Houdini Blues

Issue 7, November 2001

Welcome to this, the sixth issue of Houdini Blues, a subzine of TAP edited by Michael Lowrey, 6903 Kentucky Derby Drive, Charlotte, NC 28215. My email address is mlowrey@infi.net or call me at (704) 569-4269. Bonus points if you catch the music reference in the subzine name.

© 2001 by Michael Lowrey. All right reserved.

First of all, some administrative notes. Houdini Blues has a game opening in Diplomacy. This is a continuation of the game opening I had in CCC, for which Matthew Matz, Saul Spiel, Brendan Mooney, Fred Wiedemeyer, Dan Gorham, and Frank Easton had signed up. If you're one of these folks, please confirm that you're still interested. The game fee is $5 plus you must, of course, get TAP by one of the usual sources. In addition, I would like to start another Outpost game. Please let me know if you're interested.

Short musically playlist: Varnaline Songs in a Northern Key, P.J. Harvey Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea, Portishead Portishead, The Beatles Abbey Road, The Gladiators Dreadlocks the Time is Now, the Alternative Champs Dolphim Crazy!!.

By its very nature submarine warfare produces results that are, at times, difficult to interpret. Submarines and anti-submarine warfare forces often do not know the identity of the vessels they are attacking. To further complicate matters, neither side may be able to confirm the success of its actions. Sometimes we are left with mysteries, collections of facts that seem to make no sense. Such is the case with the loss of the German World War I U-boat UB 107.

The UB 107 was a Type UBIII submarine displacing 533 tons surfaced and 656 tons submerged. Top speed was 13.5 knots on the surface. Armed with four bow and a single stern torpedo tube plus a 105mm deck gun, the UBIII type boat was a modern design for its day, quite capable of inflicting serious damage. Indeed, the design provided the basis for the famous Type VII U-boats of World War II. Her commanding officer was Kplt. Eberhard von Prittwitz und Gaffron and she sailed with a crew of three officer and 35 men.

On first examination, the case of UB 107 is simple enough. On July 26, 1918 the submarine left Zeebrugge to patrol off the east coast of England. The standard account then notes that the boat was detected the next evening by Royal Navy patrol forces and the hunt began. To quote from Paul Kemp's U-Boats Destroyed: "UB 107 broached in full view of the trawler Calvia. Three trawlers dropped a number of depth charges, after which oil came to the surface together with large air bubbles. The ships remained in the location overnight and the next morning Vanessa recovered the headless body of a man in German uniform."

This would seem the end of the story, a submarine kill confirmed by the recovery of human remains. And, indeed, for many years it was the accepted tale. However, more recent research notes that at 11:25pm on July 27 the steamers Chloris and John Rettig were torpedoed and sunk at location 53°52'N, 00°10'E. The only U-boat which could have responsible was the UB 107, which, however, supposedly experienced the fatal depth charge attack two and a half hours earlier 38 nautical miles away at 54°23'N, 00°24W. Even if UB 107 were undamaged, it is unlikely that she could have covered such a distance in such short a period of time, especially in the heavy seas which existed that evening.

To further add to the confusion, the wreck of UB 107 was located in 1985 at 54°04'N, 00°04'W. Interestingly enough, the wreck of UB 107 lies entangle with that of the Malvina, a merchant ship sunk on August 3, 1918 by the UB 104. The UB 107 is apparently the bottom wreck, and hence must be assumed to have been lost to an unknown cause by this date.

Deadline for all games is November 28.

The Mystery of UB 107


As many of you are aware, a girl I vaguely knew was killed last October in a car crash. Sara Gaffney, 23, was a passenger in a car making a left-hand turn onto a side street off Central Avenue here in Charlotte when a police car crested the hill a few hundred feet up the road. The cruiser hit the side of the car Sara was riding in; she was killed instantly. Scott Darby, the officer involved, was going 68 in a 35 m.p.h. zone without his blue lights on at night while en route to assist another officer with a routine traffic stop.

It is rare when a single incident involves so many elements so close to you. I am very familiar with the intersection in question; one of my best friends lives down that side street and I have made that same turn on many an occasion. The first person on the seen was another good friend of mine; she also knew Sara.

In any case, on August 15, Officer Darby pled guilty to misdemeanor death by motor vehicle. As someone without a prior criminal record, Darby will serve no jail time. He has also announced at the time that he intended to resign from the police force in short order (he has been suspended since the time of the accident).

I must also agree with the statement that Sara's mother presented via her attorney in court: "The police are there to help and protect. When one of them breaks that trust, it is very hard to trust any. Because of an irresponsible act, my child is dead. No one in the Police Department seems to be sorry. I need to hear that they are."

