SGAM2016 -4- Weirdgate88: a smooth cryptographic mission

1988: hypergates appear in different places of the Earth. The 10 gates lead to what apparently is a different version of our planet. From the hyperplanet, invading armies 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.
The operation of the Earth squads is limited also because of the activity of the Art: an occult organization of people from the Earth that support the Gateling invaders. Similarly, the Earthlings have found some support among the Gatelings: there are creatures from the hyperworld that are willing to cooperate to the goal of closing the gates. The squad lead by Sgt. Ephraim and including the two soldiers Pierre and Calaf makes part of the force in charge of closing Hypergate 6. The headquarters of the Gateling forces that opened the gate have been localized. Ephraim and Pierre have been put out of combat during the last mission, but Calaf is ready to make is part in the final attack against the Head Quarters.

Five Parsecs from Home mission: escort

Calaf and the Green Robot (that have just been repaired) joint a squad of Q:4+ veterans with the task of escorting a cryptographer to examine a server facility that has just been secured. This mission is vital to grant the success of the simultaneous attack to the Hypergate 6 Head Quarters.

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The squad enters from the West. Unexpectedly, they meet no opposition and they easily take the cryptographer to the yellow building at the East of the area.

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[I did not roll any opposition. I decided to roll for some final irrelevant fight and only got 50 pts: two Q4 Gateling soldiers]

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While the cryptographer enters the building, two Gateling soldiers attack the group. The first shot puts Calaf to the ground [stunned].

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The first enemy is put out of action by one or the first shots, but the other one resists. Finally, the joint charge of the Green Robot and one of the veterans puts an end to the fight.

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As a mission result, I rolled a 4. Since the Heroes have already conquered 3 clues and this mission has been successful, they have a +4 modifier. The final result is 8: milestone!
Thanks to the success of the mission, the Earthlings could conquer the Head Quarters of Hypergate 6 defense.

SGAM2016 -3- Weirdgate88: the Golems strike hard

1988: hypergates appear in different places of the Earth. The 10 gates lead to what apparently is a different version of our planet. 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.
The hypergates must be closed! But the operation of the Earth squads is limited also because of the activity of the Art: an occult organization of people from the Earth that support the Gateling invaders. Similarly, the Earthlings have found some support among the Gatelings: there are creatures from the hyperworld that are willing to cooperate to the goal of closing the gates. The squad lead by Sgt. Ephraim and including the two soldiers Pierre and Calaf makes part of the force in charge of closing Hypergate 6. The headquarters of the Gateling forces that opened the gate are said to contain a “key” with which the gate can be permanently closed. The HQ have been localized. Now the Earth forces are preparing to assault the location in search for the key. Ephraim’s squad successfully defeats a group of golems. They are then ordered to push forward to deliver a message to two friendly Gatelings near the clock tower.

[for the 3rd War Stuff skirmish, I rolled “convince” on the Five Parsecs From Home mission table. I reduced the number of shadows from 6 to 4, so that the last two rounds are entirely devoted to resolve the situation that was previously created on the table]

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The heroes enter from the East. I initially placed the target Gatelings at the center of the table. But I resolved the North shadow as “Gatelings” and decided these must be the target, so I moved them there. Ephraim (fast) runs towards the target.
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The following two shadows where resolved as a major (three golems) and minor (a single golem) opposition. The group of three golems entering from the South is lead by a wizard, who immediately puts the Black Robot out of combat with a fireball spell.

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Calaf stuns the Wizard Green Golem, and Pierre finishes him with a charge. Ephraim delivers the information to the Gatelings.

Ephraim shoots and stuns one of the Golems. Pierre and Calaf start retreating, but Pierre is reached and put out of combat by the yellow golem.

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The yellow golem and the brown golem jointly attack Ephraim and put him out of combat. Calaf just manages to sneak in front of the slow stone golem and call reinforcements.

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Ephraim and Pierre will survive their wounds (I won’t let my Heroes die for now), but they will certainly not be available for the next mission.

Technically, the squad reached the objective of contacting the friendly Gatelings, but given that they suffered such heavy losses, I will not count this skirmish as a victory for the Earthlings. Still, they gain a new clue.

