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[Michael T. Desing's Army Ants Legacy RPG] Red Squad Rising

Michael Desing

Retired User
(Note: I started this a few weeks ago, but decided to wait until the game was launched to post it)

As I move through the final stages of play testing for the MTDAA RPG, I’m ready to try out the ‘Gauntlet’ for Army Ants, taking a team of recruits into a very dangerous mission that most of them should not survive. This is inspired heavily by the DCC Funnel approach to 0-level play.

I start with generating my squads. I’m playing solo, so I make 15 ants in my platoon.

Rolling randomly for serial numbers, attribute (at D6, while all others start at D4), and starting trait (rated +1, as per the rules in the boot camp character builder), I generate the following ants as part of Red Platoon (probably soon to be Red Squad):

31669-01 (leader): Mind; Melee; Hits 2; AM-1 Pea Shooter (damage D4; range 2); field grenade; basic radio; basic aid kit
31669-02: Mind; Nature; Hits 2; AM-1 Pea Shooter (damage D4; range 2)
31669-03: Body; Moxy; Hits 3; AM-1 Pea Shooter (damage D4; range 2)
31669-04: Mind; Toughness; Hits 3; AM-1 Pea Shooter (damage D4; range 2)
31669-05: Mind; Moxy; Hits 2; AM-1 Pea Shooter (damage D4; range 2)
31669-06: Prowess; Speed; Hits 2; AM-1 Pea Shooter (damage D4; range 2)
31669-07: Mind; Toughness; Hits 3; AM-1 Pea Shooter (damage D4; range 2)
31669-08: Spirit; Luck; Hits 2; AM-1 Pea Shooter (damage D4; range 2)
31669-09: Mind; Toughness; Hits 3; AM-1 Pea Shooter (damage D4; range 2)
31669-10: Prowess; Moxy; Hits 2; AM-1 Pea Shooter (damage D4; range 2)
31669-11: Body; Moxy; Hits 3; AM-1 Pea Shooter (damage D4; range 2)
31669-12: Body; Melee; Hits 3; AM-1 Pea Shooter (damage D4; range 2)
31669-13: Spirit; Moxy; Hits 2; AM-1 Pea Shooter (damage D4; range 2)
31669-14: Body; Melee; Hits 3; AM-1 Pea Shooter (damage D4; range 2)
31669-15: Prowess; Moxy; Hits 2; AM-1 Pea Shooter (damage D4; range 2)

Reflection: I rolled Mind a lot (especially at the beginning) and ended up hitting Moxy and Toughness quite a bit; I never rolled Savagery or Stealth at all in my random rolling (the only starting options not represented on my list). Basically, team Red is a group of smarty-pants.

On with the adventure… here’s the briefing text:

Briefing: You are aboard a transport helicopter and strapping on your gear as the drill sergeant begins barking orders over the whuff whuff of the propeller. “An hour ago, reconnaissance operatives finally discovered the nest of a sparrow that’s been hunting our soldiers – and it appears that her eggs are about to hatch. You are to get to the nest and gather the eggs. You have parachutes for the eggs to drop them from the nest as you get them, and parachutes for yourselves after you complete the mission. We’ll have a ground crew ready to meet you below the nest. We can’t get closer to the nest than about 20 centimeters down the branch because of the heavy foliage.

A. Drop Point. Each ant has to make the better of a successful Body or Prowess Feat (DT 3) to rappel to the branch. If failed, a second roll (DT 6) is required to climb back to it:

- 01 rolls a 2 and fails. For his second roll, he rolls 2 again. He misses the branch, and can’t get caught up. He tries to pull himself up, but too many ants are following him down the rappelling line, and he can’t turn it around. He falls to his doom, taking the radio, medic kit and grenade with him! They’re off to a bad start…
- 02 rolls 3 and succeeds. He lands okay.
- 03 rolls 2 and fails. On the second try he rolls 4 and fails. He’d be dead, but he has a Moxy point that he spends to turn that 4 into a 10 with the automatic die explosion.
- 04 rolls 4 and the die explodes. He rolls again and gets 1. He’ll take his 5 result and be safe on the branch.
- 05 rolls 3 and succeeds. That’s four on safe! (And he’s ‘Red 5’, so I’m automatically rooting for him)
- 06 rolls 6 and his die explodes. He rolls 2 on the second roll for a result of 8. A solid success.
- 07 rolls 3 and succeeds.
- 08 rolls 3 and succeeds.
- 09 rolls 3 and succeeds. (wow. We’re on a run of luck here!)
- 10 rolls 2 and fails (see? I had to say something). On his second roll, he rolls 5 and fails, but he has a Moxy point that he uses to get an automatic die explosion, meaning that he succeeds with his re-do with a result of 11. His Moxy point is spent for this mission.
- 11 rolls a natural 1, and botches, missing the branch entirely. He tries to gain momentum to swing back up to the branch, rolling a 4. He, too, has a Moxy point, so he spends it here, turning that 4 into a 10 with the automatic die explosion.
- 12 rolls a 2 and misses. On his second roll he rolls a natural 1, a botch. Farewell, good soldier!
- 13 rolls a natural 1 and misses. On his second roll, he rolls 2 and fails again. He also has Moxy, so he spends it here to turn that 2 into a 6, and BARELY makes it back up to the branch.
- 14 rolls a 2 and fails. On his second roll, he rolls 5 and fails again, falling to his doom (but landing on a nice pile of dead ants a meter below who break his fall somewhat). It’s like the beginning of Saving Private Ryan all over again…
- 15 rolls a natural 6, followed by a 4. This is a result of 10, a strong success (but not quite a critical success).

