There you are, a veteran crew returning from a five-day mission. Sore backs, sore feet, tired, hungry, half your ammo gone – but still alive. And there’s a payday waiting. Even better.
The Institute wanted Anomaly readings and environmental data from an area in the Deep Zone, so they hired you to babysit two of their eggheads. Well, you have the data and one of the eggheads, so that’s a success, all things considered. (it was no fault of yours that one scientist died; he walked right into a grav anomaly. *yikes* poor bastard crumpled in on himself in a blink of an eye. Could have fit what was left of him in a soup can.)
Anyway… it’s over. By tonight, you and the lads will be hoisting beers and downing shots at the 100 Rads. It’s looking like an easy stroll the rest of the way home… until Sasha heard the Distress Call on the radio.
[This is Trader convoy 163B. Trader Convoy 163B. We’re in Spustoshenyy, under attack. Bandits and Shufflers. They’re everywhere. Anyone who can hear me, help. Please. I don’t know how much longer we can hold out. Mayday, mayday.]
It’s an unwritten rule of the Zone: you respond to Distress Calls. You can squeeze every last ruble out of the survivors if you rescue them but you always answer, because someday it could be you neck deep in the muck in need of a hand.
The town of Spustoshenyy is an hour away – if you hustle. It’s east. Out of your way, but at least you’re not backtracking.
The Scientist considers this detour unnecessary, inefficient, but the rest of the crew knows how this works. They’ll follow your lead.
You flick your AK’s safety off. “We’re heading to Spustoshenyy.”
CCWC met Saturday for pizza and a Co-op game of Zona Alfa. Four players, two miniatures each, plus the lone scientist. We needed to locate and retrieve two caches of supplies, and exit the far edge of the table with the scientist still in one piece.
4 x 6 game area. Lots of buildings and possible locations all marked with dummy 30 cal. rounds. Point of Interest Cards in use. Oh and we spotted the convoy straightaway: it was surrounded by snorks. No other signs of life.
Advance to Contact
Team fans out as they enter the town with most of the crew moving up the left flank. We need to search and find two Supply Caches hidden somewhere among the dozen possible locations. We figured we could work together for mutual support and efficiency. The Scientist is going to hang back and only advance when the area is clear.
But Matt of course has to be different, so he takes his two stalkers middle and right, throwing bolts in the abandoned warehouse right in from of us.
Voila! Alpha Mutant. (go big or go home, right?)
Neighbor Mike opts to stick around to assist Matt if necessary, while Connor and I stick to the plan and move up on the left, throwing bolts and looking for those supplies.
Meanwhile, the Alpha Mutant in the warehouse goes down to combined SMG and RPK fire. (good thing comrade Mike stuck around)
Matt’s shotgun-wielding Knife Man sprints up the street toward the con-ex containers south of the convoy with its mob of snorks. (also called a ‘congress’ of snorks, given the current level of political civility)
But rather than going all stealthy and remaining out of sight, he clambers atop the storage container and starts blasting away with his 12 gauge.
Predictably, he gets charged. Fortunately, Connor’s sniper has his Dragonov ready.
Even then, there’s some hairy moments as he frantically ducks, weaves, and reloads when the Daddy Snork climbs up to say hello.
My Leader and AK trooper press on, Scientist in tow. We uncover one Supply Cache but then learn a Blow Out is imminent. We all have one turn to find cover.
Now, the tail end of the convoy is finally cleared but a blow out is rolling over the Zone, so the crew takes shelter and waits out the danger. When that’s done, Matt and Mike clear locations on the right while I throw a bolt into an office beside the BTR
Vermin time: rats and bandits
But there are those little moments in life, sparkling like precious jewels in time, where things like ‘combined small arms fire’ and ‘hand grenades’ come in very handy.
In the End
Matt discovers the second Supply Cache. I drag the Scientist toward the exit while my AK Vet makes sure no Zone uglies pop up and follow.
Turn limit was almost up, we all run toward the far end of the table to escape in a nick of time.
Good friends, good pizza, a good time… A success all around.
Thanks for looking. Coming Soon: Play tests for Hardwired Hostile Takeover and Resistance Earth.
Stay well. Game hard.