Last Thursday, we had our next “episode” of the BSG campaign, where we are following a side story of what happened to Pegasus (in our continuity), when they returned to the Colonies to keep the Cylons busy while the fleet headed for Earth.

One of the elements I threw at the characters were that their Cylon prisoners all “feel” a presence — the means by which they uploaded seemed to be trying to make a connection to them. The players, of course, know this is about the time of the Blaze (Hades) reaching New Ophiuchi and attempting to reboot an old sliver of the TITAN, Hecate.

Worse, reconnaissance of the Colonies shows the Cylons, freed from their Seraph masters, have been busily setting up infrastructure to make power, and more centurions and old-school raiders. (The assumption is the method for making the biomechanical ones is either beyond them, ideologically dissonant, or takes too long.) They find out there are resistance movements on nearly all the Colonial worlds, but that the situation is more chaotic than expected. Rather than humans vs. the bad guys, there are Seraph-human alliances, but also widespread human on human post-apocalyptic “gang” warfare. Pulling everyone together to fight the toasters might prove more difficult than they expected. They also find out the Cylons are firing up some of the old materiel the Colonials had in storage, which gave us a new setting location GMs might find useful: the “Boneyard.”

After the Cylon War, the Colonies didn’t need as many ships in operation, and many of the old vessels were pretty battered. Fortunately, space is really big, so they mothballed a large swathe of their old warships at the Cyrannus Military Aerospace Repository (C-MAR) or “Boneyard.” Positioned at the barycenter of the four suns, it’s a stable, gravitational liberation point. C-MAR consists of a massive anchorage for parts, ammunition, and other storage, and is surrounded by ships spaced in a arc around the station, spaced 200 miles or so apart, that occasionally have their positions stabilized by tugs. There were, at the time of the attacks, about 150 escorts, tenders,flatops and other mobile docks, and other light vessels from the first War to the present in storage and in various conditions — from a parts ship waiting to be cut up for scrap, to ships that could be restarted and made ready with a few weeks work. Also here were five salvageable “heavies” — two of the surviving Columbia-class from the first war: Athena and Atlantia (which had been replaced with a Mercury-class), as well a post-war build ColumbiaAres. There was also the “death ship”, so called for her myriad failures that caused her eventual decommissioning  — a Minerva-class named Hera. 

The Cylons were restoring AthenaAres, and Atlatntia to operational status, and the place is only defended by raiders on CAP. It was decided to go in and destroy two, and attempt to “cut out” one of the ships. They chose Ares to grab, used their escort Demosthenes to carry shuttles with nearly every marine they had, and a large, armed DC team. They jump in, Pegasus and Hecate banging away on Atlantia and the still-crippled Athena, maneuvering on her reaction props only. The ships are moving slowly, and their combat response is lackluster — they suspect the ships are mostly automated. They quickly destroy the latter, but the Cylons try to ram Pegasus, and succeed only in glancing off of her (still does a lot of damage!)

Meanwhile, the PCs aboard Aegis make their attempt to shield Demosthenes assault on Ares, first hitting the landing bays to clear out the few raiders aboard the old battlestar. This turned into a good dogfight, while Old D launched her boarding party. Problem the first: Ares was mostly complete — her engines are online, the FTL is operational, and she’s got ordinance to throw. There was a good fight that with judicious use of plot points by the PC commanding the ship lead to no damage to Aegis and Ares’ guns disabled.

The boarding party, with had a “10” along to help them with the automation, meets solid resistance, but they have numbers on the Cylons. The 10 is able to gain access to the ship’s network the Cylons established and trick the centurions into repelling a fake assault in a place that Aegis could hit with their guns (the arm to the flight pods.) He’s able to get the FTL up and running, and they take the ship with relatively low losses.

We ended the night there, as we had run late and the wife and daughter were wanting to get to sleep…

Last week’s game was primarily a “let’s talk about our feelings” and planning episode. Tonight, we should be getting down to the business of killin’ toasters.