The team has landed, losing soldiers 01 (the leader), 12 and 14. We’d have lost more, but four were able to use a Moxy point to save their bacon. That leaves only 2 soldiers with Moxy remaining, and they’ve barely started the mission yet. 02 now takes over as the default leader. I roll to see if the sparrow has been summoned by their activity, and I get a 2… almost! They hear it rustling in the branches below, thinking that maybe it’s been attracted to the sound of their falling comrades, and it may be feasting on dead ants below. At any rate, it buys them some time…

At B, the new leader has a decision to make. He examines the two branches, and realizes (since he makes the Mind Feat with a roll of 4) that the western branch appears much safer, but they have to jump to it. He realizes that the branch at C cannot support much weight, and orders them to cross.

- 02 leaps and gets 2. He falls to his doom.
- 03 is the new leader, and he looks over the edge, re-evaluating the decisions of his predecessor. He too looks down the branch, but rolls a 2 on the Mind roll (he’s a Body guy) and makes a different decision. CHARGE!

This movement above may summon the sparrow. I roll to see and get 3. Nope. An ant falls from the sky, and it goes on merrily eating away at the sudden rainfall of lunch as it forages along the ground a meter below. The pickup crew is hidden a dozen centimeters away, watching and waiting. They are not going to engage the sparrow unless absolutely necessary!

At C, the ants try to move across the branch together, going as quickly as they can. They break into three teams, moving in groups of 4, 4 and 3. Soldiers 03, 04, 05 and 06 cross through the section first. The branch sways under their weight. They have to first make the Prowess Feat (DT 3) to balance on the narrow branch.

- 03 rolls 2 and slips off. He falls to his doom.
- 04 rolls 3 and barely makes it across. He’s now the leader. (instant battlefield promotion)
- 05 rolls 3 and makes it as well. He’s thinking about pushing 04 off and earning a quick promotion for himself… and he still has a Moxy point left!
- 06 rolls a natural 6 (explosion) followed by 4, for a result of 10. He tiptoes across the branch easily. So far, he’s my favorite. He’s actually good at stuff!

Since three ants were on the branch at its weak point, I roll D12 and get 4… whew! If that first ant had made it, the branch would have broken! As it is, it strains to the breaking point and then holds. I roll to see if the sparrow has realized where the falling ant buffet is coming from… I roll 3. Nope. Don’t question a free lunch.

The next four attempt to cross.

- 07 rolls 4 and gets a die explosion, followed by 2. A solid 6.
- 08 rolls a natural 1, but the Luck trait turns this into an automatic die explosion! On the second roll, he gets 3, making this a total result of 7. He’s used up all of his luck…
- 09 rolls 1, and he does not have Luck. No amount of Toughness is going to prevent that fall from doing him in…
- 10 rolls 3, and makes it across.

Again, three of the four crossed over, so I roll D12 to see if the branch cracks under the strain, getting 5. Nope. It holds steady. Again, the sparrow could be alerted that something is up when an army ant falls from the sky and lands on its back. It rolls D12 and gets 11. It is having the BEST. DAY. EVER.

The last three attempt to cross:

- 11 rolls a natural 6 (explosion) followed by 5. That’s an 11! Nice.
- 13 rolls 3 and makes it.
- 15 rolls 2, but still has a Moxy point banked. Now might be a good time to use it, and he does… this turns that 2 into a 8.

We roll to see if these three put too much stress on the branch, rolling 12. The branch holds strong. No dramatic leaping from the cracking branch or holding on for dear life will be required this mission (drat).

Sparrow still hungry. Sparrow still eating down below. (I roll a 4 on the D12).

The team has made it to the nest with 9 of the 15 starting soldiers still here! Wow…

The team has 1 round (rut-roh-raggy) to go, because as soon as they hit the nest, they see a baby birdie peek its beak through the top of an egg. The leader (04), 06 and 11 climb into the nest while the others pull out rifles and stand guard, reading to defend as needed.

It’s needed. 04 tries to put a harness on one egg, 06 on another, and 11 tries to push the hatching egg over the edge to quiet it down a bit… 04 will take 3 rounds to affix his harness, and 06 takes 3 rounds as well. 11 goes for his Body roll; if he makes it, he will get the egg over the edge before it chirps, buying a few more rounds for the team. He rolls and gets 5. Woo-hoo! The egg goes rolling over the side, cracking at the bottom. The sparrow is now investigating, and will draw some conclusions, appearing in D6 rounds; I roll and get 1. Well, that was fast!

At the beginning of round 3 (as the boys are just finishing up the harnesses), the sparrow alights on the branch just north of the nest. The referee rules that the ants are ready for this (they’ve been on guard duty after all, watching for just this event) while the sparrow wasn’t sure what she’d find when she got there… the ants get to loose some rifle fire before she starts chirping…

- 04 is busy affixing a harness to egg 1.
- 05 rolls 2 to hit, and the sparrow rolls 11+5=16 to evade. Yeah. Nice try, junior.
- 06 is affixing a harness to egg 2.
- 07 rolls 4 (explosion) +3 = 7 to hit. The sparrow rolls 8+5=13 to evade.
- 08 rolls 4 (explosion) +3 = 7 to hit. The sparrow rolls 9+5=14 to evade.
- 10 rolls 1 to hit, followed by a 3, and his rifle fails.
- 11 is getting ready to push another egg over the edge (once the harness is done next round)
- 13 rolls 4 (explosion) +1 = 5 to hit. The sparrow rolls 11+5=16 to evade.
- 15 rolls 1 to hit, followed by 2, and his shot goes wide.

Well, nuts! The two with decent Prowess both botched, while everyone who could have hit all were easily evaded by the sparrow who is flapping his wings wildly… and then he chirps. He rolls D8+2 on his chirp, getting 2+2=4… they got LUCKY! Each ant needs to make a Spirit Feat to resist this charm.

- 04 rolls 1 and stands staring into space… for 5 rounds.
- 05 rolls 2 and fails as well. He’ll be out for 10 rounds.
- 06 rolls a natural 1… NO, not you too! Good news: he’s out for 1 round (yeah, boy!)
- 07 rolls 3. Fail. Oh, no… out for 6 rounds.
- 08 rolls a natural 1! And he has Spirit D6… ack! Out for 4 rounds.
- 10 rolls 4 (an explosion) followed by 1. Well, that’s enough… he succeeds!
- 11 rolls 2 and fails. Mesmerized… out for 4 rounds.
- 13 rolls 3 and fails. Grr. Another ant with Spirit who failed… out for 1 round (woot)
- 15 rolls 1 and fails. He’ll be out of it for 10 rounds.

It’s Round 2.

The ants go… 06 and 13 start shaking off the effects of the charm already.
- 10 has to do something, so he leaps into the nest to push an egg over and at least accomplish the mission before they are all eaten by a sparrow. He has to make a Body Feat (DT 4) and rolls A NATURAL 4! He rolls for the explosion, and gets another 4 (another explosion), followed by a 1. Okay. This boy has done all right! He pushes the egg over the edge, using its momentum to pull himself over as well. Both he and the egg have chutes open simultaneously, and he manages to escape the nest safely, having retrieved an egg. The mission is accomplished with at least one survivor. Good news!

The sparrow gulps up an ant. Rolling randomly among the 8 remaining, I roll a 5, meaning that number 08 is eaten in one big bite. He’s a goner.

It’s Round 3.

- 06 and 13 are now awake. Hrm… they have decisions to make – do they try to get a second egg, or do they jump? 06 is right there, and it would only cost him a round to try… although then there’s a chance (albeit only 1 in 7) that the sparrow picks him next. He asks if he can use Speed (since this is his Trait) to quickly push one time and jump before the sparrow can target him. The referee will allow this. He pushes one time, and gets 3. It’s almost over the edge, but not quite. 13 sees this happening, and leaps in to help (although he cannot be guaranteed of the quick escape of 06). He rolls D4 and gets a 3 as well. The referee rules that this is sufficient to push the egg over the edge, and 06 quickly drops with it.

