OPR Covering Fire! Second game

For my second One Page Ruels – Covering Fire! game I made these changes with respect to my first battle:

  • I added a train rail through the battlefield (difficult terrain – no cover). This proved to be irrelevant, since the Green attackers crossed the railway during their initial activation, when the Gray had no line of sight to them.
  • I made the objective a flat area with no cover (I decided the vehicle does not count a cover).
  • I used more coloured bases in order to make things more visible – red base: Company Commander; yellow base: Platoon Commander; blue base: Support Weapons.
00a.jpgRES
Initial Deployment. The left company will move first. The objective is the area where the vehicle is.

Turn 1 and 2: the Green left platoon approaches a wooded area that will grant them a good firing position towards the objective. A second platoon crosses the railway and occupies the objective. The third platoon splits: the Company commander, together with two other units, occupies a building near the center of the table; the Platoon Commander and the other units remain in reserve. The Gray right wing occupies a wood in front of the objective: they are immediately targeted by the Green men both in the objective area and in the wood behind it. In turn 2, the Green reserve moves behind cover across the whole field, finally reaching a wood in the lower part of the table. At the end of Turn 2, the Green side gets its first Victory Point.

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End of Turn 2: Green units occupy the objective and score a first VP

Turn 3 and 4: the Gray moves a second platoon right in front of the objective, but again they are under intensive fire by the whole Green company, which is now deployed across the whole field. The Gray lose two Platoon Commanders and several other units. Two more VPs for the Green (now at 3).

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The Gray lose several units thanks to the better position of the Green attackers

Turn 5 and 6: the Green in the wood at the bottom of the table move out to charge a few Gray units in the open: those Gray units move forward into a small wooded area very near the objective. Gray fire towards the objective is more effective now: the Green support weapons team is destroyed, one squad is suppressed and another pinned. But the Platoon commander and the third Rifle Squad are still in good shape and collect the last two Victory points.

06a.jpgRES
End game – the Green wins in 6 turns, only losing a single unit.

Comments:

I understood that in my previous game I misinterpreted Group Firing: I used to roll a bunch of dice, pooling together all firing units. This was more or less guaranteed to result in at least two successes. Now I roll individually for each unit: so the probability that a single unit scores two successes is much lower.

I must definitely try deploying along the longer sides of the table: this could make outflanking manoeuvres easier.

I probably need more blocking terrain: possibly smaller areas but in greatest numbers.

The idea of an open, cover-less objective area seems interesting. I will probably use it again in my next game.

OPR Covering Fire! First Game

I have run a first solo test of the new One-Off-Game “Covering Fire!” by One Page Rules.
My table is smaller than required by the game, so I reduced the number of figures in each unit: Rifle Squads are represented by 3 figures (instead of 5) and Support Weapons are a single crouching soldier with a bazooka.

Each Company is composed of three platoons each comprising:
3 Rifle Squads
1 Support Weapon
1 Officer

The Company is lead by a Commander

The objective of the battle is the building with the two orange bricks at the centre of the board. The small building can be occupied by at most 4 figures (e.g. a Rifle Squad and and Officer). I deployed the two armies symmetrically, with the two commanders attached at the central platoons.

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Initial deployment and major movements

I rolled a die and the Green army turned out to have initiative.

Turn 1: Since armies on the deployment lines do not have line of sight to the objective, the Green army was free to occupy the central building without risking Reaction fire from the Gray units.
The left and right platoon occupied woods at the sides of the objective. The central platoon split, leaving the Company Commander, Support Weapon and two Rifle Squads in a smaller wood. The third Squad and the Officer occupied the objective.

