Wasteland Patrol, Pt 1

“Thin line? Hell, we are the only line between a sliver of stability and total bat-shit crazy.” – Gil Adderson. Former Texas State Trooper and Founder of the Wasteland Marshals

Started a three-game Post-Apoc mini campaign for Tues eve’s game nights. Part 1 saw the Marshal and two Deputies responding to the sound of gunfire in the old Noames and Shute Industrial Park. Entering from the southwest, the lawmen found a line of fresh dead strung out immediately in front, suspicious noise coming from the garage ahead and to their left, and definite activity deeper in near the old Admin building.

Adding some flavor and challenge to the game, the player’s figs  each had a personality quirk requiring Will rolls each activation. Marshall Royce, seeing so many deaths in the unforgiving wasteland, tended to be overly cautious. He prefers to avoid conflict and will engage from cover at a distance when attacked. On the other hand, Deputy Eli is full of piss and vinegar, charging the first hostile he sees, blazing away on full auto unless reigned in. Deputy Brenner constantly needs to stay on task as he is notorious for looting anything and everything he can find. Even in a firefight.

Noames and Shute Industrial Park. Site of valuable salvage?
Noames and Shute Industrial Park. Site of valuable salvage?
"Shhh. What's that noise?"
“Shhh. What’s that noise?”
"Might be sumthin there."
“Might be sumthin there.”
Harsh, swift,  permanent: Wasteland Law.
Harsh, swift, permanent: Wasteland Law.

Choosing to ignore the recently corpsed, the lawmen leap-frogged over toward the garage. Once they got close Brenner couldn’t help himself and darted forward to check what looked like an old gas tank. His clumsy rummaging brought out a swarm of giant rats! The Marshal and Eli were obliged to open fire to save his scrawny, scrounging hide.

"I wonder what's in h-- HOLEE SH-!!!"
“I wonder what’s in h– HOLEE SH-!!!”

Of course, the noise drew out some other vermin

Bandits at 12 o'clock!
Bandits at 12 o’clock!

Meanwhile, help was just a grenade’s throw away: The survivors of a previous salvage run hide in the brick ruins surrounded by the bodies of their comrades. They hear a firefight erupting, but as the players haven’t ‘discovered’ them yet, they remain inactive. (which turned out to be a crying shame for the players)

Erik the Red and Algernon. (a psyker)
Erik the Red and Algernon. (a psyker)
They have to knock before you can come out and play.
They have to knock before you can come out and play.

Rats and Bandits finally dispatched, the crew creeps forward toward the cargo containers in the far side of the garage. Sure, there’s some weird noises, but it’s probably more rats. Right?

"Ragers" - the other R-Word. This pack led by a Floater no less. (A rager psyker)
“Ragers” – the other R-Word. This pack led by a Floater no less. (A rager psyker)

Nope. A pack of Ragers led by a mutant rager psyker. (Gee, sure wish we had a friendly psyker to help us out…)

Bad News all around. Not only are there lots, but they’re hungry. And the psyker keeps reanimating them when they get shot.

The wind blew mournfully, the (irradiated) tumbleweeds skittered in the dervishing dust-devils, and the sun set bloody red that evening. One by one, the lawmen went down.

And so ended another day in the merciless wasteland.


2 responses to “Wasteland Patrol, Pt 1”

  1. I have some questions regarding the “Ragers”. I assume they would make a charge move per your rule set of 12″. Most of your tables are 4’x4′ so the players would get one turn or less of ranged combat before they were in hand to hand. Under ideal conditions they would engage form the table edge and get two turns of ranged combat but I doubt that was the case.

    Are the players getting killed in your scenarios purely for failing to find items or help they need to complete the mission before they trigger the Ragers?

    Are the players getting killed because of some failed tactical issue like forgetting to put someone on over watch?

    I am seriously considering your rule set for the very reasons you mentioned you created it in your prologue. I want to understand what happened from your perspective.

  2. Hey man,

    Good questions. Yes the Ragers can Charge, essentially getting the free melee action after 2 Moves. Seeing as I crowd my table with terrain and concentrate on storyline (multiple objectives, turn limits, and the like) rather than straight up ‘meet in the middle and slug it out’ games, depending on where figs start/move, you might well get 2 turns of ranged combat before brawling with Melee troops.

    I set up every game as if I had to play both/either side. Does this force/team/army have a fair shot at winning if they’re smart?

    From my perspective, it’s the little things that get you. Players die from an accumulation of minor mistakes — forgetting Overwatch is a main one. Forgetting their grenades is another. In this game for example, when they got close enough to spot the Ragers, they could have easily tossed a ‘little bundle of joy’ their way and taken out a bunch in one fell swoop. But…

    Also in this game, they ignored the searchable scenics (the dead bodies of the previous salvage crew) right in front of them. Investigating the brick ruins would have turned up allies to help them succeed.

    I’m glad you like CtE. Understand it’s just a simple framework, simple game mechanics you can shave and tweak as needed. For me, the ‘constants’ are the four model stats (Combat Ability, Movement, Armor and Will) and the weapon Stats of Firepower and Damage. All the Skills/Abilities/Troops Type Specials can be modified however you want. Play the game, not the rules.

    Any other questions, just ask. Thanks again.

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