The sparrow rolls to see who he eats, and gets a result of 6. Only 04, 05, 07, 11, 13 and 15 remain. 15 is eaten.

Rounds 4-5.

13 jumps over the side and is gone, parachuting to safety below. 04, 05, 07 and 11 remain. It is at least two more rounds before any more ants recover from the charm. In round 4 the sparrow eats 11 and in round 5 the sparrow eats 04. Only 05 and 07 remain.

In Round 6, the sparrow eats 07 (and he was just about to wake up! Poor guy). In round 7, the sparrow easily munches on the final ant, 05 (NOOOO. He almost made it).

Post Mortem:

Three ants survived the mission, accomplishing it quite well by recovering two eggs.

- I’ve learned that 06 is crafty, clever, quick and capable. As the lowest number remaining, he also defaults to the leader of the group. He’s definitely got the makings of a commando, ranger or maybe recon. He doesn’t get a name quite yet…

- I’ve learned that 10 was the most unremarkable of the three. He spent his Moxy early, barely scraped by, but was able to come up big when the chips were down. That’s it. His name is Chips. He’s got Prowess and Moxy, so he can pretty much pursue anything. As they get back to the base, everyone starts calling him Chips, so this name will stick.

- I’ve learned that 13 is a determined little ant. He barely pulled himself up to the branch on the landing, he was charmed but quickly shook it off. He is willing to help an ally (like he did in the nest) rather than leaving him to his fate – even when it means risking his own mandibles. He’s just a good soldier, so will probably end up in the Infantry, although his Spirit may lend itself to ranger training. I don’t have a name for him, either.

They meet with the team at the bottom, and load up for transport back to the hill. Mission accomplished.
 

Michael Desing

Retired User
Back to Boot Camp

The three return to boot camp, and head out to the rifle range (as required).

- 06 fires and hits 3 of the 5 targets. He takes +2 to Aim.
- 10 fires and hits 3 of the 5 targets as well. He also takes +2 to Aim.
- 13 fires and hits 2 of the 5 targets. He takes +1 to Aim.

They are then assigned specialties. I will roll, although I don’t know that I am going to accept the rolls, since I have some idea of where these guys fit already. We’ll see how well randomization does… these guys are all field soldiers, so I am going to take Armor and Pilot right off the top, changing the roll to D6 and adjusting as needed.

For 06, I roll 3, making him Covert Ops. I saw him more as a Commando with his Prowess, but as the leader of the team I can see this decision. I’ll accept this. I place 1 CP in Mind (to D6), and then roll to see how many quizzes I pass. I roll 3 successes, starting with Intelligence +2. I actually have 7 CPs invested (because I earned every point I could in boot camp). I get to keep the 7 CPs. I think of the Artful Dodger and decide that his moniker is going to be Dodger. He’s going to officer training school, meaning that he exits boot camp as at least a 1st Lieutenant, although I will see if he’s earned something more…

For 10, I roll 6, making him Recon. Chips has Prowess and Moxy, so I don’t see that as a bad fit necessarily. He takes the bump to Body D6, and then rolls to see how he does on the survival training. I roll 5 successes, so he too gets the 7 CPs coming out of boot camp. Lucky guy! He will not pursue officer training, very happy to remain in the ranks of enlisted soldiers.

For 13, I roll 5, making him a Ranger. Nice! I am quite happy with that. He already has Spirit, so he rolls to see how many successes he gets during Ranger training, and gets only 1 success. He takes Nature +1, and still has some points he can spend. He won’t have the 7 CPs of his two pals, but that’s okay. Right now, he has Spirit D6, Aim +1, Moxy +1, Nature +1. I have 2 points I can place anywhere I’d like, so I put 1 in Body and 1 in Prowess. He’s going to be the most well-rounded member of the team. The report that they file refers to his work as ‘able’ (but it is misspelled in the report as ‘abel’), so the other guys take to calling him Abel as a bit of a joke.

Dodger
Level 1 Covert Operative; Hits 4; Feat +1
Body D4; Mind D6; Prowess D6; Spirit D4
Aim +2; Intelligence +2; Moxy +1 (+1 ant shift); Speed +1

Chips
Level 1 Recon; Hits 8; Feat +1
Body D6; Mind D4; Prowess D6; Spirit D4
Aim +2; Moxy +2 (1 CPs/ +1 ant shift); Toughness +2

Abel
Level 1 Ranger; Hits 6; Feat +1
Body D6; Mind D4; Prowess D6; Spirit D6
Aim +1; Moxy +2 (1 CP/+1 ant shift); Nature +1

It’s time to roll for promotion as we wrap up boot camp. Although all three did something during the mission to distinguish themselves, and two of the three earned the maximum CPs, I’m still going to call this un-exceptional for purposes of promotion; this is the sort of heroism and exceptional performance that the military expects of all of its ants (and, I don’t want these guys getting big heads right out of boot camp!).

