Tuesday, 12 February 2019

A few additions

A quick preview of the opposition rolled up for the next game...

I might try something a bit different for the scenario though.

Also been tinkering with some vehicles for scenery (and the occasional getaway).  quite pleased with this one.  A former 'Hot Wheels' type car.  Where it's relevant, I'll use this to represent the Crew's favoured mode of transport.  I'm handwaving the early 21st century look by assuming that on the fringe of civilised space, the priority would be to have tech that can be fixed with the tools in a basic garage/workshop, which fits a late 20th/early 21st aesthetic.

Finally, the great real estate grab continues.  This time in the form of these excellent 'IKube' colony dwellings from the wonderful TopoSolitario site, full of great resources (including that base mat I keep using).  The folded into shape really quickly and simply, requiring no glue at all, and will fold down to smaller than A4.

Monday, 11 February 2019

Five Parsecs Turn 5 - Ambush!

The crew didn't travel.
Upkeep was paid, 7 Credits a turn now.

Reece - trade - gained another rifle and medical supplies
Anul - trade - found a useless but fascinating (to him) trinket
Nathaniel - trade - found a gift (+1XP)
Jak - attempted gunsmithing on his rifle but with no result
Kari- train - +1XP, levelled up combat skill to 2!
Mila and Noah Grant (New Guy) went exploring.  Mila found a trainer and gained +2 XP, Noah found a broken Screen Generator in 'Needs of a little love' 3 credits to fix.

There was no quest.

Instead the crew were tracked down by the raiders they tangled with in mission one - consisting of seven raiders, including one with a shotgun.

Reece, Nathaniel and Anul were loading up their trade gear when Reece's earpiece buzzed, "Reece? Kari.  We've just had the nod from Port security of around half a dozen hostiles between you and us.  Description matches the raiders we messed up a few weeks back, they could be gunning for you.  We're gearing up to come meet you"
"Got it" Reece replied, "we're about to get rolling. see you in five". "Nat, Anul!, Finish loading quick.  Then gear up. Sounds like we might have trouble coming our way."

"Kari?  We're making good time, no trouble yet.."
"What the f...!?", the truck veered sideways as Nathaniel yanked the control yoke.  A sudden impact forced all the air out of Reece's lungs.  What the hell was that noise?  Hail? No, definitely not hail... "Out! Out!, now!".  Reece, Nathaniel and Anul bundled out of the van as bullets peppered the far side.  "How many?", Reece yelled over the cacophony.
Nathaniel popped his head above the hood. "I count seven!".
"Kari, where are you?"
"Nearly with you, hold - on"
Reece quickly glanced around.  "Right, we need to split them up.  You and Anul go left", he patted the jump belt under his jacket "I'll go right and see if I can draw some off". 

The opposition 

 The initial set up

Turn 1
I started with only Reece, Nathaniel and Anul on the table.  The rest of the crew would turn up on a random turn and table side.  The seven raiders all initially deployed together.  This would be the first time using the extra combat rules from the compendium.

All three crew got quick actions.  Reece ran across the road to split the raiders.  Nathan took a potshot at their leader, but missed.  The snap shot in return also missed.  Anul headed left to the side streets.

The Raiders rushed forwards.  Three split off after Reece, with the remainder (including the Shotgun armed one in a red hat) heading for Nat and Anul.  The leader fired at Nat, hitting him but not wounding, although the impact knocked him back.

Reece draws the raiders off 

The three on the right are going after Reece 

Nat exchanges fire with the enemy leader (the marker denotes a 'stun')

Turn 2
Reece drew the three raiders off by heading into the mass of cargo crates.  Anul climbed up a ladder to the roof of the nearest building, followed by Nat.  The raiders all moved up bit there was no shooting this turn.

 Three go left

And the rest go right 

 Reece takes cover

"up on the roooooooof!"

Turn 3
The rest of the crew turned up, just s short distance from Reece!

The cavalry arrives! 

