Smuggler’s Blues

Update on An ongoing ECLIPSE PHASE 2.0 adventure

The Cape Cod Wargame Commission has been toying around with Eclipse Phase 2.0, the role-playing game of transhuman horror and survival by PostHuman Studios. Extremely cool setting with a very crunchy rule set, a party of Firewall agents has been tracking Titan infected tech and fork-napped consciousnesses from Ganymede’s Liberty Station to the Titan Quarantine Zone on Mars.

The latest episode took place on the Red Planet itself. Navigating corrupt Martian Rangers, Planetary Consortium Investigators, and brutally pragmatic smugglers, our heroes were slated to finally meet with someone who could lead them to the source of the threat somewhere inside the TQZ. Of course, things never go as planned, right?

Of course they can’t be trusted

The rendezvous took place at an abandoned supply depot some 20K from the TQZ. No sooner had the characters rolled up in a spiffy ATV to meet their contacts when a squad of Noctis Station Rangers swooped down, intent on killing them (perma-death) while they ‘resisted arrest.’ (yes, these are the same Noctis Rangers the party confronted previously, who, as it turns out, are currently under investigation by the Planetary Consortium for corruption and smuggling.)

Fortunately, our crew took precautions. Other Pat’s character hopped out of the ATV on the way in and made his way to high ground. The rest had weapons ready in case the smugglers weren’t amenable to negotiation.

Turns out the low-life smugglers weren’t the problem.

Noctis Station Sergeant and three Rangers looking to get commendations for killing the competition.

Short, sharp, and bloody.

Rangers try a pincer movement to take down our heroes but soon discovered they were punching way above their weight. Ranger elements appear and both Firewall agents and the smugglers snap to cover and start firing. Pat’s well-situated soldier is sporting a rail rifle and Matt decides he’s going to put his Offensive Driving techniques to use. “Can I run these guys over in this thing?”

Sure. Why not?

When it happens, it happens fast.

The first pair of Rangers gets slammed as Pat starts sniping from the roof top and a smuggler doubles back to hit them from behind. Special attention is devoted to the Sergeant who was an absolute tool to our heroes at their initial encounter. These two Rangers get their bell rung hard.

The other pair near the stairs unload on the ATV. Mike E’s character is in the backseat and takes several rounds to the chest. Wounded but still in the fight. Ever concerned for the safety of his comrades, Matt starts up the rugged little buggy. Is he going to get out of the line of fire? Of course not.

He throws the ATV into reverse and slams into those two, knocking ’em down. An injured Mike E leans out of the rear bed of the ATV and finishes them off with his heavy pistol.

As fast as it started, it’s over. That should teach ’em not to mess with Firewall Agents.

Loose Ends

The party decides to ping the Planetary Consortium investigator and let him take credit for the collar of four dirty Rangers. (All he has to do is cut out their stacks and load them into virtual interrogation. They’ll break eventually)

Impressed with all the quick thinking and fancy shooting, the smugglers agree to take our heroes into the TQZ the next day. (The TQZ has the dubious distinction of being the second most dangerous place in the solar system. Planet Earth is in first place.) As this adventure draws to a close, our heroes are going to find and eliminate the Titan threat. Or die trying.

Thoughts on gaming EP 2.0

I love the setting. It’s cyberpunk on steroids with post-apocalyptic undertones. And a dash of the Expanse. A rich and fantastic mix of themes and possibilities. I’m genuinely astonished at the depth of imagination that went into the game. It’s a gold mine of gaming and narrative potential.

The system, on the other hand, is not for me. At all. I try to convert everything to a table top miniatures war game anyway. But even then, a D100 system with lots of rolls plus variables, modifiers, and penalties just to resolve a single round of combat? No thanks.

Other people love this game as is, and others like it, loaded with an insane amount of detail. (Pathfinder, Shadowrun…) Excellent. Have at it. Me? I need my games to flow, to keep moving. Elegant simplicity is my holy grail. “Easy to learn; hard to master” is what I aim for.

I don’t regret the purchase at all. It’s an excellent product and anything that challenges me, makes me up my game, is good. In the very least, the rule book is an incredible source for GMing cyberpunk scenarios and adventures. No harm – No foul. We tried it, enjoyed it, and after the adventure concludes, are ready to move on to something else like Forbidden Lands or Mork Borg/Forbidden Psalm.

I’ll post the final session when it’s done. Looks like we’ll be venturing into the Exclusion Zone next week with a game of Zona Alfa/Kontraband. We’re supposed to have a visitor too. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time…

Good hunting, Stalker.

2 responses to “Smuggler’s Blues”

  1. Your table set up looks great as always.

    Sounds a very detailed ruleset though… can see why you’d be slightly put off.



    1. Thanks.
      It is detailed. Not necessarily bad – just not for me.
      I’m inspired by the setting and content. That’s my take-away.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: