Background: I had two goals when I setup this game: use a lot of hills, and use my new cacti models. So I placed terrain and road sections to make the table look like an abandoned stretch of dusty highway. Think “The Loneliest Road in America” Highway 50 in Nevada as it cuts through a pass.
There were some secondary goals around this game as well. I wanted to try a couple Variant Rules, since normally I play vanilla Dinosaur Cowboys. I also wanted to use higher IP and ND values to make more powerful posses.
The posses I ended up with are a travelling group of performers, artists, and vagabonds named Maudlin Travelling Band. They would be wandering the road scavenging for supplies and looking for towns to entertain. The other posse was the exact opposite, a tough gang of bandits and raiders who generally go to towns to kill and steal. They were called, aptly enough, The Dirty Dogs.
This battle report was using the v1.3 rules, so Neotechnoists got a bit of a buff with their new Allegiance benefit.
Also I’ve tried trimming down the level of detail I go into for each turn. So no more specifics on who rolled what, instead I’ll try to give a general summary of each turn. One of these days I’d really like to get a battle report map going.
Posse Resources: Each posse had 2,000 Neodollars and 200 Improvement Points and 6 Traits to allocate.
Variant Rules: Dual Wield and Last Man Standing.
Special Rules: +1 MV if a move starts on the road. This bonus applies for BOTH Standard Move and Running or Charging, so it’s possible to get +2 MV just by Standard Move + Run on your turn.
Posse: Maudlin Travelling Band: 1/2000 IP, 0/2000 ND, 6/6 Traits
I figured the Maudlin Travelling Band would hail from an imaginary small town called Maudlin, and be lead by a father and daughter. They would be general survivors and drifters so the Bandit allegiance worked best. Along the way they picked up Thurn, a Duster, who is a rougher cattle hand who grew tired of life on the ranch and now is training up his gimmicks and tricks for the road. Markus is another Duster, and happens to be in love with Ozie. Her father Gerg pretends to not notice, but there is definitely friction as a result. The Savage Wildgrass is sort of a novelty item in some smaller, backwater towns, so he completes the troupe. And Tarnation is their Ripper dinosaur, because what travelling act wouldn’t have a dinosaur?!
Now that I had some general background I needed to fill in their stats and equipment. With $2,000 and 200 IP there was plenty of high end gear to go around. Ozie got a Handcannon (terrific short range pistol) and Kaboom Grenades, mainly since I don’t use grenades nearly enough. Gerg was the melee man with a Twin Lance, and he would start the game mounted on Tarnation to complete the “knight in the wild west” image he portrays on stage. Thurn and Markus got a pretty standard set of gear with some pistols and a Light Repeater. It’s hard to not match Wildgrass’ classic Necromunda figure so I had to give him a Double Barrel Shotgun. A Flail completed his gear, and the Savage Allegiance movement boost meant he could try to advance alongside Gerg and Tarnation.
I was aiming for a denied flank setup. Markus would hold down one side of the road alone, since his gun had good range. The other side would have everyone else in a big clump. Ozie and Thurn would try to advance together since their weapons had similar range. Wildgrass would parallel Gerg but also provide some melee support in the middle if needed. He could leverage the road to boost his speed to try to pace Tarnation. And Gerg would go for the long side flank, rushing ahead on Tarnation as fast as possible to shut down any backline shooters.
Ozie Tumaneng (Bandit Leader)
MV 4, AR 0, RMC 5, MMC 8, BRV 7, HP 12, Speed Reload, Bonus RMC. Kaboom Grenades, Handcannon, Small IRP.
Gerg Tumaneng (Bandit)
MV 5, AR 2, RMC 8, MMC 7, BRV 6, HP 12, Inspiring Shot. 80kW Six-Shooter, Twin Lance, Wood Armor.
MV 3, AR 0, RMC 6, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 15, Bonus HP. Heavy Pistol, 100kW Six-Shooter.
MV 3, AR 1, RMC 6, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 12, Go For the Eyes. Light Repeater, Small IRP.
MV 5, AR 2, RMC 8, MMC 7, BRV 6, HP 10, Get Up!. Double Barrel Shotgun, Flail, Wood Armor.
