Post Fri Aug 14, 2015 6:39 am

Gaming Along the Tartarus Rim

The Following is a writeup for a game I'm planning to run in my house RT style setting. With apologies, I am ignoring the format suggested in the rules post as I've no idea of points values, or even system someone else might use. I'm presently planning to use StarGrunt II for this scenario, though that's subject to change at whim or expediency.

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Fluff
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Episode Three - Pandora's Box

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Sensitive Eyes Only Communication Follows.

To: Guildmaster Bogino Ganbaatar
Aboard BKNS Chingis Khagan
From: Sir Percy Bysshe Jackson III, Territorial Governor Tartarus Rim

The Tartarus Rim Government has lost contact with a small, but sensitive biotechnology development outpost on a remote moon in the Anesidora system. A scheduled supply and mail run from Proserpine failed to arrive at Tartarus Gate. The cause of the communication loss is unknown at this time. Emissions characteristic of Orchian spacecraft were detected at the Hecate Observation Post shortly before the supply freighter was scheduled to leave Anesidora. It is believed one or more small craft may have crossed near the system. This may be related, and even if it is only coincidence it is one more reason for extreme caution. The research, backed directly by Imperial grants, is highly classified and extremely important. The Rim Government has elected to respond with a well armed expedition. Elements of the Fifth and Second companies of the Burgkhan Kaldun Guard have been tasked to investigate, recover key files, and secure the area if possible. You will take charge of this expedition, loading the elements aboard your cruiser at Burgkhan Kaldun Prime and carrying them at best possible speed to Anesidora for covert terminator dusk-drop for lowest visible and IR detectability. All possible measures should be used to maintain ELINT secrecy. I cannot overemphasize the importance of this mission.

Attached you will find a complete load-out list, a personnel list with briefs, and coordinates for the system, moon, and outpost.

Godspeed,
Sir Percy

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Setup and Rough Forces
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This began as a variation on a Pulp Alley scenario: The Trail of Clues. The setup is simple. There are two entry areas on adjacent sies of the table. The destination is the opposite corner to that between the two entry sides. There are four playable hilly areas, one at each corner. The player or players are to start in the valleys. There is light vegetation on the high ground at the outside of each entry area and there is a small farmstead between them with several structures and some cover centered on a third hill. The fourth corner and much of the center of the board is occupied by a fenced compound. There are two entrances, a gate and a breach in the fence. There are three major structures inside the fence and a few small ones near the fence or just outside it. The major structures are the objectives, with the research data being in one of them. The table needn't be precisely symmetrical, but I've worked to make it fair should there be two players. If there is only one that's actually not a problem, the second force just becomes a hazard of sorts.

The first force is, of course, Ganbaatar's reinforced platoon's worth of troops. (Squats, for those unfamiliar with my setting.)

The second force is the ork force whose passing is mentioned in the text. Their size and composition can be a little more flexible. (Ranging from rough parity should this be a balanced encounter, to many more or fewer if they are NPCs, as the scenario drives you.)

In the basic PA scenario two opposing bands each search for clues as to the ultimate location of the objective. The first four clues are minor objectives placed early (say in the tank or the guard shack.) Each player places two at a set distance from his or her force. Only on securing any two of them can a player attempt the final objective.

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GM Eyes Only!!!
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The orks weren't the cause of the problem. The place has been overrun . . . by genestealers. Looks like the test subjects got loose and took over the lab. I'd say virus bomb it from orbit, but the bosses back on Proserpine and Gründlewald (or wherever orks call home) really want the plans.

In this game there are several ways you could play it. First, the players need to find the location of the secret plans: maybe they're scrawled on notes in the tank or the guard shack or both. Next the players need the code to open the security gate. (Say the blue door on that control bunker, maybe, which was perhaps where the researchers made their last stand.) Any attempt to destroy the reinforced plot-devicium door will likely prove unsuccessful. Of course there's a blip or two of bugs in any building you might choose to enter. Maybe another in the basement that could enter a turn or so later. Search fast. And it's quite possible a patriarch somehow got into the control bunker at the end and locked the door behind him. GM's discretion there.

Of course if the orks are NPCs they can enter a set number of turns after the sound of funfire. (They love that stuff.) There could be as few as a half dozen or dozen. There could be a tide of the things. Depends on how tough your Imperial Turducken force might be. Obviously with Squats they'll be busy enough with the (somewhat smaller) number of genestealers they have to face. (Of course I could let the squats call in some Arty. They have a little with them, but not enough. On the other hand, they also have a cruiser in orbit. Maybe the greenies do too. They got here somehow.)

So you have some flexibility. I'm not quite finalized on how I'm going to run this. Depends on how many players I get. It's basically a variation on a fun and quite chaotic game I played when I was in high school (that involved an ork dreadnought hurling boyz across a near bottomless chasm, since the beakies had blown the darn bridge. Oh the fun you can have with a two piece ping-pong table and a decent layout's worth of model railroad industrial buildings. Ignore the scale. Do the marines fit in that two story warehouse? Okay.) More will follow as the thing actually plays out, but hopefully it will be fun. The writeup is on my blog, and the AAR doubtless will be in time, but there's actually quite a bit more here.