01a
Gray movement at Turn 1

Here the Green army simply gave up initiative [I am not sure this is allowed by the rules].
The Gray army moved forward in its turn, but was soon exposed to Reaction fire by the Green army. Here I made two major mistakes:
1. Most of fire in the game (Reaction or otherwise) was “group fire”. I handled cover by only subtracting a single die from the total, while I am quite sure I should have subtracted a die for each firing unit. I consistently made this error through the game.
2. Initial reaction fire by the Green army was quite effective, killing a Rifle Squad on the right of the Gray army and Suppressing two units at the centre (marked with the pink cubes). Effective fire should have resulted in the end of the turn, with initiative moving back to the Green, but during the first turn I forgot to do so and kept moving Gray units.

At the end of the turn, the Gray army tried to rally a few of their pinned / suppressed units. A squad on the right flank was successfully rallied, but than they failed with the suppressed units at the centre and the first turn ended.

01d
End of Turn 1 (it should have ended earlier because of successful Green Reaction fire)

Turn 2: the Green platoon at the top of the table moves out of the wood and crosses an open area to reach the rightmost building (a group movement). Since most units at the centre of the Gray army are Suppressed, Reaction fire was limited, but enough to kill a Green Rifle Squad in the open. [I am afraid that here I forgot Reaction fire from the Gray right flank that became possible when the Green units entered the building]. The Gray tried again rallying a unit and failed again. At the end of the turn, the Green gain their first Victory Point.

02a
End of Turn 2: the Green also occupy the building at the top

Turn 3,4,5: these turns were short exchanges of fire, with Gray fire concentrated against the objective. When the Green Squad inside the objective was killed, reinforcements tried to run in from the platoon on the right flank, but also this squad was killed while running in the open. But the Green still have an Officer inside the building, so they receive a victory point for each turn and they now have 4 VPs. [I think I made another mistake here: Gray units fired at the objective building even when there were other closer enemy target]

05a
Turn 5: Green casualties, but they still occupy the objective

Turn 6: the Green Commander, Support Weapon and Squad behind the Objective attempt a group move toward the objective. The Squad is pinned by Reaction fire and the Support Weapon killed, but the Commander makes it to the building. The Gray fire in their turn and Suppress the Officer inside the building, but the Commander gathers the fifth and last Victory Point.

06a

Thoughts:

This game is different from anything I have played. It requires a lot of difficult decisions: in particular, it is hard to decide if attempting rallying units (which is rather difficult) or keep moving / firing (which in the long run cannot work without rallying).

Questions and Comments [Edit: designer’s answers in brackets]:

It is clear that the first Turn is vital. Should I have placed terrain so that the Objective was visible from the deployment lines (allowing the Gray to take some early Reaction fire)? [Terrain placement is up to you, however as you play more games you’ll learn what makes for good matches and bad matches.]

What about having more terrain types? In this game, woods and buildings worked identically (blocking and cover). Maybe one could have something like soft cover (-1 die) and hard cover (-2 dice)? [That’s definitely something that we could do. In general we’ve been having a hard time distinguishing terrain types due to the no-measuring thing.]

Can a side just give up initiative because they have nothing useful left to do? I think this should be possible but it appears to be excluded by the rules. [Yes, you can pass the turn whenever you want.]

Do the Commander and Officer rally bonus apply to the Commander and Officer themselves? Does the Commander rally with +1 because he is “in sight” of the commander? [Yes]

Does the Commander receive a +1 rally bonus if he is adjacent to an Officer [Yes]

If an Officer or Commander is Pinned or Suppressed, does he still cause the rally bonus for other units? [Yes]

If two Rifle Squads and an Officer make a Group move, Reaction fire can focus on the Officer. What about having the moving player choose which of his units is hit by Reaction fire? This could also hold for “normal” fire, when target units are all in sight and in base contact. [The shooting player picks who he is targeting, as it makes the most sense.]

Do friendly units block Line of Sight? [Yes]

Unit A has a wood area between itself and enemy unit B. When does A and B get LOS to each other? As soon as A enters the wood (Position 1), or when it reaches the edge of the wood towards B (Position 2)? [As soon as it enters position 1, however I think maybe we could add a terrain type for it where you can only see units at the edge and you can only see out if you’re at the edge]

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Cybela and the Iron Talisman 6: Ambush in Stonetower

A solo campaign with plastic toys based on the Ironsworn RPG and the OnePageRules Grimdark Future Firefight skirmishing rules.
See setup here.

