Monday 31 March 2014

Hospital 911 - ATZ - Kickstarter

In cooperation with Rebel Minis we'll be doing another Kickstarter called Hospital 911.Hospital 911 is a supplement for ATZ FFO that covers the first zombie outbreak in City Hospital USA.

Players are the first responders to the 911 call. You lead your SWAT Team into the hospital and must save the civilians and take out the zombies. And did we mention the gangers having a shootout in the Emergency Room?

Hospital 911 will be available in PDF and Printed form and playable with both 15mm and 28mm figures. Need figures? Well that's where Rebel Minis comes in with a batch of unreleased hospital staff, terrified civilians and more.

Look for Hospital 911 in a week or so and battle reports here on the blog.

Saturday 29 March 2014

"Tommy Run" 5150 Urban Renewal AAR Part 2

Part One

In this AAR I will show you how to use Urban Renewal to build stories, create Encounters using these stories and flesh out your characters. The first part will be in "story form" while the second part will explain how I got there in "Game mechanics".
Billy got off the train at the Pub&Rec stop and headed down Silver Street towards the casino. It wasn't too crowded, as it was  the middle of the day. 

Waiting to cross the street, Billy looked up at the Vid-Board promoting the main event tonight. The  fight between Adonnis the Zhuh-Zhuh and a Razor named Kynnta. 

"Who you liking in this one?" the fellow asked.
Billy turned, shook his head and replied, "Not sure. This is going to be a good one. You going?" 
The Exec shook his head. "No, I'll catch the vids later. Lots of work to do. Nice talking to you," he said as the light changed.
"You too, take care." Billy said as he crossed the street.


Billy enters the Pub&Rec Area of New Hope City. Looking on the City Transit Map we see that there will be two PEFs (Possible Enemy Forces) for Billy to resolve. Because Urban Renewal is more of a story game, not a combat game like Star Army, I don't set up the table. I don't want to spend time setting up the table, moving the figures, then have the chance of no PEFs being resolved as contact. Instead, I roll to resolve ALL the PEFs for the Area, one after the other.

I resolve the 1st one and pass 1d6. This means "somethings going on" and future PEF resolution will be with 3d6.
     * I now resolve the 2nd PEF and have "contacted other characters" (page 105).
     * I roll for how many NPCs and it's only one (page 79 - but I've already memorized how it works).
     *I roll to see who it is and it's a Shaker (page 106), a Corporate Exec. I check my Character Journal and see that I haven't met one before.
     *I roll on the LWC Generator (page 106) and get his stats.
     *I roll a People Challenge (page 112) and score a result of Pleasant Response. That's it.

So in about 5 minutes I've resolved 2 PEFs, met one NPC and noted it on the Journal.  I now enter the Casino for a Chillin' Encounter while I wait for the Day Part to advance to Night when I can go to the fight and meet the employer.

Billy enters the Casino and heads to the buffet. Might as well get some food and drink before gambling. It's lunch time so there's a bit of a wait. While in line he strikes up a conversation with a woman and they are hitting it off pretty well. She tells him she works as a translator for the local Gaea Prime Bank in the Area. 
"Would you like to join me for lunch?" Billy asks.
"I'd love too," she says with a smile. "But I'm meeting a friend. In fact, her she comes now."

Billy sees a tall, well-groomed woman, coming towards them and she's not smiling.
"Who's this?" well-groomed asks.  
"Hi, I'm Billy," Billy says as he extends a hand and a smile.
"That's nice," is the sarcastic reply. "Glory, we've so much to catch up on. Oh, look, there's a table."
Glory turns to Billy, extends here Mobile  Com-link and smiles. "Sorry, but maybe next time. Call me."
Billy touches his Com-Link to hers and the info is exchanged. "Nice meeting you two," he says with a smile.
As the girls walk away, well-groomed  looks back and mouths "F&^% Y#$:" to Billy as they walk away. 
Entering the Casino Billy rolls for the Defining Moment (PEF) the one encounter in the  building that defines his stay.
I resolve it as two Female Basics, Translators, and here's a great example of how the People Challenge works versus multiple NPCs.

