessel is named the Terror, which might give you some idea as to the plot of this story, is similar in the Flying Fish in capabilities. Both of these vessels are convertibles and can be propelled either in the water as submarines or in the air as airships.
The Flying Fish as described in “With Airship and Submarine” is cylinder in shape, pointed at both ends and is reported as being 600 feet long and 60 feet in diameter. The Flying Fish is powered by some type of crystals and to this point in my reading these crystals have not been identified.
There aren’t any images of this vessel included within the text, so its exact likeness is unknown, but could this depiction come close to what one could imagine? I will leave that up to your imagination.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Frank Reade Jr. a Life of Adventure

Frank Jr. and Barney O’Shea being attacked by a Giant Cephalopod (Image from Frank Reade: The Age of Inventions)

Like I had previously mentioned, the Reade’s were prolific inventors. Frank Reade Junior, more so than his father, craved adventure. It was Frank Juniors inventions and his wealth that facilitated his high adventures. Whether over the jungles of South America or Africa, Haiti, or the depths of the seven seas you could find Frank Junior in one of his airships or submersibles.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Odds and Ends-Mysterious Islands

While searching for “Mysterious Islands” I have come upon these instances of Mysterious Islands. Here is a short list of those resources.

Ships of the Mysterious Islands

Ships of the Mysterious Islands is a Role Playing Game, and although the RPG has very little in common with the Whizkids game of the same name this RPG could add some interesting concepts and give a player some ideas on how to expand the Ships of the Mysterious Islands game.

Top 10 Mysterious Islands in Fiction

The Top 10 Mysterious Islands in Fiction site offers ten examples of Mysterious Islands that have been mentioned in popular culture.

The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne (epub)

The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne is a must read for those Mysterious Island aficionados.

10 Mysterious Tidal Islands around the World

A tidal island is a piece of land that is connected to the mainland and can be reached by foot at low tide, however are either total submerged or are cut off from the main land at high tide.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Found. Two HO Gauge Miniatures

I found these HO gauge miniatures at a model train meet over the weekend. Both castings are cast in some form of metal and are painted; I suppose that is what you call it. The attendant with the cart full of baggage is not painted all that badly, but the horsemen’s livery is frightful. No well-meaning model railroader would have done such a crack-up job.

There is no indication where the casting was manufactured and although the casting seem to be a bit worn, they are probably mass produced and hand painted by some poor worker getting paid a few dollars per hour.

The attendant is a full dimensional miniature, however the cart is flat. The horseman, from the bottom of his boots to the top of his “ten gallon” hat is seven scale feet. The horseman is a big guy, maybe its Hoss Cartwright from the TV series Bonanza.

Friday, October 11, 2013

My Mysterious Islands Fleet

Le Vercingetorix

The Le Vercingetorix is my first French flagged and steel hulled vessel. She may be small, but she is fast and nimble and aptly suited as a blockade runner.

USS Bellevue

The USS Bellevue is my first and only US flagged ship. The USS Bellevue is also my first Schooner. Besides being fast the schooner has a couple abilities that make it a ship worth having in your fleet:

  • Once per turn, the owner of this vessel may re-roll any die roll you make for this ship
  • As a free action, this ship can rotate her stern in any direction after any move action

Xiamens Claws

Xiamens Claws is a Pirate ship, one of many, it seems. The Xiamens Claws is my first four masted ship. With three separate decks she was a pleasure to assemble. The Xiamens Claws captain keeps a pet tiger in his cabin. All negotiations take place here. The Xiamens Claws has one special ability:

The Xiamens Claws gets a +1 her her boarding rolls and a +2 if her opponent is a submarine.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Brief Survey of Victorian Science Fiction

A Brief Survey of Victorian Science Fiction, a September 10th, 2009 post by the Wonder Mark blog featured a list of Victorian and Edwardian science-fiction stories. The list was compiled after a panel discussion on the said topic. Where the list deviated from the strict sense of the topic, the titles were added for the purpose of comparison.

Authors like Verne, Wells, and Burroughs were left out, not because their literature did not fall into this category, but because readers are usually aware of these authors and their work. The texts mentioned within the list are those that many readers may not have been aware of. Out of the list of four dozen or so I had only heard of or read ten of these texts.

Many of the texts can be read online or downloaded as epubs. Although I haven’t looked into their availability many of these titles, they may also be available as audio books.

The list will make for some enjoyable reading over the winter…

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Blog News-Upcoming Content (Or the lack there of)

I knew the day would eventually come when I couldn’t put off the need for earning CEU’s. I need to buckle down and start studying to keep my certifications and my current position safe. I will need to scale back on the posts I make every week. I am hoping to be able to post at least, three to four posts per week during this period.

If you don’t hear from me for a while, I promise I will be back and I will check in from time to time to read the posts from the bloggers I follow and will comment on the comments you leave behind. It has been a fun and I look forward to making more posts in the very near future.

Captain Nemo

The Captain Nemo character is a creation of Jules Vern and was first mentioned in Verne’s “Twenty Thousands Leagues under the Sea” and then again in Verne’s “Mysterious Island”. Since these appearances the character of Capt. Nemo has been portrayed in many different forms and characterized in the popular culture. The character of Captain Nemo has appeared in 67 different comics, in several books, as a miniature, and in a few movies.