Previous events: The Duchy of Elfbrook has been attacked by the Duchy of Boarwood. Duchess Cybela of Elfbrook is the best remotely-controlled-mecha-pilot around: she swears a vow to rescue her friend Tahuta, who has snatched the Iron Talisman from the hands of the invaders but is now trapped in Stonetower, in Boarwood-occupied territory. The town of Abon is freed, but Cybela’s power mecha is destroyed in battle. Etana, the chief engineer at the Mechanization Ministry, assigns her a much less powerful machine. Nevertheless, Cybela plays a vital role in re-conquering Axeford. The war council decides that an adept of the cult, Count Fanir, will fight side by side with Cybela as a second mecha-pilot.

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NPCs:

  • Duke Themon of Elfbrook – Cybela’s father
  • Archmage Brynn, uncle of Cybela and leader of the Cult. A powerful and ambiguous man.
  • Tahuta – an agent in Elfbrook special forces and Cybela’s best friend.
  • Etana – chief engineer at the Mechanization Ministry. She favours AI robots over human-controlled mecha.
  • Count Fanir – Cybela’s rival as the best mecha-pilot in Elfbrook and a fervent adept of the Cult.

This battle is based  on One Hour Wargames, a book by Neil Thomas (Scenario:22 Ambush). The Elfbrook (green) army has advanced further and currently they are fighting in Stonetower. Seven Elfbrook units (Cybela’s and Fanir’s mecha, a sergeant, two veterans, a missile-launcher armed soldier and a sniper) are advancing towards a small building occupied by a Boarwood unit (the blue infantry squad on the roof). They are ambushed by four more blue units that appear behind the vehicles on the right (one more infantry squad, two veterans, a red golem). In order to win, the blue army must completely destroy the green army. Since the green are surprised, they will be unable to activate during Turn 1. The only green unit which is not in the open is the sniper who, having the “scout” ability was deployed on the military vehicle on the right side of the board.

00

Turn 1: Only the Boarwood units activate. The infantry squad charges and kills the sniper and takes cover behind and upon the military vehicle. The slow red golem rushes forward. All the other units shoot but (surprisingly) the green take no wound.

01

Turn 2: Fanir shoots at the golem and misses. Cybela kills one of the infantry men upon the building. The green and blue veterans exchange shots and both sides lose a man. The Elfbrook missile-launcher targets the infantry unit on the military vehicle and hits (a 6 was needed, since they were in cover): the blast kills all the blue men.

Turn 3: The Elfbrook missile launcher now targets the Boarwood infantry upon the building, but misses. The two mecha do the same and they miss too. The green sergeant charges and kills the last blue veteran. The surviving green veteran charges the golem, with no effect.

03
An Elfbrook veteran charging the golem: it will not go well….

Turn 4: the golem kills the green veteran: it is then charged and killed in its turn by the green sergeant. The Elfbrook missile launcher has a second incredible shot and blasts-off the last two blue men upon the building.

04

Another clear victory for Cybela &C. I mark 3 progress on the Troublesome vow of recovering the Iron Talisman and Tahuta. Progress in now 8. Time to see how it ends:

Fulfill Your Vow: Challenge:2,6 vs Progress:8 a Strong Hit!
When the Elfbrook soldiers enter the building, they find Tahuta hiding inside. She is badly wounded, but she still has the Iron Talisman with her. Mission accomplished!
Neither Cybela nor Fanir have done anything particularly good or bad during this battle. The hero of the day is the guy with the missile launcher. I will also mark some progress on Cybela’s Extreme background vow of limiting the power of the cult: at least the cult’s adept Fanir has been unable to prove himself a better mecha-pilot than she is.

map
The Boarwood invasion has ended

Cybela’s current situation:

Stats: Edge:2 Heart:1 Iron:2 Shadow:1 Wits:3
Health:5 Spirit:5 Supply:1 Momentum:1
Vow: retrieve the Iron Talisman (Troublesome) – Fulfilled
Background Vow: limit the power of the Cult (Extreme) Progress:0.5

 

Cybela and the Iron Talisman 4: Infiltration in Axeford

A solo campaign with plastic toys based on the Ironsworn RPG and the OnePageRules Grimdark Future Firefight skirmishing rules.
See setup here.

Previous events: The Duchy of Elfbrook has been attacked by the Duchy of Boarwood. Duchesss Cybela of Elfbrook is the best remotely-controlled-mecha-pilot around: she swears a vow to rescue her friend Tahuta, who has snatched the Iron Talisman from the hands of the invaders but is now trapped in the Boarwood-occupied territory. Cybela’s Mecha is destroyed in a first attempt to reconquer the town of Abon, but the second attack is a success. Etana, the chief engineer at the Mechanization Ministry, points out that resources are scarce and it could be impossible to replace Cybela’s Mecha, if it were destroyed. During a failed attempt to reconquer Axeford, Cybela’s bot is again destroyed and she is assigned a much less powerful machine.

NPCs:

  • Duke Themon of Elfbrook – Cybela’s father
  • Archmage Brynn, uncle of Cybela and leader of the Cult. A powerful and ambiguous man.
  • Tahuta – an agent in Elfbrook special forces and Cybela’s best friend.
  • Etana – chief engineer at the Mechanization Ministry. She favours AI robots over human-controlled mecha.

all1

This battle is based  on One Hour Wargames, a book by Neil Thomas (Scenario:25 Infiltration). The battle in Axeford is raging again. A Boarwood (blue) squad has successfully infiltrated behind the Elfbrook (green) lines. After hitting their objective, they are retreating and must cross the board from the left to the right edge (I randomly rolled both who will be the infiltrating army and which side of the board they will enter). Boardwood’s squad is composed of four units (two missile-launcher-armed soldiers, an Infantry Squad and the red golem): in order to win, two units must exit the right side of the board. Elfbrook initially only has a Sergeant (randomly rolled) and Cybela’s new not-so-powerful bot (Q:3+, D:3+, Ranged:A1, CCW:A1, slow), but they will receive a new unit for each of the first four turns. The game will last up to 6 turns.

00

Turn 1: a green Infantry Squad enters from the South edge of the board. The blue army advances, without any intention to engage in a fight. Cybela and the Sergeant shoot and miss.

01

Turn 2: two green veterans enter from the North (not visible in the picture). The blue army splits: one of the missile-launcher men and the Infantry squad rush forward, while the other missile-launcher and the golem sacrifice themselves in the attempt to cover the retreat of their companions. None of the Elfbrook shots hits their target.

02

Turn 3: a green sniper appears on the truck on the right. The Elfbrook veterans kill one of the missile-launcher-men. The Golem charges the Sergeant. The two opposed Infantry Squads exchange shots and one of the blue men goes down.

03

Turn 4: an Elfbrook soldier with a missile launcher arrives from the South side and kills the two remaining blue Infantry soldiers. The last surviving Boarwood man is taken down by the sniper. Cybela stuns the golem.

04

This is a strong victory for Elfbrook! Cybela takes +2 Momentum. I also mark 3 Progress on her vow to retrieve the Iron Talisman. This corresponds to 3 freed squares on the map of the area: after reconquering Axeford, the green army finds its way open to advance along the coast: Stormbay is soon freed. Then a joined attack from the North and the South-East forces the blue army to also retreat from Elkfield and Redhill: Stonetower, where Tahuta and the Talisman are supposed to be, is now in sight!

map

Cybela’s current situation:

Stats: Edge:2 Heart:1 Iron:2 Shadow:1 Wits:3
Health:5 Spirit:5 Supply:1 Momentum:2
Vow: retrieve the Iron Talisman (Troublesome) Progress:5
Background Vow: limit the power of the Cult (Extreme) Progress:0

Cybela and the Iron Talisman 3: Battle in Axeford

A solo campaign with plastic toys based on the Ironsworn RPG and the OnePageRules Grimdark Future Firefight skirmishing rules.
See setup here.

