Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Blasters & Bulkheads Part Two - Shootout at Zillium Spaceport

Today we continue in our Blasters & Bulkheads series, using the two forces I described in the first article.  I’m going to make this first AAR a bit detailed - if someone familiar with the game notices that I made any obvious mistakes, please tell me in the comments!

Scenario #1 from Blasters & Bulkheads is a straight line-up-and fight set in a bustling spaceport.  A good learning scenario, but it doesn't offer much in terms of built-in background.  So here’s my own attempt at filling it out...

Kane Beros was recently chosen to wield the Shadow Blade, one of the most ancient and powerful weapons in all the Shadow Worlds.  As a final test, the Elders sent him on his first mission.  Alina Jax, a free-lance intelligence agent, was going to take posession of a small artifact in the spaceport of Zillium.  Beros was instructed to retrieve that artifact - Alina's life was of no consequence.  Since this was his first mission as The Chosen, the Overseers sent Nazaeran, one of their most experienced enforcers, to advise him.  Beros was allowed to take five of his best disciples for this mission - each one training for the day they may succeed him as The Chosen.

Gann Helray, a young adventurer and son of a prominent baron, had meanwhile been looking for a way to prove himself to the nobility.  His dearest friend Kwah’koo learned of Beros’ and Nazaeran’s mission, and they decided to act.  Taking out the Chosen would certainly earn Helray a title of his own, and Kwah’koo had long held some sort of vendetta against Nazaeran.  Helray ordered his bodyguard, Sarge, to grab a squad and accompany them to the spaceport.

I rolled for initiative - Gann Helray scored four successes on his seven dice (Mind 3, 2 for being the leader, 2 for the Born Leader trait) while Beros rolled two on his five (Mind 3 and 2 for being the leader).  I assigned the +2 Edge bonus to Gann, and the +1 to Beros (need to make counters for these!).

You know you're a villain when even the guard dogs back away from you..
Gann is only armed with blaster pistols, so I charged him into the nearest cover.  Beros, utterly fearless and focused on his quarry, charged directly toward him.  Kwah’Koo joined Gann in cover.  Nazaeran decided to allow Beros the pleasure of killing Gann, and brought his Sun Gun to bear upon the Black Falcon troopers.  He rolled four successes on his attack, while the Falcons only rolled three succeses to oppose.  A hit. I rolled the Falcons’ damage resistance (six dice with re-rolls on two ) against the Sun Gun’s Damage Number of 7.  Even after the re-rolls, the Falcons only managed three successes - four were KO’d.

"How much is this kid paying us again?"
Sarge moved toward the cover and fired his rifle upon Beros.  He burned two Fate counters and hit Beros with four successes - Beros added two fate to his opposed roll, but only scored three.  Beros added three fate to his damage resistance rolls.  He was able to defend the shot.  Beros’ henchmen then inched forward - moving only 2cm so they could use their heavy weapon.  They scored six successes against Helray, Kwah’koo, and the Sarge - but those characters were at maximum range and in cover.  The dice did not favor Gann and his companions - none were able to stop the blast.  Gann and the Sarge each lost a Vitality - Kwah’Koo lost two.  The surviving Falcon Trooper also took a shot at Beros, but missed.

The victory conditions specify that a side that loses a character may choose to withdraw... henchmen don't really count as characters in Blasters & Bulkheads.

“Lord Helray, were are quickly losing our bodyguards.”  “I’ll buy you some new ones tomorrow, Sergeant. Fight on!”

Beros charged forward.  Helray, staying in cover, moved to within 10” of Beros.  Helray unloaded with both pistols, taking four Vitality from Beros.  Nazaeran advanced and fired his Sun Gun at Sarge, but didn’t hit.  Kwah’koo moved to Helray’s side and fired his pistol at Beros.  He missed.  Spurred by their previous success, Beros’ henchmen tried again with the launcher, this time using all their Fate counters.  Eight successes!  Helray rolled four successes against that, but Kwah’Koo only rolled two.  That put the DN +1 against Helray and a whopping +2 against his alien friend.  Both were reduced to 2 vitality.

