Tuesday 28 July 2015

The Scales of Anubis - Vessel of the Heart

So here is part 2 of the Scales of Anubis campaign

part 1 can be found here...


cue the music...

Suitable Pulp Music


Stop Press: 28th March 1936

British Military Intelligence has intercepted a communique between the personal office of Himmler and the Kriegsmarine - the coded message reads that the German Registered steamer Vancouver was to be crewed by Naval personnel and to sail to Acajutla on the West Coast of El Salvador , Central America. The Passenger manifest would include Hauptmann Gruntz (the man responsible for seizing the fulcrum in Egypt).

Local agents in the town report of a sizeable German Archaelogical build up.

Rumours abound that the Germans have been excavating around the pre-columbian Maya complex at Tazumel. 

British Military Intelligence has shared this information with the CIA who are known to have a team in the area. This team lead by the Famous Adventurer Oregon Tom are collaborative with local Rebels

Forces loyal to the President in the Area Are Known to be Sympathisers to the NAZI cause.

As has been said before I am trying to root this campaign in history to give it the right sort of flavour. It is not unreasonable to assume following the adventures in Egypt in January the events can shift to Central America two months later. From now on I'll add the sources...


The Vancouver was a Nazi registered boat sunk off the coast of El Savadore in April 1936

Tazumel was a pre Columbian Maya complex excavated properly in the 1940's

Both Tazumel and Acajutla are on the western side of El Savadore

El Savadores's president  - Martinez was drawn to the fascist ideologies of Germany and Italy but in 1940 committed his country to supporting the allied cause

So Ahnerbe have captured the first piece of the scales and are close to finding the second in the steamy jungle ruins of Tazumel.

The Stepped Pyramid of Tazumal

Tazumel is situated on the banks of the Rio Paz. This forms the border of El Salvador and Guatemala and the river runs 120km towards the Pacific Ocean.

On the outskirts of Tazumel and by the river is the small trading post of San Cristobal (Ficticious) which was founded by the Jesuits in the 18th century. The settlement is dominated by the crumbling catholic chapel carrying the same name. A local tavern/trading post along with a few other dwellings constitutes this small village. The ruins of Tazumel lie to the south of the settlement.

The Village of San Cristobal

Clues for the location of the dish are scattered across the perilous region.

These are chiefly the following

1.       The written memoirs of the old priest Father Jesu Mendez in the chapel

2.       Gossip and rumours that can be found in the Trading Post run by Alfredo Garvas

3.       The Archaelogical digs situated on the outskirts of Tazumel (There are two of them)

4.       The heiroglyphs located on the temple of the sun

With five plot points to secure the party holding three plot points will reveal the location of the dish 
The game is being played with three factions (with so many factions being used last time its nice to be reducing the number - once again the Nazis outnumber the other two factions)
The Order of the Black Sun

1.       Hauptmann Gruntz has been rewarded with a bulletproof jacket (automatically counts as in cover)for securing the Fulcrum in Part 1
2.       He starts with start with  a new sidekick Herr Piece, a new Ally Kapitan Drei & six followers – see point 3
3.       He starts on the board in the ruins at the Nazi Excavation site.
4.       One of his followers is a sniper (Eagle Eyed) who is hidden at the top of the temple of the Sun.
5.       He must exit either via the west road – transport has been procured from the local Taverna owner Alfredo Garvas
The White Cross
1.       He starts with four followers plus a sidekick and an ally
2.       The Priest – Father Jesu will automatically give you his plot point should you come into contact with him at the Chapel of San Christobal.
3.       You must exit the board at the jetty by the river.

Father Jesu
The Chicago Institute of Antiquities
1.       They start with only two followers
2.       Your Ally Pedro Gonzalves is a native of the area and as such will add +1 to any die roll when encountering any perils in the jungle area – he must be within 6 inches of the character taking the peril
3.       The owner of the trading post Alfredo Garvas is Pedro Gonzales cousin. Provided you can reach Alfredo first he will not only give you the plot point but he will also release his henchmen to become your followers (x3).
4.       Alfredo’s henchmen will protect the plot point from the Nazi’s but will NOT stand in the way of White Cross
5.       You may either exit the board in the truck parked behind the Taverna/Trading post or at the jetty

The Boat awaits at the Jetty
Notes on terrain
- All the solid jungle areas block lie of sight, they maybe traversed but count as perils
- All the ruin areas maybe potentially perilous - roll a d6 - 1-3 contain perils
- The River and dock area is perilous - heavy rains have caused the areas to become treacherous
- The vehicles on the board maybe started and driven using two successful finesse rolls
- The Vehicles will only travel at the speed of a man in the jungle - each turn roll d6 - 1 vehicle becomes permanently bogged - 2-3 hazard - peril - Roads do not deliver perils but cars may still bog
- Vehicles afford cover to all those driving/sitting in them

