Two weeks ago, Megz and I had another visit with the Wargames Association of Metro Philadelphia (The WAMPS) and decided to test my basic concept for a bug hunt scenario, featuring Traveller's favourite Alien derivative, the Chamax Horde. Miniatures used are Denizen Ventaurans, and WoTC D&D Mad Slashers. Acid Splash and Suppression Markers were from Litko.
|Miller's Crossing Farm|
The situation at hand: A Zhodani agricultural colony has had an outbreak of Chamax, and a platoon of Zhodani regular lift infantry is sweeping a protected farm for bug contacts.
We were using the beta test of Full Metal Anorak, basically an abandoned rules set, derived from GZG's StarGrunt II. Supplementing this were element of Nordic Weasel's Bug Hunt, part of the Five Parsecs from Home rules group.
|First Contact - A Questing Bug|
I was also using the Bug tables from 5150, hence, there are a lot more bugs than you tend to have in Bug Hunt. OTOH, there are also more soldiers.
|Second Contact - these chamax are more alert|
Once a bug was killed, however, it emitted a radio/psychic shriek, which caused all other chamax on board to increase their aggression dice by one die type. This would eventually max out at a d12.
|Forming a firing line?|
As an added bonus, when a chamax is killed, it's because the acid sack behind its gullet was ruptured, causing a spray of fluoric acid and molecular debonder to shower out in a 1.5 inch radius.
|The Hive is aroused...|
|"We've got movement all over the place!"|
So they began to draw together.
And they called for help.
|*TADAAH* The Teleport Commandos Arrive.|
A fireteam of three commandos and senior NCO was held in reserve for just such an occasion.
|Effects of directly applied Plasma Gun fire.|
|"HERE THEY COME!"|
And more swarms activated.
And other hives in the area were beginning to activate, as well.
|"Time to go!"|
First though, they had to deal with the bugs that were reaching them.
Chamax have no morale to break, so they keep coming until they're all dead or you're all bite-sized niblets. The two or three survivors of the plasma-storm reached the commandos and attacked.
In melee, chamax get two slashing attacks - if both are successful, there is an automatic acid-laden bite on the following turn. Also, armour is degraded by one level for each bite, this can continue even after the bug is dead. And speaking of dead - don't forget the acid spray.
|Winning the melee is also losing the melee...|
With armour smoking and more Chamax on the way, the Leading Officer saw the opening and gave the telepathic code: "Guardsmen, we are leaving..."
The final result was Megz had gathered more VP than myself, but the calling in of the Commandos had elevated the priority of the sweep, meaning we'd be going back in after a quick refit to take out the Maternal/Queen. So no clear victory as far as a campaign would be concerned.
Post Game Thoughts:
Usually, I find games with the Chamax Plague to be lots of fun, and this was no exception. There is plenty for the players to do, while the mounting numbers of opposition keeps the pressure on to take objectives, gather clues and keep from becoming tomorrow's leftovers.
My main thought is the chamax might be too vulnerable to their own acid. With a d8 Strength vs. a d8 defence, it seemed that they were dying more from their own acid than from Zhodani fire. I'll need to play again and keep closer track of the casualties.
Bug Hunt has more tweaks and options I'd like to incorporate, like Location Effects. Kinda like Objectives/Clues except they effect the environment, possible slowing bugs down or delaying swarm activations.
Plans are to run this at Cold Wars and at GZG:ECC in March. I'm going to add some grain silos and water towers, as well as an out building or two. That will reduce the lines of fire a bit and make the game more...interesting...Ω
*TD: Teleport Director. That's a real MOS in the Zhodani Armed Forces