Tuesday, August 26, 2014

DragonCon 2014: Just Popping My Head Above the Water

With slightly less than 3 days to go until DragonCon, you'd think I might be all set. But no.

There is still much to do, although mostly now it's just reviewing the encounters and making sure I know the adventures solidly. 

I've identified a few possible issues - either things that might stump the players (in a bad way), things that confuse me, and adding notes to present the PCs information to make choices meaningful. The latter could be as simple as "To the left the air is cool and still, to the right you hear a scraping sound." 

I'm as excited and nervous as I was the first time I ran a one -shot for the local meetup group last November. A few days to go and I've got a staging area setup on my wargaming table for all of the bits and bobs I will need for each session (or at least those that are done).

Goblin shaman summons giant purple worm. This has nothing to do with this post.
And for some reason, I decided I'd make a mini-zine for the con. It's not done yet. It will be though. If not by Friday, then by Saturday. That's not a big deal really, since Friday I'll be gaming from 9-5 without a significant break, and Saturday is the bigger attendance day anyway.

Finally, all of this prep doesn't mean I haven't been doing anything else game related - Ariale and I played on Saturday night, and another time prior, that I have yet to document, so there's another summary for the Fjörgyn files. There's a summary for the most recent session of Trelleborg to go up on that blog. I've also played some additional sessions of The Ever Expanding Dungeon. 

All of that requires time to write up though and when choosing between writing up a game or playing a game, i tend to lean towards the latter. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Continuing Story of Our Brave Adventurers in the Ever Expanding Dungeon

What continues here was written over two short sessions earlier in the month and covers Rooms 2 - 5 in the current 5-Room Dungeon Cycle. I am using Mythic GME a bit more traditionally in these scenes and have included the setup as well as any alteration or interrupt demanded by Mythic.

Room 2 - RolePlay/Puzzle, Chaos: 5

Setup: The party returned to down with the chest and the captured bandits. Upon meeting up with the sheriff, they were informed a reward was outstanding for the return of the chest.

Does the scene setup hold? 3. Altered. I rolled 3 story cubes and got: cave, kicking a ball, shooting star. This sounded to me like someone had died, was buried and that was that.

Unfortunately, and to their dismay, he added that the merchant who had put up the reward was an old man and had died just the other day. In fact, his body was interred only that morning. The sheriff would return the chest to the merchant's daughter, but alas, no reward would be pending. Defeated, the party returned to the inn for much needed rest.

Room 3 - Red Herring / Resource Drain, Chaos: 5

Setup: After ten days rest, the party, fully healed, again found themselves standing before an entrance to the dungeon. This time, Ygg suggested they try an entrance near the SE of the map, in order to test the map's veracity and possibly avoid the difficulties they faced on their last excursion. They descended and made their way to a door (Room 31 on my map) but from behind them came the sound of voices.

Does the scene setup hold? 8. Yes.

For the encounter, I used three story cubes, but my handwriting is atrocious and i have no idea what cubes I rolled or icons resulted.

Four adventuring types approached the party and hailed them. Apparently, they had become lost and simply needed an exit.

I expected combat and was pressed for time, so I decided to use Mythic to gather the party's reaction, Does the party believe them? 50/50. 02, Exceptional yes. 

Despite some suspicion held by all of the party, Ygg decided to explain how to get out of the dungeon by means of the nearby steps. When they departed, one and all agreed that something was not quite right about that group, and the party went on alert.

This is where my current "season" differs a bit from the previous season. ALthough I'm playing the entire party, Ygg is "my" character, and the rest are both NPC and PC combined. Generally, unless someone is in danger or it obviously goes against what they might believe, Ygg will lead the way. I am thinking about doing a bit of press ganging per SoloNexus and Featherstone, but I need to think on that more, as a way for the "players" to have more input to their characters, although it will still be a solo game.

In any case, I upped the Chaos to 6. I don't know for sure, but I suspect those four might be trouble later.

Room 4: Boss Monster, Chaos: 6

Setup: Returning to matters at hand, the party assumed their door opening formation. At the front, Runolf kicked in the door while Eomond prepared to cover him.

