Saturday, February 21, 2015

Progress report...

My work on my WWI deck builder game is progressing nicely. I'm finally working on the rules for the game. This includes not only words but quite a few diagrams to help explain whats what and how. I'd kind of forgotten that the rules would require this. After spend weeks doing all the cards I finished the last card and was pretty darned glad to have got it done and dusted....

Only then I realised I needed some art for a couple of stat-tracks. Then I noticed that I'd done the text wrong on nine of the cards. Then I started the rules and more graphics work is needed.

I can only say, I'm so very glad I'm starting to get a handle on Inkscape. This software makes the kind of work I'm doing here fairly easy, and being SVG based it scales to any size should I need to. So if I want to convert it to use hobbit sized cards or even giant cards, I'm set :)

The problem is, I'm getting pretty worn down, working on this game. I'm so close to the end and the lure of the next game is niggling and trying to drag me away from completing this project. I will overcome!

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Mechs COPS - Session 3

The third session was planned to be the final session. With the heroes having saved the city from a nuclear detonation last time, I was left pondering how to up the pressure. In the end I started teasing the final session by making a series of posts throughout the week, as follows....


++ ALERT ++
Satellite intel indicate Kargan assault forces may be forming at multiple naval ports.


Satellite intel confirms heat blooms in the all ships and submarines along the Kargan coast.
++ ACTION ++
All military forces engage DEFCON 3 readiness protocols.
++ ACTION ++
All civil authorities prepare coastline evacuation plans.






"Thanks, John. I'm standing one mile from Jino naval base. As you can see I'm wearing a rad suit, and the scene behind me makes it obvious why. The thousands of destroyed homes that previously occupied this rubble strewn landscape were owned by navy personnel and civilian naval workers.

"I'm told that the Kargan nuclear missile that struck at Jino was one of ten aimed at the docks. This reporter supposes the Kargans targeted Jino because of the military vessels docked there. But as you can see, the collateral damage is extensive.

"How many people perished here? Certainly thousands. Most I hope, are safe in the shelters and will survive this unmitigated and  unnecessary attack.I...I...I for one, will be joining the militia right after I terminate this broadcast. I'm close to tears right now...They dare to call it a war of liberation! Liberation!...I swear to you all, I will kill the first Kargan bastard I see.

"Back to the studio. Miko Yasuki, channel three seven five."



The aid held out the radio-phone for Major General Hoata White, but the General hesitated. His mind was a whirl of despair-level decisions and he was almost afraid to talk to phone.

It didn't matter who was on the other end of the line, he knew what they wanted. They wanted help, something he couldn't give them. As he paused he felt a shaking fear rising from the pit of his stomach. He remembered when this had started, shit, only sixteen hours ago! Back then, he'd had three complete divisions under his command, plus a mecha air wing, and a battalion of front line combat mecha.

Now what did he have? Nothing. He was left pushing around the crumbs of his forces. No strike unit, no reserves. What could he offer the man on the other end of line. Hope? Was that it, was he reduced to giving his men hope?

The General blinked, twice. Hope. There was, Hope.

He snapped the phone from his aid's hand, covered the pick up with a gnarled hand and whispered to the aid. "Get me the District 6 police bunker. Now!"

He cleared his throat and spoke calmly into the radio-phone.
Police Lt Hope

"Report soldier. How can I help?"
So the session proper started. With the military devastated, the militia gone, they turned to the COPS. Lt Hope answered his army-uncle's call and loaded his mekton unit up onto the road-train. Each PC's mekton was issued a heavy duty shield which snapped onto their backs.

All the PCs knew was that they were wanted out at Jino navy base. The road train rushed them out of the city and onto the interstate. The train rolled to a standstill on an elevated road that crossed an extensive marsh. A couple of hundred meters of the road was missing leaving a marshy gap.

After puzzling about a way to get across, they convinced the train driver to uncouple the tractor unit and reattach at the other end and push the first few cars over the edge to form a ladder down to the marsh. When he was in position Tanaka climbed down the cars to the marsh where he started sinking. Yamamoto jumped his mekton down from the road and immediately sunk to his chest. Tanaka slipped the shield off his mekton's back and used it to spread his weight. He was then able to help pull Yamamoto free. When Tylor descended down the "ladder" they found themselves stuck.

