Solo Skald |||

5 Parsecs From Home - Campaign Turn 19

This is almost certainly the penultimate campaign turn, as (with Swales back in action) the crew can take this quest mission to pinpoint the destination for their cargo, the Funky Lil Guy.

A confident female character with a medium complexion and shoulder-length brown hair styled in a loose braid stands slightly turned to the right. Her determined face features arched eyebrows, a straight nose, and full lips. She wears a fitted brown sleeveless top under a bulky tactical vest in gray with black and metallic silver accents. A white, padded high collar peeks from the vest, and her arms are adorned with black and gray armored gauntlets with silver details, extending to her upper arms. Fitted gray pants with black padding on her thighs and shins, a black tactical holster with a matte black pistol on her right thigh, and black boots with silver plating complete her look. A dark utility belt with a silver buckle and pouches encircles her waist. She holds a rifle vertically against her leg, ready for a high-risk operation. The character’s attire and gear give her a futuristic military appearance, ideal for a modern comic book style. Generated by ChatGPT from a description of concept art by Mitchell Mohrhauser

World Steps

Upkeep is still 1 credit, but the ship is damaged due to the problems with the gravitational adjuster last campaign turn. Fortunately, we can repair 1 point automatically for free, and so it doesn’t end up costing us anything.

Crew Tasks

With one rival on this world, and the crew tightly focused on their current mission, they’ll do their best to ensure that no one interferes and they’re as prepared as possible.

  • Ellen Swales: Decoy
    • In an effort to keep the crew’s focus on the mission, Swales will ensure those raiders from last time don’t come track us down.
  • Reyna Crowder: Train
    • She’s spending some time studying up on combat tactics (+1 XP).
  • Shurl Reeves: Trade
    • Effectively the ship’s primary trade representative, she ends up hearing some insider information that would get us a new patron.
    • We don’t need one of those, however, and so with her merchant training, she gets a different deal instead.
    • She turns up a bit of army surplus gear and we get a new Auto Rifle.
  • Thornton Darby: Trade
    • Darby finds another lot of trade goods for the next planet, same as Shelby did last time.
  • Saige Alden: Decoy
    • Her bad temper got us into the other of these rivalries, so she’s assigned to cover our tracks.
  • Robert Shelby: Train
    • The rookie continues to hit the gym (+1 XP).

Equipment

There’s an Auto Rifle and some Dazzle Grenades. The Auto Rifle will go to Shelby, as it’s an upgrade over his old Blast Rifle. Saige Alden will take the grenades.

Battle

With two rivalries and two crew members assigned to cover our tracks, there won’t be any interference from those persistent enemies this turn. And it turns out our enemies won’t be Elite (this is the last turn for that, based on the Progressive Difficulty system).

  • Deployment Conditions: Delayed (2 random crew members are delayed until a random round)
  • Notable Sights: Shiny bits (1 credit is placed 6” north of the center of the battlefield)
  • Objective: Acquire
    • There’s an item we need to finish this mission at the center of the battlefield.
    • A crew member needs to move into contact, spend an action, and then successfully leave the battlefield.
  • Enemies: Hired Muscle
    • Somebody’s been hired to stop us from getting what we need. This puts us at -1 to seize the initiative.
    • Unknown Mercs: The Fringe is crawling with mercenary bands looking to make credits for para-military work. Most are sort-of honorable, at least when dealing with other professionals.
    • Let’s just call it a day: If they are down to 1 or 2 figures remaining, they will accept ending the fight at the end of any round. Neither side holds the field in this case.
    • A total of 9 enemies with no Unique Individual.
    • Tactical AI: They will only brawl if they have a higher combat skill, otherwise they will aim from cover and fire.
  • Profiles: 1 Lieutenant, 2 Specialists, 6 Grunts
    • Lieutenant: Speed 5”, Combat +2, Toughness 4, Saving Throw 5+, Hand Laser, Blade
    • Specialists: Panic 1, Speed 5”, Combat +1, Toughness 4, Marksman Rifle
    • Grunts: Panic 1, Speed 5”, Combat +1, Toughness 4, Military Rifle
  • Weapons:
    • Blade: Damage +1, Melee
    • Hand Laser: Range 9”, Shots 1, Damage +0, Pistol, Snap Shot
    • Marksman Rifle: Range 36”, Shots 1, Damage +0
    • Military Rifle: Range 24”, Shots 1, Damage +0

I’m going to use the non-minis combat system again, since it’s quick, fun, and won’t really apply very often in the next campaign. I perhaps could have played the previous group as more aggressive, now that I’m reviewing how this works, even in non-minis combat. I’m still adjusting to this different approach for now. However, since Area weapon traits are ignored, I decided to reroll the Specialists’ weapons from Hand Flamers to Marksman Rifles.

We’re infiltrating a corporate facility to get the last bit of information we need to find the destination for the Funky Lil Guy. But they’ve got mercs attempting to prevent this. We’re not interested in holding the field, just getting in and out with the data.

Round 1

A couple of the crew are delayed: Swales and Reeves will not be available this round, and I’ll need to check at the end of the round to see if they’re available yet.

Battle Flow Event: As the crew approaches, they’re doing their best to stay out of sight. One less enemy will activate during the Firefight phase.

Initiative: With Swales delayed, we’ll have less people activating this phase. Crowder will try to keep her distance, meaning she can only be selected as a target by enemies with a weapon range exceeding 12” (everyone except the Lieutenant). If she is selected by one of them, she can only use a weapon with a range over 12” (so not her Dueling Pistol). Her Battlefield Test succeeds and she is in fact staying back.

