Our series of adventures concerning the Pegasus task force continued last night. After a hard fight at the main Cylon staging base, we picked up a few weeks later. The ships are repaired, and are close to arriving at the Colonies. There was some character stuff for this episode involving a B story in which the ship’s command chief “lost” his coffee mug he’d been working on for years of his service. (Most of the navy guys I know would only do a cursory cleaning of the mug, claiming the brown staining on the mug aided the flavor. One guy, at DLI, lost his mind when a young airman, hoping to earn points with him, cleaned his mug spotless…this is where I first heard the term “fuck knuckle”.) The mug had been a last present from his father, who had retired from the same ship the chief was first stationed on, and who passed away shortly after from cancer.

(We’ve established that most people who serve in the fleet for a few tours come down with some form of cancer in the future. It’s one of the realities of living in a high radiation environment.)

Eventually, the MARDET commander/master at arms find out that a few of the CIC crew that were ridden hard by the chief stole the mug and took it to the mess hall to be power washed. She stops this, returns the mug, then quietly lets the chief know who did it, so he can exact his revenge.

While this is going on, a recon mission to one of the Cylon supply depots returns to reveal that they found two basestars — one new design, and one of the basestars from the first war — destroyed and in close proximity to each other. There’s enough heat from the ships to suggest they were slugging it out only a few days ago, and weak wireless transmission show there are surviving skin jobs of centurions on the respective vessels. Cain gives Hecate the go-ahead to investigate.

They find a dense debris field of dead raiders, heavy raiders, bodies of humanoid Cylons, and centurions of old and new design, all drifting together over the small world with the supply base. They board the newer basestar, hoping to gather intelligence, and after a long search, they find supplies — food, medicine, munitions…and survivors. They come across a Twelve (in our campaign, a large Oliver Platt-sort), and an Eleven (these are our Boomers) protecting a half dozen humans, including a pair of little girls. The humans, surprisingly, protect these two from injury, and after a tense standoff in which the children protect the Twelve — whom they call “Victor”, they are able to secure the skin jobs.

Victor helps them locate the other survivors, and after a short fight with a fire team of centurions, they rescue three more humanoids Cylons, and four humans that had been rescued by a Four (the “Simon” from the show.) After salvaging what they could, the team had to abandon the basestar ahead of a group of surviving centurions, and destroy the ships.

The basic story they had managed to put together was that the modern basestar, allied with Seraph (the humanoid Cylons serving “the Blaze”) had come here to raid the supply base and return home to Kobol, and that the older basestar showed up. A point-blank fight ensued and both ships were killed in the fight.

They returned to the fleet with their prisoners and supplies and we ended the night with the inevitable “what to do with the skin jobs” conversation with Admiral Cain, and interrogations, in the offing. and what to do about the humans, who appear to have traumatic bonding (one of the players coined the term “Delphi Syndrome”)?

Here’s the bad guy group for our upcoming Atomic Robo game.

DIE SPINNE (THE SPIDER):

The Spider is a group connected to ODESSA or, “Organisation der Ehemaligen SSAngehörigen” (Organization of Former SS Members) that has helped hundreds of SS members escape Germany in the hopes of setting up the infrastruture aroudn the world to bring about “The Fourth Reich.”

Mission Statement: The Dream Lives On!

Mode: Fair (+2) Resources: Intel, Transport +3; Armory, R&D +2

Pressures: Hunted Worldwide, Working in the Shadows

 

I’ve been busily putting together a new series of adventures for the group. This volume will start in World War II and end in 1959, and involves tracking Colonel Skorzeny, Vanadis Valkyrie, and one of their labs of evil in northern Greece, then following their trail through ODESSA in South America…

COMMANDO: This is essentially a reworking of the soldier weird mode and would have similar stunts. It’s an 11 point package.

Skills: Athletics, Combat, Notice, Physique, Stealth, Vehicles, Will; no improvements.

PARTISAN: Again, a reworking of the soldier package, it’s an 11 pointer.

Skills: Athletics, combat, Contacts, Notice, Stealth, Tactics, Vehicles; no improvements. Use Soldier or Action-like stunts.

…and from an earlier weird mode:

WHEELMAN: The wheelman is an expert with a vehicle (usually car, truck, boat…) and is often hired to get people in and out of a mission safely. The thought here is to emulate the bootlegger turned racer or getaway driver.

