DH1.9: Defense

The GM calls us to order with a request for Perception – not Awareness – checks and the combat began and continues for the entire session. Because re-rolls are prominent, I’ll explain that re-rolls are triggered by spending a Fate Point. Each session, players are handed their character’s allocation of fate Points: Franz has 4, Grimm 3, Mola and Zarkov 2, and Jahr 1.

++++++++++++++++++++Combat begins++++++++++++++++++++

All characters are more or less drifting to sleep, each in their own room in the Strophes’ guest wing. Perception checks all round: Franz [07] hears a muffled “crunch” sound that he is astute enough to match with the front door being forced. Grabbing up his Autogun, he hastens to alert Grimm, and Grimm, grabbing up his Lawgiver and visor helmet, instructs the assassin to vox the others!

Battle layout: the guest wing features a fairly narrow corridor, three doors off each side, made private from the mezzanine floors at either end by being reached by means of a short turn-back corridor, with a balustrade on the outside of the turn-back over the stair that in both cases leads down to a foyer or ante-chamber. The “eastern” mezzanine also allows access to servant quarters, which reached through another three doors, and has a second stair and balustrade; but none of those extra features play any part in this combat.

The entire guest corridor is no more than a dozen meters long, and the stairs down are relatively shallow, so if one runs to a balustrade one is within reach of the heads of those immediately below. Conversely, the stairs are shallow enough and the balustrade low enough that it is possible to stand on the stair and sight a weapon along the guest corridor.

Surprise round: It is completely dark: someone has hoodooed the lights. Franz creeps forward to the eastern stair from whence the sound came. Behind him in the rooms, Mola throws on her combat cloak and grabs a lamp along with her trusty Stub, Jahr grabs a lamp and his Mono-ax, Zarkov throws on his combat cloak and readies his Lasgun, and Grimm covers Franz’ advance as best he can in the dark, readying his Lawgiver from a doorway.

Franz is greeted by a hail of silenced laser gunfire but [Awareness 05 on re-roll] throws himself into cover behind the balustrade at the top of the stair. The beams scorch around him but [30 on Dodge re-roll] miss. We call for Franz to fall back: Franz responds with a full-auto burst down the stair! [WP saves for invaders!]

Initiatives (and the GM also gets intentions):

  • Franz
  • Mola
  • Grimm
  • Jahr
  • Invaders/Zarkov

Round 1: The house lights snap back on. Franz can see perhaps half a dozen armored invaders, most of whom have been stalled by his suppressive fire. They also seem to have been shocked by the return of light. He switches to single, aims briefly and shoots the lead man but [9 to body, less 4 armor and 3 Tough] the invader seems hardly scratched. Mola readies a shot, from cover in a doorway. Grimm catches sight of the same lead man – his chosen doorway is south-easternmost – and takes an aimed shot, heavily wounding the man’s left arm [9 damage, AP2]. Jahr throws himself out of his room, charges to the balustrade, totters perilously close to pitching himself over the low barrier [makes ½ Ag] and smashes the same man with his Mono-ax, wrecking his left arm [11 rending damage, AP2]. The man drops his Lasgun and vomit dribbles through his helm’s gorget. Z watches the other way [fails Awareness] but sees and hears nothing. The invaders, their courageous point man clearly doomed, seek cover.

Round 2: Franz switches to full auto and scores a couple of rounds [10 and 9 damage] to the wounded, unarmed invader’s body: he staggers, clearly on his last legs. Grimm proves this by stepping forward a few paces [1/2 move] and shooting his leg off: his dying screams deafen us all!

Realizing that the next stage of the fight may involve sniping from cover, Jahr races back into his room, seeking his Lasgun.

Content that the lads are stopping any threat east, Mola swings her defense the other way, west, which suits her right-handed stance as she is sheltering in the center of the southern doorways. Distracted by the messy noisy slaughter she also fails to pick out any threat [misses Awareness on re-roll!]. Zarkov also fails, again. Nonetheless, the pair are ready [delay/overwatch] and when the unseen attackers do fire from the western stair (three are able to fire, two at Mola and one at Zarkov) they return fire! Laser beams scorch the door frames around Mola and Zarkov: Zarkov’s aim is good but his shot [5 damage] has no effect, for these invaders are just as armored as their eastern team. Mola’s shot ploughs into the floor against the balustrade.

