Sunday, April 20, 2014

Post Apocalyptic Skirmish


 NATCON (the New Zealand National Wargaming Convention) was on this weekend. Obviously, I am quite into wargaming but I don't love any of the games being played competitively enough to play them for three days straight. Last time NATCON was in Christchurch, I tried to run a War of the Ring event, but obviously something happened early 2011... In the end, Craig, Galpie, Jason, and I ran a 28mm Impetvs Demo. What to do this year?

Andy, Adam, Jason and I decided to make up our own wargame. Andy and Jason also decided to go nuts and make an awesome Fallout themed post-apocalyptic board.



As my part of the actual modelling side, I got ten of the awesome Copplestone Castings post apocalyptic figs. It was a bit of a rush job.... who am I kidding, I will probably never spend actual time painting, but I am pretty happy with them. They have shading and stuff but you can't see it because there was little lighting where we were and so the flash has washed it out. Honest.


My bigger contribution was to make up a set of skirmish rules. And when we decided to we didn't like the core mechanic, to come up with a new set of core mechanics overnight. One original idea were did keep was to make every building an encounter, you draw a card and there may be good or bad things. We started out with opposed rolls, but it was too clunky so that's gone. Reactions are still there though.

The intention is to have scavenging be a priority, so you have to risk those buildings, no matter what may be in there. There will also be locked safes or security terminals to hack. Succeed and there may be tinned food, bullets or a laser gun! Jason had got some very cool 'not Fallout' models from Brother Vinni in Russia. I particularly loved these cheerful fellows. Here two homicidal robots go wandering after taking down a Brotherhood of Steel Knight as he tried to scavenge in a house.

The core idea of the rules was that you can do multiple things a turn with single models (like in SAGA or Infinity) but that the more you did this, the more likely things were to go wrong. See those blasts all around? Everytime (after the first per turn) a model did something, it got one of those. It also could get one just from being hit or even from failing a roll to rally. Warbands got one order per model plus the leader's charisma stat (4 for most of us, 5 for Andy) in extra  orders.

 Since each marker applied a penalty (or made it more likely to jam/run out of ammo or...), there was a lot of motivation to shake them. Rather than having a 'rally' phase, I made it so you spent an order to do this. That way the penalties were directly linked to the order economy. Pass a rally test, and that's 1d5 blasts gone. Here in the yellow jumpsuit is Adam's commander, who was rallying the medic up on that overpass to the left. The medic failed three straight turns, rolling 0's on the d5 (which is the critical fail... +1 blast marker) each time. Despite this, Adam seemed to have a great time, charging up with a pair of crazy random jetpack troops (50% chance to run out of fuel after each jump) and getting stuck in.

When the fog of battle cleared and the post-campaign phase  was run, all sorts of cool things happened with our models. One of my wounded guys on day 1 actually wandered the wastelands in delerium (miss next game, come back with +1 survival skill). One of Jason's was captured by slavers, blinded in one eye, but fought his way clear and cam back with a fearsome reputation. One of Andy's wounded got captured by Mutants and given an injection of a mutagen. Luckily he survived and will be returning several times larger, a lot dumber, and a lot tougher. Oh and some of the wounded just died. in keeping with the RPG/Campaign focus, I incorporated skill increases and everytime someone successfully did something, they got to roll to increase skills.

Then there was a post-game phase where we gathered resources and bought more stuff. We also have rules for addiction too. Adam's medic must have tried to revive one of his elites heaps of times, as he is now addicted to stims! You get the chance to go looking for specific Rare kit. Not that I found the missile-launcher I desperately wanted, after having Andy MISS one of my guys but take out two others with the area-of-effect. One day my scavengers will find one in some junk-pile weapon vendor's inventory.

Playing the game was great fun, especially the new version on day 2. We now have a great core to write into a beta version of our own skirmish rules. One area that still needs work is stealth, but there will be a way. When I get my hand-written notes back, I will get started. I think the weekend was more profitably spent doing that than trying to be wargame king of the world.


10 comments:

  1. Great write up and photos mate. It was fun indeed, I was sad I had to go after only one game. That said I was going to name my leader Boss Hogg but in fact she is "Commander Zero"!
    I lost quite a bit of assets, hopefully my new super mutant gang member is more effective than before.
    Speaking of hopefully, I may need to tone down the number of 'bad decisions' made by my gang as flavour...;-)

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    1. Cheers Adam. The best recommendation for what we have is that I realised that playing Infinity would be less fun than what we have. So one less new wargame for me to get :p Jason and I had another game tonight. It gave us a lot of good ideas for tweaks as we basically could have kept going for ages. So we will be making it harder to revive things in-game (though I thought originally the idea was that it would be medikits only doing this?) and require consumables be used for this. We also upped the reward for clearing buildings. So amidst the hilarity of triggering bad things, we also got quite a bit of stuff. Jason just has to formalise a crafting system now. Hopefully you can make cheaper medikits and sell them to the rest of us?

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    2. Yeah, medkits or whatever for healing need to have consumables involved as this is a game about scarcity! We don't have actual medics just stim packs and run it off!

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    3. Oh and better yet: If you actually use drugs to heal........

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  2. I can vouch for Jamie here, the photo isn't that great and his figures actually look really good :) you should do some close ups Jamie of your gang they are great models and you did a good job.
    Thanks for all your hard work in thinking about and helping us out with the game rules set :) I'm really enjoying how it plays

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    1. I think writing rules must be easier than building all that terrain. Still some work to be done on core campaign elements (ie we STILL don't have crafting or rules for those rare items) so since Jason is on leave this week, he has been put to work.

      I think there is still work to be done on scaling the shooting system.

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    2. Good write up :)

      I'm working on the crafting rules today so watch this space! Territories are rebalanced and I'm also about halfway through items as well.

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    3. Looking forward to seeing it. What we did with cards worked well.

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  3. That's a great looking table. I really like the Fall-Out style bridge.

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    1. Its my favourite piece on that table too. Even if it cracks me up that Andy used the same supports that my kids have in their megablocks set. I hope he didn't raid his or some other Kids? I also really like his hydroponics plant.

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