Sunday, August 31, 2014

Five Core: Data Retrieval Mission

Today I started reading Five Parsecs from Home, and that made me want to play another game of Five Core. A small team of soldiers must retrieve a module from the ruins of a bombed forward base. The enemy has left a team to defend the area.

This time, I rolled skills for two soldiers on each team. I played team green, from left to right: Sgt. Sims (Inspiring), Cpl. Marks (Tough), Pvt. Mills and Pvt. Jones. The opposing team had soldiers with the Motivator and Covering Fire skills, and two grunts. All figures counted as equipped with rifles except for the leaders, who carried submachine guns.

Here is the setup. The circles mark bombed spots that count as rough ground. The objective is located at the question mark stand, near the top left area.

I placed each team on a road and moved all figures a full move before starting the game.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Star Army: Looking for Rebels

A couple of days ago, I played a Star Army game to try the "Nuts to Star Army" conversion rules available at the Two Hour Wargames forum. Essentially, it brings the option to play Star Army with the new In Sight test and simplified reaction tables. This was a simple patrol mission with no reinforcements or random events. I played a squad of planetary defense force, looking for rebels.

I had at most two squads to use as enemy, so I used a slightly modified PEF (Possible Enemy Force) resolution rule: I would roll two dice against the rebel investiment level of two. If both dice passed, I would find two squads and remove any remaining PEFs. If one die passed, I would find one squad (and if another squad was already on the table, I would remove any other PEFs.)

Here is the setup, with my squad at the bottom: The leader is the big guy with raised arm (Rep 5 Star), the assistant squad leader is the other big guy (Rep 3) and the grunts are Rep 4. The green patches with trees represent wooded areas, blocking line of sight inside and providing concealment at the edges. The other patches are brush that just provide concealment.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Jenkins' Story - Part 4

Jerry Jenkins was kidnapped and killed. Police investigation concluded it was a robbery gone wrong, as so many that happen in the spaceport district.

Viper, Jenkins' associate, knows there is more to it. Not that her statement to the police made any difference. She wants to find out what really happened and be sure it won't bring her any more trouble. Based on the previous games, I "promoted" Viper to a Rep 5 star:

Viper (real name: Lucy Sharp) - Rep 5 star ganger
Fitness 5 / People 4 / Savvy 3
Cruel, Sure handed
Home: Lower Polariston

She has done some jobs for a private investigator... mostly following people, stealing useful evidence, asking some questions. So she will be running this on her own. Her case notebook starts like this:

"Jerry Jenkins, former clerk at a holovid rental shop, has been murdered. Someone, seemingly a hired thug, ambushed him and Viper in an alley at the Midland Terrace district, knocking out both. Days later, Jenkins' body showed up in the spaceport district. This was two days ago. The body was found in the morning, the crime might have happened during the night."
[Case difficulty: level 4, requiring 8 clues to solve. It is not a time-pressed investigation, so Viper will have 8 days counting from the first clue found to solve it.]

Day 1:
Viper took a regular shuttle to the spaceport. It was almost lunch time so there weren't many people aboard. She hoped that the police had done a sloppy job and there was still some clue to be found in the alley where Jenkins' body was found.
[I rolled for the first clue, getting a "find an item" mission. Since it was the first item, the location is the crime scene -- the alley at the spaceport. I decided to go during daytime.]

Looking for meaningful clues in a dirty alley proved harder and more frustrating than Viper expected. As she walked away, however, she spotted a security camera of the Green shop across the street. It took some cajoling and a generous tip but she left with a copy of the footage. It showed someone in a dark blue trenchcoat, right arm around the waist of another person seeming very drunk (or hurt...) entering the alley and leaving alone a few minutes later. Viper wondered if the police had seen that video.
[I got a success on the Find an Object table, meaning it was found -- and thus the clock started ticking: eight days from now to complete the investigation...]

Finding that video footage gave Viper an idea. In the evening, she went to another Green shop in the Pub & Rec area, where Jenkins was a regular. There was no use asking the clerks about him or suspicious people. However, she remembered that Jenkins once mentioned hiding a data module in a bathroom stall. Many places in New Hope City had universal bathrooms as an easy solution to conform to different, possibly multi-gendered alien species, androids and so on. Green, however, catered to Basic culture and maintained separate restrooms for ladies and gentlemen. With a combination of stealth, patience and nerve, she checked the stalls of the men's room and actually found a data module. Later that night, she discovered it contained lists of names and codes, but they meant nothing to her.
[This was another close call, where I almost failed at finding the object. The location was randomized by the rules, and I just tried to fit it in the context.]

To be continued...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A zombie horde approaches!

Yesterday I built 60 zombies from various Darkmook survival horror sets. Some may be annoyed by the repeated poses but I think they still do their job well...

Now I have to set up some zombie survival games with these...

Monday, August 18, 2014

Soldiers vs. Insurgents using Five Core

To finish the weekend, last night I played a game of Five Core using the basic rules, plus the Stealth option from the Tactical Primer supplement. In this mission, a group of four soldiers must neutralize a group of six insurgents. Four of them are inside a large house and two are outside, patrolling. Fireteam A is on the top portion of the map, fireteam B is near the bottom.

The soldiers advance cautiously to the insurgents' base. This is the defining moment, when they are ready to open the doors shooting. One of the patrollers is far away (maybe relieving himself?) while the other failed his roll to detect the soldiers.

Fireteam A moved inside through the door at the top. However, an insurgent opened fire making the soldier duck back. Fireteam B entered through the front door and shot down one insurgent. As the firefight continued, both patrollers moved closer to the action and were taken down. One soldier from fireteam A was knocked down and one from fireteam B was taken out of action. Due to these losses, the soldiers started retreating under fire.

Fireteam A retreated through the house, while fireteam B used a narrow street. The remaining insurgents came in pursuit. When the soldiers were about to leave the board, the insurgents managed to hit them, knocking both down. Game over...

Two soldiers were out of action, the other two were knocked down. Rolling on the recovery table, neither out-of-action soldier was badly injured, so I assume they would be taken as prisoners.

I did not take note of the total playing time for the game, but it did flow well, thanks to the few dice rolls and tables. Three nice bits from the rules that I would like to highlight are: the simple reaction fire mechanics, the ability to peek around cover and the action roll, which makes turn sequence a little unpredictable.

In this specific scenario, I thought I should add some extra figures to the "enemy" to compensate for my overall knowledge while playing solo. This was not the case, however, as I played with the basic rules where all figures are essentially equal. The battle might have worked differently if I had added skills for the soldiers, or allowed them to ignore a few shock dice to simulate better training.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

My new batch of 15mm post-apocalyptic minis

I have finished my "new generation" of 15mm paper minis (actually, some of them are a bit taller than that...) They took a while to make but I find the results really good:

They were printed at a photo print shop, thus the very bright colors and great details. To paint over white bits on the photo paper, I used a Sakura Identi-Pen. I have tried other similar pens but this is the one I have found to stick really well to that paper.

The bases were cut with a craft paper punch, 11/16" or roughly 17mm. I cut one circle of a texture sheet -- printed at home, as the glue I use does not take well on photo paper -- and one circle of a thin EVA sheet (also known as "foamies") then glued them together.

Also thanks to Sean for making some interesting posts about miniature photography. There is not so much I can do with a point and shoot camera and improvised lighting, but I think these pictures are already better than previous ones taken with the camera flash (or without flash and some fudging in Gimp.)