I got together last weekend with Matt from Hyacinth Games at The Gaming Goat in Oak Park to work on our starter box scenarios for Wreck-Age. Our goal is to write scenarios that can be played using just the minis from the starter boxes. For this scenario, our focus was on the Stitchers vs. the Stakers.
A cabal of Stitchmen has been watching the efforts of a newly founded Staker community very closely these last few weeks, not that any of them would be aware of it. The hunters have taken note of all their defenses, the schedule that most of the town adheres to, and whether or not they seem healthy enough to be viable for harvesting. Especially noteworthy to the Stitchers is the network of tunnels below the community, which is built on the rubble of what was once a small city before the collapse. It took some time to map the tunnels, but any advantage is worth it in the end, for how can immortality be attained if you don't take the necessary precautions?
There were a few special rules in effect:
- Stitchers always go first, since they are the aggressors.
- Stakers get a +1 bonus to all nerves tests due to their resolve to defend their homes.
tokens must be placed on the board. These should be 12 inches apart,
and placed at regular intervals. The quantity will depend on your board
and terrain. Make it cool!
- Stitchers start off the board. They can start on any road edge, or come up out of a tunnel entrance (designated by manholes). They can move back into the tunnels as a free action, then pop out of any other manhole as a free action on their next turn, after passing a power test to lift the manhole lid.
- Stitchers must use non-lethal methods to take out the Stakers. Once the Staker is down, they can use 2AP to harvest organs. Once they have harvested, they must return to any manhole to drop off the goods to orderlies waiting in the tunnels.
- In addition to the Stakers box set, place 2 tokens or minis to represent additional harvestable villagers. They are not as healthy as the standard Stakers; their stats are all 1.
- Stitchers can start at any road end, or come up from any manhole (provided they pass the required power test)
- Stakers may start anywhere on the board. At least 2 figures must be within 12 inches of a manhole.
- Stakers must survive 4 turns to win. Daybreak brings in a Staker caravan with guns blazing and the Stitchers will retreat.
- Stitchers must collect 100 resources to win.
Tim played the evil Stitchmen, while I controlled the poor Stakers. On the first turn, Tim's Stitcher administrator (who he named LobsterClaw) popped out of a manhole in the center of town. He tried to shoot an innocent villager, but his tranq pistol malfunctioned. He charged at a nearby Staker, and they both missed their attacks.
Skin-coat, the veteran Stitcher administrator, popped out of the same manhole, charged a villager, knocked him out, and harvested his organs. Since he was still in contact with the manhole, he was able to deposit his prize immediately.
Next, a Stitcher hunter appeared. He shot at the Staker's jammer, but his tranq gun misfired. The jammer fired back, and wounded the hunter.
A Staker guard charged into combat with another hunter, but no wounds were caused.
A pair of Staker riflemen shot at Skin-coat, but he shrugged off the shots.
The Stakers went first on turn 2. Shots were fired, but the Stitchmen avoided injuries. LobsterClaw killed and harvested the Staker he was fighting, and moved back to the manhole to drop off his goods. He was attacked by a Staker, and wounded him. A hunter joined that fight and wounded the Staker. The riflemen fired at the veteran administrator and knocked him out of action, but he used his chem injector item to heal himself and remove all wounds.
Turn 3 went poorly for the Stakers. Another Staker was knocked unconcious and harvested. The hunter carrying the goods managed to get within 3 inches of the manhole, but he would have to wait until the next turn to drop the organs off. The Stakers didn't really manage to cause any damage this turn.
At the start of turn 4, I conceded the game to Tim and the Stitchers. They had set themselves up in such a way that I would not have been able to stop the hunter from dropping the goods and winning the game. He was withing shooting range, but my own figures were blocking line of sight!
This was a fun scenario. I think we've got it almost balanced, but one more playthrough is a good idea. The Stakers rolled very well on their hit and defense rolls, but terribly on their damage rolls. They also started clustered around a manhole, and that decision was a deadly mistake. Tim played his Stitchers very well. We toyed with other concepts for the scenario, like adding nighttime rules, or some sort of sentry or alarm, but decided to keep this streamlined and simple.
The Gaming Goat was very accommodating, but we picked a busy day to come out and play, since they had a card game tournament going on as well. Big thanks to them for welcoming us into the store! I'm sure we'll be back soon enough.
-- Josh, Chicago Skirmish Wargames club member