Friday, November 21, 2014

Gabriel Toys Chutes Away

I thrift.  That is not a secret.  I thrift for treasure to add to my collection which is dragon sized in its hoarding capacity.  I like to collect games that are cool and great to play.  I also love to make some hobby money on games that have a nostalgia following in the out of production after market of Ebay.  I have decided to showcase some of these items on my blog as another area of my hobby interests that may be of interest to others.  So let's jump right into this project with Chutes Away!!!!!

Plastic Gabriel Awesomeness from 1978 found in a Kansas City Thrift Store for $1.98!  This game was sitting on the shelf with the toys and was without a box or bag to protect any of its pieces.  Therefore it is of no surprise that all of its paratroopers are AWOL.  That is sad because this seems like an over the top gizmo game of fun.

What attracted me to the item was the cool yellow plane and control panel sitting on the shelf with the obvious bombs away functionality suggested by the controls and bomb sight apparatus. I had to have it.  However I had not found the turntable as of yet so I looked at how all the parts worked and realized that there had to be a map of some sort that allowed the player to drop the chutes into targets.

After familiarizing my self with the controls and looking for the missing parts I had completed the toy.

I found the turntable map several feet away behind some stuffed animals.

Night Rescue action - check out the search light.

Let's take a close up look at the map and see what needs to be rescued from  the air by our brave Gabriel pilots flying at night.

The stranded camper.  Looks like perhaps a rock slide has his leg trapped.

The marooned canoeists. Half sunk boat in the water.

Cracked up cruiser.  Distressing isn't it?!

Automobile off the bridge!  That bridge is collapsed - has anyone seen the bridge?

Flipped vehicle.

The downed chopper rescue adventure.

The raft in the rapids.  What chaos!

A downed aircraft.  Looks like it came in pretty rough!  Wonder if it was from our own airfield?  A brother Rescue Chutes Away pilot?

House on fire, house on fire!

The deflated balloonists rescue.

This is what I initially found.  The stand and aircraft with controls.

The fully assembled toy.  My proxy parachutes are seen on the table.  They are made from paperclips and masking tape.  The paper clip is then cut or notched to allow it to load onto the chute ramp.

Aircraft number 3.

A look into the bomb sight apparatus and a close up of my clip chutes.

A certified toy rescue mission.

Remember kids read the instructions first.

Sweet control panel.
Aside from the lights this is not really a battery operated toy.  The knob on the turntable is a clockwork motor that winds up and then when you activate the right lever the turntable ratchets around  like a banshee in a frenetic swivet.  I am not a kid anymore and maybe too old to play this accurately but dang I gave it a try.  The obvious function is to drop the chutes into the cups pertaining to the missions.  In practice the map swirls around so fast and bumpy that I don't think I will ever actually make a target land correctly.  Oh well.  The coolness of the whole thing cannot be denied.
The center control slides the aircraft back and forth  along the top bar from the center of the map out to the outside perimeter.  The right most controller labelled "drop" is the release lever for the parachutes.  It all works just really loose.
Thanks for looking in on the blog.  You can expect more in depth looks at my game collection in future posts.  Join my blog group and leave a comment.

PS:  I would love to get some parachutists for this toy.  If you have a contact or ability to provide please advise.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Fall Tourney at Lincoln Castle

The Song of Arthur and Merlin Campaign rolls on.  Welcome dear reader to the continuing tales of the stalwart knights of the Lion's Den.  It gladdens my heart overly much to recount the joyous celebration of mine birthday with fellow gamers of long standing.  Harken unto the digital pixels of an evening of feasting and merriment.  Marvel at the tales of a great tourney held on the green lawn before Lincoln Castle - home to the aged Aeron of Lindsey.
The King's retinue from Salisbury begins to arrive at Lincoln Castle and the Duchy of Duke Aeron of Lindsey.  The jousting list has been prepared in anticipation of mighty deeds of arms.  The herald accounts for the following warband retinue and the attending lord that appertain there unto. Lord Terry and his warband of Sir Morhault, Sir Lanvil, and Sir Robin the Stout Hearted doth arrive and assign a pavillion of silk tents unto and take their pleasure in the fine green space before the castle walls.  Lord Jon Haworth arrived anon and his retinue did contain the infamous knight of the red lance, Sir Timor of Catterick - Warden of the Northern Marches, Sir Dwailyn the Imp, and Sir Elan.  The herald spake unto them thuswise, "welcome noble lords and kinds sirs.  The peace of Arthur and the realm dictates that all sportsmanship and conduct will be as becomes a gentle belted knight of Britain."  And after awhile did lord Bill arrive with his knights and esquires Sir Bradwen and Sir Rhun.  And in the late afternoon did arrive Lord Kenneth of  the Greenwood, and his knights and esquires three in all, Sir Kenneth the Paladin, Sir Connor - son of Aeron, and Sir Cadlew a lesser son of Duke Aeron.  And after a pace did arrive Lord Nick and his retinue of knights and esquires two in number, Sir Osric Wulfhere, and Guy Galardoun.  And finally Lord Ted made his appearance on the road into Lincoln castle with his retinue of Baron Schleich, Sir Arnold Von Wald.  And the herald did great each and all in turn as they arrived and each was assigned a place of honor appertaining to their worth under the walls of castle Lincoln and the peace of Arthur.

