Friday, 30 November 2018

RS Another day in Happy Valley.

I've no idea why this hasn't made its way to Rogue Stars. I had the concept of a moon of a gas giant.

To humans it fell into the Pan African Union (Tuffyverse- GZG for those so unhip).

For the Southpaws an unpronounceable corporation specialising in fast food.

Happy valley is an area of contention.  It has grown hot, major battles and bombardments have taken place.  Now it's a land of small settlements, ruins and occasional contact.

The moon is large and old, so lacking in heavy elements but with a reasonable gravity and atmosphere.

There is a strong wind that circles the globe, driving the ecology. The dark side is a wind forest, teeming with plant, fungal and wormlike life, much of it huge. Heat and bioluminescence is produced by most species, Life is teeming instead of a frozen waste. The pace of life is often very slow by terrestial standards. Many species have different life cycles that circumnavigate the world, taking advantage of the local environment. For instance the common feather tree, once it's fertilised the seed pods break free and become high flying darts. Once these land they turn into a tumbleweed-like bush that seeks out larger plants. It then begins a parasytic life-stage, using spiked branches to work up the host. Once it reaches the top it lauches itself, lands then starts again. By the time it reaches the transition it is ripe and bursts into thousands of darts that become feather trees.

The many worm species take advantage of the miles deep layer of plant and fungal matter. Drilling deep and like many large herbrevors, existing on the by products of their huge bacteria factory stomachs. Others are carnivors, wind filter feeders and parasites. Many produce methane full membranes as a means of delivering eggs over a wide area, often by explosion. Some also circumnavigate, but at great depth or with an aerial or marine phase.

On the facing side, life takes on a different form. The moon has had so many extinction level events that the surviving species are incredibly robust and adaptable. The vast majority are armoured insectoid omnivores and amphibians.

Blimps are a harmless filter feeding insectivor species.  They have the habit of following terrestial life to sweep up disturbed insects.  All these are from a limited GZG special release of bioforms based on the original Full Thrust rules bought at Salute in 2008.

Windsharks are opportunist pack hunters that can be a danger to unwary humans.

Loafers are omnivores that live in feathertree clumps.  They stab prey then ingest the rotting carcass.  They have a strong root system that is parasitic to local plants.

All this gives non local species serious competition.  But for the brave, there is a wealth of pharmaceutical products still to be discovered. Small settlements have grown up on the cultivation of natural products plus factory farming of human and Southpaw staples.

Southpaws have similar problems. But the Corporation has discovered chickens. For an organisation specialising in fast food the chicken is perfect. Imagine a kids party. The youngsters and parents are shown into a large room, then a measured number of chickens are dropped from the ceiling. A mass chaotic melee ensues. The kids are happy, the parents are happy and there's a sprinkler system to tidy up. "Gini!  Put that down and wash underneath your tail!" The presence of human settlements help with both supply and sales. Huge shoals of krill like marine life allow factory farming on a huge scale on giant factory barges.

So- to work. Two sides in a challenging environment. Problem, they're similar. Southpaws (so called 'cos our Eli made 'em all left handed) have slightly better technology, but are a workers militia rather than professionals. The PAU should be more semi-professional. I see 'em like the British armed forces up to 1st Gulf. Majority are in to learn a trade. They're competent enough, but lack the aggression of a more regular force.

Lifeforms & PAU fron GZG.  Southpaws & obective alternative armies.

Sergeant Veteran Leader2 Marksman, Reactive Weaponmaster 32 Total 49
Assault rifle (5) Automatic, 2 hand 8
Fixed bayonet (2) Primitive, 2 handed 2
Frag grenade (3) 5

Troopers A E D H Marksman, Reactive, Weaponmaster 14 Total 28
Assault rifle (5) Automatic, 2 hand 8
Fixed bayonet (2) Primitive, 2 handed 2
Frag grenade (3) 5

Technician M Marksman, Tech2 Weaponmaster 17 Total 22
Slug pistol (4) short range 5

Sergeant, 4 troopers, tech 204.

Sergeant Fast, Leader, Marksman, Reactive, Weaponmaster 24 Total 40
Assault rifle (5) Automatic, 2 hand 8
Fixed bayonet (2) Primitive, 2 handed 2
Kevlar (2Torso) 6

Troopers A B D Fast, Marksman, Reactive, Weaponmaster 18 Total 34
Assault rifle (5) Automatic, 2 hand 8
Fixed bayonet (2) Primitive, 2 handed 2
Kevlar (2Torso) 6

Squad support U Fast, Marksman2, Reactive, Veteran, Weaponmaster 30 Total 44
Kevlar (2Torso)
Flamer (5) Scorching, Energy, 2 hand 8

Technician K Technician, Reactive, Weaponmaster 12 Total 20
Claws (1) 2
Kevlar (2Torso) 6

Sergeant, 3 troopers, Support trooper, technician

The Game.  All the above may seem like extreme planning, but I've used this background before and the rest was ratting around in my head.  One of the reasons to do this is to qualify and quantify.  I'm also planning on doing the reverse of other series and lead to bigger games from smaller.

The objective is a burnt out adder from Alternative Armies.  Well done that company!  I wish there was more like it.  Have to admit that it was my primary reason for buying the series.  The add-on rocket launcher is from GZG.

Objective for both sides is to retrieve data from this scout.

Tony took his Southpaws and got the initiative.

I get a few reactions.

"It's quiet Sarge, too quiet."

Sergeant Sharp is the lead from the front type.

The tech is at the back, ready for the objective to be secured.

Heavy weapons prepares an ambush.