Tarnation (Untrained Ripper Dinosaur)
MV 7, PMV D8, AR 0, MMC 7, DIS 5, HP 12.
Posse: The Dirty Dogs: 3/200 IP, 0/2000 ND, 6/6 Traits
I opted for a big, expensive dinosaur at the core of the posse. Something about the King (T-Rex) dinosaur always seems perfect for a marauding gang of raiders. I can just imagine the fear it would strike into villagers and mere peasants. So yeah, Kalgin the King dinosaur was chosen. A slew of Traits helped ensure he could survive the long trek across the table. I hesitated mounting anyone on him since his towering height makes a rider an easy target.
Anyways in terms of backstory for the human members I went with the tried and true “corrupted Neotechnoists”. Ruger and Ximenez would both be fallen Neotechnoists, perhaps dabbling in drug running and other nefarious pursuits. Two silent henchmen completed the posse, in this case Falcon Hand (sounds like a cheesy 80s super villain) who was a Duster, and The Gray Shadow who was a sniper Bandit.
In terms of gear a crude Assault Rifle seemed perfect for Ruger. It matched the figure very well and I like the juxtaposition (woa getting fancy) of an advanced civilization still using gunpowder based firearms. Ximenez went for a Sawed Off Shotgun to continue the “brutal weapons” trend.
Since one of the Variant Rules we’re using is Dual Wielding (+1A when using 2 small weapons of the same type) and Falcon Hand’s figure had two pistols, I decided he’d naturally have two 200kW Six-Shooters, hitting at 5A-2D. The Gray Shadow got a Twin Rifle for sniping and a simple 80kW Six-Shooter sidearm for enemies inside the minimum range. The “Both Barrels” feature of the Twin Rifle is nice, especially for early shots to make enemies dive for cover. A few Traits and some scraps of armor completed the posse.
My strategy was simple and mostly dictated by the terrain. The road looked to be a death zone of crossfire and no cover, so I’d split my force and advance through the hills on either side. Kalgin, Ximenez, and Falcon Hand would go on one side since they were slightly shorter ranged and could support the dinosaur well. Ruger and The Gray Shadow would be on the other. I figured Ruger might eventually cross the road while The Gray Shadow hung back in support, but we’ll see. Hopefully Kalgin could make it to melee and tear up some foes.
Ruger (Neotechnoist Leader)
MV 4, AR 3, RMC 6, MMC 8, BRV 7, HP 10, Neck Shot. Assault Rifle, Clay Armor, Medium IRP.
MV 4, AR 2, RMC 7, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 12. Sawed Off Shotgun, 80kW Six-Shooter, Cloth Armor, Medium IRP.
Falcon Hand (Duster)
MV 4, AR 3, RMC 6, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 10, Inspiring Shot. 200kW Six-Shooter, 200kW Six-Shooter, Bone Armor, Medium IRP.
The Gray Shadow (Bandit)
MV 4, AR 1, RMC 5, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 10, Try Again. 200kW Twin Rifle, 80kW Six-Shooter.
Kalgin (Feral King Dinosaur)
MV 6, PMV D6, AR 2, MMC 4, DIS 8, HP 27, Bonus HP, Runner, Turtle.
The Dirty Dogs: Looking from my table edge Kalgin is to the right opposite Markus. Falcon Hand and Ximenez beside, with Ruger and The Gray Shadow to the left.
Maudlin Travelling Band: Looking from my table edge Markus is on the left all alone. Everyone else is piled on the hill to the right. Gerg started mounted on Tarnation.
Turn 1 – Forward, March!
As usual Turn 1 was fairly simple with everyone advancing and re-positioning after the deployment. No guns were in range yet but soon would be. Some folks Ran, some just walked. The only real surprises were Wildgrass moving onto the road behind a pile of rocks and a cactus. Ruger matched him except couldn’t find any cover, and didn’t quite make it to the cracked pavement. Gerg and Tarnation flanked to their right, and Kalgin ran along his right, both trying to stay in the cover of the hills. The road would be faster, but good luck blocking line of sight on that highway of death.
Turn 2 – Open Fire!