Previous events: The Duchy of Elfbrook has been attacked by the Duchy of Boarwood. Duchesss Cybela of Elfbrook is the best remotely-controlled-mecha-pilot around: she swears a vow to rescue her friend Tahuta, who has snatched the Iron Talisman from the hands of the invaders but is now trapped in the Boarwood-occupied territory. Cybela’s Mecha is destroyed in a first attempt to reconquer the town of Abon, but the second attack is a success. Etana, the chief engineer at the Mechanization Ministry, points out that resources are scarce and it could be impossible to replace Cybela’s Mecha, if it were destroyed.

NPCs:

  • Duke Themon of Elfbrook – Cybela’s father
  • Archmage Brynn, uncle of Cybela and leader of the Cult. A powerful and ambiguous man.
  • Tahuta – an agent in Elfbrook special forces and Cybela’s best friend.
  • Etana – chief engineer at the Mechanization Ministry. She favours AI robots over human-controlled mecha.

all1

_______________

This scenario is based  on One Hour Wargames, a book by Neil Thomas (Scenario:5 Bridgehead). An Elfbrook infantry squad has taken control of an important objective: the yellow building at the centre of the the board. Each turn, both sides have a chance of reinforcements arriving: Elfbrook (green) forces will enter from point D, Boarwood (blue) forces will randomly arrive from A, B or C. The game will be 6 turns long, with the goal of being the only force having units within 12″ of the objective.
At turn 0, I randomly deployed at C a blue infantry squad.

000

Turn 1 and 2: no reinforcements rolled. The two infantry squads exchange shots and each side loses a man. The blue advance to take cover behind the vehicles and the green take cover behind the yellow building.

2a

Turn 3: Cybela’s mecha enters from point D. The blue have a second infantry squad from A.
Turn 4: The green receive a sniper which, being a “Scout”, can be directly deployed at the top of the target building. The blue deploy at C a weapon-team armed with a missile launcher. Cybela’s Tough Mecha takes a first wound from the blue infantry squad. The green infantry near the target is now attacked on two sides by blue infantry.

5a
Turn 5: two blue veterans enter at B; no reinforcements for Elfbrook. The green infantry loses a second man. The Mecha kills one of the blue men behind the vehicle, but it is hit by the missile launcher (second wound).

Turn 6: the blue infantry on the left charges the last Elfbrook soldier near the building: they are successful. The sniper at the top of the building is the only surviving Elfbrook soldier. A missile damages one of the legs of the Mecha, which is now immobilized. The mecha still manages to stun the man with the missile launcher; it also resists the charge of the blue infantry-man.

6

No clear victory for any of the two sides. Boarwood seems in better shape, with more surviving units.
Should I consider this a Boarwood victory (a “Miss” for Cybela)? [Likely] Oracle: YES
Elfbrook is unable to take control of Axeford and they are forced to retreat.

r2
Diagonal lines: Boarwood occupation

Can Cybela’s Mecha be retrieved and repaired? [Unlikely] Oracle:NO
Pay the price: -1 supply (now 1). Etana informs Cybela that the Mechanization Ministry is unable to replace her mecha with a similar model. She will have to use an inferior machine.

 

Cybela’s current situation:

Stats: Edge:2 Heart:1 Iron:2 Shadow:1 Wits:3
Health:5 Spirit:5 Supply:1 Momentum:0
Vow: retrieve the Iron Talisman (Troublesome) Progress:2
Background Vow: limit the power of the Cult (Extreme) Progress:0

Cybela and the Iron Talisman 2: Assaulting a plasma cannon

A solo campaign with plastic toys based on the Ironsworn RPG and the OnePageRules Grimdark Future Firefight skirmishing rules.
See setup here.