It didn't take long for Tanaka to start knocking up some mekton-marsh-skis from the now wrecked road-train. With the skis fitted they were able to cross the gap in the road and reach the first road-support pillar on the other side of the break. The first two to attempt the climb up to the road failed, sliding back to earth, but the third PC made the climb and punched a a hole through the road so they could climb up. The other two made it through and they turned to say farewell to the rest of the COPS unit who were just starting to make their way down the opposite end of the break.

In the outskirts of the city, or rather the wreck of a now-radio-active city, they found  a mech hand twitching and sticking out from underneath the huge piece of masonry. Between them they managed to free the mech, which turned out to be the sole survivor of a military unit. Getting crushed beneath the rock must have saved his life. His mech was a wreck but Tanaka managed to do some field repairs that got him running.

Round about now they realised they didn't know the purpose of the mission! A quick radio call back to Lt Hope revealed what they needed to do. Vital launch codes were unsecured and still on the sunken aircraft carrier in Jino. The PCs needed to recover the suitcase full of codes.

They could see a flying mech in the distance running figure eights over where the navy port was supposed to be and making occasional strafing runs. They didn't fancy taking it on, so looked for a subterranean route to the navy base. The metro system proved to be closed and locked down behind blast doors, as it was used by the populous as a bomb shelter.

Scouting around revealed storm drains running below the surface, so they dung their way in and started shuffling along the drain system.  After some time they reached the end of the drains, and dug their way upwards , ending up sheltering in a crater.

It was time to do something with that enemy flying mech. Tanaka decided to try one of his strike missiles. In what can only be called phenomenal luck, he not only hit it, but got a head strike that took it out in a single hit. The enemy mech spiraled into the ground.

From the crater they could see the aircraft carrier, laying on it side on the far side of the bay. Enemy mechs were moving in the distance to either side so they opted for the submerged option. Sprinting for the water they sealed up and dived beneath the surface. They waded across the floor of the bay, even at one point feeling a vessel move above them, until they reached the carrier. Here they were a bit nonplussed and unsure how to proceed.

In the end they moved (still underwater) to the rear of the ship and found one of the screws. It was a matter of minutes to disconnect the screw from the shaft. It whooshed to the muddy bottom leaving the hollow shaft open to the water. In they went, crawling to the end of the shaft and melting their way out with liberal use of plasma guns.

In the engine room they wondered where the codes would be and decided they would be in CIC. A little investigation soon found a map stuck to the wall. Unfortunately the insides of the aircraft carrier was not designed for mechs so they had to start kicking and tearing their way through the ship, spelunking their way to a soggy CIC.

When they found it, they realised it was the armoured heart of the ship and they couldn't tear a way in. As they moved around to the doorway vibrations and noise indicated the enemy were here too.

In a rush the tore through the final wall to find themselves in a shaft. The enemy had cut their way into the ship from its upturned side, effectively driving a shaft down to the CIC. A large energy drill was working on cutting it way through the wall of CIC (which was the scene's floor as the ship was on its side) and was being operated by a big enemy mech.

I should remind you, at this point, that this is still all underwater (in the ship).

They laid into the mech. Yamamoto went in with mecha-claws acting s as a kind of distraction while the others started plinking it with plasma rifles. The improved Military Grade armour proved very effective against their police weapons. The plasma beams seemed to just be pock marking its surface. Fortunately for them the barrage of shots kept the enemy mech staggered and thrashing about unable to retaliate.

A Strike missile was fired and burnt through the leg armour and Tanaka took advatage of this. While the mech was still fighting and reeling with the others, he slipped in behind it and with some quick moves disconnected the leg and proceeded to beat the mech with the dismembered limb!

In the end though, the three PCs and their NPC army buddy wore the Kargan mech down and left it in pieces.

Yamamoto set the drill back into position, it had been knocked during the fight, and burnt his way  through the wall of CIC. A man sized hole was made.

At this point one of the PCs was supposed to de-mech in this watery radio-active hell hole and go get the brief case with the codes. Dying a heroes death while saving the nation. Of course, PCs will be PCs so it didn't go down that way.

The drill, which had a massive internal power source, was slipped from its braces, pushed through the hole into CIC and detonated with a Strike missile. Everything in the room was vapourised, including the codes. - Darned PCs, ruining my bittersweet endings!

Knowing there were more Kargans topside, they elected to leave the ship the way they came it, only this time ensuring the nuclear engines would overheat and explode, thereby ridding the world of more Kargans.

So ended the mini campaign.
I'm an author, I write adventure game books.