“Wrong Turn, Alexei.”

A ZONA ALFA Battle Report.

Help! This is convoy S37. Can anyone hear me? We’re holed up in an old industrial facility by a swamp and these huge rats and ghoul things are swarming us. The drivers are dead. So are the scientists. Now there’s only two of us left. Anyone, come quick. We’re running low on ammo and they keep coming.

***

A small convoy assigned to resupply a Ministry of Science outpost in the western sector of the Zone took a wrong turn. New driver? Bad map? Deliberate detour? Who knows? The only important thing is you were close enough to pick up the mayday on your radio.

Not that you’re always a Good Samaritan, but you know the area. Someday it could be you in desperate straits, so a rescue attempt is a worthy cause. Oh and there are supplies on those trucks and it never hurts to get on the Ministry of Science’s good side. Could mean a reward and more work in the future. So off you go.

A short 9K game in a 3 x 3 area, Occasional Tom’s team works out an uneasy truce with mine, so two crews approach the facility from opposite sides. Tom’s through the swamp, mine through the rusted gantries and platforms.

The frantic radio message is correct: the place is swarming with ROUS. No sign of the ‘ghoul things’ however. Nevertheless, everyone flicks their safeties ‘off.’

Three slips of paper, one with ‘Recruit’, one with ‘Weapons’, and one with ‘Medical’ are placed at random under the vehicles.

TURN ONE AND TWO

Occasional Tom’s crew advances through the swamp with the crew boss using his Leader ability to order his two rookies to the front of the action.

“They need the experience,” he says.

“We need the meat shields,” his two Hardened men mutter.

My crew spreads out under one of the platforms with my Sniper taking the high ground.

“Advance to contact” in this case means you’re bait for Rats of Unusual Size.

The chatter of AK74s echoes off the oils tanks and concrete barriers as both teams gun down the nasty vermin. Near the M-RAP, one of Occasional Tom’s rookies wants to impress his boss and dashes forward to claim the salvage. Problem is he forgot to tell anyone what he was doing. He triggers the Zone Hostiles and stirs up a pack of Snorks.

“There’s those ghoul things the guy on the radio was talking about,” my leader notes. “The other crew stepped in it, so they get to clean it up.”

More AK fire and the Snorks go down. Occasional Tom’s rookie reloads his rifle, checks his drawers, and snags the first bit of salvage from the jeep: Weapons. (Two support weapons of his choice and 1 reload for each as needed.)

One of my Veterans gets snitty at the rookie for rushing in like an idiot, then getting the salvage. He decides to run for the middle truck before any of Occasional Tom’s guys do – and makes the same noob mistake. No one is on Alert. Yanking on the handle to the back tailgate, he triggers a Large Mutant.

Holy Crapski!

Fortunately for him, his crew boss shifts left and shoots the Mutie in the back before it and maul him to death.

That Hot Spot cleared, my team helps a shaken survivor out of the back. A Recruit for my team.

Occasional Tom’s other rookies sees this go down and thinks to himself, “Hey, this salvage work is easy!” and darts forward to the third and final vehicle.

Stupid got us into this mess. Stupid will get us out, right?

No.

A small squad of Bandits jumps out of the back of the last truck and opens fire on everyone. Three men go down; two of Occasional Toms and one of mine. Stupid rookie.

My crew boss and the other vet on the ground leave the Out of Action man down. No sense spending a MedKit because the Bandits will just shoot him again. (We’ll get to him before the game ends)

As they move up, my Sniper – who’s been enjoying the view from the platform, flicks his cigarette away and takes aim with his sniper rifle. Veteran + Steady Hands = three shots, three kills.

Occasional Tom’s Medic charges in, firing his AK from the hip. “No Hippocratic Oath here, you svoloch.” The last Bandit falls. Third vehicle is salvage for Medical supplies. (Two Med Kits and one eJuice)

Game over, baby.

***

A short, simple game designed to familiarize Occasional Tom with the rules, cooperation made that much easier. Even though Alert was virtually ignored when triggering the Hot Spots, the mission was accomplished with no lasting effects. Well done, comrades.

All bets are off next time though.

Sniper for MVP
Snork family photo.

Remember, you can pick up ZONA ALFA at Amazon. The new Solo and Co-op Guidelines “Lone Wolves” is available as a free download at the Osprey Wargames website.

That’s all for now.

Stay safe and good hunting, stalkers.

3 thoughts on ““Wrong Turn, Alexei.”

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