Tuesday, May 24, 2011


We played Fiasco again and this time, we chose the Objective Zebra playset. A submarine. WWII. A diary in a dead language. What can go wrong?
Let me tell you.

We played as the captain of the boat, a scientist, the chief engineer and a crewman/German spy. The playset states that the submarine has run aground way below its safe diving depth after visiting some mysterious island off the German coast and getting bombed by the Germans.

The first act took place almost exclusively on the island where the submarine had been sent to because we decided that the purpose of Objective Zebra was to raise some demon/Old God with the help of the aforementioned diary. A small flaw in the occult symbols copied onto the floor from the diary causes the whole ritual to end in chaos and panic. The German spy, brought along as a guard, uses the confusion and his machine pistol to shoot the captain, who clearly is the leader of the cult, in the back, leaving him for dead.

You can imagine his surprise when the captain turns up, not only alive but totally unhurt. The situation is not improved by depth charges and the boat is pretty much dead at a depth of 200 metres. The spy goes into hiding, as much as that is possible on a submarine, and turns up the diary of the cook stating that the crew has been poisoned. Awesome. Just what we need.

The Tilt gave us "someone panics" and "Death, after an unpleasant struggle"

The captain find the spy, who is pretty much dead at that point and bring him back to life. That is too much for the spy who panics and runs, feeling just a leeetle overwhelmed. He shoots the captain again, only to see him get up without a scratch (the bullet killed one of the helmsmen, sorry about that) and that is the moment when the spy decides to take his chances outside the boat with a Momsen lung.

Meanwhile, both the scientist and the chief engineer are busy with rituals of their own, with the help of the diary and a strange compass that turned up on the island. The rituals work, but instead of helping to win the war, the whole submarine is turned into a sort of Flying Dutchman, subject of many legends told in dark and stormy nights by the inhabitants of the area.

Since the spy was the only one to survive, we decided that he makes it back to the surface and even is picked up by the Germans. But his tale isn't believed of course, until it reaches the ears of some very special people who are only too happy to believe it. So the spy finds himself back on the island and has to help with yet another ritual, which results in the complete destruction of the island. Guess what comes along to fish him out of the water this time?

We love the movie Das Boot and submarines in general, so Objective Zebra was the obvious choice for us. I have visited both German and US WWII submarines, so I already knew how much bigger the US subs were, but it still surprised me to learn exactly how much more comfortable they were. I mean, air conditioning and bunks for (almost) everyone on board. Wow. The class of the sub is not stated in the playset and it doesn't really matter, but I thought that having a diagram of the boat would be fun and I turned up a great one of a Gato class sub.

Some of us mentioned that they were at first a bit at a loss about what exactly to do on the submarine, which is probably one of the reasons why pretty much the comlpete first act took place on the island. But I don't think that this was much of a problem and the flashbacks were great and rather creepy.
And speaking of creepy: we listened to the soundtrack of John Carpenter's The Fog (the original) and it was absolutely perfect for this. There were several moments when the music seemed to have been written just for what we were doing.

Oh, and Mr Bookscorpion and me finally did something we have been meaning to do for ages: drink a U-Boot Spezial-Cocktail. Lemon juice and condensed milk. Martin Semmelrogge drinks that in Das Boot, to the incredulous stares of his shipmates, it's one of my favourite scenes and absolutely hilarious (and slightly gross). To my surprise, it tasted not at all bad, kind of lemon iceish.

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