Friday, November 06, 2009

RM5.3


“Danke, danke mein damer und herrer...

I thank you for this honour from the bottom of mein heart. I cannot tell you how much it means to a scientist, to have his work recognized... to have my work recognized! You must understand the brilliance of my work, to appreciate what I have done. What I have done!

So few people appreciate my work, understand what I have tried to do, where I have succeeded. The sacrifices I have had to make. Mein Gott! The things I have had to do in the name of our glorious quest! ...I must thank the Baron, for though he has only a limited understanding of my work, he has ensured its success with his support... if only he would see the limitless potential... The potential for a New World Order! A Higher World Order! A world where my work is not hidden away in the shadows but understood and appreciated... It is I who should win the Nobel, not this man Otto Loewi and his acetylcholine. What is acetylcholine compared to the mysteries of life itself?

It is I who has defeated death, I who have Mastered the Very Secret of Life Itself. I Alone Who Have Done What Other Men only Dare To Dream About! It Is I who.... Ja?”
A knock at the door interrupts Herr Doktor Metzger in mid sentence, and scowling he turns to admit the intruder to the washroom.
“What is it?” he demands in a sullen voice.
Oberst Doktor Holst stands in the door, towering above the short deformed body of his civilian superior.
“Who were you talking to?” Holst looks about the room suspiciously. His inquisitive eyes rest upon the mirror over the sink at which Metzger is standing.
“No one... I was rehearsing a speech” Metzger mutters.
Holst drops the matter.
“The Island is under attack.”
“What?” Metzger convulses with a start, then pushes past Holst, begins to limp rapidly along the corridor before coming to halt. He turns to look back at the taller man.
“The British?”
Holst shrugs. “Reports indicate an armed ship full of Africans, possibly some Chinese and Europeans too. I do not know who they are yet”
“It is him! It is Mansfield!”
“How do you know?”
“Do You Question Me?”
Holst takes a deep breath and follows Metzger to the operations room, where the staff nervously move aside and Metzger glares at a map of the island.
“Where have they landed?”
“Here at the northern anchorage”
“Ach so....” Metzger examines at the map, his nose mere inches from it. A bead of sweat drips from his forehead and lands conspicuously on the paper.
“They will either take the road, or attempt to push inland” he decides. Have the road blocked, and then activate Johan!”
“Johan? ...ahh, is that prudent?”
“Do Not Presume To Question Me!
I Am The Ultimate Authority On This Island!
You Will Obey My Orders!”

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Starting

Players one, two and three begin at the northern end of the table, on the northern bank of the ‘lagoon’.

Player four begins in secret positions upon the table (see secret notes)

Player five begins on the southern edge of the table.

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Player One

Rocketman (SMG & grenades)
George Macarthur (Handgun & grenades)
'Mad Dog' Mitchell (LMG & grenades)
Marcel Messnier (Rifle & grenades)


Players two & three

Each of the players takes one pirate group of their choice, but Captain Wangai and his group stay with the ship.
Note. No non named characters who were defeated in the previous game participate in this game.



Player Four: Johan's garden

Johan (Flamethrower)
Spore field
Flesh eating plants
Mutant bee’s


Player Five: Kampfgruppen Grün

Oberst Doktor Holst (Handgun)
4 x Schattensoldater (Rifles and grenades)
2 x
Schattensoldater scharfenshutzen (Rifles with telescopic sights)

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Map



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Victory conditions

Players one, two and three win by moving two thirds of their surviving elements across the table. See secret notes for further information regarding this point.

Players four and five win by preventing players one, two and three from crossing the table.

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Special notes

All terrain is Rough, except the waterways which are Difficult and the rocky area’s which are impassable. The tree’s, rocks and bushes give the usual defence bonuses. The mushrooms offer little protection, but the large clusters (those bigger than two mushrooms per base) offer enough cover to conceal any one hiding behind them (equal to 2 inches of ordinary bushes). Shooting the mushrooms makes no difference to the spore cloud.

The lagoon is loaded with large leeches; up to several inches in length and any one crossing it must roll a die. A roll of 1 results in a serious leech attack, roll against a CF of 2. Any defeated elements stagger from the lagoon cursing and retching and find themselves incapacitated on the shore as downed elements. A roll of 2 results in a lesser attack, but the element must pause for 2 rounds once they reach the far back, to remove leeches.