San Cristobal & the ruins of Tazumel

in glorious 1930's sepia
 The Action Report
 The game albeit easier with three players was still frenetic and had a number of thrills, spills and a few kills. Apologies but photos are in rather short supply...forgot to take many...
Early on the Nazis pushed to capture the plot points in the jungle and Herr Gruntz and his band overcame the perils in each zone meanwhilst the White Cross had picked up the notes from Father Jesu.
The White Cross and the CIA soon met in the tavern, and whilst the White Cross could not persuade the owner to hand over his rumours (plot point) the ally of the CIA had no issue (he was afterall Afredo's cousin. Fisticuffs broke out in the upstairs of the tavern and before men started dying the White Cross leaped from the windows into the alley below. One henchmen almost became a cropper but safely landed in a case of tomatoes !

As the White Cross traversed the street to head into the jungle one of the men casually sauntered past the tethered donkey...don't these players learn the rear end of animals on the board are almost certainly going to be a peril ! Fortunately for him he dodged the flying hooves.
By now each of our leagues were in possession of one plot point and the action was converging on the centre of the table. As the Americans and Italians broke cover the German Sniper on top of the pyramid opened fire. As he did a peril was played on him. He failed to overcome this ...perhaps his gun exploded in his face we will never know as his unconscious body rolled down the archaic steps.

The Germans quickly overcame their second ploy point in the archaeological dig - narrowly escaping the swarming bees that had already killed off the American sidekick Doctor Missouri.
The third plot point was almost theirs  - as the forces converged into the centre of the table a furious gun battle erupted. It was apparent that the Nazis were the primary targets and their followers began to diminsh in number. Herr Gruntz's sidekick - Herr Piece and Kapitan Drei soon followed their colleagues into hell (Kapitan Vier will be in the next game !)
The Italians of the White Cross now ha the three plot points and the entrance to the tomb where the Vessel lay was revealed (an aquarium statue). They bundled in only to be knocked out by the trapps lying inside (perils). The American seizing the initiative folled suit and Oregon Tom (leader of the CIA faction) soon had the vessel in his hands only to be gunned down by the pursuing Italians.
Again another fire fight broke out - time was running out and I declared that the holder of the vessel in the final rounds would win the game...
Guess what - Herr Gruntz of the Order of the Sun came up trumps again. Clasping the vessel he ran from the board....

Closing thoughts....

With the Vessel of the heart now in the hands of the Nazis, the US Government attempted to stop the only known ship leaving El Salvadore the following morning.  The German registered Vancouver.

The USS Porpoise (SS 172) was on training maneuvers off the coast and was ordered to sink the Vancouver. Its first torpedo struck the steering rudder of the Vancouver but before it could launch another strike the Sub suffered some critical failures forcing it to call off the attack. The Vancouver ran aground on the coast two days later.

However the artefact was no longer in the country - two days after the fracas in Tazumal Herr Gruntz headed over the border into Guatemala and picked up a flight to Mexico. Two pieces of the Anubis puzzle are now in the hands of the Germans.... 


The Vancouver was registered to the German flag and ran aground off El Salvadore in April 1936

The USS Porpoise - was commissioned in June 1935 and passed through the panama canal in September 1936 ( I have just brought the timing forward) given its operating theatre was in the Pacific it seemed reasonable to place this boat here on training maneuvers


So where to next....

Well I am off on holiday now for the next three weeks so the blog will be quite quiet...however our next adventure will take place in September as our intrepid leagues head to the English Countryside...

I'll be working on the backstory whilst I am away but I can reveal that the next gripping instalment will be called...

Until next time....


  1. Once again a great table - really evocative. And it's sounds like a fun game - reverses of fortune right up until the very end.

  2. you have an awesome collection of terrain

  3. Terrific stuff! Great AAR, terrain and models. Given the German league's losses in men, I fear Kapitan Vier will probably need to be dragged out from under his bed if he's to see the next adventure. ;)

  4. Splendid! Can't wait for the next installment!

  5. Fabulous! Those damned Nazis...
    The Pyramid is superb, how did you make that?

    1. The Pyramid was built ages ago...

      Its basically trays of wood covered in card tiles and painted and then stacked up on each other. The top came from an old Kiddie board game...its only ever been used once before in a Predator game

  6. Thanks for all the positivity guys

  7. Great table, great pics and a great story :)

  8. I must have missed it somewhere. What rules are you using?

  9. I am so very impressed Eric!
    Thank you.
    Bill P.

  10. Have you seen Maria Orsich in her Vril society flying saucer ... ? :-)

  11. btw my bloody U boat is still stuck ..

  12. Great write up and super terrain too!

  13. Great AAR!

    And your scenery collection turns me green of envy.

    Thanks for sharing.