Skills: Contacts, Mechanic, Notice, Vehicles (6 points); Improvements: Specialize two trained skills.

Sample Stunts: Duck in That Alley!: For a Fate Point, use Vehicle instead of Stealth to hide from a pursuer; Just a Good Ol’ Boy: +2 with Vehicle skill to create an advantage when attempting a fancy stunt; Peddle to the Metal: +1 to vehicle test when overcoming in a chase; Rev’ It: Use Vehicle instead of Provoke when in a vehicle; She’ll Hold Together: The vehicle driven has an Armor: 2.

You’re welcome, world.

Another game that came in from Noble Knight yesterday was Castle Panic by Fireside Games. It’s a cooperative game where players try to defend their castle from rampaging monsters. You have a six-walled tower, with six protective walls, and six zones to defend. You draw five cards, which allow you to hit the monsters at different ranges — archer, knight, swordsman, or castle (where you need a barbarian to take out the monsters before they knock the whole she-bang down and you lose.

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It’s a deceptively simple game. The cards give you zones you can defend at the respective distances, and you can trade between players to try and strategize to stop the creatures. The actual doing is a lot harder. The few times I’ve played it, it takes between 45 minutes and an hour and a half. It’s great fun, there are a few expansions available, and at $30 is a steal. Definite buy.

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I decided the fam has been playing enough board games i needed to get a few that weren’t quite as complex as, say, Supremacy or Firefly even. We’ve got a four year old that’s pretty bright for her age, and was really engaged by Munchkin, so I looked for games with easier base games in subjects she might like.

She loves cars and motorcycles, and racing, so enter Formula D — a later edition of the French Formula Dé board game by Asmodee. It’s supposedly for 10 and older, but we found the simple rules were easy enough for Sofia to grasp, and she quickly started to understand the ideas behind “slow in, fast out” and how to shift appropriately.

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The game has two boards for the race — Monaco and a street race we haven’t tried yet. Wee toy cars are placed on the board, and each player gets a marker box with a shifter from 1-6th gear. Each gear has a corresponding die that is rolled for your speed per round: a d2 for first, d6 with 2-4 for second, d8 for third, d12 for fourth, d20 for fifth, and d30 for sixth. Your car can take a certain number of wear points. Downshift to hard, brake to hard, overshoot a turn too hard and you lose these. Take a turn far too fast, you wreck and are done. It requires some canny reading of the distances to start working the shifter to your advantage.

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The advanced game breaks the wear across tires, engine, etc. and there look to be characters you can play. There’s even weather rules. When the kiddo is old enough, I suspect we can start tacking on the harder stuff.

Would it be more “realistic” to play each other on a gaming console? Sure, but there’s a certain fun to sitting at the kitchen table, throwing different types of dice and chatting while playing a game. It’s tactile, it’s teaching her (subtly) probabilities and how to judge distances, etc.

I found a copy with no troubles at Noble Knight for $35. There’s four different expansion packs, each with two new and different tracks at $30. It’s a great example of how simple rules can still lead to complex strategizing. If you see a copy, and you’re into board games and racing games, it’s a buy.

After concluding our first volume in our Atomic Robo game, we shifted fire back to Battlestar Galactica, where we began the first of a series of adventures chronicling what happened when Pegasus split from the fleet (In our campaign, that is….)

The characters are CDR Philip Oscari, the CO of Hecate, a Berzerk-class escort or “light battlestar”. He’s seems a quiet and thoughtful man, but underneath the tight control he has, he’s still the former enlisted marine that went into the service to avoid jail time. The other is CPT Danica “Fists” Tanner, a Gina Carano-esuqe former professional fighter than joined the Colonial Fleet to fly vipers, and who is also the commander of their marine detachment.

It started with a nice intro scene recapping the happenings at that time — the Kobol mission had just concluded, and with the destruction of that world and the ongoing Cylon Civil War, the leadership decided there was a good chance Pegasus could shake up the bad guys and keep them off of the fleet while it continued the Exodus to Earth. We had a nice cameo of some of our main campaign characters, and the challenge was to try and recreate their attitudes and emotions from that time. After some politicking and the threat of having to “terminate the command” of the commander PC from the main game, Pegasus gathered the materiel necessary to head back toward the Colonies to distract and harry the Cylon menace.

