Wednesday, 13 May 2020

RS Campaign The Land(s) of Oz

Why have campaigns? Well, it's a different reason for playing. I find pre arranged ones very handy when life gets in the way. I have something ready to go. They also generate tested teams that have the bumpth ready to rock n roll.

Back in the PC/PCLD world, I occasionally gamed with a great bunch of younger persons upon a Wednesday. Lackaday and rue. Some of them have started to see the light and play Rogue Stars. Ahah sayeth I, a way in, to move them from the bland end of the menu. So I suggested a Rogue Stars campaign. Here was my first suggestion that sort of fell on stony ground. This may be due to peoples priorities being somewhat focused. But, still my gossips, you need something to remove you from now and to think about a (hopefully) happier then.

Let me waltz you though the design process. I'm not going to suggest anything other than basic theme. You might find it a useful exercise to look at the stats and plot the forces. Particicuarly if you're used to a mindset where “my Kaptain Gnobcruncha is exactly the same stats (it's on the card) as everyone elses, and of course, painted as per rules.”

The background. The world(s) has to have a coherent background with internal logic. My Moon campaign worked because of this. The Expanse has sort of died a death, not only 'cos it got interrupted but its a bit too close to todays reality.

Let me take you to the mythic land of Oz. I'm playing with the concept of Oz as both the fictional fantasy world and a contraction for Australia.

The normal design process is quite adequate for scenario generation. Some extrapolation is needed. The idea that the players can take it and run without me – fantastic. Do you need a finale? Or can you just play? We found that the Moon campaign had some interesting results. Some sides melted under fire. One fled. One split into 2 factions.

We'd used the old HOTT/DBA system. Each side had a triangular slice of the map. Each with 2 frontier posts and a home base that you cannot get to without taking one of the other. One has the, 4th, central hub as well. This is the capital, the main prize, the Emerald City. Easiest way to do it is to roll for the attacker and then for the defender.

The figures. One advantage of playing in 15mm is that one side costs what you might pay for one larger scale figure. So where you might look at one figure to use, I tend to look at a range. I'm looking for an excuse to buy them.

You need variety, obviously. One of each type of team is a good way to go. A good mix of weapon and concepts. The stronger and more recognisable the better. Different players will use a team differently. That's a strength, enjoy it and go with it!

You need extras. If you use a points loss and gain system then a bad loss can result in several green or lesser skilled replacements. Winners gain points! Good, but take care when applying as the winners might find themselves attacked. Picked up equipment – fantastic. But upgrade in skills needs care and sometimes upgrading a new replacement can be the best choice.

Here's the 7 sides:

Cops. The Feds. The Persons In Black. Big guns with a shoot now then ask questions mentality.

No armour, so emphasis on fast reactions, stealth & distance shooting. 3 mixed teams: M&S, K&J, R&D plus P. I could add the rebellious loner who wears leather a lot-. Possibly with a dog.

Psionics. Peoples Liberation of Oz (PLO) & Cultists. Oz Popular Liberationists (OPL) I was asked for these, and as usual Alternative Armies supplied the figures just after-. 5 figures in each set, so may add a few different to add variety. I have a few vampires, etc. A slightly different leader. I think the look gives them kevlar. Sort of a Big Trouble in Little China vibe.

Bounty Hunters. Dominar Rigel and the Foxy Force Five. Sort of Charlies Angels on speed-.

Farscape is still an excellent SF series. The Dominar has popped up everywhere from 1899 Venus to, well, everywhere. The Foxy Five – look it up! Mix of shoot 'em & Kung Fu action.

Miners. Vegemite Mining Association. Civilian light power armour with no range weapons, but I want to explore throwing things with power armour. You don't want to get close to these guys.

Pirates. The Wild Boys. Gaily attired people with guns and little sense-. Recycling the Belters from my Expanse project. A mix of GZG and Alternative Armies. They shoot therefore they are. Don't run.

Merchants. Baron Greenback and crew, his duster coated goblin halberdiers and flying monkeys.

Well it IS OZ! Turn up, surround people and look hard. Then hit them a lot. No subtlety, no shooting, big numbers. The Baron has no reason or tenuous link to being here. Not one. Nuffin. Sorry. It's my campaign so there) For you Americans – the Duster is an Australian design adapted from a British original via the South African wars.) Greenback, Stilleto and Nero are, like Rigel, from Alternative Armies.

When you want both unusual & superb, Khurasan be my first port of call.

Army of the Savage Forest Witch

The Savage Forest Witch is a powerful creature, protecting and expanding her domain at the expense of others in the woodland realms. In her thrall are all manners of creatures, but typically when she sends her forces to war, their hard core is made up of the halberd armed Gremlin Guard, smaller than humans but fierce and bound to her from infancy, like Ghulams or Janissaries. These uniformed warriors draw up in close order in the center, whilst on the flanks the Witch's Wolf Broods surge forward, seeking out vulnerabilities. Most terrifying of all are the Winged Apes, strong and fierce enough to fight in the front ranks but preferring to fly into position behind engaged troops, tearing them to pieces from the rear with long fangs and mighty arms.

Playing. Either plug for A) taking one side and sticking with it. B) Generated games that you can dip into, playing any side as and when convenient. I mentioned the map - Roll 2 dice. First one is (usually) the attacker and second is the defender. Look at results of past games to rationalise.

My aim is to generate interesting games. You can have a set end point, but I prefer to run until we have played it out or there is a natural winner.

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