Thursday, July 11, 2013

It's Dangerous out in the Wastes...

Hello folks, long time no see! It's been a busy summer with lots and lots of gaming, painting, swimming, hiking, fishing, and generally having fun with the family and little time for posting on the blog. Until now...

I had a chance to get together with an old friend who I don't see often enough, and who is pretty new to gaming outside Warhammer 40,000 (which he hasn't played since 4th edition-nor have I). We have been getting together more often recently and I talked him into a game using my Pig Iron sci fi minis and using Disposable Heroes: Point Blank.

The scenario is an Outlander (previously miners) ambush on a Federalist Militia troops convoy. I wrote the scenario with a random element of determining attacker and defender. Both players roll a D10, add their T&E score and consult a chart. The winner determined who was ambushed and the difference in the rolls determined the set up and starting positions of the forces on the table. This difference allowed for a meeting engagement (on a tie roll) to a perfectly executed ambush with hidden forces and a completely unprepared enemy. Both sides could potentially be the ambusher, though the Outlanders had the edge due to their T&E bonus.

I posted some pics of the forces involved before here.

The forces were the miners (I call them Outlanders) from Mining Unit 454 and the forces of the Federalist Militia. I envision the Outlanders as tough, experienced, and wily opponents used to hardships and brutal life and combat in the wastes. They are expert ambushers and use concealment, subtrefuge, and hit and run tactics to win against their foes. Their weapons are durable, simple, and easy to maintain, though not very high tech. They have no higher support weapons, no communication networks and no supply chain. They are humans though, and though their outward appearance, and reputation, casts them as inhuman mutated monsters, they are actually normal humans. They live a harsh, but noble life and use the fearsome reputation of their savagery to scare their Federalist enemies. A select few of their population are actually powerful shamans who can control the weather and elements of their Outland environment (they are rumored to be able to summon and control the dead-called wastewalkers-but this is unconfirmed). The most powerful of these shamans can cause psychic shocks and conjure powerful winds of the wastes, as well as telepathically communicate with their comrades. Unlike the Outlanders, the Federalist Militia are conscripts pulled from the vast reaches of the human Galaxy. They are often undertrained, underpaid, young, scared, and unmotivated to fight for an empire that is always waging an eternal war across some lonely speck of a planet on the wrong side of the Milky Way. They have the best weapons, equipment, vehicles, and support in the galaxy. Their communications, logistics, and heavy support network located on orbitally based ships is impressive enough. However, at the end of an Outland day on the dark side of the planet, they are still unmotivated troops fighting against a determined enemy on a planet the conscripts never heard of and don't want to die on.

On to the game! I allowed my friend Tom to choose, and he liked the look of the Outlanders, so I took the Militia.

For the scenario, we rolled off and ended up with the Outlanders ambushing the Federalists. The scenario is based on an Outlander assault on a supply convoy. One of the results of the chart is the possibility of a Federalist trap based on a fake convoy loaded with explosives. This result did not come up in our game, but I like the possibility that it can.

The game began with the Outlanders deploying on either side of the convoy which was allowed to be set up by me at one edge of the table along the road running down the middle of the table through the blasted remains of an ancient human town.

Here are some pics of the action with captions to tell what happened. I wish I had gotten more quality pics, but all I had was my phone. Hope you enjoy!

The game was a minor Outlander victory. They captured some of the supplies, but despite some casualties, the Federalists ended up holed up inside the town, most likely calling for reinforcements. The Outlanders beat a hasty retreat to the wastes to fight another day!

 The convoy picks its way carefully through the ruined town, wary of the hills and likely ambush spots. Their scanners are running hot, with life signs coming in nearby...

From their position on the hill, the Outlanders prepare to fire on the convoy...

 The Plasma cutter gunner charges up his weapon and blasts two perfectly aimed shots into the sides of the supply trucks, killing the driver of each truck and bringing the convoy to a screeching, charred, and fiery halt.

The Militia platoon leader issues the bailout order. The ramp drops and half a squad of militia run out...

And right into the face of a mining hard suit attack! The Outlanders have rigged their old mining suits, excellently armored and easy to modify, into armored fighting suits equipped with flamethrowers and plasma drills. The mining hard suit rushes over and easily chops a gaping hole in the cab of the militia Armored Personnel Carrier.

 BOOM! The APC goes up, with the rest of the surviving squad bailing out the back. The Militia Squad Automatic Weapon immediately goes into action against this threat and several rounds penetrate the armor of the mining hard suit. Despite the fire, it's not out of the action yet!

The Outlanders pour fire and merciless shamanic attacks of psychic power at the Militia. Several militia are cut down or suppressed. 

The Shaman then conjures up some of the dreaded wastewalkers to his aid and sends them at the enemy. The Militia manage to cut down a few before they reach their lines, but one gets through and eats an unfortunate Militia whose gun had jammed and who had been suppressed by the shocks of the shaman's attack. Up near the front of the column, the SAW gunner destroys the mining hard suit in a hail or hardened armor piercing slugs. However, his comrades at the rear begin to take withering return fire.

Outlanders pouring fire down into the enemy...

The reason for the ambush? Supplies! The Outlanders pull a truck along side the convoy which had been disabled by the plasma cutter's shooting. They perfected this tactic of using one of their own trucks to pull alongside convoys because the Militia had developed security measures that automatically shut down Federalist systems on board trucks to prevent them from being used by the enemy. A commanding officer could request an orbital system link to shut down any system feared to be captured or used by the enemy. This was also a handy method of calling for direct orbital fire support on the GPS tracked trucks. The Outlanders knew from experience that the Federalists were perfectly willing to fire down onto their own equipment and obliterate any Outlander foolish enough to stick around too long to loot.

"Just pull up here and I'll unload!"

The end of the game. My friend Tom (seen here) wins a small victory over my hard pressed Militia. I cut down the mining hard suit, shot up an Outlander truck (not pictured) that tried to make a dash towards the convoy, and I secured a pretty tough position in the ruins of the town. From there, Tom found there was little chance the Outlanders were going to win the fight by assaulting me. Turns out, they didn't have to...the position of the supply trucks outside the town at the rear of the convoy meant Tom was able to sneak up and steal some of the supplies. However, he was only able to make it off the board with one truck's worth, since the other truck was well covered from the positions in the town and he wasn't willing to risk any more casualties to my fire.

It was a great, tense game with a good friend.