A solo campaign based on OPR Grimdark Future Firefight and Nine Steps and a Bloody Heart (NSAABH). Campaign set-up details here.
Background and previous events: 1988 – hypergates appear in different places of the Earth. The gates lead to what apparently is a different version of our planet in which elements of the present world mix with elements from the remote past and from what possibly is a remote future. From the hyperplanet, invading armies, dinosaurs and giant golems attack our world. The governments of the Earth send SWAT squads through the gates: their task is to explore the hostile planet on the other side and hopefully find a way to shut the hypergates and stop the invasion.
Sgt.Ephraim and his comrades must shut-down an unstable wormhole which has been reported in the Opokt area. The wormhole is under the control of Damocles Garth, a renegade marine who has joined the collaborationists. The earthlings have been informed by an anonymous source in Damocles’ army: who is this person?
I use the NSAABH card deck to answer these three questions:
(Clubs) Where exactly is the wormhole?
(Diamonds) How can it be shut-down?
(Spades) Who is the anonymous informant?
(1) Five of spades – the anonymous informant is not a robot.
Ephraim’s squad recovers a memory deck whose position had been revealed by the informant. He sent the earthlings a handwritten note: so he/she is not a robot. Ephraim fails a 50-50 roll to discover a second card.
(2) Two of spades – the informant isn’t Damocles’ sidekick Tia. Ephraim’s squad is confronted by a group of gaters lead by Tia: clearly, she is loyal to the collaborationists.
(3) Ace of diamonds – the wormhole cannot be shut-down by explosives. Our heroes are defeated in an attempt to break through the defence of the gaters. They receive new from their HQ that the wormhole is supposed to be resistant to explosives.
(4) Ace of Clubs: the wormhole is not in the dungeons below Opokt. The team explores the dungeons and find nothing bug bugs and collaborationists. They win the fight, and, by questioning a prisoner, Ephraim also discovers that
(4b) 4 of Spades: the mysterious informant is not a civilian, but someone in the blue army.
(5) 2 of Diamonds: the earth HQ dig more valuable intelligence out of the memory deck: the wormhole cannot be shut-down by a technological interface.
(6) Ace of Spades. The informant is not Damocles. Only one spades card is left. The informant is a blue soldier: Ephraim’s team recovers him.
(7) 4 of clubs – the team explores an island in the Opokt river, but the wormhole is not there.
(8) 2 of clubs – the wormhole is not carried around in a vehicle. It must be in Damocles’ Headquarters.
Last card: 4 of Diamonds. The wormhole cannot be shut-down by a physical key. There are two options left: to close it, it is necessary some kind of spell, or one must kill Damocles.
The last fight is at Damocles’ HQ and our heroes face Damocles in person (the paper mini near the wormhole). I decided to give them a chance to kill Damocles and see if that is enough to close the wormhole. I played this game without a turn limit.
Damocles stats: Q:4+ D:4+, one close-combat attack; no ranged attacks.
For the last fight, the green army is augmented with two more Infantry Squads and sniper (for a grand total of 210 points).
I randomly rolled and randomly deployed a similar Blue army:
Damocles, two veterans, blue and red golems, rhino, robot, an infantry squad and a sniper.
I randomly rolled for the green entry board: the centre of the lower side. In the pictures, the Green leader Sgt.Ephraim is marked by the green circle.
The green sniper (scout) deploys inside Damocles’ HQ.
Turn 1: the green sniper shoots at Damocles and misses. Damocles charges and puts him out of combat. The robot charges one of the green infantry squads. Ephraim and most of the green army move towards the East entrance, shooting at the blue infantry guarding it.
Turn 2: the blue Veterans inside the building move towards the East door to stop the green attack. The blue infantry at the door is destroyed, but Ephraim is wounded by the blue sniper, shooting from behind the corner. The golems are slow, but they are closing in: their D:3+ allows them to move forward between the bullets of the green infantry. The robot and the rhino badly damange one of the green infantry squads: a single stunned man remains.
Turn 3: the robot finishes the infantry man. Ephraim enters the building, but is wounded again by the veterans. Pierre also receives two wounds from the sniper and the blue golem.
Turn 4: Ephraim heroically manages to put out of combat both veterans in hand-to-hand combat: he is now facing Damocles! The green infantry kills the rhino and the blue golem. Victory seems near.
Turn 5: Ephraim faces Damocles, but he is immediately put out of command by the fresh opponent. Pierre also enters the building, while Calaf takes cover at the door and tries, unsuccessfully, to kill the sniper. The red golem is stunned. The robot attacks a second infantry squad.
Turn 6: Damocles stuns Pierre. The green infantry charges the stunned red golem and put it out of combat. The other infantry squad repels the tough robot, inflicting two wounds.
Turn 7: Calaf joins the hand-to-hand fight against Damocles, but the villain put out of combat both him and Pierre. Since all our three heroes have been defeated, I decided to assign to Damocles the victory in this campaign. The wormhole has not been closed.
After the game, I checked the last card. Killing Damocles would not have been enough to close the wormhole. An unknown spell is necessary. Something to keep in mind if I decide to give this setting another go in the future…