Previous events: The Duchy of Elfbrook has been attacked by the Duchy of Boarwood. Duchesss Cybela of Elfbrook is the best remotely-controlled-mecha-pilot around: she swears a vow to help defeat the invaders and rescue her friend Tahuta, who has snatched the Iron Talisman from the hands of the enemy but is now trapped in the Boarwood-occupied territory. Cybela’s Mecha is destroyed in a fist attempt to reconquer the town of Abon.

NPCs:

  • Duke Themon of Elfbrook – Cybela’s father
  • Archmage Brynn, uncle of Cybela and leader of the Cult. A powerful and ambiguous man.
  • Tahuta – an agent in Elfbrook special forces and Cybela’s best friend.

__________________________

A second attack to Abon sees Cybela’s Mecha trying to neutralize a large plasma gun that the Boarwood army has strategically placed at the top of a building. The Boarwood (blue) side includes a weapon team, a veteran, an infantry squad and the plasma cannon (Q:3+ D:3+ Ap1, Tough3). The Mecha is supported by three veterans and two infantry squads. Being on higher ground, the blue units count as being in cover. I compensated this advantage by assigning more points to the green army (145 vs 95).
The green squad enters from the right.

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Turn 1: Cybela, after the recent incident, aims at the blue soldier with the missile launcher and puts it out of combat. One of the green veterans is put out of combat and another is stunned.

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Turn 2 and 3: The crew of the plasma cannon takes two hits: they will now have to roll on the wound table. One of the two Elfbrook infantry squads moves forward in the open towards the stairs: two of the three men are killed.

Turn 4: The surviving infantry man climbs the stairs and charges the only surviving member of the cannon’s crew, but he is stunned and then killed by the blue veteran. The green also loose a veteran hit by the blue infantry squad. The mecha is hit at a leg, it is now immobilized (both its Quality and Defence are degraded by one step).

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I decided to give Cybela a chance and run a fifth Turn. First, I rolled for morale, since 3 of the 6 green units are out of combat. The surviving infantry squad fails the roll and leaves the field. The Mecha keeps shooting at the cannon but fails. Luckily, the veteran does not miss and puts the cannot out of combat. A very marginal victory (I consider this a “Weak Hit” Battle outcome).

r2

I mark two progress on the progress map: Abon and Newbridge have been conquered. But Cybela must pay the price. I subtract another supply point (now 2). I also introduce a new problematic NPC.

[Oracle] Male of female (50/50): Female
Hint: Debate Opinion

Etana is the chief engineer of the Department of War. She is convinced that human-controlled mecha are not efficient. It would be less costly to replace them with AI machines. This time it was possible to fix the leg of Cybela’s Mecha, but when it is destroyed it might be impossible to replace it.

Etana.jpgRES

Cybela’s current situation:

Stats: Edge:2 Heart:1 Iron:2 Shadow:1 Wits:3
Health:5 Spirit:5 Supply:2 Momentum:0
Vow: retrieve the Iron Talisman (Troublesome) Progress:2
Background Vow: limit the power of the Cult (Extreme) Progress:0

 

Cybela and the Iron Talisman – 1 Abon Setback

A solo campaign with plastic toys based on the Ironsworn RPG and the OnePageRules Grimdark Future Firefight skirmishing rules.
See setup here.

Previous events: The Duchy of Elfbrook has been attacked by the Duchy of Boarwood. Duchesss Cybela of Elfbrook is the best remotely-controlled-mecha-pilot around: she swears a vow to help defeat the invaders and rescue her friend Tahuta, who has snatched the Iron Talisman from the hands of the enemy but is now trapped in the Boarwood-occupied territory.

NPCs:

  • Duke Themon of Elfbrook – Cybela’s father
  • Archmage Brynn, uncle of Cybela and leader of the Cult. A powerful and ambiguous man.
  • Tahuta – an agent in Elfbrook special forces and Cybela’s best friend.