Does the scene setup hold? 8. Yes.
For the contents, i rolled 3 story cubes: anger/pointing, magnifying glass, octopus. What else could it be but cultists searching for their runaway sacrifice.

Five somewhat fish-like humans in long rust colored robes (deep one cultists)  were startled by the site of the armed men in the doorway. (they rolled a 1 on their surprise check)

Runolf and Eomond pushed into the room to flank the door while Ygg stepped up, war hammer in hand, and attempted to explain that the party was just passing though and that there wouldn't be any problems.

I caved and used the b/x reaction check. 8. An uncertain reaction, although, arguably leaning towards favorable.

With a gurgling voice, the one who the party could only assume was the leader replied, "It would be more convincing if you put away your weapons."

Again, pressed for time, this time, I went Featherstone and decided 70% chance the party would reject that offer, with a 30% chance that they'd accept but only cautiously.  I rolled 10. 

Ygg tried to explain that the dungeon is too dangerous to put weapons down for long, but they would have none of it.

I checked the reaction again, with a -1 penalty since the party had rejected the counteroffer and got a 4.

The strange humans drew their weapons in reply to the party's insolence, and it was on.

In the ensuing battle,Ygg killed one of the fishmen in the first contact, while Runolf nearly killed a 2nd. Ygg offered them a opportunity to surrender but they refused (I used a simple d6 to check, as per some wargames: if I rolled more than were left alive, the deep one cultists would surrender).

Eomond and Runolf continued to deliver blow after blow to the strange and obstinate cult members. Again, Ygg offered surrender as an option, but again they refused, and Leegand, who had made his way into the fray, cut down another cultist  Finally, after Leegand cut down yet another, the two remaining, and badly beaten, cultists surrendered.

The party looted the bodies, and basically robbed the survivors, for a total of 26gp. After which, they bound the survivors for whatever fate the dungeon might hold for them.

Room 5 : Treasure or Twist, Chaos: 6

Setup: Searching the room,  they could not help but notice the strange shrine of bones and skins in the corner that looked long abandoned. They made their way north to the bottom of a flight of steps up the next level.

Does the scene hold?8. yes.

The big takeaway for me with these last few sessions is that, while I really like the quick setup with the index cards and the lack of a need for a computer, my handwriting is terrible and does not foster record keeping. I have returned to the laptop for my notes for the next session, which I played the other night and will post shortly.

Monday, August 18, 2014

DragonCon 2014 : Ten Days and counting

DragonCon 2014 is just 10 days and some change away and I am pretty freakin' excited. 

In order to give my excitement some outlet, I thought I'd look at what to pack, as someone who will be more or less commuting to the con, and as a gamer, in particular. 

Since, I don't cosplay, I only need a backpack. Last year, I did OK, but I'm tweaking my essentials a bit. 

Here's what I'm doing this year:

First, my backpack is an Element Mohave 3. It's not the best pack in the world for this kind of thing - it only has one large pocket, and a built in laptop sleeve. Still, it's pretty roomy, and the side pockets are deep (but they don't expand wide enough for my water bottle) The front pocket is mostly useless except for pens and small items. The biggest point in its favor is that mine is turquoise (which seems to be sold out at most sites). It's pretty easy to spot.

