Solo Lady Blackbird 6 – Arrowshield: the Crypt

[A solo campaign based on the setting and characters of John Harper’s Lady Blackbird and a mix of OSR rules, mainly White Star]

Prior events: [0] Lady Blackbird is on the run from an arranged marriage to Count Carlowe. She hired a smuggler skyship, The Owl, to take her to the far reaches of the Remnants, so she could be with her once secret lover, the pirate king Uriah Flint. The Owl is pursued and captured by the Imperial cruiser Hand of Sorrow. Lady Blackbird, her bodyguard Naomi, and the crew of The Owl (the Captain Cyrus Vance, the goblin pilot Snargle and the mechanic Kale) are detained in the brig. [1] They fight their way to the Owl and escape from the Hand of Sorrow. [2] They find that the Imperial soldier Silas Canter has remained trapped in their ship. [3] The Owl is out of fuel, so they land on the nearby Stingwitch planetoid, but they find it infested by mantis-like monsters. [4] The Owl goes adrift for a few days. It is rescued by a Free Worlds galleon, the Ripe Melon, whose commander Dr. Salacia Paldo offers to cure Naomi, who has been infected by the Stingwitch mantoideans. The Compulsor Uad Balentin, who is also on the galleon with his paramilitary exacters, will refuel the Owl and will not kill the crew, but only if they steal from the Arrowshield monastery on planet Wooddock the sacred scaly tail relic. [5] The party (without Naomi, who is left on the Ripe Melon) reach the Arrowshield monastery, where the Autumn Market is taking place. A fortune teller tells Vance that he will soon be changed. The party’s plan is to hide in the Monastery and wait for the night, but they are discovered. They successfully fight a few scimitar monks. In the crypt of the sanctuary, a monk offers to each of them a golden apple and points them to a shrine where they find the relic.

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(1) When our heroes pick up from the altar the box containing the scaly tail relic, all the doors of the shrine disappear, and a new one appears at the other end of the room. The party moves in that direction and they reach a small room (2) where a scimitar monk is floating in the air.

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The monk says “the Meteorite Goddess will put you to proof” and disappears. The party moves on throw a circular room with a turning corridor (3).

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They reach what seems to be a dead end, but Kale finds a secret door (4) leading to a larger room, where a dust golem stand between two pillars (5). The golem attacks the party and puts Vance, Snargle and Kale out of combat. He asks Lady Blackbird to open the box containing the relic. He says: “take me to the Compulsor”, and turns in a handful of dust that falls into the box. The party leaves the underground room through a stair (6) leading out of the monastery.

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Open questions:

  • Is Count Carlowe in search of Lady Blackbird?
  • Where are the Stingwitch mantoideans beings from?
  • In the Arrowshield monastery, a fortune teller told Vance that “he will be changed”. What does this mean?
  • What is the meaning of the golden apples that a scimitar monks donated to the heroes?

 

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Solo Lady Blackbird 5 – Arrowshield: the Autumn Market

[A solo campaign based on the setting and characters of John Harper’s Lady Blackbird and a mix of OSR rules, mainly White Star. The Arrowshield Monastery was created thanks to RND Issue 1 by Chris Stieha]

Prior events: Lady Blackbird is on the run from an arranged marriage to Count Carlowe. She hired a smuggler skyship, The Owl, to take her to the far reaches of the Remnants, so she could be with her once secret lover, the pirate king Uriah Flint. The Owl is pursued and captured by the Imperial cruiser Hand of Sorrow. Lady Blackbird, her bodyguard Naomi, and the crew of The Owl are detained in the brig. The Captain of the Owl, Cyrus Vance,uses his Warpblood power to teleport out of the cell and free his companions. The crew manage to fight their way to the Owl and escape from the Hand of Sorrow. They find that the Imperial soldier Silas Canter has remained trapped in their ship. Since the Owl is almost out of fuel, they land on the nearby Stingwitch planetoid, but they find it infested by insect-like monsters: Naomi and Vance are badly wounded and they barely manage to escape. The Owl goes adrift, without fuel, for a few days. It is rescued by a Free Worlds galleon, the Ripe Melon, whose commander Dr. Salacia Paldo offers to cure Naomi, who has been infected by the Stingwitch mantoideans. The Compulsor Uad Balentin, who is also on the galleon with his paramilitary exacters is upset by the presence of an Imperial soldier (Silas). He will refuel the Owl and will not kill the crew, but only if they steal from the Arrowshield monastery on planet Wooddock the sacred scaly tail relic.

