Tuesday, 28 February 2017

RS Yorkshire Epilogue mutant cock and alien domination

Right this is it. Last 2. No more Yorkshire. The cock is cooked, pig stewed, the pudding pounded.

As we saw last week the Imperial forces won, pushing Hilclin-Ton, Bilclin-Ton and a few stragglers to their last refuge.

This, as stated, is Rough Stars but I've cut it too the basics and the playing area (each tile is 30cm sq) is a lot smaller than normal.

To set the scene, you've seen films where the good guys sneak into a warehouse, in among the pipes and machinery? A little imagination helps.

First up, Torchwood takes on the Clin-tons

Torchwood – Star Cops
Quiet Man, Leader3, Marksman3, Reactive, Accurate Heavy blaster, 50
The Dandy, Ampidextrous, Fire into melee, Marksman3, Reactive, 2xneedler pistols, 58
Memsab, Marksman3, Medic3, Alert, Zap rifle, 36
Gothe, Fire into melee, Marksman3, Reactive, Accurate Molecular slugthrower, 42
Troopers Marksman1, “Musket”, Bayonet 2x9=18.
Total 206.

Pirates- well they are politicians.
Bilclin-Ton, Big, extra legs Marksman2, Tech1, Laser cannon, 27
Hilclin-Ton, Big, extra legs Marksman2, Leader2,Tech1, 39
Protected Vampires, Agile3, Marksman2, Martialarts2, Combat dress, “Musket” 3x44=132
Pig Weaponmaster2, Claws, Bayonet. 10
Total 208

Game 1 As Tony'd handled the assault he took Torchwood. I diced for positions as people would have been milling about. A diversion was started, heavy thumping on the front door.  Meanstwhile at trade entrance- Ms Gothe was first in, sneaking around the machinery. Everyone else piled in-.

The pig got 2 reactions and came streaking down, but had 2 targets- Trooper 1 comes poking with his bayonet, Vamp1 takes a shot and gives him a graze & a pin. Trooper 2 steams in to help his mate, engages the pig. More tussling, more pins for Trooper1. Ms Gothe shoots it in the side, damaging its favourite claw and knocking it down. Despite this the troopers don't manage to kill it, so she steps in and not only kills it, but shoots its poor head off ready for mounting in that far off office where this all started.

Add caption

The Dandy lays a double hail of fire into the Vamp, but the armour stops 'em, but he's heavily pinned to the door. Memsab manages 2 more pins, the Quiet Man finishes him off.

Meanstwhile, Hilclin-Ton completes her bit but Bilclin-Ton rolls a 1 on his tech, so managed to break something-. He repairs it then is poised to roll again---!
"Turn the Sonic Oscillator up 3 more notches!"  "Hang on--"
Now for the other door. As the chaps open it, Ms Gothe shoots the first guard. Bursting through, Trooper 2 dispatches the second. The Dandy takes a long shot. Every time he does a double hail of fire he always misses with the first-. Hilclin-Ton is a difficult shot, behind hard cover. Mayhap it was a ricochet but she rolls real low and she's dead! Bilclin-Ton is surrounded and surrenders.

The barn does not implode, valuable technology is recovered. Pork is roasted.

The headlines should have read:
Monsterous Mutant Cock strapped on to the back 
of a lorry freed by cunning Ecki Thump Cultists!

Game 2. You may remember that a while ago (take heed, there will be a test) the bazooka (wielding) -cock, last survivor of his mutant breed was captured at the river crossing? He was restrained as above, his equipment, of course, is stashed close, probably locked in the cab. The lorry is parked in a section of a local barn, guarded by the sergeant who's sharing a fag with the driver, and one trooper. Another is close by the back door, 2 on the barn door and one resting.

The men of depleted Squad “A”. (Militia)
Marksman3, Reactive, Tech1, “Musket,” Bayonet 5x33= 165
Sergeant, Leadership1,Marksman3, Reactive, Tech1, “Musket,” Bayonet, 39
Total 204

Cultist (Militia)
Bazooka-cock, Big, Leader1, Martial3, Reactive, Reptiloid, 3SP plasma grenades, =72
Cultists,Marksman2, Martialarts2, “Musket”, Kevlar vest 26x5 130
Total 202 (by rights these should have been civilians, but as 5 survived they got upgraded!)

The Game.

Quick isn't the word. Frantic will do. I think I've got this right-.

The cultists open the door, shoot one trooper who takes it on the rifle, both go flying. Another bursts in, shooting & killing the first guard (replacement Sergeant fails morale, pin & stress) spare trooper runs in, knocks a cultist back. Another cultist dashes through the gap and grapples with the trooper guarding the truck, who's surprised but holds his own.