  • A hand towel - it's August, it's Atlanta. You know, Georgia. The South. Assuming you aren't staying at the Hilton and gaming the entire convention and only ordering delivery, you will go outside at some point and it's not exactly breezy and cool. With a towel, I can wash my face off in the sink and dry it off, without using a million paper towels, or worse, the hot air blowers.
  • An extra shirt - See above. Plus, I almost always spill something on my shirt at some point during the day. At least when I'm running a game, I'd like to come across as someone who has their shit together.
  • Deodorant - 'Nuff said.
  • Hand sanitizer - I'd carry a gallon of this if i could. I'd coat myself head to toe. i am nothing if not a germaphobe. Besides, CON CRUD IS REAL!
  • Refillable water bottle.
  • Almonds, apples, and other small, healthful snacks that won't smoosh in the backpack. These aren't meal replacements, just snacks to get me through to my next meal. For meals, I might throw in some PB&Js or grilled portabellos or something. Unlike people who travel to get here, I have the advantage of being able to use my regular grocery items, instead of eating out for every meal.
  • A light jacket - Despite not being breezy or cool, the hotels pump some serious A/C into their conference rooms. The open gaming area is like a freezer. I don't know if it's to keep the gamer nerd odor to a minimum or if it's like that all of the time. Either way, you might need to put something warm on.
  • An umbrella or rain jacket. I like this one because it packs very small. Although I'll be in the Hilton most of the time, getting there involves a walk, so better safe than drenched.
  • Small notepad + pen/pencil - Most of the panels I've attended haven't given me anything worth writing down, but some have, so it helps to be prepared. Also useful during gaming sessions.
  • Business Cards - I had some made up to advertise Six Iron Spikes & a Small Hammer. They are very plain, but they do the job.
  • Camera- Last year, I only took pictures of the games I played in. This year, I'll do more of the same, although maybe I'll take some crowd pics too. I also have an idea for a zine but we'll see.
  • Cash - Many of the vendors only take cash. I'll hit up the ATM on the way to the train station. The ones near or in the con hotels tend to be empty by Saturday afternoon. I'm debating on my budget.
  • Con Badge - Can't get in anywhere without it.

I'm running games Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Here's what I'm carrying for that:

Abstract Battle Mat and Counters - It's an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper with some sections per Ancient Odysseys: Treasure Awaits. It is most definitely not a grid - it just shows who is in where relative to the battle line. We've used it enough in my monthly FLGS game for me to know that it works pretty well. It still maintains theater of the mind combat, but helps players specify exactly who they are attacking, and reminds them about flanking and sneaking and such.

Adventure Notes - I'm running two published adventures ,but I rewrite EVERYTHING to work better at the table. I'll have my notes and map with me in printed form for the day's game, as well as stored on phone.

Additional 1-page adventures - I plan to put a call out for some pick up games while I've got the zine library going. Also, if players complete one of the adventures early and want to keep playing, we can.

Blank Character Sheets - Maybe a dozen. Depending on time available, I may let people roll if that's what they want to do, but I know that can take a good 20 minutes or so the first time with 1 person, and it can turn into chaos with more than 1 if I'm not careful.

Social Game Checklist - I have a list of things to do at the start of each session, during the session and at the end. I got the idea from Gnome Stew. It reminds me to: go around the table for player's to introduce themselves, see if anyone needs a pencils, etc. I almost always have 1 new person in my monthly game, so introductions are important and at a con, they are obviously more so.

Dice - for myself and players. I picked up extra 7-dice sets, just in case players need them. 

Drinking Quest -I hardly ever drink, but the rules claim you can enjoy it with whatever your preferred beverage is. It's a small box and easily taught - perfect to carry and play wherever.

Index Cards - for players to put their character names on

Modified GM screen - My DM screen for b/x is two 3-ring binders clipped together. It works great but it's bulky and I'm trying to pack light, since I have to carry it around the con and because I need the space for other stuff, too. I know that all of the PCs will be 1st level, so I only need data relevant to their level including Thieves Skills, Cleric turning ability, To Hit rolls, and Saving Throws. And conversely, for the monsters, I'll know exactly what level monsters they'll be encountering - I will include their To Hit tables IN my notes.

Pens and Pencils - I use Sharpie Pens, and no one else touches them. For the players, I'll bring a handful of pencils and a sharpener.

Pre-Gens - Probably 21 per day (3 per class). Leftovers can be used in pick-up games.

Rule Books - both B and X on Friday, and S&W: Whitebox on Saturday and Sunday.

Finally, getting there:

I drive 5 miles to the MARTA station and then hop a train downtown. I would drive 10 or 20 if it meant avoiding parking hassles (the fees aren't that bad - I used to live in Philly; you can park for a week in Atlanta or a day in Philly for about the same price). 