Dodger:

For his Mind roll, Dodger rolls 3 vs. the DT 8 for 1st Lieutenant. He exits boot camp as a 2nd Lt. and very proud of it! (He could pursue life as a Warrant Officer, but I like the idea of aiming towards a rank like Captain or even Major some day)… He gets 50 more Clout, on top of the 10 he gets for hitting Level 1. He has 60 Clout to spend right off the bat, beyond his standard issue gear:

AM-10 SMG; basic aid kit (D4); satchel; basic provisions; bedroll; entrenching tool; standard fatigues (olive drab); basic flashlight (3 cm); canteen; utility knife.

That AM-10 is not BAD necessarily, but he sure would like something with a little more power. His Body D4 limits him a bit, so he’ll stick with the AM-10. He will supplement this with 2 field grenades (D6+D6) and 2 field medic kits (D8). He’s spent 40 Clout. He puts the other 20 into a requisition pool for the team, to start them off strong.

Chips:

For his Mind roll, Chips rolls 2. No promotion for him. He’s a buck private, A-1. No surprises there… he gets 25 Clout for this promotion, +10 from Level 1, giving him 35 to spend beyond his starting gear:

AM-15 SMG; boot knife +1; basic aid kit (D4); satchel; basic provisions; bedroll; entrenching tool; standard fatigues (olive drab); basic flashlight (3 cm); canteen; utility knife.

He’d love to upgrade his weapon, but he’s not able to make that level of investment right now… he picks up two field grenades for 10 Clout, banking the rest. The medium-term plan is that Chips has to be the firepower for the team, so he’s going to have to focus on saving up for a better weapon – and getting to Body D8 a priority for Level 2.

Abel:

For his Mind roll, Abel rolls a natural 4 (explosion) followed by another 4 (another explosion) followed by a 3. Good on him! His total result of 11 is 5 more than the DT 6, so he easily earns an extra rank (someone at HQ heard about his selflessness on their first mission). He starts as a Private First Class (A-2), giving him the 10 Clout for Level 1 + 50 Clout from Promotions, for 60 total. He turns in the AM- 10 he’s issued (getting 15 Clout back) bringing him to 75 total. He picks up AM-1A Grease Gun (50 Clout), putting the other 25 into the team Requisition Pool. This brings that pool to 45, and the 10% bonus rounds it out to 50 team points in requisitions… it’s not enough for a helicopter, but it’s something!

Starting Gear: AM-1A Grease Gun; boot knife +1; basic aid kit (D4); satchel; basic provisions; bedroll; entrenching tool; standard fatigues (olive drab); basic flashlight (3 cm); canteen; utility knife.

Final Step: Quotes

Each of my soldiers needs a quote to frame his character. Here’s what I decide on…

Dodger: “Hmmmm… I’ve got an idea…”
Chips: “No worries, I’ve got it!”
Abel: “I’m here; how can I help?”

The boys are ready to go… and ready for their first true mission as Army Ants.
 

Michael Desing

Retired User
A few minor corrections, as I was converting over to the character sheets… I forgot to include the bonus shifts from specialties, giving Dodger +1 to Intel (bringing it to +3), Chips gets +1 to Toughness (brining it to +3, and his hits to 9) and Abel gets +1 to Nature (bringing it to +2).

Continuing on… Decisions, decisions. I have two prepared adventures that were published in the core rules, or I can start using this to develop new adventures that I’ll be publishing in the near future. I expect that I’ll end up play testing new stuff soon enough, so I’ll run the team through the first adventure in the core rules, the Great Train Robbery (core rules page 154-155).

Briefing: The boys are en route to their new assignment – they’ve been assigned to Shadow Hill – when a high-priority call comes in. Turns out that the team is the only squad in position to take care of a tense hostage situation with a narrow window. They are to drop (going to rappel) to a train and re-take it from mosquito mercenaries who have commandeered it.

They each have to make a Prowess Feat (DT 4) to land on the top of the caboose, which they are trying to do.

- Dodger rolls 4+1=5; he makes it.
- Chips rolls 3+1=4; he barely makes it.
- Abel rolls 6 (explosion) +3+1=10 and makes it easily.