Billy rolls one set of dice and the results are applied to each NPC. 
     *Billy rolls 3 successes.
     *The Rep 4 Born Leader NPC scores 2 successes. This gives Billy a Positive response.
     *The Rep 3 Cruel NPC scores 4 successes. This give Billy a negative response.

I take this as the Rep 4 and Rep 3 have different opinions of Billy. But he did ask Glory to lunch. So the Rep 4 and Rep 3 take a People Challenge to see how they resolve it and the Rep 3 (anti-Billy) scores more so they won't have anything to do with Billy.

But I can see how valuable a Translator could be so I try one more People Challenge on the Rep 4 and Billy scores 4 successes more. She's swept off her feet and gives Billy a Party Favor - which I translate that into she gives him her contact info. I now write it on Billy's Journal.

Billy looks at his watch and sees it's time to head to the fight. Picking up his winnings he cashes out. Leaving the Casino he heads to the Convention Center.

Thursday 20 March 2014

Life of it's own - Urban Renewal Bat Rep

Played a game last night. Started out designing a Poker game to be used by characters in Urban Renewal based on their Savvy Skill. A cool little diversion that uses a neglected Skill and the new Cash stat. So I rolled up four NPCs, three of the trusted Aliens from New Hope City, PI. and the last one was a Basic NPC Detective. As I've a pretty good log of NPCs from Billy Pink's adventures in NHC I rolled 1d6 and scored a "1". That meant a familiar NPC so pulled out Kay Dee, the undercover detective that first appeared in the Sudden Death case.  I set out the players and started to play.

Okay, so by this time I was pretty ticked off. Fezglok won every hand and I knew he was cheating. I'm thinking Kay Dee probably isn't very happy being taken by a couple of Gangers. Oh well, what can I do, can't arrest them for anything and if she did it would blow her cover.

Then it hit me. Let's see if these punks get robbed on their way home. Rolling on the Robbery Table in the Chillin' Encounter meant that they would be! Sweet, so I decided to check back on Kay Dee. Yep, I was right. Kay Dee has a jealous cop friend (Carlzk) who's a bit of a loose cannon (also from the Sudden Death case). Perfect, I'll use him and some off duty cops to shake down the Fezglok. If the Fezglok wasn't packing he'd roll over.

Except the Fezglok was armed and didn't roll over.

I brought in Ashlynn Cooper to do a story but realized that another dead Ganger or two wouldn't even make the news. And of course, no witness came forward. I love how the city kind of runs itself.

New Game of Chance for Urban Renewal - Poker!

Here’s a quick and easy game for your characters to play when on a Chillin’, Gaming House Encounter or even if just passing the time on a stake out. All Gambling rules on page 90 apply except that we are providing a new game that has a bit more strategy to it.

Sunday 16 March 2014

Bar Fights in New Hope City - Two Pages!

New Hope City Bar Fights

Here’s a cool little diversion for your characters or a great intro game for players. It’s called New Hope City Bar Fights and it’s about…bar fights. These will usually occur during a Chillin’ Encounter (Urban Renewal page 85) but you can use them whenever it makes sense. It’s set up to use Attributes from the book. Here’s how we do it:
·        When in a Bar, Tavern or Gentlemen’s Club and the Activation dice come up doubles and higher than the Area Law Level a fight has broken out.
·        The number of possible opponents will be equal to twice the number of PEFs for the Area and Day Part where the fight is occurring (Urban Renewal page 62).

NHC Bar Fights

Saturday 15 March 2014

"Tommy Run" An Urban Renewal Adventure - Part One

Here’s a series of AARs using the recently released 5150 New Beginnings - Urban Renewal and the upcoming Machinas. I know where I want this story to go but instead of just setting up a one-off Encounter,   I’m going to use Urban Renewal to get there. Let’s see how it works out. 

I start the story without anything being known before hand. Not the who, where or what. All I know for sure is that Billy Pink is my character and everything else will be generated by the rules!

 First we start with the section called “Looking For Work”; found in Urban Renewal.

Billy woke up in his High End Condo in the Financial District of New Hope City. Someone was calling him on his Com-Link but it had been a pretty rough night, so he decided to let it ring through to his message center.

