Weirdgate: Opokt campaing set-up

Having enjoyed my recent skirmish with OPR Grimdark Future Firefight, I decided to set up a more structured game. I will reuse my “classic” Weirdgate88 setting as well some heroes I am already familiar with: Ephraim, Pierre and Calaf.

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As a first step, I resorted to the online Donjon sci-fi job generator:
https://donjon.bin.sh/scifi/random/#type=space_job

An alien explorer named Kilri needs someone to investigate an unstable wormhole which has been detected in the Opokt Cluster.

Re-formulated for my setting:
Ephraim is charged to [1:investigate] an [2:unstable] [3:wormhole] which has been [4:detected] in the Opokt [5:area].

I randomly enhanced the scenario using the Aladdin technique (by John Fiore):
http://battreps.blogspot.com/2014/07/alladin-technique.html

For inspiration, I have used the free subset of the Game Master’s Apprentice Deck (GMA).

Alter: 1 GMA:”halt” Ephraim must shut-down the wormhole

Add: 2 GMA:”bargain disruptive relative”. Name: Damocles Garth. The Opokt area is controlled by Damocles Garth, a renegade marine.

Intrigue: GMA: “amicable source”. The earthlings have been informed by an anonymous source in Damocles’ army. Who is this person?

Final scenario description:
Sgt.Ephraim is charged to 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 thought I will give a try to Nine Steps and a Bloody Heart by Lino Pang aka Riccardo Fregi.

I like the idea of a limited number of scenes. I define 3 questions and 5 possible answers for each, assigning answers to playing cards. During game, I will discard some of the answers, with the goal of ending scene 9 with as clear a picture as possible.

NSAABH:

Questions:
(Clubs) Where exactly is the wormhole?
(Diamonds) How can it be shut-down?
(Spades) Who is the anonymous informant?

Answers:

Clubs:
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:
1. Blasting it with explosive.
2. By a technological interface.
3. Some kind of spell.
4. A physical key.
5. Killing Damocles.

Spades:
1. Damocles.
2. Damocles’ sidekick Tia.
3. A random collaborationist soldier.
4. A civilian.
5. A robot.

I will make up surprise events as I go, as prompted by the Ace of Hearts.

Stats

These are the two armies (Earthlings:Green and Gaters:Blue) statted according to Grimdark Future Firefight. For the blue team, I randomly roll a 90/150 army for each game (the Green army has a total of 120 pts).

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Stay Frosty – Searching for Arkek

I am running my first solo tests with Stay Frosty, a cool Sci-Fi RPG full of alien bugs and explosions.

Even if the game is not too complex, I have further simplified it:

    • I don’t roll damage: it always is a multiple of 5HP depending on the weapon / type of attack; I don’t use Armor

 

  • Hostiles have HD*5 HPs
  • I am not using MOS (my first characters are just generic soldiers)
  • I am not using Psi-Powers
  • The same Tension level is shared by the whole squad

The Squad (they are Level 2):

Sgt. Galven
Brains:8+ Brawn:8+ Dext:10+ Will:9+
HP: 11
Pistol – Damage:5HP, Ammo D8

Private Rosek
Brains:9+ Brawn:9+ Dext:9+ Will:8+
HP: 15
Rifle – Damage:10HP, Ammo D8

Private Benny
Brains:13+ Brawn:5+ Dext:8+ Will:8+
HP: 18
Granade Launcher – Damage:10HP Blast, Ammo:D4

I used the mission generator included in the game to generate an objective:
Sabotage Criminal House

Arkek is a leader of the collaborationists. The squad must find his house in the no-man’s land and sabotage the machinery he uses to communicate with the aliens.
I am also experimenting with the “scrolling board” I previously discussed.
On each board, I place 3 Potential Enemy Force (PEF) markers (TwoHourWargames style). I resolve each marker rolling the Stay Frosty Danger Die.

Board 1: two of the markers have no effect (Tension Explodes, but Tension is still 0; consumable depleted, but ammo checks are OK). The third PEF reveals a single alien which jumps on Galven. Galven is wounded. Benny attacks hand-to-hand and kills the alien without risking his precious grenades.

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Fight with two aliens

Board 2: two more aliens appear and attack with their eye-rays. Rosek is hit. Galven is hit again and reduced to a single HP. The two soldiers fire back and put down the aliens (they only had a single HD each).

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A friendly talk with a civilian

Board 3: A giant brute pops up from behind a car. Thanks god he is on the opposite side of the board and the team has all the time to put it down without coming to hand-to-hand combat. Benny has to fire his Grenade Launcher, but the ammo roll his OK. Tension is now at 3 and the guys have considerable fighting bonuses. A PEF finally resolves as a clue: a civilian informs them that Arkek’s house is nearby.

To be continued….

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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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SGAM2016 – Weirdgate88 Quest

I used the simple conflict generator in RND issue 3 to sketch a campaign for my SGAM skirmish games.