Clues:
1 location of Hypergate 6 Head Quarters
2 the large beasts are controlled by Begirt, a telepathic woman
3 the Earthlings must immediately attack the HQ, because large reinforcements will soon arrive for the Gatelings

SGAM2016 -2- Weirdgate88: Golems at the crossroad

1988: hypergates appear in different places of the Earth. The 10 gates lead to what apparently is a different version of our planet. 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.
The hypergates must be closed! But the operation of the Earth squads is limited also because of the activity of the Art: an occult organization of people from the Earth that support the Gateling invaders. Similarly, the Earthlings have found some support among the Gatelings: there are creatures from the hyperworld that are willing to cooperate to the goal of closing the gates.The squad lead by Sgt. Ephraim and including the two soldiers Pierre and Calaf makes part of the force in charge of closing Hypergate 6. The headquarters of the Gateling forces that opened the gate are said to contain a “key” with which the gate can be permanently closed. The HQ have been localized. Now the Earth forces are preparing to assault the location in search for the key.
[For my second OPR WarStuff 2 based SGAM skirmish, I rolled on Five Parsecs From Home a “Chance Encounter” mission: the heroes will simply have to fight any opposition in the area].

In view of the attack on Gate6 HQ, Ephraim’s squad has been charged to scout a crossroad and clear any opposition. The Green Robot is still under repair after the previous mission, so it’s just Ephraim, Pierre, Calaf and the the Black robot. The squad enters from the East.

[I have placed 6 shadows again: the pink cubes that will be resolved one per round during the game]

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A mixed squad of three Golems and one triceratops enters from the North!

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The winged Golem flies to the top one of the silos. The Blue Golem is fast and charges the Robot.

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The winged Golem is a wizard: he casts a fireball spell that luckily misses. He then charges and stuns Ephraim. The Robot is successful in the melee fight and puts the Blue Golem out of combat.

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Ephraim recovers from being stunned. The triceratops joins the fight and charges Pierre and Calaf. The brown stone Golem is slowly approaching too. A fourth green Golem enters from the West (he is not in the picture). Luckily, two elite Earth soldiers (Q:4+) come to the rescue from the South!

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The reinforcements put the triceratops out of combat. The newly entered Golem charges Ephraim’s squad, while the Robot fights the Winged golem.

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One more elite soldiers enters from the South. The three elite soldiers are very effective and put the Green and the Winged golems out of combat. The stone golems has been too slow to join the fight. He is the only enemy survivor: a brilliant victory for the Earthlings, largely due to the impact of the reinforcements!

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I rolled a second clue and picked a Tarot card:

clue
On the body of the triceratops a tattoo with the name “Begirt” is found: this seems to confirm that the beasts that fight with the Gatelings are connected to a woman who controls them telepathically.

SGAM2016 -1- Weirdgate88: contact the Gateling informants

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.
10 active hypergates put the hyperworld in contact with Earth, allowing a great number of hostile Gatelings to access our world. The hypergates must be closed! But the operation of the Earth squads is limited also because of the activity of the Art: an occult organization of people from the Earth that support the Gateling invaders. Similarly, the Earthlings have found some support among the Gatelings: there are creatures from the hyperworld that are willing to cooperate to the goal of closing the gates.The squad lead by Sgt. Ephraim and including the two soldiers Pierre and Calaf makes part of the force in charge of closing Hypergate 6. The headquarters of the Gateling forces that opened the gate are said to contain a “key” with which the gate can be permanently closed. The HQ must be localized and searched.

The Five Parsecs From Home mission generator suggested that the first mission will be: deliver. The squad must deliver some information to their Gateling contacts that will be on the opposite side of the table.
The squad enters from the left.
I placed 6 pink cubes that represent “shadows” and that will be resolved one per turn as opposition, terrain features or neutral encounters.

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Round 1: The contacts should be in the blue car behind the white building on the right. The squad and their two support Robots move forward.

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Round 2: the robots examine a red car and find it to be empty.

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Round 3: the robots examine a yellow car and find some Gatelings hiding inside. The squad approaches to try and understand if these are the people they are meant to contact. Communication with the Gatelings is not easy: the three soldiers all fail their quality tests.

