Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Five Parsecs Campaign Turn 7

Disclaimer - I first wrote this up last night when I probably should have been sleeping.  Oh my word!  The dreadful typos I spotted afterwards!  So I've now edited it to make sense!

Upkeep was paid, costing 5 Credits, as I had basic supplies already to cover 2 crew.

Jobs

Kari, Annul and Nat went trading, gaining contraband (+3 credits, plus an enemy – raiders, more of the blighters!), scrap (+1 Cr), and medical supplies.
Mila and Noah explored, gaining a broken duplicator and overhearing a rumour

Reece got a new job through the crew’s gang leader patron.  The gang have been having trouble with a cult in their territory, who have now made off with a truck containing something that they shouldn’t have (and that’s all the crew need to know about that...).  They have taken it to a compound they control outside the city, which could be problematic as it is outside the gang's normal territory, and they don’t want to spark a turf war at the moment. So the gang leader wants the crew to get it back for them.

The cult consists of five members, armed with pistols (and one with a brutal melee weapon).

The cult compound

The target truck

Sentry on the north side of the compound

The crew of the envoy sneak in

As five cultists with pistols may not last long against the crew with their rifles and grenades, I decided that this action would occur at night, reducing ranges to 12” so the crew couldn’t just sit at range and take pot shots.  I also borrowed some of the stealth mechanisms from Nordic Weasel’s ‘Five Men at Kursk’ combined with random movement for the two sentries.  The remaining three cult member would appear at random doors once the alarm was raised.

The first few turns were a cat and mouse game with the sentries.  Jak, Nat and Noah flanked right behind the outbuildings, to try and get in the compound from the north, while the rest approached the east wall.  Jak’s group made pretty good progress, despite moving cautiously to avoid picking up noise markers.  However the random movement of the sentry on the north caused near disaster when he came with half an inch of spotting Anul, then randomly paused for several turns, forcing Anul, Reece, Kari and Mila to  hunker down unmoving for a while for fear of being spotted.

Nat, Noah and Jak head around to the north

while the rest move to the east

Sentry on the south side

Another sentry comes around...

...and the crew have to play statues

but Jak, Noah and Nat make progress unseen

By turn 7, Jak, Nat and Noah had reached the edge of the compound and could see the truck they needed ro recover.  At the same time Reece and Kari decided to risk moving, trying to stay out of line of site of the sentry on top of the buiding.

Breaking into the compound

The sentry decides to pause

On turn 9, the crew only rolled up one quick action, which went to Jak, putting him on guard fire, watching the rooftops.  It turned out to be a good choice, as the sentry on the south buildings decided to use that moment to turn around and spot Noah in the compound.  Reaching for his pistol, the sentry started to yell for backup as Jak’s auto rifle barked, sending the hapless cultist flying back on to the roof top, out of action.  However the gunfire was more than enough to wake the rest of the compound.

Jak goes on guard fire inside the compound

First sentry down

Stealth over, everything now went LOUD!

Nat exchanged shots with the sentry on the east roof, but to no avail on either side.  Reece used his jump belt to leep onto the roof to flank him but, before he could get a shot off, Jak had joined in and dropped the sentry. (two in as many turns).

second sentry down




The remaining three cultists emerged from random doorways, thirsty for vengeance.  The lead cultist charged straight at Kari.  In the brief but intense brawl that followed they drew their first clash, then both struck (two natural sixes) but failed to wound, then finally Kari put a stop to it, putting the cult leader down.

cult leader charges...

...Kari wins


The other two cultists emerge

Noah successfully hotwired the truck with a tech roll.  The cultist with the bludgeon ran around the corner of the compound to get to grips with Nat, only to be gunned down in a hail of bullets by  Jak on guard fire.


Noah hotwires the truck

One charges Nat

but doesn't reach him


The last remaining cultist advanced, firing. Straight towards Mila along the south wall of the compound.  With her hatred of cults burning strongly, Mila took careful aim, fired...and that was the end of that.



and it's all over


A good game overall, but in hindsight a few mistakes.  I forgot that I've been giving the enemy leaders two hits for start.  Also, I think it was a mistake having the starting point for the cultists rolled individually, it allowed them to get picked off.  If they've all emerged together it would have been more of a challenge.  On the other hand stealing the stealth stuff from 'Kursk' worked really well.

Aftermath

The crew were paid 6 credits, but didn’t gain any new enemies.
The loot result gave “common stuff” – three rolls on the gear table.  The crew ended up with a suit of combat armour (!), some worthless trinkets and some trade goods (which can be cashed in for credits when they visit a new planet).