The many different characterizations of Captain Nemo I have encountered already have me wanting to explore and expound on this character further in upcoming blog posts.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pirates of the Caribbean Wiki-Davy Jones

The Pirates of the Caribbean Davy Jones Wiki gives the reader a thorough background of this legendary supernatural figure. Dave Jones is the ruler of the seven seas and the captain of the Flying Dutchman. Davy Jones appeared in the Pirates of the Caribbean’s Dead Man's Chest and At World's End. Whizkids makes mention of Davy Jones in their Pirates of Davy Jones Curse strategy game.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Geography of the Pirates of Caribbean

The Geography of the Pirates of Caribbean page lists and describes the major and minor locations mentioned in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. This page offers an interesting overview of the Islands and locations mentioned in the Pirates of the Caribbean series.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Reade Submarine

All three generations of the Reade family were prolific inventors. Their inventions like Airships, Land ships, submarines, and robots were first powered by steam and later by electric. These inventions were crafted at their Reade Works plant in Reade Pennsylvania.
This submarine used a combustion engine for propulsion.

Cut-a-way view of a speculative submarine created at the Reade works in 1880.(image found in Frank Reade: Adventures in the Age of Invention)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Unique Treasure

Pirates of the Spanish Main and the other versions of this strategy game include unique treasure pieces. They seem to be a bit rare, for I have only received two unique treasure pieces in six game packs. Unique treasures, like normal treasure are distributed among the “wild Islands”.

Unique treasures are worth 0 gold pieces, but may change later in the game. Unique treasures provide the ship in which they are carried special abilities.

Special abilities like the two listed here:

Bad Plans allows you to subtract one from a die roll while at a mysterious island.
Marksmen Map allows you, once per turn to look at one face down treasure on any island.

What If the Allies Had Fallen

The second part of my order from Amazon arrived a few days after the first. If the Allies Had Fallen was originally published as “What If? Strategic Alternatives of WWII”, but has been republished, given a new title, and cover art.
The title “If the Allies Had Fallen” and very provocative cover art, have very little to do with the content of the book. The text offers 60 alternative what if scenarios for WWII. I have just finished reading one that asked “What if Japan had made a second attack on Pearl Harbor and had attacked the navy’s oil reserves? Couldn’t they have further crippled the Pacific fleet?
The book covers all the major offensives throughout the war on both fronts. My hopes for the text are that book will give me ideas for alternative war gamming strategies.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Father Christmas and Santa Miniatures

In time for the upcoming holiday season here is a short list of available Father Christmas and Santa miniatures. More than a few of the figures, although still available from retail outlets, are out of production. Get them while you can.

I will start with the largest figure:


Andrew C Stadden offers a traditional Father Christmas miniature, which could be used on an US O-gauge (1/48) model railroad.


There are quite a few 28mm Father Christmas and Santa figures available from multiple sources.

Father Christmas (and Lovely Assistant), Copplestone Castings
Santa Hold Up, Foundry
Orc & Dwarf Fathers Christmas, Fenryll Miniatures
Santa Frog and Tadpole Timmy, Dark Sword Miniatures


Reaper Miniatures offers two 25mm Santa figures.

Santa Claus
Santa Mousling and Helper

1/87 Scale

Just one offering here.

Santa Claus, Fun and Games

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Frank Reade’s Fabulous Inventions-a Glider

I have neglected my Frank Reade Adventures in the Age of Invention book long enough. There are so many fabulously delicious inventions to be discovered and written about. I will endeavor to make use of this text and share these fabulous inventions in the upcoming weeks.

This is Sketch by Frank Reade III, is one of his gliders, found on page 122, of Frank Reade Adventures in the Age of Invention, Guinan and Bennett. The glider is reminiscent of da Vinci’s work.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Back From a Short Break

I am back from a short hiatus. I am gearing up for the upcoming month and am excited about my upcoming posts. I am also looking forward to getting caught up with the posts of those I follow.

My Pirates of Mysterious Islands Fleet

The following ships are part of my Pirates of Mysterious Islands fleet. I don’t see myself using these ships exclusively for the Pirates of Mysterious Islands game, but will add them my existing fleet of ships. The rules for this edition of Whizkids pirates’ game will append the game rules for the previous edition, making the game more interesting and challenging.

Le Vercingetorix, France, 8 points
Masts: 2
Treasure Capacity: 3
Basic move: Long
Cannon Range: Long, for a hit must roll higher than a 3

The Le Vercingetorix is named after an ancient Gaul chieftain. Her hull is steel-riveted, making her one of newer ships of the French fleet.

Ramming cannot eliminate this ship’s masts.

Xiamens Claws, Pirate, 13 points
Masts: 4
Treasure Capacity: 4
Basic move: Short + Short
Cannon Range: Short, for a hit, depending on the placement of the cannon, you will have to roll a 3 or better.

The Xiamens Claws gets a -1 to her boarding rolls. She gets a -2, if her opponent is a submarine.

El Tejon, Pirate, 7 points
Masts: 2
Treasure Capacity: 2
Basic move: Long
Cannon Range: Short, for a hit you must roll a 3 or better.

You may double the range of this ship’s cannon each turn, but you must roll a 6 to hit. Count equals two broken ships because of brittle tabs. I broke the tabs on both sails, their being especially brittle, while attempting to insert them into the ship assembly; it is a shame-this ships special ability might have proven to be beneficial.

This Ship is linked to Benito De Soto.

USS Bellevue, United States, 12 points
Masts: 3
Treasure Capacity: 4
Basic move: Long
Cannon Range: Depending on the cannon, your range will be either a Short or a Long. You must roll a 4 or better for a hit.

The USS Bellevue is a Schooner. Once per turn you may reroll any die roll you roll for this ship. You must use the second die roll result.

This ship is linked to Kodiak.