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Round 4: Calaf finally manages to assess that these are just scared civilians: not their informants. Two more civilians exit from the background building. The soldier decide to ignore them and move towards their objective. The robots keep exploring the area.

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Round 5: A red Gateling soldier exits from the small yellow building and attacks the Green Robot! His shot is excellent and stuns the Bot. On the right side of the board, Pierre and Ephraim reach the blue car.

Round 6: Pierre successfully communicate with the informants in the blue car: mission accomplished!

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But the Red soldier charges the Green robot and puts it Out of Action. He resists the charges of Calaf and of the Black robot.

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Since this was a victory for the Heroes, I rolled with a +1 for the Mission result (mystery, clue or milestone). I got a clue:
The Gateling informants produced a possible location for the Gate 6 Head Quarters.

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Ephraim, Pierre and Calaf

These will be the protagonists of my SGAM skirmish games. I rolled minimal traits and relationships using the FiveCore system and draw a sketch of the three guys. In play, they will be represented my simple 10mm minis. The stats and abilities are from WarStuff 2.

Sergeant Ephraim (“efficient” – brother in arms with Soldier Pierre)
Q:5+, Fast, Healer, Shooter Short (pistol)

Soldier Pierre (“aggressive”)
Q:5+, Shooter Medium (assault rifle)

Soldier Calaf  (“courteous” – his relationship with Ephraim and Pierre is “professional”)
Q:5+, Shooter Medium (SMG)

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Ephraim, Pierre and Calaf

My plan is to add to the squad one or two robots. The heroes will be “Earthlings” fighting the “Gaters” in the Weirdgate88 universe:

“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”.

Warstuff 2: escape from the large beasts

I played another Warstuff 2 skirmish. This was an “escort” scenario. The Good Guys must escort the white paper character (a scientist) across the gaming area.

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The Good Guys (155 pts)

Black Robot (40 pts)
Q:4+ Large, Deadly, Armored

Green Robot (40 pts)
Q:4+ Large, Deadly, Shooter Long

Sergeant (30 pts)
Q:5+ Fast, Healer, Shooter Short

Soldiers (20 pts X 2)
Q:5+ Shooter Medium

Scientist (5 pts) Q:6+

The Beasts (150 pts)
Triceratops (50 pts)
Q:3+ Large, Deadly, Regenerate

Crested Dinosaur (50 pts)
Q:3+ Large, Deadly, Regenerate

Giant Bird (50 pts)
Q:3+ Large, Fly, Regenerate

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Round 1: the soldiers move forward, towards the left side.

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Round 2: the soldiers are charger by the Crested Dino, but they dodge the attack. The Green Bot survives the attack of the Giant Bird. The Black Bot and the Triceratops engage a fight on the left side.

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Round 3: The scientist is attacked by the Giant Bird; he is so lucky that he doesn’t even take a wound! On the left, the Black Robot is saved by its Armor.

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Round 4: The Green Bot stuns the Giant Bird. The Crested Dino kills the Sergeant. The soldiers and the scientist find an escape route on the right side.
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Round 5: The Black Bot stuns the Triceratops. The Giant Bird stuns one of the soldiers, but the scientist is now out of reach: the Good Guys win! The Green Bot stuns the Crested Dino. Three stunned units in one round: very interesting situation!

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Round 6: the Green Bot shoots and kills the stunned Crested Dino. The Triceratops recovers from being stunned, it is attacked by the black bot, survives the attack, strikes back and kills the Bot! Similarly, the stunned soldier recovers, he is attacked by the Giant Bird and manages to kill it!

In the end, both sides have lost 2 units, but the Good Guys have achieved their goal and have lost less unit points: a clear victory for them!

Warstuff: scouting with golems

I played a WarStuff 2.1 game, which turned out to be one of the best skirmishes I remember. This time, I tried a different scenario (from Nordic Weasel Games Five Parsecs from Home): the gray soldier must “scout” the three vehicles. They must come in contact with each vehicle.

