Monday, 5 January 2015

28mm Battle Report: Blake's Seven, Rocket Raccoon and Groot Verses Ultron

MACHINE VERSES MAN... AND RACCOON... AND TREE.!?!
This “7TV” adventure takes place using my “Space Hulk” board sections confined within a 2x2 gaming area. Five areas were identified to contain objective markers, ranging from values 1 – 5. The winner was the side who held the most points at the end of the sixth turn. However no-one knew how many points each objective was worth until the end of the game. This scenario was designed to establish how the High Maintenance and Boffin rules, found within the “Villains Programme Guide” “7TV” rule supplement worked.
THE TABLETOP - THE FEDERATION RESEARCH BASE PYM ONE
“+++Information+++ The Liberator is in orbit above the Federation Research Base Pym One, having intercepted a distress call from the scientists there that the facilities have been invaded by a humanoid robot called Ultron. Orac has ascertained that the computer banks within the base contain large amounts of data which would be useful to the Liberator crew in their fight against the Federation. However before teleporting down, Blake has been contacted by the starship Rack ’n’ Ruin and agreed to conduct a joint expedition with its captain, Rocket Raccoon and his partner Groot…”

Because we were using board sections instead of an ‘open’ playing surface, in order to replicate the atmosphere of tight corridors, a House Rule was agreed that although the Dreadnought robots’ 40mm bases were wider than some of the floor sections, they’d still be able to walk through them. But nothing else would be able to get past unless it could fly or climb across the ceiling. This was important to clarify as during the Prologue Ultron was equipped with both Climbing Suckers and a Jet Pack, amongst other items. In addition it would take the models one complete action to download the computer information from each of the data terminals. They could then carry the information with them. However if they were knocked out or killed then they’d immediately drop the data chips they were carrying. 

The heroes’ deployment zone was in the north-eastern corner, whilst Ultron and three Dreadnought robots would start in the opposite corner of the complex. As Ultron had the disadvantage Cameo, we rolled a 1D3 to determine the turn which the model could first activate. The robot would not start the game until Turn Two. In addition the villain also had the disadvantage Love To Hate, which meant his ‘cast’ would receive one less Audience Appreciation marker each turn.
DOWN AND SAFE - ROJ BLAKE LEADS ROCKET AND GROOT AGAINST ULTRON
At the start of Turn One, Roj Blake, Rocket Raccoon and Groot teleported down to their start location. The freedom fighter was immediately thrown as the sentient tree-like creature had a bright blue bucket on his head. Apparently this was Rocket’s idea of a Disguise Kit for his friend, which gained Groot the Infiltrator special effect and would allow him to move within 2” of Ultron and his Dreadnoughts without detection. Shaking his head the human ran off west up the northern edge corridor towards the base’s north-western room and the computer terminal within it [Objective One]. Rocket and Groot moved south together with the plan that the anthropomorphic raccoon could download the data from the ‘central’ terminal [Objective Four] whilst the Monarch of Planet X, hoping his ‘robot disguise’ would keep him safe from enemy fire, would carry on towards the base’s south-eastern room [Objective Five]. Sensing the presence of living life-forms within the lay-out two of the Dreadnought robots marched out from their robotic master’s ‘throne room’.
INTRUDERS DETECTED - TWO DREADNOUGHT ROBOTS MARCH INTO ACTION
Turn Two saw Ultron emerge from his private chamber. One Dreadnought headed north towards a computer terminal located at a corridor cross-way [Objective Two] near the western edge of the complex. Whilst the other tall robot marched east down the southernmost corridor towards another alcove-situated computer terminal [Objective Three]. Blake continued running west towards the north-western room [Objective One] and fleetingly caught sight of one of the huge metallic blue-armoured robots as he dashed past a corridor. Meanwhile Rocket reached the computer terminal housed within the facility’s central room [Objective Four] and downloaded its data.
LONGSTANDING GRUDGE - BLAKE AND A DREADNOUGHT DOWNLOAD DATA FILES
At the beginning of Turn Three we realised that we hadn’t played the Event Longstanding Grudge during the Prologue, but agreed to play it now instead. Hopefully this game would be the start of a long-running battle of wits between the mighty Ultron and the inferior human Roj Blake – How dare the puny fleshy one challenge the will of one powered by an internal nuclear furnace!?! In game terms however it simply meant that these models could re-roll failed hits made against one another. Certainly Blake was already becoming a major concern for the villain as he reached the north-western room [Objective One] and downloaded the data stored there.  Meanwhile, trusting Groot could get the job done on his own, Rocket raced west up a U-bend of corridors in order to support Blake. Dispatching a third (and final) Dreadnought from his Throne Room, Ultron received news that the non-sentient robotic combat instrument had downloaded the data from the terminal located in the southern corridor [Objective Three].
GADGET MASTER - ULTRON UTILISES A JET PACK AND CLIMBING SUCKERS
Disconcertingly for Ultron, the next turn saw the Event card No Faith In The Plan being played, which in effect made his robotic brain realise that his Dreadnoughts were moving too slowly throughout the research facility to assure his victory. As a result Hank Pym’s creation activated his Jet Pack and flew straight down the southern-edge corridor, over the head of one of his robots, and landed just behind the Dreadnought with the data chip. Utilising his Climbing Suckers, Ultron then scuttled past this giant robot as well, and ended his move close to the complex’s south-eastern room [Objective Five]. Turning, the nearest Dreadnought marched down the corridor directly behind his master. Groot, realising he was fast running out of time, increased his own pace towards the south-eastern room. Meanwhile in the opposite corner of the research facility, Blake, sensing the imminent approach of a Dreadnought, tucked himself away in a corner at the end of the corridor and prepared to step out and fire his weapon.
ROLE REVERSAL - FEMALE LEADS TAKE OVER THE SHOW
With the anticipation of a fire-fight starting at one end of the table and a fist-fight at the other, there was stunned silence as the Casting News Event card was played, and both actors playing Ultron and Roj Blake were recast; predominantly Sally Knyvette replacing Gareth Thomas. As a result, and as a bit of fun, we swapped the models of Ultron and Blake for those of Jocasta and Jenna Stannis.

