Sunday, 17 October 2021

Five Parsecs and Spaceports.

 One of my favourite places in the Firefly universe is Eavesdown Docks. When I think of Star Wars, Mos Eisley and Mos Espa spring to mind - towns built up around spaceports out in the sticks. As I plan further for my Five Parsecs campaign, I worry that it will become a bunch of encounters around spaceports. (My plans are on hold as we are having our kitchen replaced, and the garage is being turned into a dining/hobby area). It got me thinking about my time living in Munich, and how I knew my way around the city, but it was based entirely on where I would walk after getting the U-Bahn somewhere. 

I lived in Giesing. I could walk places from there. Three stops away on the U2 is Josephsburg. I could walk places from there. But never, ever in my time living there, did I walk above the surface between the two places. I feel like this is how it must feel for our space crews! They know the area around certain ports, but getting between them, there is only one, real option. Then, would they ever travel overland to go from port to job? Or would they just fly? Or get the mag train? Am I overthinking this entire, pointless thing?

I hope to get a game going soon, but again, my copy of Five Parsecs is unreachable right now, and I don't fancy scrolling through a PDF during a game. It will be a few weeks before I can really do anything, as all my painting/model building supplies are in my bedroom. 

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Hills with Expandable Foam

 Morning all. I had a failed experiment with expandable foam hills a while back. I tried again over this summer and here is the only so far finished hill. 

In general I am happy with it. It looks pretty good. I shaved off most of the exterior edges and covered it with sand. Then painted brown, dry brushed light, then flocked. However, issues arise in other images. 

Underneath you can see where there is no sand. It looks quite smooth. I don't think that is a huge problem though. But it does look a little funky. 

I don't like that it doesn't sit flush on the table either. My other, unfinished hills have been chopped across the middle and hopefully sit more flat. I might add a small base to each hill. But that might be more effort than it is worth. 

Sunday, 22 August 2021

Iliada Game Studios Buildings and some road.

 I have been doing a bit of reading over the summer and haven't really felt like spending evenings doing much by way of painting or playing. I will get back into it asap. I have a few projects that I have just completed though, and an experiment that I will show another time. 

Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Five Parsecs from Home turn 5 - Secure the farmstead

One last job on Launia, that was the plan. Holmes and the crew were looking to make a move, partly to see more of the galaxy, partly to avoid unwanted UCS attention, partly to avoid problems with various upset groups here on Launia. One last job, upgrade The Pelican and see what lies further afield. They had managed to pay off the ship debt, meaning there was little risk of it being taken against debts, and they had some good contacts, but that wasn't enough to stay. Why have a debt-free ship if you don't use it?

Part of life as a roving ship crew meant schmoozing with anyone with coin to part with, contracts to offer, and useful information to sell. While the others explored, trained and traded Brenko and Phillips went to a few cantinas and managed to meet Porter Alken - a local lawman who had a contract for them. Someone had been stealing niche farm equipment out in the agri districts but no-one knew why. He needed people to secure similar equipment in a handful of farms, in order to stop this thievery. Our crew would need to secure the central gear storage unit of a farm out on the edges of Avery Agri District. They would be paid for their trouble, and because there had been a few fatalities in previous robberies, there was a good chunk of danger pay. It also never hurt to have an in with local or sector officials.

The Pelican crew advanced across a field. Phillips scoped out the equipment storage building - the furthest away, and most isolated...great.

Four corporate goons divided into two pairs. They would circle around and drive off any farm hands before going for the equipment. This should be a by-the-book job, which would help keep the authorities distracted from Apex Industries' true goal.

The Pelicans advanced to the edge of the actual building complex. It would be a short dash to the storage unit. No sign of any thieves yet.

The corporate goons carried on advancing. The right team was planning on taking cover behind the low rocks and the left team would be setting up a crossfire from the trees just north of the road.

Lars took cover behind some logs and saw movement. He opened fire with his rattlegun but all of his shots went wide, not even sending the mysterious figure searching for cover.

The rest of the crew spread out. Holmes was hoping to set up by the trees and give long-ranged cover fire. Mao and Phillips were planning on hugging the northern buildings and fire at any thieves that came within shotgun range, while Brenko and Lars would secure the equipment lockup. Baratski would float around ready to give close support.

Not rattle by the rattlegun fire the leader of the corporate goons opened fire on Estelle Philips. She missed, thankfully, bullets letting out air from the truck's wheels. 

Meanwhile the other goon tried to get shots off at Brenko, but missed also. The goons had a good position, however, and needed to sit tight and keep firing to drive these...surprisingly well hands away.

