Saturday, June 12, 2010

GURPS Andromeda Incident: After Action Report 2

Our first session ran long, so I cut out the final battle.  Knowing that my players would need extra time to put together their characters, I focused entirely on the final battle and then character creation, and that worked well.

We don't have MapTool (yet), so I made up some of my own little tokens and a hex map, and it was BEAUTIFUL.  Not nearly as awesome as MapTool, but it certainly did the job.  The battle focused entirely on a 25 Quetzali "mooks," Heavies and standard Soldiers, with two Assault Hovercraft and a contragravity Dropship.  The players, unsurprisingly, slaughtered all of them.  To a man.  I did manage to leave some wounds on the players and some of the NPCs, however, giving them (rightfully) the impression that they could have died.  Hooray!  Appropriately epic.
Some highlights:
  • After crashing to the ground in the middle of the battle, Icarus (a battlesuited Heavy Marine played by Raoul) from ORBIT blew one of the Hovercraft out of the air with his Semi-Portable Plasma Gun, and then leaped in the way of the Dropship's Semi-Portable Plasma Gun blast, taking the full hit and suffering a mere 5 damage.
  • Jack Bishop (played by Pascal) used 3 grenades to take out 2 Quetzali heavies and heavily damage one Hovercraft
  • Maddie Madison (played by Maartje) blew the Dropship out of the sky with a single missile and a string of foul-mouthed curses (seriously).
I made one change from my previous G-verse military campaign that, despite it not working well for this group yet, I liked well enough that I will keep:


So I'm playing Modern Warfare, and it occurs to me, while I'm chucking grenades, that they're on a timer.  This is, of course, obvious in retrospect, but in most games, with 3 second (or longer) turns, this seldom comes up.  You throw a grenade, they blow up, and they kill lots of people.  First, however, this isn't how grenades actually work (grenades seldom kill people, what they do is flush people out of cover so that you can kill them properly: With bullets), and second, GURPS has single second turns, so it has the granularity necessary to make grenades actually work properly.

But it gets better: G-Verse Humans use smart grenades which can be programmed.  They can be programmed for a very long countdown (say, like setting a charge), to blow up on impact or, my favorite, to blow up when it receives a particular radio signal.  This allows you to throw your grenades and treat them like mines, blowing them when people get close, which, of course, encourages them to keep their distance.  In our game, grenades worked this way, either keeping the Quetzali at bay, or forcing them to run.  So, I'll be keeping my token-style grenades, I think.

I did a few things wrong.  I always do, of course.  This time, there were two errors that I can think of.  First, the players hit the ground after the Quetzali opened fire.  I declared that while they stayed down, they would avoid fire, but as soon as they came up to fire back, they would expose themselves to the suppression fire.  So they aimed (safely) and then fired (in danger).  I don't think it works that way:  If you're aiming, you're exposing yourself to Suppression Fire.

Second, the Quetzali ran at 8 yards per turn.  Most Quetzali soldiers have a Basic Move of 8 or 9, but they also have encumbrance, reducing their Basic Move to 6 or 7.

Next week, we'll start with the second major adventure: Cat and Mouse.  Every session, I've been exploring new tactical "puzzles" that the players can enjoy.  I've been gaining alot of inspiration from this site, if you're interested.  Good stuff, especially if you're a 40k player.
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