Another cultist gets shot, but body armour saves and he goes down, pinned. The next cultist starts for the rear guard. A second trooper gets shot. This morale- the Sergeant critical fails and panics, running out of the back door. Another immediate morale test and 2 more at the rear run for it.

That leaves one brave chap battling it out. On his fate we draw a veil.

But that means somewhere on't Yorkshire moors there is a giant mutant cock with some very nasty ordnance. There are also some vampires, equipped with full body armour, sneaking around. Probably looking for somewhere with good rail and sea links, such as Whitby?

Everyone remember where we parked
Trump-Ton's body is a moldering in suspended animation.

"They'll never hit ----"

Monday, 27 February 2017

OGAM Japanese - thoughts on upgrading

I want to see if I'm heading in the right direction. The launch of the latest Sengoku wave has crystalised a few ideas.

We've just finished a long, rambling succesful campaign that involved several rulesets. The smaller games both started the campaign and served as useful sidelines that grew organically out of the main action: 1 raid, 1 ambush, 2 rescues. I'm hoping that the new rules will allow me to do the same with an OGAM campaign.

Making OGAM more Japanese – the Celtic and my Greeks focus on the legends. Fair enough, the heroic Boast also applies, although in Samurai warfare opponents tend to seek out human opponents of the same level and monsters of a higher. So attacking a lesser target should be seen as unheroic, to be left to foot soldiers.

Ideas- please comment, pull apart, playtest!

The structure of the force should come from the “main” or “commanding” legend: Warlord, Legendary hero, Shugenja, Major oni, Religious leader or (possibly!) one of the Dragons-.

Warlords & heroes are self explanatory. Shugenja may be hired by a Diamyo or God to field a more unconventional force of beasts, constructs and goblins. Major Oni may raise a force as if they were Diamyo, with lesser Oni taking the part of Samurai and goblins as footsoldiers. Humans may be part of the force. Good servants of bad master, neh?

Religious leader, well which religion? An Abbot with a force like Ikko Ikki? A Shinto lord? I'm toying with the idea of allies. These usually have their own agenda- target. Lets say you have an Abbot Legend with 2 units of monks. Their target is the Oni on the other side. IF the Oni are deployed on the wrong (or right) flank they will attempt to manoever to engage or hold until the way is clear. May be a morale type test of leader. Once the Oni are killed they will retire.

Another version is the locals under their Shinto priest, with the bodyguard of albinos, who will defend the village but not move beyond. On the other side, the Shugenja has a goblin contingent that wants to raid the village rather than die ingloriously.

A main legends (mortal) bodyguard, a unit of max 4, one per side. Costs ½ normal except any shooting ability and constructs at full cost. Movement rate and any trait like dashing must be shared by legend. Unit stays in contact with legend and gets in way of any attack or missile. The unit does not take separate morale tests or invoke. On death of the protected the unit will attempt to remove the body or stand over and commit seppuku.

Upgrading the Shugenja-
Enscorcered hero. (Going Tomoe Gozen here) A hero has been captured and either a “personal” version of labyrinth so they act as a bodyguard as above, or the hero acts as a legend BUT may act in an uncharacteristic way, such as targeting the weaker and refusing combat. Should cost as normal-?

Enscorcered beast. A non human, not construct legend that acts as the bodyguard above, costs ½?

Upgrading the Bard. (Think Ji-ninja) The bard can use their Inspire to free the hero or beast. Costs the 2 activations, but must be LOS and within a long – so a bodyguard unit might help! If successful, the target rolls 2 reaction dice immediately- the free reaction allows them to move, must disengage in combat. Second a morale roll, a third activation used from the hero and or bard will add +1. 3 passes, free will is restored and the hero may swap sides or commit Seppuku if already acted dishonorably. 2 passes the hero will flee the field in disgrace. 1 Pass and the hero will be frozen on the spot or be transferred to the bard as bodyguard. Fail, will remain enscorcered.

Beasts go through a similar process: 2 fails and will flee the field by shortest route, regardless of what is in way-. 1 fail, will become attached as bodyguard to bard. 3 successes the beast will retire off the field without engaging any unit unless has a natural hatred or faced by opponent that has already attacked it, in which case it will make an impetuous charge.

I've ordered the complete pack of the new wave (and a few more bits-) and I'll do a review and suggestions next. Oh damn, I'm going to be playing OGAM a lot-!

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Flying Lead And still they come t' Yorkshire

The Prologue to the Epilogue.

Well here it is, the last in a long and winding series – unless ----?