The hut is very solid and cannot be destroyed by grenades. It offers standard protection.

The aeroplane fuselage offers +1 protection, regardless of direction.

Rocketman has two hero points in this game.

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Secret notes

Crossing the game table is very difficult and most probably cannot be done in under four hours. In order for Rocketman to reach his destination in the event of the game bogging down, only the the six foremost elements of players two and three survive to participate in chapter 5.
All of Player One's elements survive regardless of whether or not they've been defeated in this chapter.

Johan is an old experiment which has been turned loose by Metzger, an amalgamation of reanimated dead body parts; he lives in the wooden hut. He has no free will as such, but is capable of picking his targets carefully once he has been ‘activated’ by a chemical compound released into his blood stream. Johan has multiple back up organs and armoured skin. This makes him very hard to kill, especially since he is technically already dead. A curious by product of his life support system is a highly flammable urine which is siphoned into a flame thrower unit that has been grafted onto his left arm. Johan’s right arm and legs are incredibly strong and his endurance is far beyond that of a normal human being. Johan is not intelligent enough to adapt quickly to new weapons.

The spore field extends three inches from any given mushroom

The flesh eating plants are concealed amongst the other tubular vegetation. They have a one inch range.

The mutant bee’s have a ten inch range, but will only attack one element at a time, and only that element which is closest to their hive.


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Conclusion

wearing my oldest 'gaming t shirt' to look the part
I bought it in 1988 and it shows


This game took a very long time to 'incubate', I've been fiddling it since 2007 and the map turns up quite a few times in older sketch books, usually as a consequence of having watched an episode of 'Lost'.

The game began with a few notable changes due to Rasmus having cancelled and so the leeches got removed and I shortened the map by 20 inches or so. Even this didn't make it possible for Oleg and Goeg to fulfill their winning critieria, but this didn't matter too much as the emphasis of the game was surviving the strange and terrible dangers left lying around as a consequence of Dokter Metzger's diabolical experiments.

Rocketman and his allies set off up into the forested sides of the Islands extinct volcano, atop which is the curious building assumed to be a research station. In order to reach the building before nightfall, the group had to press on with all haste, but the Germans were aware of their approach and had activated a local asset; Johan. Oleg played Rocketman and the second group from Le Mollusc under the command of Dominique Lavarre. Goeg played the fifth group from Le Mollusc under the command of 'Iron fist' Chung. The remaining groups from the mercenary ship remained to guard the vessel from any possible German counter attack.

The red det marks the location of the game

One day, if I ever get a room I can devote to wargaming,
I'll build regular 3d table tops with better scenary and vegetation!

Rocketman, his friends and the mercenaries, crossed the lagoon and began to climb onto the far bank, but as they did so, they disturbed the first of the islands many surprises, a swarm of mutant killer bee's, each insect as long as three inches and with a terrible sting. Rocketman immediately tried to use his rockets to blast the bee's, but only partly succeeded. Curiously, he then used his machine pistol and the bee's fled in disarray, presumably having had enough of the commotion and disturbed by the weapons shock wave. What ever the reason, the hero's pleasure was short lived as the mutant plants which were growing on the northern bank of the lagoon, revealed another surprise. Some of the plants had mutated to the point where they were both carniverous and had flexible truncks which were activatd by pressure on the roots. Since the plants were all over the northern bank, it was impossible to spot the dangerous ones and the threat was only revealed when a Chinese rifleman suddenly had his head bitten off.

Chaos ensued.

Whilst the invaders were floundering in disarray, the Germans were quietly taking positions further up the slope. Due to the nature of our table top skirmish games, building a sloping battleground in my living room is a no no, so we make do with contour lines and fevered imagination (thankfully we have enough of the latter to compensate for any mistakes I might make drawing the contour lines).