Sarge marched forward to intercept Beros.  Even at close range, he only managed to hit with two successes.  Beros easily deflected this.  Sarge’s last Falcon Trooper also closed in on Beros and took a shot.  He hit, knocking one more vitality from Beros.
"What... do you guys not like me or something?"
Beros won initiative.  Since Sarge was so eager to protect Helray, Beros charged him.  He used the Cloud Minds ability first - Sarge lost two Fate for the upcoming melee.  Beros’ attack successes outnumbered Sarge’s by five.  Sarge burned his last three Fate on his Damage Resistance rolls, but still lost two Vitality.
Helray charged out of cover and attacked Beros.  Two measly successes, even with the charge bonus and burning some Fate counters.  Beros deflected.

"Fine... I'll swat both of you like the insects you are."
Nazaeran ignored the melee, looking instead at the lone surviving Black Falcon trooper.  Caught in the open, the trooper couldn’t hope to withstand the attack.  Kwah’koo saw this and took a shot at Nazaeran.  He hit, but Nazaeran’s armor absorbed the shot.

Stand tall, look imposing, and blast anything wearing blue
Beros’ henchmen advanced and fired their blaster rifles at Kwah’koo.  He was KO’d.

"I'm not WEARING blue, you bastards - I AM BLUE!"
This was too much for Helray.  He ordered an immediate retreat...  today was clearly not the opportunity he had hoped for.  Beros ordered his henchmen to search the spaceport.  A frightened civilian worker finally answered him - Alina had escaped during the fighting.  She was making her way to the opposite end of the port... a small courier ship was waiting for her to make a quick getaway.

First and foremost - what was the fate of poor Kwah’koo?  He passed all of his Resolve dice - that should help him on the post-battle roll. He suffered “Serious Injuries,” and would suffer from weakened stats during the next scenario.  Each character gained +1 experience.

Then I rolled for income.  Helray’s group didn’t earn enough credits to pay everyone’s upkeep - two characters (or henchmen groups) would have to suffer a shortfall next game.  I rolled “must activate last each round” as the shortfall.  I assigned this to Sarge and his Trooper group - it made a certain kind of sense since they would all be replacements.

Now we move on to Beros’ group.  Beros earned one experience, and Nazaeran earned two for delivering the KO to Kwah’koo.  They also rolled well for income - three extra credits in the bank after upkeep was paid.

Beros led his men through the streets of Zillium, searching for Alina Jax and the item in her possession.  Helray carried Kwah’koo to Zillium’s med facility, while Sarge called in another team of Falcon troopers.  A spaceport worker raced into the med facility to tell Helray what was going on - and who Beros was trying to get.  Helray only needed to hear her name.  The memories of that one unforgettable night gave him a new sense of purpose.  Kwah’koo was patched up - he’d be slow, but was eager to have another shot at Nazaeran.  And now they knew they didn't have to kill Beros and his men - just slow them down long enough for Alina to make a clean getaway.




  1. The board is really cool. Not sure how i feel about the games "Not Star Wars" asthetic, i perfer a more gritty and dark type of backstory. Though i wouldn't be against trying this. Great batrep regardless. You continue to never dissapoint me, and my need for extra-tiny miniature goodness

  2. enchanting scenery, game and minis!

  3. I've got rules overload right now, but B&B sounds really appealing from this report. I've always leant towards pulp over grit.

  4. Nice compact scenery, scenario, and shoot-out.

  5. Hello Chris!

    A quick question: Who makes those nice Martian-style buildings?


  6. Thanks folks. I'm with you, Spacejacker - Babylon 5 is my favorite sci-fi universe, especially from a visual standpoint. Hard sci-fi bores me.

    @Xols - they are made by The Scene, but are only available a few times a year. If you're trying to get your hands on them, you might want to email Mike and see if he'll cast a special order.

    Otherwise, Brigade Models now has a growing range of Mars/Alien Desert buildings:

  7. Thanks a lot!

    Great blog, BTW! :)