The trains are cleaner and more reliable than you might think.

The only downfall is that MARTA's last trains depart from Peachtree Center (right near some of the hotels) around 1:30 AM, and on the weekends, the first train isn't until 6 AM. This doesn't really impact me that much, but for those that attend the con parties, that means 2 hours to kill somewhere waiting for the morning train.

Wargaming with a Soon to be 3 Year Old

On Friday afternoon, in order to entice my son (he turns 3 this week) to leave the park without fuss, I offered to set up "my game" - which he had been asking me to do for a few days.

The table itself is still laid out for Grant's Holding Action (1). For figures, we used some inexpensive 40mm-ish knights and men-at-arms:

A small force from Army Black (my son) was defending the village (not pictured) from an advancing horde of Army Silver (basically zombies that would advance towards the village).

You will forgive the anachronistic use of the 1/32 convertible, but my son was insistent that the knights of Army Black had to get to work. When I asked him how, he ran off and brought back this car. 

It's hard to argue with that kind of conviction.

Dice were rolled - more for the fun of rolling dice than for any impact on the game itself. It was a bit of a Wells-ian affair, throwing the red ball (a clown nose, in fact) in lieu of firing a toy cannon.  

It made the perfect cannon shot; the proof can be seen in the decimated silver army.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mixed Company : Some Morschauser and Blitzkrieg Commader

The other night, I wanted to play a wargame, but I wasn't quite ready to begin Blitzkrieg Commander. At the same time, I've kind of had my fill of Nuts!, for now and really feel drawn to games where 1 base = 1 squad, where individuals don't matter so much as whether or not the squad is still fighting, and where they are.

The end result: I gave Morschauser's modern rules  as appearing in the John Curry reprint, an outing (supplemented with a bit of info for mortar ranges from Bob Cordery's grid-based modern game in the same volume).

For the scenario, I used Grant's Holding Action (1) from Scenarios for Wargames. 

I used squads for the scenario's infantry units, which made the game a fight between an under-strength company and a reinforced platoon. 

For Light Infantry, I gave each side an anti-tank squad, and for guns, I used HMG and mortar squads. Cavalry was a tough one as I have few vehicles and no actual cavalry; for the Germans, light cavalry was a kubelwagen and nothing in the case of the US, while heavy cavalry were tanks.

Paper slips are German blinds.
The rules play fast and furiously - I had time to play the game twice, once as the attacker and once as the defender. In both cases the attacker won. Although I set an 8 turn limit, the US won in 5 turns, the Germans won in 6. This is a tough scenario for the defender and I think on my table, with these rules, for a real challenge, victory must be achieved by the end of turn 5 at the latest.

Germans marching towards victory.
In any case, when I finished playing, I wondered why I was bothering to try any other rules - they are the perfect toy soldiers type game, using bases instead of individual figures. They have the ability to be quick, with 1 hit taking out a base (and thus no bookkeeping), or slowed by using a roster. They are easily modified - as written there are no morale rules, and adding a saving throw and suppression would be possible, too.

Still, Blitzkrieg Commander (1st ed.) is on my 10 games, 10 times list and it does have some stuff that I find interesting.

So, with the same setup, plus the addition of my newly arrived German mortar team (OK, teams. I bought 3 of them), I began playing my first BKC game on Sunday night. Unfortunately, I ran out of time before the game reached a conclusion, but I got a decent taste of the command phase, of movement, and firing. 

On Monday, with the same table, I ran it again, this time to completion, but I doubled the ranges per the suggestion in the rule book for company-sized games. And, surprising to me, the Germans won as the defender!

2nd BKC game : The US advance is clearly having problems.
My early thoughts:

In the second game, the roll for command kept the American attack from ever developing - my mortar and anti-tank team never even made it on the table. One platoon never got their part of the advance under way, staying stuck on the road near the table edge after being forced back by the German mortar. This was frustrating as hell and, thus, already a favorite mechanism.

I really like the "press your luck" mini-game that the command phase uses. 