The next day the Ripe Melon reaches Wooddock. Natasha (Lady Blackbird), Vance, Kale and Snargle leave on the Owl directed to the Arrowshield Monastery. Compulsor Balentin has provided them with light armor that they can wear under their cloths and star swords. They reach the place which is crowded, because the Autumn Fair is taking place in the first yard of the building.

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(1) They enter the building through and impressive archway. They can see the column on which the sacred Meteorite is displayed. Two monks direct them to a room on the left.

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(2) Another monk with scares on his face takes a drop of blood from each of them and carefully stores each drop in a separate phial.

(3) They enter the main yard. It is rather crowded. On the right, a woman with a big doll is telling fortunes. When the party passes by she says to Vance: “my doll says that you will soon be changed”.

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Natasha is attracted by a seller of jewels and perfumes. When the party moves that way, somebody tries to steal a jewel and run away. Everybody is screaming and running. The party takes advantage of the confusion to enter a door unobserved.

(4) They are in a tool storage. An utility robot is also stored there. Snargle manages to turn it on and to have it lead the party to a quiet place where they will wait for the night.

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(5) They follow the robot, but when they enter a large dining hall, a monk enters from a door on the right. The party attacks and Vance puts the Monk out of action. The robot start “screaming” a loud siren. The party runs in the direction of the sanctuary.

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(6) They open a door and they find in the open, in an area where part of the ancient monastery collapsed centuries ago. They are confronted by four more monks, but Vance deafeats them all thanks to his mercenary fighting skill and his star sword.

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(7) They enter the sanctuary, but the relic is not there. It is completely empty but for two stairs that lead to a crypt. The party goes down on of the stairs. 

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They reach a small room where the monk with the scared face is waiting for them. He is surrounded by what appears to be an energy shield. The monk smiles and gives to each of them a golden apple. He gives them a fifth fruit and says: “this is for your sick friend”. The monk points them to the door leading deeper into the crypt. After receiving the apple, Natasha feels the essence flowing from the relic to her. She knows they are near. In fact, just below the pillar with the Meteorite, there is a small underground shrine. The sacred scaly tail relic is in a wooden box on a stone altar.

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Solo Lady Blackbird 4: The Ripe Melon

[A solo campaign based on the setting and characters of John Harper’s Lady Blackbird and a mix of OSR rules, mainly White Star. The Ripe Melon has been generated using the Starship from Hell by Rafael Chandler]

Prior events: Lady Blackbird is on the run from an arranged marriage to Count Carlowe. She hired a smuggler skyship, The Owl, to take her to the far reaches of the Remnants, so she could be with her once secret lover, the pirate king Uriah Flint. The Owl is pursued and captured by the Imperial cruiser Hand of Sorrow. Lady Blackbird, her bodyguard Naomi, and the crew of The Owl are detained in the brig. The Captain of the Owl, Cyrus Vance, uses his Warpblood power to teleport out of the cell and free his companions. The crew manage to fight their way to the Owl and escape from the Hand of Sorrow. They find that the Imperial soldier Silas Canter has remained trapped in their ship. Since the Owl is almost out of fuel, they land on the nearby Stingwitch planetoid, but they find it infested by insect-like monsters: Naomi and Vance are badly wounded and they barely manage to escape. The Owl is now out of fuel, adrift in the Wild Blue.