Quick actions went to Jak, Kari and Nat (who climbed up the building with Anul so he wouldn't be flanked).  Jak unlimbered the shell gun and let fly at the three raiders chasing Reece.  Although he only dropped one (and stunned another), the sight of their comrade being reduced to a fine mist was too much for the other two, who promptly legged it!  (rolled double ones for panic).

Still up on the roof 
Run away! 

Kari dashed to move in line of site of the leader, but couldn't fire.

Two raiders, including the one with the shotgun, headed down a side street to try and flank Nat and Anul.  Another tried to climb a drainpipe onto a rooftop, but slipped, fell, and knocked themselves out! (rolled a one on an easy task, taking a hit, then rolled over their toughness!).  The leader fired at Kari and hit, then wounded!  This is where the rules on combat wounds came in, I rolled.  Would this be a repeat of Kari's habit of being taken out early?  Not this time, she rolled a 'scratch' (-1 move).  Her snap shot in return missed.

 The Raiders attempt to sneak around the flank

Reece used his jump belt to leap onto a roof overlooking the road and took a shot at the leader with his pistol, but missed.  Mila moved around the containers to try and flank the enemy, while Noah took an unsuccessful pot shot at the leader.

Over on the other side, Anul climbed up onto the bridge between buildings and fired his blast pistol, dropping him in a heap.  Red hat panicked and 'bugged out'!

Death from above!  Anul takes down a raider 

The Raiders took their first morale test, but passed.  But there were only two of them left now!

His comrade legs it! 

Reece taking pot shots 

Turn 4

Three quick actions, this time for Kari, Noah and Reece.  Kari fired on the Raider's leader again but missed, as did his return shot.  Noah shot and missed.  Reece shot and missed!  Someone needs to recalibrate the weapon sights later!

Red hat moved back into play.  The leader dashed into cover behind the red car ('aggressive' enemies will move towards a brawl if possible if their are enemies in 12").

Nat moved across the rooftop and fired down at the enemy leader, hitting him but not wounding.  Anul dashed to join him but couldn't fire this turn. Mila moved up.

The Raider's leader was starting to look distinctly surrounded!

Turn 5

Four quick actions.  I decided that Kari would go first, desperate to be the one who takes the big bad down.  She moved out into the open to get a risky flank shot on him and gunned him straight down!

Kari guns down the Raider leader

Nat dropped down onto a lower roof to go after red hat.  Anul followed him but slipped a fell, luckily only spraining an ankle (failed an easy agility test, took a wound, but it was only a 'scratch' reducing speed, which seemed appropriate!).

Reece and Jak both moved to where they had line of sight on red hat but couldn't take him down.

Red Hat was stunned from the Jak's fire, so couldn't shoot, so instead moved to the cover of a corner.

Mila and Noah moved up and the raider took his first morale fail.

Anul hobbles along! 

Turn 6

Kari used a quick action to move to cover behind the red car.  From their she had a great view as Anul limped across the roof top, leaned over...

And blew red hat's beret through his skull with his blast pistol.

"Clean up, aisle 4!"

6 Turns and all over.  No injuries again!  To be fair the opposition did a good job of taking itself out with failed panic tests and falling off a drainpipe!


The Raiders remain an enemy.  The crew gained a measly three credits on bounties, and looted some colony rations from the defeated.

XP all round!

Reece - 3 points, level up (0.5 to Combat)
Anul - 3 points Level up (0.5 to Combat), gained a skill
Nat - Level up, Combat skill now one
Mila - 3 points
Noah - 3 points, level up (0.5 to tech)
Jak - 3 points, no change
Kari - +1 veteran rank

Shopping gained us a frag vest

With their reputation growing, the crew also gained a new patron in the form of a Mercenary Company linked to the suit they rescued

Anul picked up a new hobby.


On the whole, the additional rules from the compendium added more in fun than they took away through increased complexity.  I was a little selective however; for example using the 'Combat Response' rule only for the opposition.  I felt it added some automation to their moves (reducing the chance of me subconsciously favouring the Crew), whereas the crew, as the 'stars' of the story, retain more autonomy.

