A KONTRABAND AAR
Aerial drone photos show the town of Korshov riddled with Anomalies, many of them in an industrial park on the southern outskirts. With Yuri’s Crew out of contact on a lengthy expedition, the Institute contracted another veteran team: the Siri Kachky – or ‘Gray Ducks’.
A stalker-heavy crew, Pavel (Hound), Boris, (Cobbler), and Anton (Raven) provide protection for a Field-Agent named Arkady (Locksmith). All members have been operating in the Zone for several years now and have good reputations, but this will be their first run into the Deep Zone for the Institute.
Mission area is a standard 3 x 3 set up with 9 POI (marked by dummy 7.62 rounds) and three Anomalies. (green crystals by the guard shack, blue veil tucked in with the gas tanks, and the orange orb in front of the office) Incident Deck includes several new cards from the expanded POI options. Crew will enter from the north. (far side of the mat)
OUT OF THE GATE
The team advances into ruins of the garage with a plan to investigate the POI in that area before heading to Crystal Shard Anomaly (Kryptonite) A search of the area around the walled-off ConEx container will follow. Boris stays on the ground floor while Raven takes his sniper rifle to higher ground. Pavel and Arkady go around front to the first of the POI, the UAZ jeep.
Raven finds a POI on the second floor of the garage and takes a moment to Inspect: scat everywhere, lots of it. Unusually large. Better leave that one alone. He skirts around it and heads to the roof.
Meanwhile, Arkady discovers the UAZ was booby trapped. He manages to defuse it in time and – because he’s a Scrounger – rummages through it twice to find a hefty amount of Common Salvage. Nice haul.
Pavel, emboldened by Arkady’s success – and perhaps not wanting to be shown up by one of those Science eggheads – rounds the corner and checks the next POI. So intent on finding something, he fails to notice the bandits behind him.
“MISTAKES WERE MADE.”
Team activation’s finished, the Bandits open fire.
All the rounds in the air, Pavel is lucky to only take two wounds. Fortunately for him, his comrades were prepared. Anton opens up with his sniper rifle and Boris lobs a grenade. Three of the five Bandits go down in the first round of fire.
Bleeding and humiliated, Pavel drags himself through a window into the garage and starts applying MedKits (Boris and Arkady contribute) while Anton ties up loose ends.
With that episode over and Pavel somewhat abashed, Arkady decides it’s time to try for an Artifact. Detector on, he approaches the Shards.
Success! The Anomaly is an Arc Welder, but he avoids any shocking developments and grabs a Sponge Artifact. “Just doing my job,” Arkady says.
A BIG HUNK OF HURT
Just as he’s preparing to head to the ConEx container area, a Zone Event is rolled: BAM ALPHA inbound.
He’s Big. He’s Ugly. He’s ready to bring a world of hurt to anyone standing in his way.
Both Stalkers pass their Will/Terror checks and open fire. It takes both of them using all their actions to shoot, but eventually the BAM goes down in a bloody heap. Nasty business concluded, Boris and Pavel check their ammo (and their drawers) and follow after Arkady, doubly ready for trouble. Anton goes on Alert up on the roof.
No need to worry this time: a wizened Babushka steps out of the container carrying a trusty old double barrel shots gun and a rucksack filled with root vegetables. ‘Such nice boys’ she says, and tells them about the pool of glowing acid by the crates and the misshapen, man-shaped creature she’s seen nesting in the cab of the truck by the tanks. ‘Be careful’ she admonishes, and hands them a mason jar of home-distilled potato vodka. ‘ For later,’ she smiles, and slips away.
Pavel and Boris decide the crates should be left well enough alone but the truck needs to be cleared before Arkady can investigate the shimmering Anomaly nestled between the fuel tanks.
Anton agrees. He has a clear line of sight down into the yard from that portion of the roof. ‘Good to go,’ he shouts, and motions them forward.
‘Easy for you to say. Safe up there,’ Boris mutters. But they move out.
WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVE
The Babushka was correct: a mutant had made its home in the truck cab. It spawns between the office and the vehicle. Unfortunately for Pavel, it’s out of range of Arkady’s pistol and Boris forgot to go on Alert. It charges and once again our fearless leader is bleeding heavily.
Thankfully, Anton has a clear shot. Mutant gore spatters all over Pavel’s shirt.
Meanwhile, Arkady approaches the Blue Veil. Even with the Detector and all the hours he’s logged in the field, he botches his approach. A Blaster effect slams him back into the hood of the truck. His body armor protects him but he’s dazed.
Determined, he approaches more cautious this time. Success. He snags a Bracelet Artifact just as another ZONE EVENT roll yields an incoming Emission. Time to find cover.
Between a late start to the session and an Emission on the way, the crew took cover and the gamers packed it in for the night.
Any Zone run you walk away from…
Two Artifacts, some Common Salvage. Not great, not terrible. If we had time, we could rummage through the remaining POI. But all in all, it was a good game with a fair share of tense moments.
Thanks for reading. Game hard. Good Hunting.