Friday, January 08, 2010

RM5.5; Conclusion.




And so we finally got to finish the fifth Rocketman campaign. Sorry about the quality of the pictures, but I haven't read the manual for my new camera yet and I probably won't for a while as I have other more interesting things to do. Oleg didn't have his camera with him (though he did have his triffid flash assembly) so we made do.

The game began with the usual introduction text being read aloud, then each side pondering what would be the best tactic. This is always an interesting part of the game as each side goes off into a huddle and tries to come up with a winning strategy. Palle and I hummed and hawed but in the end we went with a straight forward plan of covering as many entrances as we could. we expected multiple entries though so we kinda, sorta had a plan where by we could fall back into the Main Hall in the middle of the building.

Oleg, Rasmus and Goeg went off into the kitchen and we heard them talking. Apparently there was a plan laid, but this wasn't apparent when they returned to deploy their forces. It had been specified that the 'good guys', having fled up the northern path, were positioned on the northern terrace, and this was their start position. The Germans could deploy any where inside the building and thus the tables were set for some classic urban combat/sneaking around.

For some as yet unexplained reason however, Rasmus and Goeg deployed in a congregated fashion, directly in line of fire of the Science Wing and Conservatory (see images below) rather than spread out along the terrace and to the rear of the Main Hall (where there was a convenient blind spot). Palle was guarding that side of the building and had laid a trap. The game literally began with Rocketman and friends charging into the building and Palle dropping his grenade (his die roll at the beginning of the game gave him only one grenade) onto Goeg's Asian mercenaries, downing both Iron Fisted Chung and his girl friend Soo Suk Wang in the first round.

The Heros line up for the slaughter

A grenade is dropped, the black marker indicates the epicentre of the explosion

As Goeg removes his commander, I drop a grenade on Dominic Lavarre
(note the black counter directly below the figure in the lower left hand corner)

Oleg in the mean time had deployed at the other end of the terrace, to the rear of the Barracks Block, which I was guarding. He spaced his three elements apart so I was only able to drop a grenade from the window above, onto Dominic Lavarre. Nothing happened (1). Dominic survived the blast with a laid back Gallic shrug.

Palle, Goeg and Rasmus now got into a strange and protracting mini slaughter which I found hard to follow. George Macarthur almost immediately ran into a laboratory and met a German soldier who automatically downed him, apparently with the butt of his rifle, and then took his two satchel charges (I'd expected them to be used to blow a hole in a wall, or set a counter ambush). Rocketman and Mitchell retreated into the Conservatory, only to discover it housed flesh eating plants.

Dominic Lavarre in the mean time kicked in the back door of the Barracks Block (which had suffered damage from my grenade) and jumped inside. He was immediately shot at by two Schattentroppen guards, one with a submachine gun, the other with a rifle. Nothing happened (2). Vixen in the mean while began crawling along the wall towards the Communications Tower and Jean-Francois Laguna covered her from the back wall of the Main Hall.

Once
inside the Barracks Block, Dominic Lavarre then threw a grenade at the Schattentroppen guard with the rifle and Hauptman Seitz who had come forward to take a pot shot at Lavarre. The Schattentroppen with the SMG had withdrawn to cover the window under which Vixen was crawling. Lavarre's grenade landed right between the other two Germans ...and nothing happened (3). Some what disheartened, Lavarre fled back outside and both Germans tried to shoot him in the back, but nothing happened (4). Perhaps they were stunned by the concussion?

Kill that triffid!

Whilst a lot of spectacular nothing was going on between Lavarre and the Germans in the Barracks Block, Rocketman, Mitchell and Goeg's two remaining Asian merc's were still blasting away and throwing grenades about. There were two flesh-eating plants in the Conservatory and both were quickly shredded.

Meanwhile Hauptmann Seitz threw a grenade out the broken rear door of the Barracks Block at Jean-Francois Laguna, who was still in his original starting position, and killed him out right. Dominic Lavarre retreated to a dark nook whilst Vixen climbed on to the roof with the intention of scaling the communications tower. The Schattentroppen with the SMG who had first fired at Lavarre, followed him outside and found him in his dark corner. Fisticuffs ensued as the German attempted to take the Frenchman prisoner.

Dominic Lavarre takes cover whilst Vixen climbs onto the roof

Peekaboo!

It was at this point (I think) that Palle rolled a six and Johann stormed up the Northern Path, moaning angrily and venting flammable napalm-urine. Troubled by the probable danger posed by an insane, giant flamethrower-toting, zombie-amalgamation of reanimated body parts, with no means of controlling it, the Schattentroppen who were guarding the Science Wing (most of whom had climbed out of the windows so as to engage Rocketman and friends from outside), fled. Johann thus saw Rocketman inside the Conservatory and rapidly moved to attack him.