I first drew a couple of tarot cards to represent the goal and the enemy, and I got a 10 of pentacles and the Major Arcane XIV: Art.

 

tarot1

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.

Two more cards have detailed the first conflict I am going to play:

6 of Pentacles and Queen of Swords (here I mostly used two details in the cards: the key and the head)

tarot2

The Heroes make 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.

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”.

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)

map

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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Weirdgate 88: the Robot on Dangerous Ground

“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 mutant fighters 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 Blue team from Earth fights the Yellow team from behind the hypergate, WarStuff OnePageRules, Dangerous Ground scenario from the Campaign Rules. All movement is limited to walking speed. The brown rectangles are dangerous ground.

Sgt. Ninovich and his squad are confronted again by a team of three Yellow soldier and a Large Robot. I have upgraded to 160 pts per side:

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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Round 1: the Robot starts with a 12” “vanguard” bonus and, being Fast, moves 9” instead of 6”. The other Yellow units follow along the corridor of non-dangerous ground. The Blue move forward looking for cover.

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Round 2: all move forward. The Blue team now has the Robot at shooting range: they are very effective and the Robot takes 3 wounds (the orange markers).

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Round 3: the Blue team kills the robot before it can attack in Melee. The Yellow team moves forward.

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Round 4,5: the two teams are now at shooting range. Two Blue soldiers take cover behind the wrecked robot. A Blue soldiers enters the dangerous terrain to take cover behind the glass structure, but he gets wounded by an energy field. Another Blue and a Yellow unit are killed in the firefight. Ninovich is also wounded by a shot. The two surviving Yellow soldiers find good cover near the stone arch, but they must fight against four enemies!

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The two surviving Yellow soldiers are careful and lucky: they manage to put the remaining Blue units out of combat. An unexpected victory for those from behind the Gateway!

Weirdgate88 – A large robot

Here is the AAR of a simple WarStuff solo game, 150 pts per side:

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Yellow team:

2 soldiers 30pts each (Q2 + Shooter M)

1 leader with pistol 35pt (Q3 + Shooter S)

1 large Robot 55pts (Q4 + Large + Fast)

Blue team:

5 soldiers 30 pts each (Q2 + Shooter M)

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The Robot rushes forward in order to attack in Melee. All the other units run forward looking for cover: they must reach shooting range.

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The Robot is shut down by the blue rifle team. The yellow soldiers take cover behind their destroyed robot. The yellow leader moves to the left, taking cover behind a brown cube.

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The Blue soldiers move forward. They engage the yellow leader in melee and manage to kill him. At the center, both rifle teams shoot from behind cover: one of the yellow soldiers is wounded, two of the blue are killed.

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The yellow team, now that their leader is dead, is under attack also from its left side. One of the two remaining soldiers is killed by a rifle shot, the other in close combat. A clear victory for the blue side, which has 3 surviving units out of 5.

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WeirdGate 88: meet Sgt. Ninovich and his squad

I ran this using an home-brewed mix of the PZ8 Postcard and OnePage WarStuff rules. There are a few things to fix, mainly about the vehicles, but the two rule sets are excellent, so I have hope to soon come to something that works well for me. To celebrate the start of this new campaign, I painted a watercolor background for the scenario.

“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 mutant fighters 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 Terrestrial squad is the Green one. Today they are the Defenders (I rolled for the roles). The leader of the team is Sgt. Ninovich, the guy with the gun at the extreme right. Using the cost system that comes with WarStuff, I assembled the Attacking side: two cars each transporting a team of three soldiers and a giant warrior (a Large, Tough, Brutal golem). I made the attacking team slightly more powerful. The Defenders are protected by some debris and an archway. The Attackers come directly forward down the road.

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Turn 1: the cars come down the road and stop in front of the Defenders. The Golem advances more slowly. The Defenders shoot, but they miss.

Turn 2: The Attackers exit from the Gray car. The last one of the squad rolls a 2, so (as per the PZ8 rules) the turn passes to the Defenders. They shoot and miss (1 rolled, turn shift again). The blue car moves forward, attacking from the side. The Attackers go for Hand to Hand combat. The Defenders are lucky enough to kill two Attackers losing only one man. I think this was the turning point of the encounter.

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Turn 3: The Attacker next to the gray car shoot and miss. The Defenders kill the Golem (who misses the save roll granted by is Toughness). The last occupant of the blue car fails to activate.

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Turn 4: One of the defenders move to the blue car, fights Hand to Hand the Attacker leader inside it and kills him. Now the Attackers have lost half their figures and their leader. Two morale tests are rolled and passed. Firefight with the Attackers next to the gray car. All the figures on both sides are in cover, so it is not easy to hit (a 6 on D6 is needed). Yet the Defenders manage to kill two Attackers. Only one is left, behind the gray car.

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Turn 5: The defending Marksman Girbach kills the last attacker.