Friday, 18 July 2014

A stroll in gangland; a FiveCore/Five Parsecs from Home AAR

FiveCore and the upcoming Five Parsecs from Home add-on is a small-scale skirmish wargame, usually involving 5 or so models per side. FiveCore is the basic rules and mechanics, while FPfH is the sci-fi setting in the style of old Rogue Trader/Traveller/Necromunda.

I have been eager to try these rules out, and I managed to make some time this morning.

I decided to roll up some characters for this game, since I wasn't starting a campaign, but rather trying the whole thing out.

I ended up with two motley crews, one a group of adventurers and the others were bandits and gangers.

The adventurers had a snakeman with a blast rifle and a old blade and a scoundrel carrying a handgun and a brutal close combat weapon of alien origin. An bounty hunter carrying a rattle-gun (a sort of lmg), along with a soldier with a mighty Fury rifle make up the heavies of the group. The last member is a smuggler, and he brings his hand cannon to the party.

The Gangers were not as heavyly armed; three of their number had standard auto-rifles, extensively modified and repaired assault rifles. Leading the group is an older ganger, carrying a handgun and close combat weapon,and their last member has a hunting rifle.

Unbeknownst to the adventuring Group, they had walked in to the turf of the gangers, and the band of cutthroats didn't particularly like having surprise visitors.

The stage set, we go do the battlefield: (I apologize for the quality of some of the images, the morning sun decided to make an apperance after I'd set everything up..)

 This collection of condemned or broken buildings, shipping containers and junk is what the gangers call their home. For some reason they seem to think it worth defending, while the adventurers thought they wandered into a abandoned part of the settlement.

 Knowing that they can't show themselves weak in front of the other gangers, the whole group surges forward. (I started the first game turn with rolling a special turn, allowing the entire group, rather than the standard 2, to activate in a turn. They are however not allowed to fire during this scurry.)

After some deliberation, the adventurers only moved one of their number any noticable distance, the Soldier with the Fury rifle. Then the next turn started. One ganger moved confidently up to the side of the closest building, to keep any more enemies from advancing further.

When she sees the Snakeman poke his head out of cover to take a shot, she shoots first! A burst of auto-rifle fire nearly misses the Snakeman, who calmly returns fire with this blast rifle. The searing bolt of energy makes a perfect hit and the ganger goes down, out of action.
First blood to the adventurers!

 On the left flank, the Scoundrel moves up in an attempt to take out more of the bandits they are now facing!

  They do however spot him! Before he has a chance to fire, the rain of bullets forces him to duck back behind the cover of the wall.

 Behind the barriers on the rightmost flank, one more of the gang's members is slowly making his way around, hoping to ambush his foes.

 Back on the left, the auto-rifle carrying girl ganger moves as fast as she can, hoping to catch up to the Scoundrel. Spotting movement, the Smuggler gets ready to enter the house through the window.

The Bounty hunter comes up from the rear, passing into the middle of the area. Being used to grim work like this, he can feel his prey is close..

 Deciding to try a 2-pronged attack, both the ganger in the red jacket, as well as their sharpshooter, moves closer to corner the Soldier.

 Moving carefully, the Bounty Hunter can now see what he thinks is the enemy gang-leader.

 The next turn is quite uneventfull, since the gangers rolled a firefight round (it's the opposite of the scurry that happened in the first turn, all the gangers are allowed to fire, but they aren't allowed to move).
 With only one model with LoS, the gangers didn't want to take the chance of any return fire. The adventurers managed to roll a another scurry, so they repositioned themselves slightly. The Smuggler now had a bead on the female ganger.

 The sharpshooter moves up to the wall.
 A Huge boom is heard as the handcannon fires at the ganger. It knocks her off her feet, she is down, trying to drag herself into cover.

Thinking he could flush him out, the Bounty hunter moves up to round the corner, ready to force the leader out into the open. The leader is no fool though, and he quickly turns to fire when the adventurer crosses into his sights. Quick reflexes is all that saves the Bounty hunter, but he is forced to retreat to the safety behind a nearby wall.

Realizing the situation is grim, the leader breaks cover and dashes to try and help his downed comrade. Bullets fly left and right as the rattle-gun pours fire after him. He manages to dodge it all, only to take a slug in the back from the Smugglers hand cannon. "Bulls-eye!" he shouts as the sand is dyed crimson.

 Struggling to her feet, firing as she goes, the female ganger drives the Smuggler back, he moves into the shadows of the building. At the same time, the ganger in the red jacket fires on the Snakeman, but he only hits a lot of sand..

 Deciding that enough is enough, the Smuggler and Scoundrel both advance towards the ganger.

 Once again a firefight turn is rolled, but since the gangers don't have any viable targets, they elect to do nothing. ( I later realized that I should have played it as a scurry instead, since I didn't have any targets.. First time with new rules, a few mistakes are bound to be made, no?)

The Snakeman moves closer to red jacket that shot at him..

 And the Bounty hunter lend his support to his friends. 

 His help does preciously little but make him a target for the now vengeful girl. Her aim is true, she scores the first out of action result for the gangers!

 Still outnumbered, she elects to move around to try and avoid the duo hunting her.
Snakeman is readying himself to take on the red jacket, when something catches his eye. the female gangers retreat brought her straight into his sights, with no cover to boot!

 A second bolt of energy is fired from the blast rifle, and it's accuracy is as deadly as ever. Having finally lost too much blood, the female ganger slumps over against the wall.

 Having tried supressing the Soldier several times off-camera, the sharpshooter decides to try a new approach. He comes running around the corner, swinging his rifle like a big club, taking his adversary by surprise.
 It's short, bloody work, but the Soldier finaly goes down after a savage beating from the ganger.

 Having seen the whole thing unfold, the Scoundrel is eager to get his companion back to a med unit, and he might just be looking for a little retribution.

  His alien sword is made from a super-dense alloy, he grabs it in both hands and with the added momentum of his charge, he crashes into the ganger.
  Being caught somewhat off-guard by his sudden apperance, the ganger flies through the air, his rifle cut in two and his breastbone split. He hits the wall behind him, and the world goes dark.

Being the last man standing, the red jacket ganger decides to flee. He'll come back for his friends later, with a black-market doc he knows. The adventurers gather up their wounded comrades and head off for some well deserved rest, after looting the gangers quarters, of course.

It was an interesting game, with a few twists, but ultimately luck really favored the Adventurers. The way the system is designed the characters don't have any stats in the traditional sense, they are all rather equal.
  What sets them apart is the skills and upgrades they have, letting them do things otherwise not allowed, rerolling Dice etc.
   This doesn't really show so much in a pick-up style game like this one, but in a campaign it will really make the whole party come alive, allowing for truly unique characters. I think it's very much in the spirit of games like necromunda and laserburn, which I very much approve of.

   The system as a whole plays fast, I think it was easy to get into and start playing. The whole game was about 12 turns, and it took only slightly longer than an hour!
   It is very deadly though, so using cover and the reaction fire mechanics is key. As you might have noticed in the battle above, there was more than one time when someone peeked out of cover to fire, only to get suppressed, or at close range, even killed!

With only a single game played so far, I'm sure there is things I've missed, but that will hopefully be sorted out as I get more used to the system.

I know that Ivan is currently working on releasing more supplements for the FiveCore-family of rules, personally I'd like to see heavy weapons and vehicles, especially mechs would be nice ;)

I hope you have liked it, and that I have raised some interest in the rules system as well!

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