The corporate team hugging the trees tried to catch Mao in the open, but their fire also went wide. Things were already looking better than previous missions. Lars Nicolau was astounded that he hadn't been hit, nor even fired at yet!

Holmes, hugging the trees for cover, took aim, breathed out and pulled the trigger. A goon fell clutching at their chest. One less problem to worry about. These thieves seemed to be well armed though, and didn't seem like roving farm thieves.

Estelle Phillips approached the storage unit and fired at the goon leader, missing her shots. That purple truck would need a new paint job though. Unseen, Brenko hugged the southern side of the lockup, protecting it from another angle, while Baratski covered the open approach. Noticing a comrade go silent on the comms and seeing how well armed their opponents were, one of the corporate goons ran, off into the loving arms of the Apex Industries disciplinary HR system. 

Hoping to make a point, Phillips ran up towards the goon leader and threw a grenade. It blasted her away and in the process put the purple truck in need of more than just a new paint job. 

Alone and exposed, the last remaining corporate goon made a run for it also. With the equipment secured, and the thieves sufficiently deterred, some of the crew returned to meet with Porter Alken, to tell him the news and get paid. They reported that these thieves were well armed and wore a uniform. They were likely more than just common thieves, though none of this information came as a surprise to Alken. Launia Civic Protection department had been struggling to build a case against alleged criminal activity by affiliates of, or people associated with Apex Industries for a few years now. Something was going on, but they just couldn't break through to figure it out. 

Any rate, the crew got paid, and it was enough to pay to upgrade The Pelican's cargo hold. This would mean they would be able to transport more cargo. They also managed to get hold of an auto rifle, which would help should they find themselves in trouble with any trained military. Now to get off this rock and let things cool down for a while.

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Five Parsecs from Home Turn 4: The Dead Drop

 After the run in with the well armed strike team, the crew of The Pelican decided to take on one of their job offers. They needed a big payday, in order to upgrade the ship and get off of Launia. An attack by some kind of properly trained, properly armed team? That didn't feel very welcoming.

The Dockworkers' Guild. An organisation designed to protect the rights of the dockworkers. It had been around for as long as Launia had been a major hub for spacecraft refitting. Occasionally, however, they got involved in...less than legal enterprises and it is at this point that our crew came along. Technology advances, ships fly across space, but somethings never change. The dead-drop. The Dockworkers' Guild needed a package left in a dead drop. It would be picked up by someone. The crew of The Pelican were the people who had been hired to do this dead drop. 

Unfortunately for our crew, another team of scavengers had become aware of this dead drop spot, and were looking to also get paid. 

Out, a few klicks outside of Launia City there led a carcass of an ancient mech. Likely alien in origin, it hailed from a long-forgotten war. This wreckage was the dead drop. It also possibly had an item of interest to the Scrapper's Guild, which would result in some bonus pay.

Brenko and Phillips took the initiative and advanced. Here they all are, looking ahead to the ancient mech. Brenko was holding the package that needed to be delivered.

The other scavengers spread themselves out and advanced slowly, trying to keep in cover where possible. The large, hulking wreckage provided a lot of cover anyway, but they wanted to be sure.

These guys are cautious. They will hug cover as much as possible and stay at the edge of their weapon range. Three of them have Colony Rifles (18), one has a machine pistol (8) and a hand flamer (12). I forgot about the hand flamer and chose a miniature who does not look like he has one.

The rest of the team advanced. They decided it was best to just rush over to the mech and hope for the best. Mao and Holmes decided to flank around the edge. Mao would protect Holmes as he took pot-shots at any scavengers who came into range.

Phillips and Brenko made it to the wreckage. Phillips nestled herself in some cover, where she could protect Brenko, while she dropped the package. 

Taking the initiative, Brenko and Lars Nicolau got into position. 

Brenko moved into the wreckage and dropped the package. Mission accomplished. There are so many holes and places to make a drop anyone else would be hard pressed to find it. She also picked up the item of interest for the Scapper's Guild.

From now on my opponents would need to roll 2D6. Score a 1 on either? They give up and leave. Of course, I forgot this at first.

Lars opened fire on one of the scavs, killing her instantly. The human body seems to have an aversion to being caught in the open by a machine gun...

A couple of the other scavs crept around the wreck and one managed to fire at Nicolau, hitting him. Panting, worried he would be out of action again, Nicolau used his stims, numbing the wound and giving him a shot of energy that kept him going!

I was annoyed until I remembered he had a stim. Basically you take the stim and stay where you are, stunned rather than being knocked out.

At the same time, the scav leader advanced and hosed Phillips down with flames! A little singed, she managed to escape the flames and fell back a little, tucking herself deeper into the wreckage.

