Both the cultic Czernovoyksa and the idealistic Rangers have come to an abandoned intersection in search of loot – bullets, tinned goods, fuel, batteries, anything that will soften the hardship of life after the Fall. Without satellite support, they do not know that the woods are crawling with rad-spiders, or that some aggressive locals have expanded their network of fortified farms toward the roadways.
|The table before the models showed up.|
Rangers: Kane, Pointman, Thumper – Quality 4 Lone Wolves; 3x3 Rangers – Quality 4 Squads
Czernovoyka: Strelok, Blazheny, Posvyashchat – Quality 4 Lone Wolves; 3x3 Upyr – Quality 4 Squads
Kane technically had the Inspiration Leader trait, but I forgot to use it. Thumper had Lethal, but missed every shot. Strelok and Pointman both had Shadow, making them effectively invulnerable to long range fire.
Both sides entered the board from near the road. Pointman and the Rangers with assault rifles quickly seized a hill to use as a base of fire. The Voyska spread out to search the nearest woods and building, while Blazheny led a fireteam to the crumpled cars at the intersection. They struck gold immediately, but came under punishing fire from the hill. All three Upyr perished before Blazheny could duck back out of sight with the case and then unceremoniously flee for his life (1 VP).
The Upyr in the woods disturbed the rad spiders almost immediately, and it took several turns of desperate AK74 and RPG fire to silence the chittering monstrosities. At that point Posvyashchat (the first to fall) and one other were dead. The survivors made their way to a wrecked car and did find a Loot marker, before Kane and his colleagues took them out.
Slowed by the ubiquitous wire fences, the lead Ranger team took a while to reach the woods, but once there managed to silence the Upyr opposite before waking the spiders. While in desperate hand-to-hand, the Upyr in the abandoned building savaged them with RPGs and rifle-fire, adding to their woes. Eventually one man was dead and two more injured. When they finally escaped, they at least had the satisfaction of knowing that their struggle had not been in vain (2VP).
The men – if they were still men – in that abandoned house had struggled to get in past the boards and corrugated iron in the windows, but once upstairs quickly found a Loot marker. Their RPG gunner was hit by a lucky round, and their retreat with the goods was slow (1VP). Strelok, also wounded in the final seconds of the battle, stumbled across more goods by sheer chance in the dark downstairs (4VP). It really was luck – I forgot I'd even placed the marker there, and wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't lifted the first floor to allow for his injured slowness.
First across the motorway, the rangers who reached the farm found a Loot marker easily enough, but were chased away by locals when their gunfire (vs the Upyr) awakened them. Hopping back over the fence, their skill (Q4 to Q1) was enough to save them from serious harm and spell the doom of the four foolish farmers who had fired on them. It was one of these men who shot the RPG gunner before heading away down the road (4VP).
A discreditable mention goes to Thumper, the Ranger sniper who was very calm and professional in his sneaky approach to the Voyska stronghold, up until it counted. He missed a shot – with scoped rifle! – at close range and was unceremoniously finished off by Blazheny's SMG.
|The Rangers advance and spread out.|
|The Czernovoyska stick a little closer together.|
|Rad-spiders surround their prey!|
|Ranger firepower forces them to hunker down in the road.|
Czernovoyska: 6 Victory points from 3 Loot markers, -8 from casualties (7 dead, 2 wounded). Total -2VP
Rangers: 6 Victory points from 2 Loot markers, -5 from casualties (3 dead, 4 wounded). Total +1VP
NARROW RANGER VICTORY
Man of the Match: Strelok, the Czerno' sniper, who pinned down the Ranger base of fire very effectively and caused most of the Ranger's casualties and Fear markers. His Shadow ability means that any successful hit from within cover at Long range adds 2 Fear instead of 1, so he is ideally suited to trapping the enemy in place.
|Ranger fire support group takes its position.|
|Captain Kane and his team advance. Loot found in background.|
|Metkiy'Strelok takes aim at distant foes...|
|...while a much closer one sneaks up on him.|
Once again, THREAT ran smoothly, even with a three-sided game (Czernovoyska, Rangers, Nuisances). The number of times where spraying ammo wildly led to an awkward need to reload seemed about right, as did the times when men froze up in Fear. The Rangers, bless them, actually had three turns where their entire force was Frozen due to poor rolls at the start of the turn. That said, I forgot to use "blips" and Kane's special rule, so maybe it ran quickly because I wasn't paying attention! It was still fun enough to play merry havoc with my picture-taking, so there's that. Adding Wits checks to navigate obstacles added a pleasant uncertainty to difficult terrain.
Hopefully I will get the mental space to touch up the rules soon, but I accidentally wrote the bones of a new set of space opera skirmish rules during my lunch break on Thursday, so I may end up getting distracted again...