Sunday, 30 December 2012

The Guns of Toblerone

At Sheffield Wargames Society's games day on 28 December, I ran a slightly silly game which rendered the great public service of keeping ten wargamers off the streets and away from polite society for a couple of hours.
The Guns of Toblerone was originally presented by Ian Drury at the Wargame Developments Conference of Wargamers in 2005 and took the form of a sort of role-playing game in the style of a 1970s war movie.  Was it based on any particular film(s)?  Well, you must decide for yourselves.  I shall say only that in addition to the crack team of stereotypes (dropped by parachute from a captured Ju-52 dressed as Germans), the game also featured Greek partisans, coastal gun batteries, cable cars and of course some very postwar vehicles disguised with very large black crosses. 
I had made a few minor tweaks to Ian's original version of the the game and written parts for additional players.
Above - the island of Toblerone.  The big-budget terrain was drawn and written on A4 sheets of thin card.  And yes - there are three Airfix coastal defence forts present! 
 The cast aboard their Ju-52 for the outbound flight.
The cast were as follows:
Martin R as Major Smith - a ruthless British spy
Steve R as Captain Jim Ryan - a US Army Ranger
Lloyd P as Lt. Myles Fitzbohun of the Welsh Guards - lending tone to the proceedings
Mark H as George Psychoundakis - a Greek Army officer attached to Special Operations
John A as Sgt. Jock McTavish - a hard drinking Glaswegian demolitions expert
Steve T as Cpl. Johnny Walker - the inevitable (and frankly irritating) irrepressible Cockney
Paul L as Cpl Andy Morant of 2/4 Australian Regt - hanging his bush hat where it's not wanted
Kayte H as Heidi Van Rentle - glamorous female secret agent
Paul B as L.Cpl. Frant Paget - an obnoxious and outspoken Yorkshireman
Dave R as Caporal Jean-Pierre Le Croix of the French Legion Etranger - musclebound continental glamour (but scarce a word of English...)

 Steve T and Martin R wearing appropriate silly hats.
Another view of the three Airfix Coastal Defence forts.
After landing safely in the woods (except for the dead Major Smith), the party linked up with some Greek partisans (played by the swiftly re-cast Martin R) and after retrieving a drunken Cpl Morant who was getting friendly with a taverna waitress were soon bound for the lower cable car station in a stolen truck.  On arrival they were delayed by a German patrol searching for saboteurs.  Little did our heroes know that Fritz had been tipped off by the Communist Partisans!
When they eventually reached the battery the German speakers tried to talk their way into the three emplacements.  Cpt. Ryan did so successfully and soon overcame the unsuspecting gunners.  Meanwhile Cpl Walker was in discussion with a German sentry on the subject of crap officers but had got no further.  L.Cpl Paget was welcomed into 'his' battery - where unknown to his erstwhile comrades he had gone to surrender and betray his team!  The alarm was soon sounding as confused Germans ran back and forth.  Taking advantage of the chaos our heroes soon silenced the German flak gunners (with the aid - it being a film - of 'nuclear' hand grenades).  Spirited resistance from the emplacement where the traitor Paget had taken refuge was soon brought to a fitting end by Ryan and Fitzbohun firing their captured '88' through the back door!
By then we were out of time so the full story of how our brave lads escaped will have to wait for the sequel...


Chris Kemp said...

It sounds as if it was 'Choc' full of drama.

Aaargh, I was just thinking it, didn't mean to type or post it ... so, so sorry!

Nick Grant said...

Now that sounds frightfully entertaining! Especially the bit about the 88 delivering justice through the back door!

Paul said...

It does have sequel written all over it.

You really do see the need to add a Sophia Loren type character to this star studded cast however.

Mmmm Sophia....(The 60/70's version)

Tim Gow said...

Chris Kemp
Nuts to you. Well you started it....

Tim Gow said...

Nick Grant
The producer took the view that such blatant treason had to be seen to be punished by the end of the film...

Tim Gow said...

A sequel with the same tired old characters and an even less plausible plot? I think I can manage that!

Peter Douglas said...


Looks absolutely loonie - I love it!

FYI, a cousin of mine did a translation degree in Switzerland way back when I was in Uni. For Christmas that year, she brought back a 15 lb Toblerone and gave us each a triangle - 1.5 lbs a head. Yummmm...


The Dancing Cake Tin said...

Mr MacLean would approve of your choc-a-bloc mix of honeyed words and nutty ideas.

All the best for 2013!

Tim Gow said...

Peter Douglas
I expect that these days most airline security would class a 15 pound (that's 6.8KG) Toblerone as an offensive weapon. That's probably a fair description.

Tim Gow said...

Dancing Cake Tin
I thought you'd enjoy the confection of ingredients.

Stephen Thomas said...

Cpl. Johnny Walker says - 'A Sequel ? Storm the crows guvnor, I don't think my nerves can take it !!!"

Tim Gow said...

Stephen Thomas
I'm not sure mine can either.

Don M said...


Tim Gow said...

Don M
Is that your way of saying you are quietly appalled?

Don M said...

I thought it was warped, chaotic, borderline insane, and utterly brilliant!

Tim Gow said...

Don M
One endeavours to give satisfaction...