She actually was killed, but used her luck point to escape death. She was lucky that her random movement put her further into cover.

One of the scavs panicked and ran off! If any of them ended up surviving, then words would be being had. 

One death meant 1D6. Panic value of 1-3 and I rolled 3, so one of them panicked and ran. It has to be the nearest to the edge, and cannot be a leader or unique individual.

One of the scavs had another shot at Nicolau, who took the hit and went down imagining himself to be a bullet magnet, wishing his stim had been of better use.

Brenko made a retaliatory shot at the scav and managed to send him sprawling, blood soaking the wreckage.

It was nice that Brenko has a pistol better than a scrap pistol now.

The scav leader and their hired killer shuffled their way back, to hide behind some trees. They could both cover each other while planning their next moves. 

Mao and Holmes open fire on the hired killer, but all it does is harmlessly kick up dust plumes. The killer doesn't even flinch.

With Phillips and Mao closing in the scavs decided they had had enough. It wasn't going to be worth it so they skulked away, covering each other as they went. Back at their ship they decided to watch out for this other scav crew. They would be coming back for more.

Lars Nicolau picked himself up, realising his wounds were not serious at all - they were nothing a couple of hours with a med-gel patch wouldn't fix. Picking through the dead, the crew were able to salvage a colony rifle

After heading back into town, Phillips went off to get paid by the Scapper's Guild, while the rest met with the Dockworkers' Guild. With the danger pay, and everything else, along with selling some water from their purifier, they have walked away from this job with 11₹. This would be enough to pay for some sort of upgrade or to pay off the entire ship debt.

While getting paid, Oslan Baratski bumped into an old arms dealer contact and called in a favour that resulted in the acquisition of some small arms. 

One more mission. Pay off the ship and upgrade it. Surely this could be done with just one more mission. Discussions were going to have to be had among the crew to decide about how long to stay. 

This game lasted all of 25 minutes. It was quick. Writing this up and doing the campaigny parts has taken me longer. It is a tough call. They might upgrade the ship and fly off. They have a persistent patron who will be following them to another planet. Maybe it is worth just leaving.

Friday, 23 July 2021

Five Parsecs From Home Turn 3 - Sandstorm (Not by Darude)

 Turn 3. 

After getting paid the crew spent some time exploring the city, making friends and generally enjoying being planetside. Sometimes you can spend too long in space and go crazy...some really do on the edge, some are not really human anymore. The bar at Pontague Docks was decent enough: drinks were cheap but of fair quality, the food wasn't bad, the clientele seemed to be a bit above that at less...legitimate ports. These small, privately owned dockyards were generally a good place to land, if you managed to get into one.

Drinks. Food. Music. Storm warnings. More drinks. More food. The screens over the bar gave a final warning about the incoming sandstorm. Mao looked at the others and got up to leave. Phillips stood lethargically and also moved to the door. If they wanted a bunk to sleep in tonight, they would need to leave now, before the sandstorm made even walking back to the ship deadly. That is the one thing they don't tell you about Launia when you arrive - lovely planet, deadly sandstorms.  

The crew left the bar, and despite the noise of the growing sandstorm, Pontague Docks seemed awfully quiet. There should have at least been the bustle of people leaving, in order to find a safe place to ride out the storm. It was already blowing hard, and visibility was low.

I rolled up that it would be "gloomy" with visibility down to 9cm. Although anyone who fires can be fired on from anywhere, provided they are in weapons range.

Concerned that something might be going on, Estell Phillips crept her way around some shipping containers, wanting to check if anyone was around, or if anyone mysterious was hanging around The Pelican. Brenko followed.

With the sandstorm really picking up, a cell of red-helmeted, well armed figures carefully advanced to find cover. They had scared off most of the locals, and were planning to ambush these offworlders on their way back to their ship. Most people wanted to wait sandstorms out in the comfort of their own space. It was doubtful that these people would be any different. A comm-link buzzed and the garbled, coded message clarified that this was the correct ship, and they were now weapons free. Someone was unhappy, and wanted an example made.

Baratski and Holmes rushed over to The Pelican, in order to get on board and make sure Lars was okay, while Mao followed Brenko.

The red-helmets managed to get themselves into a nice, defensive line, from where they would be able to cover most of the dock. Now they would wait for the crew to return to ship. 

With low visibility, the worrying advantage of their long-ranged weapons wasn't so bad. I didn't think any of my crew would survive until I remembered the 9cm visibility. This was the first time none of my crew managed to beat their reaction stat and act before the opponents. That wasn't a nice feeling.

Baratski found a sweet hiding spot by the water tanker, managed to see a shadowy figure through the dust and decided an attitude of shoot now, questions later would be prudent. Her shots rang true and the figure fell.