They board the roof of the caboose without making too much noise, moving into position. This isn’t in the mission brief, but I’m going to give the two mosquitoes inside at least a chance of hearing something (or of noticing one of the passengers noticing something)… we’ll set this at DT 8, since it would be challenging (the ants all succeeded; the train is traveling at high speed; trains are loud). For the first mosquito, I roll a Spirit Feat and get 2+1=3. No success. For the second, I roll 1+1=2. Nope. They are blissfully unaware.

The ants want to swing over the sides in dramatic fashion and crash through the windows, guns blazing. Hmmm. This is either a Body Feat (kicking in the glass) or a Prowess Feat (the coordination this would take). Other situations with comparable issues allow you to take the better of the two attributes, so this operates the same way; crashing through the window is DT 4, but we’ll shift it up +1 because of what they are trying to do. DT 6, better of Body or Prowess (so all roll D6)…

- Dodger rolls 2+1=3; he has to spend a Moxy point here (grumble grumble) and gets the +6, for a result of 9. He’s in.
- Abel rolls a natural 1; he too spends the Moxy point to turn this into a 6+1+1=8. He’s in as well.
- Chips rolls 3+1=4; +6 from Moxy brings it to 10.Wow, these guys are burning through their Moxy… I guess a maneuver like this is a little too cool for Level 1 (okay, I know that a maneuver like this is too cool for Level 1)… from here on out, they have to play it a little more straight.

They are in, and have weapons drawn. We’ll roll for sequence, since no side has the clear advantage (and the boys had to all burn Moxy just to get into the car)… This is a Spirit Feat. We’ll say that Abel is the default point for the team (makes sense… he has the highest Spirit), and I’ll make a representative roll for the mosquitoes. Abel rolls 1+1=2, and the mosquito rolls 4+1=5. Mosquitoes up first…

- The first mosquito opens fire on Dodger, rolling 6+2=8 to hit; Dodger rolls 5+1=6 to dodge (his name suddenly feels quite ironic). He’s spent his only Moxy point, so he has to take it; the mosquito rolls 3 Hits damage, and Dodger is down to 1 Hit remaining. Medic! (oh, that’s him…)
- The second mosquito opens fire on Abel, rolling 4+2=6 vs. Abel’s 2+1=3 dodge. He’ll spend the second Moxy point, taking the automatic dice explosion on the dodge and increasing it to 9. He barely dodges a hail of gunfire. The civilians have all dropped to the floor, so only a wild miss (natural 1) or something really stupid (a grenade going off) will do them harm.

The boys are up:
- Dodger returns fire, rolling 4+2=6 to hit; the skeeter rolls 8+1=9 to dodge (they have excellent Prowess). Nope.
- Abel fires, rolling 2+1=3 vs. the skeeter’s dodge of 5+1=6. Abel is out of Moxy, so he misses.
- Chips has a Moxy point left, and the boys are already backed into a corner here; he will use his Moxy point on the attack, going full auto, and yelling for the civilians to get down before opening fire. He rolls a natural 4 (die explosion – he’s using D4 because he’s firing full auto) and rolls 2 on the second roll. 4+4+2=10 on the attack. The first mosquito rolls 6+1=7 to dodge, and the second rolls a natural 10, followed by 5, for a total dodge of 16. Chips hits one of the two; for damage, he rolls 3+1=4, and the mosquito is down to 3 Hits (this was the weaker one).

Round Two: Advantage Mosquitoes

The mosquitoes would start harming hostages, but they are in control of the fight right now… in fact, the ants are thinking about using hostages as living shields right about now!

- Mosquito #1 fires at Chips (since he just took damage from the big lug) and rolls 3+2=5 to hit; Chips rolls 2+1=3 to dodge. For damage, the mosquito rolls 3 hits, bringing Chips to 6 remaining.
- Mosquito #2 fires at Dodger (since he’s wounded), and rolls 9+2=11 to hit. Dodger (oh the irony continues) rolls 2+1=3 to dodge. He gets tagged a second time, suffering 4 hits, bringing him to -3. He’s down, and has to make a Body Feat (DT 3) to keep from bleeding out. He rolls 2+1=3 (WHEW) and decides to lay down for a while (okay, it’s not really a decision).

The two remaining ants get to act…
- Abel opens fire on the injured mosquito, rolling a natural 6 (woohoo) +2+1=9 to hit. The mosquito rolls 8+1=9 to dodge. Ties go to the attacker… thankfully in this case. For damage, he rolls 4+3=7 hits, and the mosquito drops to -4, falling off the back of the car. I’m not going to give the mosquito the benefit of a Body Feat to stay alive here… the impact with the tracks makes sure of that.
- Chips gets to fire again, rolling 2+2=4 vs. the mosquito’s dodge of 7+1=8. He misses.