Harald Haarfager

Viking Dip, Fall 959 & End

Pete Conrad (99I)

Diplomacy, Spring 1909

Denmark (0) dan , fla , fri , par Out!

England (11) fla, ice, ire, lon, nid, nmd, sco, ski, str, wes, yor

Sweden (14) ark, bir, dan, fnl, fri, got, hed, nov, nrl, par, pol, sax, ski , thu, zea Wins!

Notes: Endgame statements are due November 28.

GM: Michael Lowrey (mlowrey@infi.net)

Denmark Steve Mauris (sjmauris@hotmail.com)

F Dan-Jut (d, hel, otb), A Pal-Thu, F Fri H (d, hel, otb)

England Kevin Wilson (CKevinW@aol.com)

F Bar-Ark, A Ski H, A Nid S A Ski, A Str S A Ski, F Nth-Jut, A Lon-Fla, F EngCh C A Lon-Fla, F Nmd S A Lon-Fla, F NAt-Fio

Sweden Pat Conlon (aparrotlaughsat40@msn.com)

A Ski r Jau. A Fnm-Ark, A Fio-Ski, A Jau S A Fio-Ski, F Ska S A Fio-Ski, F SBS-Kat, F NBS H, F Jut-Dan, A Hed S F Jut-Dan, F Zea H, A Mec-Thu, A Sax-Fri, A Par S A Sax-Fri

Press: Sweden: Wild and wooly beats plodding any day.

Sweden-England: Told ya you shoulda put some armies on the continent.

England-Denmark: What was that last time? That's not what I thought we had agreed to do. We could have kept him off for a while still but those moves gave him the game. If you really wanted to do that, given the good alliance we've had so far, you could have let me know and I could have tried to keep him from 13. Now there is no hope.

Denmark-England: You'd better get in on the bloodbath.

England-Sweden: Congrats on the win! I hope that is premature and you didn't consider Ark and I slipped in behind you. But I doubt that I did so I'm sure the Congrats are warranted.

Denmark-All: Sorry for being so air-headed. I've been getting entangled in meaningless details at work and ignoring the one source of stress relief I enjoy so well.

Denmark-Sweden: That's a personal question, but if you lean a little closer I'll show you

Austria (7) bud, gre, rum, ser, tri, ven, vie

England (6) edi, lon, lpl, nwy, stp, swe

France (12) bel, ber, bre, den, hol, kie, mar, mun, par, por, spa, tun

Italy (1) rom

Turkey (8) ank, bul, con, mos, nap, sev, smy, war

Notes: The Fall 1909 deadline is November 28.

Austria and Turkey each build one. The map is on the next page.

GM: Michael Lowrey (mlowrey@infi.net)

Austria Mark Kinney (alberich@iglou.com)

A Apu S Turkish F Nap-Rom, A Tri-Ven, F Alb S A Bud-Tri, A Gal-Tyl, A Bud-Tri, A Rum-Bud, A Vie S A Tri-Ven

England Paul Milewski (yellowpajamas@hotmail.com)

A Nwy-Stp, F Nth-Eng, A Lvn S French A Pru-War (nso), F Bar S A Nwy-Stp, F Bot S A Lvn, A Wal-Yor

France Steve Mauris (sjmauris@hotmail.com)

F Bal-Den, A Pru-Lvn, A Ber-Pru, A Mun-Tyl, A Tyl-Pie, F Tyn S A Rom (otm), F Wes S F Tyn, F Tun S F Tyn, A Bel S F Hol, F Hol S F Nth, A Sil S A Boh, A Boh S A Sil

Italy Steve Cooley (scooley1@mediaone.net)

A Rom-Ven (d, tus, otb)

Turkey Pat Conlon (aparrotlaughsat40@msn.com)

Build F Smy. F Smy-Eas, F Nap-Rom, F Ion-Tyn, F Adr S Austrian A Tri-Ven, A Mos S A War, A Ukr S A War, A Sev S A Ukr, A War S Austrian A Gal-Sil (nso)

Press: France-England: I seriously doubt I will survive unscathed. But if I am stabbed, I will not roll over.

France-Turkey: You seem to acquired an Austrian Lap dog. Excellent! Are you still trying for the win, or merely a 4-way?

Turkey-France: You never talk or write to me. How come?

France-Austria: And you, of course, could at least pretend to have some sort of self-dignity. But I don't fault you for selling your soul to the devil. It's the fact that you did so at a discount that disturbs me.