[I will use this map to track progress on Cybela’s vow. Progress will correspond to the liberation of occupied territory (marked by the diagonal lines)]

MAPSQ
Diagonal lines: Boarwood occupation

Cybela’s Mecha supports two infantry squads and two veterans (running men) in an action at the outskirts of Abon. Both armies want to seize both the gray car in the foreground and the oval white structure in the background. The Boarwood (blue) platoon includes a red giant, four veterans, a sniper (deployed on the oval structure) and a Weapon-team with a missile launcher.

900_setup

Turn 1: the missile-launcher targets the Mecha and hits! Since it is blast(3), it causes three hits and one of the puts the mecha out-of-combat. Two of the Boarwood veterans move towards the left side of the area and two to the right.

900_2

Turn 2: The giant is hit and stunned. The veterans on the right are eliminated by one of the green infantry squads.  The other two engage in combat with the two green veterans, who then move towards the oval structure.

900_end

Turn 3: the missile-launcher is effective again and completely destroys one of the green infantry squads. The sniper puts one of the Elfbrook veterans out-of-combat. The blue veterans advance undisturbed.

Turn 4: since the green army has lost more than half of its units, I check morale and the infantry squad decides to retreat. The only remaining green veteran has no option but to retreat as well.

A clean blue victory.
Cybela must Pay the Price. I will add some complication. Oracle: “reveal tool”.
Boarwood has carefully prepared their invasion: all squads will include a missile-launcher unit. I will also decrease supplies by 2: building new Mechas is expensive…

Current situation:

Stats: Edge:2 Heart:1 Iron:2 Shadow:1 Wits:3
Health:5 Spirit:5 Supply:3 Momentum:0
Vow: retrieve the Iron Talisman (Troublesome) Progress:0
Background Vow: limit the power of the Cult (Extreme) Progress:0

Cybela and the Iron Talisman – Campaign setup

After playing an interesting OPR Grimdark Future Firefight campaign in the past months, I thought I will continue with this skirmish system which I greatly enjoy. I have invested 10 Euros in Lego bricks: Lego robots will enter the fight. I also want to add more story elements and the Ironsworn RPG is excellent in this respect. I will use a custom anime / steampunk / fantasy / random setting that I will build from scratch. Everything will be as simple as possible: I don’t expect to use assets, at least for now.

1 Create your character – Cybela is the Duchess of Elfbrook. She is the most talented mecha pilot in the duchy.
Stats: Edge:2 Heart:1 Iron:2 Shadow:1 Wits:3

2 Create your world. I rolled a handful of dice and drew a map of the Slar island. The Elfbrook Duchy is in the Eastern part of the island. The other two large Duchies are Rockfall at the South and Boarwood, also including the Damula island, at the North.

3 Create your background bonds.
I decided one of the bonds is Duke Themon, Cybela’s father.

I used the Irosnsorn NPC Oracles for the other two bonds:

3a: A “wanting pilgrim”, whose goal is to “obtain an object.” Cybela’s uncle is the second most powerful man in the Duchy: Archmage Brynn, leader of the Cult. He has travelled extensively in all Slar and beyond. Some think his loyalty to Themon is not total.
3b: A “cooperative thief”, who wants to “fulfill a duty.” Tahuta is Cybela’s best friend. She is an agent in Elfbrook special forces.

4 Write your background vow. Oracle: “seize mysticism”. Cybela wants to limit the power of the Cult, which often interferes with all the important matters. (Extreme)

5 Envision your inciting incident. Oracle “deflect destiny”. I used the hints provided by Cybela’s bonds. Boarwood has invaded the neutral area of Stonetower, at the center of Slar. The Iron Talisman is considered as the the symbol of the power on all Slar: it has been preserved in Stonetower for many decades, as the result of an agreement among the three duchies. Tahuta has recovered the talisman, but the quick Boarwood occupation has trapped her behind enemy lines.