The only chance of the crew is to ask for help to passing ships, but Stingwitch is not close to any main route. Vance recovers well from his wounds, but Naomi keeps getting worse: she is catatonic and her skin is becoming darker. The members of the crew fear that she has been infected by the Stingwitch insectoids.

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After four days, the Owl is boarded by the Ripe Melon, a Free Worlds galleon. It is a scientific ship under the command of Science Officer Salacia Paldo. The ship also transports a dozen paramilitary exacters under the command of Compulsor Uad Balentin. The occupants of the Owl are transferred to the Ripe Melon. Dr. Paldo immediately understands that Naomi has contracted a mantoidean infection and has her put into quarantine. The Compulsor is very upset when he finds out that one of the occupants is an Imperial soldier, still he will refuel the Owl and let the others go if they obtain a rare biological item for the Ripe Melon’s collection.

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Dr. Salacia Paldo and Compulsor Uad Balentin

[The following has been generated using  Saga Creator by Roryb Bracebuckle and icons from RND issue 1 by Chris Stieha]

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The crew is tasked to steal the sacred Scaly Tail relic of Arrowshield. They must go to the Genetic Sanctuary of the Scimitar Monks. There they will face the powers of the Meteorite venerated in the Sanctuary.

It is a good time to attempt this mission, because the Sanctuary is usually unaccessible but for the Autumn Market that takes place in the yard of the Sanctuary once a year.

Naomi will stay on the galleon and her infection will be cured. Of course, she will be killed if the Arrowshield mission does not achive its goal. The Compulsor also takes the additional precaution of installing a time bomb on the Owl: it will explode in ten days, or if someone tries to remove it, or whenever the Compulsor activates a remote control.

The mission will start on the next day, when the Ripe Melon will reach the orbit of planet Wooddock, where the Arrowshield sanctuary is located.

Solo Lady Blackbird 3: Deadly Stingwitch

[A solo campaign based on the setting and characters of John Harper’s Lady Blackbird and a mix of OSR rules, mainly White Star. This session makes use of RND issue 1, by Chris Stieha. RND is packed with stuff and I only used a tiny fraction here. Icon sets numbered 1,2,3 below are encounter seeds from RND that I used to generate room descriptions and events]

Prior events: Lady Blackbird is on the run from an arranged marriage to Count Carlowe. She hired a smuggler skyship, The Owl, to take her to the far reaches of the Remnants, so she could be with her once secret lover, the pirate king Uriah Flint. Just before reaching the halfway point of Haven, the Owl was pursued and captured by the Imperial cruiser Hand of Sorrow, under charges of flying a false flag. Lady Blackbird, her bodyguard, and the crew of The Owl were detained in the brig. The Captain of the Owl, Cyrus Vance, used his Warpblood power to teleport out of the cell and free his companions. The crew managed to fight their way to the Owl and escape from the Hand of Sorrow. Since the Owl is almost out of fuel, they sail towards the nearby Stingwitch planetoid. They are granted permission to land, with the warning that the colony has been stricken by an infection of unknown nature.

[The locations of the RND map are referenced in parenthesis below]

map1*

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(1) The Owl lands near the North West pod of the Singwitch colony, where a ship recharging facility is located. The Crew are asked on the wireless to enter the colony from the East door. Natasha and Kale are left onboard to keep the prisoner soldier Silas under watch.

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(2) Vance, Naomi and Snargle enter the colony and meet a woman, Veronica, whose strange is weirdly hairy. Veronica has a large hammer hanging from her belt. From the South, a persistent whistling noise. Venronica says “That’s our energy generator, the boss is trying to fix it so that we can ref-fuel your ship. Maybe you can have a look and help him with that?”. They move towards the source of the whistling sound.