The GM handles cover by assigning locations that are not covered. Characters firing from doorways with a one-hand weapon such as a Stub revolver need only expose head and shooting arm. Two-handed weapons such as Lasgun require more exposure, so body is also a viable target. Those shooting long-arms from over a balustrade get no cover for head or arms. Cover is very effective: the Strophes do not skimp on building materials, and doorframes and balustrades are worth 8AP, while a door is worth 4.

Round 3: Grimm turns from his (rather exposed) position at the balustrade, sights down the length of the corridor, and shoots Z’s opponent [9 to head, AP2]. All other shots – and there are many – are ineffective. Jahr begins donning his armor, having checked over the vox that this process is worth gambling on. Franz has pulled back to cover at the edge of the corridor, where it turns back on the mezzanine. (He’s not in cover from the current threat, however.)

Round 4: Franz switches to semi-auto and blasts the western balustrade: chips fly everywhere. Mola misses her called shot. Grimm sidles back into his preferred doorway, as he hears the eastern force massing ready for a fresh assault. Jahr continues pulling on armor. The western three invaders blaze away: Mola’s door stops one shot, another is dodged by Z [12 on 1/2Ag!], and his response misses.

Round 5: Franz switches to single-shot, but misses his called shot. Mola’s called shot to the head is accurate [12 damage so 5 wounds]. Grimm continues to stand ready [missing Awareness]. Jahr continues to don armor. He voxes his progress and asks:

“Where will I be best heading?” – Jahr

“By the time you are ready it will be obvious – I’ll be out of ammo” – Mola

The attackers fire again: again her doorway stops a shot directed at Mola! Z is wounded lightly [1 pt wound to head] as a laser blast catches him, but he coolly aims and shoots his target in the head, wounding him heavily [13 damage, so 6 Wounds].

Round 6: Franz misses: he’s nearly out of ammo now. Mola again shoots her target in the head! He’s in some trouble now [another 5 wounds – he’s out of wound points]. Grimm continues to stand ready [missing Awareness again]. Jahr has now finished donning his armor!

The GM handled armor generously, by ruling that if it covered a single location, like a helm, or was a single cloak, it took a half-round to slap on; but if it was multiple locations, one round per armor point. Mola and Zarkov are well-covered, whereas Franz and Grimm are fighting dressed in very little.

While “his” attacker and Zarkov trade misses, one of the other two slams a beam through the door and into Mola’s leg, but her armor protects her.

Grimm yells a warning and lets fly as there’s a surge in the east, into the antechamber! He can see that there must be around a dozen there!

Round 7: Franz is down to his last bullet: he aims at the first invader he can get a bead on and still stay in cover, lets fly – and misses! It’s his last shot, too.

At the other end, Mola takes another called shot with her last round, and shoots her target in the head: his aim slips and he sags down [stunned d5 rounds].

”I’m out!” – Mola

Grimm runs back into his room to find either another load or a handy Stub. In his own room, Jahr grabs up his ax, slams his shotgun into its scabbard, and charges out west, sweeping his ax down over the balustrade at Zarkov’s persecutor, tearing into his arm: blood sprays out from the broken armor! As the three grouped below him decide whether to move or shoot back, Laurent Strophes opens up from below them: the wounded man is smashed back into the wall by Laurent’s mech-arm, and the middle attacker evaporates in a cloud of hot plasma as Laurent shoots with a plasma gun! Realizing that there is only one stunned man left, Zarkov steps out of cover to get line of sight on him, and tries a head-shot, but misses.

“Anyone got a grenade? They’re massing ready to charge!” – Grimm

“I might be able to do something with a spare charge… give me a few moments” – Zarkov


Round 8: Franz runs back to where his spare clips are, and Mola is retrieving her back-up weapon, an Auto-pistol. Grimm reloads swiftly [quick reload allows 1 round reload for the Lawgiver].

”Well done! Blast these uninvited swine! See if you can bottle them up at the stair-head: I’ll work my way back around them!” – Laurent

Jahr [drop ax, quick-draw] ruthlessly sights his shotgun on the sole stunned survivor of Laurent’s attack, and kills him.

In the east, three attackers have passed the dead man and pool of vomit on the stair, and snipe back at Grimm and Franz. Others lean their guns over the balustrade, while perhaps half a dozen clump up behind them. A tempting target.

The massed enemy charge to the foot of the stair. Above them, an armored corpse lying in a pool of blood and vomit offers an obstacle.

Z jury-rigs a bomb [04 on Tech] with his spare laser charge pack.

