Friday, August 20, 2010

Mini-Campaign: Game Two, p. 3. The Vultures Circle

So the Sin of Alacrity has been reclaimed by the Onorevoli Boarding Teams and guided gently back to the relative safety of the Onorevoli’s security perimeter tentatively surrounding planet Tredici XIII. Any sense of accomplishment in the Alacrity’s reclamation has been quickly subsumed under the looming presence of Iron Warrior Cruisers and what appears to be an impending invasion. As hasty preparations for the assault begin in earnest, what little manpower can be spared has been sent to the Alacrity in order to squeeze whatever information might be gleaned from its disastrous four-year mission.

These first two games were tremendous fun: visually compelling and fully infused with grand narrative elements -just the way we like them. The idea here was to kick off our modest summer campaign with grand flourish, and it worked out better than we anticipated –not only because the games were so dynamic, but also because they ended up so suggestive and appropriate for the narrative of the campaign. Moreover, both games exemplified our notion that we should push our boundaries a bit with this campaign, particularly with regard to Alternative mechanics of gameplay and House Rules, etc.

With regard to Game Two, here’s WHAT WENT RIGHT: From the Onorevoli point of view, the second game went quite well primarily because I had a plan and didn’t lose focus. I’ve been trying to become a more “proactive” player and less “reactive,” which means that I must have a clear design on what I want to accomplish (and how I want to accomplish it) before the game starts.  For this game, I decided to pool my teams and try to apply the entire weight onto the relatively potent Iron Warrior threats. By collapsing my two strongest Teams into the Central Corridor, with the third waiting just on the margin, the Onorevoli presented a threat that the Iron Warriors couldn’t approach with one bold action.

WHAT WENT WRONG: Despite the above, I’d be a fool to believe that blind luck didn’t have a heavy hand in the Onorevoli victory. First my humble Scouts survived a charge from Chaos Bikers, which cold easily have been disastrous. Then the TH/SS Terminators fulfilled a spectacularly odd sequence of comedic events at the end of the game to ensure an Onorevoli victory. Having said that, I’m not sure that I’d change much from this game. The plan worked and Fate did what she will, as she inevitably will. So it goes.

WHAT HAPPENS NOW: The next game or two will be from the Planetstrike expansion. Again, this is deliberately meant to push our boundaries a bit and give us an excuse to play a few more unconventional games. On top of that, each Objective we claimed will have a lasting effect in the ongoing campaign, with more of the same as the campaign continues. We wanted these extraneous effects to be both quirky and potent, specifically designed to upset whatever semblance of balance and/or fairness debatably inherent to the greater game. So far. So good.

THE FILTRATION ROOM: Poison!!! The squad discovers (with perhaps accidental consequences) a peculiar virus that has been introduced into the water system, hinting to part of the mystery surrounding the Alacrity's missing crew. Upon disturbance, the adjoining Barracks shamble to life with infested Zombies or heretics. Profile: WS3 S3 T4 I3 A2 W1 Sv3+ (poison=always wound on a 4+. No A bonus for charging. Fearless). This squad of 10 is controlled by activating player for his first turn, and by either player winning roll off at the beginning of each new turn, or the player that did not control them previously in case of a tie. 

+ uncontested control of this objective at the end of the game allows the player to utilize one unit of 10 Zombies (or Heretics as appropriate) in the next three battles. Free.

THE BRIDGE: Although seemingly dormant, the Alacrity’s passive external sensors and cogitators have ceaselessly and inexplicably been collecting staggering reams of information for over four years. If the Central Spine is the Alacrity’s nervous system, the Bridge is its brain and promises untold access to all manners of strategic information should that information be collected and suitably sifted.

+ uncontested control of this objective at the end of the game allows the player to ignore the “fog of war” on the turn map for the entire campaign. Moreover, he will have full access to army lists and points value in advance (ie: before the composition of his own army lists) for each battle of the campaign.

THE BRIG: Deeper subsequent scans have shown dim but static life-signs on the Alacrity. While some of these are undoubtedly “ghost” echoes from the landing teams, perhaps the strongest single sign registers from the Interrogation Room in the Brig. A quick cross-reference to the ship’s public records reveals the repeated mention of a captured intelligence officer and suspected double agent, known only as the “person of interest.”

+ uncontested control of this objective at the end of the game allows the player to re-deploy (in a legal manner) either three units in a single game, or one unit in the next three games of the campaign (friend or foe).

Game Three coming up soon. It’s going to get interesting.


Big Jim said...

It'll be groovy to see some planet strike games! This series of battle reports is pure win, I look forward to more.

I love that we are going to see zombies in the next three games! They are a very unappreciated part of the fluff on the tabletop.


Brian said...

It'll be the first time for both Pitmann and myself with Planetstrike, so fingers crossed.

Cheers for the kind words.

As for the zombies, I went nuts and painted nearly 50 of them ages ago (after a particularly amazing "city fight" article in WD). Unfortunately, I've not had the opportunities that I would have liked to use them. Any excuse will do.