The additional scenery made a real difference too.  Apart from looking good, It ended up playing an active role, with Nat, Anul and Reece all making good use of high ground (with added rocket boots as well!), and creating the hilarious spectacle of a bad guy putting themselves out of action falling off a drainpipe!

Overall the crew were lucky again, with reinforcements turning up at a very opportune moment, and the raiders suffering some bad dice rolls that lost them three models through no action of the crew!  I decided to play Kari very aggressively this time, assigning her quick actions and having her act before others, even if it wan't necessarily the best course of action; it seemed to fit with her Glory seeking background and frustration with performing relatively poorly in previous actions (she still fluffed a lot of dice rolls though).  This is the advantage of a narrative campaign, when you find you are playing to the story rather than just being 'competitive' (as much as that's possible when playing solo!).

I've also realised that I don't think Reece has achieved a single 'kill' yet!

Monday, 4 February 2019

Town Planning - Fringe Style

Bit of a temporary break in the Five Parsecs campaign as I devote time to increasing my available scenery; in particular in ways that will allow for more vertical movement.

Having seen how good it looks on other bloggers tables, I'm trying out printable card terrain.  This particular lot is available from Wargame Vault here.  Overall I'm pretty pleased with the results.

No instructions, which is a bit of a pain, so made some minor mistakes on the first one (like the positioning of tabs showing white card), but soon worked it out.

They also fold flat for storage, a definite advantage!

There were some teething troubles along the way.  As well as the issue with instructions, they're only as good quality as the printing, and I have a feeling my printer is on it's way out.  Every few sheets would print out with terrible lines, requiring a clean of the print heads.  Plus ink cartridges for the damn thing are so expensive!

All worth it in the end though, as a few evenings cutting and glueing have given me a decent settlement to game over, especially combined with existing scenery.

Right, onto the next campaign turn, where the crew's past deeds will come back to bite them!

Monday, 21 January 2019

Five Parsecs Turn 4 - Anarchy in the Unity

Campaign Turn 4

The crew didn't travel.  They didn't need to pay for upkeep, using the last of their looted supplies (-1 supplies).

Reece  and Nathan went trading (gaining a gift (1XP), and an Enhancement implant worth +2D3 XP).  Anul went to see the sights.  Kari , Jack, Mila and our new crew member trained for 1XP each.  They paid to Fix the broken auto rifle (3 credits).

No quest, no enemy attacks

I rolled a new patron job, 'interfere with another group – anarchists attempting  to destroy something on someone’s turf'.

Nathaniel found Reece on the Envoy's bridge, "So, what do you think of the new kid?"

"Seems legit," Reece replied "Mila vouches for him.  Good enough for me".
"You don't find it a bit... convenient?  She joins us to hide out, then this guy from the her cult just turns up unannounced?  Nothing against the guy personally, but if he can find her..."
Reece looked thoughtful for a moment, before finishing Nathaniel's thought for him, "then who else might be able to?"
The intercom broke the silence that followed
"You guys up there?  It's Kari, just received an emergency transmission from that suit we babysat.  He's got intel that a bunch of locals are planning to trash some of his peoples goodies and would we kindly get in their way.  Guess he doesn't trust the local cops to do it."
"On our way, tell everyone to load up.  And yes, Jack can bring the big toys".  He got up to grab his gear, then paused at the hatch, turning to Nathaniel "between you and me? Let's just keep an eye on the new guy.."

The crew need to hustle down to the warehouse district, where they will face off against six anarchists, intent on destroying and looting to send a message to the corporations they accuse of 'infecting; Wavell's Settlement.  I decided they'd be armed as the models: a leader with shotgun, three with rifles and two with handguns.  They have move 5" and are Aggressive.  They will approach from the north.  If they get a chance to destroy any crates, it will affect the crew's payment (even if they win the overall encounter).