Using the intelligence from skin jobs captured by Galactica, they were able to stage an attack on a major Cylon staging post a few light years away from Kobol. The battle proved to be extremely difficult and the players’ ship, Hecate — a Berzerk-class escort — as well as Pegasus, took a hell of a drubbing, but managed to win out against a major base with tylium mine and a new centurion production facility.

They found that all the skin jobs had been murdered and stacked like cordwood outside the base in the minimal carbon dioxide atmosphere. They also raided the Cylon computer system using software Baltar designed to read and translate the data to Colonial formats. To their surprise, the Cylons are a lot weaker than they seem. Between the vessels that are chasing the fleet and the civil war, a lot of Cylon materiel is considered destroyed. They confirm that there are only six basestars running patrol in the Colonies, along with two battlestars they’ve cut out of mothballs.

They realize there’s a very real chance of pushing the Cylons out of the Colonies, if they can win the space game. The ground game, however, will be the real challenge. There are plenty of Cylons on some of the worlds — corps and army-level numbers, but other worlds have no more than a battalion or two holding them due to low population density. The other intelligence they’ve gleaned (remember, this is only a few months after the Fall of the Colonies):

Aerilon was mostly spared the nukes, as the humanoid Cylons (or Seraph, as they call themselves) needed the farmland; there’s heavy resistance movements around the world. There looks to be alliances between some of the survivors and the remaining humanoid Cylons. [20,000 centurions, mostly near the cities not fully destroyed]

Aquaria wasn’t really worth nukes — they used centurions. There’s a healthy and highly successful resistance in the snow and mountains of the world. Most of the floating cities were sunk. [down to 1000, mostly in the two major cities.]

Canceron was hit hard due to the large population, but they are still having trouble subduing the world — suddenly those survivalists don’t look so quaint or stupid. There’s heavy environmental damage, but it’s still habitable. The Cylons have large-scale industrial projects to pump out more centurions — they will be near completion by the time the characters get home. [50,000 centurions]

Caprica got hit the worst, after Picon. There are still survivors, but the world is mostly dead. The Cylons have large-scale industrial projects to pump out more centurions — they will be near completion by the time they get home. [10, 000 centurions, mostly in areas around Caprica City and Delphi.]

Gemenon — the world was borderline inhabitable, anyway; the nukes have killed it. [1000 centurions]

Leonis is much like Canceron — it got hit hard, but the world is big and had absorbed more radiation damage than the Colonials expected it could. The big cities are gone, for the most part, and there is heavy Cylon presence. Resistance movements planetwide, and there are rumors the Leonine Navy (their Coast Guard) is actively fighting the toasters The Last Ship-style. (This would make for an interesting B- story paralleling the rag-tag fleet in a campaign, I think…) The Cylons have large-scale industrial projects to pump out more centurions — they will be near completion by the time they get home. [50,000 centurions]

Libran wasn’t worth more than a few nukes. The world is proving very difficult to tame due to rough terrain and heavy jungle. A small but effective resistance has been winnowing down the centurion numbers…not bad for a bunch of hedonists and beach bums, eh? Setting up industrial bas to produce more centurions. [down to 2000 centurions]

Picon — Destroyed between the nukes and the reentry of Picon HQ. [5000 — mostly doing materiel collection]

Sagittaron — The cities are gone and there was almost no resistance to the Cylons. There are a lot of survivors hiding around the world, and the centurions are converting the industrial base to their needs. [10,000 centurions, mostly doing industrial work]

Scorpia — destroyed between the nukes and the shipyards falling out of the sky. [5000 centurions — mostly doing materiel collection]

Tauron — Destroyed between the nukes and the shipyard falling out of the sky thanks to Pegasus. [see Scorpia]

VIrgon — See Leonis.

Cyrannus Shipyards — the ‘boneyard’ saw Cylon action and the last information they have was that the centurions had equipped a bunch of the mothballed ships for combat to bolster their basestar numbers. There’s mostly transports and raiders in the area, and a company’s worth of centurions automating the hulks they’re cutting out.

The better news — there are at least three other Colonial vessels harassing the Cylons — 2 Erynis-class light battlestars positively identified as Aegis and Valkyrie, and one Berzerk-class battlestar, Enyo. They might be able to find these ships on their way to the Colonies.

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