Round 9: Franz sights out of the north-easternmost door [delay/overwatch]. Mola scuttles across the corridor to take shelter in the central northern doorway, takes a snapshot, and misses. Grimm is in the doorway opposite Franz: he aims and takes a called shot to one of the exposed heads, but misses.

“I’ve got the bomb ready – now I need someone to pitch it. Someone not me!” – Zarkov

“I’ll take it! Franz will need to shoot it once I lob it” – Jahr 

Jahr, who is standing next to Zarkov, picks up his ax, takes the bomb, and starts off down the corridor east.

The invaders charge up the stair: three get right up over the obstacle; a fourth is still clambering over it when Franz takes his shot: but there’s a lot of covering fire and he misses. Zarkov, who is now behind Jahr and well back down the corridor, sights past Jahr and hits the fourth target in the head! [12 to head = 5 Wounds]

Round 10: Franz readies, waiting for Jahr to lob the bomb. Grimm and Mola miss shots at the invaders.

“Fire in the hold!” – Jahr

Jahr lobs the bomb accurately over the balustrade [42 on Ag+10] but Franz misses the shot! The bomb falls and comes to rest just below the corpse and blood.

“Damnation! You can still set it off though – just shoot down into it!” – Z

“I could leap up onto the balustrade, shoot then tumble back?” – Franz

“Sure. That would work. Or you could make a flying tumble over the whole stair, shooting as you tumble upside down over it” – Mola

“Are you serious? That would put him directly over the bomb!” – Grimm

“Hmm? I can’t see a downside” – Mola

There’s a blaze of exchanging shots from Lasguns. Grimm ducks [he has Dodge and succeeds on full Ag] as one sears through where he should have been.

Round 11: Franz yells:

“Oh well, what the hell!” – Franz

And dashes forward, leaping up onto the balustrade and blowing the bomb to smithereens! [Acrobatics success, 02 on shot against Miniscule target] His tumble carries him safely back into cover [Dodge success]!

An exploding Laspack affects a 3 meter radius. Most of the invaders are enveloped in the blast and most are heavily wounded. One at the stair-head is unhurt. The worst-affected is the man caught clambering over the corpse: Mola shoots him in the head: he shakes his head to clear his vision, as though blinded. Grimm misses a shot at the same man. Jahr charges, catching him only a glancing blow with the dread Mono-ax but it is enough: he faints. The enemy around and below Jahr all fire back at him, and one scores through his armor, lightly wounding him [1 Wound]. Zarkov scuttles to cover in Grimm’s doorway.

An invader in the knot of enemy below the stairs evaporates as Laurent opens up with his plasma gun.

Round 12: Franz moves to the corner and assesses the situation. There are only three invaders above the two corpses, which are now quite a good obstacle. He tries a shot at the one easiest seen, but misses. Mola readies in case some pop up from below. Grimm tries a shot at the same target as Franz, and nearly takes his arm off [12 damage, AP2]. Jahr steps over to the nearest-left, but misses. Those invaders not severely threatened by Laurent continue to fire at Jahr, but his armor and Toughness prevent any further harm. Zarkov’s shot, into the same target Grimm shot, is accurate but does no harm.

Round 13: Franz opens a full burst on the unscathed enemy around the corner: his gun jams. Mola steps out of cover to the corner beside Franz, takes a snap-shot at the unwounded man [re-roll] and the pistol round bores through his armor, smashing him back dead outright! [19 damage to body with Righteous Fury]. Grimm sights on his chosen target again, and this time the heavy Lawgiver slug smashes the man’s ribs [20% chance of dying if action is taken]. Jahr, now attacking whole-heartedly, near-severs the invader’s arm [14 damage AP2, Rk 7 crit, loses use of arm]. The chest-shot man next to the fight brings up his gun again [success vs 20% chance] and shoots Jahr in the body, but the big barbarian shakes it off [FP reduces damage by 5, armor and Tough soak it].  Z puts paid to anything further from that invader with yet another chest shot: Z’s Lasgun blows a hole in him and he slumps to the ground, burning slightly.

As Laurent fires again, the surviving invaders break. Jahr has a prisoner, and there is much looting to be done.

++++++++++++++++++++Combat ends++++++++++++++++++++

We loot several sets of intact Guard Flak armor (4 pts all over), several silenced Lasguns, plenty of spare Lasclips, several knives, several sets of infra-red goggles, and several micro-beads for communications.

The session ends, and the GM awards 200xp all round and a bonus 50 for Zarkov who put the bomb together and for Franz who set it off.


About andrewmclaren26

Weekly Roleplayer, Wargamer when I can
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