Round Three: The Boys Are Back In Town

He’s lost his ally, but the mosquito has a few options. He could continue to fire (although he’s outnumbered 2 to 1 now); he could change the dynamics of the game (take a hostage) or he could cut and run (he can fly after all… so jumping off the train and flying away to fight another day is a viable option at this point)… I roll randomly, and get option 1: stay and fight.

Donkey Kong: what it is on like.

The mosquito decides to do the full auto thing (it seemed like so much fun when Chips did it two rounds ago) and rolls 4+2=6 to hit; Abel rolls 3+1=4 to dodge (drat) and Chips rolls 3+1=4 to dodge (double drat). The mosquito rolls 4 for damage, leaving Abel at Hits 2 and Chips at Hits 2 as well. If either of them is hit again, it may be the end of that ant…

- Abel fires, rolling 3+1=4 to hit, and the mosquito rolls 6+1=7 to dodge. He misses.
- Chips decides to hold his action until next round… he asks to change the dynamics so that the ants go first next round (by holding his action), taking a +1 die shift for aiming. The referee (me) allows this.

Round Four: End of the Road?

- Abel gets to piggyback on Chips’ aiming, and attacks again, rolling a natural 1. He rolls another D6, and gets a 2. He hits a civilian in the leg on accident… grrr. The civilian will be okay, but he’s rolling around in pain…
- Chips whispers ‘this had better work’ and fires, rolling D8 instead of D6. He gets 6+2=8 to hit, and the skeeter rolls a natural 1 (!) +1 = 2 to dodge. He hits. For damage, Chips rolls 5+1=6, reducing the skeeter to 2 Hits…

- On his turn, the skeeter is back to his previous three options, since his new flesh wound has caused him to re-evaluate the situation… he rolls randomly and gets the option for cutting and running. If he had a grenade, he’d lob it into the car… as it is, he’s grateful just to escape with his life. He’s flies off, leaving the ants to tend to their wounds…

Tableau

The ants have taken back the passenger car with only one minor injury to the civilians, but pretty bad injuries to the ants. Nobody has any training as a medic… I decide to see if there is a medic/doctor among the civilians. We’ll say that there’s a 50/50 chance. I roll and get no… it was worth a try.

- They will use one of the field med kits for Dodger, rolling a natural 1 (well crap) to bring him to -2. He’s stabilized, but unconconsious…
- They use the other D8 kit on Chips, and roll 4 Hits restored, bringing him to 6 Hits total. He’s still hurting…
- The use a D4 kit on Abel, rolling 3 points, bringing him to 5 of his 6 starting points. He’s feeling pretty good, all things considered.

The boys check in with the thankful civilians. They decide that neither the civilians nor Dodger can be any more help this mission, and they grab the gear they can from Dodger (two field grenades, a D4 med kit) and they leave him the hands of the civilians who promise to take care of him. They cross over to the next car forward (not crossing into it… just to the entry)… taking a deep breath, they pull the pin that connects the caboose to the rest of the train, and leave the passengers (and their leader) behind… only two ants remain on this mission.

It’s not looking good for them.

Analysis:
- Chips and Abel lived up to their names… Dodger did not. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.
- I don’t like the chances of the boys from here out. They have to be more conservative in using Moxy (the dramatic entry to the train car netted no advantage that couldn’t have been gained by going in the front door, but it cost a lot of Moxy). They have to remember that they are Level 1, with limited resources. They may have to start fragging first and asking questions later if they hope to survive…
- The game system runs fast and loose, and allows for everything I want to do, with a clear roadmap provided by the rulebook. I love how it plays. I know I wrote it and all (so I’m more than a little biased) but it’s a sharp little system.
- The scenario is built for a team with one more soldier... the team of 3 fresh recruits is slightly under-powered for what they are up against, and it's showing... if they complete this mission, they deserve a big old helping of XP (and that's a big IF at this point, with only 2/3 of the team continuing on...).
 

Michael Desing

Retired User
On The Road Again!

It’s been a few months, but I’m going to get back into the swing of things… I’ve decided to finish this mission, and then (if the boys survive) send them on a hex crawl that I will use to expand the game going forward, publishing this in a magazine format.

I’m going to allow each of the boys to recover 1 Moxy point… just because they’ve been so patient waiting for me! And… there is no way they survive without it.