“Hello, my name is Orfal Gleek and I represent Omega Lending Partners. This is a message for you, Mr. Pinkerton. This is in regards to your past due payments. I understand your desire to keep a stellar Credit Rating but we must have payment by noon Monday at one of our local offices. Please return…”

Billy tuned out the message center and turned on his computer. Logging in, he ran through the outstanding job offers. Plugging in, Billy downloaded the info on the offer and headed for the shower. It had been a long time since he’d made a “Tommy Run” and they didn’t come up very often, but he could use the Cash. He’d need some outside help for this one, if he got the job. Billy smiled as he showered, “I’ll get the job”.
In “Looking For Work” you can choose this as a Voluntary Encounter. Mechanics are simple. Roll 1d6, subtract the score from the character’s Rep. That’s how many jobs that are available. Billy has two to choose from, one is a pretty good fit to what I want to do. 

You then roll for the Employer and go to the Meet the Employer section. I start with the Employer Table, roll 2d6 and score a result of Criminal Element.  In Urban Renewal we introduce Circles. People tend to associate with a "circle of friends and acquaintances", those that they have things in common with. That's what the Circles are. We've grouped 50+ professions from NHC into 5 Circles. The Criminal Element is one of the Circles and that's where the Employer would be coming from.

Rolling on the Circle Table gives me a Smuggler. I roll 1d6 and score a “3”. If I had scored a “1” it would have been Tatiana, a Smuggler Billy has history with. Not good history.

I look on the Where Are They Table to see where the meeting will go down. It’s in the Pub & Rec Area and another bit of dice rolling. “3”; the meeting will take place at the Convention Center. Okay, I decide there’s a Top Tier Fight Night going on so will meet the Employer there.

Now here’s where the system works for you. I have to get from the Financial District, where Billy lives, to the Pub & Rec Area to meet the Employer. Taking the train (page 62) Billy has three potential Encounters before reaching the Pub & Rec Area. Then a Chillin’ Encounter to hook up with the Smuggler. There’s two ways to look at it. 

The first is, that’s a lot of work. Maybe I should just jump to the “Tommy Run”. The other way to look at it is there’s an overall story going on here; let’s milk it for all it’s worth. If I had two hours to play, I’d jump right to the “Tommy Run”. But I can play a little, break it off at a natural break then pick it up at a later time. I decide on the second way. Also, Billy Pink has a pretty extensive bit of history in New Hope City so it’s always interesting when he hits the streets.

Each Encounter can last from 15 minutes to maybe an hour. I’m in no rush to play so start with Billy on the train. He’ll be going in the Day Time Day Part, then I’ll have him spend some time hanging out until the Evening Day Part, when he can meet the Employer and watch the fight. 


Here’s a great shortcut to use with Urban Renewal and NHC, PI. Instead of setting up the table for each Encounter roll as much info as you can before doing so. Billy has three stops on the way to Pub & Rec. There is a chance (1) of a Traveling Encounter at each stop. I roll 1d6, three times and don’t score any ones so Billy doesn’t have any Encounters on the way there. 

Reaching the Pub & Rec Area Billy exits the train.

Monday 10 March 2014

Dark Clouds in the East - Kjoth and Chapka

This Rally Round the King battle came about due to a new map of Talomir that I created. Take a look.

The picture has Black Moon countries in black, Red Sun countries in red and neutrals in white.  The stars are the holdings of the Brethren. But what jumped out to me was how the southeast corner of Talomir is so devoid of Red Sun adherents. Except for the tiny, surrounded, country of Kjoth.

This gave ma an idea. I've been reading about the Templars and of the Crusades and thought "If I ruled Kjoth I'd try and get the Brethren to start a Crusade." Well reading the book gave me an historical blueprint. And this resulted in the following battle.


Fall,  in the High Court of the Celestial Emperor Soong.

"Your highness," said the Adviser." A message from the General."

The Emperor shook his head. "Pruning my plants gives me great pleasure," he said. "Is it important? Read it and speak."  

The Emperor continued to clip with his shears. He knew the contents of the message before the Adviser read it aloud. After all, he had seen it in a dream ten days prior. That was why he had sent his emissaries on their journey. They had reached the northern border and awaited orders to proceed. Reaching into his robe he pulled out two small tubes. "Bring me my birds," he said.