Firefight: There are 9 enemies, so 4 will activate: the Lieutenant, both Specialists, and a Grunt. The others are assumed to be hiding, trying to get a Line of Sight, or shooting at shadows.” I’ll have the Grunt activate first, and he targets Shelby randomly. With Shelby’s improved range of 24”, he matches the Grunt’s range and can fire first. He takes careful aim with his auto rifle and takes the grunt down. A Specialist marksman now trains his rifle on Crowder, who’s in the back rank, and the shot hits the cover directly in front of her, spraying her with a bit of debris. She pops back up and returns fire with her Needle Rifle, getting in two hits and taking him out. The other Specialist has an angle on Shelby, seeing him take out the Grunt, and his shot hits Shelby but is handled by a Deflector Field. Finally, the Lieutenant heads towards Alden with his Hand Laser, but she sees him coming and hits him, but he’s still up. His shot hits, but she also has a Deflector Field that sends the shot off course. (That uses that up for this battle on both of our crew members, though.)

At the end of the round, Swales and Reeves are still delayed. But the enemy has lost a Specialist and a Grunt, which causes one of the other Grunts to bail.

Round 2

The enemy now has 6 figures left, losing two to combat and one to panic. They still have a Lieutenant, a Specialist, and 4 Grunts. We have two suspected locations: the objective and some extra credits.

Battle Flow Event: Due to the crew’s careful maneuvering, the remaining Specialist will not activate this round.

Initiative: The crew is going to scout around for those shiny credits; Darby sees them off to the side and Crowder moves up to them. That’ll net us 1 extra credit.

Firefight: The enemy has less than 7 figures now, only three of them will activate (all Grunts with Military Rifles and no combat bonuses). The first Grunt targets Alden, but she has more range than he does and gets to fire first; she takes him out before he can fire. A second Grunt targets Crowder, but he misses and her return fire doesn’t (although it doesn’t do more than stun him). The third Grunt also fires on Crowder, but misses.

Swales and Reeves still haven’t shown up yet. The enemy lost another Grunt, but the remaining squad holds steady.

Round 3

The enemy has 5 members left: the Lieutenant, a Specialist, and 3 Grunts. We haven’t found the main objective yet, though.

Battle Flow Event: Scanning around, the crew discovers the location they’re looking for.

Initiative: Now that they’ve found the objective, Shelby moves up to it. He’ll need to spend the next round to get the data, but he’s in position now. Meanwhile, Alden sees an enemy Grunt and targets him, succeeding on her Battlefield Test to get an Optimal Shot. She engages him at 30” range, meaning he can’t return fire even if he survives - he does, but he’s stunned. Regardless, he’s too far away to do anything back to her.

Firefight: With 5 members, the three that activate will be the Lieutenant, the Specialist, and another Grunt. The Specialist targets Alden and misses; she’s already fired this round and can’t return fire. Next, the Lieutenant will engage Darby, but that gives Darby (who has longer range on his Needle Rifle) a couple of shots first. He gets a critical hit with his armor-piercing slivers, which go right through the leader’s armor and leave him dead on the ground. Finally, the last Grunt also shoots at Alden, and he’s also unable to hit her.

Seeing his lieutenant go down, a Grunt bails out of the fight. Swales and Reeves finally enter the battle!

Round 4

The enemy has 3 members left: a Specialist and 2 Grunts. We’ve got the objective, as long as we can secure it this round.

Battle Flow Event: Swales finds a shortcut and can move directly to the objective. This is good, because Shelby’s Reaction score is lower than the others and he really shouldn’t be the one trying to get an Initiative Action.

Initiative: This time, Swales gets her automatic action, and she does secure the data. She needs to exfiltrate successfully still, but she’s in the best position to do that. As it turns out, Shelby actually could have activated also, but instead it’ll be Darby and Reeves who will support Swales (taking any shots that might come her way).

Firefight: All three of the remaining enemies get to activate. The Specialist targets Shelby from long range and misses; Shelby returns fire and his Auto Rifle gets in two hits - one of which takes down the sniper. The first Grunt targets Swales but Reeves will take the shot for her. This works particularly well for the crew because she has a very long range weapon and can fire first, but she misses. The Grunt does too, so it doesn’t matter too much. The second Grunt goes for Alden, who outranges him as well. She misses, but he doesn’t; she’s already used her Deflector Field, but she stays up anyway, despite taking the hit.

Even with the casualty, the enemy doesn’t panic. They do offer to call it a day, though, and the crew accepts. They’ve got the data they need and they’re not interested in holding the field for extra loot - not to mention the chance of rivalries if they did. That does pass up a chance at another Quest Rumor, though.

Post-Battle Sequence

As noted, there’s no risk of rivalry this time. The quest progression roll fails, but I spend a Story Point to reroll: this time, we get the 7 we need to reach the Quest Conclusion. That means the next campaign turn will indeed be the last.

We earn 4 credits in loot and salvage, plus we get some Valuable Materials as rewards, worth 1d6+2 = 8 credits! That’s a total of 12 credits, which is really nice, taking us to 30 credits total.

Everyone gets 3 XP, except for Alden who gets 0 XP due to her current state of melancholy, and Shelby who gets 4 XP total due to getting the first kill this time. Swales, Shelby, and Darby each take +1 Combat, while Reeves takes +1 Speed. That gets her to an even number, which helps when dashing due to the tools I use for VTT measurement.

No new training or equipment this time - we’re going into the finale with what we have. Anyways, the Unity tax bureau has taken an interest in our business; we need to pay 4 credits in taxes. However, somebody sends Swales a gift: a Colony Rifle. Is this a reminder of the peaceful, high-tech colony world she came from? Or perhaps the job she did for that same colony long ago that later led to her first truth-seeking” quest? She’ll have to take some time to ponder what it means for her future.

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