6 Set the Scene. Elfbrook will have to immediately counter-attack, trying to get possession of the Talisman. Brynn claims that it must be handled to him who, being a spiritual authority, can grant that it will not be used to damage the other regions of Slan. Themon is not of the same opinion, but all agree that the Talisman must not fall in the hands of Boarwood. Cybela will be a protagonist in the fight by remotely piloting a brand new experimental mecha.

7 Swear an Iron Vow. After receiving the controls of her new Mecha, in front of the Duke and the chief engineers of the Mechanization Ministry, Cybela swears to find Tahuta and the Iron Talisman.
Swear an Iron vow: Challenge:5,7 Action:1+1Heart+1Community=3 Miss
In that very moment, news arrive that the Boarwood army has passed the border and has directly attacked Elfbrook. The task will be Troublesome, harder than expected. (Momentum=0)

Grimdark Future:

Stats for the first mecha: Q:3+ D:3+ FluxRifle(24″,Attacks:1,Ap1,Flux) CCW Attacks:1 Regeneration, Slow, 30 pts

 

I will roll on this custom “Mecha wound table”:

1 Mecha Explodes! (all figures in 6″ take 1 automatic hit)

2 Out of Combat

3 Weapon arm destroyed (Remove Weapon; Quality degraded 1 step)

4 Control system damaged (Defense degraded 1 step)

5 Leg destroyed (Immobilized: Quality and Defense degraded 1 step each)

6 Mecha falls / reboots (same as “stunned”)

Opokt Campaign finale

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

 

RES

Opokt Campaign 8/9: The abandoned factory

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.

______________

Opokt Campaign 8/9: The abandoned factory

New Card: 3 of clubs. The wormhole is not in an abandoned factory.

Ephraim searches an abandoned factory. He founds the following collaborationist opposition:

2 Veterans
2 Giant Bugs
2 Robots
An Infantry Squad
A Sniper

The objective is seizing ground by taking control of as many as possible of the six blue cubes.  The opponent sniper and robots have the scout special ability and take control of three the objective. The green start at a clear disadvantage.

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Turn 1 and 2: Ephraim, Pierre and Calaf climb the stairs nearest to their entry point. Ephraim is wounded by the sniper, but kills him in return. The giant bugs attack the green Infantry Squad, which kills one of the two. The blue veteran take control of the cube at the centre of the board.

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Turn 3: the surviving bug moves (fast) to the objective at the top left. The green infantry squad engages a firefight with the blue veteran: one of the green men goes down. One of the robots tries to recapture the objective that was held by the sniper: it start a melee fight with Ephraim. Pierre shoots towards the other robot across the board, but it’s a miss. Calaf rushes towards one of the free objectives.

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Turn 4: Ephraim defeats the black robot and takes hold of the objective. Calaf also reaches his objective. Pierre and the Infantry Squad do not manage to put out of combat any of the opponents. At the end, the blue still control 3 cubes vs the 2 seized by the green. It’s a blue victory.

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Yet Ephraim has his third opportunity to gain an extra card: a 50/50 roll and it’s a success!
2 of Clubs: the Wormhole is not a portable device, carried around in a van. Ephraim finds a map on the body of the sniper: the wormhole is at Damocles’ HQ, whose position is clearly described.

The next game will be located there: we will see if Ephraim will find a way to shut-down the wormhole.

NSAABH:
Clubs: Where exactly is the wormhole?
1. — Underground: below Opokt town.
2. It is a portable device, carried around in a van.
3. In an abandoned factory.
4. On an island of the Opokt river.
5. In Damocles’ HQ.

Diamonds: How can it be shut-down?
1. — Blasting it with explosive.
2. By a technological interface.
3. Some kind of spell.
4. A physical key.
5. Killing Damocles.

Spades: Who is the anonymous informant?
1. Damocles.
2. — Damocles’ sidekick Tia.
3. A  collaborationist soldier.
4. — A civilian.
5. — A robot.