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When they pass in front of room (3), a metallic scratching sound can be heard from the inside, like blades hitting the metallic door. Next to the door, an alarm light is flashing. Veronica says: “Some people here got sick. We must keep them temporarily secluded. They will be OK in a few days”.

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(4) They cross a room in which there are a few bunks. On one of them there, under a cover, a be-headed corpse can be perceived. A thin, hairy, black limb is not covered by the blanket: it does not look completely human. Veronica says: “Poor Oswald did not make it”. Veronica points to the next room: “Here is Eli, the boss”.

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(5) The whistling sound comes from this room. A man in frantically working at an energy generator: he has dismounted part of it. He cuts a wire and the whistling sound stops. He explains the problem with the machine and Snargle immediately offers to help: it looks like something he can fix in a few minutes.

Suddenly, a crash is heard and Veronica rushes in. “Edgard is out” she screams. Naomi and Vance go and see what happened and they are confronted by a huge, black, hairy instectoid entering the room. Vance shoots but misses. The insectoid attacks in melee, with his four blade-like upper limbs. He puts Naomi and Vance out of combat but he is also wounded by Vance.

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The insectoid enters the generator room. Snargle fires but misses. The insectoid put also Veronica and Eli out of action. Snargle fires again and this time he manages to kill the insectoid.

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Naomi and Vance can barely walk. Snargle helps them to the Owl and they leave the deadly planetoid. Half an hour later, they are completely out of fuel, adrift in the Wild Blue.

Solo LBB 2: towards Stingwitch

[A solo campaign based on the setting and characters of John Harper’s Lady Blackbird and a mix of OSR rules, mainly White Star].

Prior events: Lady Blackbird is on the run from an arranged marriage to Count Carlowe. She hired a smuggler skyship, The Owl, to take her from her palace on the Imperial world of Ilysium to the far reaches of the Remnants, so she could be with her once secret lover, the pirate king Uriah Flint. Just before reaching the halfway point of Haven, the Owl was pursued and captured by the Imperial cruiser Hand of Sorrow, under charges of flying a false flag. Lady Blackbird, her bodyguard, and the crew of The Owl were detained in the brig. The Captain of the Owl, Cyrus Vance, used his Warpblood power to teleport out of the cell and free his companions. The crew managed to fight their way to the Owl and escape from the Hand of Sorrow.

The Goblin pilot Snargle takes the Owl in the lower depths. While submerging in the clouds, the crew notices that the Hand of Sorrow has approached a large cargo starship: that was keeping the imperials busy and favored their escape. The plan is to move as far as possible staying in depths. Naomi discovers that there is an imperial soldier in the Owl! The guy (Silas Canter) is terrified. He says that he had been ordered to search the ship and had just begun to do so when the shooting began and he decided to hide and wait it was over. Vance orders to have Silas closed in a small compartments. The Owl is almost out of fuel and they will soon have to stop somewhere: they will drop Silas there.

Snargle is following a route leading towards the Free Worlds. After a couple of hours of in-depth navigation, the Owl emerges near a small planetoid hosting a Free World colony: Stingwitch. Apparently, a good place to get some fuel. Vance asks permission to land. The permission is granted, but the Stingwitch wireless operator warns Vance that the colony has been stricken by an infection of unknown nature: his advice is to limit contacts to the bare minimum. Anyway, the Owl is almost completely out of fuel and there is no choice but to land on Stingwitch.

[The Stingwitch colony is based on RND issue 1, by Chris Stieha]

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Solo LBB 1: Leaving the Hand of Sorrow

[I finally managed to start my Lady Blackbird solo campaign. I will be using the setting and characters of John Harper’s Lady Blackbird and a mix of OSR rules, mainly White Star].