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Soldiers (150 pts)
Ordinary Soldier (20 pts x 3)
Q:5+ Shooter:Medium

Marine (30 pts x 2)
Q:5+ Shooter:Medium Fast Stealthy

Sniper (30 pts)
Q:4+ Shooter:Long
Golems (150 pts)
Rock Golem (30 pts)
Q:3+ Large, Armored, Slow

Blue Golem (25 pts)
Q:3+ Large, Fast

Winged Golem (45 pts)
Q:3+ Large, Wizard, Fly

Green Jelly Golem (50 pts)
Q:3+ Large, Tough

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Round 1: the Marines run towards the two cars on the right

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Round 2: A Marine reaches the green car. The fast Blue Golem charges the soldiers: he stuns one of them, but is killed by another soldier.

Round 3: the Winged Golem stuns one of the two Marines. The other Marine reaches the blue car: the soldiers have achieved two of their three objectives. The Tough Jelly Golem takes a wound.

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Round 4: The Winged Golem casts a fireball spell and kills one of the Marines; he then kills the Marine he had stunned in the previous round. The Jelly Golem receives his second wound. Two of the soldiers run along the building towards the third objective (the bus).

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Round 5: One of the soldiers reaches the bus: mission accomplished! He is immediately attacked by the Rock Golem, but he is only pushed back. The Jelly Golem kills the other soldier who had run towards the bus. The soldiers are now down to half their number. They pass the rout test.

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Round 6: The Rock Golem kills the soldier who had reached the bus.

A tight victory for the soldiers: they have reached their objective, but they have lost units for 100 pts. The Golems have only lost their weakest unit (25 pts).

Warstuff Mark I & II

I ran a simple battle in order to get a better feel of the differences between One Page Rules WarStuff version 1.7 and WarStuff v2.0.

The forces were the following:

VERSION 1.7 (100 pts per side)

Soldiers:

Running Soldiers X 2 (35 pts)
Q2 20
fast 10
shooter short 5

Sniper (30 pts)
Q2 20
shooter medium 10
Robots:

Green Robot with rockets (50 pts)
Q3 30
shooter long 15
large 5

Red/Black Robot (50 pts)
Q3 30
regeneration 15
large 5

_______
VERSION 2.0 (90 pts per side)

Soldiers:

Running Soldiers X 2 (30 pts)
Q3+ 20
fast 5
shooter short 5

Sniper (30 pts)
Q3+ 20
shooter medium 10

Robots:

Green Robot with rockets (50 pts)
Q3+ 20
shooter long 15
armored 15
large 0

Red/Black Robot (40 pts)
Q3+ 20
regeneration 20
large 0

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V2.0 units are less expensive: for 150 points it is possible to get more units than in V1.7. I decided to go for a similar point total in the two versions, so I got more powerful units in V2.0: the Soldiers receive top quality and the Green Robot receives an additional Armored special. Alternatively, I could have reduced the point total from 100 to 75 points, possibly obtaining a more comparable set-up.

The scenario is very simple: the two teams enter from the opposite sides of the field, which is mostly empty.

VERSION 1.7

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Round 1: All figures move forward. The sniper takes cover.

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Round 2: The Green Robot is wounded by the sniper. The Red/Black Robot is killed by a shot from one of the Running Soldiers (and it fails its regeneration roll).

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Round 3: The Green Robot kills a Running Soldiers but receives a second wound by the sniper. In this case, the Robot was very lucky, since it only had 1 probability in 6 of surviving a hit. The game could very well have been over after only 3 Rounds.

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Round 4: Shots are exchanged, to no effect.

Round 5: The Green Robot charges and kills the second Running Soldier. The Sniper kills the Green Robot.

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It was a marginal victory for the soldiers, with only the Sniper surviving.

_______________

VERSION 2.0

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Round 1: All figures move forward.
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Round 2: The Red/Black Robot is stunned by a shot from one of the soldiers.

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Round 3: the Red/Black Robot recovers from being stunned (it was lucky that the other soldier did not have a chance to activate and kill it before it recovered). The Green Robot shoots from long distance and stuns the sniper (cover roll failed).

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Round 4: The sniper recovers, but he is immediately stunned again by the charge of the Red/Black Robot. The two Running Soldiers, thanks to their Fast special, reach the Red/Black Robot which is first stunned and then killed in melee.