Harald Haarfager Viking Dip II

GM: Michael Lowrey Zine: The Carolina Command & Commentary/Houdini Blues

51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59

Denmark 5 6 6 8 7 7 6 4 0 Steve Mauris (Eliminated, Fall 959)

England 4 5 5 6 6 8 7 9 11 Kevin Wilson (Survived, Fall 959)

France 5 4 4 2 1 0 0 0 0 Phil Reynolds (Eliminated, Fall 956)

Norway 4 5 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 David Hood (Eliminated, Fall 956)

Sweden 4 5 7 8 10 10 12 12 14 Pat Conlon (Wins, Fall 959)


Outpost, Turn 16

Major Miner (Conlon) opens the bidding at 52 and wins Robots (NC18, NC14, RE11, Ti9). Major Miner also buys a New Chemical Factory (NC20, Re14, Ti11, NC16) and transfers population to it.

GM: Michael Lowrey (mlowrey@infi.net)

Deadline: Turn sixteen orders are due November 28.

Purchase Order: SARA, HICK, Exploitation Unlimited, Little Green Men, Bartertown Mark II, Major Miner, HBDC IV

Upgrades available: (minimum bid in parentheses) Moon Base (200), 2 Planetary Cruiser (160), Laboratory (80), Orbital Lab (50), 2 Heavy Equipment (30)

Yet to be delivered: 3 Moon Bases, 3 Planetary Cruisers, 6 Space Stations, 2/3 Outposts, 0/1 Ecoplants, 2/3 Robots, 2/3 Scientists

Notes: The new deliveries were a Moon Base, two Planetary Cruiser, a Laboratory and an Orbital Lab. Exploitation Unlimited, HICK, and SARA each take a MegaWater card. HICK and Little Green Men take a MegaTitanium card. Exploitation Unlimited takes a Mega new Chemicals card.

HICK (Hood) opens the bidding on the Planetary Cruiser and wins it for 170 (Mi17, Mi15, Re16, Re15, Re15, MTi, MWa, Wa8, Wa6, Or2, Or2).

SARA (Andruschak) opens the bidding on the first Moon Base which Exploration Unlimited wins for 237 (NC22, NC20, NC18, NC18, NC18, Mi18, Mi17, Mi16, Mi15, Re12, MWa, MWa, Or2). SARA opens the bidding on the seond Moon Base and wins it for 200 (NC26, NC24, NC22, NC22, NC20, Re11, MWa,Ti10, Ti7, Wa8, Wa7, Wa7, Wa6). SARA also buys a population factor to man the new Moon Base (Wa4, Or2).

Little Green Men (Partridge) buys 3 Research Factories (MWa, Ti9, Ti9, Ti11, Ti11, Wa6, Re12, Or2) and moves population.

Exploration Unlimited (Hassler) now passes.

Bartertown Mark II (York) opens the bidding on Robots and wins it for 52 (Ti13, Ti10, Ti10, Ti10, Ti9). Bartertown then buys five robots (Ti13, Ti12, Ti9, Ti9, Ti7) to man plants.

HBDC IV (Wilson) passes.

Outpost Factories Upgrades VP

S.A.R.A. OrF, OrF, 9 x WaF, 5 x NCF Wa, No, No, Sc, Sc, EP, OP, MB 64

HICK OrF, OrF, 7 x WaF, 3 x TiF, ReF HE, No, No, OL, OL, La, EP, EP, OP, PC 63

Exploitation U OrF, OrF, 4 x WaF, 4 x NCF DL, Wa, No, Sc, OL, OL, Ro, MB 52

Little Green Men OrF, OrF, 3 x WaF, 4 x TiF, 4 x ReF DL, HE, No, OL, La, EP, OP 41

Bartertown II OrF, OrF, 3x WaF, TiF, 4 x TiF Wa, HE, Ro, La, EP 29

Major Miner OrF, OrF, WaF, WaF, TiF, TiF, 4 x NCF DL, Wa, HE, Ro, La 23

HBDC IV OrF, OrF, 2 x WaF, 2 x ReF, 2x NCF DL, DL, DL, Wa, La 19

Houdini Blues Diplomacy Player Addresses

Pat Conlon P.O. Box 1413, Mammouth Lakes CA 93546

Steve Cooley 23927 Ranney House Ct,Valencia CA 91355

Steve Mauris HQ TFF, G2, Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, APO AE 09340

Paul Milewski 7 Mallard Dr, Amelia OH 45102

Mark Kinney 4820 Westmar Terrace #6, Louisville KY 40222

Kevin Wilson 373 Gateford Dr, Ballwin MO 63021