I used my scratch built triffids for the carniverous plants
Note the dots. These are a 1 inch grid pattern I've drawn up using a permanent fabric marker

Oberst Dokter Holst and his small team of sharp shooters took up their positions around the crashed aeroplane, where exotic mushrooms had grown suspiciously tall and deadly. Fortunately for the Germans, they had gasmasks and could not be effected by the dangerous psychodelic spores which floated gradually from the underside of the mushrooms. Had any element not wearing a gas mask approached the mushrooms they would have suffered a chemical/biological attack and if defeated they would have gone mad; player four would then be in control of that element, allowing the mad person to be used against their own side. Alas, Rocketman and his friends never got that far up the table as once the snipers opened fire, the emphasis of the game changed from moving to surviving.

Johan makes his warm and lovable personality felt

Survival became all the more difficult when Johan sneaked down the gully to the lagoon and snuck up under the surface of the murky water. At the last moment, his presence was detected but by then it was already too late and the great mutant zombie arose from the water with his flamethrower arm spouting a great plume of fire towards Vesper and Ganz who were guarding the rear. Amazingly they survived this encounter but only by fleeing (see image above). Johann then turned his attention to a nearby group of four mercenaries and incinerated the lot.

The carnage wrought by Johann and Kampfgruppen Grün

We ran out of time not long after this and the game was a victory for the German side. Of Rocketman and his allies, only the fore most six of each side make it up hill to fight in chapter five.

These include;
Player one; Rocketman, George Macarthur, 'Mad Dog' Mitchell, Marcel Messnier
Player two; Dominique Lavarre, Jean-Francois Laguna and Vixen,
Player three; 'Iron Fist' Chung, Soo Suk Wang and three generic Chinese riflemen.

(All the photo's were taken by Oleg as usual)

7 comments:

Palle "Nybyggeren" said...

He he he, das war viel spass, ich mag Johan; er hast viele meiner alte freunde in sich ;-)

I would have liked to hide him longer though, picking off scouts, stragglers and other strays so that all the rest would hear was some screaming and growling, then silence...

Oleg said...

I don't think that the 'good guys' could have met our victory conditions within the time.
This is not a complaint, as it was fun struggling.

We met several... unclean creations, and didn't know how to deal with them.

Vesper just ducked under water.
Rocketman thought that lighting his rocket pack, and interposing himself between the bees and the rest of his companions would deter them. Not, btw, a flamethrower attack as such. This sort of worked.
Others started to improvise incendiaries from bourbon, etc.
As it happened, concentrated automatic fire dispersed the swarm.

When the carnivorous plants struck from ambush, I reorganised our scouts; Rocketman, Vixen and Vesper were each accompanied by someone with significant firepower.
These pairs of scouts were no longer stealthy, but relatively safe.
Probing with branches, and throwing stones would not trigger the plants, but the scouts managed to clear a safe path for the rest of the column (Vesper's job was to secure the flank and rear).

The Chinese group didn't fair so well.

So, with everyone avoiding thick vegetation, we really didn't appreciate the German rifles.

The whole thing was gloriously terrifying.

Johan was the icing on the cake, but our only stragglers were our scout pairs, who did their job by raising the alarm (and surviving).
There was no way that the other side had enough time to stalk us.

I'd love to meet Johan's old mates... but give me some landmines and an hmg or 2...

I didn't play Rocketman too aggressively this time, partly because there wasn't (until Johan) a single, decisive target.
Partly because he should be Rasmus' character, and I wanted to develop another group (the Twins).

Mitchell didn't get shot!

moif said...

Only because you made a point about my shooting at him, so I shot a chinese rifle instead...

Palle "Nybyggeren" said...

It was much fun and a nice job of a scary Cthuluoid scenario, GJ Jan. But no, the "official" winning criteria was impossible.

Oleg said...

re.: Moif shooting (at a) Chinese Rifle(man).

Thanks

Jaron said...

Very nice scenario. I really enjoyed reading it. The situation seemed like a mix of Peter Jackson's King Kong island mess and landing at Omaha Beach with the Creature of the Black Lagoon popping up out of the Channel with a flame thrower. Will Johan be making an appearance in the next installment?

Congrats to the winners, but well played by the good guys. There were some truly terrible things occurring to our heroes and hired help. What's the motivation of the Chinese to stick around at this point? Is it really worth it anymore? Its getting rough on that island.

moif said...

Two more games to go, then after Christmas, a whole new campaign with a further five games.

The Chinese are merc's, they expect to get handsomely paid.