Prior events: Lady Blackbird is on the run from an arranged marriage to Count Carlowe. She hired a smuggler skyship, The Owl, to take her from her palace on the Imperial world of Ilysium to the far reaches of the Remnants, so she could be with her once secret lover, the pirate king Uriah Flint. Just before reaching the halfway point of Haven, The Owl was pursued and captured by the Imperial cruiser Hand of Sorrow, under charges of flying a false flag. Lady Blackbird, her bodyguard, and the crew of The Owl are detained in the brig, while the commander of the cruiser, Captain Hollas, runs the smuggler ship’s registry over the wireless. It’s only a matter of time before they discover the outstanding warrants and learn that The Owl is owned by none other than the infamous outcast Cyrus Vance.

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Vance understands that it is not the case to waste time. As soon as he perceives that only a couple of soldiers are guarding the cells, he uses his Warpblood power to teleport out of the cell. He attacks the two surprised soldiers and manages to put them out of action before they can give the alarm [being a 3rd level Mercenary, he has 3 extra attacks against 1 HD opponents such as these]. Vance open the other cells and the team is on its way towards the 3rd deck, where the Owl is kept.

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They are very lucky and don’t meet anybody until they reach the entrance to the storage area. Here there are two guards that are again defeated by Vance, but one of the two soldiers shoots with his pistol: now the alarm has finally been given.

Naomi tries to force the door of the storage area, but she initially fails. In the meantime, soldiers arrive from both the sides of the corridor.

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Vance defeats those on the left, while Snargle and Lady Blackbird face the others. Snargle charges in hand to hand combat and manages to wound one of the soldiers. Naomi opens the door and Kale rushes in, in order to get ready to start the Owl and leave. Snargle and Vance kill the other two soldiers, but Vance is wounded. Anyway, Kale has opened the hold door granting access to the Wild Blue, Snargle and the others jump on board and the Owl leaves the Hand of Sorrow!

Solo Lady Blackbird: Map of the Hand of Sorrow

So I am back to the idea of playing Lady Blackbird. I am considering using the game set up and characters, converting them to a standard OSR system. Today, I have printed this map based on the American battleship that I used as a base for this illustration:

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So the first part of the game could be a starship crawl. Thaumiel Nerub suggested me (among much other cool things) Hulks and Horrors, an OSR system with a number of very cool random generators. I am curious to see if this time I really come to make something of LBB.

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The map is 4 A3 sheets of a single deck of the Texas battleship. I can use the same map for the different decks of the Hand of Sorrow: all decks have the same structure with different random contents and encounters. Well, I don’t know yet what to do with this 🙂

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Plastic Monsters Nov2015 – Baranyong the river monster

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Hypergates appear in different places of the Earth. The gates lead to what apparently is an immense abandoned city inhabited giant hostile creatures. From the hypercity, dinosaurs, giant robots and mutant fighters attack our world. The governments of the Earth send SWAT squads through the gates: their task is to stop the invading monsters before they reach our planet. Sergeant Rinaldi leads the team from a Police armored car. Soldier Solnick leads the bazooka squad transported by the Jeep. Soldier Marton leads an infantry unit. Rinaldi’s team has defeated the orange monster Onguaguer and the green dragon Nejralant. Now they head for the last monster-controlled location, in order to close the campaign. They reach a bridge cross a river and are confronted by the river monster Baranyong.
Turn 1-2: the Humans and the Monster move forward.

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Turn 3: Slonick’s Jeep team hits the Monster.
Turn 4: Baranyong moves back.
Turn 5-6: Baranyong recovers his wound and moves close to the Jeep-
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Turn 7: Baranyong defeats Solnick’s team. The Tank and Infantry Human units are scared and move back.
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Turn 8-10: Humans are scared for a few turns and move back.

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Turn 11-13: The Humans pass their morale check and move forward again. Baranyong also move forward and almost reaches Rinaldi’s tank.
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Turn 14-16: The tank and infantry units are now close to the Monster and hit it.
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Turn 17: Baranyong destroys the infantry unit and regenerates one wound (he still has one).
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Turn 18-24: The Tank repeatedly hits Baranyong which keeps moving back and finally leaves the board.
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Technically, this should have been a Monster victory. Still, I am not satisfied with my tweaking of the PZ8 The Spider from Outer Space rule-set. Since this encounter was particularly interesting, I guess it is a good point to end the campaign and move to something new!