This is truly going to be a “quick review”, as I only got to shoot a few dozen rounds through my friend’s M&P. First, the overview:

209921_01_md

The particular model was the “Viking Tactical” — which fits my friend’s Teutonic beginnings quite well. The VTAC has nice fiber optic green sights that work very well. They’re visible, quick to come to bear. The rest of the gun is the standard M&P striker-fired 17 round 9mm full size in the reprehensible desert brown. It has the replaceable backstraps that Walther made so popular with the P99, and it’s a simple weapon with just a slide release and mag release. no safety. The slide is easy to operate, the trigger is stiff and a bit heavy when compared to the wonderful Walther PPQ and H&K VP9, but the weapon shoots lightly and the accuracy seems decent for a service weapon. We put some 115 gr. lead and 124 copper jackets through the pistol and there were no issues with function.

This is a popular gun for police (or I should say the standard M&P is) due to the backstrap and cheap deals for law enforcement. It’s a decent full size choice for females with smallish hands, and I was not blown away by the pistol, but I certainly wouldn’t have minded having it as an issue gun; it’s light years better than the Beretta M9, but I think my metal frame CZ-85 is still a superior shooter.

Here’s the trailer for Alan Tudyk’s Con Men — a 12 episode show about an actor who has seen his career stall after the cancelation of a much-loved sci-fi show, while his counterpart (played by Nathan Fillion) has gone on to fame and fortune.

The movie was crowdfunded and will be available in a few months on demand from Vimeo. It’s got a ton of familiar faces in the trailer — including most of the cast of Firefly, looks like.

Here’s hoping it does very very well.

Presenting the 1869 Roper Velocepede — a dual-cylinder steam-powered motorcycle with a 1-ish horsepower motor. A later version in the late 1870s/early 1880s was a single-cylinder that produced 3HP and could hit a face-peeling 40 mph!

Here’s an example…and it still runs!

Here’s some specs for Hollow Earth Expedition or its Victorian-period game, Leagues of Adventure or the new Space: 1889

Size: 0   Def: 6   Struct: 4   Speed: 20   Han: 0   Crew: 1   Pass: 0

 

The Steyr TMP has been a staple of action movies for a decade, but was a somewhat lackluster piece of equipment in real life. However, Brügger & Thomet, a Swiss defense contractor that specializes in sound suppressors, bought the design and did improvements to it that led to its recent adoption by the Swiss military for its echelon troops. (It is also popular with some police departments around the world.)

B&T MP9-N

rimg_3707-tfb-660x495

Also called the Machinenpistole 14, the MP9-N is a selective-fire 9x19mm personal defense weapon in the same vein as the P-90 or H&K MP7. It is capable of 1100 RPM, and uses either a 15, 20, or 30 round magazine, usually clear plastic to allow the user to do a spot ammunition check. It uses an H&K style selector, rather than the original Steyr cross-bolt safety/selector, has a folding stock, and a Piccatiny-style rail for attaching tactical lights or lasers.

PM: 0   S/R: 2/10   AMMO: 30   DC: F/I   CLOS: 0-8   LONG: 25-50   CON: +3   JAM: 98+   DRAW: -2   RL: 2   COST: $3000

GM Information: With a suppressor affixed, the MP9-N specs change in several areas:

PM: +1   DC: E/H   CLOS: 0-6   LONG 18-30   CON: n/a   DRAW: -3

The ending act to the last “episode” was last week — having captured a half dozen humanoid Cylons and their 10 human charges, the crew of Hecate was charged with interrogating them for intelligence on the disposition of the Colonies, and any other information that might be useful. The characters, and especially Admiral Cain, were horrified by the “traumatic bonding” they saw in the humans toward their captors.

The nominal leader of the skin jobs is “Victor”, a Twelve. (We have our own Cylon models for the game, for those just tuning in, and their personalities vaguely parallel the Lords of Kobol they were based on…no surprise as their “God”, the Blaze, was in reality Hades, one of those lords who warred on his family.) Victor is a massive, amiable Oliver Platt sort, who from the jump has been cooperative. He realizes that with the internecine fighting between his kind and the centurions, as well as the humans, he’s got little choice but to try and cut alliances.

