Osprey’s “Black Ops” Solo – my first AAR

Here is the report of my first solo game with Osprey’s rule-set “Black Ops”. It was a Stealth Game: the Green men attack a compound defended by the Red. I used three types of men for both teams:

* Aces: armed with guns

* Kings: armed with heavy machine guns

* Jacks: assault rifles

1

The goal is killing the black Ace in the main building. I placed for guards for the defending side and then I rolled for the side of the attack. I place blinds (the chess white pawns) to represent the other defenders, which would only become active when the alarm is risen.

The attackers reach the wall that surrounds the compound. The random movement of the closest guard (the only one for which I rolled) takes him just on the other side of the wall. The Green Jacks climb the wall and are now very close to the guard, but (if I understood the rules correctly) they cannot attack the guard in the same activation as climbing the wall.

2

 

Climbing the wall, the Green Jacks have created a huge noise (the 4 on the blue die). The Red guard activates and runs away screaming an “Intruder alert!” (2 more noise points). The Red Ace (in the barrack at the bottom) is waken by the noise (D6 roll 3 + noise 6 =9), but he must roll another 8+ on D6+Noise before rising the Alarm. He “drifts” out of the barrack, but he cannot see the Green Jacks at his right (he only sees an arc of 45 degrees directly in front of himself). The Green Ace and Kings also climb to the other side of the wall (I think I forgot to add more noise points).

3

At the top right angle, there a firefight in which the Red guard who gave the alarm and one of the Green Kings are killed. In the central area, the Red Ace is killed by the Green Jacks. The alarm is risen, but it seems to late for the Reds. I now rolled for the blinds and only got a single Red King in the main building (no-one in the barrack at the bottom). The Red King is on reserve (the green pebble): he reserves his action from when someone will open the door… The Green Ace starts a firefight with the Ace Target who shoots through a window.

4

Jacks get killed on both sides, but two Red Guards take cover on the left and are particularly effective. The Target Ace is killed by the Green Ace, so the Green side wins. But the Green Ace is shot down by one of the guards. The Red King kills the guards that opened his door and then he moves to the other side of the building and kills the last Green Jack in Close Quarter Combat. The only remaining Green man is a King who nows climb the wall again and leaves the scene. Three Red men are still standing, but it’s a Green victory anyway.

5

I enjoyed the game! It is slightly too complex for my taste, but I really like the kind of scenarios you can play. In this game, I have seen a lot of cool things happening: the Greens climbing the wall and theb failing to kill the Red guard; the Red Ace shot from behind in the night; the Red King in ambush inside the building with his machine gun. There was a lot of movement and unpredictability. I am sorry the Red side lost, I think I should have played the Target Ace more cautiously, hiding somewhere inside the building.

Annunci

Solo Lady Blackbird 10: the Chained 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 and secret lover, the pirate king Uriah Flint. Lady Blackbird, her bodyguard Naomi, and the crew of The Owl (the captain Cyrus Vance, the goblin pilot Snargle and the mechanic Kale) are captured by the Imperial ship Hand of Sorrow, [1] but they manage to escape. [2-4]  The Owl is out of fuel and goes adrift for a few days. It is rescued by a Free Worlds galleon, the Ripe Melon. The Compulsor Uad Balentin will refuel the Owl and will not kill the crew, if they steal from the Arrowshield monastery of the Stone Goddess on planet Wooddock the sacred scaly tail relic. [5-7] The party brings the relic to Balentin: but a dust Golem comes out of the box containing the relic and attacks the compulsor. The heroes eave on the Owl and reach Nightport, a stalactite city below the surface of an artificial planet. [8-9] Vance meets an old friend, the goblin Ashen. Ashen’s boss Jorga of Nexis (a powerful drug dealer) is kidnapped: the party go after her in a pyramidal building. They defeat a number of orcs and a couple of strange Squidmen: Jorga is killed in the fight. The heroes leave the pyramid taking with them a folder full of notes and an ancient statuette of the Stone Goddess.

[Having collected a number of mysteries in the previous sessions, I now try to make sense of some of them, establishing relationships between the Chained Star, the Water Melon galleon and the Cult of the Stone Goddess.  I am am loosely applying the GMless Mystery Explainer by Richard Williams]

Ashen and our heroes examine the papers they have collected in the Chained Star pyramid.

star

Here are their findings:

  • The renowned composer Mazlowe Gon Grolsh is a member of the Chained Star: an illegal organization aimed at reintroducing slavery and bringing back the monarchy to the Free Worlds. Ashen’s boss Jorga of Nexis had discovered this and was blackmailing Mazlowe.
  • Mazlowe is supported by Baroness Tatiana Von Hexen [an aristocrat I rolled on Vornheim‘s tables]. Tatiana is the current regent of Nightport, this is of course well known to the party. What is new to them is that she summons creatures from the lower depths for unsavory purposes. Tatiana is in love with Mazlowe: she is covering his illegal activities and she is also actively helping him. She procured the two squidmen that the party fought in the pyramid.
tat2