The Portside Crew ready for action 

The crew of the Envoy came in from the east.  Reece had his handgun, frag vest and jump belt; Jack had an auto rifle, shell gun with stabiliser, 2 grenades and flexi-armour; Anul his blast pistol, Mila a rifle; Kari and auto rifle; Nat an auto rifle, his blade and flexi armour, and 'New Guy (I'll name him soon) a hunting rifle.  The plan was to get in position to form a stop line with at least Jak, Kari and Nat, while the rest try to outflank the gang.

 Anarchists top left, crew to right
The Portside Crew's targets

Turn 1

The crew rolled one quick action, which went to Jak.  The crew moved up to take cover amongst the crates and containers, while the 'boys moved forwards.

Turn 2

(Four quick actions this time, going to Jak, Kari, Nat and Mila).

Jak moved up behind a crate, peered around, and took a shot with his shell gun [the stabiliser removes the normal 'Heavy' penalty]. The shell exploded with a satisfying thud, tossing three of the Portside boys aside.  Their leader staggered, but got back up, battered but not out.  Kari's rifle barked out as beside him, hitting the anarchist leader's scavenged armour but not getting past, she cursed under her breath with frustration.

Mila and Nat took move up into cover.


 And then there were three...

Battered but not out of action, the 'Boys advanced, taking advantage of cover behind a nearby crate.

Anul and the new crew member took cover in case the 'Boys continued to push down the side, while Reece used the jump belt to get leap over a building and line up for a flank shot next turn.

The anarchists lost their first morale test.

Turn 3

(Four quick actions again, going to: Kari, Reece, Jak and Nat)

Frustrated at her failure to take down the gang's leader, Kari sprinted out of cover to get a line on the bad guys, ignoring Mila and Jack's shouts to keep in cover.  Bringing her rifle up, she let fly on full auto, taking great satisfaction as the two remaining gang members crumpled and fell. [CLICK], "shit" she muttered, reaching for a new magazine.

Leaning around the corner of a building, Reece saw the two 'Boys fall to Kari's hail of gunfire as he squeezed off several shots from his handgun.  He could have sworn he hit the gang leader but it seemed to have no effect as he turned and ran in the direction of the rifle fire behind him.

We need bigger guns...

Kari was still fumbling for a new magazine as the gang leader ran at her from behind the container, raising his sawn-off shotgun.  For a moment all she could see were those two dark holes pointing straight at her, before they were flung aside as their owner twisted and fell, taken in the side by a controlled burst of fire from Jak's Autogun [Jak (and Nat) used his fast action to wait and snap fire if the leader came into view, which he did, following the rules for 'Aggressive' opponents].  "Gods dammit!" she yelled. "I could have taken him!".

Caught in the crossfire

Another extremely short firefight ends in the crew's favour!  To be fair, the opposition were hampered by being rated Aggressive, which left them bunched up and a perfect target for Jak's Shell Gun, especially when he rolled a pretty much perfect set of attack rolls (having 'area' and 2 shots makes it pretty deadly, I may have to nerf it a bit); then led to the leader, as last man standing, having to charge at Kari and walk into a crossfire, rather than unloading his shotgun at her.

On the crew's side, no one got hurt, and nothing got destroyed, but Kari's pride is definitely smarting, after being 'saved' by Jak.

The Portside Boys were effectively wiped out, so the crew didn't gain another enemy. They got paid a whopping 7 credits (6 on a D6, +1 for a patron job, +1 as it was a Wealthy Benefactor).  They also looted an upgrade kit from the gang leader (+2 range for any weapon equipped).  Reece, Kari, Mila, Nat, Anul and New Guy all gain +3XP.  Jak gains a nice 5XP (+3 for winning, and +1 each for inflicting the first casualty and taking down the enemy leader).

Reece, Anul, Jak levelled up to Veteran Rank 1
Anul advanced his reaction score to 2 and Jak his Combat Score to 2

Unfortunately, after the encounter one of the suits of flexi armour was found to have failed (Campaign Event 'Equipment Malfunction')

Kari, brooding on what she saw as 'stealing' her kill, has developed a rivalry with Jak.  On his part, Jak has no time for glory hunters, so the feeling is mutual and the Crew's mess times become uncomfortable.