Let us recap. Three aliens Hilclin-Ton, Bilclin-Ton and Trump-Ton, crash land in deepest Yorkshire. Finding themselves in the unfashionable and neglected part of the largest empire television has ever seen, they lay their plans.

Hampered by their lack of equipment and only half-remembered primary school genetics (what did you learn? I got levers, gear ratios and Greek legends) they set about recruiting and modifying the locals and farm stock. Fortunately there's a fast growing species with large carnivors in its ancestry.

First setback was the dinosaur. The locals promised that it would be suitable, but it turned out to be mostly plaster! This escapade, plus the killing after of some famous person, alerted the authorities. The killing rampage of an uber chicken in the local town was also noted by the legal law.

Now the forces of empire approach with ponderous intent. But already plans are afoot, clones and avatars have been emplaced so that in a mere 200 years time they will be poised to take over a large, backward country made ripe for exploitation.

All they need to do is crank up the sonic oscillator 3 more notches and the transmat beam will mate their spon with their future bodies. But the process will destroy the farm.

Perhaps we will follow Hilclin-Ton, Bilclin-Ton and Trump-Ton in their bid at world domination?

Or are we already-----!

Here is the final push. The farm is isolated at the end of a long and winding road.

Royal Engineers BRIEFING
At 05.30 the Battalion received the order to move into position. It is now 07.30 and just after first light. No activity has been reported battalion area but CO wants to press on.

Enemy Troops.
At this point Nothing Known.

Your platoon is to assault the farm and end all resistance. The village is the fall back position once the battalion moves out of hide.

Start point the village boundry.

Local Briefing
Comrades. From reports we know that the village below is likely to be occupied by the enemy. You are to resist to death!

All available hu-mans have been processed into living bombs. They are unstable and any rolling a 1 will explode! They have been told to go towards the enemy yelling (to regulate the pressure) “Git orf moi laaand!”. Which will for most be both the longest and last sentence vouchsafed.

Bombed-up civilian
Points 4
Quality 5+
Combat 0
Special Rules
-Fragmentation Grenades, Mook/Extra/Cannon Fodder

With all of the Uber Chicken plucked a new leader is required. From the vats is brought forth an unformed horror.

The Horror
Points 49
Quality 5+
Combat 2
Special Rules
Combat Fiend, Dashing, Leader, Personal Communication Device

Clin-Tons =244
14 Bombed civvies and The Horror =105
protected vampires & leader =501
8 cultists & leader =519
Total 1,369

Royal Engineers Contraptions and Mounted Infantry.
Command team and contraption, = 287
Charabang, 6 infantry & sergeant = 435 x 2 = 870
2 Female Tankettes =134
Male Tankette = 71
Total 1,362

Tankette Gun
Combat +3, Grenade Combat 3, Range: Long, Slow Reload

The Game. This whole series has been augmented by new ranges, new finds, new rules. This one's no exception. The log defences and dead cows(!) came from the Sgt's mess & pigstye (unpainted, as-is) from Blotz the day before (See my last post). We put some thought, as before, into playing mostly civilians and the tactics of the time.

This, at the end of the day, was a game of 3 halves:

On my left, Tony came on strong, the command car trundling behind the male tankette. All was well until they turned the corner and my infantry let fly with all barrels, killing the infantry and forcing the car to reverse. The tankette trundled on. Round 2, the car, having found a convenient slope, took the fortification under fire, suppressing mine. But then I got in a couple of lucky shots and wounded the senior officer and gunner! They retired in search of first aid. If I'd killed the officer, that's a morale roll-.

The male tankette rolled on, ignoring the 2 failed attempts by my living sticky bombs. Now it's the chance of my cultists- shotguns in hatches and through slits! If they bail out, the horror awaits. 3 fails the hard way. Oh shit.

Right flank the female tankettes forged ahead, followed by the charabangs, with the centre one taking the brunt of my poor civilian bomb-demi-vampires. These managed to stun it twice, but mostly went down to own goal, gang fires and the ravening fire of machine guns. They plowed on, my protected vampire infantry lacking targets retired in a knees bending running away tactical manner.

Centre. One squad dismounts and take my cultists under withering fire before advancing behind the male tankette. Bilclin-Ton recklessly advances and takes it under fire, stunning it. His missus, being a bit more sensible, does a, um, runner. Seeing himself potentially outflanked, Bilclin-Ton likewise does a runner, pursued by a female and dodging shots from the male! I didn't think he'd make it, by the stub of his clispok he was in-!

Knocked down by a near hit - but not out, the game is afoot!

My other cultist infantry quietly slope off.

The barn is surrounded, but this is no ordinary barn-. Who's going in after them? Stay tuned for the final, thrilling Rogue Stars installment!