Plastic Monsters Nov2015 – Nejralant

Since all Human units survived the first encounter, I rolled for a random advancement. The result was possibly the most powerful option: +1 fire for the Armored Vehicle of the leader (Sgt. Rinaldi).
Hypergates appear in different places of the Earth. The gates lead to what apparently is an immense abandoned city inhabited giant hostile creatures. From the hypercity, dinosaurs, giant robots and mutant fighters attack our world. The governments of the Earth send SWAT squads through the gates: their task is to stop the invading monsters before they reach our planet. Sergeant Rinaldi leads the team from a Police armored car. Soldier Solnick leads the bazooka squad transported by the Jeep. Soldier Marton leads an infantry unit. Rinaldi’s team has defeated the orange monster Onguaguer in an abandoned airport. Now the orders are to move South-East and clear the area. The new encounter is with the green dragon Nejralant.

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Turn 1: The Humans and Nejralant move forward.

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Turn 2: Rinaldi’s Armored vehicle is at firing distance: the monster receives the first wound.
Turn 3: Rinaldi hits again. Nejralant moves back and recovers one wound.
Turn 4: Nejralant moves to attack, but its movement roll is not enough to reach Solnick’s jeep.
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Turn 5: Rinaldi hits again: Nejralant has two wounds.
Turn 6-8: Rinaldi, thanks to his new +1 roll, keeps firing with success. Najralant now has 4 wounds.
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Turn 9: Rinaldi inflicts the fifth wound. The monster fails its first save roll and dies.

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The game is now even more unbalanced in favor of the Human side. Very likely, the next encounter will end the campaign.

Plastic Monsters Nov2015 – Onguguer

Zach Best published these three ingredients for this week of the #SoloGamingAppreciationMonth2015:
(1) an airliner,
(2) a bindle (hobo travel sack on a stick), and
(3) a rat.
These suggested me to run my first Plastic Monster skirmish in an abandoned airport.

I am playing with a slightly tweaked version of The Giant Spider from Outer Space by PZ8.

Hypergates appear in different places of the Earth. The gates lead to what apparently is an immense abandoned city inhabited giant hostile creatures. From the hypercity, dinosaurs, giant robots and mutant fighters attack our world. The governments of the Earth send SWAT squads through the gates: their task is to stop the invading monsters before they reach our planet. Sergeant Rinaldi leads the team from a Police armored car. Soldier Solnick leads the bazooka squad transported by the Jeep. Soldier Marton leads an infantry unit. The dragon-like monster Onguguer has been spotted in an abandoned airport in an area close to that controlled by Rinaldi’s team. The encounter with the Monster takes place in the open field that apparently once were the tracks of the small airport.

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Turn 1: The Tank and the Jeep team move forward enough to reach firing range. Both hit. Onguguer has now two wounds and does not react.

Turn 2: Onguguer receives a third hit from the Jeep and moves back.

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Turn 3-7: The Human forces push the Monster back. Thanks to its regenerating power, the number of Wounds taken by Onguguer does not increase.

Turn 8: Finally also Marton’s infantry team manage to be close enough to effectively fire. Onguguer is hit by all squads and now has 5 wounds. It passes it saving rolls.

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Turn 9: Onguguer is hit again and moves back. It keeps passing its saving throw after each wound. The monster is now close to the border of the battlefield: if it manages to flee, this will count as a defeat for the Humans.

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Turn 10: Since now all the Human units are with 6” from the Monster, its reactions are rolled without the wound penalties. Finally, the Monsters move forward, but it only rolls a 3” movement so it does not reack Marton’s team.

Turn 11: Solnick’s team inflicts to the Monster its 8th wound and finally kill it!

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