Zurqana Chain Reaction – Detailed Defend AAR (5)

Gamer Fabian Khalil asked on G+ for a more detailed report of a Chain Reaction game. So here it is.

Ed Teixeira’s Chain Reaction 2015 rules are freely available on the Two Hour Wargames site.

A handy single-page QRS by Zoran Bosnjak is available on BoardgameGeek.

Stats for the figures in this game:

Claude & Rayan have foolishly lost the previous Patrol mission, so they must now Defend against the Blues, who have the chance to tie the current campaign score. I decided to only include a single Green Grunt together with Claude and Rayan and 3 PEFs to keep things smaller for this more detailed AAR.

For the terrain, I don’t use CR tables: I just put a few buildings and vehicles on the table. I then roll for a random table side for the Greens. Then I use CR rules to place the PEFs: there’s a stripe free of enemies near the Greens’ table side. The rest is split into 6 and a D6 is rolled to place the PEFs. More than one PEF can be in the same area, as in this case where I got two PEFs in area 1 (top left).

Another of the several things I don’t use are activation dice. You should roll one die per side. The highest goes first. Only figures with a rep higher than the roll activate. I simply activate each figure once in each turn. Until now, I have used card based activation, but things work well if you just alternate activating the two sides: the reaction system makes activation order less crucial.

Since the Greens are Defending, I decided to first start the Blues.

The game is made of turns, in which each figure has an activation phase. Typically, when a figure activates, it has no enemies in side, because it Ducked Back (decided to completely hide behind cover) or the enemies Ducked Back. An activation phase usually goes like this:

  • the figure begins its movement
  • it comes in sight of enemies
  • an In Sight test is taken and only one of the two sides fires
  • the other side is put Out of the Fight, Ducks Back or Returns fire (Damage or Received Fire rolls)
  • repeat the previous point, alternating the firing side, until one of the two is put down or ducks back
  • if the active figure Ducked Back, its activation ends
  • if the active figure won the firefight, it can perform the remaining part of its movement
  • if there are other other enemies in sight, it can fire once again (at any point of its movement)

Round 1 – Blue

PEFs have REP (i.e. reputation = quality) 4. You start from the PEF furthest away from your squad (the one at the top left in this case). You roll two dice (CR only use D6 dice). To succeed, the PEF must roll 4 or less (this is how you check REP in general). If you roll 2 successes, the PEF moves 8” toward your squad. On a single success, it moves 4”. If it fails both dice, it does nothing.

The first PEF passes two dice and comes into view between the large building on the left and the blue car. I resolve PEFs with a custom table which on the average generates 1 figure per PEF. In this case, I got a single REP5 rifleman. He immediately takes cover next to the building.

The enemy just came in sight of my squad: an In Sight test must be rolled. The idea is that only one of the two sides will immediately fire. The test requires that you roll as many dice as the highest REP in the group, with rolls of 1,2,3 counting as successes. The side with more successes fires, and ties are treated in favor of the non-active side (Green, in this case).

In Sight Test: Blue:4 Green:1 (the Blue side wins)

The Blue guy fires at Rayan with his rifle (two dice). To hit an enemy in cover, you must score a 10 with D6+REP, without cover you must score a 8. The two dice are treated individually. Since the guy is REP5 and the Greens have no cover, he has to score 3 or more.
He rolls 6 and 2. A single hit. An additional damage roll will tell us what happens to Rayan. The damage roll is 6: Obviously Dead.

The Blue puts Rayan Out of the Fight

The surviving Green figures must now take a Man Down test (basically a morale check). They roll two dice and compare them with their REPs. They roll 4 and 2, they have REP5 and 4, so they both pass two dice (equal or less than their REP): Carry On (the best possible result).

Reactions are over: the Blue rifleman can end his activation, firing another shot (the previous shot was a reaction to the Insight Test). He fires at the Green Grunt: 5,1. One hit. Damage roll:2, less than the Grunt’s REP: the grunt Ducks Back behind the cylindrical structure at his left.

The second PEF passes a single die and moves 4” forward towards the yellow car.

The third PEF passes two dice, comes into view and is resolved as a “false alarm” (no enemies).

Round 1 – Green

Claude moves behind the cover at his left and fires at the Blue rifleman. He has a pistol and rolls a single die: 1 (a miss). Claude and the Blue are now locked in a firefight duel that can only end with one of the two figures going down or Ducking Back.
The Blue takes a Received Fire test. When you are in cover, you roll an additional die for both Received Fire and Man Down tests. So he rolls three dice; 3,3,6. Two successes. He returns fire: 1,1 miss.
Green Received Fire test (Claude also is in cover, so three dice). 3,2,2. He returns fire: 1 (miss).
Blue Received Fire test: 3,4,6. Return fire 2,2 (miss).
Green Received Fire test: 1,3,4. Return fire 6 (hit). Damage roll: 5. Since this is the same as the target’s REP, Claude has put the Blue Out of the Fight.

I could have moved the Green Grunt to an in cover firing position. But I forgot and he remained Ducked Back.

The Green Grunt Ducks Back
Claude puts the Blue Out of the Fight

Round 2 – Blue

The single remaining PEF passes two dice and is resolved as two riflemen: REP5 and REP4. They take cover near the yellow car.

In Sight test: Blue:2 Green: 3.
Claude fires to the REP5 Blue: 3 (miss)
Blue Received Fire test: 1,4,5 Return fire. The REP5 Blue scores 6,2 (one hit). Damage 4 (less than Claude’s REP=5). Claude is forced to Duck Back next to the Green Grunt.

Both Greens in “Duck Back”

Round 2 – Green

Claude and the Grunt move to firing position. Since they had been invisible (in Duck Back), an In Sight test must be rolled:

Blue:3 Green:1

The Blue REP4 Soldier shoots at the Green REP4 Grunt: 2,3 (miss)
The Blue REP5 Soldier shoots at Claude: 6,3 (one hit). Damage: 3 (Claude Ducks Back again)

The Green Grunt was missed by the Blue Grunt: the two figures are again locked in a firefight duel.
The Green Grunt takes a Received Fire test: 6,5,4 (a single success, Rush Shot, which is a less effective shot if the target is not in cover, but irrelevant in this case). The Green Grunt rolls 2,3 (miss).
Blue REP4 Grunt Received Fire test: 3,4,5. He returns fire: 5,4 (miss – he must roll 6 to have a total D6+REP=10)
Green REP4 Grunt Received Fire test: 5,5,2 (Rush Shot again). 6,3 (one hit). Damage: 4 (same as target REP) – the Blue Grunt is Out of the Fight.

The Blue Soldier behind the yellow car goes down

Since Claude Ducked Back, his turn has ended. But the Green REP4 guy still has to conclude his activation. He shoots at the surviving REP5 Blue soldier. 6,4 (one hit). Damage roll: 6. Obviously Dead.

The Green Grunt brings down the last Blue soldier

Note that I roll a single blue damage die together with the “shots”. I use one (pistol) or two (rifle) white dice for the shots, so I can distinguish them from the damage die.

It’s a considerable number of rolls, but I don’t have to refer to the tables. I have removed several details, so that I can keep everything in mind. In the future, I could decide to add some of the details I left out (e.g. the “outgunned” condition that basically implies that a guy with a gun reacts poorly when targeted by enemies with rifles).

The game resulted in a Green victory. Raid campaign score is still unchanged:
Green 1 – Blue 0

The next game will be a Patrol mission.

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