And during that time of year the calendar marked this time the Feast of All Souls and in a short space of time the birthday celebration of Duke Aeron of Lindsey.  In preparation for these events the duchy prepared a grand feast.  The herald announced to the assembled retinue of guests from Salisbury and the King that there would be a parade of helms and that each knight that would bare arms in the lists should prepare himself in all martial array and proceed in the march on the lists to be judged by the assembled court of the duke and his family and close friends.  And in that event there was a multitude of banners and silk and crests divinely wrought in all manner of beasts and heraldry.  And the gamemaster of the Song of Arthur and Merlin did require all players to roll 3D6 and he spake thuswise to the assembly, "count your successes and take one chivalry for each success.  I will record these successes and your place at the Feast of All Souls will be determined thuswise and appertain to your seat of honor and participation in further gentle festivities within the grand hall."

The parade of helms and the royal court of the Duke of Lindsey.

The Feast of All Souls in the grand hall.  This festivity and gentle adventure was likewise full of chivalry and the ability to affect the social standing of your knight.  We did a series of toasts to long dead RPG characters that we had played in the past.  These characters that we had brought to life through imagination and game nights were celebrated and toasted in their turn by all players.  This was good for quite a few stories and toasts to old friends.  The game master did require that each player would roll 3D6 and count the successes and report out that score for chivalry appertaining there unto and the quality of the story on the court and lords and ladies.

The feast also included a madrigal dance.  Each knight was invited to this event as his score dictated by the parade of helms.  The ladies of Lincoln held sway in this event and their vote of quality and attention to the knight would bring fabulous honor and awards in special skills and magical items.

Lady Millicent was a very gregarious demoiselle and courted quite a few of the knights attention. 

The following morning the populace gathered at the tourney fields for a grand joust and test of arms.

The four rounds of the event listing the starting  combats and all of the tilts to up to the winner there of.

Sir Timor of Catterick, Warden of the Northern March and known also as The Red Lancer.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Jousting Rules Variant for Song of Arthur and Merlin
Song of Arthur and Merlin Jousting Rules Variant  By Kenneth Van Pelt
“So each knight saluted the other, and thereupon each took such a stand as should cast the encounter immediately beneath where those three fair demoiselles looked down from the balcony. Then each knight dressed his spear and his shield, and, having made ready for the encounter, each sat for a small space entirely prepared.”
  • ·         The participating knights are placed as demonstrated on the list facing each other and ready to move toward each other in traditional jousting fashion.  Now in SAM and SoBH the mechanic is move counter move based on a success throw of a set of D6.  In a joust both participants are acting in unison or in synchronous order.  To model that with the already in place mechanic of SAM we salute and require each knight to throw 3D6, (the full set of SAM success die.)  For each success the knight may advance one move increment down the rail.  

“Then each shouted to his war-horse, and drave spur into its flank, and launched forth with wonderful speed to the assault. So they met in the very midst of the course with a force so vehement that the noise thereof was wonderfully appalling for to hear. “

  • ·         3 rolled successes will leave you at mid-point on the rail.  Any failures and you will be caught closer to your start point by a more successful knight opposing you.  From beyond the midpoint you get to add +1 to your combat score for each full section you have moved past midpoint and closer to your opponents start point!

“And each knight smote the other in the very centre of his defences. And, lo! the spear of Sir Geraint burst into small pieces, even to the truncheon thereof; but the spear of King Arthur held, and Sir Geraint was cast so violently backward that both he and his horse were overthrown into the dust with a tumult like to a monstrous roaring of thunder.”

  • ·         We assume that a contact will occur when the two knight figures pass in the same segment* of the rail. At this occurrence we roll a combat roll with and if there are any leftover successes to use for combat.  ALL special abilities are in play.  Passing blow especially.  If you don't have enough successes to make an attack then you simply defend or if both are out of successes than it is a pass by.  In our joust if you are beaten by an even roll you are unhorsed and defeated.  If you are beaten by an odd roll you are recoiled and remain in the saddle however the opponent has "broken" a lance on your shield and scores 1 point.  The knights continue to the end of the list and pass again.  Three broken lances are equal to a win or "unhorsing" of the opponent.

“And when Sir Geraint had recovered his footing, he was, for awhile, so astonished that he wist not where he stood, for never had he been so overthrown in all of his life before.  Then Sir Geraint knew not what to say, being altogether abashed with shame and vexation at his overthrow."   Howard Pyle, King Arthur and His Knights