Thursday, 10 April 2014

President Fred's Funeral - part 1 - Setting the scene

This game, played on 9 April at Sheffield Wargames Society followed on from our last outing to Darkest Africa.  See the earlier post for an outline of the game mechanisms.  Here are the player briefings.  Next time we'll see the action unfolding.  Or just unravelling......
To recap on what happened last time: 

President Fred was - dead!  After over a decade of surviving various assassination attempts and battlefield fire the great Fred - blessed be his name - was gone.
Captain D'eath made it to the Capital and featured in some very positive news footage.  He hasn't become the new president.  Yet....
The P.O.O.F.S. - Managed to find a few bits of new kit and are well placed to take power (with L.A.D.A. support).
Col. Incognito - Was militarily successful and expects to be able to manipulate the future government of Ph'tang.
Roger Mellie - Got some great footage on prime time TV and took full advantage of Capt. D'eath's well stocked drinks cabinet.
Hertz Van Rental - successfully evacuated the wounded from the airport - but didn't feature in any TV coverage.

Personal briefing – Mrs Fred

You are the widow of the late President Fred (blessed be his name), the democratically elected and benign ruler of the small African state of Ph’tang, his party P.O.N.G. (the Ph’tangi Organisation for National Glorification) having swept to victory at the last election.  And the one before that.  
Under your direct command is your devoted (and well remunerated) bodyguard, The Purple Helmets.

  1. Ensure Fred has an honourable and dignified send off.
  2. Position yourself as his successor.
  3. Use the advantages that nature has conferred to advance your cause.

Personal briefing – Captain D’eath

            You were until recently are the loyal and trusted sidekick to President Fred of Ph’tang.  In the aftermath of Fred’s death you featured in some very positive TV news coverage, having saved the life (or so you say) of ace reporter, the rather tipsy Roger Mellie.

  1. Develop your media career.
  2. Emerge as a lifelong supporter of whichever faction looks most likely to control Ph’tang.
  3. Quietly commit an atrocity, preferable one involving an endangered species of wildlife.

Personal briefing – The Limp Wrist

            You are the shadowy and mysterious leader of a popular (well not that popular) uprising against the evil dictatorship of President Fred. Your organisation, The Peoples Organisation For Socialism (P.O.O.F.S.) is covertly backed by the Cuban sponsored Leftist Army of Darkest Africa (L.A.D.A.) which has invaded Ph’tang in support of your cause.

  1. Position yourself as Fred’s successor.
  2. Include a load of Marxist claptrap in every argument.
  3. Retain the support of L.A.D.A.

Personal briefing – Colonel Incognito

            You are the Cuban ‘adviser’ to and thus de facto commander of L.A.D.A. (the Leftist Army of Darkest Africa). Having assembled your forces in nearby Zoone, you have invaded Ph’tang and put the country to the fire and sword in the interests of peace and stability.  You have orders ‘from the highest level’ that the P.O.O.F.S. must not gain power in Ph’tang.

  1. Keep the peace during the funeral.
  2. Give the P.O.O.F.S. plenty of verbal support but no material help at all.
  3. Eliminate any remaining Fredist support.
  4. Include a load of Marxist claptrap in every argument.

We also had two 'non player' roles:

Personal briefing – Roger Mellie (the man on the telly…)

            You are a hard-drinking veteran journalist and were in Ph’tang a few months ago to cover the election (and the subsequent unrest).  You have recenty flown back to cover the expected invasion of the country by the Cuban-backed Leftist Army of Darkest Africa.  Then you got a bit pissed.  In the aftermath of President Fred’s death you were ‘rescued’ by Captain D’eath and said a load of nice stuff about him on TV.  But you really can’t remember what happened…

  1. Secure an exclusive interview with Mrs Fred, the late President’s grieving widow.
  2. Present a dramatic 30-60 second report each turn.
  3. Avoid Captain D’eath.
  4. Emerge alive (and preferably drunk) with your reputation enhanced.

Personal briefing – Captain Hertz Van Rental

            You are a young officer of the Royal Dutch Marines currently on UN peacekeeping duty in Ph’tang.   
  1. Keep the peace during the late President’s funeral.
  2. Avoid becoming involved in any factional fighting in Ph’tang.
  3. Ensure you feature prominently and positively in any TV coverage.


