Monday, June 20, 2011

Wandering the Wastes

Recently, some people started talking about Mutants and Death Ray Guns (MDRG) on the Cardboard Warriors Forum. This was the game that won me over to skirmish gaming and since I haven't played it in a while, this made me willing to go back to it. Then I read Glenn Williams review on a game called Space Infantry and was interested in the game's structure as a series of encounters. Granted, this is done in other games (for instance Larger than Life, from what I've read of the description, or Chronicles of Arax, although in that case the encounters do not use miniatures) but when I read about it in that review, it got me back to the random encounters in Fallout -- probably because I was thinking about MDRG.

Those random encounters happened as you crossed the wasteland from one settlement to another. Some were good, many were bad and then there were the (relatively) rare special encounters. So why not create a custom MDRG solo scenario that plays like a series of random encounters while traveling from one place to another?
One thing I found interesting in the random encounters from Fallout was that the maps were small. You didn't have much room to run or hide and often the action started right away. I want to preserve that characteristic, so I'm looking at encounters played on, say, a 2'x2' board for 28mm figures. The problem is that with a smaller board, morale checks may end the encounter too soon. So instead of using the standard morale rules, I'll adapt some of the fear mechanics from Fear and Faith. This way, most of the time figures that fail their morale checks on one or two dice will have to move a shorter distance and will not be allowed to leave the map, but they may be knocked down or even become transfixed in the process. I'll have to see if this works.

Well, for now I'm starting to write down the scenario rules, which will be posted when a first draft is ready.
[Edit: following a reply from Andrea Sfiligoi on the Song of Blades discussion group, I'll try using a rule where figures that fail a morale check run for cover instead of the board edges. Only figures already in cover that fail a morale check try to flee tha map.]

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