We learned that he and “Kara” — an Eleven (our “Boomer”) — had been the commander and a lead researcher, respectively, at a “Farm”, a fertility research center to aid the Seraph (what the Cylons call themselves) with their inability to breed. The descriptions were appropriately horror movie quality. Victor claims to have been against the War with the Colonies, and the humans confirmed that from the start, Victor’s Farm regularly had mass escapes that they know were staged by Victor. Three of the humans — a father and his two little girls — had been rescued from experimentation and worked in “the Big House” because he took pity on them. Apparently, Victor has a soft spot for kids (and not in a creepy way.)

Kara, on the other hand, has a lover, a young biochemistry grad student she rescued from sex slavery to aid her in their research. It’s obvious this kid is badly traumatized and is convinced he’s in love with the 11. He’s also established something we learned with the Galactica fleet — the Seraph have strange mental blocks that prevent them from hacking their own software and hardware.

There is a Five from the same camp that was in charge of bringing back the escapees. She hates Victor, disagrees with him on almost everything, but in the end, when the centurions rebelled, he was the one that saved the three Seraph, and over a hundred humans by talking the centurions down. They had a small loyal cadre the Five commanded until a final battle with well-organized Cylon forces that destroyed mot of the Seraph and human resistance in their particular province of Virgon.

The last two Seraph: a Four (the Simon model from the show) was a sleeper agent that had been in place for about a decade, having taken the identity of a young doctor named Ross Andromachus. His research was actually instrumental in the treatment the commander PC received the repair his several spinal nerves after an accident in a viper seven years ago. (The reason he is no longer a Viper pilot.) Once activated, he attempted to rescue his wife, unsuccessfully, and wound up running a Farm near Boskirk, and attempted to make the situation for the subjects less than odious (unsuccessfully), but did set as many people free as he could once the centurions rebelled. He was captured by human resistance fighters, but vouched for by a few of those he set free. He was a prisoner of the human resistance and was their doctor until he was released as part of a deal to ally with Victor’s group of rebels.

Last is a Ten they call “Chief” of “the Engineer”, who had been just that on Basestar 16. He is ambivalent about the humans — he was a soldier at war with them. It’s nothing personal, but they were the enemy. Now they both have a more pressing issue — the toasters. As such, he’s willing to work with them to try and figure out how to kill the murder machines. He had little knowledge of the situation on the ground, but was able to confirm the general numbers of the Cylon forces in the Colonies — six basestars and two battlestars that had been taken in combat. He also confirmed something the others commented on — the centurions have been rapidly retrofitting factories to build more Cylons. If they don’t hurry to the Colonies, they might soon find themselves up to their necks in machines. The upside, building even the simpler, older versions of basestars will take months.

The characters learned that the situation on the ground is better and worse than they expected. The big worlds, like Canceron, Aerilon, Virgon and Leonis, survived the nuclear assaults much better than anticipated. While the environments are badly toxic in many places, the worlds are still habitable in the right areas. The resistance groups, both human and Seraph, are fighting relatively small number of centurions — battalion to division levels, at most. However, Virgon — for instance — had a long history of weapons ban and regulations; the resistance fighters are making due to cobbled together arms, low-capacity hunting guns, bows and arrows, and whatever they could grab from the centurions and Colonial units destroyed. Many of the survivors are locked in conflict with each other for food, water, medicine, or power — people gone mad. (Cars in the post-apocalyptic desert!)

We learned that certain worlds are doing better than others in fighting back: Canceron, with its rich liberal/libertarian tradition, was long considered “crazy” for their tendency to prep for disaster, for their love of guns and free speech, and being left the hell alone. Now, with a gun behind every blade of grass, and despite being one of the targets for heavy nuclear bombardment, Canceron is holding up quite well against the toasters…but their problems with in-fighting and crazies just trying to get by is exacerbated by their individualistic tendencies. The two worlds doing the best are the jungle-heavy Libran, and the Scandinavian-like Aquaria, where the centurions have a hard time with the environment.

There was a lot of concern about what to do with the captives. The admiral doesn’t want to waste food and time on those they can’t trust and have no utility to the mission, Hecate‘s CO (a PC) wants to wring them for all the utility they have and certainly doesn’t want to dispose of the humans, and the CAG of Hecate (another PC), finds herself in the unenviable position of pushing the policies of the government they left behind — treat the Cylons as POWs with a certain level of human rights.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 114 other followers