Kalgin powered ahead, his long strides and useful Runner trait bringing him closer and closer to Markus. Seeing this Wildgrass continued down across the road and into some rubble to bring some fire (and his flail) onto Kalgin. Ozie dropped from the hill and followed in Wildgrass’ footsteps, basically swinging the Maudlin Travelling Band’s focus from their right flank to their left. Thurn continued up the hilltop, cresting and giving him a commanding view of the upcoming firefight. Gerg also continued his flank, reaching the valley between the hill his friends occupied and the menacing mound manned by The Gray Shadow. Ruger and Ximenez simply marched up the road, confident in the lacking range of their enemies. Falcon Hand started hand-over-hand climbing the towering hill in front of him, hoping to get a shot on Gerg or Tarnation.
With a shouted command and eager pointing, Ruger ordered The Gray Shadow to open fire on Gerg. His Twin Rifle blasted the approaching enemy for 4 damage. Markus’ weapon chattered to life as bolts of energy peppered the T-Rexes hide. Kalgin took 3 damage from the assault and Markus repositioned himself higher up the hill, trying to get out of reach of the incoming dinosaur.
Turn 3 – This Way and That Way
The Dirty Dogs won the first Activation, and immediately rushed Kalgin towards Wildgrass. The mighty dinosaurs fell just short by an inch or so from getting into melee. Markus uses his “Go For the Eyes” trait and unloads point blank onto Kalgin for 8 damage, which adds a Panic token. The fire continues to pour into the dinosaur, this time Ozie with her Handcannon. Her shot goes wide and she has to Reload, but activates Yeehaw! to allow a re-roll. The shot still misses but isn’t a 1, so at least she doesn’t have to Reload anymore.
Across the field The Gray Shadow uses the “Both Barrels” feature of his rifle on Gerg, since the mounted dinosaur is rapidly approaching. The hit is deadly and does 8 damage to Gerg which kills him! The downside of unloading his gun in one massive blast is The Gray Shadow now needs to Reload. Ruger continues up the road, finally getting into range of a foe. He fires at the exposed form of Wildgrass and hits for a measly 2 damage. Wildgrass keeps his attention locked on the T-Rex, and uses “Both Barrels” of his shotgun for a brutal 8 damage. This adds another Panic token, so Kalgin certainly won’t be rushing anywhere soon. The final attack is from Thurn who blasts Ruger through a tree for 4 damage.
Quite the turn!
Turn 4 – Torn to Shreds
Markus starts the turn with another powerful shot at Kalgin, this time hitting for 6 from his mountainous perch. The dinosaur responds by trying to reach Ozie. The Panic Movement roll is 3″, so the T-Rex has to settle for Running to reach Ozie. It activates the Turtle trait which should spare him for another turn.
Ximenez moves directly up the middle of the road, firing shell after shell into Wildgrass as he advances. The Savage is hit for 7 damage but doesn’t Flee. Instead he moves into melee with Kalgin, but his wildly swinging Flail misses the hunkered down dinosaur.
Seeing his sniper pressed by the Ripper, Ruger spins and fires at Tarnation, hitting for 7 damage which adds a Panic token.
Ozie holsters her Handcannon and grabs a Kaboom Grenade. Flipping the switch she hurls the massive bomb at Ximenez. The weapon connects and hits the poor Neotechnoist for 8 damage. The big Explosion (4″ radius) showers the nearby Kalgin with hot shrapnel for an additional 7 damage. A terrific attack since the radius damage didn’t have to roll against Kalgin’s impressive Armor (due to the Turtle Trait). After all this Ximenez fails his Bravery test and is Fleeing, naturally.
Seeing the enemy starting to break Thurn keeps the pressure on. He fires at Ximenez and hits for 6 damage which kills the man just as he is about to run away. Return fire echoes from the distant hill as The Gray Shadow unloads into Tarnation with his revolver, hitting for 4 damage which brings the Ripper down to 1 HP left! The dinosaur slowly chugs forward and almost reaches the devastating sniper.
Turn 5 – Down With Dinosaurs
This turned out to be a deadly turn for any non-humans on the board. Wildgrass started the butchering by smashing Kalgin with his Flail for 5 damage, which killed the limping beast. The Gray Shadow responded in kind by firing his Six-Shooter into Tarnation again, doing 2 damage which killed the Ripper. Unlike the Flail though his revolver needed to Reload after the fusillade of shots. The Gray Shadow was now holding two empty weapons.
