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Björn Hellqvist
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PostPosted: Mon 23 Aug, 2004 2:05 pm    Post subject: What I did last weekend (heavy on pics)         Reply with quote

I participated in a live action roleplaying game set on the Eastern Front, 1944, last weekend. The platoon-sized Red Army group lived in a trench system, was attacked by Waffen-SS and at the same time in fear of our own commissars and informers. This was not a D&D elves-and-orcs-hitting-each-other-with-rubber-swords type of game, but with real uniforms, Mosin-Nagant rifles, machineguns, pyrotechnics and so on, with 23 hours of continous role-playing (staying in character 99% of the time) in a reenactment heavy on intrigue.

Here are a few pics before and after the event. We couldn't take any pics during it, as it would have spoiled the illusion.



The 57mm AT gun. The sound effect was generated by a propane "cannon" under it.



Part of the command bunker. A portrait of Stalin on the wall.



Yours truly behind the Maxim HMG. I never got to fire it, though, as I was a signaller.



A few of the men in the trench system.



Waffen-SS soldier advancing.



SS-Schütze relaxing in the captured trench.



Captain Rossonov.



The Kübelwagen owned by a member of the reenactment society that co-arranged the event.



Group photo. The guy in the blood-soaked coat was the doctor.



The biggest of the shell holes after the bombardment!

Memorable bits... The wedding party before we were mobilized. The transport in the back of the trucks to the frontline (silent soldiers, pitch black, rain...) The mangled corpse in the shell hole when we arrived. The parade in the middle of the night. The platoon in the trenches, weapons at the ready. Sharing unsalted oat porridge in a single mess tin with two other guys. The lieutenant's execution of a deserter. The final attack, where the detonations just 30 feet away sent geysers of dirt 70 feet into the air, Waffen-SS soldiers attacking the trenches from an unexpected direction. The total rout. The platoon's final collapse into chaos. The NKVD interrogation. The shot in the back of the head. As you might notice, we Swedes (and a few Norwegians) like to LARP to the hilt - abuse, beatings, rough interrogations - but afterwards we're still friends, hugging and talking about the experience.

I had got the role of a GULAG convict who had been sent to the camp for his religious activities, but "rehablitated" to frontline duty. The ironic thing is that I'm a bona fide atheist, but that didn't hinder me to shout "Deniers of God!" when the NKVD men dragged me off. When they accused me of being a murderer of children (by fleeing the previous day, we had theoretically faciliated for the fascist invaders to kill more Russian children), I called Comrade Stalin the biggest murderer of children. That was when they decided to shoot me. Happy The rest of the platoon was gunned down later, and the point of the event, to bring home the terror in the Soviet Union, was reached. Surely a memorable weekend! And yeah, we did it for fun!

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Chuck Perino




Location: Roseburg, Oregon
Joined: 22 Aug 2003

Posts: 107

PostPosted: Mon 23 Aug, 2004 4:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very impressive!

You guys have all the details worked out as well...The trench looks better than any hollywood movie!

Who "scripts" the scenes and the characters in LARP? Is it a group effort, or are you suprised when you begin with only small bits of general information about your character?
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Björn Hellqvist
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PostPosted: Mon 23 Aug, 2004 5:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For this LARP, the scenario was written by a group, and arranged by a couple of LARP groups and a reenactment society. The players received lots of background info plus an extensive description of the character, complete with hints on how to play him/her (there were several women present). We got descriptions of the other people in the squad, but all had hidden agendas and quirks. This necessiated interaction with the other players, and fostered a sense of paranoia, as you didn't know who might be an informer. As for the overall story, we knew when there would be phases which could be somewhat abstract, and that there was to be a big attack on Saturday evening. What we didn't know was that the demolition expert had put many pounds of dynamite in the prepared holes - the surprise when the blasts went off was genuine! So, while we knew the overall plan for the LARP, we reacted to scripted events, but also created the story as it went along. Some call it "interactive theatre", where the story can take a new turn if the participants feel like it.
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Nate C.




Location: Palo Alto, CA
Joined: 13 Jun 2004

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PostPosted: Mon 23 Aug, 2004 6:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

First off, That looks really cool! Cool

Second, how did it get pulled off with sufficient realism (nice crater btw Eek! ) while keeping everyone in one piece? were there big "DO NOT STEP ON THE DYNAMITE" signs? How did you know if you were dead in the battle (I'm assuming no live ammo)?

Kind of off topic but has anyone ever thought of trying situational paintball? Kind of like the SCA of civil war-esque time?

Nate C.

Sapere Aude
"If you are going to kill the man, at least give him a decent salute." - A. Blansitt

If they ever come up with a Swashbuckling School, I think one of the courses should be Laughing, then Jumping Off Something. --Jack Handy
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Björn Hellqvist
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PostPosted: Mon 23 Aug, 2004 11:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nate C. wrote:
First off, That looks really cool! Cool

Second, how did it get pulled off with sufficient realism (nice crater btw Eek! ) while keeping everyone in one piece? were there big "DO NOT STEP ON THE DYNAMITE" signs? How did you know if you were dead in the battle (I'm assuming no live ammo)?


The dynamite charges were placed in pre-dug "craters", bags of water were placed over them, and sand filled in the rest (you don't want to use the excavated dirt, as there are a lot of small stones and pebbles in it). The funny thing was that most expected the rather mild pyrotechnics used in a previous attack, so when the earth started erupting, we were quite surprised. Also, we were explicitly told not to be outside of the trench system when the attack began. As for "death in combat", we had got an order frm the platoon lieutenant that Stalin's "not one step back" order didn't apply - besides, we had been told that it was expected that we should flee. Nevertheless, some hand-to-hand combat broke out...

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Howard Waddell
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Location: Wisconsin, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Tue 24 Aug, 2004 6:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That looks like a geat time!

Best,

Howy

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David Quivey




Location: Davis, California
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Reading list: 21 books

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PostPosted: Tue 24 Aug, 2004 1:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Amazing - We do some of that here, and I'm a nut for "get tossed around in the dirt" authenticity Big Grin Looks like a great time was had by all!
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