All gained +3 XP, with an extra +1 for Jak for the first 'kill'.

The crew rolled up an equipment malfunction for their campaign event and the Nano-Doc duly threw in the towel and displayed the nasty blue screen of doom.

Kari levelled up reactions to 2, and gained a new skill – Tracking (+1 to rolls to track enemies when in the ‘jobs’ phase of the turn).

Noah levelled up Tech to 1

Reece levelled up Combat Skill to 1 (he might actually hit something at some point…)

Jak levelled up Toughness to 4

Anul levelled up Combat Skill to 1

Kari, Reece and Mila all achieved veteran rank 2.


Five Parsecs Campaign Turn 6

It’s been a while since I picked up the campaign, but time for a bit of progress.

There were no upkeep costs this turn due to the colony rations looted last turn.
3 credits were spent to fix the Screen Generator.

Jobs

Nathaniel traded, gaining a gift (+1XP)
Anul went exploring  and met an arms dealer, gaining a Suppression Maul
Kari tried to track the raiders who’d ambushed them, but with no success.
Mila, traded, gaining some scrap worth 1 credit
Jak and Noah trained for +1XP

Reece found a potential patron, a group of pirates, but turned them down (the rules don’t really cover this situation but it seemed in keeping with his character), instead he turned to a previous patron, the Government Administrator who sent them after the raiders in the first turn.  He had info on a squad of soldiers who had gone off the grid.  Believing they may have information on the events that led to the nano-fabricator that went AWOL, but not trust anyone official, he wants the crew to try and persuade them to come in.

To be honest I got in a bit of a rut with this turn.  Narratively I wanted a mission where they were trying to bring the target in peacefully but I couldn’t quite work out a solution that didn’t hinge on a single task roll determining whether it was all over or whether I would be fighting a combat.  I needed something more nuanced to represent the persuasion aspect.  To be honest I prevaricated far too long before deciding on something and figuring I should just get on with it to move on to the next turn.

Here’s what I came up with, using a deck of normal playing cards:

The crew’s first challenge was to get past the squads picket.  Each side would draw a card.  If the crew won, they could take through as many characters as the difference in cards.  If they didn’t win they could still take one through in the following circumstances depending on the card the suit of the highest card:

Diamonds, paying a bribe of D6 credits
Hearts, if they can trade any supplies
Clubs, trading a weapon
Spades, trading any piece of gear

If they can’t do any of these they would face a firefight.

If they got through, they would then have to persuade the squad’s CO.  The soldiers drew five cards, keeping them face down, and the crew a hand of six cards.  As each of the soldier’s cards was drawn the crew would need to try and play a higher one.  In the event of a two cards drawing they could still win depending on the suite played by the soldiers:

Diamonds – if any crew member present has a trade background or skill
Hearts – If a crew member can pass an easy test on personaility or similar skill
Clubs – if any crew member present has a soldier background
Spades -

If the crew didn’t win more hands than they lost, it would be a tabletop battle, with those outside the picket trying to get in, and those outside trying to subdue the CO and get out.

1 Persuade the picket

The crew drew a comfortably higher card than the picket.  Reece chose to take Anul and Jak with him to negotiate.  The rest of the crew would remain outside in case it became necessary to fight.

2 Persuade the CO

The CO drew his, face down.  The Crew had a hand of six.

9 diamonds vs Jack of Spades – crew win
5 of diamonds vs 5 of clubs (Reece used Trade skill to raise by one) – crew win
3 of clubs vs 3 of diamonds (Jak used solider background to raise by one) – crew win
Ace of diamonds vs Ace of hearts – crew loss
8 of clubs vs 9 of diamonds. – crew win

As the team had won more hands than loss, they persuaded the soldiers to come in, without a shot being fired!

Aftermath

The crew did not gain a new enemy
They were paid 6 credits
All gained +3 XP.

I decided no loot roll was appropriate in the circumstances.

Campaign event – trade one piece of equipment for role one roll on the trade table.  I swapped the broken suppression maul for 2 basic supplies.
Kari re-thought her motivation, from Glory to Fame (not a big leap admittedly)

Nat levelled up CS by 0.5
Jak hit veteran rank 2
Kari levelled up Reaction by 0.5
Mila levelled up CS by 0.5
Noah levelled up Tech to 1

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.

Jobs
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!

Aftermath

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.

Thoughts

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!