Her hand cannon is nasty.

Estelle Phillips managed to make another figure out in the storm and let loose with her shotgun, forcing it back.

Responding to the muzzle flashes the red-helmets opened fire but it went wide and was largely ineffective.

Brenko and Mao came up the middle, trying to find a good firing spot, and Mao managed to take down another of the figures. Probably just pirates or junkers, looking for a score. They would be easily driven off.

Holmes kept to the shadows under The Pelican and managed to fire at another of the pirates. As did Baratski. This one fell back a few paces and tried to find cover.

This figure is now double stunned. One more stun and they leave the battle, but aren't injured as such.

Baratski and Brenko manage to get the drop on the pirates again.

Oslan Baratski used her distraction bot to keep the plasma gun armed enemy occupied, while Brenko charged over in an attempt to slice him up!

Distraction bot makes one enemy not able to make an action for a round. Useable once per mission. It was useful here. Range of 12. 

The red helmets fired on Mao but again the shots uselessly hit the crates and durocrete around him. 

Holmes tried to shoot the plasma gun armed enemy, but he missed, damaging the shipping container nearby. The other red helmet had retreated further back to get into better cover.

Holmes had run out of cover in an attempt to flank the enemy, but he got caught out in the open. The plasma gun fired, and a superheated mess of energy knocked him down. He stayed down. 

Likewise the other two red helmets opened fire on Mao, sending him to the floor bleeding. Things were not looking good for the crew all of a sudden. Now that they were being tracked by this mysterious enemy, they were struggling to stay hidden. These pirates were certainly well armed, too well armed to be run of the mill pirates.

I forgot that Mao has a luck point. This means if he would be killed, he can spend the luck point and move 1D6 in a random direction. In the post-game I remembered this so just used it then to say it was just a flesh wound and he needs no time in sickbay. 

Baraski rounded the shipping container and blasted off some shots at the red helmet, sending her sprawling against the container, unmoving.

Brenko and Phillips decided to take cover and regroup. There were still three of these people out there, and they seemed to be well armed. Brenko was worried about having to close into sword distance.

Baratski charged over again, firing on one of the red helmets and killing him in the process. This meant they were cleared from this part of the docks and it was time to concentrate fire by the passenger jet. With any luck they could catch them in a crossfire.

Phillips and the enemy exchanged ineffective fire. Although it kept them distracted enough for Brenko to start charging them down, blade swinging!

This is actually when Phillips got hit and killed, but used a luck point to move 1D6 CM in any random direction. That luck came in handy.

At the sight of Brenko coming over, one of the red helmets flat out ran. He had had enough and ran back into the storm, hoping to disappear. The other bravely tried to shoot at her, but her sonic emitter caused enough disruption that he missed.

Slice! The final enemy who felt like sticking around collapsed into a pool of blood in three pieces. 

Once certain that there was no-one else to fight, the crew regrouped at The Pelican. Mao picked himself up and bandaged up his own wound. It was a glancing shot that shouldn't take too long to heal up. Holmes needed a little more care and would need to rest for a while, but his wounds were not life threatening. Who were these people? They seemed to have been wearing a uniform of some kind and were well armed with military grade rifles. They looked like HySys P70s.  While on bedrest Holmes managed to hack into one of their hand terminals and found a contract out for his crew. 

They decided to take one final job on Launia, get a payday, upgrade The Pelican and make like a tree and leave asap. It seemed their days were numbered here. The dock manager transferred over 1 for their troubles, and when searching the bodies they found three usable grenades. Unfortunately the crew the military rifles seemed to be genetically matched to each firer and were essentially junk now. Fortunately, there is a market for junk and they sold them for 2 which was welcome. Funds were looking thin after this fight so they would take whatever they could get.

This was an opportunity mission. I wanted to see what one was like. The bad pay was due to bad rolls and because it wasn't a patron mission there was no danger pay. I feel like I got lucky last turn with a high paying mission. I need a good score next mission (which is hopefully the patron mission I already have lined up) I cannot afford to get the ship taken. 

It has become clear to me that I need to improve their toughness. So I will be spending any XP on that for the foreseeable future. I wish I had worked that out last time. The luck came in handy twice this game though, which is also fine. The enemy had a panic rating of  1-2 and I rolled a couple of 3s so it was noticeable how they didn't break as easily. Here are their stats:

I was genuinely worried about their 24 range and basically not being able to close them down with my handguns and no combat armour or anything. Their AI is Cautious which means they don't move if they can make a shot, will try and stay close to max range, avoid brawling, and will try and move from cover to cover.