The grand shootout in the middle continued, and now without the dinosaurs it had become a straight up street fight. Markus fired at Falcon Hand from the edge of the cliff, hitting for 4 damage. Falcon Hand moved forward and returned fire hitting Markus for 7 damage which caused the upstart to Flee.
Ruger continued pumping shots into Wildgrass until the Savage was dead. Thurn tried to bring down the enemy leader but missed all his shots against Ruger. Ozie had more luck. Using her Speed Reload trait to quickly grab another grenade she lobbed the ticking bomb at Ruger, hitting him for 6 damage which killed the leader. This caused both Falcon Hand and The Gray Shadow to Flee.
After Action Report
The Dirty Dogs: So like true “dogs” we ran from the fight with our tails between our legs. Losing Kalgin right at the start of Turn 5 really sealed the deal. He didn’t even get to snap anyone in half At least their dinosaur was equally futile. Deploying along the narrow table edges so the melee folks have EXTRA far to run sure hurts sometimes. Anyways having both my survivors Flee after Ruger bit the dust soon after really hurt a ton. I maybe could have done some damage with The Gray Shadow as the enemy approached to kill him, but with all the hills and only a few inches of range superiority that advantage wouldn’t have lasted long. Still a terrific game!
Maudlin Travelling Band: Victory through surrender, my favorite kind for my hippie travellin’ gang. The game went pretty well overall, although half of it was just pouring fire into Kalgin, staying out of his reach, and hoping for the best. My flank to The Gray Shadow didn’t work quite as well as I hoped, although it did succeed in locking him down and emptying both his weapons. Some great surviving (aka luck) by Wildgrass in the middle. Ozie was a champ with her Kaboom Grenade trick to start the focus fire that killed Ximenez. All in all no one stood out as too weak or useless to me, aside from maybe Thurn who could have been a bit more focused and a bit less committed to his high ground position.
Complete Turn Log
- All Ran or moved forward
- Wildgrass onto the road behind rocks
- Gerg flanked his right, Kalgin flanked his right
- Kalgin Ran 9″, getting close to Markus
- Wildgrass uses road to quickly move towards Kalgin for support
- Ozie also crosses road
- Thurn to hilltop on the right
- Gerg ran into gap between hills closer to Gray
- Ruger and Xime move up road
- Falcon up the hill
- Gray shoots at Gerg hits for 4
- Markus shoots at Kalgin for 3 and moves up hill
- Kalgin almost makes it to melee with Wildgrass
- Markus uses “Go For the Eyes”, shoots Kalgin for 8 total. Adds Panic
- Ozie shoots Handcannon at Kalgin, misses and needs Reload. Uses Yeehaw, still misses
- Gray uses Both Barrels, hits 8 and kills Gerg, needs to auto Reload
- Ruger moves and hits 2 on Wildgrass
- Wildgrass uses Both Barrels on Kalgin for 8, adds another Panic
- Thurn hits Ruger for 4
- Markus shoots Kalgin for 6
- Kalgin PMVs 3″ and Runs into Ozie, uses Turtle
- Xime moves and shoots Wildgrass for 7, doesn’t Flee
- Wildgrass moves to Kalgin and melee, misses
- Ruger shoots Tarnation for 7, adds Panic
- Ozie throws Kaboom Grenade at Xime, hits for 8 and 7 on Kalgin from Big Explosion. Xime Flees
- Thurn shoots at Xime, hits 6 to kill
- Gray hits Tarnation for 4, has 1 HP left
- Tarnation almost reaches Gray
- Wildgrass hits Kalgin with Flail for 5, kills him
- Gray shoots Tarnation for 2, kills, needs to Reload revolver
- Markus hits Falcon for 4 from cliff edge
- Ruger shoots and kills Wildgrass
- Falcon moves and shoots Markus for 7. Markus Flees
- Thurn misses Ruger
- Ozie uses Speed Reload on Kaboom Grenade, shoots Ruger for 6 to kill. Falcon and Gray both Flee.