Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Days Gone By: Post-Apocalyptic Campaign Kicks Off
In the first game, Terrence and I set up a scenario set at Installation JX-7, an abandoned military outpost on the edge of the wastelands. My bloodthirsty raiders had captured Captain Mal, the leader of Terrence's warband (a clique of big damn heroes modeled in no small part on a certain starship's plucky crew). He was tasked with infiltrating the raiders' base (centered around this fantastic bunker that Josh acquired on ebay) and springing his gang's leader from captivity before my gang made him into stew.
I set up my raiders (mostly converted Necromunda figures, though that big butcher at the top of this post is from Reaper's Chronoscope line) within 12 inches of the bunker, as per the scenario deployment rules. Terrence's heroes (a custom force designed by picking and choosing figure profiles from several different force lists in the TNT rulebook) moved onto the opposite board edge. Here they are, looking remarkably under-equipped compared to my raiders and their oversized guns.
The scenario rules meant that my raiders couldn't easily spot the heroes as they made their approach. I basically had visual range equal to 1d10 inches per turn...sometimes I'd roll well and be able to spot several targets, but other times I'd roll poorly and my big ol' machinegun-wielding raider in the bunker would just sort of stare at his feet for a turn or two.
Anyway, Terrence sent his more heavily armed heroes on a flanking mission through some ruins. Jayne, Zoe and Kaylee (sound familiar?) were met by a raider with a shotgun. The surprise encounter resulted in a brief firefight, then the raider realized he was in over his head and decided to wait for support.
Luckily there was another raider nearby, along with a mongrel. In TNT, mongrels are clearly meant to be feral dogs kept chained up and unleashed right before battle. As I didn't have any dog miniatures, my mongrel was ... a wild boar! Alas, I don't have a clear photo of him, but you can see him in the background of this photo. Close up, he looks like he belongs on the cover of a heavy metal album.
Anyway, the two warbands exchanged fire a few turns, with casualties mounting among the big damn heroes. Suddenly, the door to the bunker flew open and out sprang Captain Mal, prisoner no more!
Actually, the scenario rules said that Captain Mal could free himself at any point in the battle. He was sort of the x-factor to the game...I kept a close guard on that bunker for several turns, waiting for Terrence to have Mal break out, but in the end he got loose anyway. Alas, Captain Mal got within a few short inches of rejoining his crew when he was felled by a close-range shotgun blast. Several other members of his crew were casualties, too, and the raiders emerged victorious after 6 turns.
Afterward we spent about 15 minutes going through the post-game campaign bookkeeping. TNT has a well developed campaign system with individual steps that will be familiar to many gamers. First you roll to see what happens to your casualties, then you roll for income, then you pay your warband upkeep (based on how experienced they are), then you draw a card from the exploration deck. This last step is completely optional and can result in fantastic riches, lost tech, or your dudes getting eaten by rad muties. It was so much fun -- Terrence rolled quite well and ended up with a nice income haul. And even better -- none of his team (those big damn heroes) were permanently taken out of action. In fact, Captain Mal rolled so well on the casualty table that he actually received extra experience points to boot.
Across the table, Mike and Josh were playing through another scenario. Mike's mercenaries were tasked with escorting a prisoner through the Pestilent Expanse, a windswept wasteland of rock and scrub brush punctuated by the burnt-out shells of blackened buildings. Josh's Preservers were trying to intercept the prisoner, or kill him if necessary. Josh snapped two photos of his warband and Mike's, at the start of the game. Unfortunately that's all we ended up with. Too much time spent gaming!
And then, as these two games were taking place, something was happening on the third game table, where Tim and Karl were squaring off for their game. What was going on? Had some new threat emerged to menace the wastelands? Preliminary intel indicated a mutant incursion! Karl's forces were able to transmit one grainy scanner photo of the unknown threat before contact was lost....
Stay tuned -- we'll have more reliable info in future games!
-- Patrick, Chicago Skirmish Wargames club member, with additional photos by Josh