The Schattentroppen prudently flee before the wrath of Johann

Johann goes through the Conservatory wall as if it were made of cardboard

Whilst Johann was running amok, the Schattentroppen with the SMG managed to knock Dominic Lavarre for six on the far end of the Northern Terrace and Hauptmann Seitz came out to see what was happening and clap his man on the back for a job well done.

Neither German saw Vixen failing to climb the Communications Tower. She eventually did manage to do this, but only in time for the game to end...

Rocketman and Mitchell fled from Johann by climbing out of a window at the far end of the Conservatory, with Goeg's last Chinese mercenary doing the same thing through a different window. Unfortunately for them, Rocketman and Mitchell stumbled on a Schattentroppen guard who was sneaking around the back of the building, and Mitchell ended up being downed, whilst Metzger dropped a satchel charge on the last Chinese merc from an upstairs window and blew him to kingdom come. This effectively ended the game with the good guys having lost 75% their force. Rocketman had launched himself into the air in a last desperate attempt to do something heroic but it was too late and his progress through the air was noticed by both Hauptmann Seitz and the Schattentroppen with the SMG, both of whom fled back inside.

So, it was a decisive victory for the Germans, mostly due to a poor beginning by the forces of law and order, and Goeg and Rasmus's curious decision to attack the building in one large group. It was a fun game I think, with the scarcity of elements doing little to prevent mayhem and every one seemed to be enjoying themselves whilst Oleg and I had the additional pleasure of watching the others making a right mess of things. There was an imbalance of forces, given the Germans were better troops in a defensive position, but the size of the building meant the Germans couldn't cover all of it. This it transpired didn't really matter though.

I am too tired to write the aftermath now, so I'll post it in a seperate post in the very near future.

Rocketman takes to the air

Mad German Scientist drops infernal device from high window... does it get any better than this?

The usual suspects

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5 comments:

Grimsby Mariner said...

Great fun, great game & great looking scenery.
I know I keep saying it but I'm convinced that there's money to be made from your project. It all looks like such fun and with your skills in design & construction it just seems to make sense.
I wish I had even a modicum of your ability.

Oleg said...

Rasmus, Geog and I did have a rough plan.
We knew that the Schattentroppen and Johan were tough opponents, so our sneaky characters would sneak, our tough characters would engage, and the rest would support.
I took Vixen (sneaky and tough in hand-to-hand combat) and the 2 Frenchmen one way. The others... did something else.

When they lined up in a neat queue outside the cinema, I almost stopped the game (as, I believe, did Jan), but my characters were not in line of sight, so this would have been bad form.

The game itself was fun, only marred by:
Us losing, and;
That the 2 fights progressed at different rates, as the 'massacre' took mere seconds of game time, though a couple of hours of realtime. Meanwhile, I was all for sneaking in slowly (in game time), but Jan and I had to slow down to the same rate as the others.

Jan and I both rolled appalling 'attack' dice, and at least average 'defence' dice.
We suspect that the characters were using water balloons and water pistols.

The scenery was, as ever, superb. Grey card representing grey breeze blocks (that's cinder blocks for Americans... when was this first used?).
It was fun to rip it up with grenades.

Did Metzger die to his own (stolen) explosives?
And did (will) Jan wreck the 3" radius and take photos?

Palle "Nybyggeren" said...

Small correction, the sneaking Schattentruppe had only a water pistol as well, despite surprising the heroes. He was himself downed by Mitchell's BAR after jumping into the conservatory to escape the dynamic (and triggerhappy) duo. It was Metzger's infernal device that took him out as he had moved up next to the Chineese.

I suspect inexperience from Rasmus and Goeg was a contributing factor. I too, could hardly believe my eyes as they clumped together in a killing zone with overlapping Fields of Fire and below windows were grenade-equipped troops were crouthing. Had we won initiative the game might have ended on turn 1.

I jumped out the windows agin as it was an opportunity to catch RM, Mitchell and the two remaining Chinese in a similar killing zone inside, dropping behind the second and immediately taking him out while the two remaining inside went upstairs with the demolition charges they took from Mc'Arthur's backpack. It was just too good an opportunity and was supposed to keep The Dynamic Duo in place until I could drop a charge on them.

My Schattentruppe who was left outside when Johann turned up was glad his friend lowered a firehose for him though.

I like Johann, may I keep him? ;-)

rozni said...

I laughed when I read how Lavarre and the Germans shot and lobbed grenades at each other... and nothing happened. Everyone at the table must have been giggling!

Palle "Nybyggeren" said...

@ Rozni, I was too busy killing Chineese and trying to outmaneuvre RM. It was effectively two different games in each end of the table.