His nephew carried the cage and set it down on the ground. Reaching in, the boy gently removed one then the the other bird from the cage. The Emperor slipped one tube into the holder on each bird, gave them a bit of seed from his pocket and set them into the air. They flew up high, circled once then headed to the north.

Then Soong, the last Celestial Emperor of Kjoth, returned to his pruning...

Saturday 8 March 2014

Plodd Redux: It's All On The Cards!

Just wanted to give you all a look at how the test game can be played right on the cards.

This is the same encounter as last time. Rifleorc Plodd, cut off from his unit, must forge ahead into unknown territory in order to lose the pursuing enemy light infantry.

Instead of laying out the terrain as it was generated this time figures were deployed and moved on the cards.

Sorry for the photo quality but I shot these using my phone rather than my camera in the interest of "fast play". Indeed this game, along with the time to layout the board and take the photos, lasted less than 15 minutes. I played the same encounter two more times afterward.

Here we see we see the situation at the end of the first turn. Plodd has taken shelter in  building that gave him a view of the terrain ahead. Unfortunately that terrain included a river with only on way across it, a bridge. Three Possible Elven Forces (PEF!) are fannying about in the distance. One on the left on terrain yet unseen and the other two on the right behind a hill.

Plodd continues his advance as the pursuing light infantry appear on his baseline.
As Plodd move into some clear terrain, the left hand PEF moved into a church and opened fire.
It turned out to be a single line infantry figure and Plodd was fortunate enough to shoot him dead with return fire.

Now Plodd has made a dash across the bridge and into the clear terrain beyond it. Opportunities for fast moving are somewhat rare in this game as it requires two stretches of open terrain, or a bridge, adjacent to one another. Couple that with the rather exposed situation in which it places the fast mover and you have a recipe for caution.

One of the PEF's behind the hill turned out to be a false alarm. The other, however, was indeed an enemy who promptly shot poor Plodd. Again, without the use of Hero Dice, Plodd would have been done for. As it happened though he managed to survive, losing one Hero Dice in the process.

Just when it seemed that Plodd was in the clear, another PEF appeared to his left, and promptly resolved into two line infantry. More shots were exchanged.

 Plodd was hit twice more, and again was saved by Hero Dice, losing one more this time. His return fire missed but did send one elf packing. At this point, there was nothing to prevent Plodd from exiting and he did so. Job done.

As mentioned above this was followed by two more games. In the second game Plodd managed to escape again, even though his rifle misfired on its first shot. Once again he was hit once or twice and save by his Hero Dice.

In the third game, Plodd was overwhelmed by something line 10 enemy soldiers, converging from multiple directions. He died game defending a cantina in a scene reminiscent of the end of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid".

Clearly this encounter is weighted in Plodd's favor. In that respect it would make a fine introductory scenario. Two Hour Wargames stalwarts may recall that we used that approach in the first edition of "Nuts!" although, I wouldn't claim those scenarios favored one side over the other.

The weighting also makes a fine campaign "hook". Start the solo player off as Plodd and have him or her sped the next few adventures wandering around Portugal or Spain trying to find The Peer's army.

Alternatly I could tone it down and make it more of a near run thing. Starting Plodd at Rep 4 or 3 rather than 5 would both decrease his survivability by reducing his Hero Dice and leave more room for advancing in Rep as well as Rank.

Regardless my object in presenting this report is to show that players with limited space, time, or both can still enjoy a game by using cards rather than tabletop terrain. The look of the thing certainly takes a hit, but so long as the play is the thing, good results can be had! Mind you that doesn't just apply to my game. Just about any game can be so adapted with a little imagination.


Wednesday 5 March 2014

Rifleorc Plodd or Death to the Elves

Rifleorc Plodd

Got in some more work on "Baker Rifle", that is not what it is going to be called mind you but it sounds a lot better than "The Napoleonic Skirmish Game to be Named Later".

It has always been my intention to cover not only the battles and intrigue of figures like Sharpe and Hervey, leaders of men, but also to allow for the exploits of individual soldiers behind enemy lines such as Rifleman Dodd.

At first this looked dead easy as a good deal of this sort of thing could be looted from "Savvy and Steel". However looks can, as always, be deceiving...