Baroness Tatiana Von Hexen

  • One of the goals of the Chained Star is the eradication of the Cult of the Stone Goddess: the cult preaches the equality and dignity of all sentient beings and it is not compatible with slavery.
  • Mystics of the Cult of the Stone Goddess know the Secret of the Sky Song [mentioned in Lady Blackbird’s rule booklet]: they can call sky squids and communicate with them. Mazlowe and Tatiana are trying to acquire this same power, that they intend to use to subvert democracy in the Free Worlds. The couple managed to get hold of the ancient statuette that the heroes found in the pyramid: it is a powerful Essence-channeling artifact.
  • Compulsor Balentin, that the heroes met on the Ripe Melon, was also a member of the Chained Star. Tatiana had ordered him to fetch a number of items that she intended to use to augment her magic powers.

Given the situation, the heroes decide to keep secret what happened in the pyramid.

The next day, the newspaper publish with great evidence news about the Water Melon: the galleon reached Stingwitch, where it left all the human crew. A number of mantoideans went on board of the ship that is now sailing in an unknown direction under the command of the Arrowshield dust golem. Compulsor Balentin is dead and his figure is presented as that of a national hero.

What will Ashen and the heroes do?
To answer this, I decided to use a set of icons from RND issue 1:

icons9
The heroes want to see more clearly what the situation is, in order to understand how to make justice and revenge Jorga’s death. They will give the statuette to the Stone Goddess monks in Nightport temple and ask for their help and guidance. Since Mazlowe and Tatiana are using magic for their evil purposes, the heroes need the help of people who can channel the flow of Essence even more effectively.

Solo Lady Blackbird 9: death in the pyramid

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 and secret lover, the pirate king Uriah Flint. Lady Blackbird, her bodyguard Naomi, and the crew of The Owl (the captain Cyrus Vance, the goblin pilot Snargle and the mechanic Kale) are captured by the Imperial ship Hand of Sorrow, [1] but they manage to escape. [2-4]  The Owl is out of fuel and goes adrift for a few days. It is rescued by a Free Worlds galleon, the Ripe Melon. The Compulsor Uad Balentin will refuel the Owl and will not kill the crew, if they steal from the Arrowshield monastery on planet Wooddock the sacred scaly tail relic. [5-7] The party brings the relic to Balentin: but a dust Golem comes out of the box containing the relic and attacks the compulsor. The heroes and Silas leave on the Owl and reach Nightport, a stalactite city below the surface of an artificial planet. [8] Silas can go his way. Vance meets an old friend, the goblin Ashen, hoping to get informations about how to find Uriah Flint. Ashen’s boss Jorga of Nexis (a powerful drug dealer) is kidnapped: the party and Ashen go after her in a pyramidal building. Most of the heroes are imprisoned by a trap. Snargle and Vance kill the Orcs that were keeping Jorga into custody.  

[I ran this session using FURPG dice as a qualified boolean oracle, and my basic Solo Universal Random Crawler for general inspiration.]

res500

Floor C: Snargle and Vance free Jorga. Is she OK? FURPG:yes. The three move back to the other room to interrogate the drunk orc. Can he reply? FURPG:no and… he is now unconscious, possibly dead. “Too much mushroom juice, is Jorga’s comment”. Kale, who is still imprisoned with Ashen, Natasha and Naomi, handles his laser gun to Jorga through the grating. Vance, Snargle and Jorga move downstairs in search of a switch to deactivate the trap and free the others.

Floor B: They reach a room occupied by a large cylindrical container full of water. Snargle moves to the next room. From the container, two Squidmen emerge. Cyrus and Jorga open fire, but the Squidmen manage to wound both of them. Cyrus kills the larger Squidman and Snargle the other one. In the next room they find an elegant sky car and a switch to open a hatch in front of the car. Is the switch for the trap in this room? FURPG: no. They move downstairs again.

Floor A: A single room with a desk on which there is a folder full of letters and notes and an ancient stone statuette representing a naked woman: a rare and valuable image of the Stone Goddess! The heroes pick up these things, but once again no switch for the trap can be found. They walk up again. The other four are still behind the grating and nothing happened. Snargle, Vance and Jorga now move upstairs.

goddess

Floor D: Is the switch here? FURPG: yes but…it is not easy to operate. There is a sphere in the middle of the central wall: a control for a number of devices in the building. Snargle examines it, trying to understand how to free his friends. In the meantime, two orcs arrive from the next room and open fire. Jorga is killed. Vance and Snargle put the two orcs out of combat. Snargle manages to open the secret door from which the party entered the building. The four who remained imprisoned in the trap leave the pyramid from the secret door. Vance and Snargle take away Jorga’s body on the sky car they had found on Floor B.