Blake, now wearing high heels and sporting bright blonde hair, stepped out in front of the approaching Dreadnought and fired… missing. Using her Luck, the freedom fighter fired once more but again missed. Utilising Heroic Surge, and gaining two more actions as a result, Blake took careful aim [+2 Shooting dice roll] and hit the tall robot. But although the blast penetrated its titanium steel alloy shell it failed to damage the brute. Elsewhere, Groot, throwing off the blue bucket from his head, charged into Ultron with all his might. But to no effect due to the villain’s Invulnerable Adamantium armour. However all was not lost as the Dreadnought behind Ultron decided to open fire upon the Monarch of Planet X, despite him being locked in combat with Hank Pym’s creation. Fortunately for the sentient tree-like creature the Dreadnought’s shot struck Ultron but despite being a high calibre energy blast, it also was unable to penetrate the villain’s armour.
UTTER CHAOS - AS GROOT BATTLES A FEMALE ULTRON AND UM... BLAKE RECOVERS ANOTHER CHIP
The final Turn saw Ultron try and pull out all of the stops and bring down Groot before the ‘possibly malfunctioning’ Dreadnought behind him inadvertently shot him again. Activating a hidden blade [Dagger Shoe] from one of his feet, the robot kicked out at Groot, but found the bark of the Flora Colossus just as impenetrable as his own adamantium shell. As a result a slug-fest begun but each blow failed to damage the Monarch of Planet X. Exasperated, Ultron activated an Adrenaline Boost for a final ‘last gasp’ action but rolled a one. With a sense of horror, the villain then heard the Dreadnought behind him power up his weapons once again and felt the idiotic robot’s energy blast burn into his back for a second time. Fortunately for the robot, his armour was proving to be as Invulnerable as Groot’s bark. Finally, aware of an awful racket taking place far behind him, Rocket scurried up to Blake’s position. Whilst the freedom fighter downloaded the data from the nearby computer terminal [Objective Two].

As the game ended and the three heroes teleported back to their respective space vessels, it was revealed that the Dreadnought with the data chip had 4 points worth of information and Rocket only had 1 point. However Blake had acquired a total of 5 points from his two data chips, giving the crews of the Liberator and Rack ’n’ Ruin victory.

16 comments:

  1. Yay, go Liberator ! Interesting aar though I was cnfused at times and had to re-read bits; sounded like you had a lot of ufn and the rules seemed to work well too..

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    1. Cheers Zabadak. The game was an absolute blast - though both Ultron and Groot are incredibly tough to injure. I actually had a few problems writing this one up, as it wasn't as easy to describe where models were as when we simply use the entire 2x2 table - hence I put in the data download objectives on the map. Let me know though where you think its confusing and I can edit it. The table is still up so I can always put in a clarification photo or two. I think next time we use the "Space Hulk" boards I'll do some more distance shots with directions etc on them to make it easier to follow anyway.

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    2. It's not that confusing after you work out where the figures are, some long distant shots would really help too though.

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    3. No worries Joe. Thanks for the feedback :-)

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  2. That was as entertaining as ever. For me, the highlight (which I doubt anyone could see coming) was the recasting of Blake and Ultron into Jenna and Jocasta. It was a real WTF moment!

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    1. Thanks Bryan. Glad you enjoyed it. It was a moment which stunned all in the room as well I assure you, and one of the reasons I enjoy "7TV" so very much. The swap seemed such obvious choice of minis as well, though at first I was tempted to bring in Michael Keating (Vila Restal).

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  3. Great idea to use the Space Hulk tiles as an underground base. I have to agree with Joe, some long distance shots would help the viewer immensely.

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    1. Cheers Bob. Good to get some use out of the tiles after all these years tbh. I have never liked "Space Hulk" and its horrifically expensive to get a decent 3D resin space corridor layout. I'll do some more 'map' photos next time we use it for sure.

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  4. Another marvellous game, I think. You're really playing to the strengths of 7TV with the events and the gadgets!

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    1. Many thanks C6. Always pleased that a fellow Batrep poster enjoys mine. Those Event cards in particular really can shake the game up - in a very good way :-)

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  5. What a wonderfully entertaining report, inspirational stuff.

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    1. Cheers Michael. Glad you enjoyed it. Great game to start the New Year with.

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  6. Great report. I really must get a proper game in of 7TV this year......

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    1. Thanks Simon. You definitely should though I've been patiently waiting for another of your excellent "AtDE" AARs for a while now ;-)

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    2. Thanks I'll get one done at some point now Christmas is over and the house has returned to normal some what. I have Sollus rules to test out to.

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    3. You really are between a rock and a hard place then Simon; "7TV", "AtDE" or the highly anticipated Sollus rules... decisions decisions ;-)

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