Voluntary turnover.  The blimps start following the support trooper.  So much for an ambush!
In the distance a Lamprey has brought down a young blimp.  It will suck the stomach contents and lift bladders dry, leaving it easy pickings for the windwolves.

Cautious patrolling.

A dash with the tech to the wreck.  Over soon?

Contact left!  The Blimps give away his position and the support gunner goes down to a good shot.

Another changeover.  Dice for random group movement.  The local wildlife turn tail and depart.

Sergeant takes a deep breath, jumps up onto the vehicle.  A  shot rings out from a hiding trooper and a human is down. Sergeant takes a snap shot at tech (most visible) misses and he jumps-.  If you're playing aliens, they've different SOP's to humans. 

Crashes onto his opposite number-. The fixed bayonet is more of an axe blade.  That's 2 of mine dead in the blink of an eye.

Trooper runs in, engages D but gets the worst of it- probably ran onto the bayonet.

Leapfrogging, the sergeant takes out the tech before she can react-.

The human trooper gets knocked down by his prone opponent.  A rolling rumble!

The Sergeant tackles the prone- only to get wounded.  He retires.

The prone trooper is dispatched.  That leaves me with 2 and no Sergeant or tech.  Time to bug out!

You will note that from our more - unusual games this one could easily be a modern conflict between two human forces.  The addition of local wildlife and an alien SOP gives the flavour.

Other games will see both sides up against smugglers, pirates, competitors, peacekeepers and villains.

Monday, 26 November 2018

More wee beasties.

Alright, I'm being lazy.  Trying to get STUFF done.

I came up with this as an alternative in case we finished early last week.

Rule of thumb:  less shooting needs smaller board and/or more time.

Slightly different, here's a group (say) of younger males or similar.

Biteoids. Agile2, Civilian, Danger sense, Fast2, Free disengage, Reptile, Stealth 2 23 Total 32
Jaws as monowire scythe (3) Armour piercing, cleave 4
Tail sting as monowire blade (3) 5

6 = 192 Action 12 Reaction 14

Militia. Brawlers 
C Ambidextrous, weaponmaster2 Fast 20 Total 24
Sword (2) primitive 2
Pistol Cbow (2) Reload, Primitive, Short range 2

D Ambidextrous, weaponmaster2 16 Total 26
Sword (2) primitive 2
Pistol Cbow (2) Reload, Primitive, Short range 2
Chest armour (2) 6

E Ambidextrous, weaponmaster2 Fast 20 Total 24
2 swords (2) primitive 4

G Ambidextrous, weaponmaster3 19 Total 37
Light combat dress 2,3. 14
2 swords (2) primitive 4

H Ambidextrous, Leader2 weaponmaster2 28 Total 46
Light combat dress 2,3. 14
Pistol Cbow (2) Reload, Primitive, Short range 2
Sword (2) primitive 2

I Tough, steadfast weaponmaster3 20 Total 40
Polearm 2 primitive, long 2
Combat dressed 3 4 Heavy 18
Total 197

Same hunt scenario as last week.   Defender, me Biteoids,  chose and deployed. Attacker can enter by any other edge.

And so we begin-.

Tony has the initiative and stalks forward.

I manage a few reactions to maintain a "bity" response.

T fails to spot the threat to his flank and gets shot .

T ignores the threat and gets killed!  V legs it.

Advancing with caution-.

My right flank failed, the left sneak onto the higher ground.

But it's W in the centre who get the break and dashes in!

Success! One each-.

S proves to be a clever girl and crashed onto the leader from above!

One dead, one wounded, feeding frenzy-

V comes in for a restorative meal.  Lots of snapping and snarling.

You need armour to get in amongst that lot.  When you have armour, you need to rely on the lesser armed people who can move quicker and more easily.  When you have no armour you rely on the armoured to keep you safe and to draw all the attention.

Missing, backing off, getting hit & knocked down.

Help arrives aided by winged shafts.

Strategic withdraw and wound licking.

I'm safe over here!

Oh no, he's behind you!

Taken by surprise, he loses arm and crossbow- as last week!  Never had it happen before--.

But being ambidextrous, he has a sword and stab!

Having wounded each other, a Martian stand-off is required.

H's cautious advance meets a nice surprise.

That high ground is the key-.

C takes more punishment.

Height has the advantage, but everyone's racking up pins, wounds and stress!

I is down again.  armour bashed, buckled and bitten, blood running from the joins.

G had run away, but not the best idea with all these fast predators.  He recovers (we use voluntary morale roll once out of danger) and returns to face the fearsom foe.

C gets away from his tormentor and heads for the other survivors.

I & S start a knock down bits flying lots of missing brawl.

Don't look around-.

That's it, I've had enough-.

Finally, armour tells and S dies.

G uses the body as cover.  He moves in on the double wounded Y.

G goes down wounded.  Fortunately his armour took the brunt.

Make a noise, distract them!

W goes down.

"He's behind you!"

That worked well-.

X has another go, doesn't go well.

X lunges up, sending the spear spinning!  In desperation, the head is grabbed and armoured fingers plunged into eye sockets seeking brain!  X dies.

Spear recovered, downed opponent dispatched.

Battered, driven by mutual hate and blood lust the last 2 battle on.

Y succumbs to his wounds.

That's it.  Talk about a bloody field!

That was different than expected.  Having an all-civilian team means that your opponent will always do better than you in your initiative phase.  Smaller, more cluttered table helped.

That meant mine, as expected, had a cautious advance.  But, when the dice were friendly I had to go in.  The more advanced tactics used last week, I rarely got the breaks.  So once I got there I usually had to stay there.

Do, please try these ideas and I welcome constructive criticism.

Mine at game end.