Arthur said...


Sounds good, but here's the thing, you see, I believe Fred is missed by many, well, one at least. So here's a suggestion.

create a dodgy charismatic cherch with an even dodgier pastor, name him after some currency, like, I don't know, maybe the Kwacha - full name and title His Holiness The Bishop Doctor Kwacha Jones Mafuta (means big 'n fat) cos' you see, we need a resurrection miracle. And the effect on his congregation will be awesome, especially when it comes to loosening the wallets.

Here's hoping.


Tim Gow said...

That's a very high quality plot line you suggest - and better than some I've had suggested. Now be honest, did the dog help you with this?

Don M said...

President Fred is not dead he was safely away gambling in Monaco and it was in fact one of his body doubles that was killed. This also accounts for the very poor tactics
in that last battle. Fred also did
very well at the gaming tables and is returning with a well equipped mercenary force....Long Live Fred
blessed be his name!

Don M said...

And to add to Arthur's very fine story line, The Bishop Doctor Kwacha Jones Mafuta reanimates the body
double as sort of a zombie mouth piece. So in effect you have a Fred and a anti-Fred faction.

Poor Captain D’eath now he has to off two of them...)

Tim Gow said...

Don M
At least two Fred doubles have been assassinated (in those innocent far off pre-blog days....) so I'd rather avoid that line. But - as yet we've not had any Vodoo in the game.......

Grigork said...


Archduke Piccolo said...

Ooo, goody! More ph'rantic ph'un from ph'arthest Ph'tang. Well, if President Fred is not to be resurrected, the rise of a credible pretender - possibly one of the recently unemployed presidential body doubles - seems to present a plausible future narrative.

But how persuadable will Mrs Fred be that her late lamented is not so lamentably late after all? This question (which I won't even attempt to answer) opens up a whole swodge of possible future narratives, especially coupled with Arthur's suggestion...

Looking forward to see how this plays out. I'm still barracking for the Cubans... :-)


Stephen Thomas said...

How about this? Picture the scene.

Mrs. Fred is at home grieving the loss of her beloved husband. She's drowning her sorrows with a large glass of Cabernet Sauvignon whilst perusing Fred's investment portfolio and counting the cash tucked behind the Chicken shack. Suddenly there's a noise from the bathroom. She goes to investigate, picking up her trusty machete on the way. Flinging open the bathroom door she raises the machete and stepping into the steam filled room she shouts:

"Who dat in dare? Come on out or I is gonna come in swingin."

"What's de matter wid you woman? Why is you shoutin n hollorin?" says a familiar voice.

"My God! Fred! Is dat you? I taut you wos dead."

" What you talkin about woman? I jus bin in de shower is all."

I know it seems a little far fetched but I'm sure it could work. In fact I'm surprised non of the big Hollywood soap operas haven't thought of using this story line before now. :-)

Don M said...

I understand Tim but, have you had two running around at the same time?
Just think of the chaos and skullduggery....what fun!

Martin Rapier said...

These potential plot twists are all very entertaining, but when faced with coming up with half decent game arguments at short notice, somewhat beyond those of us on a mid-week work night.

Large numbers of heavily armed people of varying allegience in close proximity during a time of uncertainty. What could possibly go wrong!

Stephen Thomas said...

You can insert as many Fred doubles as you like into the game. It will still be easy for the opposition to spot the real Pres Fred.

He'll be the one in the shower cap. :-)

Arthur said...


It's all dog, well, at least some of it going to the dogs.

Hence the pitiful spelling, but he never did learn much at that school I sent him to.

Some good creative thinking taking place here - definitely working up to a Hollywood script here.


Tim Gow said...

Thanks - a dodgy plotline many years in the making!

Tim Gow said...

Archduke Piccolo
Mrs Fred may be one to watch. And not just because of what you're thinking!

Tim Gow said...

Don M
You understand? Wow!

Tim Gow said...

Martin Rapier
It was a splendid game - made so by four very creative players. But like you said - what could go wrong?

Tim Gow said...

Hollywood? Hell, I hope it's not that bad!