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Round 5: The Green Robot has to face the three enemies alone. It receives two hits, both absorbed by the Armored special.

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Round 6: All shoot, but all attacks fail or are blocked.

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Round 7: The Armor of the Robot absorbed another hit, but finally a lucky combination of rolls by the Sniper put it down.

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This was a full victory for the soldiers, who all survived the battle. The turning point was at Round 3 and 4, when the Sniper was almost killed but managed to recover from two consecutive “stuns”, while the Red/Black Robot was destroyed by the combined action of the two Running Soldiers.

 

NOTES

  • Version 2 allows for larger battles than Version 1: for the same point total, you get more units or more powerful units.
  • Version 2 is less deadly than Version 1. This factor, combined with the point above, will give longer battles.
  • According to the rules, in Version 2 the game should end after Round 4: I think that in most cases in 4 Rounds only two or three units will be killed. It seems very unlikely to me that Routing because a side is down to half its original size can take place in only 4 Rounds.
  • Version 2 introduces the important novelty that a unit attacked in melee can immediately strike back. This rule had no effect in the test game above, but I think it helps making melee feel different from shooting.
  • This is marginal, but I think Version 2 improves things by assigning a null cost to the Large Special (which costs 5 points in Version 1). In the presence of several shooting units (as in the scenario I played) Large units receive a disadvantage multiple times in each round (for every shot they receive).

Version 2 seems to me more suited for structured scenarios, with asymmetric sides and different objectives. Possibly, a simple “kill-em-all” scenario would be more fun in Version 1, but this is not what I am looking for at the moment.

First WarStuff v2.0 game

Here is my first game with the new version of WarStuff by One Page Rules.

The Beasts (50pts each):
Giant Eagle: Q3+, Large, Fly, Regeneration
Triceratops & T-Rex: Q3+, Large, Deadly, Regeneration

The Gray Soldiers:
4x20pts Basic Soldiers: Q5+, Shooter medium
35pts Sniper: Q4+, Shooter medium, deadly
35pts Robot: Q3+, Strong, Large

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The Beasts attacked frontally, charging at full speed. The Bot also charged forward, while the soldiers cautiously moved to shooting range.

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The Triceratops reaches the soldiers, but his target survives the attack. The Robot and the T-Rex engage a furious battle: the Robot is immediately wounded. The eagle flies towards the enemies.

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The Triceratops is stunned by a lucky shot and immediately killed by a melee attack. The Eagle attacks also. The T-Rex kills the Robot.

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The Eagle kills another soldier and the survivors are now attacked from the the opposite side by the T-Rex. The two Beasts easily kill all the soldiers in melee.

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The Unlucky Robot’s Treasure Hunt

Another WarStuff game with the same 160pt teams I used last time:

Blue Side:
4 soldiers, 30pts each (Q2 + Shooting Medium)
Sgt. Ninovich, 30 pts (Q3 + Shooting Medium)

Yellow Side:
2 soldiers, 30pts each (Q2 + Shooting Medium)
leader with pistol, 35pts (Q3 + Shooting Short)
Large Robot 65pts (Q4, Fast, Large, Vanguard)

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This time I played the Treasure Hunt mission from the Campaign Rules: the five pink cubes are possible positions for the target of the mission. Thanks to its Vanguard ability, the Robot starts 12” in front of the others.

Round 1: all possible target positions are reached by a unit. The Robot reaches the central pink cube.

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Round 2/3: the treasure position is revealed: the treasure (the green token) is found by the Yellow leader. The blue units advance and kill the Robot with a single lucky shot. The Yellow soldiers take cover behind the wrecked Robot and shoot down one of the Blue soldiers, but the Blues kill the Yellow leader with a second lucky shot: the treasure is dropped!

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Round: 4/5: The two Yellow soldiers move backwards. One of them picks up the treasure, while the other fights the enemies. Both the Yellow soldiers are hit and wounded: time to retreat!

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Round 6/7: The Yellow soldier who picked up the treasure is hit again, but he is lucky enough to only get another wound and leaves the field. The other Yellow soldier puts the Blue leader Ninovich out of action.

Another Yellow victory!

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