Chips and Abel cross into car #2 with weapons drawn, moving carefully and with purpose. They get to check for the trap (a Spirit Feat). Chips rolls 1+1=2, and Abel rolls 3+1=4. Well… they both fail the check, and the explosion goes off underneath the car, dealing 20 hits to each of them, less the soak roll. And that… will be that. They’re goners – without the Moxy that they just got back. Abel will spend his Moxy point, noticing the tripwire just as his leg rubs up against it. He could attempt to disarm it (yeah, like that’s a good idea!) or the boys could pass over it. They decide to do that, trailing a rope behind them. When they get to the next car, they are going to trigger the explosion to hopefully take some attention off of them.

As they attempt to move to car #3, they each get to attempt a Spirit Feat to pick up the odor of Venus Flytrap (they are the definition of downwind, since the train is moving, and it’s in the car right in front of them!). Abel rolls 4+1=5, and Chips rolls 4 (an explosion!) +2+1=7. Hooray for his olfactory senses! He notices the flytrap… they climb up to examine the roof of the car, to see if they can cross over. They each make a Mind Feat (DT 4)… Chips rolls 4 (explosion yo!) +1+1=6. Abel rolls 1, and thinks that it looks just fine. Fortunately, Chips is there to grab him and point out the structural weaknesses in the roof – and suggest that they don’t want to fall in on a Venus Flytrap.

Desperate times call for desperate measures… they can blow the train that they are in without too much trouble, but getting past the Flytrap is going to take some doing. If they try fragging the Flytrap first, maybe they can cross quickly, blowing the car behind them, and rushing forward with guns blazing…

Okay. They rig it up so that they have a rope running under the tripwire to a larger object (a chair? A large seat cushion? One of those will work) that they can drag across the tripwire to set it off. They can each toss a grenade in with the Flytrap (4D6 damage, with maybe some explosions? Maybe the last Moxy point?) It’s worth a try… this mission is almost a bust as it is, so they may as well go for broke.

First things first… they open the door quickly and each throw a grenade in with the Flytrap, slamming the door shut. Each takes an attack. They are only throwing the grenades 2 cm, so each must make a DT 2 throw (as long as they don’t roll 1’s, they are okay. Famous last words…) Abel rolls 2+1=3, and the grenade bounces funny before landing next to the Flytrap. Chips rolls a natural 1 (of COURSE), so he has to spend his Moxy point just to get the grenade not to bounce away… they slam the door and the grenades go off, dealing 4+6+1+5 +1 (from the dice explosion roll of 6) = 17 hits to the Flytrap. The Flytrap soaks 6 of this, suffering 11 hits, and bringing it to 1. They now charge into the car, guns blazing (as promised) while pulling the cord that will set off the explosion in Car #2. This requires a Prowess Feat (DT 2), that Abel will attempt. He rolls 3+1=4, and succeeds. Car #2 erupts in a massive explosion while Car #3 is engulfed in flame. The flames deal D6 hits per round. In the first round after the explosion, the flames deal 5 hits to the Flytrap, who soaks 3 of them. It dies in flame. Chips and Abel rush through the car. Abel soaks 3 hits (taking 2 points, now down to 3) and Chips soaks 3 as well (now down to 4 hits).

They see the two mosquitoes crossing from Car 4, and get to attack first (as I said, guns blazing…) Abel attacks rolling 4+1=5 to hit the first mosquito. That skeeter rolls 7+1=8 to dodge, and easily evades the attack. Chips decides to try and waste them with a grenade (no use in saving them now) and rolls 4+2=6 to hit. Both get to roll a Prowess Feat to get out of the way… the first rolls 2+1=3, and the second rolls 4+1=5. He catches them both flat-footed! For damage, he rolls 4+5=9 Hits. The first mosquito rolls 2 to soak (suffering 7 hits and dying), and the second rolls 3 (suffering 6 hits – he’s now down to 5). The mosquito fires at them (aiming at Chips) and rolls 8+2=10; Chips rolls 6 (an explosion) +4+1=11 to evade! All right, dude!

Chips returns fire, rolling 3+2=5 to hit the Mosquito’s evade of 2+1=3. For damage, Chips rolls 3+1=4, but the Skeeter soaks all 4. Abel also fires, rolling 3+1=4, and the mosquito rolls 3+1=4 to evade. He barely tags the dirty bloodsucker. He deals 8 hits, and the mosquito soaks 1. Suffering 7 hits brings him down to -2, and he falls.
 

maxvale76

Registered User
Validated User
I know I'm WAAAAAAAYYYYYY late to this thread; but thank you so much for this walk-thru/AAR/whatever you want to call it! I've purchased the RPG Legacy book and I definitely want to get a game going; but that might be a bit of a problem with the way my work and personal life are interfering with my limited free time to see my buddies.....so I very may well do what you've done here and start a solo-run with a group of ants....

Anyway, thanks so much for creating a great game and for this write up!
 
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