Just about the only thing to go right for the Americans.
Doubling the ranges for a company-level game is fine, but it felt too "simulation" and not enough "playing with toy soldiers". For the next game, I'm thinking of doubling movement, but keeping the firing ranges unchanged. This almost directly maps to Morschauser's ranges.

There seems to be a fair number of people who dislike the removal of hits at the end of a turn, but this doesn't bother me.

Suppression on the tanks by small arms fire can be very effective and helpful. I found this out a bit in World War Risus games, but it really is a lot simpler to do here.

With the doubled ranges of the second game, i had units able to act in the initiative phase (when i remembered it). This can greatly speed up the devastation. Making a game that is already fast-play, a little faster play. Start to finish, with tons of pictures (only some you see here) and plenty of rule book referencing, it took 90 minutes.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Team BBC is Off the Air

The other night I played my 3rd game of Nuts! using the Chocolate & Cigarettes rules, and the 10th game of Nuts! Final Version. 

The picture speaks volumes:

No custard tarts today.
Things got off to a bad start when the first PEF resolved as a squad with 6 members and Deacon was knocked out of the fight. That was on turn 1. 

Although Hardcastle killed the German NCO, and managed to drive off the LMG crew (they passed 0 on Man Down test and left the battlefield), the Germans ended up receiving a reinforcement of another LMG crew on the next turn, so no gain there.

Both Peacock and Hardcastle were eventually dropped as Out of Fight as seen above. So, they aren't dead, but they are undoubtedly prisoners of war now. 

Perhaps an escape scenario will occur at some point in the future?

As for Nuts! Final Version, this was the 10th game in the 10 game challenge. There is no doubt in my mind that the experiment proved its worth. I feel  I know the game far better than I knew the previous edition and I've given it a genuinely fair shake.

I think the Chocolate & Cigarettes size games work quite well, although I had no chance to use any of the challenge rules for the additional character stats. This was a result of the scenario choices I made and not a function of the rules. Maybe if I play an escape scenario, they will see some use.

I won't be using Nuts! as my default squad to platoon rules, but will Nuts! Final Version : Chocolate & Cigarettes become a staple? 

I recently acquired Five Men in Normandy, so, some day I'll be trying those out, but in the meantime, I think Nuts! FV: C&C is just about perfect for this type of game, providing lot's of action and drama with just a few figures per side.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Last Night, on the Ever Expanding Dungeon (S&W Whitebox edition)

So, last night after finishing up a project I was working on, I had a little time and wanted to get in some gaming. I grabbed my quick gaming kit for the Ever Expanding Dungeon and decided to just play one scene. This write up is a little different than my usual session summaries.

I am playing around with the 5-Room Dungeon model as my scene framing method device, and because the party had just spent several days resting, the first scene would be Room 1, Guardian.

After six days rest, during which they met Maglom the Dwarf, little sister of the late Gutzom, and immediately accepted her into the party, the group set out for the dungeon.

Now, guardian can be anything that prevents / restricts access to the remainder of the "5-Room Dungeon." Ordinarily I'll roll on a stocking table and then work with the results, but, lately, I've wanted something that moved me away from what's in the tables in the various books and more into what's in my head. Rory's Cubes to the rescue -  story, action and voyages (one of each to set the scene). 

I got: tent, reaching for something, and a lock. 

Ahah! A bandit camp where the bandits were trying to pry open a large chest they had scored from the last caravan they knocked off. I rolled and found seven bandits. 

Possibly the least interesting interpretation, but it was late, so I'll give myself a pass. 

I set the Chaos Factor to 5, rolled an 8, which meant the scene would stay as is.


"The party traipsed through the woods, all thoughts on the impending danger of the infamous dungeon which, thus far, hadn't been too terrible. Of course, the death of luminaries Perceval and Sister Linkat were the elephant in the living room. If any of them could afford to own a house, let alone a living room. 

Ygg halted the group when he spotted figures in the woods seated around a campfire, while others struggled with a large wooden chest." 

My party consists of seven characters. I don't like those odds. I took on the roll of the GM and asked Mythic GME (now acting as a Player Emulator), do you have any real reason, beyond some alignment duty, to get involved? and got a No. I then felt compelled to check if they were going to sneak by, or just be nonchalant and hope for the best. 

They went with the latter. 

"'Act natural everyone!" said Ygg. And he, and his band of heavily armed and armored adventurers attempted to walk along as if they had seen nothing.

Except, unfortunately, I also then had to check to see how the bandits would react.

S&W Whitebox has no reaction table like b/x and other games; here was an opportunity to play it NOT as b/x, but as its own game. 

I used Featherstone's method of assigning percentages to different possible reactions and, after the dice came to a stop, the bandit leader would confront them with clear hostility:

"Halt! How dare you trespass through our camp!" called out the obvious leader, dressed in his black leather and outrageously cliche cloak.

Despite Ygg trying to explain that the party just wanted to pass peacefully, the bandits didn't buy it (another percentile check), and their archers opened fire (the party was surprised by the call to arms and had to endure missile fire without being able to do anything of their own).  

 *thwip* *thwip* *thwip* *thwip* *thud* *thud* *thud*

And damn, they were quite the good shots, who rolled freakishly consistently high on their damage dice.

I thought for sure I was looking at a TPK. Or at least losing the majority of the party. Right about here, i started to consider if maybe I shouldn't have just read a comic book or something instead of playing a game.

The first round of combat after surprise continued the bloodshed,  as the melee bandits advanced into contact. Fortunately, the PCs got to slug it out a bit, finally dropping 3 of the bandits but not before they had dealt out more damage. A strategic fall back, so Lykidas could cast sleep, ended the violence. 

Here's how bad it was by the numbers: 

  • Leegand suffered 10 HP of damage, and was reduced to -2 HP (I'm using the optional rule for HP loss : a PC can drop to -Level HP before death). Fast application of bandages and cleaning of the wounds brought him back up to 1 HP. 
  • Zilliniy took 11 HP of damage and dropped to 1 but she only regained 1 as a result of binding her wounds. 
  • Ygg had lost 1 and was restored to his full 6 HP. 
  • Eomond had taken 6 HP of damage which dropped him to 4, but he regained 1. 

In no shape to continue to the dungeon, the party looted the bandits, and opted to bring the chest back to town in case the owner was there and offering a reward.

Runolf and Maglom carried the chest; the surviving bandits were bound and escorted back to town to be turned over to the Sheriff. 

That was all I had time for. Frankly, it was quite enough!

Monday, August 4, 2014

More Nuts! Chocolate & Cigarettes : Escort the Wounded

I decided on an "escort the wounded" scenario for my second go at Chocolate & Cigarettes.

Operation: Hyacinth - Team BBC must escort a wounded army private out of enemy territory, i.e. across the table.

OOB (I left these details out last time. Oops.):

  • Lt. Corporal Hardcastle - Rep 5, Fit: 5, Pep: 3, Sav: 4, Tough, Steely Eyes, Exceptional Fixer, Smooth
  • Lance Cpl. Peacock - Rep 5, Fit 3, Pep: 5, Sav: 4, Initiative, Smooth, has a hunk of cheese
  • Pvt. Deacon - Rep 5, Fit 3, Pep: 5, Sav:4, Hard as Nails, Attractive
  • "The Walking Wounded" - Rep 3, temporarily Rep 2 per scenario setup
As part of the scenario, the wounded can only move a maximum of twice their Rep. So, yeah, FOUR INCHES.

Good lord.

Here's the table with Team BBC and enemy PEFs in place:

[Turn 1, Germans 6, Brits 3. German PEFs won't move.]

Our heroes move through some woods. Hardcastle and Peacock take the lead to make sure there aren't any surprises.

[Turn 2, Germans 2, Brits 1, PEFS all pass two dice and move 8" towards Team BBC]

A surprise was indeed making its way towards them: a single SS-Panzergrenadier armed with an assault rifle. 

Peacock got the draw on the kraut and blasted away. 

His aim wasn't good enough.

[Peacock won the In-Sight check 3-0, he fired and scored enough to hit, but when checking the result, the enemy ended up merely knocked down and able to carry on.]

The German fired at Peacock who ducked back into cover under the barrage of bullets.

[Peacock passed 1 on his crisis test, and, since he has a BA Rifle, he is outgunned and ducks back]

Hardcastle raced up to join the fracas, but the SS trooper was ready. Dodging bullets and unphased, Hardcastle unleashed a fury from his SMG that dropped the enemy.

[Hardcastle moved up and triggered another In-Sight. The German won 4 to 1, I held my breath and hoped for the best: he missed! Hardcastle took a crisis test for receiving fire and passed 2. Even though he was outgunned, as a star I could choose his reaction, so, he returned fire and dropped the dastardly German; Jean would be proud. ]

[Turn 3 the team advanced. The sides tied for initiative on turns 4 and 5 ]

Hardcastle crossed the crest of the hill and hit the dirt as movement from the hill to his right and front caught his eye. A tense few moments passed until he realized it was just his nerves and that his mind had drifted to custard tarts.

[A PEF moved over the top o the hill and passed 0 dice to resolve.Right about now I was starting to feel pretty good.

Turns 7 and 8, the team continued their advance, going prone immediately after moving. This costs half movement to stand the next activation but, as I finally learned, the benefit when receiving fire is totally worth it.

On Turn 8, the Brits scored a 4 for initiative and the Germans a 3. With a total of 7, I could have checked to see if the Brits got reinforcements, but like I said, I was feeling pretty good.

Never a good sign.]

Peacock had leap frogged past Hardcastle to the hill to their front and took up a position watching the forest to their right. Something was out there.

This time Lione's hunches weren't custard card dreams, but an SS LMG team. In his haste, Hardcastle opened fire but was wide of the mark. The LMG fired at Peacock and dropped him, wounded. Then they turned their gun on Hardcastle and by the luck of the gods, missed him. 

[For the In-Sight, since Peacock and Hardcastle were two different groups for activation purposes, each of them took the test separately.

Hardcastle scored 3 successes

Peacock and the LMG team tied with 2. On their re-roll, the LMG team scored 2 successes, while Peacock only scored 1.

For the sake of activation it means that Hardcastle gets to act, then the LMG team, and then reactions are taken and the active side completes their activation if they can. 

As noted on the last page of the rules, it's not about winning In-Sight, but about not losing it.]

In a hail of bullets, Hardcastle dropped the gunner. The loader, unable to return fire, ducked out of sight.

[The LMG team passed 1 for their crisis test for received fire, which resulted in a snap fire at Hardcastle. Their results: 444321. All miss because he is prone.

For Lionel, I put 2 dice on the gunner and 1 for the loader. Boom! Obviously Dead result for the gunner.

The loader passed his crisis test for man down with 2 dice, but he was outgunned, so ducked back.]

The firefight continued between Hardcastle and the loader, who, seizing initiative, grabbed the MG-42 and opened up on Our Hero.

[Three of the dice hit and one resulted in an OOF. 

But, Lionel is the star and has Star Power. He scored three successes and shifted the OOF to knock down but carry on (he's already prone, so there's no knocking down) ]

Bullets whizzed by his helmet, one ripping a hole in his sleeve. Angered at the damage to his fastidiously maintained uniform, he dropped the loader cold in his tracks.

Even before the last gurgle of life left the German, Hardcastle ran to Peacock to ready to carry him out.

[On Turn 11, the initiative summed up to 7, in favor of the Germans. This led to a new PEF right next to Deacon and the wounded.

SON OF A &%#!@!*&%]

[Fortunately it only passed 1 die, and resolved to nothing. Thankfully, no additional PEFs appeared before the team made it across the table. ]

Mission : Success!

After the mission, I checked for Peacock's status (a rule I had missed on EVERY PREVIOUS GAME PLAYED) and he passed two dice, meaning he returns to the squad for the next mission.