Every story needs a beginning and so does that of stalwart Rifleorc Plodd. The Chosen Orc has been cut off behind enemy lines during one of Wheeling-Turn's many retreats in the face of overwhelming elven forces.

What Plodd must do is cross the board, dealing with any enemy forces generated by the game system, while at the same time being pursued by a potentially large force of elves coming up behind him.

Plodd has three turns of movement before his pursuers appear.

The Field

 The Field is lain out using playing cards arranged in a 5 x 5 offset grid. Each card represents about 8" of space. This nominally brings this game above the Two Hour Wargame standard of being able to be played on a 36" x 36" surface. However its an easy matter to cut the outer rows of cards down by a few inches in order to make them fit.

One could even play the game on the cards alone, which for someone just starting out in the hobby allows for gaming without having to purchase or make a good deal of scenery ahead of time. Even for veteran gamers, playing on the cards allows for a very quick game indeed.

I first came across the idea of using cards to make the playing field in one of the many fine Flintloque articles published on "Orcs in the Webbe". That game featured some mayhem at a sanitarium and the cards were used to lay out the facility.  Cards were also the method I used to lay out the subterranean Nazi lab in Rebel Miniatures 

This time the cards will be used to lay out some cluttered terrain in sunny Catalucia/Spain.

Initial cards flipped and lines of sight established
 Our hero starts on his base line. The first thing to be done is to turn over the cards and see what kind of terrain he is approaching and what terrain he can see in the distance.

Terrain placed and PEF's generated

Plodd is emerging from the cover of some walled fields and approaching some buildings. One fo them is a stable which would be a great piece of luck if only Plodd could ride. He can't though and so he must march on.

At this point Possible Enemy Forces (PEF's) were generated to potentially populate the countryside. None of them are in Plodd's sight from the start with one in the cantina, far left, one in the center screened by the wood, and one in the far left hand corner, screened by the buildings to his front.

More terrain as revealed from the center building.
 Wanting to keep to cover as much as possible, Plodd moved to the building, dead center. From here he spied a wooded rise and walled field off to his left. There was also another building revealed beyond the wood to the right. The central PEF, located in the wood on the right of the rise is sighted and revealed to have been a false alarm.

On the elven go, the left most PEF advances onto the ridge and is revealed to also have been a false alarm.

Plodd presses on toward freedom
 Plodd continued forward into the central wood. Craftily he hoped to keep the building between himself and the PEF in the cantina.

Softly, softly, catchee monkey

The pursuit arrives
 Thus far things had been going really well for Plodd. Now, however, the elven pursuit arrived in the form of three PEF's entering from Plodd's base line. Fortunately they could not get eyes on him for the moment.

To the green, err, vineyards beyond
 Emerging on the far side of the central wood, Plodd could see a vineyard, and beyond that, freedom.

What disturbed those birds?
 Just as Plodd was readying himself for a dash to freedom, he spied movement in the vineyard ahead.

An elf!

A Catalucian stand off

Plodd quicly raised his rifle to fire and...CLICK. A misfire! Curses!

The elf raised his musket to fire and...CLICK. A misfire! Oh the joy!

Summoning all his courage, Plodd charged towards the elf...only to be fired on by two elves by the cantina.

Two shots ring out as one
Both shots found their mark and would have lain poor old Plodd low had he not been a Hero!

Normally I don't go in for the Star benefits in my games but this one is very much a work of fiction and so it is only appropriate that our heroes be larger than life, or more specifically in this case, avail themselves of hero dice. 

Plodd lost two dice in the process but was able to convert his hits into mere flesh wounds. 

Crossed bayonets!
 With a final rush, Plodd confronted his elf. 

Take that!

The sheer ferocity of his attack forced the elf back.

Before his foe could recover, Plodd slipped away to freedom...

So there you have it. 

Plodd dodged three elves and although he remains a fully fit Rep 5, he is down to 3 hero dice. 

Plodd needs to continue his journey, trying to remain at large and possibly joining up with a band of guerrillas, if he can only contact one.

First use of the terrain cards went very well but it is early days yet.  

Hope you enjoyed the report and as a reminder this is actually going to be a historical fiction game. For my games I use Flintloque figures as I do enjoy them so. You may however think of them as British and French soldiers etc.