I’ve been a huge fan of the “7TV” rule set by “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” since it the core rulebook was first released in 2011. Indeed my article “The Misadventures of Gnatman and Dobbin: Zombies Not Included…” in Issue 67 of the “Wargames Soldiers and Strategy” by “Karwansaray Publishers” is based upon the game. But having not played for a while, I thought a series of simple scenarios would help ease me back into the mechanics and let me post some battle reports at the same time.
This first game will use just a Heroic Star and Co-Star against a number of Villainous Extras. In addition I’ve selected a few Gadget cards for the heroes, but didn’t use any Event cards as I wanted to get used to the ‘bread and butter’ mechanics of the Action:Engine system without having too much interrupt the flow. Indeed the game was predominantly a slugfest so I could reacquaint myself with basic Melee attacks, Charging and ‘All or Nothing’ Attacks. Although once the Dark Knight entered the fray there were Bat-a-rangs whizzing all over the place.
The adventure takes place upon a 2x2 board, with some collections of rocks and a couple of small toxic pools scattered about. The objective is for Howard the Duck to survive ten rounds, whilst being attacked by an increasing number of ‘Eavies who plan on having roast fowl for supper. Batman is desperately racing to the duck’s rescue but it’s unclear just when he’ll arrive, and every turn until the last, another extra will arrive upon the table at a random edge. Howard therefore must fend off the hired muscle until the Dark Knight arrives and rescues him.
“The story so far… Batman has intercepted an alarm from S.T.A.R. Labs, which has detected a shift in “the Cosmic Axis” that has opened a portal from another world in the vicinity of Gotham Harbour. As the Caped Crusader makes his way towards the eastern end of the Sprang River, he receives a feed from one of the docks’ closed circuit television cameras showing a strange fading illumination on a small island which sits within the river. The picture quality is poor as the optical instrument is at its maximum range, but the Dark knight can just make out from the grainy footage what looks like a large duck being chased by the island’s inhabitants. Clearly the local tramps and drunks are planning on making a meal of the feathered fowl… but the bird appears to be dressed in a shirt and tie, and smoking a cigar.!?!”
The game started with the (first) ‘Eavy winning the Initiative and running (double move) straight towards the feathered fowl. Deciding to run for cover behind a cluster of rocks on the small island’s westernmost corner Howard also did a double waddle. With no sign of Batman arriving, a (second) ‘Eavy appeared in the island’s south-eastern corner and ran forwards to join up with his colleague. In the meantime Howard backed away even further to ensure a rocky outcrop was between him and his foes.
|WITH HIS LAST CIGAR IN HAND, HOWARD THE DUCK PUTS UP A 'DOWNY DEFENCE'.|
With the Caped Crusader still elsewhere, swinging from Gotham rooftop to rooftop, a (third) ‘Eavy arrived in the south-east corner of the island. Sensing he would be easily swamped by the hired muscle if he remained in hiding, Howard decided to put his best webbed foot forward and trust in the teachings of the school of Master C’haaj. The duck double-moved towards the (first) ‘Eavy and utilising his Heroic Surge to initiate a second activation, flicked his trusty stogie towards the man. It flew towards its target as if it was a Rocket Cigarette and was inadvertently swallowed by the hired muscle; putting him out of action for the rest of the game with a touch of heart burn. Howard then charged into the (second) ‘Eavy and demonstrating just why he was also known as Shang Op – Master of Quak Fu, he stunned the man. The surviving (third) ‘Eavy attempted to charge into the duck himself but despite having ‘A Good Offence’ rolled low. Still there was no sign of Batman. But a (fourth) ‘Eavy arrived from the north, doubling the fowl’s attackers. Howard went in for ‘All or nothing’ on the (third) ‘Eavy and brought the hired muscle crashing to the ground, before he hid behind the island’s central rocky outcrop.
|"SHANG-OP", WHICH MEANS RISING AND ADVANCING OF A DUCK, IS THE MASTER OF QUAK FU|
With the (third) ‘Eavy staggering to his feet and a (fifth) ‘Eavy appearing from the south, Howard the Duck leapt out at his opponents and floored the (third) hired muscle a second time. Snatching a handy crowbar from a nearby pile of debris the (fifth) ‘Eavy saw a chance to wallop the duck from behind but didn’t account for Howard’s Dodge ability. Suddenly a shadow briefly fell over the island, there was the sound of something flying swiftly through the air, and the (second) ‘Eavy, who had just reawakened, was more permanently out for the count thanks to two bat-a-rangs. The Dark Knight had arrived. Using an ‘Adrenalin Boost’ to obtain a third action for the turn, Batman charged into the (fifth) ‘Eavy currently assaulting Howard, and producing a bat-blade incapacitated the hired muscle for the rest of the fight. But a (sixth) ‘Eavy was already rushing down from the north.
|THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD OR THE BAT AND THE BIRD|
As a (seventh) ‘Eavy appeared, Batman began hurling Bat-a-rangs but all missed despite him using his ‘Luck’. As a result the (sixth) ‘Eavy rushed past the Caped Crusader and charged into Howard, but the duck’s ‘Dodge’ ability continued to keep his feathers safe. An (eighth) ‘Eavy now arrived, and Batman and the Duck Wonder were in danger of being encircled. Batman’s bat-a-rangs rang true this round and down went the (fourth) ‘Eavy. An ‘All or Nothing’ feathered fist from Howard felled the (sixth) ‘Eavy, and the bat and bird went back-to-back to fend off their enemies.
|FIGHTING INJUSTICE IN GOTHAM CITY: BATMAN AND HOWARD THE DUCK|
In the south-east corner of the island, a final (ninth) ‘Eavy emerged and started running towards what he hoped was an easy supper. But Batman now saw a chance to get the duck to safety and together they rushed north towards the (eighth) ‘Eavy. The hired muscle was all that stood between the Dark Knight and freedom, so he eventually fell under a flurry of bat-a-rangs. Hearing the fast approaching footsteps of their pursuers behind them the Caped Crusader scooped up Howard in one arm, and with the other fired off a bat-cable into the nearest dock building and together they leapt into the air and away…