Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Forgotten Photos - Tears for Arusage

Here are some pics from TravellerCon 2010 which I previously neglected to upload, probably because the scenario didn't play as well as I'd hoped. This was based on an adventure from the defunct QuickLinks Interactive module: Merc Heaven.

The setup: It's the Imperial Year 996, and the Solomani Rim War is in full swing. In a remote backwater sector of the Gateway, the Sollies are working to destabilise an Imperial client state on the planet Arusage. The Imperial Navy hires mercenaries to shore up the Vilani-cultured client state.

The fighting revolves around an abandoned Vilani nuclear base, except that when the Vilani withdrew, they forgot to bring the nukes. The Solomani-backed Condor Republic has over run the region and the Imperial mercs must prevent them from carrying off the nukes.

The Vilani Base - Blocky but Functional
The Imperial mercs were operating well behind enemy lines, and according to the pre-game intro, had walked in from a drop-off point about 10 kilometres away.  In addition to their Advanced Combat Rifles, they had only light support weapons - a mortar and a 20mm LAG. They would have to work fast, find the nukes and some transport and then get out, because the area was teeming with Legion patrols.

The mercs had access to an air strike, which would shift the victory margin one step in the Legion's favour - pilots don't like getting shot down behind enemy lines.

The Condor Legion had local reinforcements, mainly in the form of Air/Raft Recon units and the odd APC carried section.

Nuclear Missile Silo

The Condor Legion platoons dismount...and are immediately suppressed. Welcome to StarGrunt II...

The tech level gap was negligible, TL9 Legion to TL10 Mercs. Numbers were also about even - with a platoon each.  It would be a pounding match.

The Mercs recover an abandoned APC, and are engaged by Condor Air Recon

The Condor commander decided to ignore the single mortar that the Imperials deployed, much to his subsequent regret.

The Condors are well and truly Borked...the orange markers indicate Suppression.

The Legion eventually got two nukes on an APC and ran for the border.  The Mercs called in the airstrike, which destroyed the APC about four inches from the table edge.

Tie Game...


Post Game Thoughts.

Imperial Merc Commanders...Pondering
You can see that neither side of players is particularly enjoying themselves. This is in part due to my converting the scenario so that it is so balanced as to be a stalemate. Not much fun, that...

Another issue was the use of dummy counters.  I think they add a great "Fog of War" effect, but some players don't like not knowing what they're dealing with. 

The Condor Legion commanders at left.  Contrast with the players at the table to the rear.

Mark Klambo is not looking his normal, ebullient self...
Guy in the middle is contemplating "using the tooth..."

(I think I had just snapped an answer at Mark, as he has something of that "what a b!tch" look about him...sorry old boy...and get your elbows off the table)

The final realisation is that, verbum sapientii,  not all elements that make for a fun RPG scenario will transfer to the miniatures table.  The big "gotcha" in the module is, after landing behind enemy lines, avoiding enemy patrols, and infiltrating the base, the players are met with the sight of the Condor Legion loading nukes into their vehicles.  The "Just In Time" hook doesn't work so well for a miniature game, because there's no way to build up the same tense atmosphere an RPG can.

Viewing these pics and looking over my notes, I'll have to give this scenario another go - perhaps with the Friday Pals Brigade, who boast a number of former military vets, and a suitable tweaking...or not... Ω

No comments: